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If you’re a Christian entrepreneur you know that business can take over your life. If we don’t have boundaries, we are going to operate in chaos, and we know that God does not desire that for us.
We have to consider how we can build our businesses so we’re not struggling in chaos. If you can create your systems, get your guidelines in order, establish clear boundaries then you are not going to be drained by your business. One of the reasons that we start businesses is to have freedom. If we don’t have the freedom to show up for our family or for our clients, to take care of ourselves, then why are we doing it?
1. Dedicated Work Time
Now, not everyone has the same flexibility; but I need to know every day when I will be working. I want to be present with my family and also as a faith-based business coach. This is why I create my work time when I have childcare available. That’s when I’m on calls, meeting with clients, getting through big tasks. Hiring out my marketing has helped me establish this work time.
I thrive when I have days of the week that are ‘themed.’ Certain days are call days, some are details days, some are project days. Know what works for you, what works for your family, establish that normalcy, and protect the things that count in your life. You’ll find more freedom knowing when you’re going to work and when you’ll have downtime.
2. Calm It Down and Take a Break
Sometimes I just need to chill. If I’m on Instagram and seeing how other people are setting up posts or doing a launch, I forget that I need to just be myself.
There’s so much noise around us.
We look at what everyone else is doing and we sometimes start to feel like we’re not doing enough. When I notice this anxiety building up within me, it’s an indicator that I need to take a step back and chill for a bit.
I’m always so excited to be building things, but sometimes the pressure can lead us in a direction that we don’t want to go in our business. So just take a minute, take a day, calm down. Keep that boundary when you feel like you should be doing so many things.
Taking a break from social media can be huge for this. Get rid of those apps if you need to, take some time to chill, and allow your ideas to take shape instead of depending on others’ ideas to influence your direction.
3. No Late Nights or Weekends
I know for me, if I work late into the night or all weekend long, I cannot mentally disconnect from my business. Holding a boundary around not working late in the evening or on weekends allows me to be more present with my family and it also allows me to have my own time. We all need that space from our business.
Let your clients know, ‘these are the hours that you can reach me and I don’t work weekends.’ This helps maintain that sense of sanity and helps to establish boundaries with your clients too. They know what to expect, and there’s less room for error.
4. Treat Your Clients Fairly
Have protocols in place, pay on time, communicate clearly.
Walk your clients through the processes that you have in place. I can honor my clients who are following my guidelines because I hold everyone to the same standards.
This was hard for me for a while, as a female Christian entrepreneur. You want to feel like you can help your clients, but you also need to hold them accountable, they need to take you seriously. And the same goes for you as a business owner.
Show up on time and fulfill your commitments so your clients know you’re treating them fairly too. Set clear guidelines so every client knows your expectations from the start.
These guidelines and boundaries are not a bad thing. Your ‘Yes’ has to be yes and your ‘No’ has to be no. You have to decide what that looks like as a business owner.
5. Say no to the Things that Don’t Help You
In the photography industry, I got to the point where I was doing so many freebies, especially in the beginning stage, while trying to build my portfolio. And sometimes these are necessary! But when you get to the point where things are more serious and you don’t have the time to commit to too many things, you have to be okay with saying ‘no.’
Say yes to the things that matter. Don’t focus on the things that take more energy and time away from you without adequate payback. Don’t be afraid to know what you’re worth and know you can charge for these things.
I became much better at saying ‘no’ when I had children. In certain experiences I began to notice that these freebies weren’t a fair exchange for me; I needed more childcare or put aside valuable time that I needed for other projects. This can come into play with your values and beliefs too. Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ when you don’t line up biblically or personally with an organization.
Don’t sacrifice your boundary, who you are, to fit inside someone else’s box.
Sometimes these boundaries will look different for different seasons in your life or business. Get organized and set your values to help establish what this looks like for you. Use these expectations and boundaries to hold yourself accountable. These are set in place to help you thrive in your business and show up for your clients in the best way.
Don’t forget to have grace at times, because things can’t always be fixed. You may have to adapt sometimes but stay true to yourself and you’ll find the right balance there.
So I challenge you to go set some boundaries in your business today. Continue to claim the dream that God has given you!
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