Hey friends. Today I wanna talk to you about boundaries for business success. Who here wants to be really successful? Has anyone heard of a guy called Warren Buffet? He’s a really successful guy, right? Warren Buffet said “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that the really successful people saying no to almost everything.” Wait, what? How can that? Well listen up. I’m gonna teach you about the power of saying no, why it makes you really successful and give you a tool on how to do it.
The problem with saying yes to things is that we’re actually saying no to something else. I experienced this myself when I started my coaching business. My mission was to help adults set and uphold boundaries. Those first few clients came very slowly and one at a time. I had a client who was getting great results with me and asked me to coach an entire group of leaders for her nonprofit organization. I was thrilled. 10 new clients, cha-ching! This nonprofit had a noble mission. To teach self-care and improve the health of teenagers. That’s right. Teenagers. Not exactly my ideal client. I did have experience working with teenagers when I was a caseworker, and I knew I could help them. I had ample availability, so I thought about it for about 30 seconds and said yes.
I created an entire 12 week curriculum. I coached them. I gathered feedback. The results of the teen coaching program were so effective that they applied for and received a substantial grant to grow their work in our community. They wanted to take this program into the schools and coach hundreds of teenagers, but it didn’t feel right to me. I had been spending about half of my business time on this for months. We brainstormed a variety of rollout ideas and none of them felt right to me. I finally got real with myself. Coaching teenagers did not feel right to me because I felt called to coach adults. I decided to gift my content to them so they could move forward without me. When I said no to the project that was not the right fit, I was able to focus on work that I was meant to do and say yes to coaching my ideal clients. I rebranded my business and focused my energy to my ideal clients, and they started coming to me. By the next quarter, I had doubled my clients and my income.
When we say no to things that do not align with our business mission, even good things, then we have the time, the energy, and the space to say yes to things that are in alignment for us. A simple way to define your business mission is to get clear about who you help and how you help them. Our business mission helps us to make confident decisions about what we want to say yes to and what we want to say no to. Learning to say no is learning to set boundaries. Remember that boundaries are the limits and guidelines that you set for yourself that determine what you will and will not participate in. We set boundaries for ourselves, for our resources, and for our relationships. Boundaries are necessary to sustain our business.
For example, my client, Julia, came to me as a new business owner. She had two degrees and a passion for helping people. When people could not pay the going rate for her services. She offered discounts or trades. She even had a box where people could pay what they can, kind of like a tip jar for professional services. She was working hard, but not even making enough money to cover her student loans. Julia’s business was not sustainable. First, we worked to increase her self-confidence and her pricing. She stopped undervaluing herself and started paying herself what she is worth. Next, she decided what hours she wanted to work and what hours she would not work. She committed to stop bringing work home after hours. She became her ideal boss. Within a few months, Julia’s business became profitable and sustainable.
You see, the reason that you need boundaries in your business is so that you can be sustainable. Just like boundaries are necessary for individuals and relationships, we also need boundaries to sustain our business. No business is sustainable without boundaries. To assess for sustainable boundaries in your business, I recommend that you begin with checking in about these three areas, your working hours, your pricing, and your self-care. When do you work and when do you not work? What is the value of your expertise? How do you take care of yourself personally so that you can show up and serve your clients? So how do we do it?
How do we say no? Allow me to introduce to you my favorite sentence. I love you and no. Go ahead and say it out loud while you’re listening. I love you and no. Will you meet with me on your scheduled day off. I love you and no. Can you work for this price? I love you and no. Will you host our holiday gathering this year? I love you and no. This magical sentence has transformed my world and it can yours too. Now I know what you might be thinking. What if I don’t feel comfortable saying I love you, especially in a professional setting? Okay. The power of the sentence, I love you and no is to express appreciation for the person and say no to their request. It works because it honors the relationship. And building our business are all about building our professional relationships. We can maintain the connection with the person and simultaneously honor ourselves by telling the truth about how we do and do not want to participate.
We take the sentiment of the sentence and apply it to our situation. It could sound like, I appreciate you and I’m not able to commit. Another option could be I respect you and I’ve decided to move forward in a different way. Or thank you and no. What is something you’d like to say no to? I invite you to write it down. Decide right now how you’d like to utilize this tool, I love you and no in your business today.
I agree with Warren Buffet. I wanna be really successful and I want you to be really successful too. When you have boundaries in your business, you can stay in alignment with your business mission and create a business that is sustainable. And to those of you who are searching for that elusive work-life balance, I would like to suggest a new concept, work life boundaries. If you’re a woman in business, then I would like to continue this conversation with you. You can book a call with me by going to my website, www.boundariescoach.com, and the purple button on the top right says Book a call. Sign up now for your complimentary consultation with me to learn how boundaries can help you become more sustainable and successful in your business.