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Fashion Frenzy Boundaries…in Business and Life By Denise Brady Acanfora, Certified Personal Stylist and Owner, The Urban Exchange

Why do boundaries get a bad rap?? Boundaries create the space for the blessings to come in and work their magic. Setting boundaries allows you to determine what is important to you. Learning what other people’s boundaries are offers you insight regarding what they identify as important to them. It’s your job to set your own boundaries. If you don’t – others will impose their boundaries on you since they can’t sense what yours are. As a result, there will be hurt, anger and frustration because you will feel unseen and unheard in your personal and business relationships. Don’t let that happen. Take some time to decide what you will and will not allow. Setting boundaries isn’t selfish. It creates guidelines and pathways for acceptable behavior. Better communication is the result of well defined boundaries. Boundaries clear the path and lead the way to strong relationships.

chaos in the shop and nobody would benefit from that. I have set up the guidelines for what I want the shop to look and feel like. I have established boundaries for what type of music we listen to in the shop. I have established boundaries for what colors we decorate with in the shop. I have established the boundaries for what brands we do and do not accept in the shop. This creates order and consistency which frees up time for us to connect with our customers and have a fun shopping experience. So - when I say No- it’s not to be mean or difficult. I say No in order to safeguard the boundaries of my business. We each have to trust our own instincts. And we must believe that when someone is telling us No it’s because they are trusting their instincts. Be kind. Be polite. But do not allow anyone to mistake your kindness for weakness. Stay within your boundaries and safeguard what is important to you. Just like I did the other day when a woman responded with the ultimatum “Well, it’s now or never! I am leaving for Florida so you have to take my things.” I kindly told her where to go. (No, not like that, silly!) I gave her the names of the other consignment shops in town.

An essential component to establishing boundaries is becoming okay with saying No and accepting No. As Anne Lamott says

NO...Is a complete sentence.

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You need to be able to say No in order to safeguard your happiness and well being. You also must also be able to accept No from others. Remember – they are protecting their boundaries, too. When we disregard our boundaries we are disappointed with ourselves and project that as anger onto the other person. When we don’t respect our own boundaries we then give others permission to do the same. No good can come from this. Relationships will suffer.

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No matter what your job is – I believe life lessons present themselves in ways that are relevant to you. As the saying goes – you gotta speak to people in a language they understand. The lesson for setting boundaries is ongoing for me. When I say the shop is full and we are not accepting more items I get pushback. Women argue with me and try to get me to change my mind so that they get what they want. When we are accepting items but I pass on certain things they have brought in there are lots of questions. Why won’t I take it? Will I take it at another time? Why don’t I like it? Some Star Wars wisdom seems relevant here. “I didn’t set this boundary either to offend or please you. I did it to manage the priorities and goals I have set for my life.” It’s my job to establish and uphold the boundaries for accepting consignment. I know what we can and can not fit in our small shop. I have a keen sense for what will and will not sell with our customers. It’s my job to safeguard the boundaries for the shop so that the business runs smoothly and successfully. If I said Yes to everything it would create

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