Feeling stressed? That’s awesome.
When you feel stressed – or overwhelmed – it means that there’s a huge opportunity right in front of you. An opportunity to create a new boundary.
Hooray – awesome – isn’t that just what you wanted to hear? (Sorry, no pity parties here.)
Boundaries are a secret super power that you can take full advantage of, if you choose to. The choosing part is big.
And, just like everything else in your business, they will evolve as your business grows. (I know, I know – there is no one time “fix” in any part of our businesses or lives! Once you accept that, you’ll feel much better, I promise.)
Let me share a personal example with you.
Speaking is one of my favorite – and most effective – ways to market my business. (And one of my favorite things to teach my clients how to do, too.)
A lot of great opportunities came my way recently. And, without realizing it, I said “yes” to all of them.
Then, I started to feel stressed at the end of January when I looked at my calendar and saw that I had managed to say “yes” to an event each week for 6 weeks straight. Out of town speaking engagements coupled with a family trip to Disney (wahoo!), my client-only retreat in Atlanta, meeting in person with my coach and an inflow of amazing work with my current, super star, clients is too much to do in a short period of time.
Then, I noticed my comment to a colleague that, “I’ll be so happy once it’s mid-March because then things will be calm again!”
Ahhhh – that’s sooo not the goal!
The realization hit me like a ton of bricks (or an oncoming freight train): I’m not running a business that I love if I feel like it’s driving the bus.
It’s time to hand over the keys, Mr. Business, and let me get back into the drivers seat.
What did I do next? I grabbed my digital brain (Evernote) and started to create my new boundaries. I have to admit, this part was actually pretty fun.
Want to know what they are?
I thought so.
My event “load” can be up to 2 events per month. It doesn’t matter if I’m hosting the event (my client only retreat) or if I’m attending the event as a speaker. Two is the maximum.
This doesn’t include my regular in person networking events.)
I established a minimum level of payment that I’ll accept for out of town events. (Prior to this, I decided upon each event individually based on the number of ideal clients that I would be in front of, how I would be positioned, distance of travel, etc.)
At first glance, these may not seem big. But they are.
I now have a way to protect my energy and time and to make sure that I’m in the drivers seat. And, it actually feels really good to have turned two opportunities on the spot because of these new boundaries.
The cool thing is that they come in all shapes and sizes and there is no one size fits all. You can look at how you want to work and put a boundary around the hours you are available or choose certain days that you do client work, limit how your clients contact you (do you allow text messages?) … The sky is the limit.
Boundaries grow and change as we do and as long as we seek out the opportunities for creating new ones (i.e. look at where we feel stressed), our next steps to growth are right in front of us. Plus, what a powerful way to model for our clients how boundaries can help them to create what they want most in their life, too.
Where do you feel stressed in your business? In your life? And, when you look at it closely, what emerges as possible new limits that you can put in place to protect your time and energy?