Hmm, isn’t it funny how the universe keeps sending you lessons until you learn them once and for all? And have you ever noticed a recurring theme with your lessons? Or is it just me haha?
I’ve had my fair share of lessons in the last few years. Some are tiny, manageable problems and others are seriously life changing curveballs. But each and everyone seems to be coming back to the same freaking issue….. Boundaries.
And seeing as I’m right in the middle of dealing with one of these not-so-rad lessons, I figured it would be a good time to share what I’ve learnt so far! Sometimes all it takes is to really lean into the lesson to get a whole lot smarter at recognising the issues at hand and preventing it from happening again.
So why are boundaries so important when it comes to building a brand?
Because (as my smart cookie of a mastermind buddy told me this morning) we teach people how we want to be treated. This can be a hard truth to swallow because it involves radical responsibility, but if you’re dealing with any icky issues in your business, it might well be that you’ve been a little slack on your boundaries and allowed stuff to go down that just isn’t ok.
Good boundaries mean self-worth & self-respect… and both of those things are mighty useful to any entrepreneur. They’ll stop you from saying yes to clients who aren’t a great fit. They’ll make sure you get paid what you’re worth. And they’ll ensure that you make smart decisions at every stage of the game.
So how come we all struggle with boundaries so much? Even though we know how important they are? Well, if you’re anything like me, it could well be because of one of these reasons :
You want to be nice to everyone –
I’m a sucker for this one. I’m not a fan of confrontation… and I reallllly want everyone in the entire world to like me haha. But here’s the thing… Sometimes, when you’re fixated on being nice, you end up getting walked over. This doesn’t mean you have to turn into an asshole, but it does mean you’ll need to learn how to stand up for yourself, have awkward conversations & potentially piss someone off. Note: People will respect you a whole lot more once you start doing this.
You’re really excited about the opportunity –
Ever heard of that saying ‘What’s meant for you won’t pass you by’ … Well now is a pretty good time to remember it. If you’re so hung up on something being a great opportunity, that you’re starting to flex your own boundaries and accept behaviour/an unfair workload/not getting paid enough, then perhaps it’s time to take a step back and reassess.
You don’t want to turn down work –
Oh this one is tough…. especially when you’re in startup mode. But the problem is, if you start building relationships in business on rocky foundations, you’re guaranteed to have problems later on. Same goes with not setting clear expectations or standing up for yourself. I’m learning that when it comes to boundaries, it’s better to step up and risk losing the work than to agree on a second-rate deal.
Here’s the good news. Even if you’re reading these thinking, oh shit, I’ve done this…. it’s not too late. In fact it’s never too late to step into your power and start teaching people how you want (and most importantly, deserve) to be treated.
Remember this : When you let people negotiate your non-negotiables, you’re seriously stepping out of your power. And nothing good will come from that.