The Virtual AssistantWritten by Lori Redfield
As a small business owner, outsourcing work to Virtual Assistants is fast becoming a popular and intelligent decision. The business owner saves enormous amounts of money by cutting costs of offices and equipment overhead as well as expensive benefits packages.
The ‘Virtual Office’ creates an enormous amount of personal freedom and independence for both small business owner and virtual workers. The dedication and commitment that virtual workers demonstrate testifies to satisfaction derived from a home office setting.
Being on cutting edge of this profession offers tremendous opportunity for technical savvy entrepreneurs to secure a viable and stable home business opportunity. A good business plan and well thought out marketing campaigns are crucial to organized success of a Virtual Assistant in both securing enough clients and/or work to meet their budget goal as well as adequately being able to balance clients and deadlines.
Virtual Assistant’s actually would be well advised to embrace a business partner or utilize a team of trusted colleagues to entrust overflow work to. The standards of a good Virtual Assistant aren’t easily met and establishing a virtual network of quality workers isn’t an easy task. Any overflow work that you outsource must exemplify same care and quality as your own or you stand chance of alienating your clients.
As owner of a home business resource specifically geared toward professional mothers seeking home based work, I am often approached for advice on how to become a Virtual Assistant and also receive many inquiries about what skills are required to be successful in field.
To gain and retain clients, my main advice is to maintain your professionalism in all of your interactions with your client. As much as it is a leap for you to give up ‘security’ of working in a corporate office, it is also a very new concept for business owners to outsource their work to a team of ‘Virtual Workers’ who they may likely never even see face-to-face. There is a great level of trust employed in this relationship and your professionalism in correspondence and phone calls will go a long way in securing their trust. Furthermore, I advise you to pay great attention to your accuracy and final product that you submit to your clients. Meet all of your deadlines, and know at least two days ahead of time if you are not going to be able to meet them. Communicate that to your client before project is late and keep in communication on a daily basis from beginning to end of all projects with brief status reports.
The Road to 25-hour Days - Part OneWritten by Marie-Pier Charron, Life Coach
Do you wish you had more time to do things you love, to be with your children, your life partner… and maybe with yourself, too? Do you wish you had energy to cook healthy meals for yourself – or to exercise? Are you always too stressed to meditate or pray (or whatever makes you feel at peace)?
Then here’s a clever exercise thought out by a time management specialist. I invite you to follow these instructions in your mind: Start by taking a glass bowl and gathering some big rocks, smaller rocks, some sand, and water, too. Now, fill your bowl with big rocks, until you cannot fit a single one in it. Look at your bowl… would you say that it is full? Yes it is, right? Then, add smaller rocks to big rocks – as many as you can. Now, is your bowl full? Well, yes, it is…Continue by putting in as much sand as you can in bowl… is it full yet? Or will it be full when you will have poured some water?
Lesson #1 is: We can always do more, add more to our schedule or to-do list. Lesson #2 is: We have to put in big rocks first (our priorities). We cannot incorporate them to bowl after other (smaller) elements – our non-priorities.
Many of us would like to find a way to squeeze into our days everything we want to do (trying to push big rocks in a sand-filled schedule). We really want to play a new instrument, to exercise, or to write a book (for example), yet we do not always have time or energy to take first step. We feel like circumstances are more powerful than we are. Why is that? And how do we prioritize our… priorities? First and foremost, we have to evaluate if our priorities really are priorities. There is a major difference between wishes and choices… You may wish to spend a half-hour every day reading one of those 500-page biographies you love so much… But if you aren’t doing it, you haven’t really chosen it – it’s not a priority. Why? Maybe you have a hard time relaxing after work, maybe you feel you should always be doing something “useful” and reading makes you feel guilty. The bottom line is that something is blocking you. Hmmm, maybe you don’t even like reading that much, after all…
What motivates your wishes, or your choices? Sometimes we like idea of a certain activity, but we don’t like doing it that much. Sometimes we want results, but dislike process (exercise, anyone?). Sometimes we want to do things because they are valued by others around us. Or we think we “should” be doing this and that, even when it is not a necessity.