Hey guys, I’m talking about boundaries today. The boundaries you should set so people know how to work with you. There has been a lot of conversations in my one on one coaching sessions and also a few of my masterminds that people are struggling with boundaries and they are exhausted and they feel almost used or manipulated and they just wish that the client would follow the boundaries set, but here’s the thing, we have to believe and follow our own boundaries before they do. We have to lead in order for someone to follow our boundaries.
What the hell is a boundary? Why the hell do we want it? And then how the hell can we implement it? Yeah, so first things first, what the hell is a boundary? You’re in business to do business, right? And you want to play… you want to set the rules of the game. Business is a game to be played and you’re the boss, so you need to make the rules and the rules for working with you. The rules for reviewing existing work, the rules for quoting jobs, the rules for getting paid, the rules to have a meeting….
I mean, the boundaries that you want to create for your business, they are entirely up to you and you can write them on a post-it note. You can write all your boundaries and rules on a post-it note and you can just put them on your computer and yeah that’s it, but if you don’t follow those boundaries, then no one’s going to know that they even exist and if you constantly don’t remind people that you have boundaries around how you prefer to work, then they’re never going to be met.
Now, being in business is like a muscle that needs to be flexed. I’m a gym freak. The more that you do those bicep curls and you really flex that muscle, the bigger your bicep is going to get or the stronger your bicep’s going to get and you are going to constantly remind yourself every week in the gym that I need to do bicep curls because I want my biceps to be super strong. Okay, and you will not eat cake every day because that’s going to ruin your biceps. The same thing goes for business, boundaries and strength. You want to be strong like a bull in business and the only way you can be strong in business is if you have a steady lead flow because a steady lead flow provides a de-stress because you know that there will be another client falling into the top of your funnel tomorrow and the next day and the next day and you don’t have to buckle on your processes and your boundaries because you’ve got one client in the lead flow, in the dashboard, let’s say.
The biggest thing in business is lead flow. If you have lead flow you can… yeah, you feel like superwoman. You feel like superman, you can do anything because you have a steady amount of clients flowing in and it’s much easier when you have lead flow to follow your boundaries but the way you want to do business tomorrow is the way that you want to be doing business today. If you imagine that you do not want to run around town chasing people, having coffee meetings, wasting your time, hopefully getting quotes, not following a real process. Is this how your business is going to be like seriously, just like fly by the night doing anything? Are you determined to lock in exactly how you want to do business? Because can I tell you conviction and confidence that is what attracts clients.
If you can have such a system in place that… there is just one road and this is the way I do it and I do it this way because this is how I find success and this is how I deliver. If you can have that much conviction and confidence then people will be drawn to you because you will appear and you should be much more… what do you say, professional than any other person out there, so let’s have a little exercise here. What do you stand for? What will you stand for in business? And let’s get you to put some boundaries around how you do and don’t want to do business. Now, even if you’ve been in business a long time and you’ve been doing things a certain way and it really sucks and it zaps the energy out of you and you’ve got a whole bunch of clients and they’re all following this process, you just need to set your new boundary, rip the Band-Aid off and start leading because if you’ve got customers texting you, emailing you, phoning you, gosh sending you WhatsApp messages, Facebook messages, you created this, okay.
You created this, so you can uncreate this. Okay, so set the boundaries. How do you want to play business? I want you to put some new rules together. Now, let me share this with you, my… I didn’t always have a fruitful lead flow, let’s put it that way. The phone would ring and I would drop everything and I would take that call and there would be a little bit of anxiety around answering that call or missing that call or calling that person back and I was just at the end of the line like every single time I had to get that phone call. Since then I decided that I didn’t want to just be sitting by my phone waiting for work to come in, so I set some boundaries. I really focused on my lead gen and I built a really amazing runway for leads to fly into my business and into my calendar and the phone will only get answered now if someone is actually in the calendar.
Now, sure this might actually cheese a few people off, but that just means that they’re not my type of client because they’re not respecting my boundaries. I am trying to run a business here and if I just let the phone ring and notifications go off at all hours of the day, I’m never going to get anything done. I mean, imagine if I’m here recording this podcast and my phone rings. Sorry guys, someone called because they need an audit or some random thing. What am I going to do? Stop what I’m doing? No, I planned to do this. I have blocked out an hour. There will be no distractions. If there’s an emergency that comes up, I’m sure one of the team is more than capable to take care of it, so confidence and conviction. Boundaries.
Now, what do you do when someone is pushing your buttons and they aren’t following your boundaries? Okay, so my coaching to this client was that first things first, are all the boundaries set out in black and white? When a customer signs on, do you go through your say sales process and walk through those boundaries? Do you actually read them out to that person when you have like say a sales meeting, when you sit down straight away, do you set the agenda? Okay, this is massive. Most people that I know go to a meeting, just start having a chat, they’re nervous, they’re not sure what’s going on. No. You’re in a meeting obviously to help this person and to work out if the two of you are right for each other. You need to get down to business ASAP.
Now, in that meeting you want to go through, this is what I expect from you. We’re going to be here for 45 minutes. Is that okay with you? Yes, so now you’ve set a time expectation. You can’t sit here all day and just tell people what they need to hear, like you’re here for 45 minutes. You want to remind them that maybe they need to pay up front and if you don’t pay before the two of us sit down together, well then the meeting won’t happen. Is that clear? Like, think about all the ways that you want to do business, because however you want to do business is absolutely fine because it’s your choice. It’s your business, and it’s up for those people to, when they want to engage with you, well, they need to follow the rules and if they don’t follow the rules then they’re not respecting you and if they’re not respecting you, well there’s the door.
Now, funny story. I have a few clients… so one this week actually. Someone randomly I… marketing activities, someone randomly just said, “Hey, can you call me?” And I took the bait. Now that is not in my game plan, yeah, but I am human and I took the bait and I called this gentleman and I figured I was in the car. I was killing time, so let’s get on the phone and do this thing. Now of course I didn’t follow my sales process, which is very strict. I have a very strict sales process where I walk the client through a set of questions and I want to make sure that they’re the right one for me because I only want to work with the best type of people because time… I cannot duplicate time. I cannot… I mean I can create more energy I guess from jumping up and down and getting some blood pumping but time… there’s not much available, yeah, so I want to make sure I’m working with the best people and I’m using all the time that I have respectively.
Now, yeah. I called this person and walked through it all and yeah they… it was a bit of a waste of a phone call and that’s because they didn’t follow the typical lead gen flow. I should have messaged back and gone… by the way actually, can you go here and fill this out and book in a time with me. Now that, A, would have brought the power back to me and in doing that they would have a set of questions and I would know just a smidgen enough about their business that I would know if they’re the right person for me already when they filled out that form. I would have then possibly got on a call with them and finally gone, you are not the right person in 15 minutes, not 30 minutes which is what I ended up spending on the phone with him.
Yeah, I am human but every… I’m rather calculated. Every single interaction that I have, I make sure that I learn something from it because if it’s a win or a loss, and I mean everything’s a win because the more that you fail, and I’ve said this before. Get comfortable in failure because the more often you fail, the faster you fail, the faster you can pick the pieces up and actually make it better. Yeah, so I know this week I didn’t follow my process and I got on the phone with an… not so perfect lead and he didn’t do all the things that I needed him to do, that next few hours a lead came through, followed all the hoops, followed all the processes I’ve got on the phone call, boom made the sale because they were the exact right client for me.
They followed all my processes, they followed my boundaries, they did the thing, so then they became the best client ever. All right, let’s get you guys some homework, yeah. I want you to really think about the type of business that you want. I probably talked about this in a few other podcasts, but being in business… well, no, it should be about… in an essence it should be boring. It should be the same old thing every single time because… and I use analogy of McDonald’s cheeseburgers because they come out of the grill and the patty and the beef and I mean, I never worked in Maccas I don’t know what the process is but I imagine that it just all flies straight down the line and then boom, you get a cheeseburger.
Something happens at the top of the transaction, it goes to the back, it gets fit… the whole thing happens, right, I mean, you’ve probably had Maccas before and that seems really boring, but it’s super processed and it’s super profitable because it is so processed and it is so black and white. These are things that have to happen in order for my business to be profitable. I want you to think about this. How do you want to work? Do you just want to work Thursdays and Tuesdays with clients and then you want do Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in total in your office just doing things here and there. Does that work for you? Do you not want to work weekends? You shouldn’t be working weekends anyway. Just going to put it out there, it should be time for family in my opinion. Well, go if your like, work seven days a week. It’s up to you, yeah.
Think about how you want your customers to interact with you. You can’t be taking text messages and phone calls and WhatsApps and Facebook. I mean that’s impossible for you to hand over that task to somebody else because it’s happening everywhere and it’s all reliable on you. Think about if you had your hands tied behind your back and this business had to keep running, what would be the easiest process in setting up so that it could run without you? Because really like… I mean you get into business and you want to be free. You want to choose your own hours. You want to have spend time with your family. You want to walk your dog, you want to drive your super car, you want to go to the beautician, whatever the hell you want to do, but think about why the hell did you get in business in the first place and why are you doing this? Like, why are you delivering any of these things?
Just think about that. You deserve to be respected. Your time needs to be respected. You’re a decent human I can tell. Now seriously, every single one of us deserves the best business of our life and if you can imagine what the best business looks like to you, then you can create it. All right. Adios amigos, Ciao.