One of my favourite sayings is “you’re the sum of the five people you spend the most time with”, so if the people around you are negative complainers who always find a reason why something can’t be done, they will stifle your success. They will eventually bring you down to their level and you’ll never reach your full potential. This is why you need a Mastermind or Accountability group.
Posts Categorized Learn and develop
There is often much discussion over on the VA Handbookers Facebook group as to whether it’s worth having a blog on your website or not. On one hand people hear that it’s good for search engine optimisation (SEO), but on the other hand they don’t want to write one if they don’t really need it – plus they’re not really too sure what to write about even if they do decide to start one.
I’ve said it before but Gmail is just invaluable for VAs. One reason is that they have a whole section called labs where you can find useful add-ons to make your inbox a lean, mean productivity machine. Some are simply handy, some are just for fun and others are absolute lifesavers that will make you bow down and worship at the alter of Google!
Back when I used to offer personal training, I mentioned to my boyfriend at the time that a couple of trainees had confidence issues and, although I’d given them every practical step they needed to become a VA, I didn’t have any more knowledge to impart and wasn’t sure how best to move them forward. First (and rightly) he said that I wasn’t a counsellor and then he told me if I had asked them to do a SWOT analysis.
I often meet up with another VA called Rachel Brown. I’ve known her for a few years now and our chats are always really productive. We have coffee and cake and discuss how our businesses are doing, our plans for the future and to generally find out how each other is getting on. Last year I discovered that Rachel makes an absolute killing from taking minutes at local meetings. Obviously I was intrigued and wanted to know more… loads more!
I love a good business book but I’m reeeeally choosy about what I buy. Because I don’t want you to waste a whole load of time, money and effort picking through various reviews and descriptions, I thought I’d give you a list of the ones I like the most. I own every one of these books and know they will help your career and get you where you want to go.
Although Pinterest is the third most popular social media platform, a lot of people still think it’s just a load of women planning their ideal wedding and designing an imaginary dream home. Although it kind of is (guilty!), like many think Twitter is just folk talking about what they had for lunch, Pinterest is way more than that and can be used in many different ways depending on who’s using it and why.
A good VA service to offer is credit control – i.e. chasing invoice payments. You might initially shudder at the thought of calling strangers to chase money, but it’s actually completely painless if you know what to say. A lot of small businesses and freelancers like to outsource this task because it creates a buffer between them and the other company – plus it makes them look more professional if someone else is doing the calling for them.
Like August, December can often be a quiet time for VAs. Your clients are usually winding down for Christmas themselves and, although it’s great to have a couple of weeks off, if you spend some time during the gap between Christmas and New Year (I think it’s called Twixtmas but I call it Chrimbo Limbo) putting your house in order, you’ll start the coming year way ahead of the game.
Because Outlook is a crusty old dinosaur, I use Gmail as my one-stop email account. I import five other accounts into it (three of my own plus two that clients have set up for me) and I switch between all the Gmail accounts from my inbox by granting myself user access from the others. Nobody knows everything is going through Gmail and I get to use all the fantastic features that come with it – one of which is the phenomenal wonder-bomb Rapportive.