When you first start a healing business, you’re sometimes so excited to get your first clients that you want to be available for them whenever they want to see you. If those times fall in line with your regularly planned working hours, that’s fine. But if you’re constantly infringing upon your personal time to appease your clients, you need to take a step back and look at the business you’re trying to build.
Boundaries are key for all relationships, including business relationships. If you sacrifice your own well-being for your clients, not only will you be giving them a sub-par service, but you’ll quickly burn out, and if you burn out, you won’t be any good to anybody.
An astrologer recently described her frustration with a client who frequently called her after 9 p.m. When asked if she had answered the phone when this happened, she admitted that she not only answered the phone whenever the client called, but she’d given the client a reading at that time more than once before. Her frustration, it turns out, was not with the client, but rather it was with herself for letting the relationship with the client get out of control in the first place. Since she had done readings for the client at that time before, it’s only natural that the client would expect that same type of treatment again. The only way that she could change the dynamic would be to stop taking client calls — particularly those of that client – after a certain time.
While you can set new boundaries with existing clients, it’s easier to instill boundaries at the onset of the relationship. Consider the following suggestions for setting happy boundaries in your practice:
- Create your off-limits zone. Even if you’re flexible and don’t want to set limitations on client visits, make a note of the times that you would prefer to have for yourself. Remember, you’re your own boss and you can decide what type of schedule works for you. If you don’t want to exert too much energy in the early morning or you’d prefer to have your evenings free, make those times off-limits to customers.
- Make friends with voicemail. Just because the phone rings doesn’t mean you have to answer it. When clients call after hours, you don’t have to be available. Let them leave a message and return the message the next day. After a couple of times, the client will understand that there are times when they’re not likely to reach you.
- It’s ok to be booked. There are only so many clients you can see in a day. Healing work takes up quite a bit of energy so you can physically hurt yourself if you do too much. If a client calls at the last minute and wants an immediate reading or healing, don’t be afraid to tell him or her that
you’re booked and they have to make an appointment for a later date. While there’s a possibility that the client will go elsewhere, chances are they’ll wait for a time within reason when you have the time to see them.