Are you treating your prospects like stray cats? Just think about it. When stray cats come along with their sad, pathetic, kind of scrawny bodies, you feel bad and feed them! But as soon as the food is gone, so are they… until tomorrow, when they are hungry again. Ready for more free food. Do they give you any love in return? Rarely! Set boundaries and stop business losses now.

Recently, I had a conversation with a client who was telling me about his hot prospect who he is excited to work with. By this point, they negotiated the entire project and the prospect is happy with the price, but now that it is time to actually start, my client is unable to get the deposit. Meanwhile, the prospect keeps sending components of the contract asking for feedback and opinions, and my client gives them. In fact, my client gave a $500 market evaluation of their marketing plan for free hoping it would lead to a signed contract and paid deposit.

When my client asked me, “What do I do?” I said, “Well, it sounds to me like you are treating him like a stray cat. As long as you keep feeding him and doing the work he is going to keep coming around. Why should he sign the contract if he does not have to? Why should he pay you a single dime if you are just going to work for free?” Now, not everybody is like this, but there are a lot of people who, directly or indirectly, will take advantage of you if you let them. It is up to you to set some really clear, healthy boundaries.

how to set boundaries and stop business losses

Set Boundaries

Now, here is the thing about setting boundaries. It is is not an “F You! You are going to pay this or else,” kind of energy. You can still be loving while standing in your inner dominatrix. Let us use my client’s situation as an example. “Hey, I would love to do that market evaluation, which is actually part of what we have outlined in the proposal! So get your signature on that paper and I am so looking forward to diving into this!” That sets a really clear boundary and expectation of, “I will do the work as soon as you sign the contract and pay the deposit” while still being kind.

Unfortunately, this is where many business owners are unwilling to be firm. So instead, they do a dance around, sending an email reminder rather than straight-up asking, “Hey, are we doing this? I have not seen the money.” Most of us are unwilling to stand firm because we are afraid to lose. But one of the big pieces that I love in the inner dominatrix archetype is this willingness to lose, and the willingness to stand and ask for what is appropriate, required, and a good exchange for the value. Just remember, if you keep feeding those stray cats, they will keep coming around for free stuff!

Respect Begets Respect Applies in Business Too

For business owners, the more firm you are in setting your boundaries, the more you are going to find that your clients respect your time and actually treat you with the love! Meaning, they do not just come around for free food, they stay in your house and love you! And that is what we want, giving us the ability to serve our clients!

how to set boundaries and stop business losses

So look for ways that you can start firmly holding those contracts, setting your boundaries, and being really clear in your expectations. Ask people to pay and sign their contracts so that you can serve them. And that is your inner dominatrix moment! A related article I wrote can be hound here. If you are ready to lean in and fully own your inner dominatrix energy head over to and let us get you rocking.