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Are you running your business or is your business running you?

Work-life Balance: Decide What You Are Willing To Exchange For What You Want…….

Work-Life Balance

Life is about choices.  It is often when you solicit the opinions of others to make decisions that you already know the choice you need to make.  When the choice involves your family and your career, in most cases it is easy to choose, and others difficult.

Work-life balance.  Does it even exist?  Have you achieved it?  If it were so easy to achieve, everyone would have it.  As an employee, you cannot achieve work-life balance alone.  As a business owner, you are accountable for how you invest your time.  However, it does not mean that there are no resources available to enable you to achieve work-life balance.

As the saying goes, “Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”  We live in a time where being busy is glorified and often used to avoid important obligations.  Busy leads to burnout and other problems that often go unnoticed until someone else points them out.

Here are a few:

  1. Busy disconnects us from the ones we love.
  2. Busy becomes a response to “How are you?”
  3. Busy is a form of numbing.
  4. Busy becomes an excuse not to take care of yourself.
  5. Busy is addicting creating an appetite pushing you to do more things.
  6. Busy is distracting.
  7. Busy leaves you exhausted.

If you identified with any of the items in the list, you may be doing things that prevent you from achieving work-life balance.  It is never too late to try something new to achieve a different result.

Here are some things you can do to position you closer to achieving work-life balance:

  1. Learn to say no without an explanation or guilt.  (It is okay to turn down a project or task if you are overwhelmed.)
  2. Delegate tasks as needed.  (See the article “How well do you delegate?”…. http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMM_60.htm)
  3. Create a stopping point and do not work past it.
  4. Make personal rules and stick to them.
  5. Make time for yourself and your family.
  6. Meditate.

As you start each day, set your intentions and stick to the plan.  This is a simple way to get you closer to achieving work-life balance.  Either way you tip the scale, there will be the need to make adjustments.  Be sure that each adjustment you make balances out your equation.  Choose balance instead of being weighed down.

Work-life balance

Please feel free to comment with your tips to maintain work-life balance or your areas of struggle in obtaining work-life balance.

Finding Your Ideal Client

Finding Your Ideal Client

When you make the choice to become a virtual assistant it can be an exciting time. You finally start getting clients and the money starts coming into your PayPal account and you’re feeling good about that. But you’re not satisfied because you are feeling super hurried, unorganized, and unsatisfied. Worse, you start resenting the the clients you have. Then, next thing you know you’re hunting the job ads due to overwhelm. That’s no way to run your own business, or live a fulfilled life.

It’s very important to understand:

  • For every inappropriate client, there is an appropriate one waiting to find you. When you take on the wrong client, it’s not fair to yourself or the client because it’s simply not going to work out and time will have been wasted.
  • When you interview with a potential client it’s not about them interviewing you, it’s about both of you interviewing each other to make sure you’re a good fit. You are not an employee. You are interviewing
  • It’s appropriate for you to have and want to use your own system for working on projects, if you have one. If you really want to do that, don’t agree to work in the client’s system. Yes, you may not end up working with that client, but it’s okay, there really are enough clients to go around.
  • As a Virtual Assistant it is likely you have more than one client. You probably have from 4 to 10 clients and developing your own system to help you work in an organized manner for all your clients is an important aspect of being a business owner.

I Speak From Experience

It doesn’t matter that I’ve been working in this business for many years, since the mid 1990’s, in fact, I still occasionally make a mistake about who I choose to work with. It isn’t about these clients being bad clients, they’re not, they’re great clients, they’re just not the right fight for me. Due to the poor fit, it won’t work.

Employee vs. Contractor

There will be times where some clients can’t separate how they treat you as a contractor from how they will treat an employee. This isn’t their fault really. This is all they know. In fact, most VAs tend to fall right into the employee mindset. It’s something you’ve got to let go as a business owner. You are not an employee. If you’re not sure what the difference is read what the IRS has to say about it.

Know Who Your Ideal Client Is

Develop your own checklist to ensure that when you are interviewing potential clients you can match them to the list. For instance your ideal client might consist of some or all of the following:

  • Is a good communicator with both praise and issues.
  • Will use my project management system, or has an organized one of their own.
  • Treats me as the expert I am and not as an employee.
  • Values my time as much as I value theirs.
  • Socially responsible.
  • Is a small business owner who has experienced some modicum of success and knows what they want.
  • Pays me on time.
  • Etc….

Write it all down so that when you are talking to your potential client you can look for any red flags that you might want to pay attention to in order to avoid future problems.

Have you ever chosen the wrong client to work with? If so how did you handle it? What is your ideal client like?

 

 

 

What Are Your Intentions?

solomastermindimgI was listening to Kelly’s Solo Smart Podcast number 91 with Amanda Cook and she said something that really got me to thinking about starting a business and the difference between those who make money, and those who don’t.

It Comes Down to Intentions and Actions

There are a lot of articles out there that say that intentions don’t matter, but I disagree. If you really want to start a business that earns money you need to have the intent to do so, and not just be dabbling. Of course, you can have the best intentions in the world, but if it’s not followed up by action, you will not succeed either. So the next thing I thought about while listening to the fascinating interview was how you have to follow intentions with action in order to succeed.

Then I got even more excited thinking about what all this means.

As a Virtual Assistant, what you do for your clients is turn your client’s intentions into actions. It doesn’t really matter which niche you work with, your audience needs you to help them turn their intentions into achievable goals which together you’ll act upon, to help them earn more money.

Time and again I speak to people who claim to want to earn money as a VA. But, they don’t do the work necessary to turn their ideas into intention followed by actions that get results.  They seem to just have this idea that they want a business, and then they spend the next 10 years dreaming instead of following through.

As you analyze your intentions to determine if they can actually become goals, think about how your intentions make you different from your competition, and how you can, through your intentions followed up by actions —  make your dreams of owning a business a reality.

My intentions for 2014 are to double my income.

I have a set plan for that. I will admit here and now I am behind already!  I started this post a few days ago and then got busy and my intentions fell flat. But now I want to list what I am going to do to ensure that my intentions match my reality.

  • Write 12 Kindle Books in 2014
  • Put out 2 Membership Options (One will be released on March 15th)
  • Blog on my own blogs at least every other day
  • Trust in my abilities

What are your intentions for the rest of 2014. Isn’t it amazing that February is getting close to being over? How have you done so far this year?  Let me know in the comment section down below.

If you want to really push your business forward (and yourself) I really need to invite you to join me at Solo Masterminds. A great group of people who really help you set your intentions in place. Will you join me?

Join Me at Solo Masterminds!

 

 

 

 

Weekly PodCast With Stephanie

Breaking Boundaries and Build a Team
Do you have business tips, secrets or encouragement to share with the world?

Guest Speaker Inquiry

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Podcast #1: Introducing the Stephanie and Stephanie show. Your host, Stephanie Grams, Owner of BuckeyeVA.com and guest today is Stephanie Watson owner of Virtual Assistant Moms. Listen as we share our experiences as a virtual assistants and how we are growing our business.

 

We’re all moved in to our new house

nNafwluWe are moved into our new house, no pictures yet because things are a mess. But soon.  Even with the mess around me I have to get back to work today.

We both took a week off to move everything in, clean up the apartment, turn in the keys and all that stuff and here it is, time for us to return to work already.

My husband was happy that we now have a garage for his car, to help a little with this cold weather we’re having down in Alabama. It’s only 14 degrees F here today. Can you believe that?

I mean, that’s sort of why I moved from Kansas to Alabama was to escape that weather. But, my poor husband still had to get out of the house and trek through the cold, and then go work in a place where he sometimes has to go outside. Meanwhile, I’m toasty warm inside my new office, albeit with a space heater. It’s one of the things I love most about working from home.

What do you love about working from home? Answer down below. I know sometimes working for yourself can be overwhelming, frustrating, and everything a J.O.B. is, but what makes it worth it for you to wake up every morning and get to work?