By: Daniel C. Finley
ADVISOR SOLUTIONS

Building Your Business Boundaries

Do you ever feel like you are overworked, overwhelmed and just drained at the end of the day? If so, know that you are not alone. Most advisors and agents have felt this way at some point in their careers but rarely do they understand why. I believe there is a more common reason. It’s because they have not built strong business boundaries!

Warren Buffet said it best, “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say “NO” to almost everything”.

Business boundaries are all about the things that you will and will not tolerate. They are guidelines that you put in place so that you can do your best work possible, serve your clients well, know what type of prospects you will target and still feel rested and energized at the end of the day.

When you don’t set boundaries in your business you tend to do too much, your energy suffers, you get resentful of clients and others who put demands on your time and eventually you get burned out. That’s why it is so important that you know how to set and keep your business boundaries. Let’s look at the Top 6 Types of Business Boundaries:

Type #1: Family & Friends

One of the most challenging things to do is to set boundaries with family and friends. The reason is that it is so easy to take their calls and drop everything to do what they want.

An example of an unhealthy family and friends business boundary is if you stop everything every time the family calls and leave work to do what they want you too especially if it’s not time sensitive. However, a healthy business boundary would be to let the family know that you will take care of what they need during a specific time of the day but not during the work day hours.

Type #2: Clients

Clients can be one of the hardest people to set boundaries with! That’s because we train our clients to treat us the way we allow ourselves to be treated.

Some examples of an unhealthy client business boundary is if you stop everything every time a client calls and wants you deliver paperwork to their house, get on a conference call with the insurance company or change a bank account number instead of them calling the insurance company. A healthy client business boundary would be to let the client know what you will and won’t do and explain why so that you have time to service your entire client-base!

Type #3: Prospects

Typically, most advisors and agents don’t initially have many boundaries when it comes to prospects because they want more prospects in the pipeline but quality doesn’t always mean quality.

One common unhealthy prospect business boundary is to tolerate rude or unruly prospects from the start. Conversely, a healthy prospecting business boundary would be to know your target market, your minimum account size and set yourself up to be treated with respect as a professional.

TYPE #4: Staff

If you have ever had an assistant, or a team that reports to you, you know that setting business boundaries with staff can be challenging. The reason is because you may have unhealthy boundaries.

An example of an unhealthy staff business boundary is if you find yourself doing your staff’s work. An example of a healthy staff business boundary would be to have everyone on the team know what their role is and what they are accountable for.

TYPE #5: Management

Management might be a hard type to create business boundaries with because you most likely work for them.

An unhealthy management business boundary would be an insurance agent being told to go to a conference that is five hours away to have five insurance carriers updating agents on their products. A healthy management business boundary would be for the insurance agent to ask if going is flexible and that attending a larger conference would be more of an opportunity.

TYPE #6: Yourself

This is by far the hardest audience to create boundaries with because you may be hardwired to not want to change. Or, you’ve created habits that are so ingrained that you find it difficult to change.

Unhealthy self-business boundaries might be not having any structure to your day, handling interruptions or when/how to prospect. However, if you hold yourself to higher standards your new self-business boundaries will not only be healthier but they will productive!

Why Building Business Boundaries Works

As you know, you only have so much time and energy during the day, you just can’t be all things to all people. The reason why building business boundaries works is because it protects your time and energy so you can focus on the most important and productive tasks. So, the next time you feel overworked, overwhelmed and drained take the time to build stronger business boundaries.

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