09 Sep Boundaries for your Business
Today, I was inspired today by self-esteem expert, Loren Gelberg-Goff, LCSW, CHt, who has been hosting a discussion on “setting boundaries” on LinkedIn groups. In our exchanges, I’ve learned that setting boundaries in my personal life can actually enhance my relationships if I can manage to break from old habits, release myself from old grudges and truly forgive. I learned I can get what I want and still maintain loving and nurturing relationships—by setting boundaries. In both my personal and my professional life, I have resisted setting boundaries and usually I have done so at my emotional and financial expense.
Setting boundaries in one’s personal life can be challenging enough, and when this issue comes up in business, the territory is littered with land mines. Our personal self-esteem issues can certainly seep into our business and professional lives when we approach how we market ourselves to clients and prospects. Professionals are notorious for having big egos, but often it’s the strutting and fretting of a big ego that may actually be masking an injured self-esteem. But the questions I pose today have to do with marketing our professional services business. Questions like: How much of our expertise do we freely give to our audience and where do we set the boundary between what’s free and what is offered at a price? And when clients fail to pay or when a prospect questions a quote by minimizing the investment of our time and expertise, how do we react? And when client expectations do not match reality, how do we respond?
For example, I offer consulting free if business owners visit my website www.AskJulianne.com and enter their question. In my blog I offer free advice and reviews, and I offer a free webinar entitled “5 Easy Pieces.” And when I am retained by a client, I make it a point to add some services and generously extend the time I spend on any given project without charging my client extra.
From my perspective, I freely exchange ideas and give of my expertise with those who wish to “engage” with me for mutual benefit, partly because for every “free” conversation in which I engage, I learn something. And partly, because I always feel grateful when clients place their trust in me.
Loren Goff has been tremendously generous with her time and insights on the topic of setting boundaries and forgiveness. Her approach is fresh and timely for all of us who need de-stressing. What I like most about Loren’s practice is the convenience she offers her clients by packaging her expertise in multiple media: books, teleseminars, workshops and counseling by phone. And in my recent conversation with Loren, I’ve been impressed with her knowledge, her expertise and her willingness to extend herself to others and share what she knows. If you are struggling with the stress caused by relationships, I highly recommend engaging with Loren by reading her blog at www.beingwellwithin.com/blog, and by joining her discussions on LinkedIn or as I did, sign up for her free upcoming teleseminar: Wednesday, September 11th called “Anger, Grudges or Forgiveness?
As you think about the questions I’ve posed, let’s all do what Loren recommends: BREATHE!
master the technology, conquer your market!