Hi and welcome to The Business of Being a Virtual Assistant. I’m your host, Tiffany Parson, and you’re watching and listening to episode number 160.
Today, I don’t want to call it a special episode. It’s just a different episode. This is gonna be a Weekend Round Up.
All week I have been thinking about what our topic is going to be today. And I came up with several different topics, but instead because I’m recording this on the day. Actually, on Friday, I wanted to just talk about what the week has been like.
And then when I post this episode, I want you to come and share something about your week as well.
I haven’t decided if we’re going to make this a regular thing or not, but I definitely want to start right here.
There are three different themes that came up this week:
- The first one was about making mistakes.
- The second one was about knowing when you need to care for yourself, and
- the third one was about accepting responsibility.
So three things.
The first one, let’s talk about making mistakes.
Hopefully by now you’ve listened to episode number 159, unless this is your very first time listening to the podcast. And if it is, I’m so happy that you’re here. And I’m happy that you’re listening or watching this week’s episode. When you get a chance, go back and watch episode 159. We talked all about November planning.
In that episode, I talked about how we had less than 60 days for a new, instead of saying a new decade, I repeated century several times. And I got emailed about it. Someone commented on the blog post about it.
And guess what?…
It’s not life or death.
And someone emailed and said, “oh, it was like a major oops”. And to me, if it’s not life or death. It’s not major. It was a complete slip up.
Here’s something you may not know when I record the podcast I record it straight out. I don’t go back and re-record and fill-in words and take things out because I want it to be like a regular conversation.
And if we were having that conversation, you would have just said, “oh, Tiffany. No, no, not century. It’s a decade,”. So we got less than 60 days for a decade.
And guess what?…
We all lived. We all survived. And hopefully you got some great information from that last episode. So that’s the first thing. Mistakes.
Not too long ago, I shared on the Facebook page. There was a picture, it said “NOBODY’S PERFECT”.
Done is better than perfect. If we wait for something to be perfect, will still be trying to tweak it, trying to edit it, trying to fix it, trying to make it right instead of getting it out there.
And for those of you that have already started your virtual assistant businesses, there is something that you’re probably still tweaking still holding back on that you haven’t put out there because you want it to be perfect and it won’t be perfect.
It won’t. It just won’t. You may not find out that you made a mistake until you release it. Just like episode 159, I didn’t even catch it myself.
Once the episode goes out, once it’s emailed, once everything is sent, I don’t go back and re-listen to it. Because guess what?
Guess who’s our biggest critic? Ourselves. And if I go back and I hear myself over and over again. I’m gonna jump in and make some more corrections. Not just with the word slip. Right?
So I don’t do that. I put it out there knowing that I did my best the first time out, because I know exactly what I want to share with you.
The second theme that came up this week was about caring for yourself.
I recorded a short, short, short video on Monday night and I had the worst headache. It probably started late that afternoon and into the evening on Monday, and it was time for me to record. I felt like somebody was sitting on my head and hurt so bad.
And I was like, you know what?
I am just going to not worry about it. Not put so much pressure on myself today. But instead of just skipping this week, I’m going to go and let everybody know what the deal is and when the next episode is coming. And that helped to free me up.
You ever have something that you know you’ve got to get done, but you’re just, I was feeling like I said the worst. Like I said it felt like someone was sitting on my head. And if I had not done the short video and emailed everybody the next day I would have been thinking about that over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and giving myself and even worse headache thinking about it.
But in that moment, once I made the decision to do that quick recording after I decided not to do record the episode, I relieved myself so that I could take care of me.
And that’s exactly what happened. And you may be in that situation as well.
Maybe your client work is piling up. Maybe you have just taken on too many projects at one time, and you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed about it.
I want you to relax, take a deep breath and look at what you have going on. Are these true deadlines that all have to be met all around each other? Or are they just deadlines you have set for yourself?
Many times we’re the ones that set ourselves up for the overwhelm because we want to do a great job.
We want it to be excellent. We want to help people. We want to serve our clients, and we want to serve as many clients as we possibly can. And in that process, sometimes things get bunched up and we do too many things. I’ve done this myself.
I have taken on too many projects before in the past, all around the same time, and ended up feeling like I was in over my head.
So you may be thinking, “well, okay, that’s where I am. That’s what’s going on this weekend. I’ve got all this stuff to do. I’ve got projects, I’ve got family stuff. I don’t know what to do.”
Here’s what you do:
- Look at the client projects that you have and look at what you told your client when you would have it to them.
(Sometimes we just have to suck it up and get it done, if you’ve already committed to your clients, it will be done by this time.)
- If you have not, now is a perfect time to give your client a status update on their project.
Give them a status update on their project and in your update, also let them know when they can expect for it to be completed or for you to have another update, depending on, you know, the length of the project.
If it’s a short one, something that you know once you get in there, it’s done, then give them that update and let them know when you’ll have it completed. Once you do that, this takes the pressure off for that particular project.
Please know, more than likely your client is not sitting at their computer tapping their hands on the computer, waiting for you to get back to them, unless it’s been a really long time and you already know that’s not good.
But in the ideal scenario, that’s not the case. They are not sitting at their computer like “oh my gosh, when is she going to get back to me”…
that’s not what’s happening.
So give them an update, all of them. Give them a status update on their project, and when they will be able to hear from you next or when it will be completed by.
Here’s the lesson going forward for you after you do that:
- Look at your calendar.
- Be realistic with yourself about how long it takes you to complete something.
While it might only take you two hours to complete, you might have five other things in front of that one that has to be done first. And guess what that adds on time. So maybe that is why it may take you 1 to 2 business days because you’ve got other projects.
Let’s think about this. If you walk into Staples and you wanted to have somethings printed, maybe you’re doing some posters or whatever, and you wanna have printed. More than likely, there’s gonna be a customer in line in front of you, and the person behind the register is not going to skip over them to come to you. And that’s how we have to operate as a business owner.
Your clients in a sense are in line. They’re in a queue, waiting for their turn.
When you give them deadlines, they are going to know this is when you’ll have it done (i.e. 1 to 2 business days, 1 business day)
I use business days. Why?
Because if I say 1 to 2 days and I get something late on Friday, that means I would have to have it done by Sunday. Is that realistic for me personally?
So I say business days. And it’s just common knowledge that business days are Monday through Friday. Yes, you might work on Saturday, but a standard business day is Monday through Friday.
Look at what you’re telling them the deadlines are going to be from the beginning to save yourself so going forward, you won’t feel this overwhelm.
- Also, when you know, at this point if you’re feeling that pressure, you know what your max is.
And you know, if you’re feeling that overwhelm, you know, okay, at least now I know when I get to this certain number of clients, I have reached my max and it’s okay. It’s okay that this is happening because now I’m learning from it.
I know what my limits are, and I am going to for sure stick to creating a reasonable time frame for different projects so that I don’t have people all on top of each other because I set it up that way.
It’s a learning experience.
If you have never owned a business before, and this is your first one or if you’ve never owned a virtual assistant business before and this is your first one, it’s a learning process. You’re always learning.
And that’s what’s happening in this situation of overwhelm. And once you’ve done that, you’ve sent your updates, now you know what you’re gonna do going forward.
- Relax your mind,
- Take a deep breath,
- Get you some water and then
- Come up with the plan based on what you told everybody when you’d have their projects.
Because now you can take care of then one by one by one, instead of feeling like you’ve got to take care of ten all at the same time.
Now, the third theme that came up this week is taking responsibility. And it’s kind of a leading from the second theme of taking care of yourself.
Once you have given those deadlines, you’ve got your plan. You are taking responsibility of what happened. By sending email updates to all of your clients that is taking responsibility. They don’t know that you feel overwhelmed.
And please don’t include that in your email. They don’t know. They think everything is cool. Don’t tell them that. You just give them a regular update and their deadline. You’re a business owner. They don’t need to know all the details.
If we were event planners and we had five weddings this weekend, the first bride doesn’t need to know we have four more that we have to handle this week. And we only have three people on staff tonight. They don’t need to know all the details. You’re just gonna handle it, right? Right.
So you’re taking responsibility by you creating that plan now, you know, to move forward. And I talked about in the first thing was about mistakes. Owning the mistake, taking responsibility for the mistake.
You will make mistakes, you will make mistakes. And it may not be an on purpose mistake. Maybe it’s you learning something new and didn’t even know about it until the mistake happened. And now you do.
I’m grateful for glitches and mistakes that happen, because that is how we learn.
It may be something that has never happened before, and all of a sudden it is happening this time. You own responsibility. I’m gonna find out what the problem is, and I’m going to fix it. Not sit and wallow and complain about the problem, but fix it.
Now I’m talking about in regards to working with your clients. Perfect example:
I have a client, she’s switching her email systems. And so we set up pop ups on two different websites, so we get it all straight. It looked wonderful the first day, so she said, “ok, I’m gonna review everything and let you know.”
So she emailed me the next day. “Tiffany, both of the pop-ups are showing on the two different websites and they’re supposed to be two different audiences.”
I’m like, oh, no, let me take a look. I’m gonna fix it.
It’s a whole new email system. I’m learning the ins and outs of it. As a techie, and this is why I like working on take projects, it doesn’t make me afraid, it gets me excited because I know there’s gotta be a fix.
And what I learned is in this particular system, unlike all the others that I’m used to working in, this one, you have to tell it not to show on certain domains.
I would have never known that if it weren’t for this client having two different websites.
If she had only had one website this problem would have never come up. But because she had two websites, two different pop-ups, with two different groups, this came up.
But guess what?
I owned it, took responsibility and jumped in right away to figure it out and got it fixed within the same day.
And now, because of that experience it’s gonna become content. It’s gonna become a tech tip that I share on my Facebook and LinkedIn because I feel like this is something that other people probably don’t know either.
And eventually, I’ll probably turn it into some type of video and post it on YouTube as like a tutorial for this particular system. Because the only way you will see this happening is if you have two different websites with pop-ups.
If you just have one website, you’ll never know that you have to tell it not to show on other pages. So that’s gonna be exciting to me. But now it’s all fixed. She’s all good to go. Mission accomplished.
When things happen, you take responsibility for it, and as a bonus now you have content to share.
Now you have a tip to share with other people for future reference in case they have the same issue. Now you become the expert in that particular thing.
Why? All because there was a mistake.
It originated out of a mistake. And I’m sure there are a whole lot of other things that were invented, figured out, discovered because of a mistake. They took responsibility and fixed it.
So anyway, that’s my week. I want to hear about your week. So come on over to Facebook and give me a little bit. Share with me about how your week went, what you accomplish, what you learned. If you made a mistake, share. Let’s share in it together.
The Facebook page, remember its facebook.com/tbbva that stands for The Business of Being a Virtual Assistant.
And if you’re on YouTube, I’m not going to make you come over to the Facebook unless you absolutely want to. I’d love to have you on the Facebook page, but if not just comment right below this video and share with me your Weekend Roundup.
You guys have a wonderful and fantastic day!