Today's episode is all about setting boundaries as a solopreneur what that even means and some of my boundaries at Lunch Pail Labs. Below are the links I referenced in the episode for some more boundary-setting reading/listening.
What's up everybody? This is Lola Ojabowale. Welcome back to Lunch Pail Daily my personal audio diary where I share all of the realness on building and growing Lunch Pail Labs, which is a digital product studio based out of Atlanta, Georgia. In today's episode, we're gonna jam about setting boundaries. What does that even mean and how I think about my boundaries at Lunch Pail Labs
I really think about this topic and question often and where my boundaries need to expand and contract. Usually, if I'm feeling frustrated at something workwise it's because I have disrespected my own boundary in some way, which I don't think is a unique challenge.One of the first things someone usually mentions whenever I chat about working for myself is Oh, whoa, "you must never take any time off". Even right before the holiday season. I did have a few meetings with other solo folk, and many the sentiment was that the holiday was just another day and they would still be doing business as usual or that weekends are just days to keep working that really everything must be at the sacrifice of what we're trying to build.
Which I think is just a vestige of hustle culture. And may very well work in some company contexts, but in solopreneur ship where you're like the main asset, pushing the business forward, I think it really adds to more of like detriment to the business than positive things and I really feel this myself too. Especially I've been thinking about this more as I've been reflecting on 2021 first half of 2021 was so exciting because it was when Lunch Pail Labs actually started to work financially. But I was doing some wild loops, talking to people on the weekends or really any day having calls at 9am or 7am or 9pm and 7am just really whatever I could do to be the most convenient to everyone and anyone else and not really being convenient to myself. And as I like remember this there's this freakin dope Webflow agency Edgar Allen, and when I talked to like their founder, one of the things that he mentioned that I feel like I just like did not internalize it until like months months later is that you've got to be a good boss to yourself. And I think that really ties into this whole discussion of boundaries. And the second half, but actually really started to set more boundaries. This is when I do work. This is when I do meetings. This is when people can reach me. This is how we communicate. Um, I saw my business actually grow a lot.
So taking that whole back, like what are boundaries? I really like this life coach Nancy Levin, her framing around boundaries, and she says it's the limits and guidelines that we set for ourselves on what we will tolerate and what we won't tolerate. And while that certainly applies to so many areas, she was speaking more from like, just life in general personal boundaries context. It absolutely works. I think that same framing in a business context, where you know, boundaries are what we set for our companies. What our companies tolerate and do and what our companies won't tolerate. And for me, the sort of goal here like boundaries are in a service or in service of a few things that need to exist within Lunch Pail Labs so I can bring my most engaged energetic focused self to client meetings to projects that I'm working on outside of client projects to the work I'm doing generally.
So getting into all that like the boundaries are for me. Biggest one is probably protected, meeting and not meeting time. And I've talked a ton about this like tension on the podcast about maker versus manager. And I think that balance is very strong as a solopreneur especially if you are both contracting out work and being directly involved in work. So I have that both of those pieces, and I also have times where I just need to do operational stuff like checking in with an accountant and sort of the protected meeting and not meeting time. Is not only taking meetings during certain times of the day, I've found it super, super helpful to only take meetings on certain days of the week. And when I first started doing this, about like six months ago, I really thought people would completely balk at my like scheduling link that only like these two days were really available for them to meet with me. But no one's really mentioned anything I don't think people notice and I do leave it open so occasionally I'll meet on like non meeting days, but I try to make that a rare and special occasion. But the fact that for the vast majority of the time that isn't the case, I think really helps me feel like I'm enforcing that boundary.
Another boundary for for me are like morning routines and time for my creative practices. So I've talked a little bit about like a daily habit every day I spend time writing even this like podcast, I think is like a protected like energy giving activity for me. And then I also spend time every day like working on product and these are things outside of like my client work. So I'm like, yeah, some client work. I do some some writing that like those don't count like but having that protected time to work on those other interests gives me so much more energy and juice to attack. Any other project that I found that when I don't do that. And every time I say nope, I'm not gonna do it because it's super busy and I really need to do this. The day just starts to spiral out of control for me.
And then my last main boundary is just ways of communicating. So I'm lucky that I work with a lot of remote first companies. So I'm just super excited. This makes it really easy. But yeah, things like async looms, remote first communication, and then when I need a potential prospect and I know that our engagement is going to require a lot of me being there in person I've even talked to like, you know, like had like, potential clients who were like, oh, yeah, like, can you fly out here and like, you know, you can be here with our team sprinting, like that is a boundary that I set that if that has to be the expectation then we're probably not going to be great, great fits.
So that's just a little tidbit on boundaries and some other good readings slash listening on boundaries that I will definitely link in the show notes are Lavendaire's lifestyle blogs. Nancy Levin, which I quoted earlier, as a great like 30 minute podcast on boundaries, which I think she has excellent sort of straightforward framing and ways that you yourself might think about setting boundaries in your business. And I also just love how Sahil of Gumroad approaches this topic as well. He earlier 2021 I believe, posted an article and I'll link that as well. No meeting no deadlines, no full time employees. But I think it's a good testament that the major barrier to operating in a way that helps you bring your best work self is declaring you'd like to operate that way. So hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday and I will catch you all later.