I was going to avoid this topic this week, may it be due to burying my head in the sand, or scared to talk about so a huge topic. But I sat there and thought maybe it is something I should talk about as I am aware of so many business owners who are suffering from stress.
Simple answer! Anyone.
To narrow it down slightly, those that run a business and needs help with the multitude of tasks that come hand in hand with running a business.
As we know there are a lot of tasks that are necessary and thankless must do’s in business, and prior to employing someone, you are the one that has to do them all. But as you grow in your business you start to hear the whispers of outsourcing and you learn more about it.
This has been described as the ‘penny dropping’ moment, and this is when people start to realise there is affordable help out there.
There is a level of confusion surrounding Virtual Assistants, and how they work, how you pay them, what they can do for you as well as many other questions. Mix that with yourself and the many excuses as to why you shouldn’t outsource, you will find that you will have reasons stopping you from taking that step, and guess what! This is perfectly normal, it may just feel like you are sabotaging your progress.
There are so many helpful sites out there to help you find your outsourcing solution. There are a couple of VA Societies and associations that can guide you should you have specific needs, for example if you are in the medical industry than for you having a medical VA would be a better option for you, or if you in the legal field than sourcing a VA with legal experience would be more suitable for you. There are VA’s out there that cover most if not all areas, it really is worth looking into it in detail.
Please take it easy when you start working with a VA, you are both getting used to each other and you work, your VA will be learning the ropes and how you have set your business up, they are here to help, not make it more difficult, so talk to your VA openly, holding things or processes back will only frustrate you and hinder your VA, in order for you to get that great working relationship you need to trust your VA and help them help you, and before you know it you gel and things just click.
But go slowly, don’t throw everything at your VA and expect them to have it done within 24hrs, be realistic, be kind, if you rush this you will end up regretting taking on a VA and that will then become a terrible experience and its totally avoidable.
So, in answer to my title, who needs a virtual assistant………YOU, I am assuming that you have found this blog via a search asking Google about virtual assistants, so you are possibly at that research stage. If you need help with your tasks, then yes you could benefit from having someone to outsource too.
If you are at that stage, then why not get in touch 😊
Hey everyone, so this week I wanted to run through the 3 biggest habits/reasons that are stopping you from moving forward on your outsourcing task. We all know and I have spoken about in many past blogs that running your own business is amazing yet tough, but we do it as we love it, truly enjoy it.
For me supporting small and medium-sized businesses is super rewarding, I feel I offer one thing, yet my clients tell me I offer them so much more than the task in hand, which gives me an immense feeling of pride and accomplishment.
For one client, not only am I providing business support, but I give her a sense of security as well as having someone there to be your accountability partner, and sometimes that really does help us in business, as we can often talk ourselves out of a good idea, so thrashing out those ideas with someone kind of makes you less likely to sweep it under the carpet!
Why am I here?
If you are running a business, then you will be familiar with things like online marketing, this in itself is pretty much a full-time job, your blogs, your newsletters, your social media posts, keeping up with the latest update and trends, answering your crowd, then you have other tasks, emails, travel arrangements, meetings, diary, creating products or carrying out your services, the list can be quite extensive and daunting.
So why am I here pointing this all out to you, you run a business, you know what you have to do, but I am here to tell you, you are probably the main reason you haven’t taken that step to outsourcing!
Here are the 3 top reasons I hear that are stopping you from taking that leap:
No idea where to start! I have heard of business support and VA’s but when I started looking at the world of outsourcing, it just overwhelmed me!
Firstly, don’t let it overwhelm you, you are doing this to better your business and help you move forward if this is something that is causing you stress then break it down, like with every task you do in business, small chunks are more manageable. Write down the tasks that are keeping you stuck, this is the first thing for you to do, most of my clients said they needed help mainly with their blogs and newsletters, it was something they wanted to do, but was struggling to find the time to either start up a blog and regular newsletter or had trouble keeping it up to date.
My advice is write down the tasks that you feel are keeping you away from the jobs that create your customers and income. Then I would either connect in your local Facebook pages to see if there are any VA’s in your area, or failing that you can get in touch with a couple of VA societies that have lists of VA’s that either match you in location, price range, experience etc. I have listed this here:
I am only a small business, its just me, I can’t justify or afford a VA!
90% of my current clients are solo entrepreneurs! I also have clients that have offices and staff, there is no wrong or right demographic to outsourcing, so don’t feel just because its only you are working from your house you cannot outsource! Secondly, most VAs cost around £20-35ph, as well as monthly retainer packages, you will find that most VA’s offer a standard of 1hour a month, and if that is what you need then that is all you need to purchase, do not feel that it is too small to ask for. In that hour most VAs will be able to draft and or format at least one or two blog posts (how long would that take you?) most could source a couple of weeks’ worth of images for your social media, most can copy type several pages documents, most could make an indent on the powerpoint presentation that has been sat on your desk for a month! Stop justifying your desire to progress!
It’s my business, I know how everything works, and I should be able to cope with what my business throws at me!
Ah yes! We have those business owners that will NOT cut themselves any slack and will often be found in the dead of the night or over weekends catching up on EVERYTHING that their business throws at them. Can I just say, yes, it is your business, yes you do know how everything works but that does not mean you have to do it all yourself! And equally yes there are a lot of things that you should be able to cope with whilst running your business, scheduling in posts, re-purposing your content, marketing your blog I don’t feel are those tasks you should be doing!
There are so many solutions out there to help you run your business smoothly, effectively and efficiently, most VA’s are pretty flexible and work around you and your business, you need to stop putting obstacles in your way in moving forward in your business. As I mentioned most VAs can work on an hourly basis with a minimum of 1 hr, use this wisely, outsourcing is vital to your business and your sanity.
If any of this resonates with you, or your business is picking up and you are finding you have fewer hours to do those tasks, then see this as an opportunity to put something in place now, before you do get into a spin that you cannot get out of, book a FREE call with me and we can run through your sticking points.
As we say farewell to January, probably one of the toughest months for most, not just business owners, just everyone in general. We have seen the end of the festive period, Blue Monday and what seems an age since we had money going into our bank accounts.
But the light at the end of the tunnel is here and we can breathe a deep sigh of relief, February is here, and Spring is ever closer! We have seen loads of goal setting, resolutions, how powerful 2018 is going to be, as well as the be kind (my motto) as well as mindset.
I have refrained from doing anything about mindset in January as I know there is a lot of noise on this matter through January and its true, mindset is everything, if you don’t have that straight, your balance is off, both in business and in general life, you have got to have your mindset balanced, it is so easy to be knocked off your balance, this could be a number of factors. January is enough to knock anyone off kilt, but getting back on is key, so brush off those knocks and doubts and get back to balancing your mindset and actions.
Why is mindset so important?
Believe it or not this is what makes us feel how we feel, do the things we do and when, the definition of Mindset is simply, your mood, your attitude, your intention, ideas and the approach you have on a situation, so if you are down in the dumps (as my dad used to say) then your mood is down, this alters your attitude to doing something, and you have less intention to get on with what you need to do.
So, it’s all about keeping that on the up, aligned and in check, having those knocks or talking yourself out of things will only push your mindset of kilter.
It could be a factor
If you are finding that everything is a struggle, or your confidence in performing certain jobs and tasks, or even lacking confidence in your knowledge, this could be a result in your mindset being unbalanced, life is very much about can and can’t do’s, but we often tell ourselves we can’t do something quicker than we tell ourselves that we can, this boils down to confidence and your mindset.
To get this sorted you need to push that Self-talk fairy off your shoulder, (self-talk fairy a phrase coined by the lovely Emma Holmes of Rebels and Rockstars, who is guest blogging for me on this topic very soon). Once you have got rid or at least gagged her for a while (your self-talk fairy not Emma) you can start to build your confidence which will have a staggering effect on your mindset, as you won’t be talking yourself out of things (mood and attitude part of mindset)
Another biggie for your mindset is your workload, when you are swamped, and your to-do list is just screaming more hours at you, it hits your motivation, which then starts that huge ricochet ripple of doubt, angst and self-talk, if you are struggling with your workload do not look at it as a failure, spin it around and see it as a positive! Instead of telling yourself you are a failure because you can’t keep up with your work demands, say to yourself, I am getting busier, my clients are enjoying working with me, my products/services are resonating with my clients which means I am getting busier!
See the different mindset spin can really help you.
If your business is picking up and you are finding you have less hours to do those tasks, then see this as an opportunity to put something in place now, before you do get into a spin that you cannot get out of, book a free call with me and we can run through your sticking points.
Hands up who has had a wobble whilst running their business? I raise my hand too, now how many of you have them regularly? Yep, my hand is up too! Has anyone told you that this is normal and not to beat yourself up?
I will let you into a little secret, I had a MAHOOSIVE wobble last Friday, it was quite possibly the biggest I have ever had, and it was all over my confidence and my self-belief! The lack of self-belief just sparked off this whiff of doubt which then turned into a complete anxiety attack!
A necessary evil
I will go out on a limb here and say these doubts and little wobbles that we all have are a necessity in business, I think it’s our way of getting all the fears and obstacles that we put in our way, out there and we are made to address them. I know if I have a concern I tend to shove it to the back of my mind and try to forget about it, but after a while the back of my mind gets a bit full, so when I go to shove a small issue in my back-office memory bank, my brain says ‘erm nope I’m too full time to get it all out’ and that’s where the wobbles come from.
When we have these wobbles everything comes out, you name it, it’s coming out, from that daft issue a few months back to the full on ‘aaaagggghhh I’m an imposter’ the imposter part comes out because you have reached a limit and doubting EVERYTHING, not because you are an imposter!
What should we do?
So, what should we do when we have these wobbles or worse an anxiety attack, well don’t do what I did last week, which was to try and fight it and fob it off as it will just win and consume you, my Friday was a complete washout and felt like I had taken a battering my Mike Tyson!
What I should have done was step away from work, have a cuppa, grab a pen and pad, and offload everything that has been weighing on my mind, as well as reaching out to my close network of friends that I have gained in the online world since starting my business, and talking with them about my worries, because I know if I had done this within a short period of time from when it started I could have nipped this in the bud so much quicker than I did.
Pinpoint the issues
I was fortunate enough to e able to pinpoint where my wobble came from, it was down to subconsciously setting my sights too far ahead, yes you know the thing I told you not to do the other week! Well this will be why we shouldn’t, as it tends to sneak up on you and bite you in the derrière. Don’t get me wrong I am not saying don’t plan, I am all for planning and goal setting, its great for you and your business to see where you are going. I think for me it was more the panic of securing more clients, my goals are reachable and achievable, I just panicked and wondered am I good enough to serve the pants off more fabulous clients, and Friday my answer to that was no.
I can say that as of Monday this week, my whole mindset had shifted, I felt having that wobble was my way of clearing my head to make room for more amazingness and ideas on how to best support my current and new clients.
The list for this can be the long as your arm, you may find it is all the small things that have hit you or things you have been storing up over a course of time, then the smallest thing will tip that balance.
- Not enough work
- Too much work
- Lack confidence
- Imposter syndrome
- General health, tiredness and diet catching up with you
- Money worries
Those I have listed are some of the biggest wobble points for many business owners and most are fixable, it’s finding that workable goal.
Pick yourself up
The longer you wallow in the wobble pit the longer it is going to take to get yourself back on track, acknowledge why you are having the wobble, write down workable solutions and dust yourself down and start afresh tomorrow, you must look after yourself peeps! Being a business owner is the best thing I have done when it comes to work, but honestly, it is the most stressful thing I have done too, we are incredibly hard on ourselves as business owners.
So, acknowledge the wobble and the reasons behind it, stop dismissing yourself, and that is a warning to myself as well.
Get in touch
If you have had wobbles and they are connected to not knowing which way to turn with your workload then please do get in touch, I would love to sit with you and go through some solutions in order to make stress levels calm down, even just thrashing out some ideas can make things seem less angsty.