It seems like only yesterday we were busy mapping out our 'perfect 2020'...when just a few months in we were ALL hit with a global pandemic to mess with our lives!
The good news? Most of us are getting used to the 'new normal' and with that in mind, it's the perfect time of year to start planting the seeds for an INCREDIBLE 2021.
Antsy to get started?
Here are a few steps you can start taking RIGHT NOW to set a solid foundation for the next 12 months...
1. REFLECT. Take some time to think about 2020 and make note of the things that 'worked'. What made you giddy with joy? What actions brought in money? What experiences made you feel successful? How can you bring MORE of that into next year? Also, reflect on what DIDN'T work. These will obviously be things you'll want to avoid for 2021.
2. DREAMSTORM. It's weird, but most people have a tough time articulating what they really want. We all say things like 'money, health and...
I have some exciting and aggressive business goals this year...one of which is to continue growing my practice as a Virtual Assistant Coach and V.A. Course Creator, helping people who want to start a new V.A. business or expand their existing practice. Last year, two of my coaching clients asked me an interesting question:
How many clients do you have?
The answer changes for me from month to month and year to year, but the truth is: The most clients I have taken on at one time was 7-8 different business owners. And at my lowest? This always surprises people: I had just TWO clients.
Are you wondering which was better? The truth is, there were good parts and bad parts having LOTS of clients and also to having very few. If you are just starting out or thinking about scaling up or wondering if it's better to seek out a smaller number of prospects...there is no 'right' or 'wrong' number of clients to have, but there ARE pros and cons to consider.
Several weeks ago I was grocery shopping in the middle of the day (one of the perks of being a V.A.!) when I ran into a friend who is also - YUP - a Virtual Assistant. We chatted about the benefits of frozen taquitos for a few minutes and then promptly got onto the topic of "insane work schedules" and the fact that some days our workloads are very, very light...and other days? The poop emoji hits the fan and every client wants fifty-eleven tasks done URGENTLY.
Call it Murphy's Law, but if there's one thing I've learned as a V.A. for the last 9 years it is this: Every client seems to get busy and needs help all at the same time.
There are some things you can do to try and PREVENT becoming over-scheduled:
I've been debating about whether to share this secret on my blog ...actually for years. I think the time is right, so here goes:
I've been working as a full-time Virtual Assistant since 2011 (that's over 9 years now!!) and I've had many, many clients come and go over that time. It always surprises me (and I think it would honestly surprise a LOT of people) to know that I often make more money as a Virtual Assistant than some of the clients I'm serving.
Over the years, I've occasionally been tasked with jobs that require me to see a client's financials...and I've been shocked, to discover that when it comes right down to it...I'm sometimes taking home more moola than the 'Big' clients.
Of course, this is not ALWAYS the case. Sometimes I make WAY less than the people I work for. And sometimes I have no idea what my clients make since I've...
"How many hours per week do you work?"
Working very few hours seems to be one of those things that business coaches and entrepreneurs use, to convince us to buy their stuff. They promise to show you how to make multiple 6-figures...while never working more than a few hours a day! Sounds amazing, right?
Scouring the internet these days you would think everyone else is making millions by barely working. But remember what your mama taught you: "If it seems to be too good to be true...it probably is."
While I can't speak for EVERY business owner, I CAN share how it works for me. The truth is: "How many hours do you work" is nearly impossible to answer because it changes so freaking much from day-to-day.
Some weeks, I literally work ZERO hours while still making some money. These would be the weeks that I am on vacation and the money I make comes only from passive income. I make money...
One of the things a Virtual Assistant with kids has to deal with is finding that ever-elusive ‘work-life-balance’. I’m often asked how I do it and the ugly truth is: I totally don’t.
Let me shout this one from the rooftops:
In fact, I wonder if there even is such a thing. Some days I’m glued to my computer feeling guilty about how long it’s been since I’ve seen the kids. Sometimes I wonder if my neglectful parenting is causing them any permanent damage.
Other times I’m playing ‘Peek-a-Boo’ for the 18th time while worrying that I’m not marketing my business (or hanging out with my husband, or doing 30 minutes of exercise or making a dent in ‘laundry mountain’). You totally get what I'm saying, right?
The so-called ‘Experts’ will remind you to take time for yourself…go for coffee with friends…enjoy that bubble...
(I say that even though there is 3 feet of snow on the ground here. I am desperately hoping Mother Nature gets her act together soon.)
The season of Spring is notoriously associated with a fresh start. Many of us dive into the act of 'Spring-cleaning', vigorously de-cluttering closets, shining windows, and partaking in that once-a-year scrub under the fridge. Spring is the perfect time of year to do a little tidying up in your business as well. I'm not talking about the kind of business overhaul that requires months of time and oodles of cash to complete - just a handful of simple fixes that will freshen up your Virtual Assistance business and give you a shiny new perspective over the coming months. Here are 5 simple edits you can make right now to boost your sparkle factor:
1. Update Social Media Profiles. When was the last time you added your latest skills and experience to LinkedIn? Or...
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:
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?"