Ep 28: How To Set The Boundaries You Need To Build Your Empire

March 14, 2023

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An expert OBM taking the operational mental load off agency owners so they can become better leaders.

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Episode Highlights:

In Episode 28, we discuss why setting boundaries is one of the most critical steps in transforming your business into an empire.

  • Why do we need to set boundaries?
  • What are you protecting?
  • How will you protect it?
  • Take action.


Episode Transcript

Hey friends, today we’re gonna dig into setting boundaries! I said that excitingly because I want you to be excited! The truth is a lot of us don’t feel excited about boundaries. 

Setting them is hard. 

Respecting them is hard. 

But they are essential. 

I was having a conversation with a client recently who is in the hiring process. We were discussing the distinction between someone who had entrepreneurial ambition and someone here wanted more freedom and flexibility in her work. Those two are not mutually exclusive, and the determining factor is where your ambition lies.

We all know that just because you have a business does not mean that you have freedom and flexibility. We also know that you can have freedom and flexibility in your work without owning a business. 

Now you may be wondering where I’m going with this, and don’t worry, I’m getting to the point. If you were someone who possesses the ambition to own your own business, meaning there is something inside of you that you can’t not do, then boundaries are 10,000% necessary in order for you to do it well.

I also want you to think about what you’re building. So many of us think on a smaller scale and some of us think on a much larger scale of what God has charged us to do. Wherever you fall in that spectrum you still need boundaries because we will work too much. Yes, we don’t have the right boundaries in place to protect us from that.

Something else I wanna share is that boundaries keep us in alignment. I think about playing Mario Kart with my son. I have gotten a lot better over the years but when I first started playing Mario Kart probably in college I was all over the place. I couldn’t stay within a line to save my life. Gratefully I was a little bit of a better driver in person. But what boundaries do is they make sure that we don’t go too far outside of the line. They make sure that we stay in alignment with the reasons why we started our business in the first place.

Now let’s go back to what we’re building. You are building an empire. And before you tell me that you’re not or think it in your mind, I need you to know what an empire is.

Your business is an empire. That is not based on how much money you make or how many team members you have, but on the impact that your business creates. 

And I’m not just talking about the financial impact. I’m not talking about how much you’re able to accomplish in your productivity. 

I’m talking about what is true because your business exists. 

Maybe for you, that is that your kids have the gift of their mom picking them up from school. 

Maybe for you, it’s not the group of women that you feel passionately about is supported through your business. 

Maybe for you is where is that your business pricing means giving back and supporting your family. 

Maybe your business has allowed your husband to work less and be home with your family more. 

Maybe your business has brought you out of the depression that you’ve been feeling and it gives you hope for the future. 

Maybe your business is the way that you use all the pain that you’ve experienced in your life to serve and help others who are in the same space.

Empires are built from impact.

You are an empire builder. Because your business is providing some form of impact to someone’s life, even if it’s just your own. That is still just as important.

So I wanna make sure we’re clear on that as we move forward because boundaries are only helpful when we know what they are protecting. And the boundaries that you will put in your business today, moving forward, will protect the impact that your business provides.

That is why we’re doing this. That is why we’re having this conversation.

And that is the best place to start to talk about how we’re going to put those boundaries in place.

The boundaries that you need in your business are gonna be different than someone else, because what you are protecting is going to be different than what someone else is protecting. 

Turn my moms out there who were listening to this, boundaries are mama bear mode for you. Do we ever get tired of having to be on all the time and having to Fight for what we need or what our families need? I mean I feel that way. Boundaries are what is going to be your best friend and implementing all of that. Sometimes we just need someone to fight for us. Boundaries fight for us and what’s important to us and what we believe in and what we are called to do.

So let’s talk about how we have to put those in place to protect the things that are most precious to us.

The first thing I want you to think about is what you’re protecting. What is the impact that your business has on the world or your community or your family or yourself? Write those down and make sure that they are clear. You might be in a situation where your business may not be at the level that you want it to be at, and therefore the impact is not as great as it could be. This is not a time for wishing we had more or shaming ourselves for not being further along, but instead, whatever you envision your business providing boundaries that are needed to protect that start today. there will be always situations that come up where we have to set an Uber for me because we’ve reached a new level. But you and I are gonna be proactive as much as we can and our business. There are times when we have to be reactive to the things that are coming our way. But today we are choosing to be proactive.

So I want you to think about what you’re protecting.

Next, I want you to think about the best way to protect it. I feel like it’s gonna be the most helpful to walk through a scenario: 

So one of those things for me is that I have to protect my income. I am an equal income earner in my family, and I have the dreams of being able to offer my husband, the opportunity to retire if he wants to pursue something else, I want to give us the ability to pay for private school because it’s the best option for us. I want to give us peace in knowing that we can cover this month's medical supplies for myself, by knowing that I can pay myself a certain amount each month. so my income is something that I know I need to protect. The best way I know how to protect that is by one – making sure I have sustainable savings of 3 to 6 months. In the work that I do income fluctuates. And while we can get frustrated and throw in the towel of setting the boundaries because it’s too complicated, we have to do the best with what we have. 

Another way to protect my income is by not spending too much money in my business. This includes expenses and team members, and sometimes that shows me that it’s time for me to get scrappy and some of the things that I’m doing. We can’t all afford to hire out every little thing that we don’t want to do. at least not at first. And that is something to work towards and something that we will get to. But if that’s not you today that’s OK. And I’m going to tell you so often on this podcast that you were the CEO of your business, and that doesn’t change here. Because the CEO knows when to stay in their CEO seat, and the CEO knows when to get their hands dirty, to get things done.

Now, if I know that these are ways that I can protect my income, because that income provides impact for my family, then I need to then think about how I’m going to execute those things. How will I make sure that I’m not spending more than what I’m actually making? How will I set up that safety net of savings that I need to set up?

This is where action comes in. This is where you put the tasks down on your calendar or your project management tool or your written paper list. Maybe I need to save a certain amount each month. Maybe I need to evaluate my expenses once a month or once a quarter. whatever it takes to make sure you set yourself up for success.

Let’s walk through another scenario I have learned recently, that one of the groups that I can serve really really well is VAs and OBMs. And because I know that that brings impact through my business, I have to protect it. So when I have an idea that serves people outside of that target market, I have to make sure that it’s not a shiny object to me and that if I’m going to spend my time and energy on it that it is not pulling away resources and energy from serving that group of people. 

By identifying that I know that the best way for me to make sure that that happens is that when I have a new idea I sit with it until it’s clear. Some people say 24 hours some people say 72 hours, for me I think it changes. If something is not super clear to me and how I move forward and how it connects with the overall mission of my business, then it gets put into an idea parking lot to come back to you later. I don’t go into research mode or planning mode until I can confidently say, and peacefully say that this is something that will add to the overall mission and impact of my business. 

That is a personal boundary that I have set for myself, and the people that know me that help guide me in my business. They know that about me too. So maybe the action step you take is finding that accountability partner. You probably already know who they are. Reach out to them and let them know and give them the opportunity to agree that they can do that for you. I am a firm believer that we are better together and iron sharpens iron so if we have other people, praying for us in our business, who know us really well, and can help lead us to the mission that God has put on her heart and realign us, then we have hit the jackpot.

Boundaries are not just for other people to treat us well, follow our rules, and keep everything on track.

One of the most impactful lessons I have learned is that boundaries are so much more for us than other people. And therefore we cannot assume that other people are going to hold our boundaries as tightly and as respectively as we would.

Our boundaries need to be so thoroughly ingrained in how we operate that it doesn’t feel like a chore to remind people of them. More so it feels like an extension of who we are as people in the mission that God has put on our hearts to accomplish. With the culture that we were in today and the generational culture that we were raised in, I think that our kids might have an easier time setting the boundaries that need to be set to protect the most important things, and I love that for them. But I also kind of hate it for us. 

But nonetheless, we are doing a good thing for ourselves, when we set boundaries for ourselves, with ourselves, and believe them for ourselves. 

If boundaries are a struggle for you, I want you to identify why. Because if the answer is simply because it’s uncomfortable, then you can sit in that discomfort for a minute and ignore it, feel numb to it, but then it’s going to come back, and when it does, I want you to take action.

It will never feel comfortable until you take action.

And even after you take action, it probably still won’t feel all that comfortable because we’re human. But the more we practice it, the more muscle memory to expand, and it will feel like second nature to us. And once we taste the freedom in the flexibility, that those boundaries provide us, and once we see how those boundaries protect the things that are most important to us, the snowball will keep rolling, and it will be easier to put them in place the next time something comes up.

This is not easy stuff. If this felt like a therapy session, you’re welcome! The most important thing that you remember is that we all struggle with this. 

You are not alone, and what will make you feel alone is being exhausted feeling like you were leading out for the mission of your business is going to drive you into the dirt faster than you can even say the word boundaries.

I believe in you and I believe that you know what you need to do. I believe that you Are ready to do it. I believe you have what it takes to have the conversation, make the phone call, send the email, create the task, say no to that purchase, and say no to that offer. I believe that you have what it takes to grow your business, and do it with ease. Will it always be easy? No. Life is not easy and business is like signing ourselves out for even more suffering, but suffering doesn’t feel like suffering if it’s in alignment.

I said it before and I’ll say it again. I believe in you, and I believe you have what it takes to put the right practices in place to protect the things are important to you and your business. And boundaries are the very first place to start and building your empire.

You’ve got this friend I believe in you. 

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