Susan just wrote me with a juicy Productivity Death Star she’s been struggling with for years.

Remember – a Productivity Death Star is something that’s been holding you back from achieving success for a long time. If you could just break through on your Death Star, you would experience a huge breakthrough in time, freedom, and money.

This one is an issue that frequently stymies entrepreneurs (and especially mom entrepreneurs). Demir and I have also come up against this hurdle before.

Here’s Susan’s Death Star (See if you can relate to it…)

“Before I started my business, I had no time for my family. Now that I have my own business, my family seems to think that I’m always available. They’re constantly putting demands on my time and I feel like I can’t say no!

The pendulum has swung the other way – I can’t get any work done, and it’s threatening my entrepreneurial success.

My family is the reason I started the business, so I don’t want to go back to being totally unavailable to them. How can I strike a balance without feeling like a failure?”
– Susan

Tricky, right?

…Swap out “my family” for “my significant other,” “my business partner,” or “my clients”… does this same situation apply to you?

The issue at the core of Susan’s dilemma is that she hasn’t set appropriate boundaries with her family.

Her 9-5 job would have had built-in boundaries. But her new “job”doesn’t have those, and she doesn’t know how to build them in!

Of course, if Susan could go back in time, she would set boundaries clearly and aggressively.

But now that time has past, it’s a lot harder to “change the rules” on the family. They’ll likely feel hurt, like the rug has been pulled out from under them.

We’ve all been there – it’s easy to let boundaries slip. “I’ll set better boundaries later…it’s okay this one time.”

This is a very common mistake, which is the assumption that you’ll figure it out later.

Unfortunately, it’s the reverse.

You could let your dog pee all over the house and say “I’ll train them later.” But it will become harder and harder to train them correctly, because a habit has been formed.

Today, I’m going to share a strategy to keep Susan’s family happy and allow her to get work done.

In fact – her family won’t just be happy, they’ll actively support her in her new business so that she doesn’t feel guilty for spending time on her new business.

Torpedo #1: Create a catalyst for change

Once you’re on the defense, you need to create a strong, believable REASON for the change in boundaries.

For example, when someone has a health crisis, it becomes extremely easy to set new boundaries with work and family.


There are 3 reasons:

  1. A health crisis is serious. It’s a brick wall. An immovable object. It’s not a preference, it’s a need.
  2. People get to be the GOOD guy when they help you out. You’re asking for their support.
  3. It’s instant and immediate. You’re able to “break and reset the leg” quickly and establish the new normal.

In order to recreate these necessary psychological drivers, I’m not above stretching the truth to make your catalyst believable.

How do these catalysts sound to you?

“Hey, my #1 client has noticed that I’ve been off my game, and she’s threatening to drop me unless I get my act together. So I’m going to need to work at a co-working space for half the day, because there’s a danger we could lose this money.”

(Note: You could try to retrain your whole family while at home, but it’s easier when you change your physical environment.)

“This whole working at home thing has been a lot more challenging than I originally thought. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to get my old job back in 3 months if I can’t make money soon. That would mean that I won’t be able to do anything for you or the kids and things would go back to the way they used to be. Can you support me in hitting these revenue goals in the next 3 months?”

Torpedo #2: Align your motives 

I had a client whose husband and kids were actively sabotaging her new business, because they saw it as a threat to them.

She reframed their entire attitude towards her business by asking them what gift they would want once her business hits her revenue goal. She pointed out that they were already able to afford more nice things, like a new jet ski and cell phones.

Her husband chose a golf membership at a fancy golf course. Her kids chose new video games.

Overnight, they went from sabotaging her efforts to finding ways to help her be more efficient at work, including offering to do the dishes and find carpools with friends. They starting working in harmony with her because their priorities were aligned.

When you find a way to align your motives, resetting boundaries becomes a true win-win for both parties. And that creates effective, lasting change without the guilt.


P.S. If you are stuck on something like this in your life right now and are sick and tired of waiting to take action on it, I encourage you to talk to one of our Lifehack Coaches about joining one of our upcoming Bootcamps.

There’s no substitute for getting personalized advice from coaches who have been in your shoes.

The call is free and they’ll give you immediate, actionable advice on what you can do to get started on your own Death Star today. Sign up here.