You were trained from birth behave a certain way within society.
You were trained to be accepted and “acceptable.”
You were trained to be “pleasing.”
To be “good.”
Good girls get ice cream (and attention) while “bad” girls get shunned.
You learned pretty quick who to please and get along with and who you shouldn’t upset.
The reward for all that obedience is a shiny sparkly spot within the confines of society complete with the promise that as long as you conform, you’ll always have a place among the sheep reserved especially for you!
It’s not your fault. You had no say in how you would be conditioned as a child.
We all have an instinctual desire to be liked. Part of it is because we are social beings. We get our strength from the energy of others. The other part is more survival-based. Being liked means we are protected and not exiled.
However, the problem is that we’ve been willing to receive that likability at almost any cost. We’ve been trained to believe that the approval of others is more important that our own needs and desires.
As a result, we settled.
We allowed ourselves to be chosen instead of doing the choosing.
We said yes when we really wanted to say no.
We compromised our values, integrity, and sense of what was right to fit in.
And in true form, we did it while keeping a smile on our face and waved off any concern from friends who noticed the change in our expression, insisting we were “fine.”
But we’re not fine.
We’re resentful that we aren’t getting what we want.
We’re pissed off that we aren’t being taken seriously.
We’re frustrated that despite all the peacocking we do to show others we are capable, we’re still terrified that they aren’t taking us seriously.
And we would be right— they aren’t taking us seriously.
Because we aren’t taking ourselves seriously.
Here’s the thing, you only get the respect you deserve AFTER you demonstrate the respect you have for yourself. In business, that means establishing a set of boundaries with clients.
It means saying no to unreasonable (and sometimes reasonable) demands because it scrapes away at your time or happiness.
It means establishing a time window when you’ll accept calls and appointments and not making exceptions.
It means teaching your clients how to treat you from the beginning.
You think you’re doing a good thing bending over backwards for your clients, but what you’re really doing is teaching them to disrespect your time.
-Taking calls after hours
-Extending or adding to the parameters of a project (otherwise known as “scope creep”)
-Making exception after exception to your rules
-Allowing the clients to make the rules for your business
The more exceptions and allowances you make for clients, the more difficult it is to work with them. Have you noticed that? When you put them in the driver’s seat, you’re sending the message that you don’t know what the hell you’re doing and so you’re just going to let them drive.
This can kill your business because it demonstrates to them that you have:
- No leadership
- No sense of direction
- No clarity
Would YOU really want to work with someone who is not leading?
Do you want to work with someone who is not the professional in their business? How much respect or confidence would you have in that person if they essentially handed over the reins of their business to you and asked you to lead for them?
And yet, that’s what we do everyday. Sharks smell blood in the water up to a mile away and people smell fear, uncertainty, and doubt farther than that.
So when we start conceding and giving things away we don’t have to we’re demonstrating we don’t have confidence in ourselves or our abilities. Our desire to “make the client happy” undermines our professional credibility.
Let’s Talk About Scope Creep, Shall We?
Scope creep is probably one of the most common offenses when talking about not setting boundaries in your business. Scope creep is a scenario in which a client asks for additional services beyond what was agreed to in the original arrangement. A client may ask, “Oh, could you add two more things over here?”
The more you accommodate, the more they ask for until you’re doing twice as much work for half what you would normally charge. It’s a killer for your business and if you don’t know how to deal with it up front, you’re likely to end up broke and burned out.
How to Prevent Scope Creep Forever!
If you want to make sure you’re going to get paid fairly for the work you agree to and avoid additional add-on projects creeping up on you, this is what you do–
Set your boundaries from the beginning. Establish the scope of the project and what that includes. For example, if you’re a copywriter and you agree to write a sales page for a client, make sure that your agreement spells out how many revisions are included, what’s involved if the client wants to start over from scratch and include any additional fees that may be added for additional services during the project.
If a client comes to you and asks for an additional service, tell them– “No problem! I’ll add that to the agreement and invoice you for the service.” Let it be known that additional work outside the scope of the agreement will be additional charges.
Standing up for your business includes standing up for yourself. And what might feel like an uncomfortable conversation now, is going to be much better than an uncomfortable cash flow shortage later.
It’s your choice, but don’t let how we were conditioned in childhood bleed over into our adult lives. If you’ve been experiencing that, it’s time to question those belief systems. It’s time to ask yourself if they’re still serving you.
And if they’re not?
Drop them now and adopt a new belief system that says you’re worth every penny and every ounce of respect. And you don’t have to be liked by everyone to be happy with yourself.
Until next time, take care of yourself and your business.
Simple 4 Step System To Landing High Paying Clients In 30 Days
Watch The Free Training Now