As I was thinking about my to do list today I was really moved by how much I love what I do. Granted I am not the typical OBM as I do as much sales, coaching and technical implementation as I do operations at this point in my business journey. BUT even still I know at the core, everything I do is about BEING the OBM. Even if some of the tasks look like the VA or look like the Coach :)

So I wanted to share what I love about being an Online Business Manager:

1. I LOVE to help small business owners get the structure and automation in their businesses that allow them to focus on what they love and serve the community they are called to serve. There is a sense of knowing that I am making a difference in someones life everyday that means something very deep and personal for me. It’s more than just simply getting things done, or fulfilling a role, its the opportunity to make a difference. Sure that person receiving the email doesn’t ‘know’ that I sent it or that I am the one who set up the optin page to ensure they could get the information they need to change their life. But I do.. I know the life changing information they are receiving is coming to them because I was here doing my part. I love it :)

2. I LOVE the experiences working with high performing, brilliant and powerful business owners has provided me. On a personal note I have grown into an entirely different person having these influences in my life. I have grown up, I have grown confident and I have grown in wisdom. I have grown my income, my expectations and my resources to live in abundance. The experiences I have had to travel all over the US/Canada to attend and speak at events, these are life long memories that where both a blast and part of what molded me into who I am today.

3. I LOVE that I get to serve a community everyday that I am passionate about. A community I believe in, with people I am in awe of, everyday. Online business managers and the implementation community are brilliant… they are smart, dedicated and hard working. The character and integrity of those in our community is by far the highest of any community I have connected with yet online. At the core this industry is made up of people who have a true desire to serve. This is a beautiful and privileged journey I get to walk out with so many who entrust their future and their education to us. I do not take it lightly or take it for granted. Instead I stand in awe of the fact that I get to play a part in the lives of so many that I admire everyday.

4. I LOVE that I can do what I want :) This is a great feeling, the ability to simply do what I want. If I want to take the day off… I can (although i don’t because it’s not really who I am, I like to work.) If I want to take a trip, I can. If I want to make more money, I can. If I want to work less hours, I can. If I want to only work with businesses I am hugely passionate about, I can. If I want to quit working with a client that doesn’t fit my ideal, I can. I simply can do whatever I want. This is a powerful understanding if you grab hold of it. How many people can simply say… they can do what they want. But because of the business I have and the way I have it set up. I simply can… and most the time I do :)

5. I LOVE working with my teams. I love empowering people to step into the best version of themselves. I love the opportunity to know that I am making a difference in their lives. That they will be satisfied and feel fulfilled by working with our teams. I love to see the potential in someone and figure out what makes them tick so that I can help bring that potential to the top of their lives. I love to see them believe it for themselves.

6. I LOVE a well thought out launch that gets results! OH SERIOUSLY!! I LOVE THIS… to see all the automation, branding, copy and hard work morph into a true value service to those who need it… I LOVE THIS! It’s powerful, it changes lives, it creates abundance for everyone, it is a beautiful thing :)

7. I LOVE that my clients know they can count on me. That myself or my team is here for them. That they are not alone in this very big and sometimes scary vision they see for themselves.

I am going to stop at the number 7 because that is the number of completion. And because I know the work I do is part of what completes me as a person…

Would love to hear why you love doing what you do.. feel free to share :)

{ 0 comments }

You ARE what you THINK

by Tiffany on May 18, 2016

in For OBMs

The old saying: you are what you eat… might be true. But the reality I live in is you ARE what you THINK.

So let me ask, do you think:

Your not making enough money?
Your working too many hours?
Boundaries are always an issue?
You don’t have enough clients?
You no longer enjoy the work you are doing?
You have too many projects, not enough help?
Your clients don’t respect you?

I dare say if you are a virtual support professional you have thought at least one of these things! We can easily get sucked into the hole of how the answers to these questions make us feel. It might be that you feel as though you are failing or completely overwhelmed, maybe you feel your clients are inconsiderate or that you are hitting burn out. What we think determines how we feel. Which can then lead to a domino effect of discouragement, frustration, hopelessness… all of which can destroy your ability to create the business and life you desire. And it all starts with a single thought.

The question I most get asked when I am talking to potential Online Business Managers is:

“How quickly can I get clients and make money after the training?”

To which my answer is always: “Well that depends on you and your ability to market and sell yourself.”

Many of our trainees come out of their Certification training and start working with clients right away. These same folks will easily grow their business and push through their entrepreneur journey until they finally land on exactly what they want. They have a ‘no stopping me’ attitude and they approach everything about their business that way.

Then there are others that really struggle landing that first client…. or maintaining long term relationships with clients.

The difference? What they think… about themselves, their business and their clients.

We ARE what we THINK!

Consider this:

Two people can take the exact same effort and end up with two totally different results. I have seen it happen time and time again… follow up with the same rfp’s do the same social media, update their web pages, concrete their communication, yet one will end up the business they desire and the other wont… why is this?

In my experience it has everything to do with what they are thinking about each of those efforts. One is celebrating every effort as a success, the other is loathing every effort as though it’s chipping at an oversized bolder in their way. One is positive in their ability to be successful, where the other is certain the hammer is going to drop at any time.

EVERYTIME, I see someone in our community totally rocking their business and I chat with them, they have one common thread: how they think about themselves, their business and their clients.

If you know you need to shift your thought process and your mindset.. join us on TOMORROW for the Mindset Retreat. I am going to share practical tips and habits on how to shift your thinking to align your thinking with building the business you truly desire.

http://www.CertifiedOBM.com/mindsetretreat

{ 0 comments }

Boundaries are not the REAL issue!

by Tiffany on May 11, 2016

in For OBMs

Work Life Balance Tips in word collage

When you are starting your Virtual Support business there is nothing more exciting then getting new clients. I love it… even now 8 years later I still love closing a new client. Sure I love the money but I love the newness of the relationship, a bit like the honeymoon stage…

Unfortunately, it has not always stayed in that ‘you can do no wrong’ stage… not for me and not for them. Eventually the reality hits and two things usually happen.

1. The truth that human error is inevitable and my team or I end up missing something or dropping a ball – this is never fun
2. The ‘crazy client’ epidemic hits. This is when this wonderful, brilliant client does something that reveals their sabotage toward their business, unrealistic expectation toward me or disorganization that creates chaos for everyone.

Either way… the honeymoon is over :(

Issue one, I will cover in another article… so stay tuned.

Issue two I want to address. I often get SOS emails from OBM’s who realize they might be in over their head with a ‘crazy client’ issue. Of course, when we feel a bit threatened we have a fight or flee response. This is human nature and it is the same in client relationships. So we get sucked into this trap of either defending ourselves and really fighting to be ‘right’ with this client… which often turns into tug-of-war and essentially is the end of that relationship. Or we want to drop them like a hot potato… leaving the client both frustrated and bitter toward the whole industry. Unfortunately this kinda hurts everyone.

What if there was a different way to handle this experience?

One of the top lessons I have learned through providing services for clients over the last 8 years is the importance of Leading My Clients. Laying a foundation of my expertise, that I am trust worthy, competent and more than anything care about their vision and success.

Often we think, well they are the business owner, it’s their business, they need to be able to lead me… after all I am the X (assistant, manager, service provider, etc…).

This type of thinking is exactly why our clients are out of control when it comes to the experience we are having in these relationships. But what if you were the person of influence in that relationship, rather than the one looking to be influenced? How would that change your ownership of the tasks, the way you connect with your client and confidence your client has in you.

The number one symptom of this imbalance of influence is feeling like there is a BOUNDARY issue with a client. But boundaries are not the issue. Laying down more boundaries will not stop this experience from happening. It’s like putting a band-aid on cancer…

When you begin to feel there is a boundary issue, what is actually happening is you have lost your ability to be a person of influence in that relationship and now you are not leading the client, but rather the client is leading you.

The question you have to ask yourself is do you want to go where that client is leading? Is that best for your business? Is it best for their business? Do they even know they are in the lead or are they expecting you to be and because you are not, they are just running with it?

This is where chaos happens, boundaries are disregarded and feelings get hurt.

Your clients role is to lead their business and their vision, but it is not to lead your business or your expertise. This is your responsibility. When it is being done effectively you really get to partner with clients and love the work you create together… when it is not being done or being done poorly, things will inevitably end badly. Usually with you feeling like you have a client that is out of control… but the reality is it might be that you simply gave up your control by not leading them.

If you want to learn more about Leading Your Clients you should consider joining me next week for the OBM Mindset Retreat where we discuss how the way you think, the way you make decisions about what you want (or don’t want) is the driving force behind creating success.

 

{ 0 comments }

Do you ever get to the point where you just think:

“When did this stop being fun?”

I asked Tina this a few weeks back and she had the PERFECT (of course) answer for me… she said it stop being fun when it became an OBLIGATION.

WOW that is so true! The minute my business, services, deliverable became something I simply had to do, rather than something I wanted to do is when it quit being fun. This past year has been a huge transition in my life, in many ways I have had a lot of responsibilities change in my life that require my business to play a much bigger part of our budget than it once did. I know many reading this right now understand the importance of your business being the sole provider for your home, livelihood and such. It’s hard to not see obligation, when you feel the weight of that responsibility. I totally get it.

But even with that in mind, we have a unique opportunity to be in control of how we choose to view the expectation… and it doesn’t have to be an obligation.

Honestly, running, growing, leading, managing a business is not always easy. It is not always sunshine and roses. Some days things simply go wrong, some days are long and some days our clients, team, etc… can be on our last nerve. Which might lead us to think: “Why am I doing this?” Is it because I said I would, is there a bigger reason behind it other than I need to get paid? Do I really want to do this 6-8 hours a day, am I feeling the value I am bringing to my clients businesses?

When that moment comes (and to be honest it likely comes to me about every 3 years) I have to remind myself of my vision for myself and for my business.

See it’s not always going to look FUN… but fun comes in many forms.

  • Is it fun that I can take a long weekend this weekend and I didn’t have to ask anyone’s permission… that is pretty fun? (could have been a whole week if I wanted it and that is fun too.)
  • Is it fun that at the end of the day I get to know that I have made a difference in the lives of my client, their customers and my team? (heck yea it is!!)
  • Is it fun that when I need extra money I can simply add a client or do a project and pay off some debt or enjoy a vacation? (you betcha!)
  • Is it fun that I get to be creative when I want to be creative and be super linear and analytical when I want to be analytical, or personable when I want to be personable? (a role that fits all my personalities..LOL sweet!)

We talk a lot about definition of success within our programs. Mine has been the same for about 5 years now. My definition of success is:

That I can be 100% present in the moment that I am in.

When I really consider what I do and the vision I have for my business and my personal definition of success… I have to ask myself, “Why isn’t this FUN?”

Being an Online Business Manager allows me to be fully ME, everyday. That is pretty fun right!

So the real question isn’t when did this stop being fun, but rather, how can I focus on the fun of today!

See what we focus on grows…

If you are focused on the negative, then you will simply grow the negative experiences within your life. But if you are focused on the positive, oh how things can change so quickly!

So what can you focus on today that will be FUN???

Do you know your own personal definition of success… and if you don’t how do you know when you are being successful? It’s important to clarify your expectations on yourself to know when you are achieving your success.

Want to connect about it? Pop on over to our facebook group: http://www.Facebook.com/iaobm and lets chat about what FUN you are having in your business right now!!

{ 3 comments }

For the most part we are purposeful to write super uplifting and focus on the positive type of articles for the community. We do this because ultimately it is a core value of ours that we desire to reach for what we want rather than run from what we don’t want. Most of the time I do see this as the goal in our communication as well.

That being said though… there are a couple of mindsets I have noticed as a recurring theme with our OBM community and I want to just tackle them straight on (you know me, that’s kinda how I role :)

Leadership Fail #1 – Not believing in yourself and the value of what you bring to the business!

By far our OBM community is one of the ‘smartest’ groups of people hanging out online. We are strategy, tech, customer service, problem solvers, innovators, activators, therapist (for our clients often), marketers, analysis, business developers, and the list could go on and on… OBM’s are the backbone and the cornerstone of many of the businesses they serve. YET we will allow our lack of belief in ourselves to create these experiences:

  • often we allow clients to under value our contribution both in payment and respect (granted this can happen also because the client simply doesn’t know how to do it differently)
  • we do not take ownership of a project to see it to the desired result because we are insecure in our ability to produce… even though we have proven time and time again what we are capable of it.
  • we do not pursue bigger, high-end, high-performing clients. If you want to know how much you believe in yourself look at your clients… do you work with clients who play small… if so it might be that you are comfortable yourself with playing small… which likely stems from your personal believe system about yourself.

Others will only believe about you, what you believe about yourself!!

Sure you can put on a good front and ‘pretend’ for a bit and folks will see more in you. However, they will eventually see you exactly like you see yourself. Occasionally a true mentor will come into your life who sees your potential and will call it out of you, but if you don’t step in to it, they too will eventually only see you as you see yourself. How you view yourself will be the only true portrait others see in you.

SO PLEASE decide today to TRULY start BELIEVING IN YOU!

Leadership Fail #2 – Following rather than leading.

To be honest if you haven’t settled #1 yet… it will be very difficult to overcome #2! But the truth is I talk with many OBM’s in our community who are simply running… running after the client, running after the business, running after team members, running after the fires, running after the chaos… running! Guess what is happening when you are running after all of those things. You are following them, they are not following you!

YOU CAN’T LEAD WHAT YOU ARE CHASING!

So stop the crazy! Stop trying to chase the result and start leading yourself, the business, your client and the team to the desired outcome they are entrusting you with. We cover this in-depth in our Online Business Manager Certification Training so if you have not checked this out I encourage you to… but in the meantime here are 3 simple steps to take to regain control of your leadership:

1. Make a plan (I bet you saw that coming) – with realistic expectations and timelines. This is the map to success for any element in the business that you have currently been chasing, every time!
2. Effectively communicate the plan – get everyone on board with how things are going to work moving forward. If they are not on board find new people. If that means finding new clients who are willing to let you lead, so be it, if that means letting go of team members who do not want to be a part of the solution, let them go.
3. Protect the plan – Which means hold fast the route you are on and empower everyone else to do the same. I promise it might be a little like herding cats at first, but eventually everyone will understand the culture of the team is that of solid planning and executing that plan. They will learn to love you for it!!

Leadership Fail #3 – Not building a bridge between you and the client

Let me explain. I believe most of us would agree that our high-end, high-performing clients simply think differently than we do. They are always thinking grow, move, go forward, future, make more, do more, build more. We are often thinking, slow down, catch up, finish what we started, test it, prove it, perfect it… lol So you can see where these two mindsets can be a bit differing when we ultimately have to be working toward the same goal. So what are we to do to work together successfully.

We have to look at how we build a bridge. Many OBM’s are trying to walk on water rather than building a bridge… The approach is, well if I run after them fast enough I will be able to catch up and stay caught up. But the reality is you will not. What you will do and what many of us do (and I am included in this) is we hit burn out, we feel like a failure, we never feel like we are producing at the level we could be and it’s discouraging. The reality is, this is no way to live your life or effectively run your business. So a bridge must be built.

This bridge is based on these 3 points of success:

1. Vision
2. Priorities
3. Results

If you can clearly define on both sides these 3 things with every initiative you are working on you will build a solid bridge between you and your client.

{ 0 comments }

Move On

March 2, 2016

There is nothing worse then the feeling of being stuck. I know I have been there, several times throughout my business journey. Stuck -> working with clients I didn’t truly believe where a good fit for me Stuck -> doing work I didn’t love doing Stuck -> in obligations (thanks Tina, for helping me see […]

Read the full article →

Create Space for Grace

February 17, 2016

Nothing is more destructive to the production of my day then to find out that I or one of my team members has made a mistake that will effect a client. Seriously, I get physically ill with this when it happens. And the reality is, it does happen. No matter how hard I try to […]

Read the full article →

Are You an Online Business Manager?

February 10, 2016

After 6 years and hundreds of conversation with virtual support professionals about the opportunity to become an OBM, I can confidently say I know a thing or two about ‘who’ the OBM is. I say ‘WHO’ because in all actuality being an Online Business Manager is much more about how you identify yourself and your […]

Read the full article →

5 C’s of Customer Service

January 27, 2016

Regardless of your role in an online business, customer service is the first step to making a good and lasting impression. Lets be honest, bad customer service annoys us all! There is nothing more annoying then going to a restaurant or a department store and dealing with someone who is poorly trained in customer service. […]

Read the full article →

I AM SYSTEMATIC

November 18, 2015

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 […]

Read the full article →