Archive for January, 2012

I don’t do mornings

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012 | Business Life with No Comments »

mornings_are_a_no

Did you become a coach for the freedom?  I bet you were excited when you set out to leave your day job so you could jump into being an entrepreneur and run your own show.  Have you found that running your own business actually demands more of your time and energy than you thought it would?  If so, I’ll fill you in on a little secret…you’re normal.  Well, as normal as any human can be anyway.  Yup, this happens to just about everyone who leaves a 9-5 job to be an entrepreneur.  There are no more boundaries set for you.  You used to go into the office and come home.  You used to work Monday through Friday and work was miles away.  You had dedicated “work” times and “off” times.

I see it all the time.  My clients come from that 9-5 structure and then start their own business only to blurr the lines between work and life.  At first it was easy, because there weren’t a lot of clients. Then those clients multiply and the business grows requiring more attention.  Before they know it my clients are overwhelmed, tired and complain of not having a life.  I’ve been known to get e-mails from them at 1:00am or on weekends.  So it’s my mission to change this pattern of overworking and sacrificing life for the sake of growing a business.  Ugh!  Really?!  This is NOT why coaches start their own business.  It’s time to change this!

And in case you are wondering if it’s possible, I’m here to show you that it totally is!  Keep reading as I share with you how I work my business and demonstrate that boundaries are not only good and necessary, but that clients will respect them, thus allowing you to do business on your own terms.  Let me qualify this by saying I know you know this, but are you really living it?  As you read, see if you are fully setting your own boundaries.

I don’t do mornings. I don’t do some weekdays either and I only do every other Friday. However, some Saturdays up for grabs. Yes, I’m a businesswoman and I run my own business. It’s because I run my own business that I can make my own hours. Even if that means I don’t take meetings before 11:00am.

You see, I have a life. And I refuse to let my business get in the way of that. This is a very strong conviction for me because my husband and I spent a lot of time on opposite shifts and not seeing a lot of each other while I was working as a Singer/Actress in NYC. Having that experience showed me that it’s easy to get sucked into so much activity that you can miss out on what’s really important to you.  So as you know I changed gears and came home from NYC.  That’s when I vowed I’d never sacrifice in that way again.  Today, I run my own business so I can spend more time with my husband, friends and family. If I wanted a job where I was required to be in front of a computer or on a phone 8 hours a day/5 days a week, then I’d go get an office job.

Notice this does not mean I’m out of the office completely. It just means I have open business time.  On days when I don’t have things to do outside of the biz, I will get a lot done. I work on marketing and business building those days. There are times when Hubby is busy or doing something I’m not interested in…I claim that time for me and do what I want. On a weekday, I usually want to play in my business so I do. Not having calls allows me the freedom to choose what I play in each moment of those days.  Hmmmmmm, have you ever had a work day where you didn’t actually have an appointment of some kind to attend to? Try it! You might like it!  Did you notice I used the word “play” when I described working in my business?  And here’s the secret I want you to really understand…when you create time and space, it feels like play!  It’s not effort.  It’s enjoyable when your business supports your life and your life doesn’t drain from it.

With boundaries there’s an internal decision to make a commitment to being a certain way.  Then you have to express that and maintain it.  In order to keep the trust of my clients, I set the expectations up front with them. They know there are days of the week I may take hours to get back to their e-mails. It may even take me a whole day. So, they don’t expect me to answer quickly. They also know that I will get back to them as soon as I possibly can.

Scheduling regular no-appointment days has some additional great advantages too. Hubby and I get to beat the shopping crowds by going on weekdays. We also find that it’s easy to get doctors appointments and things out of the way when we have days off during the week. So, while I may only check my e-mail 2-3 times that day, I do not have to be at my computer all day. I can go play in between. I have a life and a business too!

I only take calls 2-3 days a week and after 11am Eastern time on those days. Some of you may have questions in your mind about that kind of a schedule. I’ll answer a few I’ve heard, but if you have more…leave a comment and I’ll answer them there.

You may wonder, what about networking? No problem, I go to luncheons and after hours networking opportunities. They do both exist you know.

What if a client would prefer 8:00am or 9:00am? Or what if they prefer Mondays? Well, if they really want to work with me then they will have to commit to a different time or day. It’s as easy as that. If they choose not to then they aren’t the right client for me.

What if an amazing opportunity comes up that could seriously boost my business? Well, there are always amazing opportunities around. Maybe I’ll miss this one, but another will come along later that will fit my schedule. However, there are occasions where I’ve been known to make exceptions. It has to be super, duper, deliciously awesome, and something I want to do SOOOOO bad it’s worth bending my own rules. Otherwise, it’s not worth it.

So, what is your schedule? Do you have days of the week where you don’t have appointments? If not, try one day a week and see if your life is any different. Then try stepping out of the office for a few hours on that day…play, have fun. Just because you have a business, it doesn’t mean you have to be chained to it 5-7 days/nights a week.

What would you do with an additional 3-6 hours of time in your week…unplanned?

I bet some of these concepts are exciting and some may be overwhelming for you.  I challenge you to think about your boundaries and share with me how you maintain your personal boundaries in business.

FYI - I’m doing a free call Thursday to help coaches, like you, get your foundation set so you can stop marketing as much as you do and own more of your life.  Visit http://www.coachesmarketingsource.com/stopmarketingcall.html for more information.