Setting boundaries is hard, but necessary for any kind of success.

This week I had to say no to a friend.

One of my dreams is to start taking clients on self-care retreats to amazing destinations coupled with some lifestyle design, delicious food, adventurous excursions and good company. I share this dream with one of the most empowering, soul-led business-owning women I have the honor to know and this week we had a plan to meet (in-person) to start the process.

Starting last week, I had a nagging feeling in my gut (ah, that’s intuition for those of you that don’t know it originates in your stomach) that I shouldn’t go. The boys were just getting home from Patagonia after a week on Spring Break, my son started the spring golf season (for the first time), I had meetings I would have had to rush to get back to and following my surgery two months ago, I finally turned a healing corner where I felt I could get back in to a routine. It was overwhelming.

For three full days I struggled with listening to and caring for myself versus disappointing Cindy. I’ll be honest here, and this is embarrassing, I thought of many lies I could have told her that would have ‘forgiven’ me; illness that would have let me off the hook. But what kind of self-care coach would I be if I did that? A hypocrytical one for sure, but it also just didn’t feel right. I have enough respect for myself and Cindy to be honest and let her know I was feeling overwhelmed. It wasn’t that the retreat dream isn’t a priority, it’s just lower on the list than my family and my own wellbeing right now.

I texted her the following:

I am feeling really overwhelmed right now. The boys are not getting home until later today from Patagonia, Miles starts golf tomorrow after school, I am short staffed at Crossroads (my manager’s dad is old and ill) and Dale is working late every day this week to catch up from last week. ‍♀️ However, this retreat planning trip is extremely important to me. Help me.

Her response came a few hours later. Had I lied I to her, I would have been checking my phone incessantly to see her response, but instead, I put my phone down, took a deep breath and felt freedom. Of course, because we respect one another, all is right in the world and we are making the meeting work through this beautiful thing called technology.

This is the hard shit.

The stuff that you have to wrestle with for a while, sit with the feelings of someone else (maybe) being disappointed, letting someone else down but in turn making yourself a priority. We have to start respecting ourselves MORE than we respect others.

What if, instead of automatically agreeing to every request that comes our way, we start prioritizing ourselves and our needs? What if saying “no” becomes an act of self-care rather than people-pleasing?

Here’s the thing: saying “no” doesn’t make you selfish or uncaring. It’s about setting boundaries and recognizing your limitations. It’s about honoring your time, energy, and mental health. And guess what? It’s perfectly okay to do so.

So, how do we master the art of saying “no” without feeling guilty or rude?

Here are a few tips:

  1. Know Your Priorities: Before committing to anything, take a moment to consider your priorities. What truly matters to you? What do you need to accomplish? By understanding your priorities, it becomes easier to decline things that don’t align with them.

  2. Practice Self-Awareness: Tune in to your own feelings and needs. If saying “yes” to something feels draining or overwhelming, listen to that inner voice telling you it’s okay to decline. Trust yourself and your instincts.

  3. Set Boundaries: Boundaries are your best friend when it comes to self-care. Learn to say no firmly but kindly when something doesn’t work for you. Remember, you’re not obligated to explain or justify your decision.

  4. Be Honest: Honesty is key in any relationship, including the one you have with yourself. If you’re declining an invitation or a request, be honest about your reasons. Most people will respect your honesty and understanding.

  5. Practice Self-Compassion: Saying “no” may feel uncomfortable at first, especially if you’re used to always saying “yes.” Be gentle with yourself and remember that prioritizing your well-being is not only acceptable but necessary.

  6. Offer Alternatives: If you’re declining an invitation, offer alternatives if possible. This shows that you value the relationship and are willing to find alternative ways to connect or contribute.

Remember, saying “no” is not about shutting people out or being dismissive. It’s about valuing yourself enough to prioritize your own needs. By learning to say “no” for self-care reasons, you’re not only taking care of yourself but also setting a powerful example for others. So go ahead, embrace the art of saying “no” and watch how it transforms your life for the better. You deserve it!

Want the best ROI (return on investment)? Start investing in yourself.

In a world where external investments often take precedence, it’s easy to forget the most crucial investment of all: yourself. While traditional financial investments and passive income are all the rage, dedicating time, energy, and resources to your personal growth can give them a nice boost. In this blog post, we’ll explore the five key areas where investing in yourself can make a significant difference: Personal Growth, Knowledge, Health, Skill Mastery, and Creating Opportunities.

Personal Growth

Every book you read, every skill you acquire, and every challenge you overcome is an investment in your personal growth. It may sound fluffy, but talking about your feelings, digging deep in to limiting beliefs and recognizing your self-sabotage is key to growth.

This encompasses activities like self-reflection, setting goals, overcoming fears, and developing resilience. Whether it’s through therapy, coaching, journaling, meditation, or a combination of all, committing to your personal growth journey can lead to greater self-awareness, confidence, and fulfillment.

Knowledge

They say knowledge is power, and indeed, investing in education and continuous learning is one of the best investments you can make. Whether you’re pursuing formal education, reading books, attending workshops, or taking online courses, expanding your knowledge base opens doors to new opportunities and perspectives. It equips you with the skills and insights needed to navigate challenges, adapt to change, and thrive in an ever-evolving world.

Health

Health is wealth. Without good health, all other investments pale in comparison. Prioritizing your physical and mental health is essential for long-term success both personally and professionally. This includes adopting a balanced diet, staying physically active, getting enough sleep, managing stress, and asking for help. By investing in your health, you not only enhance your quality of life but also increase your productivity, energy levels, and resilience to setbacks. Prioritize your health.

Skill Mastery

In today’s competitive landscape, mastering relevant skills is key to staying ahead of the curve. Whether it’s honing technical skills related to your profession or developing soft skills such as communication, leadership, and problem-solving, investing in skill mastery is a surefire way to enhance your value in the marketplace. Embrace lifelong learning and seek opportunities to acquire new skills or improve existing ones—it’s an investment that pays dividends throughout your working life. These skills easily spill over to your personal life and enhance your relationships.

Creating Opportunities

Lastly, investing in yourself involves actively creating opportunities for growth and advancement. This may involve networking, building relationships, seeking mentorship, or pursuing entrepreneurial ventures. By putting yourself out there and seizing opportunities, you expand your horizons, open doors to new possibilities, and chart your own path to success.

In conclusion, investing in yourself is not a luxury but a necessity for personal and professional growth. By prioritizing personal growth, expanding your knowledge, nurturing your health, mastering valuable skills, and creating opportunities, you empower yourself to lead a more fulfilling and prosperous life. Remember, the greatest investment you can make is in yourself—it’s the gift that keeps on giving. So, take the plunge, commit to your growth journey, and watch as your investment pays off in ways you never imagined.

And the circle we don’t talk about.

The closest people in your life are not {necessarily} going to be your best customers.

I thought when I opened my first business I was going to be guaranteed at LEAST 100 customers because we have a huge family and a large circle of really great friends.  You can imagine how broken-hearted I was when I could count on one hand how many of them walked through the door after the initial grand opening with free champagne stopped flowing.  I thought I had failed.  I thought they didn’t support me.  I thought and thought and thought and thought.

And that got me no where.

Initially, wrapping my head around this social circle concept as it pertains to business ownership was tough. But I’ve developed a philosophy over the past few years that’s been a lifesaver for my tender heart—it’s what I call my “FIRST CIRCLE, SECOND CIRCLE” theory.

FIRST CIRCLE

The first social circle comprises those closest to you: your partner, parents, lifelong friends, maybe your closest pals, or even siblings—those who’d go to the ends of the earth for you (maybe not that dramatic, but you catch my drift). These are the folks who love you unconditionally and would do anything to shield you from harm. It’s a tight-knit, inner circle. However, they’re not going to be your best customers. They may never visit your business, buy a product, suggest your services to friends or even mention or ask about your dream. This is confusing and hurtful because isn’t this the circle you should be able to count on the most?

SECOND SOCIAL CIRCLE

Then, there’s the second circle. It’s broader, encompassing acquaintances, friends of friends, beloved relatives, your parents’ or siblings’ buddies, social media connections, customers, clients, community members, former colleagues, neighbors, business allies, fellow female entrepreneurs, and anyone genuinely rooting for your success. These are the ones that suggest, share and buy from you BECAUSE it’s you.

social circle

Here’s the crux: your first social circle keeps you grounded, reminding you of life beyond the business world. They offer a respite from profit margins and strategic plans. Sometimes, it may seem like they’re not fully behind your dreams, but it’s out of concern, not lack of love. They’re the ones asking the tough questions, expressing doubts, maybe making snide remarks (which could be jealousy-induced, but that’s a story for another day).

Now, your second circle—hold onto these folks tightly. They’re your lifelines, your cheerleaders, your virtual and real-world support squad. You might not know them well beyond their Instagram handles, but they’re there for you. They understand the entrepreneurial journey, the fears of both failure and success, the loneliness of self-employment, and the importance of community support.

THIRD RING

Then there’s the third ring, often overlooked. It’s beyond the second circle and fades as you gain confidence and embrace authenticity. Initially, it’s glaring and irritating—the jealous, envious bunch. They wish they had your courage and determination but lack the guts. They can be noisy, but remember, their negativity stems from their own insecurities. It’s tough, especially in the beginning, but redirect your energy away from them. The less you engage, the quicker they fade into the background.

“At first they’ll ask you why you’re doing it. Later they’ll ask how you did it.”

Individuals may transition between these circles, perhaps moving from the third ring to the second once they witness your success. Some may even straddle both the first and second rings when they are assured of your safety, evolving into cherished customers and supporters. Embrace this fluidity as it’s a natural part of human nature. Holding ring-jumping against someone is a waste of your precious energy.

Understanding the dynamics of the “FIRST CIRCLE, SECOND CIRCLE” theory can be pivotal for navigating the journey of entrepreneurship. While the first circle provides grounding and protection, often questioning your decisions out of love, the second circle offers vital support and understanding, essential for fueling your ambitions. As for the third ring, acknowledging the presence of jealousy and negativity with compassion is crucial, but it’s equally important to minimize their influence on your path to success. By embracing the strengths of each circle and leveraging their respective roles, entrepreneurs can find balance, resilience, and ultimately, fulfillment in their endeavors.

What do you think? Does this make sense in your entrepreneurial journey?

“Make sure you didn’t just buy yourself a job.”

This piece of advice hit hard. One day, after a couple of years in, I was bartending at our wine bar and I was like, “oh fuck, I just bought myself a bartending job.” I swore I hung up my last bar rag in my late twenties. Very soon after that, I changed my perspective on hiring staff, rearranged the budget and started delegating tasks that I either didn’t like to do or just was plain not good at.

“I’ll Just Do It Myself.”

As a small business owner, it’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to do everything yourself. After all, your business is your baby, and you want to ensure that every aspect of it reflects your vision and dedication. I get it. However, trying to handle every task can quickly lead to burnout and limit your business’s growth potential. This is where strategic staffing comes into play.

Instead of buying yourself a job by taking on every responsibility, it’s essential to strategically hire staff or professionals for the parts of the job you don’t enjoy or aren’t proficient at. Not only does this free up your time to focus on what you do best (which is also where you make the money), but it also brings in expertise and fresh perspectives that can propel your business forward. Here are some steps to help you build your dream team and avoid the pitfalls of self-employment:

1. Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses.

Take a step back and honestly assess your skills and preferences. What tasks do you excel at? What aspects of running a business do you find draining or challenging? By understanding your strengths and weaknesses, you can begin to identify areas where hiring additional help would be most beneficial.

Download the Skills + Preferences Worksheet

2. Define Roles and Responsibilities:

Once you’ve pinpointed the areas where you need support, it’s crucial to clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each team member. This ensures that everyone knows what is expected of them and reduces the likelihood of overlapping or neglected tasks.

3. Hire for Complementary Skills

When building your team, look for individuals whose skills complement your own. For example, if you’re a creative visionary but struggle with the day-to-day operations, consider hiring someone with strong organizational and logistical skills to handle that aspect of the business. By bringing in team members with diverse talents, you create a well-rounded team that can tackle any challenge.

4. Focus on Culture Fit

In addition to skills and experience, consider the cultural fit when hiring new team members. Look for individuals who share your values, work ethic, and passion for your business’s mission. A cohesive team that shares a common vision will be more motivated and productive in achieving your business goals.

5. Invest in Training and Development

Once you’ve assembled your team, invest in their ongoing training and development. Provide opportunities for skill-building, professional growth, and cross-functional training to ensure that your team members are equipped to handle evolving challenges and responsibilities.

6. Delegate and Empower

Trust your team to take ownership of their roles and make decisions autonomously. Delegate tasks and empower your employees to innovate and problem-solve independently. This not only relieves you of the burden of micromanagement but also fosters a sense of ownership and accountability among your team members.

7. Regularly Evaluate and Adjust

As your business evolves, periodically evaluate your staffing needs and make adjustments as necessary. Be open to feedback from your team and solicit their input on areas for improvement or areas where additional support may be needed. Flexibility and adaptability are key to building a successful and sustainable business.

In conclusion, building a successful small business requires more than just hard work and dedication – it requires strategic staffing and delegation. By identifying your strengths and weaknesses, defining roles and responsibilities, hiring complementary team members, and fostering a culture of empowerment and continuous learning, you can avoid the trap of buying yourself a job and instead build a thriving business that can flourish and grow for years to come.

As a seasoned entrepreneur, one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned is the significance of establishing boundaries to stay productive and keep my sanity. Here are the most important boundaries I’ve set that have made the biggest difference in my business life:

  • Schedule Email Responding & Social Scrolling
  • Do Not Disturb
  • Establishing a Work Space
  • Determining Productive Work Times
  • Taking All Meetings on One Day

Scheduling Email Responses + Social Scrolling

In the whirlwind of modern work culture, it’s easy to get swept up in the urgency of every ping, ding, and notification that floods our devices and inboxes. But perhaps it’s time for a gentle reminder: not every task requires an immediate response. As I often tell my team, “we’re not saving babies here,” emphasizing that unless we’re in the business of literal baby-saving, most work can wait. Adopting a mindset that allows for focused, uninterrupted periods of productivity can significantly enhance our effectiveness. Checking and responding to emails once in the morning and again in the afternoon provides a structured approach that balances responsiveness with productivity. And let’s be real, Joanna and Chip aren’t disappearing from our Instagram feeds anytime soon, so there’s no need to fret over every social media update either. By recognizing the distinction between urgency and importance, we can reclaim control of our time and energy, leading to a more balanced and fulfilling work life.

Practical tip: An automatic email responder that feels good to you and also puts your clients and customers in a place of respecting our time is crucial. Here’s an example of a responder from my friend and mentor, Taryn Watts at Mind Rebel Academy:

Re: Your email has been gratefully received.

Hello there,
Thank you for reaching out, your message has been gratefully received.  I want to let you know that I respond to all of my emails with presence and intentionality, and this is not always bound by a timeframe but rather an energetic capacity. 

Unless this email is time sensitive, you can expect a thoughtful response when I have the capacity to respond.

I look forward to connecting with you as soon as I’m able to do so. 

With kindness,
Taryn 

Do Not Disturb

In the age of endless distractions, finding focus can feel like an uphill battle. Personally, I’ve discovered that keeping notifications silenced and temptations at arm’s length is the key to unlocking productivity. On the days when I succumb to distractions, I find myself in a seemingly endless loop of trying to regain momentum. It’s as if the hours slip away unnoticed, leaving me wondering where the time went. But when I commit to shutting out the noise and staying laser-focused on the task at hand, I’m amazed at how much I can accomplish in a fraction of the time. It’s a simple strategy, yet incredibly effective: by minimizing external disruptions, I create the space I need to thrive and excel in my work.

Distractions can come in all forms, not just the pings and dings. My office happens to be in the same building as two of my businesses which makes me very accessible to both my own staff and customers. As much as I love both, interruptions for quick chats and casual questions can sideline me for an hour or more. I had to come up with a system to protect my time.

Practical Tip: Do Not Disturb sign.

Establishing a Work Space

In the pursuit of productivity, we often find ourselves grappling with the allure of comfort versus the necessity of focus. Personally, I’ll admit, there’s a part of me that yearns to work snugly tucked under the covers, surrounded by the warmth of my cozy bed, and sometimes I do. However, I’m acutely aware that it’s not conducive to getting things done.

Recognizing the importance of establishing a dedicated workspace has been a crucial realization in my journey towards maximizing productivity. While it might seem trivial, the physical environment in which we work can profoundly impact our ability to concentrate and perform at our best. For me, this means stepping out of the familiar confines of my home and into a designated workspace. Whether it’s a quiet corner in a coffee shop or a shared office space, the simple act of physically removing myself from the comforts of home helps me transition into the right headspace for productivity. At home, amidst the familiar distractions and comforts, I find my attentiveness wanes, and my focus suffers. But by intentionally carving out a separate space for work, I create a mental boundary that signals to my brain: it’s time to buckle down and get things done. So, while the allure of working from bed may be tempting, I’ve come to understand that establishing a dedicated workspace is not just a matter of preference, but a strategic imperative in the pursuit of peak productivity. (P.S. I’m writing this blog post on a Saturday morning from my cozy bed. Sometimes it works )

Practical tip: Finding a space doesn’t necessarily mean a physical one. We can create rituals around getting in to work-mode. Maybe it’s a playlist of meditation music or a podcast you can listen to and by putting on your headphones or firing up your speakers, it signals it’s time to get to work. Spending 10-minutes tidying up your desk, taking empty coffee cups to the sink or wiping down your computer screen screams work time. If leaving home isn’t the answer, do you have an empty-ish closet, guest room or corner of your living room you can lay claim to? Get creative.

Productive Work Times

In the ever-evolving quest for productivity, one of the most profound realizations I’ve had is the importance of honoring my natural rhythms. For the longest time, I struggled to maintain creativity and focus in the afternoons, grappling with a sense of frustration as I tried to force productivity during this time.

However, since taking control of my schedule and embracing the freedom to work according to my own internal clock, I’ve experienced a significant shift in my approach. Rather than fighting against my innate tendencies, I’ve learned to lean into them. I’ve come to understand that productivity isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavor—it’s about finding what works best for me as an individual. And for me, that means recognizing that the afternoons are better suited for activities that nourish my soul rather than tasks that demand intense focus.

Whether it’s indulging an activity outdoors, letting my creative juices play, or simply allowing myself the luxury of a midday nap, I’ve found that embracing this time as my own has a ripple effect on the rest of my day. By giving myself permission to unwind and recharge during the afternoons, I set the stage for greater productivity and effectiveness during the times when I’m naturally more inclined to excel. It’s a subtle yet powerful shift—one that underscores the importance of finding the productive times that align with who we are as individuals. So, as you navigate your own journey toward productivity, I encourage you to embrace your natural rhythms, honoring the ebb and flow of your energy and creativity. After all, productivity isn’t about forcing yourself to fit into a mold—it’s about embracing the unique qualities that make you who you are.

Practical Tip: Buck tradition. When I could finally let go of the societal structure (and the guilt) of the American workday, my work/life balance completely changed. It took some work:
1. I had to let go of what I thought other people were thinking about how I ran my days.
2. I had to find a routine that worked for ME. That comes from a lot of internal authenticity work. I had to be honest that I need a nap in the afternoon. I don’t know if that’s because I’m getting older or I get up before the sun rises or a combination, but my body needs a kindergarten rest time in the afternoon.
3. I started coupling things I needed to get done together, for instance as my coffee brews after my morning meditation, I do the dishes. (Why there are that many dishes every.single.day, I don’t know.)
4. While I know I work best in the mornings, and not at all in the afternoons, I discovered I get a boost of creativity in the evening so I started pulling out my computer to work from my bed at night.
5. You’ll notice I replaced MEDITATE with MEDICATE. Because I was packing everything in to the evening, I needed to escape with a glass (or bottle) of wine, which interruped my sleep and subsequently the whole next day. Since I quit that habit my sleep has been nothing short of orgasmic.

This took me some time and lots of trial and error to get it right. And with every season it changes a little. What I don’t do anymore is conform to what someone else feels like my days should look like.

Taking All Meetings on One Day

In the realm of scheduling and time management, there’s a strategy that’s gained increasing traction: taking all your meetings on a single day. It might sound like a radical departure from the norm, but hear me out. By consolidating meetings into one designated day of the week, you’re not only streamlining your schedule but also reclaiming valuable chunks of uninterrupted time on the remaining days. This approach allows for deeper focus on tasks that require undivided attention, fostering a more productive and efficient workflow overall. Plus, it minimizes the context switching that often accompanies scattered meetings throughout the week, enabling you to maintain a more consistent level of concentration. Embracing this strategy isn’t just about optimizing your calendar—it’s about reclaiming control over your time and maximizing your potential for success. So, the next time you find yourself drowning in back-to-back meetings, consider the possibility of consolidating them into a single power-packed day. Your productivity—and your sanity—will thank you.

Practical Tip: If one day sounds daunting or just does NOT work, try blocking off a few hours each day and those are the only times you take meetings. Try it, see what happens. You can be flexible but taking the majority of meetings during a designated time may just make all the difference.

We’ve talked about some cool ways to boost productivity in a chill, laid-back style. From shutting down distractions to finding your sweet spot for getting stuff done, it’s all about finding what works best for you. Whether it’s carving out a dedicated workspace, embracing your natural rhythms, or even scheduling all your meetings on one epic day, the goal is to make work fit into your life, not the other way around. So, take a breather, kick back, and let’s dive into some rad productivity hacks that’ll help you crush it without breaking a sweat.

Good question. It would be weird if I said no. Of course my answer is yes but let me tell you why. And since I love me a good metaphor, we’ll use the “navigating stormy waters” one.

Ladies, imagine your entrepreneurial journey as a captivating voyage across the vast business seas. Now, envision having a business coach as your seasoned navigator, steering you through the waves of challenges and triumphs. Let’s set sail into the adventurous world of investing in a business coach and discover why it’s the nautical journey every female entrepreneur deserves!

Cheesy enough? Keep going, it gets worse…I mean, better Don’t worry, I’ll translate.

Charting Your Course: Your Captain in the Business Ocean!

Ever felt lost in the unpredictable tides of business? A business coach becomes your trusted captain, skillfully charting your course through the vast ocean of opportunities. Bid farewell to generic advice and welcome a personalized compass, guiding you through the business seas tailored to your unique voyage.

Translated: One of the key advantages of having a business coach is the tailored guidance we offer. Unlike generic advice found online or in self-help books, a business coach provides personalized insights that directly address your business’s specific needs and challenges. This personalized approach can be invaluable, offering strategies and recommendations that resonate directly with your unique situation.

Navigational Support: Your Lighthouse in the Storm of Entrepreneurship!

Entrepreneurship can be like sailing through stormy seas alone. But fear not – your business coach is the steadfast lighthouse, providing navigational support, accountability, and a beacon of motivation. Picture your business journey illuminated by the guiding light of your mentor, steering you safely through the waves.

Translated: Running a business can be isolating, and entrepreneurs may find it challenging to stay accountable to their goals. A business coach acts as a source of accountability, keeping individuals on track and motivated. Regular check-ins and goal-setting sessions ensure consistent progress and help entrepreneurs stay focused on their objectives.

Weathered Wisdom: Sailing with the Maritime Matriarchs!

Imagine gaining wisdom from those who have weathered the business storms before you. Business coaches bring not only expertise but the maritime experience of navigating the business waters. Prepare to tap into the knowledge of the maritime matriarchs, sailing with the confidence of those who have conquered the seas.

Translated: Experienced business coaches bring a wealth of knowledge and practical experience to the table. They have often encountered similar challenges in their careers and can offer valuable insights on how to navigate obstacles. Learning from someone who has faced similar situations can expedite the learning process and help individuals avoid common pitfalls.

Skillful Seamanship: Navigating Business Waters Like a Sea Queen!

Yearning to refine your leadership skills, communication finesse, or strategic seamanship? A business coach transforms your journey into a training ground for sea queens. Develop skills that navigate the business waters with elegance and strength – because every female entrepreneur deserves to be a skilled sea queen!

Translated: Whether it’s refining leadership skills, improving communication, or mastering strategic planning, a business coach can provide targeted guidance for skill development. This focus on personal and professional growth can have a lasting impact on both the individual and the business they lead.

Harboring Connections: Your Port of Call in the Business Archipelago!

Dreaming of discovering hidden islands in the vast business archipelago? Your business coach is your trusted port of call, opening doors to networking opportunities and connections. Dock in the harbors of success, forge alliances, and sail the business waters with the wind of opportunity in your sails.

Translated: Business coaches often have extensive networks built over years of industry experience. Being part of this network can open doors to valuable connections, partnerships, and opportunities. The relationships forged through a business coach’s network can be instrumental in the long-term success of a business.

Return on Nautical Investment (RONI): Sailing Toward Triumph!

Yes, there’s a cost to hiring a business coach, but consider it an investment in sailing toward triumph. The return on nautical investment (RONI) isn’t just financial; it’s the growth of your navigational skills, the conquest of turbulent waves, and the satisfaction of reaching new horizons. It’s a journey where the payoff is not just monetary – it’s the thrill of sailing.

Translated: While hiring a business coach comes with a cost, many entrepreneurs view it as an investment rather than an expense. The potential return on investment, both in terms of financial gains and personal development, can outweigh the initial expenditure. Successful business leaders often attribute part of their success to the guidance they received from a coach.

Set sail, fellow captains of entrepreneurship, for the decision to invest in a business coach is not just a choice – it’s a nautical adventure! Embrace the waves, the challenges, and the victories. With a business coach by your side, your entrepreneurial journey becomes a captivating voyage – where every wave navigated brings you closer to the horizon of success!

In the ever-evolving landscape of business, the decision to invest in a business coach is a personal one. It requires careful consideration of individual needs, goals, and resources. While the cost may be a factor, many entrepreneurs find the benefits of personalized guidance, accountability, expertise, skill development, networking, and overall return on investment well worth the expense. Ultimately, the value of a business coach lies in their ability to unlock untapped potential and guide individuals on a path to success.

Anxiety. Burnout. Unproductivity. Sleeplessness. Overwhelm.

I’m certain that every entrepreneur and business owner has undoubtedly encountered these emotions while managing their business ventures. I can definitely admit I did. Consequently, as a seasoned entrepreneur, one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned is the significance of establishing boundaries to shield myself from these emotions and to savor both my personal and professional life. Here are the most important boundaries I’ve set that have made the biggest difference in my business life:

Scheduling time to check (and not check) my email and socials.

This one is real tough for me but believe it or not, it was the game-changer when it comes to me getting stuff done and staying sane. I had a bad habit of obsessively checking my email and scrolling through Instagram for the tiniest whiff of something new.

The problem is that, not only was this an extremely distracting habit, it also left me feeling anxious all the time. It left me not wanting to respond to an email, make a call or talk with someone right away and then thinking about it for hours, or days, until I did or required me to leave something else to do it.

I tell my staff all the time, “we’re not saving babies here. Our work does not require an immediate response from me. Checking and responding to email once in the morning and again in the afternoon easily fits in to an acceptable response time. And Joanna and Chip are not going anywhere on Insta.

I also have a killer auto-responder that stops people in their tracks, makes them think about their own time management and gives me some grace. Contact me if you’re interested and I’ll copy and paste it for you.

DO NOT DISTURB

This boundary is basically my way of enforcing the first boundary. In an ideal day I enjoy a super focused, productive work time. I finish everything on my to-do list in the scheduled work time and have spare time to do whatever else I’d like. The only way that’s possible is by avoiding distractions and focusing on the task at hand. 

Keeping notifications silenced and temptations away from me is the only way I can accomplish this. The days that I end up giving into distractions I feel like I spend the whole day trying to get work done that could’ve taken half the time.  

Working in my office or in a designated area

This is a real adult move on my part. I WANT to work under the covers, in my warm cozy bed but I know I can’t. I am self-aware enough to know I need to remove myself from my house in order to get in the right headspace to be produtive. When I’m at home I just don’t have the same level of attentiveness. When I’m in my office or a coffeeshop, I can limit to the amount of time I want to spend there so I need to wrap up my work before I go home. And that time limit is key. 

Knowing my most (and least) productive work times.

I am not creative or focused in the afternoons.. And when I try to be I end up just wasting so much time and hardly getting anything done. So now that I can set my own schedule, why am I still trying to force creativity to happen in the afternoon? In the morning and night I’m so inspired and excited to create, whether it’s on paper work or a personal project. So when I allow afternoons to be filled with fun, to get outdoors and/or take a nap, the day flows much more smoothly. Don’t fight your natural tendencies. Embrace them. 

Taking all of my meetings on one day of the week.

This is a new boundary I implemented this year and it has been the most effective change I’ve made. I love batch-working, but meetings were the one thing that got in the way of that. It felt so hard to get into a creative zone when I had to break for a meeting. 

I do love me some meetings, but sometimes meeting with people can drain me. Having a meeting in the middle of a Monday left me not wanting to do creative work the rest of the day. Having all my meetings on Thursdays lets me get in the right headspace and stay there for a single day of meetings

I’m always learning new ways I can improve my mental health, creativity, and productivity and these have been the best I’ve come up with at this point. Of course I’m not perfect at keeping all of these boundaries, but it’s so noticeable when I do.

What boundaries do you set for yourself?

Let’s break it down.

How is coaching different from therapy? Isn’t that the same as mentoring? What does a consultant do?

The more we understand the similarities and differences of these professions, the more likely we can make sure you end up working with the right practitioner for your situation. The post is dedicated to untangling the intricacies of each, so that we can ensure you’re getting the best care.

Coach vs. Therapist

The biggest difference between a coach and a therapist is that a therapist is a licensed health professional and a coach is not.

Note: Although there are many accredited coaching programs, the coaching industry is not regulated by a governing body so anyone can just decide to call themselves a coach. It’s important to do your research before hiring someone, and asking about any certifications and trainings that they might have. (I am currently working toward my certifcation by the International Coaching Federation through the ICF accredited Mind Rebel Academy.)

While it’s common to work with a coach an extended period of time, sometimes for years, a therapist will typically work with someone for an even longer term. Therapists focus on healing and resolving past traumas – coaches are much more future-oriented, and focus on getting clients to a successful outcome or goal. As a healthcare professional, a therapist is also able to diagnose patient conditions, whereas a coach cannot.

Coach vs. Mentor

A mentor can work with a client for a prolonged period of time, sometimes for a lifetime! Mentors can have a more informal association and communication with their ‘mentee’, and are likely to meet in public places like coffee shops and office settings (a coach would not, as public places would break confidentiality and might prevent the client from digging deeper and really opening up).

One of the defining features of a mentor is their first-hand experience. You might look up to a mentor and want to know how they got to where they are. Mentors will share their guidance, insights, lessons learned, and wisdom. A coach, however is able to work with clients in a variety of domains and industries, even without having personal experience themselves.

Whereas coaches are future-focused and therapists are past-focused, mentors are usually present-focused. They will direct, advise or teach on ‘in-the-moment’ problems that the mentee is currently experiencing, and the present will often determine the topic of most mentorship conversations. Coaching and mentoring can be done together and can be quite a beautiful relationship between the practitioner and client.

Coach vs. Consultant

Consultants are clear experts in their field, and are called on for their professional or technical advice. They work to understand the problem and offer solutions. They might share their process, method or system with you. They will aim to give you the “right” answer, or at least several possibilities. They will provide a short-term answer to a very specific problem.

Which one is right for me?

Of course, his depends on what you’re looking for.

Are you looking to heal past trauma? Are you interested in reaching a specific goal, either personally or professionally? Is your issue directly related to a specific subject or field of expertise?

A coach is flexible and able to coach on a variety of topics and challenges (even if they haven’t experienced it themselves), because they’re not there to give advice. They’re not there to fix your problems for you. They’re there to work with you, the client – to help you grow and develop. As a result, they empower you to take control of your life and actions, so that you can reach your goals. They get deep into the root of your struggles and discover what’s truly in the way. A coach is your partner, your equal, who will guide you to discover your own solutions that are best for you. They will assist and encourage you, but also challenge you – that’s how the growth happens.

In addition, if you’re looking for a partner to also give advice, pull knowledge from their experiences and nuture your dreams and passion, the coaching/mentoring hybrid is the perfect option.

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i write therefore i am.

Hi, I'm Katy.
Your lifestyle designer and business mentor.

Writing is my way of unwinding and letting my thoughts roam free. Every so often, in the midst of this creative chaos, something clicks, and I'm like, "Hmm, maybe someone else will dig this too." So, I toss it out into the world, hoping it lands with someone who gets it.
I hope that's you.

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In a world that continually celebrates the achievements of women breaking through glass ceilings, climbing corporate ladders, and excelling in their chosen fields, it's easy to assume that these high-achieving women have it all together.  Read more.


The Struggle of High-Achieving Women

balancing success and everything else