The truth is, as a mompreneur, you never get to a point where your task list is completely clear. This is exactly why you need to set those boundaries in your business fast. So that you can give yourself the self-care and self-love outside of your business, and burnout-proof your business.
Why you need boundaries
You need to rest
Planning ahead of time ensures that your business will still be intact if you take a weekend off or even a few days away. You can do this even when you are running your business as a solopreneur! The most important thing is that you are using the available systems and tools to automate what you can, and you plan for the time off, ahead of time. Don’t plan to launch a new product a few days before your vacation!
Boundaries help others respect your time
Imagine if you replied to all your emails and texts within minutes of receiving them. You immediately create an expectation that you can be contacted on any day at any time. And an instant response is the bare minimum that your clients should expect from you. When you set your boundaries, then others around you know the limits and will work within the limits.
Just like any game has rules, your business should also have rules. Anyone who is really interested in working with you will be respectful enough to play by these rules.
It is a form of self care
If you don’t set boundaries, you will always find yourself working into the wee hours of the night. Just like corporate work, there will be season where you may find yourself working a little bit more than usual but this should not be the norm. Find a way to balance your business with you.
Avoid burnout and overwhelm
I see so many mumpreneurs getting into the trap of overworking themselves thinking that more work means more sales. This only leads to overworking themselves even more, eventually leading to burnout and falling out of love with their business.
When you have clear boundaries around your business time and your personal time, you find a way to make your business work within those boundaries.
When should you set your boundaries?
Don’t get into the habit of not having boundaries, thinking that you are losing out on sales and potential clients.
The very opposite is true. The more often you can take a break away from your business, the more time you can spend thinking about the bigger picture, vision and direction of your business. And making those CEO-level decisions without getting distracted with the busyness and everyday tasks.
5 Ways to establish your business boundaries
Set your office hours
The same way you have office hours at your day job is the same way you should set office hours for your side hustle. You could even include these in your email so that people know when you are online and able to reply to their messages.
Plan ahead of time
Pencil in your holidays and leave on your business calendar so that you don’t have important business projects ongoing close to your time off.
If you work with other people in your business, then it would be a good idea to share your Google calendar with them. By sharing your calendar they know when you will be away. It is also courteous to drop them a reminder at least 2 weeks in advance before you take your time off.
Plan your finances
The truth is, there is no business that can generate 100% of its income passively. For a solopreneur some work definitely needs to be done to ensure that your business generates enough cashflow while you are away. You might want to host a promotion or a launch before you go on leave, so that the cashflows can sustain you when you are taking your time off.
You also need to be aware of the minimum cash expenditures you should set aside before you go on leave, just in case your business generates less sales than expected while you are away. This will reduce the level of stress and anxiety that you might experience if you don’t plan ahead of time.
Be clear on your accessibility during your time away
Inform your team and your customers as to when you will be out of the office and how they can reach you in case of any emergencies. It’s always best to make it clear that you intend to rest, and that you should only be contacted for urgent issues. This way, your time off won’t become a working holiday, which happens commonly when boundaries are not clearly communicated.
Unplug from social media
Create your social media posts before you take your time off. That way your page remains fresh with new and valuable content for your followers, while you take time to rest. Use apps like Canva and Planoly to schedule your posts. Enable automatic posting if you want to be 100% off social media during your time off.
One of the best pieces of advice I have come across is to simply delete social media apps from your phone. Do this over the weekends, and this applies too when you want to completely unplug. Resist the temptation to check a thing or two (which often leads to mindless scrolling) by deleting the apps. Then reinstalling them when you are ready to get back into the grind.
Your settings will remain intact so don’t worry about losing anything if you delete your social media apps.
When you are on social media, set boundaries between your business time and your social time. During social media business hours, the end goal should be very clear as well as the maximum time you will be on social media. Make sure you know what you aim to achieve so that you can hold yourself accountable to it.
Respect other people’s boundaries
You have to respect the boundaries other people set. This is one of the things I have learnt from some of the leaders I have worked with in the corporate world. You can’t expect people to respect your boundaries if you are constantly treading on theirs.
Final thoughts on how to set boundaries in your business
If you don’t know how to set boundaries in your business, you are likely to go through overwhelm and burnout more often than is necessary. Take the time to determine what your ideal business hours are, and your ideal working style. Set boundaries to protect your time, and respect your boundaries as well.
If you need more tips on how to maximize your productivity, check out this post or this post, that I wrote recently.