Work with the ones who show up. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
Enjoying the journey is celebrating each milestone. #vatipGotta Tweet!
The journey of your business is an ongoing refining. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
I always know when the episode is going to be really helpful to at least one person because something crazy happens when I’m recording it. I recorded for almost 17 minutes and it occurred to me I need to double check my audio. So I’m checking my audio as I’m talking to you and realized there was a solid line all the way across. I had to take a quick break and see, okay, I’m hoping that it was recording, but it wasn’t. The sound on the microphone and the audio in Audacity was all the way down to zero. I don’t know why. I don’t know how. But anyway, we just keep going.
This episode is for you. I’m glad you’re listening. You’re listening to episode number 44.
We’re going to talk about the 15 takeaways from 2015.
These are just things that I wrote down that I learned about myself in 2015. Hopefully, you took some time to just jot down and look at your 2015 at a glimpse. I was curious. Since it was 2015, 15 was the number.
I wrote down the number of books that I read in 2015 and I realized I need to read more. I made a list. I didn’t put it in any kind of order, whether the books were good or bad. I just made a list of 15 because I didn’t read as much as I did in 2014. So I needed all the books on the list, whether they’re good or not. In 2016, I’m going to have a list of 16 good books that I read, and hopefully there will be enough good books. That means that I probably need to read twice as much to get to the good books.
I used to be a stickler, like if I haven’t completed the whole then it doesn’t count as having read the book. Forget that. Some books are like resource books. You go to them again and again and again. You flip through it. Some books are beginning to end books. Some books are end and then go to the beginning. It’s your book. Read your book how you want to read it. It counts. Did you read half of it? It counts. Does it matter if it was from chapter one to the middle? No, it doesn’t. You might have read the middle to the end. I don’t know. Some books are like that.
So anyway, got my list. Made a list of 15 podcasts that I listened to. Not episodes, but podcasts, you know, the actual shows itself. Wrote down 15 movies I watched in 2015 and realized there were not a lot of good movies in the movie theater in 2015. I watched more movies on Netflix and I’ve liked documentaries and specials like 30 for 30s, but I didn’t put the 30 for 30s on here because I don’t think they count as movies. But anyway, wrote those down.
I don’t know if you’re interested in any of that stuff. If you are, email me. I’ll send you my list, or I’ll post it on Facebook. If you email me, I’ll post my top 15 books, 15 podcasts, and 15 movies. I didn’t even want to post it because I’m like do they care?
I even wrote down 15 of my favorite things from 2015 on my list. I’ve even got some special things like – well, let me just go into my 15 takeaways and then I’ll tell you about my 15 faves. It kind of all goes together.
Okay, so happy 2016! It’s the New Year. Can you tell I’m a lot more comfortable talking on the podcast? Been doing this for a while. I decided be yourself. I’ve been myself most of 2015, but there are a lot of things that, you know, I’m focused on coaching and teaching. We’re talking about our VA business, but we’re going to have some fun.
15 Takeaways From 2015
1. I am competitive.
Competitive meaning like is there something fun, something that I want, I want to go after, and I can do it, you know, it’s no big deal. I’m going to do it because I want it. I’m competitive, and always felt like I wasn’t competitive, like my whole thing was I’m competing against myself. I’m going to do my best competing against myself.
I can remember, oh, this is one of those stories my mom tells and then she gets mad at me. I took piano lessons from the 4th grade all the way until I graduated high school and, no, I don’t play the piano now. It didn’t take, but it made me a very fast typer and my fingers stretch almost two octaves. Anyway, took piano lessons from the 4th to the 12th grade. So I was probably – this might have been 7th grade, 6th grade, and one of my friends growing up, she took piano lessons too with the same piano teacher. Every year there was a recital and you picked your song and you played it, and we were judged on the song from the recital and they picked the winners.
Me competing against myself wanted to do a challenging song, and I don’t remember who the composer was, but I wanted to do a challenging song because I wanted to challenge myself. I’m competing against myself, not thinking about all the other kids that are in the recital. Well, some other kids picked songs that were easy and they won. [Laughs] I didn’t win. I didn’t win, but I was happy with myself because I picked the song that I wanted. It was challenging. I learned it. It felt good. You know, you had to memorize it. You couldn’t bring your music up there. I don’t play by ear. I read music so, you know, brought our music up there.
But till this day, I can bring that up, my mom will talk about that and she was upset. She’s like, “You could have won that trophy.” She didn’t know whether to be mad at the judges because they based it on how you played versus the complexity of what you played plus how you played. It’s almost like going to college and getting straight As. Two students get straight As. One’s major is chemistry and the other one’s major is dance. They both get straight As. Is it the same? Maybe, maybe not. Anyway, I’m competitive. Gosh, that was number one.
2. I like to have fun.
That isn’t a takeaway from 2015, but it’s like checking me. I still like to have fun and I’m going to have some fun. Every day when I’m working, I’m having fun. It might be something as simple as me having on fun socks or drinking my hot coffee out of a fun mug. You know what I’m saying? You can bring the fun any kind of way you want in a situation. It doesn’t matter.
3. Bring the kid out that’s still inside of you. It’s a great thing.
Do you think about how you were as a kid? Not how your circumstances or surroundings were, but how you were as a kid. Like how did you play? What did you like to play? Were you a creative kid? Were you a quiet kid? Were you the outgoing one? Are you still like that? That is still you. That kid is still you. You just grew up. But sometimes you grow up and you think, oh, now I’ve got to play adult. Have you seen that on social media, some stuff about, no, I don’t want to play adult or whatever. Let the kid out. Have fun. It’s a great thing. That kid was still you.
I can remember being 16 and looking at the mirror. I distinctly remember this. I was in my parents’ room looking in the mirror and I asked my mom, “I wonder what I’ll be like at 21.” No, I started with 18. “I wonder what I’ll be like at 18. I wonder what I’ll be like at 21.” Of course, she laughed at me like I would if that was happening right now. She said, “The same.” I tell you, I was slightly disappointed. Not because I didn’t like who I was, but I thought when you grew up and you got older like all of a sudden the adult you would take over and you may look different and better and all these things.
But it’s like you’re still you. You’re not going to be different two years from now, five years from now, meaning your character, your person, who you are on the inside. You’re still going to be you. Enjoy who you are. Be you.
4. I am a style girl.
That’s my little phrase for ladies that I look at and I think, wow, she knows how to dress. She’s all put together. The thing is, is everybody has their own style. I can remember telling a friend, “Oh, you’re a style girl. You know how to do it.” No, no, no, I’m a style girl too. Hello, you’re a style girl too. We all have our different styles.
What was happening with me is that I gain weight. I weigh more than I want to weigh right now. I know I’m in control of that. I work out. I teach at the gym. It has everything to do with what is on my plate or not, because a lot of times I don’t eat until 3:00. I know that’s not good. Don’t tell me. Don’t send me an email about that. I know it’s not good. We all know how to eat right, whether we do it or not. We all know the right thing to do.
But anyway, because I gain more, I never had a weight issue until, I would say, ’09, 2010, really 2010. My dad passed away and it was like the world stopped. Everything ended. It just stopped. Whatever, you know, I like sweets and potatoes, let’s just say sugar. It’s like whatever, you know, I’ll eventually get back to eating how I know how to eat, you know, I like vegetables and stuff like that. Some days I wasn’t eating, and then the days I was I guess my body was like, well, I’m going to hold onto this just in case we don’t get anything else. Anyway, my metabolism is all jacked up. Taking control over that in 2016.
Anyway, the style girl in me is out, and what I did was I asked the ladies who I’ve been calling style girls, “Where do you all get your clothes?” I don’t just look at women who are size six. I look at the women who are different sizes because I’m a different size. Anyway, found out where they got their clothes and, oh boy, been having a great time. It was around my birthday, oh, what do I want for my birthday? Money. I’m going to go shopping online because I love to do things online. [Laughs] Get your packages. Let Christmas every day.
5. I get more done when I’m having fun, even when it’s challenging.
Do you know when you do more? When are you most productive? Is it when it’s crunch time? Is it when it’s a project you really enjoy? Is it when you have a lot of time? What is it? I go back to the whole fun thing. It’s not necessarily like laughing and rolling on the floor fun, but a fun atmosphere. Like say it would be something as simple as maybe it’s your leggings are fun. Maybe your socks are fun. Your mug is fun. Maybe you have some nice music in the background that you like listening to. The room feels good, whatever it is. Maybe you dance in-between an accomplishment as you’re knocking things off your list. I don’t know.
6. Once outside of my comfort zone, I want to keep coming back for more.
(Oops! I skipped this one on the podcast.)
7. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I really can.
We know this scripture (Philippians 4:13). If you’re Christian, you know this scripture. You believe in Jesus Christ, you know this scripture. So I add I really can and a smiley face, and it’s more or less interpreted like this: I really can. That’s how I felt when I wrote that down. Like, yes, I really can.
We talk ourselves down from things that don’t seem like something we would do, and you wonder where you get your ideas and desires from. Who do you think put them there? Who do you think knows that you can’t do it in your strength? I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
8. You can’t take it all so seriously, especially when it’s not life or death.
What are you taking way too seriously right now? Is it a test? Is it an interview? Is it a blog post, a social media post, a project? What are you taking so seriously that you really shouldn’t?
The takeaways aren’t necessarily that just popped up in 2015. There are things that maybe have reoccurred like this one. Because again, after my dad passed, you really look at things totally different, like we major on a lot of stuff that we should not be majoring on. It doesn’t matter. It’s like is somebody going to die? No. Can it be fixed? Yes! Do you still have time? Yes. Oh, light bulb, aha moment just right now in that second. Life or death means more time or no time. Do you have more time to do it? Yes. Is this second it? Is it over? No.
How many things do you have more time? I don’t mean like a deadline. Let’s say your deadline is today. Well, I’m recording this at 6:48 Eastern Time. There’s still more time in the day.
9. A no is not a no to me as a person, neither is an unsubscribe or an unlike.
I wrote this one down, and you all know my little technical glitch when I tried to record this the first time, and when I read it the first time I’m thinking what the heck did I mean, but I figured it out. Let me read it to you how I wrote it. “A no is not a no to me as a person.” When someone says “no,” they’re not saying no to me as a person. They may be saying “no” to the circumstance, the situation. It is not a rejection of me as a person, my character, who I am.
Neither is an unsubscribe. When someone unsubscribes from your list, it is not an unsubscribe to you as a person. It’s not saying you suck. An unlike, an unfollow, none of that is a no to you as a person. It’s not personal. Sometimes we can take things too personal.
When I first started building my email list, oh, I took things too personal. If you unsubscribe from my email list, I’m like, oh my gosh, you unsubscribed. I almost wanted to chase after you in an email. What happened? Why did you unsubscribe? Is there anything that I could do to do better? No, it doesn’t mean that. It’s not no to you as a person. So I invite the unsubscribes, the unlikes, the unfollows because I want to talk to the people who want to talk to me. Don’t you want to talk to the people that want to talk to you? Yeah. So no’s, unsubscribes, unlikes, all that stuff is not to you personally.
10. Know what your limits are in day, like what you can do in a day.
For example, my limit is three things in a day, when it comes to projects, when it comes to cleaning, when it comes to running errands. Whatever it is, it’s three, and I don’t mean like three errands, three projects, or three rooms in the house. No, like three in total because it drains my energy. I give my everything my all and so it drains my energy.
I have to refuel after three things. For example, on a Saturday, I may say I’m going to go to the post office. I’m going to go to the gym. I’m going to go get my hair done, and then I’m going to go to Target and pick up this and that, and then I need to swing by Old Navy because Old Navy is near Target and they’re having this crazy sale, so I want to swing by Old Navy. If I go to the post office, to the gym, and then get my hair done, on my drive home from the hair salon, I’m already thinking, whew, I’m tired. I’m going to need to go home and get a break. I might not see Target or Old Navy today, and then I remind myself that’s my three. No wonder I’m exhausted. I have to recharge.
My battery has to recharge and then I’m good once I recharge. But I do my three things, recharge, and then I probably wouldn’t be able to do three more things, but I could do one thing like hang out with my hubs, but other that [Laughs]. It’s cool; everybody’s got their own max. When you know what your max is, don’t let someone else impose their max on you.
11. Work with the ones who show up.
I like this one. Started doing challenges this year. Oh, I’d love for you to be a part of the 21 day challenges. Right now we’re doing the 21 Day Upwork Challenge and then we’ll do 21 Day Webinar Challenge, and there will be some other ones like social media and blogs and stuff like that. I’ll repeat the Upwork and the webinar, because maybe we just met today. Maybe you just stumbled across me today. Hi, I’m so glad you are listening to The Business of Being a Virtual Assistant.
Anyway, work with the ones who show up. Now, as much as I wanted everyone to participate every day, because it is a 21 day challenge, I had to learn early, like in day 3, work with the ones who show up. At the end of the challenge, I had to learn work with the ones who show up. If we spend our time on the people who don’t show up, how do the people who showed up feel?
Let’s say you have a party. You invited 25 guests and 5 people show up. Do you spend the whole time at your party thinking about, oh man, 20 people didn’t show up, and thinking about every single name and every single person that didn’t show up and they didn’t tell you they weren’t coming, or do you look at your five people in your room and be like we’re going to have a great time? We’re going to have some fun. We’ve got some music. We’ve got some food. We’ve got this. We’ve got that. You focus on the ones who show up.
When it comes to your clients, maybe you do a webinar to promote your services. You do a little training. You promote your services. You work with the ones who show up. Five people show up live; you work with the ones who showed up. Five clients want to work with you; you work with the ones who show up. You don’t focus on the other people who decided they didn’t need your services right now, or down the road, maybe later, whatever their reasoning was. No. You work with the ones who show up.
12. Don’t want to be somebody; you already are somebody.
I think that came from something I read. Not the quote itself, but someone was expressing feeling bad about themselves or desiring to be somebody or whatever, and it just kind of popped in my head, you know, don’t want to be somebody. You already are somebody. You already are somebody.
13. Enjoy the journey. Enjoy the process.
When you arrive at whatever the top is for you, you will see there’s more to go. You’ll see how far you’ve come, and you’ll see there’s more to go. But if you don’t enjoy the journey along the way, if you don’t celebrate along the way, you’ll feel like you’re always working and never rewarding.
Think about it. Walk up the mountain. You’re walking up a mountain, finally get to the top, you turn around. You look to see, oh my gosh, look how far I walked up, and you think about the first mile, the second mile, the third mile.
Maybe you ran a marathon. I’ve never run a marathon or climbed a mountain, but marathon running is more relatable. My husband loves to run. He’ll go to the track and run. What does he do? Six miles right now. I read in the car while he runs miles [Laughs]. Anyway, because my exercise has to be fun and my fun involves music. It involves a class with a beginning and an end time.
Anyway, he runs laps, six miles. But I remember when he first started he would run one, walk one, and when he got to four times around – I think four is a mile. When he got to four times without stopping or walking, we celebrated. We celebrated before that. When got to two laps without stopping and then one walking, we celebrated that because we remembered the one.
So you celebrate each milestone. That’s enjoying the journey, acknowledging the journey, celebrating the journey. Because when you get to the top, like now he’s at six miles, and I’m sure when he first started he hadn’t even thought about six miles, but he appreciated it because we celebrated along the way and remembered every step.
Translate that to your virtual assistant business. You have ten clients now. Maybe you had zero a year ago. Remember when you first started. Remember when you got your first project. I still remember my first project. I still know what it was, how much I got. It was a PowerPoint presentation. It wasn’t creating the presentation. It was figuring out why the video would not play in the presentation. $65 to troubleshoot why the video wouldn’t play in the PowerPoint presentation. My first project. Then I have different projects that stand out for whatever reasons. Enjoying the journey. Enjoy it.
14. Be strong and courageous. Don’t be afraid or terrified.
This is, gosh, I need to find the scripture right quick for you. I’ll do that. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” If you felt like you were in something by yourself, you were not. God will never leave you nor forsake you. That is Deuteronomy 31:6. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave your nor forsake you.” I know this is not a bible study, so you can further dive into that at your leisure.
15. It’s all for the good.
Whatever ups and downs you had, it was all for your good. We learn lessons in every situation. Good or bad, we’re learning lessons. It’s all for the good. There were clients, unfortunately, who could not go with me into 2016. It was all for the good. I learned what works and what doesn’t work for me, and it’s ongoing refining. You’ll find that – an ongoing refining. That’s the journey of your business.
I started in 2008. It is now 2016. May of this year will be eight years since I have been providing my services to clients online virtually. When September comes, it’ll be eight years that I have been full-time. When I started, I didn’t know if it was going to last for six months. I won’t forget being asked, “Well, how can you guarantee you’ll get paid?” I can’t guarantee you’ll get paid. The only guarantee is if you get paid up front.
I have a situation right now, a client that could not go with me in 2016. Last month I did stuff for her. She has not paid. Yeah, I’m not angry or upset. You know, you just want to get paid. My thought is this, you know, I’m a business owner; she’s a business owner. The way you operate your business, just know you’re going to have you as a client. So treat your people well. Treat your clients well.
If you’re outsourcing yourself, and I shouldn’t even have to say this but I’m going to say it, if you’re a virtual assistant and you’re outsourcing and you’ve got VAs on your team, be good to them. Treat others as you would have them treat you. It’s in the bible and it’s the Golden Rule, and I have given you three scriptures and I didn’t intend to give you three scriptures. What was I saying? Oh, it’s all for the good. Lessons, it’s all for the good.
I’m so happy you’re still with me and still listening to the podcast. I’m going to wrap it. Those are the 15 takeaways from 2015. You know I could talk to you all day, but I’m going to press pause on my mouth and wait until our next episode. If you have questions, you want to just holler at me, you know where to find me on Facebook. Talk to you soon.
Thanks so much for tuning in. If you like what you heard, stay tuned. We’ll be back. Tell me what’s going on with you. Come on over the Facebook page: facebook.com/tiffanyparsonbiz, or if you prefer a little shorter message, come on over to Twitter: @tiffanydparson.
See you next time.