The last month and a half has been really productive for me in getting my Virtual Assistant business rolling! For this “Getting Started” phase, I’ve basically been focused on getting a good solid foundation by getting my social networking profiles all set up and interlinked, getting business cards and configuring QuickBooks Online. I’ve also been talking with lots of business people who are interested in utilizing my services and I have taken my cues from them on some additional skills that they could really utilize if I learned them (like WordPress and MailChimp!).
Some days my head is spinning so fast that it’s hard to slow down and focus on the task at hand. But, I am learning to get up and out in the garden when I need that mental pause. Watering and weeding really helps to calm and refocus my mind. I highly recommend finding an activity that you enjoy that helps to center you mentally. You’ll be able to refocus your energies on your purpose and away from all of the things that would distract you from that purpose. Whether it be taking a walk, doing some yoga or just stretching, breathing exercises, heck, even doing the dishes can give you the mental space you might be needing!
Around the office, we love taking new services for a test run. You never know when you’re going to find the next “must have” feature for our users. When Facebook began rolling out @facebook.com addresses, we had to take a look.
There’s been a lot of good commentary on the scope and impact Facebook Messages will have on the email using community. That’s a big community, by the way, and it happens to include my mom. Bless her heart, she signed up for Facebook last week, and now I have to explain that email, chats, and text messages aren’t separate things anymore. It was difficult enough explaining the difference to begin with! For our MailChimp users, I thought I’d go into a little more detail.
As your business grows so does the paperwork, the invoices, the phone calls, the emails and the bills. Until now you’ve probably been handling all of the administrative tasks yourself or shared the responsibilities with a business partner (if you have one). There comes a time, however, when your efforts are best spent focusing more on the bigger picture and less on the day-to-day minutia that so often bog us down.
From the International Virtual Assistants Association newsletter, IVAACAST
Just finished reading (well, skimming) an Inc.com article entitled “The Way I Work” about 37signals founder, Jason Fried’s, everyday work habits. In the article, Fried mentions having morning relaxation time before splashing into his daily e-mail reading. It made me think about my own work routine.
Honestly, I’m not so sure I have a work routine; depends on the calendar. Lately, my weeks have consisted of one or two days in the office before dashing off to teach a communications workshop for a Fortune 500 or chaperoning an overnight field trip with one of my boys. Occasionally, I have a full week in the office, but its landscape is dotted with very necessary phone and face-to-face meetings (Tuesday thru Thursday), administrativia (Mondays) and productivity coaching sessions (Fridays) — all with a bit of white space scheduled in here and there.
Ooh, maybe I’ve just described a routine!
In any case, I try to make the most of whatever time I have, but there always seems to be more to do.
I had a cool realization last week: “My best is good enough.” After all, I told myself, “It’s all I have. . . all I’m capable of.”
You see, I’m a hard worker and very systematic. But, I also have this creative genius that likes to spread her wings. My creative genius is the one who needs that white space. She spends time experimenting with new ideas, planning for the future and just chillin’. What’s odd is that I crank out more of my best “traditional” work only after I’ve had the white space.
To me, that’s what productivity is… it’s you doing your best.
Sometimes “my best” is hours on end surfing the net, experimenting with a new software or design idea that may not pan out. Sometimes it’s back-to-back meetings all day. Sometimes it’s pulling an “all nighter” to crank out a creative spurt that comes to me just as I’m hitting the sheets.
Unlike 9 to 5′ers, the work-at-home professional’s productivity is results based. Back in cubicle-land, you were expected to hang out from 8 am to 5 or 6 pm — no matter how you felt or what you accomplished. The measure was how many hours you put in; not necessarily how effective you were.
Thank goodness for white space.
What companies are starting to appreciate is that Virtual Assistants cost companies a fraction of the cost of actual hires. A company employing Virtual Assistants can utilize the services of a whole range of professionals instead of having to choose which specialty is needed most as the company grows. For the cost of one salaried Administrative Assistant, a business owner could utilize over 1000 hours of assistance divided among any number of top professionals. Utilizing Virtual Assistants allows businesses access to the exact services that they need, it also allows businesses to shift gears more quickly and efficiently by investing in growth rather than payroll because they are paying only for the time spent on their project. There is no longer a reason to worry about taxes, benefits, vacation pay, and time wasted by the water cooler.
Hello everyone and welcome to my schnazzy new blog! Thanks for stopping by! I guess the first order of business would be to introduce myself and share some of my background.
My name is Laura Wilcox and I live in New Mexico. I have been an administrative assistant for the past 15 years in roles ranging from Office Manager in a church to Sr. Legal Services Administrative Assistant at The Cooper Companies, Inc. (parent company to CooperVision, the 3rd largest contact lens manufacturer in the world, and CooperSurgical which manufactures womens healthcare devices). I was the administrative assistant for a global initiative at Agilent Technologies and supported and coordinated and team that spanned the globe. I also was an administrative assistant in the Agency Resources Department (Policyholder Services) at State Farm Insurance’s regional office in Rohnert Park, CA where I helped to develop the Department Security Procedures Manual and an Access database to track agent recruits’ training.
I have decided to branch out on my own and get out of the office! I am now working from home where my penchant for multi-tasking gets me outside to tend the garden and chickens between projects I am working on for my clients. Definitely keeps the stress down and keeps me energized to deliver my best work!
If you are looking for a virtual assistant who works on an as-needed basis, I would love to talk with you about how I may be of service. There is no over-head to pay for - you don’t pay for benefits, vacation, sick time, office space, etc. If you need a highly motivated and technically savvy virtual administrative assistant, then let’s talk! I am available from 7am to 5pm Mountain Time Monday through Friday. I can also be available on Saturdays, if needed.
Make the most of your time by leveraging mine!