8 Things I've Learned During Quarantine
Tomorrow, we're headed into quarantine again...for the third time. It's been a crazy year for all of us and as I begrudgingly accept the idea of another 30 days locked up at home...I've been thinking about what I've learned about having a THRIVING Virtual Assistance Business - even during a global pandemic and multiple quarantine situations.
1. Have some cash saved up.
You may be surprised to learn that when the pandemic hit last March...I lost of all my clients. People thought that since I was a Virtual Assistant, I could easily keep running my business from home, as usual. But the problem was, my clients got shut down (photographers, fitness studio owners, in-person course creators , small businesses, etc). And every one of my clients had to put a hold on paying me for any services. If you are a Virtual Assistant you will always have periods of crazy busy-ness and periods when things slow down. Have at least a little cash saved for those days.
2. Always be ready to pivot.
If all of your clients are suddenly in quarantine - it becomes more important than ever to get them online! A global lockdown crushes a lot of business-as-usual type scenarios...but it also OPENS A LOT OF OPPORTUNITIES! Keep your eyes open for new ways you can evolve your business and always be flexible and willing to learn something new.
3. Throw the Monopoly Game in the garbage.
Is it only MY family that has never completed a game of Monopoly because it's the worst game ever invented and literally always ends in a huge fight with someone tipping the board onto the floor and storming off in a huff? Do yourself a favor and burn that boardgame now. You're welcome.
4. Never stop marketing your business.
Oh I know, I know when you have multiple clients things bet BUSSSSSYYYY and there is often no time to market your business. Besides, if you're already at your full capacity with clients, what's the point of marketing for more? As I mentioned above - you could lose, every single one of your clients, in the blink of an eye. Keep marketing always and you'll be able to quickly re-fill those spots.
5. Find ways to clearly define work time versus home time.
OK, this isn't exactly a quarantine lesson, because I've worked from home since 2011 and I know the drill. But seeing my spouse and kids have to adjust to being at home 24/7 reminded me of this: Find ways to separate work time from leisure time at home or you'll feel like you can't get away from your job. Some ideas that work for me:
- Have set hours that you work and stick to them adamantly
- Have certain clothes you wear during work time and other clothes you put on during leisure time.
- Have a dedicated space where you work and other places in your home where you don't work.
- Have separate emails for work and personal things so that you don't have to keep checking your messages outside of office hours
6. Look for the good in EVERY situation.
I'm not gonna lie, when all of this is over and my teenagers go back to hanging out with friends more than me...I will miss them tremendously. Yes, my daughter asked to be emancipated after the Monopoly fiasco...but I've thoroughly enjoyed many of the other games and movie nights and old photo albums and dance parties we've shared this year. If you don't take time looking for the good - it can become really easy to drown in all of the bad. A few ways that help me?
- Open an Instagram account and take one photo of something that makes you happy every single day.
- Download the 1-Second Every Day App and take a 1 second video of something you love every day
- Use a page from the Virtual Assistant Binder (or any blank calendar) to write down one good thing that happened every single day. Read it whenever you're feeling blah.
7. Everything you thought you knew about house cleaning and laundry-doing is WRONG.
Raise your hand if you always thought that if you could only spend more time at home and less time running around...your house would be spotless and your laundry hamper empty. NOT TRUE. Whether you work from home or away from home or your busy or bored...the housework and laundry remain about the same. I don't understand the physics behind this...I only know that it's true.
8. I suck at rapping.
So yes...there was a rap written and performed by yours truly and the teenagers which we entered as part of a family 'rap competition'. Great reminder of why I became a Virtual Assistant and not anything at all within the music industry.
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