Executive Stress Office Support

20 Things Learned: Set Boundaries

Lesson 12: Learn to set boundaries and say no!

It is really important that you set boundaries with clients and that you realise it is okay to say no. If you don’t, sometimes clients can take advantage of you and your time.

It’s important that clients understand from the outset that your time is valuable – just like theirs. If you have set hours stick to them. You can decide if you move the boundaries from time to time, but this is YOUR business and therefore the discretion to do so is yours once you have discussed it fully with your client and understand their needs.

Set boundaries at the outset

You will set a number of boundaries in your policies and contracts with clients including when and how you will work, hours and days of the week, how you get paid and so on. There will be times you won’t be available and you need to have clear procedures in place as to how you will handle those times. Getting this sorted out at the outset with clients is much easier than having to go back and fix it later, and they can’t say “You never told me that”.

It can be scary to say no but I have heard of a few VAs who have lost relationships, become seriously ill, or lost their business entirely because they burn out. Often we feel guilty if we say no but it is imperative you learn how.  I have covered some strategies in my podcast – Ep 7 at the Virtual Business Show – that you might want to have a listen to if you are finding this aspect difficult.

The easiest way for you to set boundaries is to remember you are the boss – not an employee – and you are in partnership with your clients. Remembering this aids in empowering you to say no when needed.  

©Lyn Prowse-Bishop – www.execstress.com