It’s important to set healthy boundaries in life and in business.
I believe in two rules for success with clients:
1) You’re not at beck and call.
2) When you’re speaking with a client, you give the client your undivided attention.
If you don’t follow rule #1, you will be incapable of following rule #2.
Unless you’re a doctor or it’s part of the nature of your business to respond to medical emergencies, you’re not “on-call” 24/7.
When your phone rings and it’s a client, many freelancers and others who work in client service feel obligated to answer or guilty if they don’t.
In my opinion, you should never feel obligated to take a call that isn’t scheduled. Making appointments isn’t snobby. It’s a way of making sure each client gets your full and undivided attention.
You are not expected to drop everything at a moment’s notice. We’re all busy. Our clients are busy. We all have families and careers.
If you don’t respect your own time, then you will not be able to respect the time of others. And, time is money so you must respect time.
In the beginning, it’s easy to get seduced by the notion that catering to your clients means you’re always available anytime they want to speak to you.
But you owe it to yourself and your clients to have some boundaries.