4 Business Boundaries to Set to Avoid Burnout and Succeed as an Entrepreneur

podcast • May 22, 2024

I heard someone say recently that healthy boundaries are set in place because it is a way for us to live our God given lives in the most joyful, abundant, and purposeful manner. And that when we’re living outside of our boundaries, we are not living our most purposeful and intentional lives.  

And I thought that that was so well said, and you can definitely apply that to your business life. Because when you don’t set healthy boundaries for your business, then you are not being intentional and purposeful in your work.  

So today, I’m diving into the 4 healthy boundaries that you need to set in your business and why.

Setting Boundaries with your Clients 

It’s so important to set boundaries with clients to protect your valuable assets of time, energy, and resources for your own mental sanity, but also so that you can provide that amazing customer experience for all of your customers. 

I have had situations where I have had a single client try to consume all of my time and energy or resources, and I have had to politely set expectations that I don’t have the capacity to give what you’re expecting of me.  

It’s important to remember that not all people are meant to be your customers. So, this is part of sales 101, engaging whether you can meet the expectations of what your clients are expecting from you. And if you can’t, it’s good to know that upfront and to go ahead and let them know that you are not a right fit to work together.  

And if you are a right fit, to set expectations and set boundaries upfront so that everyone can have a healthy working relationship together, and that you can thrive and do your best work and provide your best customer experience for your clients.  

Because that’s the name of the game. When you provide your best work, your best products for your clients, everyone wins. And guess what? The clients that are meant to work with you, they will absolutely respect these boundaries and appreciate them.

A graphic with the quote "Healthy boundaries are set in place because it is a way for us to live our God given lives in the most joyful, abundant, and purposeful manner."

How to set boundaries with your customers as a product-based business owner 

I always recommend to my students to set healthy boundaries and expectations upfront because ff you wait until you are in a situation where you need to set boundaries, then it is too late.  

For example, you wholesale or provide custom products for your customers, so maybe you write it into your terms and conditions that you provide a certain number of revisions for that customer.  

And if they go over that number of revisions and take additional time and resources from you, that it will be an additional charge for that customer.  

The key here is that you communicate that upfront so that the customer’s expectations are set and they know going in what the boundaries are, and they don’t cross over and take up more of your company’s time, energy, and resources than what they have paid for.  

That is an example of setting healthy boundaries for your customers so that you can provide a great experience for all of your customers.  

Setting boundaries with your friends and family 

It is so hard as an entrepreneur to hear well-meaning criticism or advice, but unless someone has been in your shoes as an entrepreneur, then they really have no clue what it is like to walk this road.  

I will admit, until I left my corporate job and was fully immersed into the world of being a full-time entrepreneur, I had no clue what it was like.  

The mindset of being an entrepreneur is completely different.  

So, understanding that well-meaning advice, ideas, sometimes even criticism, and even rejection comes from a place of trying to and be helpful, but only you know what it’s like to walk in your shoes as an entrepreneur and business owner.  

Which means setting those healthy mental boundaries outside of your business is so important, and at the same time, having a community of like-minded peers and small business owners that you can go to have that healthy dialogue and understand what it’s like to be in your day-to-day world and lean on for support is just as critical.  

If you don’t have that community, I encourage you to find that. And the She Sells Differently coaching community is a great place to start if you’re a product-based business owner, and you also get creative sales and marketing workshops each month. 

Setting boundaries inside of your business 

Why is setting boundaries within your business or inside your business so important? 

It’s so important because you want to make sure that any project or new product that you take on that it aligns with your vision, your mission, your values, your goals.  

And if there’s any area where your business doesn’t align then it’s your job to get comfortable as a business owner with making uncomfortable decisions and having uncomfortable conversations, and that is all a part of setting healthy boundaries within your business.  

It is so critical as a business owner that you are setting those long-term goals and that your more immediate goals are aligning and not crossing any boundaries to help you get to those long-term goals.  

Setting boundaries with yourself 

I don’t know why is setting boundaries with yourself, or some could also call this self-discipline, but you’ll see why I call it setting boundaries with yourself, because it does have a little bit of a different feel to it than self-discipline.  

To me, often, when you hear the word self-discipline, you think about drinking all of your water throughout the day, exercising, or having your prayer time in the morning. But setting boundaries with yourself is a little bit different. 

Setting boundaries with yourself is maintaining that healthy work-life balance and avoiding burnout as a small business owner, as an entrepreneur.  

And a lot of that that goes with setting those boundaries does involve self-discipline, but it’s so important that we set those healthy boundaries, especially when it comes to our mindset as women business owners.  

I don’t know about you, but it can take one thing in my work day to set me on a spiral of self-criticism or frustration, and just fostering a negative mindset in the face of rejection or criticism or just taking things personally.  

And I’m actually someone that doesn’t take much personally but I have found as an entrepreneur; my business is very personal to me and so it is a continuous learning process of knowing when I need to reach out to my community as a small business owner and say, hey, I need prayers today. I need help because I am spiraling with a negative mindset of rejection and frustration and overwhelm, and this is where that community comes into play. 

Having those peers that know what it’s like, because being an entrepreneur is like being on a roller coaster. You can be on such a high one day and then on such a low the next day.  

It was a Monday a few weeks ago, and now sitting here in hindsight, I couldn’t even tell you what specifically it was that day that set me on a negative spiral, but by the end of the day, I remember reaching out to one of my entrepreneur friends and saying, what in the world? I am just frustrated, and what am I doing with my business?  

Unfortunately it can just happen to anyone and to the best of us. So, remembering that you have to set those healthy boundaries with yourself and having a healthy work-life balance to avoid that burnout.  

And what this could look like is having a hobby that you enjoy. For me lately, that has been oil painting. If you follow me on Instargram @andeehart, I love posting some of my oil paintings.  

I am loving that creative outlet on the weekends of just putting on a podcast or putting on some music and just not thinking about work, but just creating.  

And that is a way that I have learned to set some healthy boundaries with myself, by not letting myself get in my head or be overwhelmed with my to-do list, and just enjoying life.  

Because that is what God created us to do, to enjoy work, but also just to enjoy the beauty of creating and life in general.  

And so, I encourage you to set those healthy boundaries with yourself.  

Find hobbies that you enjoy.  

Find community that helps you when you do get in your head as an entrepreneur because we all do at times.  

So, it’s so important to set healthy boundaries which allows us to be intentional with our work lives and to live purposefully. 

If you would like to listen to my full conversation on setting healthy boundaries to avoid burnout and succeed as an entrepreneur, you can listen in on the full conversation at the podcast player at the top of this post. 

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