by Tiffany on November 18, 2015

in Build Your Team,For OBMs,For VAs,General Biz

Antique key with word success written on paper resting on wooden surface concept for aspirations and success

Yes, yes, yes!  The good ole methodical system…this is key folks!  The key to EVERYTHING online business success: Systems

I get that it’s not always that sexy to talk about processes, automation and systems.  But sexy or not it is the foundation of what any predictable success must be built on.  So as an OBM if you are a fly by the seat of your pants kinda guy or gal, you will likely not find yourself very happy in the OBM role (and even more so, your clients might not be that happy with you!)  Online business is desperate for solid systems and repeatable results. If you have to reinvent the wheel with every initiative it is hugely time consuming, money draining and over all stressful!

A good system is one that can be repeated over and over again without any real need for adjustment.  Every time we set these systems up we get to reap these benefits and many more:

  1. Once its set up we don’t have to think about it anymore. Isn’t that nice to give our brains a little mini vacation from that specific tasks.  Think about a good customer service system.  There are templates in place for various inquiries, there is a solid lead/follow up in place to ensure all upsells are made, there is a data tracking in place to ensure trends are being noted… ahhh that is a sweet smell isn’t it.  The smell of freedom!  Now instead of chasing these elements down when you need them, you have a container in which they can grow and flourish.  But the best part is someone else can ‘maintain’ it now that you have the process all systematized for success!  Freeing your mind to think about the next system or process that needs to be developed.
  2. A predictable result…essentially this is the real joy of being systematic, you get to experience a predictable success pattern or projection from the initiatives you are executing. This might look a bit like a solid plan/execution for social media.  You know exactly what is needed to be created and posted to ensure you are generating the expected leads or list growth.  Once you have this sweet spot figured out you can put it in cruise control and watch the leads come in.  Sure the formula may vary from client to client but the process of getting it set up systematically and running smooth is the same every time 😉
  3. Minimizes the need for continual decision making. Once the system is set all the decisions have been made then it is simply the execution that needs to be maintained.  That is a beautiful thing.  Think about how many decisions you make in a day… what if you could cut that in half by setting up a system for various areas of your life or business.  One of the ways you can minimize your decision is by meal planning a week or a month in advance.  If you have a monthly meal plan where you cook the same things each day of the month… wouldn’t that minimize your need to ‘figure it out’ on a daily basis… want to know what’s for dinner just look at the date… on the 17th we eat spaghetti… wow that is easy!

    The same goes with a cleaning chart or how you lay out a project… I like to lay projects out:  Creatives first, then Technical pieces, then Marketing elements… I do it the same way every time.  This allows me to not have to go back to the drawing board with every project I work out… and there are specific tasks in each of those areas that are key to the success of that plan so I automatically add them in (if they are not a perfect fit I can always go back and change it).

I would love to hear from YOU!  What is your favorite systems that help you as an OBM, wife, mom, etc… I know you have them… let’s share a bit and see what is working!

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by Tiffany on November 16, 2015

in For OBMs,For VAs,General Biz

creativeIf I am being completely honest our team would not consider me the most creative person.  When a ‘creative’ needs to be produced someone else on the team is doing it.  Specifically as it pertains to graphics. My creativity doesn’t flow through pictures or vision.  Even to the point that my husband does most of our decorating 😉

But… that doesn’t mean I am not creative.  I am just creative in a different way.  Such as I created this I AM Series… I like words over pictures.  I love to create when I have the opportunity to share my experience and teach someone something that will help them avoid mistakes or get to their result shorter time frame.

I feel most creative when I am problem solving.  As an OBM we spend a lot of time problem solving!  We are exploring new systems, fixing broken processes, developing new structures… we have to get creative at times.  If you have ever tried to piece-meal all the parts of a WordPress site with all the variations of bells and whistles a client wants you know what it is to be creative in the problem solving arena.

Being creative (or at least my version of it) lets me get out of the box a little…

Most the time I am trying to stay in the box (and keep everything else in the box too… after all it’s a lot easier to manage when it’s in the box), but sometimes I have an itch to break free of the box and just do something a little different.  Get out of maintain mode and explore something new.  This is where being creative comes in for me.

Learning a new technology is creative.  I get this isn’t overly creative to super ‘creative’ folks… but those of us who are linear in our thinking and really like our straight lines and super processed tasks… a new tech can truly be a walk on the creative side for us..

Leading my team requires creativity.  After all I have to connect with each one based on their strengths and what will essentially serve them in the highest to ensure they are empowered to do great work.  This takes getting creative at time.  Especially if the team member is the client and we don’t think/see eye to eye on things.

We have some brilliant, talented and super creative OBM’s in our community who can do everything from design to copywriting to construction… but I don’t know that you always see yourselves as creative.  I just wanted to give you permission too.  Sometimes we are just as creative (or more so) then the super creative clients we serve.  But know this… you, my OBM friend, are a creative genius!



by Tina on November 13, 2015

in For OBMs,For VAs,General Biz,Uncategorized

The word Inspected around a check mark and box to illustrate home inspection, or personal evaluation, review or assessmentOne of my husband’s favorite quotes is:

You get what you inspect not what you expect!

As a leader there is really not a truer statement.. but as an OBM we have to be purposeful to ensure we are inspecting our teams execution and performance.

Working with virtual professionals creates a different dynamic as it pertains to ensuring things are getting done and being done properly.  Most team members come to the table with a predisposed way they want to execute specific tasks and as they are contractors and experts in their own right we have to give them the lead way to this.  However, that does not mean we do not inspect their work.

To be honest, it’s easier to just simply have an expectation and hope that everyone works like us and will exceed expectations without much nurture or time being spent on them.  But that is not the reality in many cases.  So it is vital that we take on the role of inspector as it pertains to the businesses we lead.

A few things to be inspecting on a regular basis:

  1. Are processes being updated – if there is not a standing agreement with the team that when a process changes that an update be made there should be.  So get that in place then be certain you are inspecting those process are being updated as needed
  2. Is customer service following all the small tasks needed to fulfill the desired out come. Often customer service tasks are very small admin related elements that may or may not be being checked on a regular basis and because of that they can end up with pieces being skipped…. This might not be much of a deal if it happens once or twice but if happens over a course of time you may end up missing key data that simply needed to be entered into specific areas for the customer service recording.
  3. Is Metrics being collected… if metrics isn’t a part of the business ensure that it is. But from there an admin team member should be able to go through all the systems and collect the data.  Often this data is not the current fire on the team’s plate so you want to ensure they take seriously circling back around to it when there is time to ensure the proper data is being collected for when it is needed.
  4. That processes are being excuted as they written… this happens to us all. The more familiar we become with a process the less we feel the need to open the documentation.. after a little while though small elements can get skipped or deemed unnecessary by a team member who doesn’t have the big picture and then you are losing a piece of your process.  That is really frustrating because it will inevitably lead to a mistake (after all the process is written that way for a reason) and then you have to have the undesirable conversation of ‘why are you not following the processes.  No one enjoys those convo’s with team members.

So I encourage you to take my husband’s advice and be proactive in the inspecting because you may not always get what you are expecting!



by Tiffany on November 12, 2015

in For OBMs,For VAs,General Biz

your amazingCan I just start by saying confidence is not arrogance.  I feel like there is such a negative vibe around being confident.  When you think of confident people do you automatically think of the most arrogant person you know?  Confidence is not what you are doing (or saying) but who you are being.

Let me explain.

As an OBM I face things every day, problems, expectations, mistakes that I am not always certain exactly how to fix.  But what I do know is because of who I am… because I am responsible, dependable and take ownership of my role… that somehow I will find and answer, solve the problem or fix the mistake.  I am confident, I will make it happen!

Does that make me cocky?  Arrogant? Prideful?

I don’t think so, I think it makes me caring, determined, a bit of a fighter and trustworthy!

Having coached OBM’s now for about 3 years I can tell you the #1 element that separates those who are working with clients they love making the money they want to be making is CONFIDENCE!

Signs you need to work on your confidence level as an OBM:

  1. Under charging clients!
  2. Not pursuing prospects because you don’t feel like you ‘know’ enough to move forward
  3. Fear of new projects or software
  4. Needing validation from everyone else (clients, peers, spouse)
  5. Indecision around any area of your life
  6. Tolerating experiences you don’t desire to have
  7. Work with clients who are not ideal
  8. Allowing clients to disrespect you

If you just thought… yep that’s me!  And you are working as an OBM we need to talk 😉

I am a muse of confidence, at least, that is what many of our clients tell me.  Often I will have a coaching call and someone will say ‘I just had to channel Tiffany to have this conversation with my client.’  Which is awesome!  Because you know what is happening in that moment that person is getting what they really want. 

Confidence gives you what you really want. But only if you are willing to ask for it, expect it or demand it.  More often than not we don’t.  We settle for whatever is offered because we have been taught to ‘not rock the boat’.  Maybe we believe we are not worth it or have been made to feel like we have little value, are not smart or are incompetent.  I know of business owners who try and control their team with this type of interaction… the sad thing is that the team allows it because they are not confident they can, get another client, pay their bills, etc… without this client.  I get it… but I want to say: GET WHAT YOU WANT!

Stop settling, step into the brilliant, dedicated, asset that you are to a business owner! Be confident of your value!

For years I wouldn’t send back a meal that was improperly cooked at a restaurant… I would just eat it.  I didn’t want to put anyone out, make people have to wait on me if my food was later than theirs, or get the waiter/waitress in trouble, I would just eat whatever was served me.  I can assure you that is no longer the reality.  I am not rude (and quite detest when I see someone being rude, simply because a mistake was made over a meal…) but I am only going to eat the steak I am paying for the way I WANT IT.

Pretty much that is my philosophy on everything… why not have it my way!

I know what you are thinking… geeze I didn’t know Tiffany was that arrogant. LOL

If you get to know me you will learn I am confident not because of what I do but because I believe in who I am.  I am caring and giving, I am loyal to a fault, I will always go above and beyond when it is needed, I will forgive quickly, share unconditionally and admit my mistakes with humility.  I am confident in me because I quite like who I am… I like my character and my values and I live by both daily to ensure I hold to the standard of integrity I believe is simply right as a human being.

So if you need to borrow my confidence this week… feel free!  I bet, if you look a little harder you will find you really like yourself too and you have a lot to be confident about!  So go out there and have it you way!!




by Tiffany on November 10, 2015

in For OBMs,For VAs,General Biz

Inspirational quote by ancient Greek philosopher AristotleGoogle says purposeful is:  having or showing determination or resolve.

I like it!

I have found very few things in my life require me to show determination or resolve at the same level of being an OBM has.  After all, we are the get it done folks.  We start it, maintain it and ensure it gets completed.  That is the role of the OBM… granted we (hopefully) are not fully executing it.. which takes a load off but the reality is we are in the mix at every level.  This takes a great deal of purpose – determination and resolve.

Here are 5 Areas I Have Learned to Be Purposeful In (to be successful as an OBM)

Purposeful in Planning

I am dedicated to ensuring that there is a plan at every level of production within the business as an OBM…. I love the saying: if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.  That has showed up true for me over and over.

Purposeful in Partnership

If, as an OBM, my clients see me as the ‘hired help’ I will never be able to truly serve them or their vision.  But establishing myself as that partner takes being purposeful… sometimes it requires me to stand up even when I could lose the client, it takes doing exceptional work not just enough to get by, it takes sharing in the risks with the successes.

Purposeful in Pivoting

Here is a secret… I don’t love change!  When I have set a plan up I want it to run the way I set it up!  So if something needs to pivot because it’s not working out the way we expected that is annoying to me (if I am being honest).  Because of that I have to be purposeful to pivot when it is needed, which also means I have to be paying attention to when that is needed.

Purposeful in Performance

It is easy to cut corners, in our minds we think it’s the quickest path to the desired result… but the reality is it never really gets us what we want.  Sometimes because the workload is heavy and the todo’s are never ending I can be tempted to cut corners… so I have to stay purposeful to keep a spirit of excellence around my performance to ensure I am giving my all.

Purposeful in Playing

All work and no play makes for an icky kinda day!  So I am purposeful to figure out a bit of play time. If you knew me you would know if I am not purposeful to keep this in my calendar and on my radar I will go weeks if not month missing out on some play time… which is no fun.  AND it makes me a crabby OBM, wife and mom… and nobody wants that!

What can you be purposeful in today?



November 10, 2015

Online Business Managers do not always think of themselves as the innovators of the business.  After all isn’t it the business owner’s responsibility to come up with the content, programs, ‘next best thing…’ Yes… as it pertains to the ‘what’ of the business, as it pertains to what will be promoted, what will be sold, […]

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November 7, 2015

EVERYTHING in the online business world revolves around having a solid planned out strategy.  Of course, we like to say the Online Business Manager is where strategy meets implementation!  So with that in mind, it’s only natural one of the key attributes to being an OBM is strategy. Strategy, as it pertains to the OBM […]

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November 6, 2015

Have you ever considered how much time gets wasted in searching for stuff?  If you have ever started with a new client who was less than ‘tidy’ in the management of their files and ops, you know exactly what I mean (and if you are a virtual support professional, I dare say you know it […]

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November 4, 2015

Leadership is a bit of a loaded word. Often when we talk about leadership, we are talking about the person every one ‘sees’.  Because of that, Online Business Managers do not alwaysassociate ourselves with being leaders.  After all, we are the behind-the-scene folks and we like it that way… the wind beneath the wing of […]

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November 3, 2015

Of all the attributes I am looking for when hiring new team members, I have to admit being teachable or having a teachable spirit is likely at the top of the list.  The reality is no one knows everything and there is always something to be learned, especially as it pertains to working as an […]

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