As a creative entrepreneur, one word is vital to our business, our life, and our sanity - that one word is BOUNDARIES. Many are either lacking boundaries, in denial that they are need, or struggling to uphold their current boundaries in place. While some may overlook this topic, the boundaries you set will impact your work/life balance on a daily basis.
First impressions are everything. They set the tone for the entire relationship and it's always better to under-promise and over-deliver. That is why it is of vital importance to educate your clients and team members of the follow:
1. office hours
Office hours can be a girls best friend. Set them. Stick to them. and Schedule anything needed that is outside of those office hours. Clients/Employees must schedule meetings/calls that are outside of your office hours ___ days in advance (you can determine the amount of time needed to schedule). Having a late night?! That's okay! Just use Boomerang to schedule all those emails needing to leave your inbox for your office hours. For example, I respond to a client Monday at 9 p.m - I will use Boomerang to schedule that email response to be sent Tuesday at 9 a.m or the beginning of my office hours.
Let you clients and team know how often they can expect to hear from you. Is it every week, every day, every month? Otherwise, they will be waiting around wondering if they've missed a communication and start to think you forgot about them - when in reality you've been working very hard on their project.
3. Response Time
What is your response time? How long will it take your clients and your employees to hear back from you? A good rule of thumb is give yourself plenty of cushion room in case things get busy - so what works for you? 48 hours, 24 hours, or even less? Keep in mind- under promise and over deliver!
Let your client's know that weekends are reserved for family and pre-scheduled meetings/events. Set the rule defining "pre-scheduled" - how far in advance does that actually mean? Also, clearly communicate to your team that responses outside of normal business hours are NEVER expected – period. Ahh… Freedom!
Without boundaries in place - many creative entrepreneurs will blur the lines between life/work, home/office, working/off, family/clients - and before you know it you will feel like one giant, creative Pez dispense business owner- constantly "opening" up your freedoms, life, and resources to clients/employees at their every whim! You got this girl bosses - let's set those boundaries today and take back your freedom.