Have you set up rules around the B word? You know the one I’m talking about that we as entrepreneurs struggle to set, maintain, and enforce. Boundaries. In today’s bonus episode, I’m sharing a few questions you can ask yourself to help you understand your needs and set expectations that help you set better boundaries in your business.
The Shoot It Straight Podcast is brought to you by Sabrina Gebhardt, photographer and educator. Join us each week as we discuss what it’s like to be a female creative entrepreneur while balancing entrepreneurship and motherhood. If you’re trying to find balance in this exciting place you’re in, yet willing to talk about the hard stuff too, Shoot It Straight Podcast is here to share practical and tangible takeaways to help you shoot it straight.
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Review the Show Notes:
Boundaries for Business Owners (:45)
The Importance of Setting Boundaries (1:25)
Setting Boundaries for the 4th Quarter (3:05)
Figure Out What Boundaries You Need with Time & Fees (3:15)
Communicating Your Boundaries (5:03)
Boundaries Around Pricing (6:45)
Example: Saying no to favors in extra retouching on images or rush previews.
Adding Fees to Help with Boundaries (7:56)
Questions to Determine What Boundaries You Want Around Time (8:43)
What boundaries around my time do I want to have in place this fall?
Do I currently have those boundaries in place and communicated and are they working?
If not, in what ways are my time boundaries being pushed right now? Give examples.
Looking at those examples, what boundaries could I set and communicate with my clients to have prevent these situations or prevent them in the future?
Questions to Determine What Boundaries You Want Around Money (9:37)
What boundaries around my prices or fees do I want to have in place this fall?
Do I currently have those boundaries in place and communicated and are they working?
If not, in what ways are my pricing boundaries being pushed right now? Give examples.
Looking at those examples, what boundaries could I set and then communicate with clients to have prevent these situations or prevent them in the future?
Working on Your Boundaries (10:54)
Mentioned in this Episode:
Monday Morning Email List
Review the Transcript:
Welcome to the shoot it straight podcast. I’m your host, Sabrina Gephardt. Here I will share an honest take on what it’s like to be a female creative entrepreneur. while balancing business, motherhood and life. myself along with my guests will get vulnerable through honest conversations and relatable stories because we’re willing to go there. If you’re trying to find balance in this exciting place you’re in, yet willing to talk about the hard stuff to to shoot it straight podcast is here to share practical and tangible takeaways to help you shoot it straight.
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, I’m sure you’ve heard that boundaries are important for people, especially for business owners. And I’m also sure that you’re probably feeling a little bit squeamish when I say boundaries. By nature, women tend to be people pleasers. And that can often mean that we let people push past our boundaries on the regular as we head into busy season for a lot of creative entrepreneurs, photographers, artists, crafters, and many other service providers. The fourth quarter is when things get crazy. That’s why I wanted to record this bonus episode.
My hope is that you’re hearing this episode early enough for you to think through your boundaries before busy season gets too far underway. Maybe you will realize that you need to set some additional boundaries to get you through busy season. Or maybe you will realize that you don’t have any boundaries set at all, and be inspired to work on those as soon as possible. Defining and setting your boundaries before your busy season takes off, will ensure that you end this year in a much better place than if you skip them altogether. As business owners, it’s more important than ever, to not only know what our boundaries are, but to hold firm to them. Why? Because holding firm to our boundaries is for the better good of our business and our lives. The great thing about being an entrepreneur is that you can set and define whatever boundaries you want.
There are literally no rules, you get to create a business that works for you that serves you. Of course, the goal of your business is to provide either a service or something tangible to an audience or to your clients. But that does not mean that your clients hold the power and define the relationship. As the business owner, as the professional, it’s so important that you take control of the situation, you set the boundaries, and then you hold on to those boundaries. Trust me, this makes the relationship from start to finish so much stronger than if there were no boundaries at all. So the question is, how do you figure out what boundaries you need? And then how do you enforce them? I’m going to be honest, and say that those are two really big topics, they could totally be two separate podcast episodes, and maybe they will be someday.
But today, I just wanted you to have a quick rundown of some things that you can do to make sure that you’re covered going into your fourth quarter. First of all, figuring out what boundaries you need to have in place, you can definitely have boundaries set around all kinds of different things. But I think that the two most important are in relation to your time and your fees. So what do I mean by that? Having boundaries around your time can look like a lot of things. A few examples, when you will be available for client calls or emails, when you will respond to client text messages or voicemails when you are performing their service or creating their product. What your turnaround time is, what your order cutoff date is for holiday delivery. Those are all things that relate to your time. I know that you are aware but time is your most valuable asset going into busy season. Even though you know that this is your heavy lifting season where you potentially make the most money.
That does not mean that you have to be willing to work all day and all night 24/7 In order to serve your clients, you are still a human, you still need downtime to rest and recover. Your family and friends still need to see you and have a relationship with you. You still deserve time and space for self care. And all that means that you have to protect your time is specially during this busy season. So think through all of those things I mentioned a moment ago and ask yourself, have I defined boundaries around my time? Have I figured out what my office hours are going to be? Have I established when my cut off date is have I built a weekly rhythm or schedule that will allow Allow me to have time off and have breaks. And the biggest part of this is asking yourself, have I actually communicated all of these boundaries to my clients, because you can have all the boundaries you want. But if you have not communicated them well, if you have not set clear expectations every step of the way, your clients will continue to push past your boundaries, because they don’t know what they are communicating your boundaries, it can look like a lot of different things.
Maybe you have a banner or a pop up on your website that says holiday deadline is xx, okay, or maybe in your email signature, you have listed what your email response turnaround time is. Maybe when a client sends you a text really late at night, you wait to respond to them the next morning, and you gently remind them that you only respond to business text messages between the hours of x and y. And when a client reaches out about hiring you or you get a new inquiry, you can explain all of these boundaries very clearly and professionally from first inquiry. The thing about it is explicitly stating and communicating your boundaries with your audience and your clients. From that early possible point. It’s not off putting or negative in the way that you probably are fearing quite the contrary, the more explicitly you communicate your boundaries, the more professional your business appears. And the more professional you appear, the more likely you are to be respected and have your boundaries respected. So we’ve talked for a moment about boundaries around time. The other thing I want you to think about going into busy season or the boundaries around your prices, I’m not talking about raising your rates or running promotions or anything like that right now.
But I want you to be firm in what is included and what is not included for the price that your clients are paying. So I’m going to give you a couple examples about boundaries around your rates. Let’s say you’re a photographer, and you do a photo session and you deliver the gallery. And your client asks you for a favor to do some extra retouching to a few images. You can say no, at the rate they booked, you edited the way you normally do for what is included in that price, you do not have to say yes to that favor. Or another example would be you shoot a session. And at the end of the session, your client says, tomorrow’s my husband’s birthday, could you please edit three or four images tonight and send them to me so I can surprise him. You can say no to this too, because a rush turnaround is not included in the rate that they paid. So I want you to have very clear boundaries about what will be included and not included in your prices for your clients this fall.
Consider if you’re going to charge them extra for retouching or tweaking something or rush turnaround fees, Rush shipping, or a change of location or additional images in a gallery or whatever extras they may ask for. The holiday season is a time when people are spending money. Yes. But it’s also a time when people are asking for the moon and looking for a bargain. I’m not saying that there’s never a situation where you can’t say yes to those things, because there absolutely is. But when you are at your highest capacity during the fourth quarter, that’s not the time to say yes to all the extras. That’s the time to hold firm to your boundaries around your prices. So I’m going to leave you with an action step for today that will hopefully get you set up for success with your boundaries this fall. I want you to take out a notebook or the Notes app on your phone and answer these questions honestly. And the key word there is honestly, these answers are for your eyes only. So don’t worry if you feel shame or hesitation or guilt around them. Just answer them honestly. And then we’ll go from there. So regarding time, number one, what boundaries around my time do I want to have in place this fall? Number two, do I currently have those boundaries in place and communicated? And are they working? Number three? If not, in what ways? Are my time boundaries being pushed right now?
Give examples. And number four, looking at those examples, what boundaries could I set and communicate with my clients to have prevent these situations or prevent them in the future? Okay, so those were questions regarding your time. Now let’s answer the same questions regarding money. Number one, what boundaries around my prices or fees do I want to have in place this fall? Number two, do I currently have those boundaries in place and communicated and are they working? Number three, it If not, in what ways? Are my pricing boundaries being pushed right now? Give examples, a number for looking at those examples, what boundaries could I set and then communicate with clients to have prevent these situations or prevent them in the future? Okay, so I know that was a lot of questions to ask yourself, especially for a podcast episode. Yes, the questions are listed in the show notes. It is kind of a lot of homework, but I promise it will be worth your time and effort.
Best case scenario, you’ve listened to this episode, and you’ve gone through the questions and you realize that you do have firm boundaries in your business, you know what they are, you communicate them well, and you’re not having clients or customers push back. If that is you, congratulations, give yourself a big ol pat on the back because you’re doing a phenomenal job. However, if you listened to this episode, and you’ve worked through these questions, and you realize that you have kind of a lot of work to do around boundaries, that’s okay. That’s okay. Being an entrepreneur, especially a female, creative is hard. But it is super important to know what your boundaries are, to communicate them to your clients and to hold firm to them. Your boundaries. Sticking to those boundaries is a huge piece of the puzzle for avoiding burnout and feeling successful in your business. Because when our boundaries are constantly pushed, when we constantly feel like we are making clients unhappy, because we are getting special requests, or we’re answering the same questions over and over again, or we’re telling them no, because things weren’t clearly communicated. In those situations, we can feel really negative and down about ourselves and our businesses. When in reality, if we would have known what our boundaries were, and then clearly express them from the beginning, everyone would have been on the same page, and you would have much more confident feeling about your business.
So today, I’m just gonna leave you with a last little piece of encouragement. Boundaries are necessary. You deserve to have your time protected, your clients are not going to think any less of you. When you protect yourself with boundaries. Don’t be afraid to express them and clearly communicate them over and over and over. You are a professional and this is your business. So let it serve you well. And just one last thing. If you are not on my Monday morning email list, I would love to have you. It’s called Lifestyle lessons and it’s short and sweet, inspirational and encouraging and it goes out every Monday morning. You can get on the list at the link in the show notes.
And I’ll see you next week. Thanks so much for listening to the shoot it straight podcast. You can find all the full show notes and details from today’s episode at Sabrina gebhardt.com backslash podcast. Come find me and connect over on the gram at Sabrina Gebhardt photography. If you’re loving the podcast, I’d be honored if you hit that subscribe button and leave me a review. Until next time, my friends shoot it straight.