Would love to hear what you think below…

Do you have tips or tricks to get your team working with Project Management tools with new team members (or new client teams?) Let us know…

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keep it real text on a wooden background

Are you a bit stuck in your business growth?

  • either working with the same clients you have been working with for years
  • in a transition a bit longer than you had planned on (without clients)
  • simply can’t figure out how to land ‘ideal’ clients?

If you just answered yes to any of these three questions there is a good chance it’s time to get real about your virtual support business!

When chatting with virtual support professionals I am always so surprised at how many feel they should not really have to ‘build’ a business.  As if the clients are supposed to just show up and beg them to work for them.  Often the resistance to market, sell, promote themselves (or services) is so strong that they literally shut down in their ability to grow.

In my mind I am thinking, ‘what is going on here… this is business, you must market, promote, sell, how else does success happen,’  then I am reminded that because the product is the actual person, they must first deal with their own since of worth or value before they can begin to see how to develop their business.  Essentially: they must develop themselves then move into developing their business!  This, I totally get ;-)

Promoting myself has never really been an ‘issue’ for me (lol those of you who know me, know I love to talk)…. but there are MANY other personal development lessons, tests and obstacles I have had to be purposeful in hurdling to ensure I continued to grow my business and develop what I truly wanted from my business. On several occasions, I have had to have a pep talk with myself that sounded something like:  “it is time to get real about my business AND get real about who I want to be as a business owner”, for me this looked like:

  • becoming more disciplined in my time management ensuring I was successful in accomplishing not only what my clients needed from me but what my business needed from me (time investment)
  • taking a training or getting coaching around something I wasn’t as efficient in as I needed to be (financial investment)
  • even making changes in core characteristics of my personality or habits, likability plays a part in connecting with people ;-) (personal investment)

Regardless of the area time, money or personal there is always an investment that needs to be made when the decision is to get real about my business.

When I say REAL, I mean:  get clear, get purposeful, get committed, make the hard decisions on what I must do to go to the next level and then put an action plan to ensure I can get there.  Every step, I have had to get to this place of being ‘real’ with myself and what I want before I could move into the next level of business development.

When I am chatting with people about their business and I find them resistant to the development or investments needed to go to the next level I am reminded that not everyone enjoys the journey of getting ‘real’.  Some want what the real folks have but don’t want to do the work (personal, sacrificing, time dependent work) that the others have done!  I love this quote:

“Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t” 

To be successful in building your virtual business there is a resolve needed of being willing to do, not only what others won’t, but more specifically what you do not want to do ;-)  That way you can push through those uncomfortable moments of promoting yourself or selling your services.  This is what it is to start getting REAL with your commitment to what you want your business to be.  What you are willing to do to make it what you want it to be and what you are willing to invest to ensure you have all you need to see it become that!

My question to you today is ARE YOU READY?  It’s time to get real about your virtual business!

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What’s Wrong With Being Bossy?

by Tiffany on April 15, 2015

in General Biz

I want every little girl who is told sheI have a bit of a confession, I have always been bossy, I have always wanted it my way and for the most part I still feel I am usually right!  However, most of my life I have been encouraged to NOT express these things or I might come across as bossy, controlling, dominating, etc..  Well to that I just want to ask:  What is Wrong with Being Bossy?

It’s true, I almost always have a plan, I can absolutely see the best way to do something (generally the most efficient way), I do feel it will be done better if someone else does it, but does it my way and I am not shy in sharing any of this at any point with pretty much anyone.  That being said, I am not mad if you don’t do it my way but I am pretty sure it will work out better if you do ;-)

Does this sound at all like you?  Are you (like me) just a little bit bossy and quite frankly don’t understand why it is such an issue with folks?

The image with this article I saw on FB a few months ago and I LOVED IT!  Because the truth is if you are the person with the vision, the plan and the understanding of how to implement it you are likely the leader of it (which also means you might just be a bit bossy too.) Granted, there are ways of communication that can limit the conflict around being bossy or being a leader, but it doesn’t change the fact… this is who we are!

I have hundreds of conversations with virtual support professionals a year who are considering becoming a Certified Online Business Manager and one thing I know is a common thread for most who make the decision to step forward in the OBM journey is that they are just a little bit bossy… or let’s call them natural born leaders ;-)

I always have to laugh when someone will say:  “I always seem to be the go to person, everyone rely’s on me to know what needs to be done and so I just tell them!”  Usually they are not even in the OBM role at this point, it is just who they are.

See I have a theory that there are thousands of virtual support professionals in our industry who are functioning at the OBM level with clients, they are running the show, it’s just natural for them to ‘be’ the boss.  They carry a great deal of responsibility with their role, they are supporting their clients with all of the strategy and planning of business initiatives, they are overseeing the development of automation and processes BUT they are being paid as an assistant.  They are working hourly, bouncing from client to client ‘doing’ specific tasks and just giving away these higher level results.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe every virtual assistant is an OBM, nor do I believe they all want to be or that it is the ‘next level progression’.  I actually believe that a great VA truly wants to be just that, the VA.. they don’t want to be the OBM.  They enjoy doing the tasks in front of them, checking off their list of things to get done and on a great day have everything they need from client and team to do it successfully.  They enjoy the details, don’t mind the repetition of a task, are overjoyed for a proven process that will get them the same result every time (and see no reason to change it.. ever!)  They really don’t want to have to ‘deal’ with people that much, nor are they interested in being the one telling everyone else what to do, they quite enjoy someone telling them what needs to be done and then getting it done for them.  Oh… how I love a good VA!! The true backbone of any sustainable online business is a great VA ;-)

YET… there are many of you who do so much more… who truly function in the OBM role but are not being recognized or paid for the service you are providing.  Some of you are literally carrying your clients business… I know because I have chatted with you.

The time is now to embrace your bossiness and step into the opportunity of becoming an OBM.  You know who you are…

Come May 1, 2015 the OBM Certification Training tuition will increase… so if this is something you have been considering or you just read this article and YOU KNOW I am talking to you… then take action now!    Get full details here: http://www.CertifiedOBM.com  (read through the details, sign up to apply, fill out the application, then grab a spot on my calendar… see I told you I was bossy ;-)

I look forward to connecting!

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Female hand in rubber glove cleaning staircaseAs I mentioned in my last post we have recently had the hardwood floors refinished in my house.  It seems everything in my life is an analogy of the current experience we are having with completing this house project.  I love it when life experiences coincides with life lessons!  Currently the lesson in front of me is whether or not I am an exceptional or adequate service provider.

Just this morning I was sitting on the steps that were refinished only days ago, cleaning them ;-)  As I am cleaning each step I am seeing little things (truly minute things) that annoy me just a bit about the way the steps were done by our floor guys.  I must say overall I am HUGELY impressed with the exceptional job these guys did… but even still there were a few elements in the steps that got me a bit annoyed.  I started thinking about how I show up for my clients.  Do they see me as being exceptional or simply adequate in the work that I offer?  Over all I would say that our floor guys were exceptional but for some reason on the steps… well lets just say I would only rate them adequate.  That annoys me!

The way we work will always out perform the action of work we do.  You can be the most brilliant copywriter on the earth but if there are spelling and typo errors throughout your copy that will become more glaring then your actual brilliance.  It’s not always about what we are doing but instead how are we doing it.  Is it being done with the expectation of, this is my very best, or is it being done with a good is good enough mentality?  I ask because only recently this has been one of my life lessons.

For the most part I would say I have had a good is good enough mentality.  It has served me well and I know I have done great work in the midst of doing good work… but I am not sure I have done my best work yet.  As I am always on a growth journey for my own personal development it has really gotten me to think. Where in my life do I see this good is good enough mentality hindering me from being exceptional and causing me to live in the place of being adequate.  Because essentially it’s my choice.  I get to decide if I am going to give my best or give enough to get by, to do it good or to do it great, a spirit of excellence or just get it done, it’s a decision, and it’s mine to make… it’s also yours to make.

The reality is that although my floor guys truly did a great job, that step thing is really annoying me… and because of that, they don’t go down as exceptional in my book.  Up until this morning they had :(

What areas of your service may be annoying your clients and ROBBING you of being considered exceptional in your service?  Unfortunately you can do everything perfect and allow one area of good is good enough and completely ruin your clients perceived value of you.

After years of coaching and mentoring Online Business Managers as well as coaching business owners on leadership development I am most annoyed when I hear a business owner complain about a virtual service provider because that person simply isn’t making the decision to be exceptional in their quality of service.  This annoys me because one person can make the entire industry look bad in that business owners eyes.  Leaving every virtual support professional that follows to have to clean up the mess of the one.  I wont lie this annoys me to the point of wanting to call some folks up and be all in their business (of course I don’t) but I want to!! Why?  Because there are so many brilliant, exceptional implementer’s in our industry who deserve the respect of their expertise, and when one ruins that for them I take it personally!

So with that in mind ARE YOU an EXCEPTIONAL or ADEQUATE SERVICE PROVIDER?  Ultimately the choice is yours ;-)

(this article is all about having a leadership mindset… if you know you need to up your game and start playing bigger in your business I encourage you to take a peak at our LEADERSHIP RETREAT for IMPLEMENTERS IN BANFF, ALBERTA:

http://www.TinaForsyth.com/banffretreat

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Own It!Currently we are having our hardwood floors refinished in my home and are staying with some friends.  Now this is never an ideal situation but I will admit our current host are more than gracious and we are truly enjoying the friendship we have with them.  Even with that being said, their home just ain’t my home, you know what I mean.  So I was thinking about how this is EXACTLY what it’s like with being a virtual team member in someone else’s business.  And how it’s easy to do the surface stuff in someones home, but not the deep stuff you would do in your own… ie:   I haven’t exactly scrubbed their toilets yet ;-)  My question to you today is are you a surface team member or a deep team member?

I think often when we are working with our clients we tend to function more from the visiting friends mindset rather than setting up house!  BUT what our clients really want and are expecting from us is to make their business our business… and if you think about it , it really should be.  Your business is to serve your clients business.  So your success solely relies on the success of your clients businesses.  Do we think of this in that way though?

Do we think about taking OWNERSHIP within our clients business?  Are we visiting or have we officially moved in?  What I fear is that because many times we are building our own confidences and expertise while working with our clients that we never fully establish our ownership within the processes and results we bring to the business.

I don’t want to talk in generalities here as I am afraid we are having a bit of an epidemic in the industry right now that if we don’t get a hold of it, the very way we love to work with clients (virtually and on our own terms) is not going to be as available in the future.  More and more business owners are coming to us wanting someone local, someone they can work face to face with, someone that can be an employee.  Why?  Because they are tired of team members visiting their businesses.  Every time one leaves they have to go back through and clean house from the mess the last one made.  This is a real problem so please hear me out.

Ownership is basically making the commitment to serve that business the same way you would if it were your own.

Now in your own house you are going to clean, organize, maintain, establish best process etc… why because it’s your house.  You don’t want a nasty, disorganized, chaotic home… so you make the decisions and commit to the work needed to keep your home the way you want to live in it.  Same should be for your commitment of service to your client.  Whatever is your responsibility,  you would maintain it in a way that a visitor could stop by anytime and take a peak in.  As a matter of fact lets do that….

How about I come take a peak into your back end processes for how you serve your clients.  I wont touch anything would love to do a quick walk through… how organized are your tasks, how effective is your communication, how committed to deadlines are you… what  quality control standards do you have in place…. will I be comfortable there for a short visit or is the clutter, chaos and mess going to make me have an absolute panic attack?

See while I am visiting my friends they have a beautiful home and it is welcoming and accommodating for me and my family… but it’s not my home.  I am not going through and cleaning out closets setting up meal plans or scrubbing toilets.  I am visiting (although they may be feeling at this point we are never leaving.)  Don’t get me wrong, I am not a lazy guest, I have kept the kitchen cleaned, laundry done (ish), bathroom straight, etc…but when I am in my home I will be responsible for ensuring all these tasks and many more are not only done but done to the standard my husband and I have set for our home.   See the difference… one is surface the other is deep… surface commitment and execution or deep commitment and execution.

So are you visiting your clients businesses or have you made yourself at home in them?

Ownership is just one level of leadership that we cover in teaching leadership to implementers.  If you haven’t already signed up for Tina Forsyth’s Leadership Essential Webinar coming up this week I encourage you to do so now:

http://www.implementersclub.com/leadershipessentials

 

 

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