Is Your Business Model Sustainable?
By: Karen Pattock
Do you have someone in your life that sucks the life energy right out of you?
They can be a coworker, a friend or even a family member. I’ll bet you have someone in mind right now that fits that description. We all do. Each of us has someone in our life that takes our energy and gives nothing in return.
This can be the same situation that is going on in your business. When you first open the doors and start your business you’re excited to get going. As you begin to add more people to your client base you may realize some clients require more time than others. The next thing you know you may have two or three energy-sucking clients that are taking three times the amount of care your other clients need.
This is especially true for business owners in the health and wellness industry. Typically people in this industry tend to give more of themselves to their clients and the people around them.
This can be a really slippery slope if you’re not careful. If you’re not replenishing your own energy, your own energy tank if you will, then it won’t be long before you are running on empty. That’s not a good scenario for anyone.
I have seen this happen time and time again with my clients as well as people I love. If boundaries are not set in the beginning of a relationship then it leaves the potential for boundaryless people to take advantage of you. That’s why it’s so important to do your homework on this topic before you’re actually hired by a client that requires extra special attention.
The more you put things in writing and define what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior, the better off you’ll be. It will leave no question in your client’s mind how they will connect with you, how long they are allowed to connect with you and what is acceptable behavior on their part.
Here are three very important tips to get you started.
Tip #1: Put the people in your life into three categories.
Category 1: People that understand boundaries and live by the rules. It doesn’t matter if this is a personal or professional relationship some people just get it. They have boundaries within their own life so they respect the boundaries set by others in their lives. It’s truly a 50/50 relationship. They give to you in equal proportion to what they take.
Category 2: People that you rely on for support. These are people that you may be sucking the life energy from without even realizing it. They have always been there to support you. You know that you can go to them when you’re having problems and they will help you work through whatever is necessary. However, this person rarely, if ever, requires any support from you. This relationship is more like 80% take & 20% give.
Category 3: People that suck the life energy out of you and give you nothing in return. These are the people that require you to enforce strict boundaries no matter what. This type of person always has a lot of drama in their life. They always seem like they’re trying to get over the next hurdle but the minute they do they have another roadblock to navigate. Interestingly if nothing is creating drama in their life they will intentionally manifest something as a way to create turmoil and unrest in their life. This relationship is 100% give/0% take, (or at best 90% give/10%take)
It’s so important to keep balance and harmony between these groups. You may not know when a client hires you how much personal contact they will require but it won’t take long to get the idea.
Tip #2: Have clear defined boundaries in place in advance.
Often it may feel that to set boundaries means you have to be rude or without compassion toward another person. That isn’t the case at all. It is through the boundaries that you set that others will be given a model in which they can learn from and incorporate into their own lives.
My daughter, Carrie, is the perfect example. She has a knack for attracting wounded people that have no boundaries. Carrie is a compassionate and loving woman that will take wounded souls under her wing and spend every minute nurturing them back to health. Unfortunately, more often than not, these people are chronically wounded, therefore, never really healing. They just move from one horrific life experience to the next. Most created at the hand of their own actions.
Carrie is now learning how necessary boundaries are in her life. At 26 years old she is finally getting clarity and realizing how drained her energy tank has become because she has given it all away to boundaryless people.
Tip #3: Replenish your energy tank often.
This may be the most important tip of all. It’s an absolute necessity to schedule in time to replenish your energy levels. This looks different for everyone. It may be a 3-hour nap for one person or it could be a 3-hour trip to the mall for another. It’s a very personal choice.
Don’t neglect this tip. When you build a career supporting people with health and wellness it’s easy to let time pass by without ever scheduling time for yourself. Figure out what works for you. Is it 30 minutes a day or a 4-hour block once a week? Maybe your schedule works best if you schedule a weekend a month away with your spouse for quality one-on-one time. Try different things until you’ve tweaked your schedule to a place that keeps you running on full, never on empty.
I am extremely passionate about this topic. In the past I have been a boundaryless person. I have run myself down to empty until I had nothing left to give. I have since put very specific boundaries in place and know how to replenish my tank so I stay as close to full as possible. I hope you apply these tips to your life so you too can live life with a full energy tank.
Together, let’s “Make A Difference” in the world. If you’ve had an experience with someone that drained your energy tank please share your story in the comment section below. Your story could be the thing that helps someone else change his or her life for the better.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you.
With love and support,