We used to feel like the words “setting boundaries” felt totally icky and negative. When we started our individual businesses a few years ago, we had no problem answering emails whenever they came in! Day, night, weekend — we’ll answer someway, somehow!
But, what happens when you are ALWAYS there? All day, all night, even for the little things? Work/life balance definitely starts to become an issue + burnout can easily happen. We’ve heard the horror stories from our own clients about brides texting them at all hours of the night to share their stress leading up to their big day, asking when their gallery will be delivered, and even if they got “this” specific shot after the wedding…. At 3am.
This is why it’s important to make sure there is a boundary line drawn somewhere. You are the only one that knows where that line is or should be drawn.
Here are a few tips that will help you to start setting boundaries in your biz!
Direct your clients to your email (that’s right, no texting!) and set an out of office on your email when you feel it is necessary. We commonly see it turned on Friday afternoons for wedding photographers and back down on Tuesday mornings.
WTF does that mean? It means you need to set aside a day just for your business. Your internal structure, processes, finances, website updates, planning + writing out blog + social media content — no client work, galleries, emails, nothing. This is a day for you to get your shit together in your business. Set this day at least once a month!
If you don’t already have an email signature set up, add it in! Add your name, business name, link to social media, contact info and put in your biz hours. We also add in to please allow 24 hours for a response. It makes you look officially official AND you can set your business boundaries right there for everyone to see!
It’s one thing to define a few best practices like we did above, but if you’re really struggling with those boundaries. we have a hands-on activity for you. In fact, we recently put this together for our own business!
When we were struggling with setting and enforcing client + internal business boundaries that were impacting our work/life balance, we realized that it was time to create an “Employee Handbook” for Launch Your Daydream. You know the employee handbooks that you’ve signed off on at corporate jobs? Oh yeah, we did this EXACT exercise for LYD and we feel 100x better for doing it.