Limits

Posted on July 30, 2011

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Worry Dolls - sxc.hu

Knowing your limits is priceless. Stretching your limits is pretty damn expensive. — Me

It seems that this week’s theme was limits. We are faced with them daily.  Some  don’t trouble us because we know we’ll never reach them. Others test us constantly.

If you’re a parent, your limits are constantly being stretched in more directions than an exploding supernova.  But you expect that when raising children.  They are exploring their own power and the big thing holding them back is you. Ok, I get that.

If you’re a small business owner, entrepreneur, or freelancer you felt the pain of limits.  Not enough money to buy those cool tools that would save you some time and make work fun again.  You have limits on how many hours in a day you can devote to working with clients and how many hours are left for actual work.

This week I was reminded that some clients simply take up bandwidth, cause worry and stress with little return.  And I’m not just talking about money. The return could be learning new skills, helping support an important cause, have some fun or just plain doing what feels right.  Sometimes you like a person so you feel the need to lend a hand.  Then your hand gets bitten.

Hmmm… wait a minute. Why all the worry? I went into business to be in charge.  I AM in charge, damn it.  Time to fire some clients and get back some of the time that’s been stolen from me.  For every hour spent trying to wrangle cats, you are losing money.  For every senseless discussion about why they can’t just dictate every bloody pixel in the design based on a whim, you are losing more of your sanity.

I don’t need to stretch my limits for activities that don’t add value.  As Charlie Gilkey calls it, High Value Activities.  Also known as HVAs, help your business, push you closer to your goals.  Keep you going in the direction you want to go.  See that.  Progress. Satisfaction. Finishing.

My three words for 2011: Doing, Being, Finish.  I’ve been doing, being and several times come to a finish.  I’m finished with stretching my limits on people who don’t value what I do whether they’re aware of it or not.  I don’t have the bandwidth to keep things status quo while I try to convince them that this isn’t working for me anymore.  If you’ve read this far, you know this resonates with you.

If you have clients that take up your time, cause you worry and push your limits, it’s time to fire them and make room for those ideal clients.  The ones who tell their friends about you, appreciate what you do and how you do it. Who never complain about your fees and actually look for more ways to work with you.  The ones you help you keep the lights on literally and spiritually.

Thanks to The Oatmeal for his inspiring, downright hilarious truth. You made me laugh until I cried when I needed it most especially today with your State of the Web.

Thanks to Charlie Gilkey of Productive Flourishing.  Your words echoed in my mind when I saw your guest post on Mogul Mom today: Do Epic Shit. Indeed, I need to remember that I set out to change the world.  I know I can.

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