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Struggles as a business owner

I recently asked this question on facebook and the overwhelming response was,


As new small business owners, especially those working out of their home, it's often hard to know when to draw the line.

Do you accept calls at all times of day?

Answer emails while the family is waiting for you to join them for dinner... or a movie?

Feel pressured to give a quote or handle a customer while on the road during vacation or even during a personal emergency? 

If your answer is YES to any of those questions, you need to find your balance. And you needed to find it yesterday. 

Think about your local donut shop. When you want a donut, you need to make sure it's open first, right?  Have you ever walked up to the donut shop while it was dark, tapped your foot impatiently, called the owner repeatedly and emailed too.. until they showed up to serve you? 

Of course not. That would be silly, right? 


So instead you probably shrugged your shoulders and realized you'd have to wait until they open the next day for their famous, delicious glazed chocolate cake donut... 

Or maybe... you decided to go somewhere else. Because you REALLY wanted a donut NOW. And you didn't want to wait. 


And that would be your prerogative. 


So thinking back to your clients, are you fearful they might want that figurative donut so badly that they will go somewhere else? 

    If that is the case, STOP, take a breath. 

    That customer is not for you. 

    If you have a client who is pushy and does not respect your boundaries, you are better off without that client. Because chances are a client who doesn't respect your personal needs, will continue that behavior throughout your entire experience. You may wish you had never answered their call or email by the time your interaction is over. 

    A decent customer is just like you, they wouldn't stand outside your local donut shop, throwing a fit until someone turned on the lights and made them a donut... you should not, "cater" to an unreasonable client anymore than anyone else would. 


    You deserve respect and boundaries as much as a physical location with hours. And laying those foundations are not only healthy for you but send a clear message to your customers that you are professional and polished.


    So how do you draw those healthy lines? How do you balance work and life?


    Here's 5 easy steps you can do while eating donuts... 

    1. Establish business hours
    2. Clearly state your hours on your email signature, voicemail recording, facebook page, Google business listing and your office sign if you have one.
    3. Stick to your hours.
    4. If you must answer an email or return a phone call, use a scheduler like Boomerang or let the client know you normally do not work during those hours but had an unusual free moment. 
    5. Don't be afraid to charge for rush or after hour calls and jobs.

    TNW Creations is a Web Development & Media Publishing Agency in Austin, Texas. Web Development, cyber security, web design, clean energy web host, Advanced SEO, Digital Marketing and more since 1995.

    I've been programming, designing, writing and publishing professionally online since 1995. I've worn many hats throughout my life, but the common core of my career has always been media. Besides the portfolio you see on TNW Creations, my internet presence has been substantial for over 2 decades. In 1995, while still in college, I founded TNW Creations and became part of the grassroots development for teaching the Lakhota language online. By 2004, my bilingual work was listed on many sites, including National Geographic , Encarta and Touchstone Pictures Hidalgo. When I'm not developing and writing, you'll find me managing MagicStoryLand.Com, creating kid-friendly game & video content, investigating and initating hostile website takedowns, posting salty articles about cyber threats, moderating UnifyLife.Org and enjoying my  community, church & family.