Anyone else out there suffer from a bad case of “people pleasing”? This one is a hard nut to crack especially if you’re a female entrepreneur. For some reason – we feel like we have to go to the moon and back to make sure others are being taken care of. Not only through our business but in life too!
So many of us in the creative industry are empathetic like CRAZY. We want to put our all into every opportunity that comes our way. And when you’re early in your business, we go into what I like to refer to as “hospitality” mode.
We give everything we have so we can succeed and grow. But what happens when we’re only go, go, go is we forget to take moments to stop. We’re so busy hustling we’re not sure when or HOW to maintain.
The result? Massive burnout.
Does this sound like you?
Gosh the last thing you want is for your business to control you. That’s why you made a business in the first place right? So you can have control of our life.
So I’m ready to let you in on creating those boundaries ahead of time so you don’t end up resenting what you love.
Set Boundaries EARLY
Tell me, does getting a 2am text from a client sound appealing to you?
I know this is a hypothetical situation and hopefully this hasn’t happened to you. But before signing on a client, you have to put your stake in the ground and set client expectations right away.
On the first Kick-Off call you have full permission to lay the law of the land. You HAVE to. Don’t think you’re being bossy or overbearing. Your clients NEED you to manage them. They hired you for a reason right?
Think about it from their perspective – all they know is they hired an amazing professional (aka you!)l. From there – they have no idea what to expect from you unless you tell them.
Let’s say you booked a client. We’ll call her Kate.
Kate is a pretty reasonable person. And she’s super excited about her wedding. But you didn’t take the time to set boundaries.
She’s up around 11 P.M. on Pinterest because your chat earlier got her inspired!
“Oh! This is the exact bouquet I want for my wedding day! I’ve got to send this to my planner”
*Notification* A text pops up on your phone. And now you have to let Kate know the next day to not text you late at night.
Why did this happen? Because you didn’t communicate with Kate letting her know you don’t take after hours messages.
Now Kate feels bad and you feel like a jerk.
Side note client expectations should also be in a Welcome Packet or contract so you can reference them later.
So in reality setting boundaries benefits you both. It avoids uncomfortable conversations and makes working together a smooth process.
Pick Clients That Align With Your Values
Good news – if you follow the first tip – this next tip will be SUPER easy for you. When you’re in a hustle mentality, you can often book the wrong type of clients.
We established Kate being a reasonable person – she just got super excited and didn’t realize what time it was. But next time you might book a client who texts you at midnight and expects a response right away. Or messages you 10 times a day expecting you to wait on them hand and toe.
Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t go above and beyond with your clients. I mean hello, we’re in the hospitality industry – it’s our forte. But if you’re taking whoever comes, those are the people who will most likely not respect you or your boundaries.
How do you find these dream clients? I wish there was a secret formula but it honestly takes skin in the game. You have to work with A LOT of people you don’t like to realize who you do and don’t like working with.
I’m all about finding that “Ideal Client Avatar” with the right demographics and budget. But you’ll realize even the right budget won’t justify a client who doesn’t respect you.
Be patient. Find your people and create a tunnel vision for them only. It will help you avoid burnout in the long run.
Have Seasons of Hustle and Maintaining
Don’t get me wrong – I’m a firm believer in hustle. There are times where you have to put your 1000% and go.
For example, like if you’re rolling out a new product. Or I mean hello engagement season! That’s an all hands on deck few months where no one sleeps because the phones are ringing off the hook!
But what’s the point in the grind if you don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel?
There has to be a season where you give yourself a break.
I’m not telling you NOT to hustle. I’m saying stop to celebrate what you accomplished and relish in it!
Another beautiful thing about slow seasons is the opportunity to prune your business.
If you’re growing like crazy that’s incredible! But if you haven’t stopped for a while – have you considered you might be growing like a weed?
This might look like not setting new goals or taking on clients that aren’t the right fit.
So yes continue to hustle and grow. But know that your hustle season shouldn’t last forever. There are times for growth and times for pruning. You need both to avoid burnout and have a sustainable business.
Have Someone Help You Not Rage Toward Burnout
Imagine a time when you were little at the store.
If you’re like me, you wandered away from mommy for a bit to check out some stuffed animals in the toy aisle!
As you ran toward that toy aisle you finally reached that stuffed bear you’ve been eyeing on. Score!
But all of a sudden…a kind adult may have approached you to ask “Are you lost?”
Then the panic starts to rush in.
Because five-year-old you realizes “Oh my gosh, I am lost!”
Getting lost as a 5 year old at the store is almost like burnout. Sometimes you don’t realize you’re heading straight toward burnout unless someone tells you.
The only way to avoid mistakes in business early on is by having someone help you catch mistakes before you make them.
Back when I was growing my business, group coaching, masterminds, and courses didn’t exist then. So I had to go out of my way and ask some peers “Hey, can you help me because I can’t figure this out.”
I had two amazing people that came before me in the wedding industry that were well seasoned beyond my years. And technically they were my competition – so I took their insight to heart.
So learning from either mentors, coaching, or masterminds is brilliant. You can follow in someone’s footsteps so you can avoid the mistakes they made so you don’t get to burnout.
The Fastest Way to Avoid Mistakes is By Learning From Others
Why oh why are we all out here trying to recreate the wheel?
So many have gone before us and the world of online education is abundant with coaches, speakers, conferences, masterminds, courses and retreats ready to help you skip the hurdles and head straight to the finish line!
When you’re first starting out, it can be scary to spend your hard earned $$ on education because you have your eye on that prize of leaving the 9-5. I get it!
But if there’s anything I would attribute the success of our businesses to, it’s the investments we’ve made in learning from others that have gone before us.
As 2020 comes to an end I’d love to invite you to my goal setting webinar. You’ll have everything you need to get started on setting your goals to scale a business that you actually love.
Want it? Register here and I can’t wait to see you inside!
I help creative business owners sustainably scale their business so they can create a thriving career and work-life balance.
small biz coach
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