When I opened the door to my new business this past January I thought I needed to give away a lot of “free” classes, make outlandish miles apart appointments, answer every question thrown at me on my Facebook page, and more. I had no boundaries – and eventually that all caught up with me.
I became exhausted, stressed, and eventually sick.
My business takes a lot of work. I have to spend a lot of time on the computer because I am the social butterfly. My business is The Social Butterfly Media Marketing. I eat, sleep and drink social media. Over this past year I have become an “in demand” public speaker and my schedule is full into next year. I have appointments in North and South Dakota to teach a real estate designation called ePro, and more will follow. I have become a successful female entrepreneur.
I am also a people-pleaser and what I was doing when I first began was I combined my personal life with my business life. I did not want to offend anyone.
Yesterday I was interviewed by a Los Angeles radio talk show host and she did not want me to “rehearse” – I had to fly by the seat of my pants for 45 minutes. The interesting thing is that I actually could really hear my answers as I gave them. It was surreal. My answers stayed with me and I was able to replay them in my head after the interview ended. I saw that I have been slowly, but with determination, setting professional boundaries.
Just this past week I had started to make some changes in my business. I did not think of it as setting boundaries at the time because that’s a new concept to me, but I see that now. For example, I set up specific work days. I am raising my fees beginning in January. I am adding a cancellation charge. I am making my clients more accountable because I am going to begin to ask for pre-paid regisrations for classes because my class size is limited. “FREE” is not going to totally disappear but there will be boundaries there too.
I expect some people will choose to not accept these changes. Those are the people who live in my combined world of personal and business. I know that friends sometimes “expect” things for free and I need more than friends to build my business. I know now I need to separate the friends from the business. We will all feel better.
When I first started realizing that I had people crossing my boundary lines it was due to my realization that someone I truly loved for over 25 years had not only set boundaries, but her boundaries were concrete walls topped with barb wire – impenetrable. When I dared to attempt to cross her boundaries I was punished. My attempts truly aggravated her to the point where she said and did things that actually hurt me. When I shared my desire to be a social media speaker/instructor/whatever I was told to get a real job.
I set my own boundaries with her and I did not do a good job because I admit I did a stealth personal attack and needless to say that did not go over those concrete walls at all.
While my first attempt at setting my boundaries were inappropriate and were childish at best I have become better.
I speak of honor in many blogs. Honor your self first, then look at those that don’t honor you and let them go. Set your boundaries – it is not good to have someone controlling a relationship whether it is a friendship, a romantic relationship, or even a family relationship which make your stomach and head hurt or worse yet, hurt your heart.
I actually made an attempt to cross the boundaries that my former friend had installed by Turner Construction Company when her family let me know she had a cancer in her life. I was punished again by no response but this time I went into it expecting it, so no blood was drawn. Does that make me the better person, the better friend? I don’t know. It made me the wiser person because I was prepared for rejection this time.
You can get your feelings hurt when you set personal boundaries but professional boundaries, when set in motion, put you in control of what you will and will not do without those hurt feelings. You become accountable for your own actions and you allow others to be accountable for their actions and you move on.
In conclusion the Turner Construction Co boundaries are the sign that someone doesn’t really want you in their lives. Setting harsh, controlling boundaries do nothing but imprison the person who set them.