Are you ever “done” with boundaries? This is an experimental process … try (and track) different things to see what works …

Here is the tenth and final video in the 10 part Business Boundaries series on Revisit Revise:

<–Back to Day 9 video

Here is the pdf guide mentioned in the video and below is the full transcript:

Day 10: Revisit Revise

Hey this is Elizabeth Potts Weinstein again, and this Day 10, the last day we are together for “10 days to Business Boundaries.” Really, this is about wrapping it all up. As you’re continuing this adventure of refining and revising your business boundaries, because this obviously is not something that you magically fix in 10 days. This is the beginning of a process that you keep revising and refining throughout the life of your business, and of course just your life generally. What I recommend is putting together experiments.

This comes from me as my scientific background, my undergrad. I think I probably already said this, but my undergrad is in chemistry, biology, and environmental studies so I tend to approach things as a scientist. I like to do 90‑day test runs when I change things in my business. You could do it as 20 days or 30 days as if you’re making changes that are hard for you to, [laughs] think of 90 days might be too big for you. I love having fun, making a big change like to do 90 days because you can get really good data over a three‑month time frame. Implement this in your business, in you life over a long enough time frame to really track whether or not this works. Now, if you’re someone who likes data, like me, and once you have proved to yourself or maybe your business partner, your life partner, your investors, your employees, someone you need to justify these changes to either financially or just why they need to support you on this, or maybe you need to justify it to yourself [laughs] why this works.

You may need to actually track data points. That can be really helpful. With tracking, what results do you get. Are you getting making more money? Are you getting real clients? Are you getting more sleep? Whatever data points work for you. Or you may want to track more soft, subjective data points.Do you feel less stress? Are you feeling less resentful in your business? Are you sleeping better at night? It may be more subjective results that you’re feeling versus hard numbers, or maybe both. Most likely, it will be both. It’s important to track this, because sometimes when you’re adjusting boundaries, two things can happen.

One is that you realize these are not actually the right boundaries, that need to be fixed. You’re going to need to figure out, “Oh, actually we need to change different boundaries, we need to adjust them at different way, we need to play around the different metrics that we’re going to be measuring.” You got to need to change things. On the other hand, it may be that you actually aren’t going to forget to celebrate. You may get amazing results and not realize it, then slip back into your old ways. It’s so easy to do. Making you an example about boundaries that I set myself. I probably talked about this a few times, or at least alluded to it. One of the big boundaries that I’ve set with myself and my business is that I don’t do work on the weekends, specifically when I mean that I don’t do client work on the weekends.

I don’t check my email on the weekends. As a workaholic and a Type B personality, as a very online person who loves to be plugged in at to completely unplugged from email when weekends just was something that had to wean off for a very long time. I tracked the data. I tracked it versus how many migraines I was getting and my health? How well I slept? I tracked it versus stress levels, and I tracked it versus how much money I made? What was my productivity during the week? How many hours did I bill? I don’t bill clients by the hour, but I track billable hours just as a metric. I made more money. I had more billable hours. I had more clients. I get more sleep. My stress level is down. I get fewer migraines.

The numbers don’t lie. I just still don’t really believe it. [laughs] There’s part of me that’s just like, “That can’t be true. If I worked 50 hours a week, I should make more money.” But I actually don’t. I really don’t. It seems like that can’t be true, right? If you work 50 hours a week, if you work on the weekends, you should make more money but that actually isn’t true for me. It’s bizarre. Setting those boundaries with myself and enforcing it as counter‑intuitive as it is, is actually the right answer. I have to sometimes go back and look at the data and prove it to myself over and over again. Someday maybe I will have to prove it to a future law firm partner if I bring someone in.

Sometimes it’s really important to do not only to celebrate it, which is very important but to keep yourself from slipping into the bad habits. It’s also important if you need to justify it to somebody else, that these boundaries are important and valid. Your assignment for today is to figure out what is your experiment going to be? What time frame are you going to use? Are you going to track this for 10‑day then another 10 days? Which is totally fine if you would have picked a really bite‑sized time frame.

Ten days or 20 days is nice bite‑sized time frame for you to get your head around, or you want to pick 30 days or 90 days as a time frame to give you a huge, big chunk of data to work with if you’re a nice data‑drawn person like me. You want some charts and things like that. Pick a time frame, track some data, it could be a spreadsheet with all kinds of data, or it could be a little piece of paper and some markers. [laughs] Do some little creative work. It could look however you want.

Thank you so much for joining us for 10 Days to Business Boundaries. If you missed any of the videos, you can them here on the EPW Small Business Law Facebook page, or you can go to elizabethpw.com, or find us on Twitter @EPWSmallBizLaw. Thank you guys so much, I’ll talk to you later. Bye.

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