Protecting Your Energy, Serving Your Clients: Establishing Healthy Client Boundaries to Empower Yourself and Your Clients

client-boundaries

Written by Joanna Sapir

Many of the wellness practitioners I work with tell me that work is constantly on their mind, leaving no space for relaxation or personal time. They feel overworked, and headed for burnout.

Our conversations reveal a consistent issue: the challenge of establishing healthy client boundaries.

In this article we’ll go over the following topics:

  1. Common patterns in Wellness Practitioners without healthy client boundaries
  2. Building Your “Business And Client Boundaries Toolbox”
  3. Creating A Values-Aligned Schedule
  4. Step 1: Determine Your Priorities
  5. Step 2: Design Your Ideal Week
  6. Additional Tools For Establishing Healthy Business and Client Boundaries

 

When I ask wellness practitioners about their boundaries, the first question clients ask me is how they can tell if they have healthy client boundaries.

Two common patterns I see with practitioners who don’t have healthy client boundaries are:

  1. They are squeezing clients into time slots where they don’t normally see clients. Clients may be texting them and asking for special appointments, because this has been acceptable (and successful) for them when they need to be seen.
  2. They are asking clients “when are you available?” vs. telling the clients what appointment time slots are open.

Many practitioners who don’t have healthy client boundaries also struggle with healthy business boundaries: they always have a to-do list a mile long, and constantly feel like important tasks are slipping through the cracks and not getting done. There is a feeling, day in and day out, that they’re always busy — too busy to do the things they want to do, the things that really matter to them.

The good news is, you can create healthy business and client boundaries for your wellness practice.

These changes won’t happen overnight. It’s going to take some time to actually envision shifts and changes that you want in your life and your business, and to make those changes a reality.

But with the right planning and the right tools you can establish healthy business and client boundaries that create a better balance between your business and your personal life. . . 

So that you have time for your own self-care, relationships, and personal interests. 

I’ve helped countless wellness practitioners transform their business to one where they achieve better client results while bringing in higher income with less effort.

Building Your “Business And Client Boundaries Toolbox”

client boundaries toolbox for wellness practitioners

Each practitioner needs a “business and client boundaries toolbox.” This toolbox is full of systems and processes that create healthy client boundaries. You might use some of these tools every day, some occasionally, and some rarely.

It’s a lot like your home improvement toolbox. Some of the tools in your toolbox are ones you use frequently: your hammer, your pliers, and maybe one or two screwdrivers.

And then there are days like when I needed to move my son’s bed out of his bedroom. I quickly discovered that to take the bed frame apart I needed not just one allen wrench, but multiple allen wrenches in a variety of sizes.

So even though I don’t use allen wrenches that often, I was glad I had multiple sizes of them in my toolbox because they were there when I needed them.

It’s the same for your business toolbox. The tools I am giving you in this article all go in your toolbox. They are tools that clients tell me again and again are some of the most impactful things they did to improve their business.

You may end up using some of these new tools all the time – such as effective calendar management and calendar automation. Others may sit in your toolbox for a bit, then suddenly a new situation arises and now you need those different tools.

As you read this article, take what works for you and leave what doesn’t. These aren’t things you “have” to do, they are options for you to take or leave depending on what your needs and vision are for your business at this time.

The Problem: Time!

As a wellness practitioner, you might often find yourself without enough time to do all the things that you want to do.

Time to care for your own health, time to be with your loved ones, or time to work on strategic planning and oversight for your business.

It’s easy to lose touch with the things that really matter to you when you are so busy running your business.

The solution for this problem is something I’ve taught for years: creating a Values-Aligned Schedule.

The Solution: Create A Values-Aligned Schedule

In a Values-Aligned Schedule, you only spend your time on

  1. things that matter to you, and
  2. things that are going to help you achieve your specific goals.

When you make this shift, you finally have the time to do the things that you love to do; you will feel joy and fulfillment that empower you to live your best life while bringing in higher income with less effort.

Let me illustrate this with a great analogy that author Steven Covey talks about in his book First Things First.

Rocks in a jar

A jar of rocks denoting the priorities of wellness practitioners

A philosophy professor set an empty glass jar on a table in front of his class. Next to it were piles of sand, pebbles, and fist-size rocks.

The jar, he told his students, is like life. The large rocks are the most important things in life – family, health, and relationships. The pebbles symbolize other important – but less meaningful – things such as work and school. And the sand is everything else in life; the unimportant distractions we all encounter over and over in a given day.

If you put the sand and pebbles in the jar first, he explained, you will run out of room before you add the big rocks.

This is the problem many of us encounter in life; our time is filled with the least important things and we run out of time for the most important things.

But, he continued, if you put the big rocks in first, then all the less important things – the pebbles and the sand – will naturally fall into place around them.

This story is a great visual to use when you are deciding what you value most in your business and your life, and what you want to focus on. Let’s talk about applying it to your business.

Healthy Business and Client Boundaries Step 1: Determine Your Priorities

wellness practitioner working with a client in her office studio

The first step towards establishing healthy business and client boundaries is to think about your priorities.

Take a moment and ask yourself: “Is anything getting squeezed out of my current life that I want to provide space for? What’s not making it into my real life that I want to have in my real life?”

Write down your answers.

This will help you see what big rocks have no room in your schedule because it is already filled with pebbles and sand.

Next, ask yourself “Is there anything taking up space in my current life that I don’t want to be doing?”

Some easy examples might be that you hate cooking and laundry, or in your business you may dislike booking appointments and billing. Even though some of these things are things you “have” to do, write them down as well.

Finally, close your eyes and imagine what your life would look like 1 year down the road if you could have it any way you wanted.

What does it look like? Imagine what it’s like to wake up in the morning and be spending your time exactly as you want to spend your time.

What do you do when you get up in the morning? What does your day look like, and how do you feel as the day proceeds?

Jot down anything that comes to mind.

All of these details will be the foundation for establishing your Values-Aligned Schedule.

Healthy Business and Client Boundaries Step 2: Design Your Ideal Week

Next, it’s time to use your ideal day details to design your ideal week.

Now you may be thinking “Well, of course I would love to take a glorious hike every week but I don’t have time for that, Joanna!”

For this step, I want you to ignore those thoughts!

Take away limitations and go for what really would be glorious. What things would a dream week include, and what things would you eliminate and not do each week as well?

How do you spend your mornings, your afternoons, and your evenings? Do some days look different from others?

How does your business fit into this ideal schedule?

Are there some days that are for clients, just for clients? And some days that are only for the backend of your business? Or are there certain times of day that are for clients and certain times of day for other parts of this business specifically?

Do you have days that are just for family and relationships, or is there a portion of each day you would love to set aside?

And how about your self care — your fitness, your health, your rest? When would you do those things — is it a portion of every day, or is there a certain day of the week you would set aside just for that?

You may run into some barriers here, for example having so many big rocks – big priorities – that you feel you can’t fit them all in. This is a common point of friction that many of my clients encounter.

The beauty of this method is that you get to be intentional in your choices of how to structure your weeks and what to prioritize, and you can change your priorities to fit your life at any moment in time.

Bonus Tip For Establishing Healthy Business and Client Boundaries: Don’t fall into this trap!

When you think about your ideal schedule, a common mistake people make is to think “How many hours do I need to work in order to make X number of dollars?”

Asking this question can sidetrack you from defining and maintaining healthy client boundaries.

Instead, I encourage you to ask yourself “What are the hours I ideally want to be spending in my business?”

Remember: nobody says that you have to work 40 hours a week. Nobody says you have to work 30 hours a week. It’s completely up to you how many hours you work, what those hours are, and where those hours are!

Additional Tools For Establishing Healthy Business and Client Boundaries

scheduling tools for wellness practitioners

In addition to the Values-Aligned Schedule, here are additional tools that I teach in the Business (R)Evolution Academy (BRA) so that you can make higher income with less effort:

1. The Daily Brain Dump:

The daily brain dump is a regular practice I teach all BRA participants that you can use any time you need to get out of overwhelm and back into a focused and productive mindset.

2. Secrets Of Effective Calendar Management & Calendar Automation

I show you (step-by-step) my calendar management and calendar automation systems and processes that help to organize and streamline your schedule.

3. My 3 Secret Tactics For Organizing Your Schedule

I teach BRA students three unique methods that help you organize your schedule:

  • Themed days
  • Themed time blocks
  • The schedule-transforming Power Hour

You pick the one that works best for you!

4. The Powerful “Do-Delegate-Defer” Process

This simple but powerful tool can move you from overwhelmed to organized.

5. Automation Tools That Streamline Your Business

Automation can help streamline your wellness business; I teach my clients tried and true strategies that harness automation for their benefit.

Transform Your Client and Business Boundaries In The Business (R)evolution Academy

Are you ready to restructure and transform your business and establish healthy client and business boundaries, so that you can bring in higher income with less effort?

The Business (R)Evolution Academy (BRA) can help you regain control of your client and business boundaries and re-establish balance in your life so that you have time for your own self-care, relationships, and personal interests while working more powerfully with committed clients that you love!

I’ve helped so many practitioners implement this revolutionary program in their businesses, and the results are amazing.

Imagine…

  • rediscovering the purpose and joy in your work
  • serving better quality, committed clients
  • earning a higher income, and a steady income
  • achieving better client results

Click the link below to learn more about how the BRA can help transform your business. I look forward to helping you transform your business, your life, and the lives of your clients.

The Business (R)Evolution Academy

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Joanna Sapir is a business strategist and coach helping innovative wellness practitioners and coaches build more profitable and sustainable businesses. She's on a mission to build a movement of people creating a new vision and reality for our future as humans on earth.

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Protecting Your Energy, Serving Your Clients: Establishing Healthy Client Boundaries to Empower Yourself and Your Clients