Last month, when I booked my trip to Bali, I didn’t know I would be coming back with new boundaries in my life. My motivation was just to go on a trip. I wasn’t going with the intention of having an eat, pray, love experience. I had a plane ticket voucher and my friend was in the area and voila – time to pack my bag and have a break.
I don’t know if there’s something in the water there, but I unwittingly learned so many things! All of this learning and thinking (and the water there, apparently) led me to make an important commitment to myself. Boundaries.
My pre-Bali life
Nine months before this trip I started a business while working a full-time job. I was committed to quitting my job within 5 months and replacing my income (and I did!) so, not surprisingly, I worked non-stop. Then somehow even after I quit my 9-5 and I was only working in my business I was still working crazy hours. Ok, I say “somehow” but deep down I know this was because of a scarcity mindset, being a baby entrepreneur and having an uncertainty of where the money will come from, and just general anxiety surrounding money (a blog post for a different day).
Finally came the day that I was going to step away from all of the insanity for three much needed weeks in a faraway land (I still did some work while there, but I set myself up so that I did as much as I could prior to leaving).
I could breathe
I took a minute (a lot of minutes). I played in nature. I got inspired. I had life-changing conversations with my travel partner. I saw new perspectives. I got inspired. I made a deal with myself. I set boundaries.
Even this guy in the cafe was trying to tell me to stop working so much.
Big Realization #1
I can always find a reason to work more. Whatever reason I tell myself at one moment can easily be adjusted to another reason to support my belief that I have to work as much as possible so I can make “enough” money to feel secure. I took a long, hard look at this belief and kicked it to the curb. I was quite literally sacrificing my health, my mental well-being, and my relationships with those I cared about. I realized that I can’t show up as my best self for others unless I take care of myself first.
Big Realization #2
The universe has my back. The universe was literally grabbing me by my shoulders on this trip and trying to get it into my thick skull that I will be fine and she has me. Just prior to my trip I made the really hard decision to stop working with a client who wasn’t aligned with my vision. Then, another client decided to put her business on pause and a third one couldn’t afford me anymore. This all happened just before a THREE WEEK VACATION where I’d be spending money and not making a lot of it. It was a little unnerving, BUT while I was away, I had 2 people reach out to me and we started working together. And then again, a few weeks after I was back, I had another client leave (budgetary concerns), and again, I was slightly unnerved, and then, low and behold, I had another new client sign up wanting more hours than my largest package that I offer. All of this is to say that everything will work out if you trust that it will and you know that you are supported.
How I felt when I realized the universe had my back (this was when our van broke down on the side of the road in Bali and we made the best of it and had a mini photo shoot while waiting to be rescued).
What did I do to actually put my boundaries into action?
- I set a hard limit on the number of client hours that I would tackle in a week. I have an amazing team who I oversee and why am I not utilizing them to their fullest potential? I trained them on even more tasks and they are learning more and doing more and I am stepping further into the CEO role in my business.
- I scheduled in yoga time and stuck with it (give or take a few sessions – I’m human!).
- I committed to stepping away from my computer to walk my dogs during business hours. This is great for ALL of us as I can clear my head, get outside in nature, and feel refreshed while they get to smell all the smells, roll around in the grass, and make occasional trips to Target (I live across the street from a Target that is super dog friendly and one of my dogs always tries to drag me inside when we walk by. I guess he likes a good sale as much as the next person.).
- I committed to getting back to my normal social outings that I had been saying no to because I had to work.
My Target-loving dogs.
My post-Bali life
Ummm…so much better! I am still making the same amount of money while working a normal amount of hours, getting more exercise, meditating, spending time with those that are important to me, and I have space to actually work on my business to take it to the next level. Boundaries are such an amazing invention. I don’t know why we weren’t friends before! I feel like a weight has been lifted off of me as I can finally confidently say that I am no longer living in scarcity and I honestly feel safe. I know that it won’t always be smooth sailing, but I also know that I am quite capable of lifting myself up as long as I remain open to receiving the abundance that is all around me.
This whole entrepreneurial journey is such an amazing gift. I thought I would learn how to run a business. I didn’t realize that I would learn so much about myself and how it would change me and my life for the better.
If you want to follow along with my journey, want to learn some business tips, or see some cute dog videos, let’s be internet friends!