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Trivinia on Superhuman Entrepreneur

Every now and then I’m invited to be a guest on various podcasts and online radio shows. This is something I love about where I am in my business. First, I love being asked to just talk about what I know – which happens to be what I’m passionate about: removing the overwhelm.

Also, I love getting to share with new audiences and unpack exactly what we do at Priority VA. Nothing makes me want to give myself a high-five (one downside to working from home – not many people to high-five…) quite like the responses I hear from people who have had their eyes opened to a whole new world on how to run their business.

Virtual Assistants aren’t new to the business world, but some entrepreneurs are hearing about what we do for the very first time. And they LOVE it!

Being both an entrepreneur and a VA myself, I’ve been given a unique perspective into the workings of how a VA not only assists clients, but impacts business in a transformative and positive way. I love sharing the ins and outs of Priority VA’s unique structure, and showcasing the character and skill-sets our VAs possess.

I was thrilled when Dr. Jones invited me to be his guest on Superhuman Entrepreneurs. Our missions are the same in that we want to help entrepreneurs reach their full potential, materialize their dreams and goals, and work smarter – not harder.

Dr. Jones and I covered so many bases. Tune in to learn more about:

  • Selecting the RIGHT Virtual Assistant
  • Technology and Techniques to Increase Productivity
  • SCRUM
  • How to Get the Most Out of a VA
  • Top Things to Outsource to a VA

You can catch the full episode and all the show notes and resource links on the podcast page here!

5 Inexpensive Ways to Get the Help You Need

You need a VA. Just about everybody does. You know it – but maybe you’re really struggling with figuring out how you’ll be able to afford it. Whether you’re just starting out in your business, or having a tough year, your budget may not have any wiggle room. As much as you could use the help, you’re just not sure you can commit to the hourly rate of a consistent VA.

I get it. Seriously, I do. And I want to encourage you today. Until you can make that move to financially bring on a powerhouse VA, there are ways to get help. You don’t have to do everything yourself, and you don’t have to work alone.

Believe it or not, there are some great ways to get exactly what you need in the moment without breaking the bank! Today I’m going to share 5 Inexpensive Ways to Get the Help You Need.


1. Pay Yourself First

First and foremost, regardless of how you patch your fix today, I want to give you a pro-tip. As our friend Dave Ramsey would say, “pay yourself first.” Put money away each month to save for that VA who can set up your aWeber account, create your lead pages, and build your webinar slides. It’s an investment, and one you’ll see a big return on. Remember you’re building your business, and it’s no small undertaking. Save for the business you want, so you can one day have it!

2. Project By Project

Using project-based VAs will get your tasks completed, and will also give you some great experience in outsourcing and delegating. An added bonus? It will give you the skillset to properly follow-up with people. Using one-off support will require you to be a little more hands-on than using a regular team member VA, and you’ll for sure polish up your communication skills while working with a project-based hire.

There is a downside, however. You may find a VA you adore, but they’re unable to stick with you long-term. Project-based VAs may not be able to be pried away from their flexibility or other clients in order to work with you for the long-haul.

The upside to project-based is if you’re not super impressed with the work produced, you’ve not lost out on a significant investment of time or energy in the working relationship. And the work still gets done!

3. Search Off-Shore

There are many companies offering off-shore support (from the Philippines, India, etc.), and some off-shore VAs are incredibly technologically skilled. The communication barrier, however, could be challenging. If you know and anticipate that going into it, and you’ve worked hard to create a great system for your business, generally an off-shore VA can keep that going for you, provided you have the time to oversee the work.

4. Barter

There are several VAs growing their own business, just like you’re growing yours. Some of them may very well need what your business has to offer. Don’t be afraid to offer your services in exchange for theirs.

I’ve been on the receiving end of some phenomenal coaching simply because I was able to create landing pages for clients when they couldn’t. We both – the client and myself – won in that deal.

Put yourself out there, and you may land your next assistant for a simple trade of time.

5. Network Online

There are Facebook groups I’m a member of with 10,000 other people. If you’re a member of any sizable group, chances are someone in the group knows how to do what you need.

If you don’t know how to integrate a Lead Page with Constant Contact, post a cry for help in a group. You may just be able to hop on a call with a tech friend and solve your problem in no time – for free.

I’ve found some pretty amazing VAs, simply by posting in groups. Graphic designers, coders, copywriters – all are looking for their own freelance work, and you may be able to supplement their income (often at a lower rate, because of the commonalities you share by being in the same group[s]).

The key to making this a real win is to actually put yourself out there. We often struggle silently at our desks, frustrated (crying!) and alone. If only we’d reach out, humble ourselves and ask for help – we’ll often find it immediately.

One caveat is you’ve also got to add value. Don’t be the person in the group always asking for help but never providing any. It’s a two-way street. Bring your skills to the table, too, or you’ll be “that one” in the group everyone blocks because you’re solely a taker. Always, always, be a giver.


Bonus Reminder: When you’re in the place and time of your business’ life when you’re ready to take on a consistent VA who will help you in the ways you need, with the character you long to work with, remember Priority VA. Until then, I hope these tips help you find help when you need it most!

The Secret Behind Systems

We talk a lot about working smarter, not harder. Being more productive over being problematic. It doesn’t only make life easier for you, but for everyone you work (and live) with. You have to find the tips and tricks that work best for you, but you also have to be using them.

Claiming systems is great, but only giving voice to them rather than implementing them is a losing battle. If you broke your leg and you were given the choice of talking about a cast or wearing one, you’d obviously choose to wear one so you could heal. If your business is in disarray (or even if you’re simply trying to prevent it from getting that way), you’re going to need to use certain systems rather than just think about having some.

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So what can you as a business owner do in the way of functional systems? You’ll especially need some in place when you have other people working for or with you. But where do you start? How do you develop a workflow? As always, I’m so glad you asked!

A system is basically a roadmap for anyone working in or joining your organization, to figure out how you like things done, and to replicate outcomes you’d create for yourself, often at a fraction of the time (and cost) it would take to do it yourself. This speeds up growth and gives you tremendous traction in growing  your business.

1. Get it Documented

The first thing any entrepreneur needs to do is document their work days. This can be done in a physical or electronic notebook or journal, but the key to effective outsourcing and delegating is documenting how you spend your time during the day. I like to make four columns and label them “Love to do”, “Hate to do”, “Don’t know how to do”, and “Don’t have time to do”.

You’ll quickly see there are things in your business you love to do and you should absolutely work to keep doing those things yourself. The things you don’t know how to do should be delegated or outsourced first, followed by the things you hate to do.

Getting rid of those tasks will free you up to do the things you “don’t have time to do”, which are generally tasks you also enjoy, or the “money making tasks” in your business that sometimes get moved to the back burner when you’re working in other areas of the business.

2. Make it Accessible

After you’ve nailed down your list of tasks, you’ve got to get them recorded somewhere. Personally, I recommend a task management software or a systems databank so anyone on your team can access what they need to keep the ball moving downfield. I recommend online tools like Asana, Trello, TeamWork, Wrike, or Basecamp to help you document not only your tasks, but the systems that need to happen to complete them.

Don’t skimp on this process. Be detailed. Once your tasks and processes are documented correctly, you can easily assign anything you don’t need to be messing with to your VA.

3. Calibrate

The next system you’ll need to implement is what I like to call “calibration calls”. Weekly (or daily, if necessary) calls or check-ins with your team simply to calibrate. Just like anything else we want to maintain and keep running, we need to calibrate our teams. It’s a great way to explain and measure expectations and adjust, realign, or correct anything that’s off. What tasks are people working on and what are the roadblocks to completion?

If you commit to regular calibration calls, you’ll soon see that often, the roadblocks in your business, are actually you. Using your team to bring this to light will not only help you become a better leader, but it will help you gauge where your time is being spent. If you’re posting on Instagram instead of writing copy you said you’d get your team for the sales page, it’s easily identified, and an even easier fix. Make adjustments from there.

No one is exempt during a calibration call. Everyone on the team has a say and a responsibility to do what they say they are going to do. This removes any roadblocks in the way of the team’s success.

4. Run the Relay

I’ve seen the best systemization with my clients and VAs in the form of passing the baton. Think in terms of your business being a relay race. You have a firm destination in mind: your finish line. For you, it might be launching a blog or your first online course. You know where you’re headed. You’re off and running, and you’ve got the baton.

You write the blog, you have the opt-in content ready to go, you have the concept and content for your course mapped out and it’s time to hand the baton (all of that information and detail) to your VA. They take it off your hands and are off and running. They publish the blog, design your opt-in, and set up your autoresponder email series.

We’ve all seen the videos of the runner who trips and falls and another runner helps them up, running alongside them to the finish line. That’s what your VA is to your business. You will fall. You’re running fast toward your goal, and there will be mistakes. You’ll trip up. You may even scrape a little skin and you’ll most certainly have your days you’ll want to burst into tears (or bust out the wine bottle) and give up.

Your VA will be there to run alongside you, pick you up, throw your arm over their shoulder, and they’ll help carry you to whatever the finish line is in your business. Maybe it’s your first podcast episode or hosting your first webinar. Your VA is there to take the baton for you, help you get where you’re going (even if they have to drag you!), and get you geared up for your next race.

Having the right systems in place is only part of the solution. You need the right people on your team, too. Get in touch with me today and I can help you accomplish both.

How to Help Your Business (& Yourself) With A VA

It’s a HUGE decision to hire a VA, and I don’t want to downplay that at all. The advantages VAs bring to the table, especially if you’re hiring for skill set, temperament, and character, however, will be ten-fold what you initially anticipated.

VA

When a client decides to hire a VA, I see initial reactions like an increase in stress (because let’s be real, onboarding anyone into your system takes work), followed by immense relief. When traction happens, minor changes fuel incredible momentum for faster growth.

You’ll see changes in the way you work. When I hired my own VA, I started seeing tasks I didn’t “have” to do. Formatting blog content, for instance, drives me batty. I’m not an HTM whiz, nor do I want to be, so when my VA said she loved WordPress, VOILA! One task that took me an hour now takes her 15 minutes.

I’m saving time and ultimately money, by outsourcing a necessary task to someone who could do it faster (and with more enjoyment!) than I could.

When clients bring on a VA, they start to change the way they think about outsourcing. Small tasks, like scheduling appointments, to large tasks, like developing an email marketing funnel, all become fair game. Working alongside a VA clarifies which tasks you keep, and what your VA should be doing for you.

Ultimately, it changes your support structure. You move from “the island” of entrepreneurialism to camaraderie. You aren’t in this alone anymore. Not only do you have a help mate, you have (in many cases) a friend – someone along the same journey as you – breathing fresh life into your business.

Things that were once only ideas now become finished products. Visions become executable and  you see momentum. Traction. And that is the beginning of a beautiful business.

So Who Exactly Should Hire A VA?

This is a tough question because unlike a lot of talking heads you’ll hear that tell you “we can work 12.5 hours in a week and call it good” – (therefore ANYONE should hire a VA!) – for many entrepreneurs, that’s simply not the case. They aren’t generating revenue in their business and hiring a VA is often a catch-22.

Entrepreneurs may need the help, but they can’t afford it. Without help, they can’t generate revenue. This can be frustrating and defeating for many clients. Money spent on a VA could instead be spent on marketing or coaching. Frankly, sometimes entrepreneurs just aren’t ready to hire a VA.

Here’s How I Gauge When Someone Is Ready For A VA:

If you don’t have an idea for a business yet but you know you want to leave corporate, you’re not ready for a VA.

If you’ve got negative cash flow in your business and an already-high overhead, you’re not ready for a VA.

If you’re going through VAs like water because they just don’t “get” you, but it’s really the fact you have no firm grasp or vision on what you’re trying to accomplish, it’s not time for a VA; it’s time for a coach.

Initially, bootstrapping is often the way to go until you can confidently say you’re ready to hire a long-term, collaborative support VA. There are many recourses available to “get started” with virtual support. Sites like oDesk and Fancy Hands can take on small tasks, while giving you a level of comfort that your time (and money) is well spent. You can find a diamond in the rough on these sites, too. Just know it takes time and energy to sift through the thousands of folks on these sites.

However, if you’ve got a business plan and need help with the “how” of making it a reality (you don’t have the foggiest idea how to set up opt-in pages, or maybe you have the content to create an opt-in, you just don’t have the skills to build one), I’d wager a VA can help you reach the next level in your business.

If you have a program, product, or service already generating revenue – even minimally – but are overwhelmed by the work it takes to launch, spread the word, or grow your business to the next level, it’s safe to say it’s time to offload tasks to a VA.

If you work well with others, understand delegation is necessary for growth, and are truly ready to “let go” of some key pieces of your business to free up your own time and energy to do what you do best, you’re ready to hire a VA.

The best clients are those who can communicate effectively. They may not know all the jargon, but they know what they want and how to work well with others. These visionary and communicative clients, be they speakers, authors, marketers, coaches, eCommerce owners, pastors, doctors or lawyers, make the best type of clients for a VA.

So which category do you fall into? Are you ready to see how a VA can help your business (and your personal life) soar to the next level? Let’s get talking.

Why You Don’t Have to Wait ‘Til January to Hire a VA

I’m not sure how it’s possible, but according to my planner and the availability of pumpkin-spice-everything, we’re at the tail-end of September.

Whatever goals you set at the beginning of the year are now looming at the finish line, waiting anxiously to be met. Or re-evaluated. Or scrapped altogether. Regardless of how your year started, now is your chance to finish it strong. Not only do you want to finish strong, but you want to start strong when you flip the calendar to January 2016.

January

The new year is fertile ground for new beginnings and new ideas. It’s important to head into the year with a game plan and a strategy. You can still start the year fresh by having already done the legwork of preparing for exactly what you need and want to accomplish.

That’s why, friends, if you’ve been waiting to pull the trigger on hiring a VA, you can rest assured your wait is over.


Are you a runner? Because I’m not. I will carb-load with the best of them, but I’m not running anywhere unless it’s to escape danger. If I were a runner, I’d probably run a marathon because that’s what runners do.

I would wake up one morning, decide to run a marathon, find one I could participate in right away, and just go for it. No training, no preparation, no breaking in my shoes. Just run. I’d be determined and motivated and have wonderful ideas on what it would be like once I cross the finish line. That’s all it takes to run a marathon…right?

Wrong.

If you show up to run a marathon and you haven’t even skipped around your block, you’re going to die. Maybe. I don’t know about you, but I would die.

It requires training. LOTS of preparation. Planning. Building endurance. Strength. To hit the ground running in a marathon, you have to do a lot of running beforehand.

Such is your work strategy for the next year.

If you want to hit the ground running when the clock strikes midnight on January 1st, you’ve got to get your legwork in beforehand. If your goal is to have a team around you who can help not only maintain, but build your success, you’ve got to get that team on your same page now. If you wait until January to start, you’re wasting precious new-year time.

There’s really good news, though. You can start slow. Like the couch-to-5K program, you don’t have to train for a 5k by running three miles the first night. You don’t have to build an amazing business by hiring a full-time assistant today. Ease into it.

When we consult with potential clients, we first figure out their current business operations, their current and future needs, and then we pair them with a VA who can get. stuff. done. We don’t have a next-in-line approach. We’re not table-servers taking turns. We pair you with the character and skill set your unique business needs.

After we determine the best fit, we have a kick-off call. You get to meet your potential VA face-to-face (thanks to technology) and have an introductory meeting and planning session. Then, for as few as five hours a week, you’re on your way to a partnership you won’t believe you waited so long to form.

I’m no magician, but….who am I kidding? I make magic happen in these pair-ups, people. It’s my job. It’s my passion. It’s what I do.

Once you start working with your VA, they’re a part of your team. They’re not just a remote extension of your office, they’re an integrated and integral member of your business.

Some of my VAs are more-or-less extended family of their clients. They’re in this business to help your business. It means the world to them to help you succeed, and it means the world to me when I get to watch it all unfold.

As you finish the year, your VA can handle the busywork for you so you can make the extra push to meet those goals you set nine months ago. They can handle your correspondence so you can spend your time working on new products, new relationships, or new ideas. They can help you strategize and shed perspective on what you can shift in your priorities. They can respond to your Facebook comments or Twitter followers while you’re recording webinar content. They can take care of the work so you can take care of the growth.

Every single day, your VA can run a little bit farther, and set the pace for your marathon start in the new year.


I’m here to tell you, now is the time. Get a head-start on your new year, rather than lag behind. Spend time now preparing for your future success. Don’t wake up and decide to run a marathon. Take a little jog today, and we’ll help you cross that finish line tomorrow.

Give me a buzz, let’s carb-load together, and we’ll get you on track to finish strong so you can start even stronger.

Why the Secret to Success is Not Really a Secret

I’m sure by now, you’ve heard the news some of our colleagues have been thrown a new wrench.

What’s all the hubbub about, though? Why is it a big deal, and how does it affect you personally?

I’m glad you asked.

The fact is, Zirtual closing their doors has generated a lot of buzz around finding the right help for the right term. Project-based or long-term assistants aren’t new to the virtual business world, but the shake-up has entrepreneurs questioning the stability of a VA as a team member.


I understand the feeling of upheaval, but I also know the secret to your success as an entrepreneur may not be a secret at all. I believe it has more to do with finding the right help more than finding the right big breakthrough.

Back when I started Priority VA, I was given some pretty straight-forward advice. I realized I couldn’t do it all on my own and still have the life I fought so hard to make. Even though I was a VA, I needed to hire one to help me in my own success.

Not only is the demand for Virtual Assistant’s increasing, but the talent, skills, and expertise of VAs is continually improving. This can only mean great things for you, the business owner: the time to have a VA join your team is now.

Whether you’re brand new to the business game and unsure of all this talk of VAs, or whether you’ve been around for a while and just aren’t sure if it’s the right move for you, I get it. It can be overwhelming and even a little bit scary. The good news is my number one mission is removing your overwhelm. That’s not me blowing smoke – it’s my mantra.

If you’re not sure you’re in the crowd who needs a VA, I want to help you figure it out. Who really needs a VA and how will it help their business? There are so many niches our VAs support. Authors, small business owners, speakers, artists, webinar instructors, coaches, 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.

Read this little three-point assessment and see if it’s time for you to pull the trigger on hiring a VA. If you nod your head in agreement, it’s safe to say we’ve got to move you on to the next step in your VA journey.

Not every person who’s ever succeeded in business has had a VA by their side. But they have most likely had someone supporting them. The great thing about a VA, is you don’t have to be in a certain line of work, or producing a certain kind of product to utilize one. So many industries can benefit from the work of a VA, and it just might transform not only your business, but your life.

Having someone supporting your mission, business, and dreams is a big deal, and one we don’t take lightly. Priority VA was built on the very foundation of helping entrepreneurs materialize their dreams, and it’s a principle we’re not going to turn our backs on. Your business matters, your mission matters, and finding the right fit for support matters. It will always matter.


Don’t let Zirtual’s situation scare you away from the Virtual Assistant world. Instead, let it fuel your drive to figure out what’s best for your business, and see how Priority VA can help you fill any potholes along your road to success.

And if you’re nervous about what kind of client you’ll be, file this post away to read later.

Ready to chat? Click here to talk to us and we’ll walk you through, step by step, on how we can help you get to exactly where you want to be.

 

How To Build A Relationship With Your Client

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We’re in a day and age, and especially an industry, where it’s easy to be engulfed by our own technological bubble.

Unfortunately, we’ve grown closer to our computers than our clients, and we’re losing the skill of interpersonal relationship-building that is so crucial to success.

You might be miles (or countries) away from your clients, but that doesn’t have to be a barrier with having a genuine, collaborative and personal relationship with them.

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Don’t believe me? Here are some ways to build a great relationship with your client.

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Always Give A Little More Than You Promise

You’ve probably heard “Under promise, over-deliver.” I’m not saying that, necessarily.

Under promising puts limitations on what you’re capable of, and you don’t want any client thinking you can’t do something because you didn’t say you could.

I also don’t recommend over-delivering in the sense you’re going to have to blow their socks off every. single. time. you agree to do anything for them.

I want you to promise a level of service you’re capable of providing, and simply take it up one more notch.

If you promised three blog posts, write three and map out a fourth. You might not have the time to write ten blog posts, but taking that intentional extra step of mapping one additional post shows your client you’re invested in their business, you take your work seriously, and you are putting your best foot forward for their benefit.

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Speak Up

You’re riding in a 1962 Shelby Cobra. Red, with white racing stripes down the hood. Up ahead, you see a slew of potholes. You don’t say anything, though. You’re just the passenger. You don’t want to be known as that naggy backseat driver. Besides, surely the driver sees all those potholes.

Wrong. The driver was too busy thinking about how many miles were left before the next oil change was due, when the tires needed to be rotated, and the last time the carburetor was cleaned. His eyes weren’t on the road. Whoops.

If only you’d said something! Such is the relationship with your client. You’re the trusted passenger in their precious car, and they need you to be looking down the road for potholes.

You know that neighbor you always bust looking out their window any time a car drives down the street, writing down license plate numbers of unfamiliar vehicles parked on your block, and taking their neighborhood watch post to the ultimate level of serious?

Don’t be a creep about it, but be that neighborhood watch post for your client. Always keep a sharp eye out for potential roadblocks or mishaps, and then speak up about them!

A crisis averted is an extra star sewn into your superhero cape.

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Learn the Language

Specifically, the receiving language of your client. I have a client who needs to know they produce great content. If I read it and love it, I need to make it a point to tell them, because they respond especially well to that. It’s their language.

If you have a client who likes gifts or notes, send gifts or notes and be the icing on the cake for that relationship!

I know. You’re thinking, “They’ll think it’s weird.” Trust me. You’re wrong. If you went to another country and you started speaking their language, they wouldn’t think, “they’re weird.” They would think it was so cool you UNDERSTOOD them! How cool to be able to communicate on such a comfortable, familiar level!

If you’re paying attention to what makes your clients tick, and you go the extra mile to show them you’re not only paying attention, but you’re investing in their personal best, they won’t think it’s weird. They’ll think you’re fabulous.

By the way, I love gifts, specifically in a card form to Starbucks.

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COMMUNICATE

Yes, I put it in all caps. I’m really stressing this one. Most clients or VAs think they’re communicating plenty with one another when the reality is they’re under-communicating. Check in every. single. day. Do it. Send an email. Dial them up on Skype. Get your voice into their ears and share the latest.

Don’t be afraid to reach out and pick up the phone. Email can be misconstrued, texts can be abrasive. Just pick up the phone.

Also along these lines, don’t be afraid to open up and share about yourself. Some people are very close-to-their-chest about their personal lives. One way to break down barriers is to share your life. But don’t overdo it.

One client said, “I want to get to know my VA, but I don’t want to know what they had for breakfast.”

Get in touch consistently and make those daily connections. Talk about the issues and the non-issues to make sure you’re on the same page.

Also, share a little about what’s going on with you. Leave out the lame details, and don’t fall into the trap of over-sharing. You can’t unsay things. Make sure it’s contributing to the work you’re doing or the relationship you’re building.

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Follow these four strategies, and you’ll be well on your way to building a meaningful, authentic relationship with your client.

Stay one step ahead of what you said you’d do. Look for potholes. Learn the language. And by all means, communicate all the time!

Drop me a line and let me know how these principles helped you build your client relationships. Or let me know if you’d like to partner with a VA or a client!

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6 Tips to Avoid Being a Pain-In-The-Rear Client

There are clients we love, and those we….don’t. (Don’t be a hater.) As much as we try to love them all, it doesn’t always happen.

You get the one client that can’t ever be satisfied and really becomes a pain in the rear.

Here are our sure fire tips to avoid being that client – you know, the one the so-called “professional” VA’s gripe about in all those VA groups that other clients frequent to search out VA help in… yeah, those ones.

Don’t be that guy – the guy no one wants to work with. Here’s what you need to know to ensure a long lasting relationship with your VA, and not come off as the pain in the rear guy (or gal):


1. Plan (at least a little bit)

We know your brain works at mach speed and your ideas spew like hot lava from a fresh volcano eruption. Normally, we can stand the heat right alongside those incredible ideas. Keep in mind, however, there are no superhuman beings with endless amounts of energy reserves, pulling all nighters (at least not after college).

We have kids, or spouses, or maybe even interests outside of working. This means we may not won’t be sitting at our desk hitting refresh every 52 seconds to see if you’ve emailed us with a task.

Plan ahead, calendar as much as you can, and get ready for tip number 2…

2. Communicate Your Plan

While we’re always striving to be mind readers, we’re not. We try, really hard, to not only anticipate your needs, but meet them. A true test of a great working relationship will leave you feeling like you actually DO have a mind reader on your team. But that takes time.

So, until we all develop this (non-existent) gift from heaven, you’ll need to communicate your plan to your VA.

Be specific, state your expectations and deadlines, and ask for feedback. Asking for feedback will show you we were listening, and may also reveal some brilliant idea we come up with while hearing your brilliant ideas. Which leads me directly to tip number 3…

3. Be Open To Suggestions

On every client call I have, I say, “we strive to create long-term, collaborative relationships, not task-based ones.” In plain English: we want you to be open to suggestions, feedback, and the occasional kick in the pants when you start to deviate from your own plan too much.

We’re here to help, and we see a lot of this kind of work on the daily. We might have questions, processes, or improvements that need to be addressed by you. In order for you to address those with us, we have to feel comfortable enough to share them with you. Be open to suggestions and feedback – truly hearing us out. You can always say, “no”, but then… you’d be a brat.

4. Acknowledge The Work Your VA Puts Into Your World

Imagine this: you spend hours putting a presentation together for your biggest account, and it happens to be amazing. You know it, the clients you’re presenting to will know it, and as a result? You’ll be the star of the show, land an extended contract, and walk away feeling like you just won the lottery.

Then, the big meeting takes a completely different direction and you never got to whip out your amazing, polished presentation.

WHAT?! But….! But….all that work!

Don’t do that to your VA. We get that plans change and objectives shift mid-launch. We get it. Just do us one small favor: acknowledge the hours we put into a project. Just say thanks. Say it looks great. Say you appreciate our hard work. Don’t just scrap it and move on to the next thing without saying, “thank you.” It’s just nice. Be nice.

5. Hand Over The Keys

You hired a VA because you’re tired. Overwhelmed. You’re growing at a rapid pace and can hardly breathe. You need help. Well….then….let us help. This is a chronic problem in the entrepreneurial world. There’s a tendency to hang on for dear life, even to the tasks you can’t stand.

I get it. This business is your classic car you’ve spent months (or years) turning into the shiny, pristine, just-how-you-want-it beauty of a machine and it’s hard to watch a stranger sit in the driver’s seat of your car. Friend? It’s time. You have to hand over the keys.

If you ever plan on actually arriving at your destination, you have to make this scary (totally scary) move and release the control you’ve got such a death grip on. Your VA will help you. I’ll help you. You just have to do it. I’m not sure there’s anything worse for a VA than seeing a critical need, having the skills to meet the need, and having your client never allow you to help.

6. Talk To Me

I’m your pal. Your worker bee. Your team member. I’m here to collaborate, innovate, and relate. So…can we chat sometime? I mean, really chat? Not three minutes as you’re hailing a cab or heading into another meeting. Get to know me and allow me to get to know you. I can help you immensely if you’ll take a few minutes to talk. Tell me what you need, what I’m doing well, and what you see that needs to be improved upon. I can’t change what I don’t know, and I can’t help if I don’t understand your needs or what makes you tick.

This goes beyond telling me what the plan for the week is. This is helping me get to know who you are, what you stand for, and how we can work best together.

You don’t intend to be a pain the rear (at least we hope not). It happens sometimes, and we want to help you avoid it. Do a gut-check often and ask yourself if you’re fulfilling a role in the relationship that makes your VA feeling like the rockstar they are.

If you need help with your approach to working with your VA, hit me up! I’m here to help. And, I can even consult with you on how to make your relationship with your VA even better.

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.”