5 Perks That Surprised Me About Working Virtually

Last week I shared with you 5 Perks I Expected From Working Virtually. While I got what I was looking for in those, they’re not the only perks that come with the territory of this career path. The truth is, some of the perks I’ve since experienced caught me by total surprise.

It’s no secret I love this work, and though I’ve been doing it for several years now, there were surprises. There still are surprises now and again, but I’m going to share with you the 5 surprise perks I came across working virtually.

5 Perks


1. Meeting People All Over the World

From the comfort of my own home office, I’ve been able to work with, interact with, and serve people from all over the world. I’ve worked with clients from Norway, Australia, Canada, and the list goes on.

I’ve worked in almost every time zone around the world, spoken with people on nearly every continent and participated in meetings with people I never would have had the chance of meeting otherwise.

It boggles my mind that, from my own little desk tucked away in Colorado, I’ve done business with people I never would have been able to do if I was working in an office, putting in my 8 to 5.

2. Relationships

It truly has surprised me that I’ve become such good friends with so many of my clients. I’ve been able to build really solid relationships and develop a strong rapport with them, despite not meeting in person, or working in the same office (or state, or country).

These aren’t just people I’ve added in my rolodex or tacked on to my Christmas card list. My VAs – my clients – they’ve become a part of my extended family, and I’m so grateful to call them friends.

I wasn’t expecting to grow so close to so many people so far away. Though it surprised me, it’s still counted as an absolute perk. One of my favorite perks at that.

3. Working From Anywhere

It seems like a “duh”, as the word virtual itself would insinuate working from different places. It surprised me though, just how mobile I’ve been able to be.

When I first started, I felt like I had to work at home. I had to stay at home. If I wasn’t in my dedicated office space off the living room, I wasn’t really working. I had trapped myself for a while, and started to lose my mind a little bit. Then I worked from Starbucks. And oh, the world that was opened.

I’ve worked from Cozumel, St. John, Georgia, Florida, Arizona, California – and any Starbucks. Have I mentioned how much I love Starbucks?

This can backfire, of course. There are places with horrible internet connections, traveling away from home always has it’s own set of struggles. Mostly, though, it’s been a perk I’ve totally loved. Working from anywhere is a real trip.

4. Learning

This one may be one of the bigger surprises for me. The opportunities to learn new things are endless. Not only is there an entire buffet of enriching material spread out for the picking – but you get to pick. You choose what you want to learn.

Interested in web development? Editing? Marketing? Building your tribe? Copy writing? Anything and everything you’re interested in is available, and ripe for the picking. You can learn at your leisure, in your budget, and in whatever strikes your fancy.

Initially, I had no idea just how many available resources there were, and now I find myself trying to find ways to keep up with them all. It’s an incredible freedom to be able to choose what I want to learn, and to watch my personal and professional life grow because of it.

5. My Value

This is one perk – or life lesson – that was a long time in coming, and certainly not one I expected right away. I get to charge what I’m worth. My time, my skills, my capacity – I get to set the margin for what I will and will not accept in charging for my work.

It’s not about getting rich quick, it’s not about digging for gold and getting the most I can from any given person. It’s about knowing what I am worth, and being confident enough to not take anything less.

It’s been a humbling, yet empowering lesson. I’ve learned my value. I’ve learned to be confident in knowing what my work is worth. And I’ve had the chance to work with some incredible people who believe in and support that worth.


I’ve listed 10 perks total, but really, they’ve become innumerable. Working virtually has opened up so many doors for me, and I couldn’t be happier. I know God has shown His favor on this business, and I know he has even more perks in store with this work.

5 Perks I Expected From Working Virtually

When I left my corporate job, and entered the world of working virtually, there were several perks I knew came with the territory. Who doesn’t love perks?

Today I’m going to share the top 5 perks I expected to benefit from when I began to work virtually. I’ll save the ones that surprised me for another post.

Read on and see if you’d have the same expectations I did when I started this journey.


1. Not having to dress up every day.

I, like many other people (women, especially), tend to be self-conscious about my appearance. Sorting through my closet to find clothes to wear is super stressful for me.

I don’t have that anxiety getting dressed for work anymore. I can wear a blouse I love, dress it up with one of my favorite necklaces (I like big necklaces – who’s with me?), and wear yoga pants. And slippers. And no one cares.

I’m comfortable in my clothing, and not at all worried about my waistline, hemline, or panty line.

Important business meetings I attend aren’t in front of board rooms. They’re held sitting down in front of my computer screen. In my “head shot zone”, I look professional and ready to go. No one needs to know I’m wearing yoga pants from Target instead of slacks from The Limited.

2. Taking the kids to school (and picking them up) every day

Working my corporate job, I usually didn’t get home until after 6:00 p.m. Homework was usually already done, the girls were onto bigger and better things after dinner, and I was generally just on clean-up duty.

Now, I get to have that time every morning helping them prepare for their day, and we get to spend the whole ride home together unwinding from it.

The flexibility is priceless. Being there for my kids and knowing they can depend on me to pick them up and drop them off each day is invaluable.

I expected the benefit of having more flexibility with my family, but I didn’t anticipate how much fuller it would make me feel. It’s definitely the most important perk for me.

3. Working when I’m at my peak performance

Again, it boils down to flexibility. I expected flexibility when I began working virtually. The great thing about being flexible, is I can work when I do my best work.

Believe it or not, not everyone’s creativity or productivity peaks between the hours of 8 – 5. Sometimes I’m up working at 10…11…midnight, because later is when I roll out my best stuff. That would have never have flown in the corporate world.

Another bonus: I get to nap. Instead of trying to dredge my way through that afternoon hit-the-wall period, doping up on caffeine and false motivations, I can take a mid-day siesta and get back to work when I can do better work.

Naps are also perks. Naps are definitely perks.

4. Getting to use my own tools

Working virtually is all about finding what works. I get to choose – and then use – whatever tools help me to be the most efficient.

What works for me doesn’t necessarily work for everyone. And that’s what’s so awesome about the type of work I do: I get to do it in the exact way that works best for me. I can individualize my productivity arsenal and rapid-fire through my work on my own terms.

I don’t have someone training me on a product I’ll never need or a program that’s 15 years behind our industry. I hand-pick the app, tool, or program that will do the job in the way I’ll understand best.

I’m not wasting time submitting a ticket requesting an upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 2007, and waiting for it to be approved in eight different committees before it’s finally relayed to me the company doesn’t see the need for an upgrade right now. Besides, I HAVE A MAC!

I use what I love, what I know, and what works the best for the task I’m using it for.

5. Focusing on my personal growth

If I want to do mid-morning yoga (after all, I’m wearing the pants for it), I don’t have to take two-hours of sick time from my PTO to get a session in.

I don’t have to take an entire personal day to attend a seminar or event. I don’t have to cram my new book in over my lunch hour while I’m slurping my tomato soup.

If I want to take time for personal development, I can just do it, then get right back to work. I can watch that hour-long webinar on something I’ve been wanting to get a better handle on, and then get back to my project.

I can take a little longer in the morning to read my daily devotional and finish my coffee, because I’m not rushing off to a meeting no one wants to be in.

Whatever goals I have set for myself personally, I have the freedom to really focus on achieving them. I’m taking an active part in my own growth on a daily basis, and my work is flourishing as a result.


Those, in a nutshell, are the top 5 perks I expected from working virtually. What about you? Were you expecting any of the same?

 

How To Know If It’s Worth Keeping: Decoding Delegation

As a business owner, you’re not just in charge of a few things. Or even of just a thousand things. You’re responsible for everything.

Phone calls. Email. Creating blog posts. You’re the only one who knows if it’s worth your time to delegate it to (and possibly train) your VA. But think about this: just one 10-minute screen cast could end up saving you an extra 10 minutes every week day. You just earned nearly an hour (every week!) of your life back. I’d say that’s worth it!

How To Know If It's Worth Keeping- (1)

You might still be on the fence, however, deciding if you should keep doing what you’re doing, or delegate work to your trusted VA. Is it worth keeping for yourself or is it something someone else should be handling? Let me help you decode.


Figuring Task Worth:

  • Do you enjoy doing it? Do you absolutely love what it is, how it works, and what it takes for you to get it done? Does it fill you up when you complete it?
  • Does it constitute “billable” time for you? If you’re doing it, does it mean you’re on the clock for income?
  • Does it generate revenue, drive more business to you, and funnel referrals?
  • Does it communicate in a way only you can?

If you’re answering yes: You need to keep those tasks. Getting work off your plate is one thing, but don’t dish out what you love doing, or what earns your bread and butter. These are most likely the reasons you got into this gig in the first place!

  • Do you hate it? Does it make your shoulders tense up every time you think about having to take care of it?
  • Do you have heart palpitations every time you sit down to do it?
  • Do you have to watch the same instructional video each time you know you have to complete this task?
  • Do you always ‘skip it and come back to it later’ each time you get to it on your to-do list?

Delegate it to someone who can take care of it for you. You’ve got plenty of drudgery to deal with in running your business, and tasks someone else can handle – quite aptly, even – shouldn’t be weighing you down.

  • Do you know how to do it, are pretty fast at it, but there’s just not enough motivation to get it done?
  • Do you know it needs to be done, and occasionally want to participate in said activity, but probably not all the time?
  • Do you think it would be simple enough to show someone how to do it as if you were doing it yourself?

Train someone to do it for you. Taking the extra time up front to train someone to do it right might seem daunting, but it will save you so much more time in the end. You can always pop in now and again to monitor how things are going, and you can even fill in as backup to get your hands dirty, so to speak, if your VA is out. But don’t keep these kinds of things long-term.

  • Does it consistently fail to bring you business?
  • Are you only doing it because a talking head said you should?
  • Are you still completing this task because that’s how it’s always been done? Do you even know why it’s always been done that way?

Eliminate it altogether. It’s an obvious time-sucker, and since it’s not generating business, it’s also not generating revenue. You could be losing money on the things your doing here. Embrace that entrepreneurial innovation and find replacement systems if you need one, or just scrap the task completely.


The bottom line is this: there are always things we do we shouldn’t be doing. To get our freedom back, we need to realize there are folks who can do the things we can’t, better than we can do them. Then, we need to empower them to go and do those things.

Stop giving in to the urge to control it all and ask yourself, “If I delegate, train, or eliminate this from my daily tasks, will it buy me more time to do what I love?” If the answer is yes, we’ve got an obvious solution here! Get it off your plate. Then get back to doing the things you were created to do.

Who Needs A VA?

Who Needs A VA?
It’s a question I get all the time: Do I really need a VA? Mostly, I hear the comment, “I don’t know what I would have them do for me!” This is one of my favorite parts of my job: watching their eyes light up when I reveal to them the many ways a VA could make their business better, their impact bigger, and their life easier.

When you’re doing everything on your own, it’s hard to see past what needs to get done right now, or envision who could help you, and in what ways. Maybe you’re just starting out, or maybe your business is “too small” to hire any help. Maybe you don’t think you can afford someone, especially if you aren’t sure what they would do for you.

Are you on the fence as to whether you need a VA? Are you struggling to figure out how you would utilize an assistant, let alone one who may live in another state – or time zone? I’m going to break it down for you today, and give you tangible examples of who needs a VA, and how you can employ one.


Small Business

You may think your circle of customers is too small, or your offering of products too small-scale to justify hiring an assistant. Whether you’re servicing 10 or 10,000 customers, I promise you will benefit from the help of your VA.

Small business still needs presence in the marketplace, and that’s exactly what your VA can provide. Facebook ads, social media management, and even marketing flier production, are all simple strategies your VA can manage for you.

Once you employ a VA – even at five hours a week – you’re giving yourself that much more time and freedom to develop your business. Suddenly, your menial tasks have become the meaningful responsibility of someone who cares about your business as much as you do.

If growth is your goal, your VA is first in line to help you get there.

Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) Programs

You may have a big upline or an even bigger downline. However you’re doing in your MLM business, you’ve worked your tail off to get to where you are. Whether your focus is on building your customer base, your team, or both, a VA will be your best asset.

Need to create a recruiting packet? There’s a VA for that. Need someone to edit or polish your video productions? There’s a VA for that. Need someone to create your web copy, blog content, or respond to your social media engagement? You guessed it – there’s a VA for that.

From essential oils to 21-day-fixes and everything in between, we’ve got a VA who can help you grow your foundation.

Coaches

You’ve spent a lot of time scheduling coaching calls, responding to potential clients, and trying to generate leads with your speaking engagements. You get home Friday night and right as you lay down, you start questioning: “Did I answer Jane Doe on what book I told her she should read? Did I reply to that inquiry that came in from my website? Did I invoice Billy Bob twice?”

It’s a lot to juggle current clients, potential clients, and a heap of personal information. You’ve got notes that need to be transcribed, a motivational podcast that needs to be produced, and somewhere in that time – you’ve got to feed your kids. Enter your VA to save your day.

You go take care of the kids. Your VA is handling all of your correspondence, making sure no one falls through the cracks. They’re also managing your calendar so you’re not overbooking yourself, and they’re recording every invoice they’ve sent out for you this month. Breathe easy.

Trades

That’s right – having a VA isn’t limited to having a white-collar job! VAs are collar-blind (see what I did there?). It doesn’t matter if you’re a mechanic, plumber, electrician, or repairman. What matters is your desire to succeed.

Your VA can send out your follow-up surveys or handle your customer calls. They can invoice, track your bookkeeping, and even order your tools or supplies. They can place ads in your local newspaper, and even design it themselves! The only thing they can’t do is your laundry. Sorry, folks.


There are so many niches our VAs support. Authors, speakers, artists, webinar instructors, Realtors – and the list goes on and on.

The short answer to my question is a simple one. Who needs a VA? Everyone. Even you.

I’ll be waiting for your call. I can’t wait to find your perfect VA, and I promise I won’t say, “I told you so.”

4 Tips to Avoid Selling Yourself Short

Whether in business, relationships, or life in general, people usually strive to make the best impression. Some get so caught up in making that impression, they present themselves above or beyond their actual capabilities. This can come back to bite you – and it’s a bite that hurts.

[one_third]I’ve cautioned you not to overstate your qualifications. You certainly don’t want to bite off more than you can chew, or over-promise and under-deliver. It’s okay to dabble in different areas of expertise. It’s also okay to admit when you’re not an expert in something.4 Tips To Avoid Selling Yourself Short

There are certainly circumstances, however, where a person completely undersells their skills, talents, or capabilities. These can lead to losing out on an opportunity, or ending up on the wrong list. Selling yourself short can be just as, if not more damaging than overselling.

Today we’re going to look at four tips to avoid selling yourself short. It can be a fine line, so get ready to walk it with me.


1. Harness Your Humble

Humility is a gem of a trait. Too much of a good thing though, and you’re on a fast-track to nowhere. If people often tell you you’re a great cook and you always have company because people want to eat your cooking, chances are you’re a great cook. (Also, please come cook for me.)

It stands to reason when someone asks if you’re any good at cooking and you shy away from a definitive “yes” answer because you never took a cooking class, you don’t have any certifications, or you’ve never worked in a restaurant, you’re being way too humble. People love your food. Get over the technicalities, and own your talent. (Also, seriously, please come cook for me.)

It’s great to be modest – especially in your humility. Don’t overdo it on downplaying your skills or talents.

2. Streamline Your Strengths

If you’re spread too thin over too many areas, it can be pretty unfulfilling. If you’re not an expert in anything, you’re an average Joe in everything. This can be a huge disservice – not only to your customers – but to yourself!

Determine what your strengths are. What do you love? What do you really know? What are you great at doing? Focus on the top two or three things, and pour your energy into those.

When you can offer your strengths as expertise, you’re offering value only you can give. That’s a critical piece in standing out in the business world.

Don’t be mediocre in everything. Be awesome in a few things. Work toward developing your strengths, and watch how far they’ll take you.

3. Work For Your Why

Oftentimes when we’re trying to balance family, friends, work, life, dreams, goals and still trying to remember to eat and sleep, it’s easy for us to completely lose focus.

In those times, motivation can be pretty hard to come by. An unmotivated person doesn’t produce moving work. Unmoving work is an easy rut to fall into. So long as it’s getting done it counts, right?

Wrong. Don’t settle for producing subpar work simply because you’ve lost your sparkle.

Remember what it was that lit your fire to begin with, and get after it again. If that reason isn’t doing it for you these days, find one that will. Do what it takes to get yourself to the level you aspire to be on, and stop settling for your less-than-best.

4. Can The “I Can’t”

We all have our limits. There are things we simply cannot do. Some people can’t eat shellfish because they’re deathly allergic. Some people can’t dunk a basketball because they’re vertically challenged. Some people can’t walk and chew gum at the same time. I get it. There are absolutely legitimate things some of us can’t do.

Don’t tell me you can’t do something until you’ve tried it. “I couldn’t ever be an author.” Baloney. Sit down and start writing. “I can’t design a cool website.” So you’re just not going to build one at all? Pull resources together, pull your business britches up, and knock it out. “I can’t _____.” Fill in the blank.

What are you limiting yourself on? What are you convincing yourself of, or talking yourself out of, before you ever give it a chance? I promise you, you’ll never know how far you can fly until you start flapping. You might flop a time or two, but it doesn’t mean you can’t. It just means there’s another way.

Stop doubting and start doing.


You’ve got to fuel your faith. Believe in the you God created you to be. Don’t sell yourself short. Don’t underestimate (or understate) your abilities. Stop selling yourself short, and embrace your worth.

What piece of advice would you give to someone who may be selling themselves short?