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Things won’t always go perfectly the first time, but you learn from it.
#vatip Gotta Tweet!
There are no guarantees when you’re trying out something new.
#vatip Gotta Tweet!
If your heart is not in it, switch gears and choose something else. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
You’re listening to episode number 89 of The Business of Being a Virtual Assistant. Today’s episode, we’re just going to chit-chat, talk. I hope you’ve got your coffee, and if you’re driving just take me along for the ride and let’s talk about your virtual assistant business.
If you checked out episode number 88, that was a live podcast recording. It was from a test that I wanted to do to see how would you incorporate Facebook Live in a podcast. Could that Facebook Live be used as the episode?
In our business, we have to be willing to test different things out to see how it works. We use ourselves as the test, the experiment, so to speak, so that we know how to explain it to clients.
It’s so funny, I did that test, and a few days after that I got an inquiry about podcasting. Had a call with a potential client, and she’s interested in doing exactly what I did with last week’s episode and that is to use her Facebook Live episodes as her podcast episodes. So I was able to give her some insight on that, how to do that, what’s the best route for that, because of my testing. Not just that one time with Facebook Live and doing the podcast, but also having my own podcast and doing Facebook Lives beforehand.
A lot of times, as you’re doing things, it’s not just for you. It’s for that potential client that’s going to come along the way as well. Be willing to jump out there. Test things out. It won’t always go perfectly the first time around, but you learn from it.
What I learned last week is I need to make sure that I record my audio separate so that even though I have the video that, obviously, has the audio as well, it’s important that I also record my audio on something else so that it’s nice and clear and all that good stuff, just like we have today.
Let’s talk about what’s going on with you. Are you at a starting point? Are you in transition? Where are you?
One of the things that comes to mind as I was planning today’s episode was about how it’s easy to question ourselves in regards to what we’re doing. Is it the right thing? Is this the right service? Is this the right rate? If somebody comes back and questions it, questions what we’re saying, questions our rate, it could easily cause us to doubt ourselves.
When that happens, go back to what you know. You know your experience. You know your knowledge. You know what you bring to the table, and stand strong in that. When you’re getting questions back, it may not even be about your service or because the rate is too high or too low or whatever the case may be. It may just be the client wanting to get more clarification. The clearer you’re able to get with them, that helps you for the next time.
Every single thing that we do, every decision we make, it helps us for the next time.
There are no guarantees when you’re trying out something new. If you’re adding a new service or a new way of doing things, there are no guarantees. You have to go out there, get in the game to even win.
Finally, are you overlooking the obvious? I was recently talking with a friend about doing repairs around the house, and my husband and I are not handy like that. You know, I wasn’t born with a hammer. He was not born with a hammer. We have other things that we were born with naturally. So I want to ask you:
Are you overlooking the obvious when it comes to the services that you provide for your business?
You see, when I am learning a new tool, when I am learning a new language – when I was really getting started in computer programming and learning different languages, something in me allowed me to naturally pick up on things. It wasn’t hard. It was not a struggle. I enjoyed it and could be in it for hours.
One of the first things you learn how to do when you start programming is get the words “Hello World” to come up on the screen. When I took the computer training, I can remember all of us being in a room together and trying to figure it out, trying to figure it out, and I wish I could remember how many days it took to finally see “Hello World” come up on the screen.
It’s easy to give up if things don’t happen right away, if you’re not seeing it right away. But that is not the process. The process may take a day. It may take two days. It may take a month.
What this looks like for your VA business is getting out there to get clients. We have to learn how to speak our client’s language, how to communicate with them what we provide so they can understand it, and that is a skill in and of itself. It may take a little longer to develop that skill. But if you’re not activating it, if you’re not moving, if you’re not testing and trying this and trying that and tweaking different things, you’ll never master the skill.
If you are trying to offer something that you really are not interested in – you just heard or saw someone making a lot of money in it. Ooh, so and so makes six figures doing this or that in their VA business or just in their online business in general. Now, you want to try it. It’s not smart to start something because of the money because when the process takes longer than the money does, meaning you’re still developing that skill, still working to reach towards your goal, and in the process of you moving forward, the money is not coming in as quickly as you’d like so that you can move forward some more and some more.
If your heart is not in, if you are not naturally interested, if you aren’t curious about things related to it, I encourage you to switch gears out of that.
Choose something else. Choose a different service. Choose a different business, whatever it is. I don’t know where you are as far as your business and what’s going on, what caused you to want to start a virtual assistant business.
Many of the people that have reached out to me to ask questions, a lot of you are just getting started or switching gears, and so that’s why a lot of times on the different episodes, I go from that angle, just getting started or transitioning. Whatever the case may be, you want to be curious about it. Desire to learn more. Desire to get your hands in there and actually do it.
The best analogy I can think of, because we’ve got some different projects to do around the house that need to get done, but the idea of me getting the hammer out to try to fix on something, uh, no [Laughs]. No, no, no, no, no. It might be fun playing with an electric screwdriver to get the screws out, or play with it and put them back in. But whatever the thing is that I’m screwing in or taking out or whatever, the end result has to be that it works.
Do I care enough to sit around a day, two days, a month until I see that “Hello World” across the screen? No, not when it comes to handy stuff. But when it comes to things on the computer, yes. If I had to go out and knock on people’s doors, no. But if it’s computer related, yes, yes, yes, yes. All day, yes.
The crazy thing is if somebody – not that I do this, but since I mentioned knock on people’s doors, if that was a part of it and I had to go talk to somebody in person, it’s not the in person talk I wouldn’t want to do about the whole knocking on doors. It’s that cold nobody’s expecting you when you show up kind of thing that I wouldn’t want to do.
Point being, look at the things that are obvious to you when it comes to your business. What is a natural fit?
Do you sit around tinkering on Canva creating images and different things like that for fun, for your leisure when you’re watching TV and you’re just tinkering around on it? Yet, you’re not offering that as a service to your clients.
Do you create spreadsheets for your personal finances, home budget, things like that? You find that very helpful and getting those calculations and you find pleasure in that, and you’re not offering it in your VA business. Why not?
Is it natural for you to investigate how Facebook works, how the ads work, how to engage with people on social media? What works, what doesn’t work, and you’re tinkering around with it on your own. If that is coming natural to you, you’re not being paid for it right now, why not add that as a service in your business?
The flip side of that is if you don’t have an interest in it. You just saw, you know, someone said they built a six-figure business doing it and they’ve got this nice firm and they do it. You thought it was great so you hopped on their webinar and now you’re thinking about offering the service because of money, not previous interest, that is overlooking the obvious thing. What is obvious to you? What is natural for you? Not to say that we can’t learn new things and grow. But usually it’s a fit with something that we naturally do already.
A quick example and I’m going to close out today’s episode. When I was a kid, I used to play school, play office. Sometimes I’d line up the dolls and stuffed animals and sometimes not. Sometimes I’d just pretend kids were there. I would also sit in front of the mirror and talk and move my hands around as though I were speaking to a crowd. Here I am now talking to you on the podcast. I can’t see you, but I know you’re there. Podcasting was a natural thing for me because in a sense I’ve been practicing it all my life.
I can remember one Christmas I wanted this stereo system, and the only reason I wanted this particular stereo system was not because it played music great or had the best bass and all this stuff. No. I wanted that particular system because it came with a microphone. I don’t sing. I cannot sing, so it wasn’t for the purpose of singing. It was not for the purpose of doing karaoke on the stereo. I wanted a microphone to speak in.
I can remember being so excited that I got the whole stereo system because of the microphone. Now, I did use the stereo and the record player that came on top of it and everything, but that was not the exciting part for me. It was that microphone, and that just was a natural part for me.
The way I ended up learning that computers was a thing, because computer science was not on my list of majors that I was interested because of that science part. If they had named it something else, I may have leaned towards it. But when they threw science in there with the computers, it’s like, oh, no, I don’t want to do science. Because to me, science was biology, physics, and that was uh-uh, no, didn’t want to do that.
I remember seeing an ad in the paper. I had moved to Dallas and I was working at an insurance company. I remember seeing – I was looking for a new job. I remember seeing an ad in the paper and they were interviewing liberal arts majors to see if computer programming would be a fit for them. I thought, man, you know, that sounds pretty interesting.
Up until that point, the things that I had done on the computer was just email, look up books from the library because they had just started letting you look up books online and check them out. Just go pick them up. So email and looking up books from the library and for research. That was it. But it piqued my interest.
Guess what I did before I even went to take the test? I started doing a Google search on computer programming and looking up different languages, and I started – this was how far back it was. I think it was Perl was the language I looked at, and I didn’t know if it was outdated, if people still used it. I didn’t know anything. I was just so excited about going and taking this test that I thought I’m going to get a head start, and I looked it up and I was teaching myself that language and I’ve never used it.
Once I took that test, Perl was no longer a factor. It was other languages after that, that we learned. But that piqued my interest and my natural curiosity kicked in to find out more about these computer programming languages, and I’ve been loving it ever since.
I’m saying all that just to give you a real-world example of what it looks like when you look at the things that are obvious, that come natural to you. That you either naturally do or you have a natural curiosity about.
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!
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