Setting boundaries for your business – especially if it’s home based – is super important. Otherwise you find yourself working at all hours and your partner casually helping themselves to all the chocolate in the bag. Worse, no boundaries your customers thinking it’s okay to call you at 5am on a Sunday morning because they can’t sleep and they are Googling for cake inspiration. I’ve previously written about a few essential business boundaries I think you need to have – you can read about those here. Today I want to talk more about personal boundaries and how it’s important to set those with yourself as much as your clients. Sometimes if we don’t keep ourselves in check, things can kinda run amok … and months down the line we’re burnt out, exhausted, and frankly wishing we could spend more hours buried under our blankets hoping to never see another human again. I must admit that I don’t love to think of these as “boundaries” as much as “shit I will and will not put up with.”
Here’s some examples of places you can set boundaries for yourself:
- Mobile phone usage – we can’t get away from the damn things, but we can choose how much of our lives they take over. So perhaps your boundary is that when you’re working on cake, or answering client emails, your phone is on silent and in other room so you’re not distracted.
- Food – we need it to live, but when we get on a roll we forget to eat or worse, we grab whatever is in the cupboard. A great food boundary for you might be that you always take a lunch break of no less than twenty minutes, or that you pack a lunch every day (even if you work from home).
- Social media – when we first get into this industry, we go crazy following and fan girling all over other people’s social media accounts and joining groups. It can be fun for a while, until you realise that ALL your feeds are just cake, cake, cake, people whining about customers, cake, cake, cake. After a while, it starts to wear you down. A good boundary here is that you start to unfollow, unfriend, leave or block any person or page that no longer interests you or in any way negatively affects your mental health.
- Waving buh-bye to the haters – most of us have some well-meaning person in our lives who, though filled with good intention (or maybe not) manages to derail our efforts. They tell us we’re too expensive, that our creation we spent ten hours on looks “Okay, but is it mean to lean to the left like that?” or they send us job listings they think we’d like. You need to have a boundary about how much you’re willing to let this person into your life and your business. Even when it’s a life partner, there will come a time when YOU need to decide how much access they get. Hate their commentary on your cakes? STOP ASKING THEM.
Personal boundaries help make sure we are the truly the creators of our own lives. For so many reasons we feel hemmed in by our life circumstances or like we don’t get much say in how things run for us when in reality – we DO have control in some areas, we CAN change how we lead our lives… we simply have to find the places where we are in control and then exert that control… like a boss.