setting boundaries

Reduce Stress by Setting Boundaries

One of the major lessons of my adult life has been setting boundaries. Whether they be emotional, financial, physical, spiritual or mental. I am such a keep-the-peace type of person by nature that in the past I gave over control of many aspects of my life to circumstances or people because

  1. I wasn’t clear where the line was between them and me. I was fuzzy about what’s my responsibility and what’s theirs
  2. When I did realize I needed to set a boundary, I didn’t want to deal with the anticipated “conflict” of doing so.

Thus, over the years, I owned other people’s emotions. I allowed money I earned to get spent unwisely by other people. I enabled other people to atrophy in their own responsibilities and character, over-invested in relationships that weren’t at a commitment level to warrant the investment, and didn’t take enough care of my own health.

I have learned that when I allow one area of my life to swell beyond boundaries, other areas suffer. For example, when I was a workaholic, my family suffered. When I over-invest in relationships, my work suffered. When I owned other people’s negative emotions, I became drained and didn’t have the energy to be there for the other people who needed me. When I didn’t take enough time for sleep and exercise, I got sick and stressed.

It’s a delicate balance.

Creating an Energetic Buffer Zone

For me, as an empath, one of the first boundaries I learned to set was between my emotions and someone else’s. I’m still not perfect at that, I still have a knee-jerk feeling of responsibility for easing other people’s upset emotions. Yet, I have developed somewhat of an energetic buffer zone where I create a shock absorber between other people’s emotions and me.

If I am, for example, in a room full of highly emotional people, I can use this buffer to mute my empathic abilities. This way, I can withstand the intense environment. Then I can reduce the size of the buffer and connect empathetically when I work with a client or want to be emotionally responsive to my significant other. If the environment was extremely intense, it may take a bit of alone time to rejuvenate, but I give myself that time and honor the need for it.


Another way I’ve prevented one or more areas of my life from getting out of balance is to use a schedule. I used to avoid schedules like the plague. I love spontaneity and going wherever the Spirit leads, but I have learned that a schedule is my friend. When I set clear work hours, free-time hours, and time for uninterrupted sleep and exercise, my life goes more smoothly.

Get Clarity

I still struggle with boundaries. I still take on responsibilities that are not mine. I still have a tendency to make excuses for other people as to why they can’t step up or contribute. As a result I tend to take on their part. But I’m learning that the clearer I am about where my boundaries are and the more clearly I communicate that to other people, the more I take back my personal power. I have come to finally realize that not setting and communicating clear boundaries is giving away my power.

It would be easy for me to blame other people and say they are trying to control my time and my life. But the fact of the matter is that it’s not their fault when I have not clearly communicated my boundaries. It’s not their fault when I don’t enforce my boundaries.

For example, as a work-at-home entrepreneur with teenagers, I set the boundary, “When my door is closed, please do not come in.”

In my romantic relationship, I’m setting boundaries like, “I work from 9 am to 3:15 pm every day. You’re welcome to text me, but please don’t expect a swift reply. If I have a moment I will reply during the day or perhaps it will need to wait until after I pick up my son at 4pm.” Or, “If you wake up thinking of me at 3 am and want to text, you are most welcome to do so, but please don’t expect a reply til morning.”

Be Flexible

As wonderful as boundaries are, life happens. There are special circumstances.. Loved ones go on vacations to tropical islands and want to touch base with you in (what for you) is the middle of the night. Elderly parents get sick and need your help during your work day. Schedules may need to be adjusted. Don’t be afraid to ask other family members or your church to assist you in such cases.

What areas of your life are causing you stress? Which areas feel out of control? Perhaps it’s time to get clear on setting boundaries. When you get clear with yourself and clear with others, you take back the power in your life and reduce stress significantly.

If you enjoyed this post, you  might also find this one helpful: Is Your Inability to Say “No” Making You Sick, Tired or Broke?

About Marnie Pehrson

Marnie Pehrson is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.

woman watching sunset

Being Offended Is An Inside Job

Let’s talk about something that might offend people… the topic of being offended, discriminated against, criticized, etc. When you live in a free country, Christians aren’t getting their heads chopped off. Women aren’t being stoned. Gays aren’t being slaughtered (unless we’re talking ISIS attacks). If it does happen, it’s a crime and there are punishments. That’s REAL discrimination.

If someone takes away your life, liberty or property because you fall into a group (other than a criminal who deserves rights to be curtailed) then yes, you are discriminated against. In this post, I’m not talking about crimes. I’m talking about, for instance, someone said something mean to you, called you a name, or disagreed with your opinion or doesn’t want to do business with you because your hair is blue.

In a free country, if I want my right to think, believe, speak and feel what I want, then I have to allow you to think, believe, speak and feel what you want.

Thoughts, feelings, words and beliefs aren’t crimes. Actions that take away life, liberty or property are crimes.

Being offended is NOT the same as being discriminated against. Being offended is an inside job. It’s something you get to decide. The Amish weren’t offended when the guy came in and slaughtered their school children. They embraced his mother as if she were a victim too. That’s how much being offended is an inside job.

Most of us aren’t that forgiving. We all get offended. Being criticized for some aspect of your life, behavior, body, actions or beliefs is NOT a crime. It’s something we have to learn to work through on our own.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” ― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

What It’s Like Being a Minority

I spent 9 years in private fundamental Baptist schools. Yep, my brother and I were the only two “Mormons” in that school. I certainly never felt discriminated against. No one beat me up. I was first string on the basketball team, got to be in plays, was junior high valedictorian.

They may have promoted their points of doctrine that were different than mine. They had every right to do that, just as much as I had a right to believe what I wanted to believe.

I suppose I could have been offended, but I was not. Instead, I saw it for what it was – a bunch of people who believed differently than me on some points of doctrine. It’s a big world with lots of viewpoints. In fact, being among them helped me learn to love, respect and find common ground with people of all faiths.

Dealing with Bigotry

When I started a site for Christian women, I got some really nasty emails calling me a cult member and insisting I had no right to run a Christian web site. Yes, I took offense. My feelings were hurt. How dare someone accuse me of not loving my Savior? Were their comments some heinous crime? No, they had a right to say what they wanted to say, and I had a right to delete their emails without reading them.

Rather than cry “discrimination” I decided to make that site so Christ-centered no one would EVER accuse me of not being a Christian. What happened? I did that and the attacks stopped. Mysteriously, just stopped. Hmmm… Amazing what the power of Christ can do.

Dealing with Criticism

Being offended, for me, is a choice. I can choose to get my feelings hurt. Or I can look at the situation and ask, “What needs to be done here?” I started the first article directory and ran it for 14 years. During that time, I received lots of nasty emails, was cussed out by people griping about how the site was constructed or that they encountered a bug in the programming. I was even accused of single-handedly ruining the freelance writing industry.

I learned to look at each accusation or criticism and ask if it held merit. If it did, I used the feedback to improve the site or create a cool new service. If it didn’t, I wrote it off to their opinion and let it go.

Everyone Discriminates

Every day you and I are being “discriminated” for or against. You hire that consultant because she has a Pitbull like you do. You go to one hair dresser because she’s easy to talk to and avoid another because she bores you to tears.

I’m sure I’ve had people who didn’t want to work with me because of my religion, political views, the fact I got divorced in a family-focused religion, or that my southern accent grates on their nerves. Who cares? So what? I choose not to be offended – at least not for more than a couple minutes. 🙂

They aren’t my customers. They’re someone else’s. I go find the people who like me and what I have to say. To think I have to please everyone is rooted in insecurity and scarcity. There are plenty of people out there. Go find the ones who want to hire, be around, and love you. Let the rest roll on by.

That’s the beauty of a free country (and entrepreneurship). Let’s keep it that way!

About Marnie Pehrson

Marnie Pehrson is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.

Thrive Again: Who You Are is Not What You Do

Who You Are Is Not What You Do

My friend Martina Muir says, “Who You Are Is Not What You’ve Done.” I’ve put a little twist on it… “Who you are is not what you do” either.

When you lose the ability to do what you’ve always done, it can create such a sense of loss that it strikes at the core of who you are as a person. You know what I mean — those things we do that define us:

  • the pianist who has lost a hand,
  • the football player who’s had one too many concussions, or
  • the elderly bus driver who’s judgment is impaired and can’t drive anymore.
  • the mom whose children are all grown and have moved away from home.
  • the entrepreneur who is suffering a health challenge that affects her ability to work.

When one talent becomes our identity and that talent is damaged or lost, it can make you feel worthless and as if you don’t hold any value anymore.

In this segment I talk about dealing with this kind of loss and how to reframe the situation to discover who you really are. If you’d like to work this through with someone and process the loss, click here.

About Marnie Pehrson

Marnie Pehrson is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.

Can you own an idea?

In one of my favorite books, “Return from Tomorrow,” George Ritchie shares the account of his 9 minute death and subsequent visit to the spirit realms. He saw people in various locations. Some were still tied to their old lives and others had moved on.

imageHe saw a heavenly lab where ideas were created and dropped like lightning bolts onto the earth. Raining ideas on everyone. Those who were in tune, picked them up. Of those, a few took action and implemented them. I like that way of looking at inspiration.

I think that’s why we get three asteroid movies released at the same time! Lol

In my opinion, you don’t own an idea until you implement it. And even then there’s probably someone else out there who got it at the same time you did and implemented it with their own spin. So more likely, ideas aren’t owned at all.

In fact, ideas are rained down on us to serve and bless lives. We’re all building and improving on ideas… Hopefully for the benefit of society.

Some people obsess so much over ownership of an idea, they forget that it’s all about serving others. When Moses was called by God to deliver the Children of Israel, he kept making excuses about how he was a nobody and he couldn’t speak. God kept painting a picture of Israel’s deliverance and reminded him of His power. In other words, “This isn’t about you, Moses. Get your ego out of the way and let Me bless lives and liberate people through you!”

I think when ego’s in the way there are two main groups of people. Those who won’t implement because they are concerned they’ll look dumb or fail, and those who implement because they want all the glory and accolades. Both of them forget the real purpose behind the idea… To be of service.

So when a great idea strikes, forget yourself, think of the lives it will bless and get to work!

About Marnie Pehrson

Marnie Pehrson is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.

deciding which product to create

Making Choices: Selecting an Idea to Pursue

  • Do you have trouble making choices about which idea to pursue?
  • Do you find yourself perpetually taking trainings and learning new things, but never really implementing?
  • Do you have so many ideas it feels impossible to choose one direction and follow it?
  • Do you feel like there’s so much more to learn, you aren’t “ready” to actually run with any one business idea?

If so, I want you to know you’re not alone. There are lots of people like you who are ever learning but have trouble implementing. A lot of it has to do with your core connecting style, which I’d guess is probably one who sees lots of POTENTIAL. Folks like this (and I’m one of them) have a hard time choosing one thing because we feel like we’re sacrificing all the other choices.

People who operate from a POTENTIAL core also feel they never know enough because there is always more to learn. This creates a perfectionism that can cause you to stay in endless prep mode.

making choicesHalf the battle is realizing that this is the nature of your personality type and to FORCE yourself to choose a path. Often the path you choose is not as important as that you choose SOMETHING.

I know it seems like a leap, but if you zone in on one focus, and avoid the tendency to veer off into something else, you’ll start to see real progress.

I will warn you that when you do choose one path, you will most likely panic at first because you will feel the need to MOURN the other paths you’re not choosing. That’s okay. Just acknowledge that feeling for what it is and move on with your focus.

Making Choices Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult

If you’re having trouble picking an idea to pursue, I invite you to watch this video tutorial. In it, I share a formula for evaluating your ideas in a clear, definitive way so you can make choices quickly and start making money from them.

About Marnie Pehrson

Marnie Pehrson is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.

Overcome the 7 Obstacles to Success

For several years, I just wouldn’t do it. Wouldn’t do the very thing I’m good at.

Have you ever resisted the very thing you’ve been called to do?

Why did I avoid consulting people?

Because I could tell my clients were not going to follow through. I’d give them sound business and marketing advice, but I could sense they had some kind of belief, block or limitation that would derail them.

I hated taking people’s money and them not get results. So I stopped consulting. I didn’t pick it back up until I learned how to help people move past the typical fears and roadblocks to success.

You might be wondering what those roadblocks are and whether you have some of them yourself. Here
are 7 of the most common ones I’ve identified…

  • Fear of Success
  • Fear of Failure
  • Fear of Confrontation
  • Scarcity Thinking
  • Fear of Being Exposed / Embarrassed
  • Inability to attract supportive colleagues / clients
  • And taking responsibility for things you can’t control

If you’re struggling with any of these (and most people are to some degree), I invite you to join me starting Monday for Breakthrough to Radiance.

Break through these 7 obstacles and achieve YOUR next level of success!

About Marnie Pehrson

Marnie Pehrson is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.

Entrepreneurship Declining and What It Means

Did you know that there has been a sharp decline in entrepreneurial-ism in the last decade? A recent study by Brookings Institution shows that America, which has long been an entrepreneurial nation, is losing its entrepreneurs.

Why should this matter to you and me? Anyone who has worked in or for a large corporation knows how long it takes to make decisions, to take advantage of market trends, adapt and implement. I’ve often compared them to elephants trying to turn on a dime. They simply do not have the flexibility of small businesses.

Small Businesses Are
The Petri Dish of Innovation

Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, are

  • Fast-acting,
  • adaptable,
  • cutting edge, and
  • innovative


  • Create manufacturing opportunities,
  • foster industry, and
  • employ much of the middle class

Look at the major innovators: Bell, Tesla, Edison, Gates and Jobs. They all started small in their garages or small shops. Innovation rarely comes from large corporations. It comes in the petri dish of entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship Fosters Freedom

In his book, FreedomShift : 3 Choices to Reclaim America’s Destiny, Oliver DeMille talks about the three things that could keep the United States free. The first is entrepreneurship. Many of the Founding Fathers (Jefferson, Franklin, Adams, Hancock, etc.) were entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs were the innovative, forward thinking individuals who had the courage to create an entirely new paradigm of government. The U.S. Constitution made our country the free nation that it is; and it was through the inspiration of brave entrepreneurs that we enjoy our freedoms today.

Why Is Entrepreneurship Declining?

Yet, entrepreneurship is declining, but why? According to the Brookings Institution report,

Our findings stop short of demonstrating why these trends are occurring and perhaps more importantly, what can be done about it. Doing so requires a more complete knowledge about what drives dynamism, and especially entrepreneurship, than currently exists. But it is clear that these trends fit into a larger narrative of business consolidation occurring in the U.S. economy—whatever the reason, older and larger businesses are doing better relative to younger and smaller ones. Firms and individuals appear to be more risk averse too—businesses are hanging on to cash, fewer people are launching firms, and workers are less likely to switch jobs or move.”

The economic downturn certainly has not contributed to people being willing to take risks. Also, it’s interesting to note that the middle class is also dying (See NY Times article on this subject).

The middle class-entrepreneurship question is sort of a “chicken and the egg” situation. Is the death of entrepreneurship killing off the middle class? Or is it the death of the middle class that’s eroding entrepreneurship? It definitely takes money to start, market and grow a business. If you’re at poverty level, you’re going to have a tougher time being an entrepreneur. And many entrepreneurs who have been hit hard by the economy, have been forced to close their doors.

Entrepreneurs discover soon enough that not only do they have operating expenses, but also they are slammed with self-employment taxes, federal taxes and insurance expenses that the average 9-to-5’er will never see.

The economic climate is not friendly to entrepreneurs, and it’s not friendly to the middle class. You kill one and you kill the other.

Brookings Institute Report Graph

Brookings Institute Report Graph

Commenting on the Brookings Institute Report, Jean Card wrote in US News and World Report,

American entrepreneurship is at its lowest point in 30 years, and the decline since 2009 has been precipitous… I don’t think you need to be an economist to find the study’s chart overlaying the trend lines of business start-ups and business closures (with the “good” news going down and the “bad” news going up, to the point where they actually, gasp, pass each other in opposite directions) to be grab-your-chest scary. I think you only need to be an American who appreciates the fact that this nation has been, historically, economically strong because of vibrant entrepreneurship.”

My friend Daniel DeCoopman and I were discussing this phenomenon the other day. He said something I think is important.

Entrepreneurs are the lookouts, the purveyors of the future. They stand at a place unobstructed by barriers” (or at least they used to). “They can see the horizon and bring forward technology. Without this market segment, we greatly impede our ability to perform and compete in the global economy. Entrepreneurship is the creative part of our culture, yet it’s no longer being valued.”

And we will pay the price…


About Marnie Pehrson

Marnie Pehrson is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.

Do You Have An Entrepreneurial Mindset

In this episode of the Online Business Reality Show (Aka Marnie & Sue’s Peep Show), Sue Painter and I discuss the type of mindset you need to succeed in your own business. From delegation to positive thinking to the way you look at “failure” all play a role in your success.

About Marnie Pehrson

Marnie Pehrson is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.

Is That Potential Client Right For You?

In this episode of the Online Business Reality Show: Marnie & Sue’s Peep Show, we talk about how we determine if a potential consulting client is right for us. Perhaps our criteria may be of some use to you as well.

Sue also addresses transitioning from a job to becoming a full-time entrepreneur and how she’s filling her upcoming live intensives.

Also, get a behind-the-scenes look at my marketing strategy and product funnel so you can get some ideas for yours. We address the logic in creating affordable products, loss-leaders and even building a business completely around low-priced products.

About Marnie Pehrson

Marnie Pehrson is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.

Grow Your Business With My Simple Calendaring System

The new year is fast approaching and the best way to grow your business is to leverage the power of planning. In this video I give you a peak inside my own business.

This morning I worked on my training calendar for the next 6 months and decided to create a video to show you my process in action. I spent about an hour on this calendaring process. But it will make a huge impact on my business in the coming year.

CalendaringThis is just the first phase of my calendaring process. The next phase is mapping out my marketing calendar so I know what to do each day to promote my programs effectively. For my marketing calendar templates and system, look into How to Streamline Your Marketing and Fill Your Programs” system.

About Marnie Pehrson

Marnie Pehrson is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.