How to grow your business from behind a hedge of boundaries

“Compassionate people ask for what they need.They say no when they need to, and when they say yes, they mean it. They are compassionate because their boundaries keep them out of resentment.”

― Brené Brown

There are few things that can set off a passionate entrepreneur like talking about boundaries. Many explore entrepreneurship because it gives them the ability to innovate and say yes to new things.

When you are in high growth mode, boundary setting can feel like the wrong decision, because one never knows when the flow of new contacts, leads or opportunities will dry up.

This leads some small business owners to be in eternal hustle mode, which can feel like you are constantly trying to squeeze through the eye of a needle.

Sustained periods without a break, or operating around the clock for weeks or months on end, can have serious health and business consequences.

Before you hit the wall, see if these 5 tips will help you build a healthy, sustainable business with the help of boundaries:

  1. Identify your critical priorities on a regular basis
    At one stage of business, it may be true that new lead generation is the most important activity. But this will not always be the case. At regular intervals, note the most critical business priorities, and when necessary, put the breaks on new business while you work out operational problems, or staff up to meet demand.
  2. Get exceptionally clear on the right client fit
    There is not much that will make you violate your boundaries like the wrong client fit. The wrong clients for you might demand instant replies, work around the clock and constant changes. Get clear on who you are truly made to serve, and build your operations and processes around these clients.
  3. Set firm boundaries around your time
    One of the first assignments I give new clients is to block out vacation time on their calendar for the next 12 month period, and to determine operational hours. Even though you technically can work from anywhere at anytime does not mean you should. When you set clear operational hours, it helps your entire business ecosystem to settle in a healthy work pattern. This will prevent burnout, and allow you to take time for yourself, as well as your loved ones.
  4. Communicate boundaries up front
    When you first start working with new clients or team members, talk about the boundaries you have around your work. Learn from each other the most optimal times to connect, preferred communication modes and non-negotiable time blocks. Addressing this right up front will avoid miscommunication and resentment.
  5. Practice Tiny Marketing Actions
    It is smart to operationalize your marketing in tiny steps so that you don’t get overwhelmed launching all the time, and consistently seed new opportunities. Even when you prioritize team growth or operational efficiency, you can still keep a slow and steady pace of marketing so that your leads don’t dry up.Setting healthy boundaries will ensure that you are providing top-quality service to your clients while preserving your own health and well-being.

Reader Interactions


  1. Renee Rubin Ross says

    Such a profound post! It IS hard to be in growth mode and also find stopping points and take enough rest.
    I’ve become much more aware of my energy. When I lead a big meeting or retreat, I must take a slower day after to recover.
    Thanks for the reminders!

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