I love writing about tools and systems and branding and such. But sometimes it’s about getting back to the basics. There have been times in my life and in my business I have compromised boundaries for simply the possibility of making more money or being more successful. More often than not, when the choice is not grounded and aligned with my core values, something goes awry.
One thing I have learned over time is that I will never regret choices that keep me moving towards what is most important. For me, it’s my family. For you, it may be something or someone else.
How you operate your business is largely determined by what policies you’ve set in place. What’s that saying?…something like, “If you don’t know what you stand for, you’ll fall for anything”.
This post is a step-by-step process I’ve used to write my very own “personal policies manual”. This is a collection of principles I’ve set in place for myself and my business to create better boundaries and to promote results in my business AND personal life.
My Super Short Guide to Writing a Personal Policies Manual
- First, write out the #1 reason you started your business. For example, you may have started to escape from your corporate job, or maybe because you wanted an extra income to help fund your child’s college tuition.
- Second, name what is most important to you on a personal level. Name your priorities in order. Mary Kay Ash, the cosmetics empress was known for instilling in her salespeople the importance of order in life and business – God, family, career. She taught that if any of these were out of balance, it would be evident in your entire being and in your results.
- Next, list out the things you value most about being an entrepreneur. Is it flexibility in your schedule to spend more time with your kids? What about managing your own priorities? How about freedom to clear up financial debt.
- Now write down the things you’ve been tolerating that actually keep you away from the things you wrote in #1 and 2. We often put up with, and are dragged down by other people’s behaviors and sometimes our own. What are you tolerating?
- From these lists, come up with anywhere from 1 to 10 policies you would like to set in place for yourself to honor your boundaries. I’ll give you an example of some of the items off my own list:
A quick peek at Tanya’s list…
[content_box_grey width="75%"]I will honor my family by not scheduling appointments during designated family time – this includes most weekends, homework time, birthdays, and special school events.
I honor others most when I accept speaking invitations where the topic and the venue clearly fit within my expertise and gifts of service.
I honor myself when I set aside time for exercise, prayer, and reading each day no matter what else needs to be done. [/content_box_grey]
This is just a short sample, but do you get the point? Take your lists and put them into a binder, a small journal, or something you carry with you daily until you know them by heart. You may choose to add different sections depending on your needs, but I like having all principles fit on one page.
The next time you feel that little pull that tells you, “no, this is not right for me” you can double check it in your manual. I have found this to be a simple way to stay in balance with my values and enjoy my business more.