Setting boundaries in your business can be difficult. Jo shares her personal struggle with work-life balance and the challenges of switching off when your business means so much to you. But setting boundaries is essential for well-being and business growth, as burnout is a significant threat to entrepreneurs. Jo suggests setting boundaries in terms of work hours and advises thinking of it as an act of self-love. Jo outlines five steps to begin setting healthy boundaries and encourages listeners to celebrate their wins and nurture their dreams.

Setting Boundaries for Well-being [00:02:44]

Explains the importance of setting boundaries for physical, emotional, and mental well-being in personal and professional life.

Balancing Work Hours [00:04:05]

Discusses the need to determine whether to have set work hours or a more flexible approach, and shares personal experiences and insights.

Steps to Setting Boundaries [00:06:23]

Provides steps to start setting boundaries in a healthy and compassionate way, including reflecting on needs and values, clear communication, self-compassion, consistency, and respecting others’ boundaries.

Setting Boundaries Can Make a Huge Difference [00:11:16]

Explains the benefits of setting boundaries, such as reclaiming control, eliminating stress, and having clarity and focus.

Celebrate Every Win [00:12:36]

Encourages celebrating small victories to notice the positive impact of setting boundaries.

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Hello and welcome to Women in the Coaching Arena podcast. I'm so glad you are here. I'm Jo Lott, a business mentor and ICF accredited coach, and I'm on a mission to help brilliant coaches build brilliant coaching businesses. In this podcast, I'll be sharing honest, not hype, practical and emotional tools to support you to make the difference that you are here for.

Microphone (Samson Q2U Microphone):

Hello, welcome to episode 20 of women in the coaching arena. I'm so glad you're here. I'm your host, Jo Lott. And today we are going to talk about something close to my heart. It's close to my heart because it's something that I really struggle with because. As you may know, as an entrepreneur, it is all consuming. And when something means so much to you. And pretty much, depends on you. Then it is really hard to switch off. So I'm recording today's episode on boundaries as much for me as well as you. So something really interesting happened this week and I was taking on a new client and they completed their onboarding form. And they said something really poignant, which literally hit the nail on the head for how most people in this space feel, which is, I would love to feel like I'm not looking for the next client while I'm so busy serving my current clients. And I think that is a really good point. And sometimes you may not be busy serving clients, but you will be busy. I guarantee you. And even if you are busy signing clients, there is always that tendency to think when's the next one coming. So if you feel like that this episode today will really help you. So we live in a world that often glorifies the idea of being constantly available. And needing to reply to WhatsApps and messages instantly and say yes to everything. And as a result, you might find yourself overwhelmed, exhausted. Stretched too thin, personally and professionally. And especially at the start of their business. The first two years, particularly all really intensive and will require quite a lot of hustle energy, whether we like it or not. There is a lot to learn when you first start out and there was a lot to do in terms of building up your credibility, building up your network and your audience. Doing the basics, like what you offering, doing your website, all of these things really do take a toll when you first start. So if you are in that place right now know that it's completely normal and you are not alone. But I do know that setting boundaries is not selfish and it's essential for your wellbeing and the growth of both you and your business, because burnout is the biggest threat to entrepreneurs. So let's start by defining what boundaries are. Boundaries are the invisible lines that we can draw around ourselves to protect our physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing. They define what is acceptable and what is not acceptable in our relationships work and personal life. And setting those boundaries allows you to honor your own needs, values, priorities and helps you to make choices that align with what you truly want versus being in that place where you react and say yes, before you have even realized that you've said it. One area in business where you may want to think about setting boundaries. Is whether you want to have set times for your work. Like we've kind of been brought up to believe the nine to five is the way to go, or whether you are happy with a more flexible approach. So that is something that takes a lot of thinking about when you first start and it's easy to create another job for yourself. And that may not be what really suits you. I would never say it's not okay to work in the evenings. You know, to be honest, I wouldn't have a business if I didn't work in the evenings when I first started out, because I had two days of childcare. And so yeah, it needed a lot of work and that was what I was prepared to do when I first started out, because I wanted this to work. But now in my life, I am no longer in that place. I would never do evening calls anymore. I wouldn't work on my holidays anymore. I absolutely love my weekends. Yes. I might sneak off occasionally and record my podcast because it's my favorite thing to do, and I really enjoy it. And it's kind of like just talking to a friend. But I do have a lot clearer boundaries than I used to. The same goes with my clients. I used to have Voxer access, which is basically when people can message you all the time. But I found, I just couldn't ignore the message. If something came in on a Sunday morning I would then reply at like 7:00 AM on a Sunday morning. And I found it really hard to switch off so I don't include box access anymore in my programs. So have a think about what you might want as a good balance for you. And what you might need to say no to, to really focus on what matters to you and your priorities right now. And if you are a people pleaser, like I am or I am trying to recover from. You may be thinking, but how do I set boundaries without feeling guilty or hurting others by saying no. It's a really valid concern and especially as a woman, I think. Again, that comes up more often. We are expected to be that caring type and we can be thought of as a B word, if we are clear and boundaried. What I think helps in these occasions is to think of setting boundaries as an act of self-love and not selfishness. It's actually respecting yourself honoring your needs, which ultimately will benefit everyone around you. I've talked a few times about my daily yoga practice that I sneak off and do. And I felt really bad about this when I first started. But it really does help my family as well as me. So it is something that I am very boundaried about and I will make a priority because I know it's really important. So here are a few steps to help you to start setting boundaries in a healthy and compassionate way. So step one, reflect on your needs and values. Take some time to think about your core needs and values right now. What do you need to feel fulfilled right now? And recognize those non-negotiables and prioritize them. Like I said, sometimes things will need to shift depending on what your priorities are. Like I mentioned, my priority at the start was build a business, and that does require a lot of time and a lot of energy. So sadly, I couldn't say I'm only going to do this between 10 and two when my son's at nursery, because it's going to genuinely take more than eight hours a week to build my business. So that's why that priority needed to be clear in my mind, to be able to create an effective boundary. Step two communicate clearly and kindly. I practice this with my coach, a lot being clear, assertive, and kind in your communication. I find it really hard to be direct and dress it up with a lot of niceties sometimes. So I am practicing expressing my needs and limits without apologizing. And so again if you are a woman you probably notice that tendency of saying, I'm really sorry, but. If someone is asking for something that you aren't prepared to to maybe we don't need to apologize. Maybe we just need to say that's not a priority for me right now remembering that you have the right to protect your own wellbeing. Step three is practice self-compassion. Setting boundaries might feel uncomfortable at first. I know it certainly does for me. Certain grounding exercises, like putting your hands on your heart. Hugging yourself, doing EFT. If you haven't tried it already, I would recommend looking at, up on YouTube, emotional freedom technique. And you can put in EFT for any sort of feeling you may be having so EFT for anxiety, for example. And you will find short three to five minute practices that you can do to really bring you back to your center. It really does help taking that time out and you will then feel more able to enforce that boundary. Step four is be consistent. Consistency is key when setting boundaries, if you have kids, you will know all about this. What is, and isn't acceptable. Like for example, we have stopped the kids playing on electronic devices in the school week. And it's really helped because I think before sometimes if I was working, I'd let them go on it. And then other times I wouldn't. And so it really just didn't work. And now just reflecting on it they haven't asked me in months, because obviously now we have a clear boundary in place and they know the rules. So the same goes for us, set your limits and don't waiver. This consistency will help others to understand and respect your boundaries. Step five is to respect others' boundaries. So as we start to set and maintain our own boundaries, Remember to acknowledge and respect others as well. We have no idea what is going on in people's lives. Someone was pressing me to have a call recently. There was just no time. I haven't spoken to my mother in a month and I just thought, well, like if I've got one half an hour my day, I can't prioritize this call when I don't know the purpose of the call or anything about it. And before you think, oh my goodness, I'm just no good at this boundaries thing. I just know that it is an ongoing process as is life of self-discovery and growth. As you practice it, you will get better. I'm on a mastermind at the moment, and one of the people is brilliant at setting boundaries and we had an in-person day last week and she gave a talk. And she is just so good. There is no email on her phone. There's no social media apps. She never ever checks that email on holidays or on weekends. It was a real inspiration of how you can get to that place where you are really utilizing your time and maximizing your effort. Let's talk about how setting boundaries can make a huge difference in your life. So what's in it for you is reclaiming control over your life. Eliminating unnecessary stress and distractions. Having new found clarity and focus to pursue your goals with renewed energy. It also enables you to have a stronger sense of self worth because you are sending a really core message to you that you are important. So there are so many reasons why drawing up your boundaries today can make a big difference in your life and your business. As your business grows I am sure like I have, you will become more intentional about how you spend your time and your energy. And choose activities and relationships that nourish you and help you to feel really good. The steps that we covered to begin setting healthy boundaries were step one reflect on your needs and values. Step two, communicate clearly and kindly step three, practice self-compassion step four, be consistent and step five respect others' boundaries. It's never too late to start. It's an ongoing practice. Something I work on it continuously in my business. And there is growth. So do celebrate every win so you really notice the difference that this is making in your life. Thank you for joining me on today's episode. If you found it helpful, I would greatly appreciate if you could review and rate the podcast, it makes such a difference. And like I say, at the end of every episode, trust yourself, believe in yourself and be the wise Gardner who keeps on watering the seed. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Women in the Coaching Arena. Please come and say hi to me on LinkedIn or Instagram and let me know how you are getting on in your coaching business and how you are gonna go for your dreams this year. My name on LinkedIn is Joanna Lott and on Instagram is at Joanna Lott Coaching, and I'll also put links in the show notes. Let me know if you found this episode useful. Share it with a friend and leave me a review, and I will personally thank you for that. Thank you so much for listening. Speak soon.

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