• Annika Robbins

Your Small Business Needs Boundaries

Updated: Sep 19

To avoid drowning, set a time frame and goal for each pivot


YOU’RE RUNNING A MARATHON


I’m curious if your friends and family members reacted the same way mine did. When you told them about starting a small business - were they overjoyed? Did they congratulate you with starry-eyed affirmations about your eminent, viral-like success as if you were soon to take a long vacation on a pile of money?


I sure hope they did...

Despite what I’m about to say, that is the encouragement you deserve.


The issue with this optimistic scene is that it’s too easy to confuse creative talent with entrepreneurial success.



In practice, entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint. No disrespect to your grandmothers, but it is rare to strike gold without first trying, failing, learning and adjusting, all while trying to support yourself financially. So, how do you navigate?


How do you make today’s time and energy count, while still staying light, nimble, and sane for tomorrow?



STAY SANE WITH SPECIFIC BOUNDARIES


The key for me personally has been to draw boundaries around a certain project or season. Here’s what I mean:


  • Start with general, open-minded research, but set a time limit upfront.

  • Narrow your focus to a realistic goal.

  • Give yourself a deadline.

  • Define how you’ll know if you’re on track or off track.

  • After you’ve committed to a goal and deadline, resist jumping back into the ocean of options and opinions (i.e. searching Google or posting in a Facebook community).


Don’t just go with your gut here, set specific boundaries.


Write them down, share them with your networking group, post them on social media if you want. Evolution is part of being an entrepreneur, but you will need a strategy to keep your head above water with all that change.



HOW IT LOOKS WHEN YOU'RE NOT GETTING IT RIGHT


Tense. Frantic. Dysfunctionally optimistic, as if there’s one magical shortcut to success and you’re going to find it by scrolling through Instagram.


I love you. But you aren’t going to find it on Instagram.



HOW IT LOOKS WHEN YOU'RE GETTING IT RIGHT


Flexible. Strategic. Mentally light. By setting boundaries along the way, you’re maximizing your creative energy, instead of sabotaging it.


You’re making space for the best idea of the moment instead of the first idea of the moment.


And last but not least, you’re setting yourself up for a proper marathon instead of easy, overnight success.


Which you do deserve, even if it isn’t in the stars right now.


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annika@actionplanhq.com


Based in Los Angeles, CA, USA

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