It was 5 years ago when the idea of starting my own photography business came to fruition.
Family events, catching up with friends, taking care of my little growing families, working out, finding time for myself, finding time to spend with my husband….. the list goes on and on and on.
Drained. Tired. Overwhelmed. Wishing there was more time in a day to do everything.
Reality is this there are only 24 hours in a day and 7-8 hours are already used for sleeping.
Time felt limited.
How the heck was my photography business going to grow?
I didn’t want to disappoint my family by not attending their events. I didn’t want to go MIA with my friends. I wanted to be present as a mom and a wife.
How was I going to do all of this?
Andrew and I decided that if we wanted to grow my photography business we needed to set boundaries.
We talked to our friends and family about our current situation. We told them what we’re doing, what we can commit to, what we’re limiting, and changes we will be making.
They understood. They said they won’t love us less and support us in creating the life we wanted. They helped take care of my son when we were shooting weddings and even when we needed time to catch up on work.
You're probably thinking... Sheng that's great for you that your family responded so well. That's not the case for me! I get it, everyone's situation is different. Not all your friends and family members will be supportive and that's something you need to expect. But what I want you to understand is that you are setting the boundaries. You're telling them, "Hey this is what I give if you ask me something." You're setting the expectations.
My recommendations when your setting your boundaries:
Estimate how much time you need work on projects for your business. I am talking about work that you truly need to get done so you will be satisfied and your business will flourish.
Write down what you can truly commit to. Not just committing 10% to, but 100% to if your time is requested.
Say no when you know you will be able to be there. Don't say yes and cancel at the last minute, because that is just plain rude. It's better to say you can't make it and if you can make it later then show up.
How much you give to others is how much they will give to you. For example, you can't be completely involved in your business and ignore the world and when you need something you expect your friends and family to show up. Remember to show them that they are still important even thought you're busy by making time to catch up with them, telling them how much you appreciate them.
Life is not all about work, include some fun (e.g. wine, movie nights, go out of town for the weekend). You don't want to die knowing all you did was worked your entire life.
If you have friends or colleagues who could use a little help setting boundaries, please share this post.
Keep hustling and have fun!!