Something does not want you to receive this information today. Resistance is what it’s called. It’s been kicking my tail for almost a month. However, I’m making a Rocky come back and sending this email to you anyway. I want you to know the big mistake you’re making in your business.
Are you answering every single email?
Answering every single instant and private message on social media?
Does your phone ring and you answer without hesitation?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, or hesitated with your yes, I’m talking to you.
I’ve been there. I’ve answered emails after hours. Sent an email on a Saturday and even was using my cellphone number at one time as my work phone.
THESE ARE BIG MISTAKES!
You’re sending a message that you have no boundaries, don’t care about yourself, and that you are last on your own priority list.
It’s time to end this now. STOP IT!
Stop answering emails as soon as they come in.
Stop answering every single instant and private message on social media.
And stop answering your phone. Yes, I said it. Stop answering your phone.
Look at this from the perspective of your client.
You’re busy working on their project and ‘bing’ an email comes through. You stop to read the email. It completely gets you off track from what you were previously working on. Now you have to start over and remember what you were doing and get back into the flow of your clients project.
Interruptions hinder progress. You know how long it takes you to get into a nice groove with your work, yet you allowed the interruption.
Another example, and this one is from the perspective of your family.
It’s a beautiful Sunday afternoon and you and your family are out having a great time. Ring! It’s your phone and you answer thinking it’s your sister or a friend. Instead, it’s a client and they have a question regarding their project. Not only do you stop them in their tracks, but the fact is you answered the phone.
Ever call someone and they tell you they’re having dinner? In my mind, I’m thinking ‘well why did you answer the phone if you are busy.’
Surely I don’t have to tell you to let family time be just that, family time. However, for some it may be necessary for someone to tell you. Hello! Stop it. Don’t make your family hate your business.
Stop using your cellphone as your business phone. Instead get yourself a Skype line that allows voicemail. Record a clear message telling how quickly you’ll respond and how you’ll respond. If email is what you prefer, let the caller know you respond faster to email than voicemail and provide the email address. Be clear you’ll respond during business hours.
Focus on what’s in front of you. Whether you’re working on a client project or spending time with your family, focus on that and do not allow any interruptions. Remember the person on the other end of the phone line, email, instant message, has no idea that you’re not available. You communicate that based on your actions. If you answer, guess what? You’re available.
Being a virtual assistant does not mean ‘at your beck and call’. You’re a professional, a business owner. Unless you are Walmart, your local pharmacy, or gas station, there’s no need for you to be available 24/7.
The biggest mistake you can make – Making Yourself Too Available!
If you’re going to stop making this huge mistake, I’d love to hear about it. Let me know in the comments below!
Melodee Forbes says
This is such a good reminder! I’ve had a couple of high-end prospective clients and I was almost tempted to give them my personal number, but you’re right — they can wait and respect my schedule and communication time table (business hours).
Thank you for the reminder!
I totally agree Tiffany. I’m working to maintain a more steady schedule for my work that gives me more focused time on my business as well as more focused time on my family. Do you tell your clients the hours you plan to work, or do you just make an effort to respond to requests within about 24 hours?
Tiffany Parson says
Hi Meredith! My hours are posted on my website for clients to see. However, I don’t tell them exact times of when I’ll be working on their projects. Of course there are deadlines and milestones in between so everything is based on that. I respond to emails during business hours only.