Defining Your “Out Of Bounds” Markers

by Paul Castain on April 11, 2012

When was the last time you really thought about the moments when you would, without hesitation say “NO!” “Unacceptable!” or even an emphatic “Homey don’t play that!”?

What I’m really asking you is . . .

Do you know your personal and business boundaries to the extent, that you can clearly define your “Out Of Bounds Markers”?

I’m talking about everything from your personal code of ethics to that point of the day that if the cell rings or an email flies in . . . it will have to wait until tomorrow.

Here are a few of mine in no particular order


I don’t discuss my religious or political beliefs.

I will break bread with my family at least twice per week. Any projects that infringe on my ability to enjoy my family are declined.

I will not associate with people who force me into becoming a crappy version of Paul Castain

I will not ride in a car with a silent farter . . . even if I have to jump from a moving car.


I will not work with rude clients for any dollar amount. “Rude” also pertains to how they treat their teammates.

No part of my Linkedin group is for sale. Yep . . . I have people continually offering me money to promote products and services to my community.

I will not allow anyone to edit my writing to the extent that they are asking me to stop being Paul Castain.

I will not reduce my prices to get a deal. I will gladly discount once multiple projects are in the works . . . never before!

I also have “Out Of Bounds Markers” for the types of business I will accept and won’t accept, who I will network with and who I won’t network with.

Some additional “Out Of Bounds Markers” for you to consider:

What type of behavior is out of bounds because it goes against the culture of your organization?

Think employees, vendors and clients.

How about a little something experts refer to as “Me Time”? Are you willing to protect this time? At what point does everything else become “Out of Bounds”?

Having ranted for 300+ words, I do believe its your turn . . .

What are some of your “Out of Bounds Markers”?

For more information on my coaching programs, corporate training and keynote speeches, either click here for the full version or here for the 15 second “at a glance” version. Perhaps its time for you to invest in yourself and/or your team?

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  • Melissa

    I refuse to work with those who make me chase them down.  If they want to work with me, they will.  If they don’t, then no amount of running after them will change their mind.  Plus, I’ve realized that those clients who WANT to work with you will be those clients who will continue to work with you.  Those you have to chase down will leave at the drop of a hat.

  • paulcastain

    Well said Melissa and an all caps BRAVO to you for defining you “Out of Bounds Marker”

    Thanks for taking the time to stop by and share your thoughts!

  • Tammy

    This is great Melissa! I’m at the beginning of my sales career and I’m currently chasing about 5 prospects. Right now I justify it because I have the time to spend chasing them, but I need to re-think whether they are worth my time a few months from now when my activity levels and business have increased.

  • Lynda

    Absolutely agree with you Melissa. We respect our clients and look forward to working and partnering with them — no chasing involved. We also make sure that we are upfront and won’t take on their project if we can’t make their deadlines — we are honest and want to retain our relationship for years to come.

  • Kim

    I was once asked to approve falsifying postal documents, and lying to the client about it. I had to part ways with that company a few years ago.

  • paulcastain

    Rock on Kim . . . This is exactly what I’m talking about!

    Well done!


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