What you’re going to hear next is a continuation of last week’s episode. It was an emotional one and also it was late when I recorded and there were some audio challenges towards the end. Instead meshing it all together with last week’s episode, I decided to correct the audio and make it episode 63. Here it goes, the continuation from last week, which takes us into this week’s content related to your virtual assistant business. It’s kind of funny because I mistakenly said episode 63 🙂
This episode 63, I’m going to give myself grace on that. I wanted to talk to you. I wanted to share something. You know, even with this, it just didn’t feel right to just jump into talking about the virtual assistant business and just kind of skip over current events. It just would not make sense. If we were working together, that’s not how it would be.
All right. I want to talk to you today about a test that I’ve taken. I took this test several years ago. It’s called the Kolbe test, and the neat thing about the test is that it is not like Myers-Briggs, so it’s not about whether you’re introverted or extroverted. It’s nothing like that. It rates your natural tendencies, what you are naturally good at, what you’re not good at.
There are two parts. There’s like a Kolbe A and the Career MO. The Career MO gives you an idea of what types of things would be good. Now, it is called “career” and this podcast is about your virtual assistant business. But what I like about is that we know we can take skills from what we’ve done in the corporate world and bring that into our virtual assistant business.
This Kolbe test will help you get an idea of why you are the way you are, and maybe you already know.
Or instead of trying to figure out (here’s a perfect example for me) to put things together. Some people like to put furniture together – desks, beds, whatever, bookshelves. Oh, they can’t wait to get to those kind of projects. Me, it literally may take a year. It might take two years to get something like that done, and once it’s done most likely I’m going to have a nail, a screw, something’s going to be left over and I don’t know where it goes.
Well, my Kolbe score helped me get some clarity on that. That for me when it comes to kind of hands on things like that, that’s not my area. I am more visual. I can visualize the bookcase and I can visualize where it goes in the room, but I’m not really the best person in the room to put that bookcase together.
Oh, what a relief that was to read that because, you know, you think about these little things because something as simple as that – you want to buy something on Amazon, assembly required. Something as simple as that, you could beat yourself up over it because you don’t know how to put the shelf together, or you really don’t have any energy to do it, or you really want to but it just is not working out.
I was quite tickled with the results of that Kolbe test and what I learned about myself on that. Kolbe is spelled K-o-l-b-e and I’ll have that link in the show notes for you so that you can check that out. I’m going to pull up my test really quickly here, some results, just to kind of give you an idea of what it tells you.
The way this connects to your virtual assistant business, outside of the obvious, and that is maybe some of the skills, how you handle things in your business, maybe you’re more systems in how you do things, maybe not. But this may be some good information that we could use on our websites and a way to share how we work to kind of put words to how we work if we’re not exactly sure how to put some things into words.
The Kolbe test is broken up into four sections:
Each one of those has three sections. Fact Finder is self-explanatory. It’s about how you gather and share information. Follow Thru is not quite as clear. Follow Thru is about you arrange and design things. Quick Start is how you deal with risk and uncertainty. Implementor, which is the last section, is how you handle space and tangibles.
I’m going to go into more detail about it. But I wanted to share it with you this way so you could see how this test can help you in identifying the way you work best and how it would fit with your ideal clients.
I’m going to use my test as an example to show you how to put this together. You could put it on your website. It could be a blog post. It could be how I work – a how I work page. However you want to do that on your website.
Fact Finder is how you gather and share information. The three sections with Fact Finder are you Strategize, Explain, or Simplify.
We all fit into one of those three categories. For me, I Strategize. I need to get as many specifics as possible. For me, when a client comes and they’re not sure what they need, I’m going to ask as many questions as possible to help them identify what the services are that they need.
I am not good at answering questions off the top of my head. When asked to give rates or hypotheticals, I mean, that causes some discomfort, some stress because, again, I need to get as many specifics as possible. That’s my natural way of how I get my information and come to conclusions.
Now, the other two, Explain and Simplify. Explain – that person would need essential facts, not necessarily all the details. Simplify – that person would just need an overview.
I’m sharing this test and information with you not so you can listen and see if you can identify where you fall, but to help you in knowing what the test does and how it fits for your VA business. I want to stress that I don’t want you to use this information to say, oh, I’m an explainer. I need people to explain.
You want to take the test, and when you’re taking the test it is your first response. I think the book is called Blink or something like that where it’s about our blink responses. Whatever your first, innate, initial response would be, that’s how you take this test. There are no right or wrong answers when it comes to it. It’s not about whether you’re an extrovert or introvert or anything like that.
Follow Thru – the three sections for Follow Thru are Maintain, Systematize, and Adapt.
Mine is Maintain, so I detect discrepancies and adjust procedure, whatever it is, adjust from there. I may take different approaches. I’m going to look at patterns and see how that all relates, and see how I can work it together. Someone who Systematizes would design a system that organizes everything. Someone who Adapts, they would develop a shortcut and adapt.
All right. Some of the don’ts for me are skipping steps. It’s kind of funny, when I think about the way I ask people questions, there is a step one, a step two, a step three. Many of the clients that I’m working with, they are creating their opt-in funnels or their product funnels, and so as I’m asking questions it is related to every single step that someone would take who was registering for something or who was signing up for a free offer, and I ask them in that order to make sure we cover everything and I don’t skip steps on that.
Quick Start – how we deal with risk and uncertainty. The three sections for Quick Start are Modify, Stabilize, and Innovate.
Modify is checking things out before trying them. That’s where I fall, under Modify. Stabilize is stick with what already works. Innovate is experimenting to see what will happen.
This is pretty neat. One of the strengths for me is that I respond quickly to challenges and that I’m also able to adjust on the fly. When I’m setting up things for webinars or when it comes to something technical related, I’m quick on the draw to make adjustments, however we need to, when it comes to that.
What I don’t like to do is to have too many deadlines at the same time. This is something I knew already, but it was just really neat seeing it as part of this test as one of the don’ts for me is taking on too many competing deadlines. I plan my day, I plan my week knowing how many things are due at a time. That’s very important for me.
Also, something that’s not good for me is too many changes at one time. I can reflect on past experiences where if I felt like there’s a whole lot going on at one time, all these changes, things like that, it made me want to scream. Now I know why, because I don’t operate well in that type of situation.
Implementor – the three sections for Implementor are Envision, Restore, and Protect.
Envision is picturing how things work. That’s me. I’m a picturer – picture how things work. Restore is keeping things working the way they should. Protect is constructing tangible solutions.
Now, this particular section, I thought it was like it was screaming virtual assistant to me – the whole Implementor. It said that I might create virtual presentations, which is what I do every single week when I am doing our podcast is creating a virtual presentation. You guys are here, so you’re listening to me present information, or sometimes we’re just having conversations and I’m talking and sharing with you.
Some other things it says I might do is sketch ideas, simulate actual situations. One thing that’s major is that I don’t have to have discussions face-to-face. This is what it actually says is that I can have discussions without having to be face-to-face. Some people, they’re like, oh, I need to be face-to-face and really get it that way. For me, I don’t have to have that. I also am able to see the solution in my mind.
The most vivid example for you is when I’m meeting a new person and they tell me their name, if their name is not a common name I’ll ask them how to spell it. For example, I met a young lady today and her name was Jah, and I was like, oh, okay. I asked her to repeat it, and I was like, oh, cool. I said, “Is that J-a?” She’s like, “No, it’s J-a-h.” I will remember that and when I go into her store again I’ll remember her name is Jah and I’ll remember how it’s spelled, and the spelling of it, because I visualize how it’s spelled, helps me to remember it. That’s pretty neat.
Now, I don’t know – this is where it gets funny under the don’ts. The test will give you your do’s and don’ts. But the don’t for me is take responsibility for maintaining equipment.
I can remember when I worked in Corporate America, and you know when the copy machine breaks or it seemed like it would always happen when I needed to make a whole lot of copies. The paper would get jammed or the ink would run out, and I would just panic and think, oh my gosh, I broke the machine, or what have you, and I’d always have to get help. So here one of my don’ts is taking on responsibility for maintaining equipment.
When people find out that you’re good with technical stuff, they assume that it’s for everything mechanical as well, like setting up the DVD player or working a projector, different things like that. These are things that I’ve been asked to do and I’ll try to do it but I am terrified on the inside that I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to that.
But hop on the computer, software related, technical code, all that good stuff, I’m good to go. You ask me the best laptop you need, I have no idea. Just go to the Apple store. They’ll help you.
Another don’t for me, it says take apart small appliances. That’s one of those mechanical things. Don’t demonstrate the use of mechanical stuff, same concept, or fix broken parts. You won’t catch me fixing on the car or putting together a bookshelf, putting together a desk. I have done those things, but it didn’t always turn out great, as far as like putting together a bookshelf or a desk, unless it’s really easy like just screwing legs on the desk. Otherwise, I end up with extra screws and I don’t know where they go to. It’s like, oh, maybe these are just extras. But my mechanical people, they don’t have that problem at all.
Anyway, this Kolbe test is something I highly recommend. Most likely it will confirm some things for you that you don’t realize.
Like I could easily have taken the fact that me putting together a bookshelf is something I need to get better at, but it’s not a better thing. Mechanical stuff is not my thing naturally, so there’s nothing I can do or even desire to do to improve on that.
This test will also give you some tips. Once it’s given you results, it will give you some tips on where to put your time and your energy. It will also give you tips on how to communicate with other people and relationships, because obviously we all have different strengths. We all operate in different ways, and it’s good to know how you work with other people who fall under the different categories and the different sections.
For me, my greatest energy is to be spent on figuring out the background of a problem and finding the necessary steps to solve them. That’s what I do every single day for my clients. Whether it’s a technical thing, or whether it’s answering client care email, whatever the case may be, I am problem solving all day and envisioning those solutions because it may not be a solution that I do, but just a solution that I suggest.
Just like my suggestion for you is to take this Kolbe test. There will be a link in the show notes so you can see how this can help you. It’ll also help you get clear on what services to offer to your clients. You want to get clear on that.
That moves me right into something funny I wanted to share with you, because it gives you some tips on career. There’s the Kolbe A test and then the Career MO. Obviously, this is about The Business of Being a Virtual Assistant, but as far as your services, that’s where I would put those references to career.
But this is something interesting about direct sales. I’ve mentioned it before on the podcast what else I do outside of the virtual assistant business is I’m in direct sales. It’s more of a party planning model. Although, it can be done different ways – online, in person, what have you. I wanted to see what this test said about that because, obviously, my strengths are doing things virtually. Also, doing technical things.
This is what it says about direct sales and I thought it was funny. It says, “You probably sell services better than products, especially if the product line requires demonstration because you naturally work with ideas or information more than you work with your hands. If you do sell tangible products or equipment, take along a sales support person who can show how the equipment works while you explain its options or discuss its benefits to the prospect, or invite the potential customer to your office for a demonstration.”
This is funny to me because that’s exactly what I do for the party planning, because for the nail wraps, the crowd themselves are the demonstrators. I talk them through what to do and they do that as an example of how it works. Then, of course, for jewelry there’s not much. You can have models and let different people try it on. But again, I talk them through it and they are my demonstrators, so I don’t have to worry about having someone along with me because the people there are my demonstrators.
But anyway, I thought this was very interesting and it speaks directly to me, for sure.
Check out this test. I’m not sure if they have a demo of the test that you could try before you pay for it. But either way, go to the link in the show notes. Take a look at it. I highly recommend you take the Kolbe A and the Career MO test, and use this information on your website so clients have an idea of how you work. It may even help when you’re talking to your prospective clients to help you put those words in place to understand how you work. Like I talked about earlier, for me, I want to get all the details so that I can come up with a strategy and a solution for them.
Thanks again for listening. I appreciate you, and you know where to find me if you have any questions.
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!