So the short answer to this question is… Ummm, EVERYTHING!
But this is coming from someone who once-upon-a-time made a nasty face at the mere mention of the word boundaries and had a total gag-me-with-a-spoon reaction every time the topic came up.
I recognize now this had more to do with my rebellion against my therapist mother and my unresolved issues with some super complex emotional stuff, but suffice to say… I’m over it now. And boundaries are totally LEGIT.
So get on board sweet peas, and put away your spoon gags.
Put away any of your ideas that boundaries are like closed doors, harsh restrictions, or would impede on your ability to freely love and accept your brethren and sistren (I just had to look up if this was actually a word or if I was gonna have to get hashtag #pissed about more inequality, but it IS a word you guys! cool beans).
Boundaries are not the freedom impingers you think they are, boundaries are the things that set you free.
They are something you’ve been craving your entire life, but just didn’t know you were craving, and when that thirst gets quenched, everything flows.
And why is that?? Because you finally step out of FIGHT OR FLIGHT mode (ahem… a.k.a. FEAST OR FAMINE).
Obviously, this article would be a behemoth if I tried to actually cover the depth and breadth of boundary work, so I am not gonna do that. What I am here to talk about is how they affect your business and allow you to allow YOURSELF to make 10x the dough with far less effort.
The short of it is that boundaries are your internal agreement to take full responsibility for yourself and your care, needs, and wants. And that others will take full responsibility for theirs. That counter to what you may have always believed, it is NOT your responsibility to fill their existential void, nor is it theirs to fill yours.
Instead, you are in RELATIONSHIP with the other. Which means there is a dance of give and receive. There is asking, there is needing, there is giving, there is taking, there is love and care and all kinds of good stuff, but there is no “You will complete me goddamn it and I don’t care what it takes from you as long as it fills my black hole of never-ending neediness!!” wherein both parties are living in a constant state of dependency that never quite feels full-up.
So what does that look like in business? Let me tell you!
Here is what it looks like in business BEFORE you have any boundaries:
1. hustling for your worthiness 24–7 and feeling totally burnt out and never actually “getting there” to that feeling that you are in fact worth it.
2. trying to do everything your damn self.
3. saying yes when you mean no.
4. taking on too much, promising too much, over-extending yourself and then getting super resentful and loathing the people you used to love.
5. living job to job, paycheck to paycheck, just getting by, hustling for every dime.
6. feeling like it’s never enough, you didn’t give enough, you should have given more, even if you worked yourself into a near comatose state overdelivering.
7. not asking for what you WANT, and just asking for what you “think you can get” because you’re old-mother-Hubbarding the other person’s finances like they were your own.
8. taking every “no” or “I can’t afford to work with you” uber-personally as if it were proof you’re not worth it and will never get what you need and want.
9. not being able to hire help because you think you don’t trust anybody else to handle it as well as you can, but really you don’t trust YOURSELF to handle disappointment, conflict or having to be seen as “not nice” when you have to #bossup and ask for what you need.
10. putting up with missed payments, failed payments, or late payments and a whole host of other related shenanigans.
And here’s what it looks like in business AFTER you have boundaries:
1. Deciding what you want and are worth, and letting other people have their “yes” or their “no” and knowing that has NO BEARING over your ability to have that.
2. Letting yourself hire help and be helped and supported.
3. Saying yes when you mean yes, and feeling good about it. Saying no when you need to without feeling bad about it. (for too long anyway) 😉
4. Having super clear expectations about deliverables already set out from the get-go and making sure they’re realistic and won’t drive you into an early grave. Loving the people you love, because you have time and freedom and are not exhausted and in overwhelm.
5. Having stability and plenty with your money because you have ASKED for what you NEED to make that work, and are letting it in.
6. Knowing it’s enough, and you’re enough, and letting other people feel about that, whatever they feel, because YOU are firm in your knowing. (or if you dip out of that, you can return to it after a good sob or rant) 😉
7. Asking for exactly what you want and need to keep your business and finances healthy (because you’ve determined what that is and what you need and want that to be) and letting the other person worry about THEIR OWN finances, their yes or their no, because it’s none of your business frankly, just as your finances are none of their business. Both people make an empowered choice, instead of a disempowered choice, it is a win-win-win.
8. Not taking “no” or “I can’t afford to work with you” personally at all, because you finally know it has absolutely nothing to do with your worth or ability to receive that. It’s just one person’s current reality or opinion.
9. Hiring help, even when it’s scary, and trusting YOURSELF to handle what comes up if and when you need to.
10. Having firm and clear boundaries in place to ensure on-time payments in full without fail, and repercussions if those boundaries are not honored.
The reason why you make FAR more money, far more easily with boundaries is because in a nutshell you have shifted your focus to what you want and need, instead of “what you are allowed to get” when you were solely focused on the needs and wants of others and how you could fit yourself into that hole.
In the healthy boundaries model, you are not trying to fill anyone’s void, and are instead seeing them as 100% as capable and worthy of getting what they want and need as you are. You can help them and care for them but you are not trying to “save them”, nor are you expecting them to save you (with their business or money).
In this way, the relationship or purchase is based on true EQUALITY. Which is the only kind of sustainable relationship, working or otherwise. And it is about a gazillion times more powerful a transaction that way.
So how do you start working on having better boundaries and on flipping that first list to that second list?? As I always say — work on your WORTH. It is the key to all of this, otherwise, you will not feel truly worthy of your ask, or of your “no”, and you will keep unconsciously re-creating the same results.
Find a mentor or community where you can really dig into some of the subconscious blocks that are keeping you from asking for and receiving what you need in your business, and most importantly so that you don’t feel so alone in trying to do so!
P.S. If you feel like you’re still just surviving in your business and ready to seriously start THRIVING instead, grab my free guide on where to start » 👇