Why You Need Standards in Your Business and Life

Whenever someone signs up for a coaching call with me, I send them a 20-page document called a “Welcome Packet.”

This file contains exactly what you’d expect: a questionnaire to get more information about the potential client’s life, info on setting up a video call, and glowing testimonials.

But sometimes folks are surprised to see a lengthy list of my policies and procedures.

Here’s a snippet:

The following activities are prohibited during a coaching call:

  • Eating.
  • Whining.
  • Having a TV on or music on in the room.
  • Opening browsers or programs on your computer other than Skype, Google Hangouts, and your email.
  • Inviting other adults into the room with you. I do allow children under 18 to be in the room with you provided that they are not distracting.
  • Being impaired by alcohol, drugs, or medication. If you are sick, please send an email to sage@sagegrayson.com at least 24 hours in advance so we can reschedule your call.

I go on to explain who I will and will not work with:

I do not work with slackers, chronic complainers, or those who want a “quick fix.” I don’t take clients who want to complain about everyone who has hurt them in the past, how unfair their lives are, and never take responsibility for how their lives have turned out.

I’m your coach, not your best friend. I’m here to motivate you to achieve big things despite your circumstances. I’m not your shoulder to cry on. I will push you harder than you’ve ever pushed yourself, and you will achieve things you never thought possible. I know you can do it!

I’ve been told that my Welcome Packet isn’t very . . . um, welcoming.

I may goof around and be silly on my blog, but when it comes to helping my clients get the results they want, I’m serious.

Every rule or guideline I have in place is there to avoid a problem in the future or because I had an issue with a client in the past.

If something’s not working, then that’s my cue to create a new standard operating procedure to avoid running into the problem again.

It may not be the most thrilling aspect of running a business, but standards have helped me position myself as professional, and they make the process crystal clear for my clients to follow.

Standards aren’t just for entrepreneurs! Standards have a place in every area of your life.

Could you use some standards?

Answer the following questions to define your standards in your business and life.

Your Business Standards

  • Describe your ideal customer in as much detail as possible. What’s her personality like? Where does she live? What’s her income? What does she value?
  • Do you prefer to be paid before or after you deliver your product or service? Do you offer installment plans?
  • What are your business hours? How many hours do you want to work per week?
  • How many vacations do you want to take per year and what is your system for handling customer orders during that time?
  • What is an example of an action or behavior that would make you drop a client or customer on the spot? Would you refund her money or not?

Your Life Standards

  • How do you want to feel every day? What types of activities, people, or experiences bring about those feelings?
  • Name 3 people in your life who make you feel like the best version of yourself. What do those people have in common?
  • Name 3 people in your life who make you feel bad about yourself or your abilities. What do those people have in common?
  • Are you an introvert, extrovert, or somewhere in between? What boundaries or ways of being support your personality?
  • What type of people, situations, or circumstances are unacceptable in your life?

Do you create your own standards?

This post focuses on Step 2 of the Life Editing Process, Delete Bad Influences. For more about life editing and what it can do for you, click here.

3 Simple Steps to Become a Productivity Superstar

Dump your excuses, transform your habits, and become the most productive person you know.


  1. Shelly on April 16, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    In life, I am definitely an introvert and do my best work alone. I get far too distracted otherwise! If there are certain standards that people do not meet or boundaries they have crossed, I will completely cut them off from my life. It is a waste of my time and energy to even allow someone to continuously make me feel bad, irritated, annoyed, etc.

  2. winifred jac on April 13, 2015 at 8:33 am

    this was really great. a fabulous read to start my morning. i feel like im at a place in my life where my standards on what and who i want around me is very clear. it feels good to get to that place.

  3. Kirsten on April 11, 2015 at 8:32 am

    This post really made me stop and think. Do I need standards? Absolutely yes! I have many boundaries set for my personal life and am slowly learning what boundaries are acceptable for my business. Thanks for getting me thinking about this!

    • Sage Grayson on April 11, 2015 at 3:32 pm

      Yes! Boundaries are a good thing, and sometimes saying no to people or commitments will make us happier and less stressed.

  4. Jen K on April 11, 2015 at 7:18 am

    This post really got me thinking. I need to make a standards list. I’ve never really thought about it before.

    • Sage Grayson on April 11, 2015 at 3:31 pm

      Thanks, Jen. Standards make everything less draining and frustrating in the long run.

  5. Ashley urke on April 7, 2015 at 9:58 am

    This is so good sage! Boundaries are so important. As I have learned to set boundaries I see certain people cannot handle it. And these are the people who are not worth my time. A relationship can truly thrive when a respect for boundaries is set! You are awesome at what you do!

    • Sage Grayson on April 8, 2015 at 8:46 am

      Thanks, Ashley! Setting boundaries and standards makes me less grouchy in my relationships. Some people won’t understand, but we gotta protect ourselves first.