September. The kids are back in school. There's a nip in the air. It feels like a brand new year, and with that comes a renewed sense of excitement and passion for your business. GREAT news! But for a Virtual Assistant managing a number of clients (who all have a renewed passion for their business, September often becomes STRESS-tember, a month of increased workloads, client demands, deadlines, and nerve-frazzling stress.
There's little time to book that 60-minute massage, get out to a relaxing Yoga Class, or soak in a hot bath for an hour. But de-stressing shouldn't be thought of as a 'luxury'. It's something you actually NEED to stay in good health. So what's the solution?
Here are 10 instant stress-busters you can do in just 10 minutes or less:
So many of my gal pals have been hit HARD by a nasty flu bug this winter! I truly feel for anyone who has spent the night playing 'nurse' to a sick kiddo only to discover that the virus has jumped ship and is now wreaking havoc with YOUR stomach like nobody's business!
It brings back wretched memories of the time I was super sick and had to finish a project for a client deadline. I sat on the phone with a tech support person in a feverish sweat...trying to desperately not to hurl my cookies. It was truly awful BUT...it did teach me a valuable lesson:
Virtual Assistants should have a 'back-up' plan...and most V.A.s forget to create one when they start their business.
What will you do if tomorrow you wake up violently sick...or perhaps you become injured and can't work?
After my 'sick' experience...I came up with a few ways to keep things running smoothly, even if I find myself unable to work.
If I had to pick the one question I get the very most often from new Virtual Assistants, it would most definitely be the good 'ole:
"How do I find clients"?
I thought it would be fun to share the EXACT things I did to get my very first few clients way back in 2011 (yes, I've been around that long). Of course, some things have definitely changed since then...but many of these ideas are still working for me today as I get inquiries from potential new clients every month.
OK, I have to be FULLY HONEST here: I don't usually tell anyone I found my first client on Elance (which is now called Upwork). Why? Because the competition was FIERCE and the money I made was LOW. Like way low. Like way waaaaay low. It took a lot of time to apply for a handful of jobs AND I dropped my rate to a pitiful $10 per hour. Now that I've been a Virtual Assistant for 9+ years I know, without a doubt, that I cannot make a living with such a low rate. So while I don't...
Over the last 9+ years, I have connected with MANY Virtual Assistants at all levels of creating a V.A. Business. Some have flopped and 'virtually' disappeared from the industry. Others have become super success stories, growing 6 Figure practices, and KILLING it in the online world. What did they do differently?
The most successful Virtual Assistants I know don't jump into their day willy nilly wondering what they'll work on first, how they'll spend their lunch hour, and which project they'll 'feel like' working on. They start each morning by deciding on priorities, reviewing deadlines, and building a solid plan for the best way to spend their time.
You might think the highest paid Virtual Assistants spend all their time doing client work...after all...that's what we get paid for! But the biggest players in the V.A. world know that it's...
It being January there is a lot (I mean a gigantic-cruise-ship-boat-load) of information out there about 'Goal Setting'.
Chances are, you've already started mapping out your New Year's Resolutions and setting some goals, not only for your life (I WILL lose weight this year!!)
But also for your Business.
If you haven't done so already, you might want to sit down with a calendar, a notebook, and a bunch of colored markers (that's how I do it!) and set a really crystal clear vision of where you want your business to go.
As you move through this year, many opportunities will present themselves. There will be chances to work with new clients, new marketing paths will emerge and for darn sure, there will be about a million newfangled ideas popping into your head on a weekly basis. Sometimes it will feel like you're on a game show with the host impatiently tapping his foot and saying:
"What's it gonna be....door number 1...door number 2...or door number 3?"
This week I noticed an interesting drama unfolding in some of my social media feeds involving two big business coaches. Let's just call them 'Coach A' and 'Coach B'.
Coach A made the bold statement that "Webinars are dead".
He implied that people aren't listening, don't care, and are tired of the whole "come to my free webinar" marketing schtick. I have to admit, I am somewhat inclined to agree...from my own personal experience, I rarely sign up for a free webinar nor attend one and I do tend to get tired of seeing them advertised over and over and over again.
However, Coach B was quick to laugh and pointed out, that they themselves made multiple six figures this year - largely from offering free webinars.
So who is right? Are webinars dead? Is blogging the better way to go? Newsletters? Facebook ads? Podcasts? Challenges? Instagram?
The choices when it comes to marketing your business...and OMG, the conflicting advice...
Let's be clear: You don't HAVE TO do anything. But when it comes to writing a blog for your Virtual Assistance biz? Here's why you may want to consider it:
Quite often during my private coaching sessions with Virtual Assistants, I get asked:
"Do I have to write a blog??? Even if I reeeaaalllly hate blogging?"
I gotta be honest with you, there are many ways in which having a blog can help Virtual Assistants ramp up their businesses:
As a Virtual Assistant AND Mama, I often get asked:
"Is it really possible to run a successful Virtual Assistant Business from a home office while you have kids at home? How do you do it? "
I have run a full-time Virtual Assistance Practice since 2011 with THREE KIDDOS AT HOME. I have researched countless blogs and advice for Work-at-home Moms, and this is what I've learned:
To heck with all the advice. Really.
You do you...even if it goes against everything the 'experts' have told you about entrepreneurial parenting. Even if it's a little crazy.
How do I do it? Here are some of my own tried, true, and tested tips and techniques for managing a Virtual Assistance Business with 3 kids at home:
1. Always let your phone go to voicemail. Never pick up that call while kiddos are home - even if they are in a seemingly quiet state. If you make this mistake, your kids will know instantly. War will break out and your caller will be...
Let's face it...deep down, we're not looking for money, love, power, fame, or success...all those things lead to what we're really after: Happiness.
We want to get that 'happy' buzz we assume comes along with those things. Everyone wants to dip their fingers in a heaping bowl of happy and lick them off.
The truth is, 'happy' is available to all of us right now, no matter what our circumstances.
But in a crazy world of running an online business, parenting our little monsters, workouts, breakouts, and power-outs...it can be tough to find happy. For many of us 'happy' is something we look forward to in the future while we race through our days trying to get there.
It's time to get happy TODAY! And the great news is, it's pretty easy to get there.
1. EAT HAPPY....
The first time I heard someone say "Follow your passion" I was about 10 years old. We've all heard it. It comes in various forms:
"Do what you love and the money will follow"
"Make your passion your paycheck"
"Do what you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life"
At the age of 10, this confused the heck out of me. Do what I love? Hmmm... how is lying on the couch watching TV going to get me a paycheck? I knew enough to call 'B.S.' on that quote, even back then.
Still...I got the gist of it. If I chose a career that I actually enjoyed - it wouldn't feel like work, and there would be a greater chance I'd be successful at it, right? But then the problem became WHAT am I passionate about? What am I so passionate about that I could do it all day, every day for the rest of my life, and earn a living at it too?
THAT was the harder question.
I never really did come up with a great answer by thinking about it.
I still don't have...