Book a call

Episode 51

Unleash Your Inner CEO: Mastering Boundaries for Business Growth!

Listen to our FREE podcast now...

About this episode

In this episode, Katie Bell, your host and fellow business enthusiast, delves deep into the CEO mindset. She shares invaluable insights on setting boundaries to unlock true business potential. Join us, as we learn to navigate the balance between giving and self-preservation.

Katie empowers business owners to embrace their role as CEOs. She tackles the common pitfall of people-pleasing, reminding us that we don’t owe anyone everything. By prioritising personal needs and valuing our own time, we can make a greater impact. Katie urges us to say no to commitments that no longer serve our goals, advocating for self-worth and fulfilment.

Key Takeaways:

  • Boundaries are Key: Prioritise setting boundaries to reclaim control of your time and focus on business growth.
  • Personal Responsibility: Understand that you are responsible to your clients, not for them. Encourage clients to take ownership of their outcomes.
  • Value Your Worth: Recognise and appreciate your own worth, and don’t feel obligated to overextend yourself.
  • Overprotection vs. Empowerment: Avoid falling into the rescuer role. Instead of solving every problem, empower your clients and team to take responsibility for their own outcomes.
  • Clear Communication is Vital: Use out-of-office responses, voicemail messages, and policy updates to communicate your availability clearly to clients. This helps manage expectations and sets healthy boundaries.
  • Delegate and Seek Support: If possible, involve your client care team or support staff in enforcing boundaries. Share your struggles and work together to uphold these essential limits.
  • Self-Care Fuels Business Growth: Recognise that taking care of your own well-being is not selfish, but a strategic move to ensure you can provide the best value to your clients and grow your business effectively.
  • Review and Adjust Regularly: Periodically assess and refine your boundaries. What worked yesterday may not work tomorrow. Be adaptable and responsive to your evolving business needs.

By internalising these takeaways, you’ll be better equipped to cultivate a thriving business while nurturing your own well-being and professional growth. Remember, strong boundaries lead to stronger businesses.

Thank you for joining us for another episode of the Treat Your Business Podcast. If you found today’s insights valuable, please consider hitting the like button and subscribing to stay updated with our latest episodes. Your support means the world to us, and together, we’re on a journey towards building thriving businesses. Until next time, take care and keep treating your business with the care it deserves!


This podcast is sponsored by the team at HMDG


  • 0:00-Introduction to the CEO Mindset
  • 2:22-The Pitfalls of People Pleasing
  • 5:31-Prioritising Personal Needs
  • 7:00-Making Tough Choices for Business Growth
  • 9:15-Recognising Your Worth
  • 10:45-The Art of Saying No
  • 11:20-The Power of Firm Boundaries
  • 21:03-Personal Responsibility in Business
  • 26:50-Overcoming the Rescuer Role
  • 30:45-Wrapping Up and Next Week’s Episode Preview


Katie Bell: 1:13

Welcome to this week’s episode of the treat your business podcast. I am your host Katie Bell, and I am super excited to continue on the theme that we talked about last week. If you listened in you will know what EGAs stand for this is not a test do not worry. And you will understand and have more clarity on how much of your time is spent on EGAs is and how much of your time is spent on non-EGAs. We looked at time blocking, we talked about the 8020 rule, which all is strategic kind of ideas and practical thoughts around what you should spend your time on. But this week, is all about the mindset of a CEO you are you are CEOs, you are the you are the bosses, you are the leaders of your clinics, your businesses, your competence. And I wanted to touch upon the mindset. When it comes to making the decision, that more of your time needs to be spent working on your business than in your business to scale your business further, we have got to stop people pleasing. Because guess what, you don’t owe anyone, anything. That sapped the original agreement that you had with the person, the client, the patient. So if you’re among those clinic owners and business owners out there who are feeling overwhelmed, and feeling slightly crushed under that to do lists, or commitments or patient workload, it may not be a question of just too much value. It might be that we need to prioritise better. Now also might be a symptom that you’ve put the needs of others before your own. And this is such a common theme. When we definitely when we start working with people, this is one of the biggest barriers we have to overcome, to enable the strategy to then work. Some people want to be like so much that they agree to do things that give their time to others. Back down low there, though their standards lower their expectations of their team, so that they can feel appreciated, and they can feel significant. Because it’s the right thing to do. Or they are so nicely and I didn’t feel like I could say no, or like they’re really in pain. So I just have to say yes. And truth be told this often comes from the subconscious need to fill a gap around not feeling good enough, or not having a strong enough belief that you aren’t good enough, or sacrificing your time or personal boundaries to prove our worth. In thrive. This personal growth area that we teach supports people in setting boundaries, because ultimately, it’s an act of self value. And it’s an act of self worth. And if you understand that your value is like a birthright that your innate worth can never be taken from you. And that you are good enough and you begin to honour that and value yourself and value your needs, then you will realise that you don’t actually need to people please to be liked, you don’t have to become somebody else. You don’t have to be the yes person. When you don’t need to give of yourself and the slave but it becomes a choice, then it’s enough. And this applies to our business as well as our personal life. In fact, you can’t have one without the other. But you can’t give of yourself endlessly and have no boundaries personally and expect that not to show up in your business just doesn’t work the to kind of go hand in hand. And I’d really like to give you permission not that you need my permission. But I’d like to give you my permission to be bolder about meeting your own needs first and to simply just say no to the things you don’t want to do, or you don’t have time for other things that aren’t in alignment with your personal goals or your personal aspirations. So this might mean that you stop going to that networking group that’s an hour away and hasn’t produced results in a year. Or you let go of that clinic that you are commuting an hour and a half to to see seven patients who have been legacy patients for 20 years. And there is nothing wrong in the fact that you love them that you you don’t want to let them down. But that’s because you are putting their needs over yours. And then you drive an hour and a half back and you spent three hours commuting, and you’ve probably made about 70 quid and that time could be spent on those EEG A’s that we talked about last week. It might mean that you find a way to get Are out hosting something that you’ve been taught into all that this might create a bit of a bit of a feeling of tenseness when I say this, but it might be the Italian family that you can’t be just the one driving the kids to all of the football parties and the swimming parties and the gunners, whatever else that everybody has to do during work hours, or even on evenings and weekends, because you’re a business owner, you’re not just a chauffeur. Self Employed does not mean unemployed, you have really, really important work to do. Yeah, you can give your time to charities, yes, you can give your time to your community and your family. But let that be your choice, not because someone asked you nicely or you, you’re expected to do it. Especially when you want to be working on growing your business leveraging your business making a bigger impact. And the same goes with clients. We you said at the beginning, you don’t owe your clients anything other than what is agreed between you. If you complain that you don’t have enough time to grow your business, I want to really actually to reevaluate how you use your time we touched on this last week with the EGS. And then on a GA’s actually to make a list of all of the things the tasks that you were doing in the week. And if we look at that list, let’s look at all of the unnecessary or the unpaid time that you give your clients, your community or people who just want to pick your brains. And if we add up all of those hours that you give away each week, and then multiply it by 52 weeks, you will find that you’ll have plenty of time to focus on the growth of your business. You can be unapologetic about taking back your time from those who maybe we’ve allowed to hijack it, because we’ve been in a place of fear or lack, or low confidence or low self worth or self belief. This is your permission to take your life back. If you’ve been playing the role of people pleaser, and I brought this to this episode, because I don’t think there’s one business owner that maybe it’s an industry thing, maybe it’s because we do what we do, because we love to help people, we want to make a change, we want to make a difference. But we often then kind of blur those boundaries and we become we become the rescuer. We become the people pleaser. Actually, when we feel like we need to stop being that it you We fear that people think we’re rude, or we’re selfish, and that ultimately they won’t like you. And I always think that like this was really hard for me to get my head round a few years ago, actually, then when I created more time, I was to be able to choose to give my time and be more present to my family and to my friends. And I didn’t feel like I was then sort of trying to be everything to everybody and being put off. But if certain people like you, because of things you do for them free, then we need to get rid of them. Your worth is so much more and you deserve to be appreciated for your qualities and your personality. And it’s time to clear the decks and start saying no, which is really tricky. And there’s no judgement here and and men just bear with me, but I am a woman and I can say this, especially for women. Because society’s expectations is that we should just be able to do it all. That is like a whole nother episode. And then they’re going to really get on a soapbox. But it’s time to clear the decks. it’s time it’s time to start saying no to things that aren’t serving us. But sometimes we feel like we need an excuse to remove ourselves from the obligation that no longer serves us or placing those clear barriers or boundaries in place. And here’s the thing. I had to have a conversation with somebody quite recently, and I could feel myself at the end of the conversation. Starting to like, go back to going but you know, it’d be really nice to keep in touch. And we can maybe revisit this relationship in the future. And I was like, why am I even thinking about saying that because I’m not actually going to do that. And now not being able to oh, that that decision and be unapologetic with that decision. And I can do it in a really, really nice way and with kindness. But we don’t have to like come up with all this bullshit excuse. We can just say, Thank you for thinking of me. I’m not gonna be able to do that. Oh, best of luck going forward. Or I’m so honoured that you thought of me first but I’m going to decline that invitation and I know you’ll find someone perfect for the role. Or I’m not going to be able to no longer going to be able to commit to Running the scouts. bookkeeping. Thank you for allowing me to be part of it all this time. I just made that example up because so many business owners that I, I speak to are doing things because they feel like they should. And actually, the life is complicated, their life is so tiring, or they’re sober and tau, if you, when when we like saying no to people, if we use an excuse, or we say anything else, it kind of invites negotiation, which will then become an invitation for them to negotiate with you. So just be grateful for the opportunity further about your answer, if they press and that’s why you still don’t need to just give a reason. It’s just it’s something I’m choosing to do at this time. And there’ll be this really awkward one of the staff into a hole for two seconds moment. And then it’ll go. And this will be one of the most difficult things you’ve got to do any business and in your life, but it will strengthen those muscles. In your mindset, those muscles for being a great successful CEO, business owner, business leader, that’s going to help you leverage your business again, your life, but for now, and many, many years to come. And it will actually really increase your feeling of self worth and your personal fulfilment. So we’ve got to set these strong boundaries and strong boundaries helped you grow your business exponentially. And here’s the thing, others aren’t responsible for how they treat you or your time you are in the personal growth and development work that we do with with our clients, I stress that the way someone treats you is simply the result of how you have taught them and allow them to treat you, it always comes back to us how annoying Isn’t it nice to blame everybody else. So always done to us. The same is true in your business. So if you feel like clients have hijacked your time or your boundaries and and they continue to do so it’s because they’re not clear about your standards, or personal rules around what’s acceptable and what’s not. Meaning we’ve just not educated them around how to deal with you. Or, you know, if a handful of your customers feel entitled to call you on your mobile, in an evening or on a weekend in the streets, you need your time, that’s not something that will just end on its own. That client will continue to use that privilege until you do something about it. And in the first few years of my business, oh my goodness, I did not have these boundaries whatsoever. But when I put more boundaries in place, I’ve then got more flexibility of how I use my time. And then if I choose to be able to engage with my clients, I’ve got the time to because it’s on my it’s my decision, it’s my choice one is, So have a think in your business right now. Like, I’m super clear on what you’re going to tolerate what is acceptable, how people work with you, what you will tolerate what you won’t tolerate, and you don’t have to be, it’s going to swell and you don’t have to be a chump about it. You can do this with love, you can do this with kindness, because this will allow you to make a greater difference to people’s lives. So enforcing boundaries is not about being unlikable. It’s not been about cold or being cold or heartless. It’s about standing firm on what you believe and taking a stand for what’s important to you. It’s like self esteem, in action in a process. And when we meet people who have really strong boundaries, the likelihood is that you actually have respect for them, because you admire how they care for themselves. And it’s actually way more comfortable to be around them. Because you always know where you stand. I’ve got some friends like that, like I 100% know where I am with them all the time. There’s there’s no confusion. There’s no trying to be everything to everybody and trying to be liked all the time. And as it relates to business, you can’t keep providing value to our clients and customers if you’re absolutely depleted. So if boundary issues are giving you some warning signs, address these issues with the client quickly, be sensitive to the feelings but stay firm. And I always kind of think you know, if they’ve gone over the boundary once, you may let it slip this time by giving them like a Get Out of Jail, jail free car from monopoly, as I used to say with a smile. But at the same time, you’ve got to let them know that if it happens again, we follow through on the stated policy and a no this feels like extreme and this feels maybe uncomfortable for some of you. But they’ll people will know it’s fair and they will understand why you’re having to do it. But and by all means there is sometimes The client will have a real emergency. And I will pull out all the stops, I will be there late, I’ll come in early, I fit them in at lunchtime, because I’ve got a heart. And I’m, I’m very compassionate, and I want to be able to help. But it’s my choice. It’s not an expectation. You’re loving, but you’re not too lenient. Now, ideally, it would be great if we’re not the ones having to play backup. And you may have listened to a previous episode where I talked about having somebody in my business right at the beginning that I made up, she was not real. And I gave her an email signature because she could play bad cop for me, because at that point, I had not done the necessary work to uplevel my self worth and my self confidence, and I was new in business. And I was given all bullshit excuses around, I can’t say no to any patients, because I need the money to be able to eat all that narrative. But your practice manager, your client care team, your fake personal email, they could deliver the bad cop stuff. If something isn’t working or gently reminding your clients about what’s acceptable and what what’s not acceptable, the client is not always right. As much as everybody says, the firm is always right now they’re not, some clients will never adhere to policies, some clients will never really at boundaries. And that doesn’t mean that you have to change your behaviour, it just means it’s time to let them go with love. Another way of bringing in those stronger boundaries, which remember, this is all to free you up some times and headspace is reducing access to you. Because what often happens is we take on the rescuer role, who listening to this feels like they’re a rescuer in their personal life and their professional life. Like who comes to you because you can always solve a problem. Children as well. And a big mindset shift, shift mindset shift that needs to occur if you’re committed to like leveraging your business and to get some time back is to realise that you are responsible to your clients, but not for your clients or their results. Feels like a massive pill to swallow that doesn’t it? You’re responsible to them. But not for them. Many of us feel like it’s our role to save the client. And this is not true. Our role is to give our clients exactly what you agreed to give them like the most exceptional treatment programme, we have programme assessment, homecare regime, whatever it is that you have agreed. And you know, that if they follow the process, if they trust the process, and they do what you tell them to do, they will get the results. Yes, there’s loads of variables, you can’t control those. But our job is to give the clients what you agree to give them and under no circumstances does this include giving them like, you know, any access to you ring whenever you need email, whenever you need, I will be there I will fit you in at lunch time off it you won’t have to work I will come in on a Saturday playing the role of the rescuer or the superhero, okay, it leads to burnout, it leads to exhaustion, it leads to compassion, fatigue, whatever word you want to use. And that comes from was trying to be responsible for them. And whoever else might be in our network. It also means that then we kind of we don’t enable our clients to take ownership for their part of the bargain. And it kind of sets up this weird codependent relationship, doesn’t it. And I always say in thrive, like, we have got clear boundaries, we’ve got clear ways that we’re going to work with you, I will give you everything like I am a massive part of me wants to please part of me wants to be completely responsible and come into your clinic and find your stuff for you and do all of these things. I have to remind myself that is not my job. But what we will create is systems processes ways of working with us that mean if you follow the process, if you turn up if you’re on calls, if you are at group meetings, if you are at our live strategy days, if you do what we tell you to do, you are going to get the results and you’re going to fly. But I can’t force you to that I can’t force you to the water and make you drink it. It feels good. Doesn’t it for a little while when we’re the rescuer when we’re the hero and this can be if you’re a manager of a team as well a leader of Team we can often felt like we need to fix their problem for them. And sometimes team just needs to be heard. They don’t need the problem fixing. But it does feel good when we do it. But it’s not allowing those people to take personal responsibility for their results or their life. It’s like when we’re severely over protecting a child. So one of the really important things that we teach in thrive is the concept of personal responsibility, that everyone is responsible for their own outcomes, and that you create your life with every action as well as every inaction. So assuming that, like you set up your clinic, and your product, or your programme, or your rehab structure, or whatever your any offerings that you’ve got with integrity, knowing that you’ve included everything you can to practically guarantee results, if they are applied fully. Your clients outcomes on their personal responsibility, not You’re not yours. That means you’re responsible to give them what you promised. And like, be amazing, be exceptional. charge for it, charge what you’re worth, because you’re giving them those exceptional structures, accountability, processes care support, and you’re giving them the possibility of getting the outcome. But that’s where our role stops. And it’s really difficult to own this when you’re a business owner, like me, for many years, you played the rest of your role, and feel like we are significant when we when we are a true problem solver. But if you want to overcome this kind of feeling of overwhelming fatigue, and exhaustion and burnout and not putting your needs first, to gain your time back, this mindset mindset shift. The CEO mindset must be made along with them the appropriate actions. So let’s take a look at your diary this week. And let’s tighten up the way that we work with clients and the boundaries that we have with clients. And it can be as simple as changing your out of office response, it can be as simple as changing your voicemail, and what that says and when that you will get back to them and when you won’t get back to them or when you’re available and when you’re not available. And if any of you have client care team, a va a PA, somebody that sits at the reception desk, I encourage you to go and share and be vulnerable with that support, because you deserve the best support and say to them, okay, I’m struggling, or I’m feeling overwhelmed, or I know that we are not, I’m not delivering the best that I can for my clients. And the reason for that is because we’ve allowed whatever to take over. So I would like to work together on tightening up these boundaries, I’m gonna need your help with that, because a big part of me is going to struggle with it. Like I said this to my reception team years ago, and I was banned from the reception desk, I’m still out there, just give me eyeballs if I walk out with that, because a big part of me will still want to people, please because my generation programming that I’m working on, and I’m doing all the shifts that we need to do, but it’s still a big part of me, wants external gratification because I was absolutely brought up on it. And so it’s like I have to really consciously be able to stick with those boundaries. So the best thing for me is to just not go anywhere near the rebooking and the reception. So do whatever you need to do to get something in between you and the client. Whether it’s rewriting your policy and sending out to them tightening things up having a direct conversation with somebody saying no to more things. But just take a moment to really think about where what if I said no to what have I said yesterday that I really wanted to say no to Calais has, Katie has given me permission to go and make that yes and no. And be family that be unapologetic with your decision to put your needs first. You cannot let grow your client your you’d like to start again. You cannot grow your business between client appointments. I have loved this episode. And I could go on and on and on and on. But I went I will save you and get ready for next week’s episode where I’m going to be interviewing Michael Schumacher and we’re going to be talking about these EGS like if I’ve only got a certain amount of time I’m gonna spend it on in terms of marketing in my business. So please join me again and don’t forget to write just a little review. Like it, share it. Make sure as many people can listen to this as possible, because hopefully, it will help just somebody along the way. Thanks for listening

Subscribe to our podcast

"*" indicates required fields

Ready to transform your business?

Book a call with our team of experts and let us audit your business and share your next steps.

Schedule an audit

Ready to be fully booked without social media?

FREE eBook