Professional Boundaries: It’s Important to Say “No”

by Maria Marsala

Sometimes it’s hard to say “no” to people. We want to be helpful and we want others to like us. Can you relate? Sometimes our own fear of rejection keeps us from “rejecting” others. Wouldn’t it be great if saying “yes” guaranteed that we’d get a “yes” in return when we want one? Alas, we know this isn’t the case.

As a holistic practitioner, you’re a natural nurturer and soother. Saying “no” when someone asks for a “freebie” might feel selfish or violate your definition of service; however, neglecting to set professional boundaries for your time and resources will only hurt you, your business, and your paying clients.

What is the mission of your business? Is it to help your clients live vibrant, active lives? Is to help educate people about natural healing and healthier living? It may pain you to see others struggle when you know you can help. But if you don’t create boundaries in your business and constantly accept “freebie” seekers, you’ll be directing your energy toward people who aren’t serious about changing their habits or learning new things.

Paying clients have not only made a financial obligation, but also an internal commitment. These people value your services. When you help them achieve better health or overcome an obstacle, you fulfill your mission, and are of the greatest service to them and everyone else who touches their lives.

Every year, it’s important to review and re-define the line where “free” ends and charging begins. Of course, you want to create value for prospects. You want to bring prospects into your marketing funnel with generous amounts of free and helpful information. But you must always remember that being in business is about making money—and a profit.

It’s helpful to create a message, in your own words, that you can retrieve whenever you have to say “no” to someone who has requested something outside your professional boundaries. Copy and paste your basic statement into an email, make some adjustments for the individual situation, and send it off with love, knowing you are serving yourself and others with integrity.

Action step: Reflect on where you’re expending a lot of energy because you aren’t saying “no” appropriately, and list 5 professional boundaries you want to implement in your business.

© 2012 Elevating Your Business. An unstoppable entrepreneur, Maria Marsala is a strategic business coach, speaker, and author of eight workbooks geared toward helping business owners grow their businesses to serve their lives — not the other way around. To learn more about how you can grow your business in the next twelve months, sign up for Focus! Ezine, a newsletter jam-packed with Maria’s singular brand of tips, tricks, and priceless strategic business advice visit

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