Do you have a client who pays you late… if you get paid at all? Or a friend who is always late to meet you, or breaks the date at the last minute? What about a boss who throws work at you just as you’re about to leave for the day, and then expect you to stay to complete it?
These situations are typical of what happens when your boundaries are not respected, and those kinds of scenarios used to be far too familiar for me. But let me tell you what happened one day, after years of “over-giving”, when I pushed past my boundaries for a client couple who just didn’t get it, didn’t appreciate what I was doing for them and kept on taking me for granted.
I finally got really mad, and told them off!
I’m not necessarily proud that I lost my cool, but I am proud that I finally stood up for myself. Let me explain…
As some of you may know, I have a sideline business officiating weddings in the NYC area. A couple of years ago, I took on a couple who were getting married a month later. They hired me to officiate, and almost right away, the boundary-crossing started.
After I explained my services and the rate, the couple agreed. At our next conversation, they told me they were on a very tight budget and couldn’t afford me. I felt I wanted to do the right thing, so I cut my rate almost in half to meet their needs. Then we set up another meeting, and, in the meantime, I got to work creating a beautiful, meaningful ceremony for them.
An hour before the meeting, they called to reschedule. They “suddenly” realized that they would have to come meet me, rather than the other way around, and didn’t want to do that. So we agreed to a conference call the next day. They never called. I waited and waited, and finally I called them to find out why.
They simply said that they decided to hire someone else to officiate. After I did all that work in good faith, and they couldn’t even be bothered to let me know!?! I was furious, and I let them know that they absolutely acted with zero integrity!
That incident was a turning point for me. I realized that the reason I was so angry was because I let these clients cross boundary after boundary without getting clear for myself, or for them, what my requirements were. It was my responsibility to do that, and to stick by it.
Now, I don’t recommend raising your voice at clients who annoy you (however good it might feel in that moment!). However, I do know that it is critical to set clear and firm boundaries for your time, your payment, and your service.
If this resonates with you, and you recognize the need to change the ways you’ve been dishonoring yourself, your health, and your work, then join me this summer and transform the ways you approach yourself, your business, and everyone around you.
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I’m looking forward to seeing the Warrior Woman in you STAND UP!