When you’re first getting started in your business – YES is our go-to answer to nearly every question.

  • “Hey, can we meet up for coffee?” 
  • “Are you available to meet at 8 o’clock in the evening?” 
  • “Can we add this… and this… and this to our project?”

Yes!

Suddenly you’re saying yes to so many things that it starts to get out of control. As your business starts to grow and you take on more clients and you have more going on – all those YESes start to mean NO to doing the CEO level work that you need to focus on.

In this episode, we are talking about boundaries – a CEOs best friend – so that you can get more confident and comfortable saying NO so you can do the work you are truly here to do::

2:15 An update! The CEO Accelerator filled in just 10 days BUT you can still work with me by joining us for the 1 Day CEO Retreat coming up September 20th or 27th!

6:00 Whenever I’m hosting The CEO Retreat, once clients have their PLAN, the next question is “How do I stick to this plan? How to I maintain my model calendar? How do I handle client requests that throw off my schedule?” It’s all about making sure your TIME & ENERGY is protected!

7:35 A big part of customer experience (CX) is having a clear plan & clear boundaries in place to help you manage expectations and relationships.

9:20 Every time you say YES to someone or something, there is a TRADEOFF! Boundaries are all about understanding what tradeoffs you are willing to accept.

11:20 The first boundary we need to review – your model calendar! It’s essential that you have clarity on how many hours you work each week, how you schedule your core ceo tasks, and when you are willing to have client appts or other calls.

14:21 If you are starting to feel drained, examine your calendar! When your appointments are scattered across the week, you are trying to squeeze work in between appointments. This is EXHAUSTING! You want to run your calendar so you can get into the flow state and can focus on deep work.

17:32 We’ve actually created a calendar SOP (standard operating procedures) to help me structure my week but also share details about how I need that appointments to be scheduled including how much time I need between appointments and how many appointments I can energetically manage in a day.

22:05 How I manage those ’emergency’ client calls. I know that sometimes, my clients just need a quick 15 minute call especially when they are deep into launch mode or something big and new in their business – but we have a clear process for how they can get me on a call within 24 hours.

22:45 How I manage requests to have coffee or lunch so that I’m not overcommitting to things like this on my calendar, then feeling overwhelmed because it takes me out of my flow for the week.

Take Action! Build out your Calendar SOP::

  1. What is your model calendar?
  2. When are you blocking time for your core CEO tasks?
  3. How will you manage appointments? Doing interviews? How much you’ll travel each week or month or quarter? Requests for coffee? Detail these in your SOP!

26:45 So many of us struggle with the constant communication – we are available everywhere, 24/7! But if you set that precedent, then people begin to expect that you are available 24/7!

27:15 Decide what communication channels will be available for your business and get crystal clear about how you want people to communicate with you! Consider how these are managed::

    • Email
    • Social Media DMs
    • Social Media Groups
    • Phone or Text

28:45 EMAIL is my primary communication channel – but we have clear processes in place for how we manage emails 2x a day, how emails are handled, etc. All business communication is directed to our inbox!

29:35 Email SOPs include a FAQ document or system that allows my assistant to quickly process emails and answer 90% of the questions that need to be answered without me being involved.

31:30 We have clear ‘office hours’ for our emails! If we are a company that values freedom and flexibility, we do not expect emails to be responded to immediately. We aim for 12-24 hour response for our inbox during office hours!

33:00 How I manage direct messages on social media and get those conversations into my inbox so I don’t drop the ball when it comes to client or community conversations.

34:12 How we handle our company phone number and who gets access to my personal cell phone number (basically no one!) for calls or text messages.

36:42 How I handle those ‘brain picking’ questions that come in to the inbox, social media, etc. We have a clear plan in place for how we respond to these questions to either get that potential client on a consult call, send links to content I’ve already created, or link to a paid offer.

40:10 How we handle questions hitting the inbox from clients in our group programs and re-direct them to the preferred communication channels for their specific program.

Take Action! Build out your Communication SOP::

  1. What are your different communication channels?
  2. Who has access to each of these channels?
  3. Create a communications SOP with easy templates you can use to answer the top Qs that come into your inbox.

41:22 I know that we’ve all had those sticky client situations when clear expectations have not been set or clients aren’t held to those expectations!

42:05 If you are working with clients, you need a scheduling policy including cancelation policies, rescheduling policies, etc. that is clearly laid out in your agreement and client on-boarding information.

44:30 The very first time that a client cancels last minute or doesn’t show for an appointment, you MUST address it IMMEDIATELY. NIP IT IN THE BUD!

47:25 How to handle clients who ask to add more and more and more ‘little tasks’ that ‘just take a minute’ but really creates scope creep.

49:30 Why you’ve got to get clarity about all the deliverables and the true value of each of those deliverables when it comes to each of your offers.

51:00 How to respond when clients ask if you can add something else to the project – remember clarity is KIND! Let them know immediately what the additional cost and timeline will be.

52:22 When you should upgrade your clients to the next level of service when they are requesting additional deliverables or additional work from you.

Take Action! Build out your Client SOP::

  1. What are your scheduling policies, including rescheduling and no-shows?
  2. What are the clear deliverables for each product, program, or service?
  3. Write a quick template for how to manage add on services or upgrading to the next level of service.

If you loved this show – please take a screenshot of today’s episode and share on Instagram – tag me @racheal.cook – and let me know how setting boundaries has helped you keep your eyes on the prize!


Show Links

How a Model Calendar Helps Me Work Just 25 Hours a Week

What Is Your Role as CEO?

The ROI of Thinking Like a CEO

Deep Work by Cal Newport


And if this episode resonated with you, you’ll want to check out The CEO Retreat – a 1-day strategic planning event focused on perfectly planning the next 90-days for your business.

If you know that you need to get your plan on paper, if you know that you need to surround yourself with other amazing supportive and intuitive women entrepreneurs, if you know that you need to turn your big picture into check-off-able action steps… the you will want to join us! Find all the details – and early bird tickets – at RachealCook.com/CEO-Retreat.

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