My first business card whoa! nellie. – Kimberly Gosney

I was chatting on FB today with a friend and it reminded me of something that happened to me in my first year of figuring out what I wanted to do.

You can hear it right here or read it below.

I call it the biggest lesson I’m still learning daily.

The $25 business card for 40 hours of work lesson.

(I also refer to it as how I worked my ass off for 63 cents an hour.)

I share this shocker with you today for 1 simple reason.

Boundaries.

How to find some in your business. And, why it takes those .63 cents an hour moments to reach your full potential.

I bet you’re wondering how a business card design ends up being a 40 hour project.

Me too.

I still scratch my head on this one.

And, I’ve never shared it with anyone. Because it took me soooooo long to work through it on my own.

(You shouldn’t talk about stuff you haven’t moved through, right?!?)

I’ve heard that a time or two or two thousand.

Here’s the scenario. Back in 2012 I was a stationery designer. I was looking for a way to make a quick $500 in my business. I put out an offer in a Facebook group to design PDF’s for $25.

That was it. Nothing more. Something like this…

I looooove designing PDF’s and I know you might not like creating them – so let me put my talents to work for you.

The second I hit the post button – I was deluged with inquiries about PDF designs. Holy cow who knew. I was on FIRE.

Then, it came. A request for a business card. Nothing fancy just an apple and some biz info.

Would I be willing to do it?

Hell yes! Thank you Paypal for instant payments.

Then it came. Time to do the work. I set off to create the BEST business card EVER.

I had an image sent over to me – super quick, YAY.

Then I got to work. About about an hour, I hit the send button on the first draft.

Can I get a few revisions? She asked me.

Sure, why not – it’s her business card – right?

But, here’s where it went all wrong.

The revisions continued and continued and continued until I was afraid to check my inbox.

Ever felt like this?

I mean it’s just a business card with an apple on it. WTBC. (what the business card).

40 + hours later – it looked almost exactly like it started. All of that hard work ended up back at biz card ground zero.

What did I learn from this?

What exactly?!?

Boundaries are everything.

In business when you create something for someone else. You need boundaries and your peeps need them too.

But, did I set them up front?

Nope I didn’t.

I was trying to be everything to everyone. Everyone. I wanted to make PDF’s and then BOOM I’m a biz card designer? How did that happen?

Lack of boundaries.

I’d like to say that I learned that lesson the first time, but sadly I did not. Boundaries continue to be something that I work on to this day. I think it stems from a strength of mine that went a little wonky.

I know how to do a lot of stuff.

A lot.

Which leads me to want to help people when I know I can help them. And, those boundaries when in place can really streamline the process. It’s because of those boundaries that I know who I am and what I do.

I experiment with boundaries all the time. My personal favorite is email support is closed on the weekends and when there’s a holiday. I set this one up because I check my inbox like a loon to the point of distraction. I want to look for things to fix when I get anxious and there’s always something to fix in my inbox.

I ask you – what boundaries have you created in your business that really helped you?

I’d love for you to share them with me right now in the comments below. I know I can’t be the only one out there. Hit my comment box. Share the love.

2 Comments

  1. FitFeat on October 15, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Oh my goodness, I hear you on this one! And I still struggle with boundaries as well.

    I used to do free initial phone ‘consults’ for some of the work that I do. First issue: some people would try to get as much of the ‘paid session’ info from me as they could. Second issue: many of the conversations spanning 30+ min or so often included me explaining how the sessions worked and what they could expect. Third issue: in cases where people would decide that after 30+ min on the phone they would like to schedule a session (and I would send a PayPal invoice), it turned out that I was holding “unpaid” spots and having to hound people to pay prior to their session.

    I wised up and realized I had to stop spending so much time on these calls for no return, much of the time. Now I have my outbound voicemail greeting directing potential clients to my website, where they will find all the info + FAQs they need to set up their session (that solved issues one and two). Upon paying through the PayPal button, they will then receive an email from me with a link to a schedule where they can pick their session time (solving issue three).

    No more scheduling of sessions until they are paid in advance. It’s not that I don’t love speaking to my potential clients, it’s just that I know I have issues with not giving away the farm so to speak, so this is how I manage my boundaries.

    Great post as usual Kimberly!

    • Kimberly Gosney on October 15, 2014 at 11:26 pm

      I’ve sooooo been there. I’ve had 15 minute consults turn into hour long gigs. I had to set a big boundary that I’d keep focused on 15 minutes and I started off by saying what’s one thing you’d like to take away from our time together.

      It was great because then I didn’t get caught up and the time flew by and they became fun for me. If not – I’d feel like I wanted to share everything I know which can really be overwhelming when I’m on a “first phone date” with someone that’s chatting with me for the first time.

      I also added the boundary of who it’s for and not for. I used to have a link to them on the bottom of my site. Now, I message the links or share it when I know I can be of service.

      Those 15 minute sessions – when super, duper, one question focused can really feel amazing.

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