Talk to your family………

talk with your family

Again, another random title lol but it is something I want to talk about, as let’s face it, your family have a massive influence in your business, at the end of the day I am pretty sure they are one of the top 5 reasons you started in the first place.

But do you talk to your partner? Do you bounce ideas off them? Do you ask for advice? And MORE importantly, do you NOT talk about business!?
Let’s face it we are all culprits of having a moan, or talking to your partners as soon as they take the key out the door, not least because it’s nice to see them, but also to the fact you have been in your home office all day, so adult company is always nice.

But we need to be mindful not to bombard them with our woes and worries, it’s nice to bounce those ideas off your loved ones, but equally, it is nice to SWITCH OFF, you’ll hear this a lot from me in the future.  I am all for working to grow my business but I am also a massive advocate of having that downtime, and more so lately with all the #headstogether campaign too.

#headstogether 

I know this is so off topic when it comes to business, whichever industry you are in, but it’s one that needs to be out there and spoken about, and being a business owner I worry about this too, when working from home we lock ourselves away in a bubble and sometimes forget to come out for air.

Your family are the ones supporting you, so make sure you are connecting with them and making sure if you have any problems they are aware of them.

Equally, you need to make sure you have plenty of down times too, this is such an important part of your business thriving, if you are not logging off and enjoying what is around you then it becomes a chore and no different to going and working for someone else.

 

Remember your reasons  

Now and then you need to put things in check and you need to remember why you are doing what you are doing, this works on other things too not just business related.  But sit and ask yourself what were the reasons you started your business.

 

  • Stick to your hours
  • Switch off
  • Play and talk with your family and friends
  • Enjoy downtime
  • Remember you need to make sure you talk to those around you, it’s so easy to lock yourself away
  • Enjoy your business, but also enjoy the reasons why you started

 

Your family and friends are there to support you, talk to them, be honest with them, and more importantly ENJOY what you have

 

If you are struggling to stay on top of things, why not have a chat with me, I am happy to discuss outsourcing and how I can help you gain back some time during your week.  And check out my latest freebie HERE

11 Things to ask your Virtual Assistant

 

 

 

 

 

Chat soon

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Are you comfy? It’s bed-time story time…..

Bedtime Story time

Guess how much I love you…………………. This is one of the favourites here, as well as ‘We are going on a bear hunt’ in all fairness our children love having a story read to them at any time of the day, but bedtime is the calm, the lay in bed and let us drift off into a state of relax and story time.

See kids have a lot on their minds, and I am sure each generation that grows up say’s it’s tough for kids growing up nowadays, the pressures and strains.  And they are not far wrong, I know when I was at school, jeez did I moan! But I never had the level of homework my kids get now and they are nearly 5 and nearly 9!

But a story at bedtime is fun and calming and helps them sleep.

Now, you are sitting there thinking ‘why the heck is she babbling on about bedtime stories’ well I have a reason for this topic and that is a simple question for you all:

How many of you switch off from the internet and read?

A study has shown that even 6 minutes a day can be enough to reduce your stress levels, it’s been proven that is more effective than listening to music, which for me was a surprise as I am very music orientated, I always have my radio on or my iPod on shuffle, I generally feel happier with music on in the background (plus is bodes well for some kitchen dancing!). As I sit here now drafting this I am listening to my music.

Going back to reading

After I read this piece I started watching my children at bedtime whilst I read them their stories and I could see them smiling and relaxing, as the story unfolded, and wondered why on earth I don’t read as much as I used to, I mean now is the time for me to be picking up a book and losing myself in the story, and we all know those that have read Pride & Prejudice probably knows what it’s like to lose yourself in a book 😉

Lose yourself in a book

Running our businesses 24/7 can takes its toll on us, the stresses and pressures of hitting targets, pulling it the money each month, plus all the other tasks we must do, I feel we owe it to our minds and stress levels to find a way to unplug and unwind, and that’s why over the next few blogs I will be talking about ways to unplug from business and really enjoy the reasons why we started in the first place. Creating this type of regular ritual can be hugely beneficial to us running a business.

I really want you to try it, go grab a book and lose yourself in storyline

What will you read? Share with us what you are reading or what is next on your reading list.

Don’t forget, if you are struggling with your workload, get in touch with me, I am happy to discuss how I can help you with outsourcing, and check out my latest Freebie HERE

Chat soon

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Schedule in ‘Me’ Time

Remote Admin Services Blog HeaderWe all know being a business owner is great fun, you can work your life around your other commitments. But let’s face it! It’s TOUGH to.

For some reason, we seem to push ourselves to a new limit, we are so keen on getting through our to-do list and making sure that we do our very best for our business because, at the end of the day, it’s OURS, it has our name to it.

But with this approach, comes stress, and as we know stress leads to all manner of issues, from lack of sleep, bad health, short tempered, the list can be endless. So, this is a little jolt to remind you ‘ME’ is real and it does exist.

Planning is vital

You just need to be firm with yourself, and make sure when you are planning your week you block out some ‘Me’ time, may that be something on a daily basis or even weekly, it needs to be planned and put in, same way that you currently block time out for your clients, or block out your DFT Time, if you can do it for your business then you can do it for yourself.

Funny enough, if you break you can’t work if you can’t work you don’t earn money! I am not saying you have to plan in sleep, eat or water breaks, these should happen when they need to happen and trust me I need to go to bed earlier, I am such a night owl, but I do suffer in the mornings.

So, for me I am an avid Sewer, I love sewing clothes for my kids or creating special toys for them, but I wasn’t getting that much time out in my sewing room. So I now plan to do at least an hour a week, in my sewing room, either finishing a project of creating a new one.

Either way, that time needs to be put in my diary and needs to be made known that this is my time.

We are all talking about it…….

Now funny enough, as I sat here drafting this blog, thinking about how we as business owners do not look after ourselves enough, and how we seem to think we can keep on running and not wear ourselves out. The wonderful Vicky Stanton, blogged about Time Out too, she was explaining how she thought having an hour a month to herself was enough, until someone pointed out that its really less than 15 mins a week, which made me think, why do we feel it is acceptable to rob ourselves of that well deserved time out?

Do you block out time for yourself? If you don’t why not? You are a worthy candidate for such time, trust me!

Now get that diary out and start planning in some YOU time

Don’t forget you can have a chat with me about Outsourcing, this can be a valuable thing to do for your business.  Take a look at my latest Freebie HERE

Chat soon

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The power is in your hands……………Honest

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Hey everyone, in my last blog I mentioned to you above trying to find your self-discipline, how has that gone? It can be a tricky one to grab hold of and run with, because of so many distractions, I also gave you some tips on how to cope and deal with those distractions.

This month

I want to talk to you about the importance of staying in touch with your crowd, we all know we can stay in touch via Social Media, but sometimes it’s just not enough is it.  I have got into a good routine of keeping a check on my insights on my social platforms, I post at various times, some when my crowd are online and other times when they are not active, most of my crowd are online late afternoon/early evening, I do schedule posts for that time, but I do like to do things in real-time too.

In March’s newsletter, I spoke about the amazing competition that I won back in October 2016, which was run by the A.M.A.Z.I.N.G Emma Holmes of Coaching Rockstars. I had seen her posts on social media and a few friends through business had shared her post too, but still, didn’t feel compelled to enter it as I felt I wasn’t lucky enough.  Then I had a Rockstar newsletter hit my inbox which went into more detail, with all the relevant links, it just spoke to me, I felt it resonated with me and the situation I was in at the time, it was that email just pushed me into entering, and how glad am I that I did! I have managed to spend time with some AWESOME, inspiring, knowledgeable women in the industry.

The power of e-marketing is huge and can have such an amazing effect on your business.  You can reach out to your crowd with a push of a button, you know it will land in their inbox when you ask it too, and it will be filled with great content, you can get your message over in more depth, as on social platforms you don’t want to flood your crowds timelines nor make it too long.  This way you can create that eye-catching content.

Winning this competition has change my business completely, and it landing in my inbox gave me that push to enter myself

I think how Emma ran her competition and made sure it landed in the right hands was amazing, she clearly knows her crowd and she knows how to make you feel that she is reading your mind. This IS something you can learn over time, but you need to start somewhere, so being in touch with your crowd regularly via a newsletter is key. You can grow your list with sign-up boxes and links to freebies, these are things I will be talking about in future blogs and newsletters.

Growing your list won’t happen over night, think back to my favourite saying “Slowly Slowly Catchy Monkey”

On the Social

Over the last few weeks on my page we have celebrated International Women’s Day, it’s a powerful day, and one that should be celebrated.

Also, I shared a video from Eric Thomas who claims there is no such thing as procrastination, he says people get it confused with something that is of no interest to you, so in turn have no desire to do the task, what do you think?

I also touched upon a subject that is close to my heart and to a few fellow Virtual Assistants, over recent weeks I have seen a few small business owners getting frustrated that people are either late paying or the next worst thing asking for a discount! As I stated on my page, I do not give discounts, I have packages that benefit my clients, I may give a discount should they recommend me, but I will not give a discount off the cuff! You can read that post HERE

Build A Door!

Why wait? I asked my followers why wait for that business to find you, sitting in your office behind the PC isn’t going to pay the bills, you have to be active looking for business, you need to get yourself out there, be bold, be bright, be seen (I’m sure that’s a tagline for crossing the road!) If opportunity isn’t knocking then build a door! What do you do? do you go networking, or have another avenue you go down to generate leads and business? share with us what you do.

Build a door, why wait

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If you have anything you need help with or want me to discuss then leave me a comment, I have a huge list of thigs that I want to share with you over time, so do let me know as I could be doing a series that could benefit you.

Don’t forget I have my freebie – What to ask your Virtual Assistant, I created this to help those that are hoping to hire a VA in the near future or maybe changing to a new one, its just a small guide to help you.

If you are struggling to stay on top of things and wondering if outsourcing is the way forward for you and your business, I am happy to have a chat with you to help you decide.  It suits some but not all.

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Logging Off…….You can do it honest!

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I don’t know about you, but when it gets to a certain time of day I seem to struggle to log off, ever since launching my business and I became a small business owner, I constantly feel compelled to stay logged on and producing more work, more Facebook posts, more tweets, more memes, just more in general.

But when is enough really enough? As I have mentioned in previous blogs, I had to get strict with myself purely for my own sanity.  There I was constantly telling you all to free up some time and have quality time with your loved ones or even do your hobby, and there I was still logged on churning out work.

So, when I felt slightly burnt out Mr RAS put his foot down and reminded me that  I started this business to firstly to fit around our small family, followed on by helping fellow business owners take control of their time, and help them with their tasks, and he was right, burning myself out wasn’t helping anyone, least of all myself, as I was creating a monster that was going to implode one day.

So, I sat there and redrew my plans for the business and for the family, and not surprising my family came up first, which I think I would have been surprised if they hadn’t.  But I had a massive shake up, I set myself proper working hours, and a dedicated late night for online networking and that’s it!

This has been in full swing now for a few months, things have gotten a little easier now both of my children are in full-time school, so a lot of client work is getting done during my office hours and not when the children have gone to bed, don’t get me wrong, if one of my clients comes to me in a real bother and urgently needed help, then of course I will try my hardest to help them out of that hole they are in.

You owe it to yourself, and your growing business to be firm with your expectation,  I bet when you was employed in the corporate world, come 5.30pm you was out that door queuing to get out of the car park, so why are you still sat there at 8-9pm at night working! And I bet you have even taken your laptop to the family room to work, to make it feel like you’re still part of the family! And then you wonder why your body feels like you have gone 10 rounds with Tyson!

Now is the time for tough love!

Top 5 tips on getting our time back

  1. Sit down and set realistic working hours, I have set mine as 9.30-3.00 then 6-6.30 (finishing off any rogue tasks) and one late night on a Tuesday for online networking.
  2. Plan your week, this needs to be done on one of 3 days, either Friday afternoon before you log off for the weekend and finalise the week you have had, or Sunday afternoon fresh from the weekend, fresh eyes, fresh mind or first thing Monday morning before you check anything else and get waylaid by any other tasks.  Personally, I prefer Friday afternoon or Sunday afternoon, there are fewer chances of me getting distracted.
  3. Schedule, there are loads of free tools out there for you to use in order to schedule your posts/tweets etc, I personally use the free version of Hootsuite – with this I can schedule in my post for Facebook (I have my business page linked to it) I can also schedule my tweets, I have my Google+  and LinkedIn accounts connected to my Hootsuite. I recommend to try and schedule in around 2 posts a day on Facebook, and one on other platforms, Twitter is different as it’s so fast paced so it depends on how visible you are on it depends on how many you need to be tweeting, you need a consistent stream on all your platforms, I believe Instagram and Pinterest have their own scheduling tools built in,  Whilst on that note, Facebook do have their own scheduling tool built in which is brilliant, so if you only use Facebook then that will be perfect.
  4. If something isn’t working, then take a 10 min break, go grab a bite to eat or a cuppa, don’t sit there stressing and letting it consume you, if it’s a task that seems to be beating you, then ask a friend or see if you can find an accountability buddy that you can bounce off, fresh eyes can sometimes help a fuzzy situation, just because you work at home for yourself, it doesn’t mean you have to be isolated and alone!
  5. Lastly, if things are just getting out of hand, and no matter what you are doing, you can’t get on top of your workload, then maybe it is time for you to look at outsourcing. Now this word often generates fear and anxiety amongst business owners, I can pretty much bet my shoes that you have a friend that has used someone in the past for outsourcing and it turned into an absolute nightmare.  This doesn’t have to be the case, if you do your research, connect with people and join some relevant business groups, you will soon grab some tips on how to find someone suitable, or you could connect with me and I can either help you with your issues, or give you some guidance on finding someone that you wish to work with.

Try and put these in practice, you owe it to yourself, your mind body and soul as well as your family to get a grip with your workload and working hours.

Give them a go and let me know how you get on, change needs to happen, if it doesn’t you will just run yourself into utter exhaustion.

Love

Claire x

 

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