I’ve been having a boundary problem.
Creating and holding clear boundaries is how you create space in your life for your dreams.? Creating dream-growing boundaries is a simple case of routing resources (time, energy, creativity, money) to go towards nurturing what you want to grow.
Simple, but hard.
Give Your Dream Wings, my free e-course, is growing like crazy, which is fantastic! But as it grew, and my web traffic in general grew, I also became overwhelmed by email.
No one email is a problem on its own.? People are having a hard time watching a video and want some help.? Or they deleted one of the lessons and need me to re-send it.? Or they want the emails to go to a different address.? Or they want me to know how much their dream is growing and how their life is changing because of it.
Of course I want people to be able to access the course!?? And I don’t want to ignore these emails.? But even quick responses take up time and energy.? And having so many of these emails land in my inbox takes up enough energetic bandwidth that it’s leaving me with less than I need for other things.
I’ve been very overwhelmed by this, actually.
It’s been enough to make me not WANT my business to grow any more because I’ve got my hands full taking care of the people who are already here.
When I am in a state of overwhelm, I’m not making the best decisions.? It was when I started thinking about hiring someone to help me with the emails that it finally dawned on me: providing customer service to people who are not actually customers is simply not sustainable.
See, deep down inside I had this inner “good girl” who wants to do what people expect of her.? And suddenly so many people expected me to respond to their emails that she got triggered and kind of took over.
So, first, of all – I had to take back my energy from the situation.? Being overwhelmed by the volume of email put me in a dis-empowered space.? When I re-claim my power and put my inner “good girl” back on permanent vacation, I can see everything more clearly and be in touch with the heart of what is happening, which is: I want to help.
I want to provide my customers with my best work, plus helpful customer service.? This is important to me.? This is what my business is here to do.
I want to provide my audience with helpful resources, including ways to access the answers to their questions (ways that do not include me emailing them individually).? Plus a warm invitation to come and play with me.
So, I’m switching to a new customer service email system and creating a self-serve help center.
The Give your Dream Wings Help Center has everything categorized so it’s easy to find exactly the help you need. So anyone who runs into a problem with Give Your Dream Wings can get a solution right there.
The Creative Dream Circle, gets a Help Center too. Of course Circle members do get customer service, but the Help Center means they can look up immediate answers to the most common questions, instead of waiting for me to answer their email.
What is REALLY beautiful about this is that the customer service software can grow as the Creative Dream Circle grows, so it stays easy & doable for me to offer quality customer service for my beloved customers.
The day I set this all up I could actually FEEL how I increased my internal capacity for serving more dreamers.
With my email under control, it means I can be more present for my Creative Dream Circle and clients.? And that is the whole point of my business!? To support the people who choose to let me support them in bringing their magic to the world.? It feels amazing to actually feel my capacity to do this work increase.
This is the bumpy road of bringing a dream to life!? It often does take being overwhelmed or frustrated or resentful or angry about how things are going, in order for you to see how you’d like to set things up differently.? As Joseph Campbell said “Where you stumble, that’s where your treasure lies.”
Creating a boundary is easier than holding a boundary.
And the outer work (like in this case, setting up the self-serve help center and the new customer service email software) is a LOT easier than the inner work.
You’ve got to be able to hold your power in order to hold your boundary.? This gets easier over time as you acclimate to owning more and more of your power.
But especially in the beginning it can be really hard.? And other people will generally not respect your boundary just because you told them about it.? Not because they want to be jerks, but if you’ve always done ____ then suddenly you decide to not do ____ anymore but they’re still used to you doing _____ so they’re going to expect you to keep doing it.
They’re in that pattern with you and they may not want to change it.
So you really do have to be willing to hold the boundary all on your own, even if no one respects it.? Otherwise, what’s the point?
If I do all this work to set up new systems, but keep responding individually to every email I get because my inner “good girl” doesn’t want to upset anyone’s expectations… how does that work?? Now, besides still being overwhelmed my email I’m also out the time and money of setting up new systems that I’m not using.
I can’t expect people to just stop emailing me, can I?? It’s 100% up to ME to do something different if I want this to change.
That’s how it is with ALL boundaries.? You can’t expect other people to change just because YOU want something to be different.
For many years, boundaries were super hard for me.? I was working really hard at it, and setting boundaries… but wasn’t owning my power enough to hold them.
It was SO HARD for me to set a boundary, I couldn’t bear the work of actually holding it.? So I’d set it, the other person would bulldoze through it, and I’d collapse the boundary and they’d go on doing what they’d always done.
What I find makes it easier is if you go into the process of setting the boundary fully aware of your responsibility to HOLD the boundary, this way you tend to set up boundaries with maintenance-systems in place.
If you’re a Creative Dream Circle member and you want to learn more about boundaries, check out my video on Sovereignty, in the Advanced Creative Badassery Resource Library – it’s 57 minutes (!) of me talking about this in more detail, and answering people’s questions about how this works in the real world.
Plus, I changed my email address.? I was still using the email from my old abccreatvity.com domain, but as of today I’m using hello [AT] creativedreamincubator.com