I'm curious how are you feeling about boundaries right now in your writing business? Are there places where your boundaries are feeling weak or non-existent? Is there space where you are letting things slide?
Boundaries have been a huge distraction for me and my copywriting hustle for a couple of months now. I've had to stand my ground on a few things that were not working right for me. I have also had some really tough discussions and decisions. Hold people accountable for their agreements.
Keeping it real... it's been tough and empowering at the same time. The toughest part for me is knowing that enforcing these boundaries and agreements has made some people unhappy, mad, and upset with me.
And I hate that part and really struggle when I know my actions and decisions cause other people to feel this way.
Yet... Boundaries are necessary for any business especially a copywriting business.
When we break it down, a boundary is about two things:
- Setting an agreement
- Enforcing and agreement
Setting an agreement is one thing and it is easier. Enforcing an agreement is where it gets tough and where many of us can let things slide.
We might ignore the little things that are showing up. Maybe your client keeps delaying your payments, but we know that they have a hard time themselves getting paid to pay you, so you don't talk to them about it and wait patiently even though it distorts your financial plans.
Or you have an agreement with your clients on the word count, but they constantly keep changing and altering your deadline, and you just do it "just this time" then again and again.
We might avoid the bigger things as well. You were promised something in an agreement that you did not receive, but you do not want to "rock the boat" so you do not bring it up.
Whenever we don't enforce the agreements that we've made - we are out of integrity. With ourselves. With others. And with our business.
Whenever we make our decisions from "well I don't want to upset this person" or "it's not that big of a deal", that is breaking the agreement that we've made. And we are left feeling powerless. Resentful. Deflated. To the point where our business relationships may (will?) fall apart. And often not in a nice way.
Put simply - don't make agreements that you aren't willing to enforce.
Enforcing agreements can be complicated AND it is some of the most empowering work you can do in your business. To stand your ground. To have the tough conversations. To not let things slide. To say 'no' or to say 'hey, we need to talk about this.'
I've made decisions lately that were best for the business and that I knew would be upsetting to others. Some days I made those decisions with tears streaming down my cheeks. It was that emotional for me. But I did it nonetheless.
The other day, I was saying to a friend, "I feel like I'm a grown-up business owner now." Putting on my big girl panties as they say...
We become empowered when we do the tough stuff.
And boundaries are tough stuff.