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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I love the KOLBE Assessment!

by Tiffany on March 11, 2015

in Recommended Resources

One of the biggest questions we get here at Online business Manager.com is business owners reaching out to us asking “Who should I work with and can you give me a recommendation?” We have several routes in which they can connect with our Certified Online Business Managers – including our Directory and RFP – but they still prefer a personal referral.

When asked for a referral we’ve historically looked first at “who is available?” Not anymore. I will tell you why in a moment but for now let me introduce you to the KOLBE Assessment (http://www.Kolbe.com) To be clear I am not trying to sell you anything (although the assessment costs money I do not get anything if you decide to take it – this is not a referral link). The folks at KOLBE don’t even know I am writing this blog post… what I know though is how powerful a tool KOLBE is when it comes to finding the right client match.

Let me tell you a bit about why we no longer start with ‘whoever is available’ when asked for referrals. Every Online Business Manager is unique in their strengths, skills and experiences… every business needs specific strengths, skills and experiences. When looking to make a good match we need to consider strengths and work-style alongside skill and experience. After 6 years of training, certifying and working with online business managers we have pretty much heard and seen it all. From business owners who expect WAY too much to OBM’s who deliver WAY to little. Good or bad we tend hear about it, which we LOVE as this allows us to continue to serve the community with a clear and exact understanding of the issues that can arise for the business as a whole.

What we have learned is often the problem isn’t the business owner or the OBM – it’s the mismatch between their thinking and work styles.

The KOLBE Assessment (Index A) allows us to see the natural instincts or distinctive method in which a person is going to think. I know there is an exact science behind all of this and I will not reveal my ignorance in trying to explain it, I encourage you to go check out their site and learn that for yourself.

When it comes to matching and referring potential OBM’s to business owners we want to ensure that there is a common ground for them to work together. For example, if the Kolbe assessment proves that the business owner is an initiating quickstart (meaning they make most of their decision from their expectation of the future and all that they see or desire of it- and they want to move fast!) and we pair that person with an initiating fact finder (meaning they make most of their decision from what is proven from past experiences – and they like to be methodical and move slower) these two styles will very quickly experience conflict. They are naturally disconnected in their ability to both communicate and work together for a common vision.

There are many factors that can bridge gaps between these two styles but what if the gap didn’t need to be that big nor the bridge that long, the relationship can move to a very successful place much easier. This is why we love the Koble Assessment as it allows you and your potential clients to start on a foundation of success vs. struggling through differences. Through the assessment we can take a look at the results and have a starting place to determine how the two thinking styles will work together… making it ohhh so much to assist OBM’s in finding ideal clients! And vice versa…. which in my book is a win for everyone.

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Motivational BackgroundAre you a virtual assistant, online business manager, graphic designer, web designer, copywriter, etc… struggling to build a successful business that allows you to provide a service you love AND the financial support you need to live?

If you just answered yes, you need to PRINT this article as I share 5 Steps to Building a Successful Implementation Business.

The reason I chose the word ‘steps’ instead of keys, tips or alike to express how to make your business successful, is because I want you to think about or picture the actual up leveling that takes place at each step I mention.  Ask yourself these 3 questions:  “What is required of you?”,  “What is required of the business?”,  “What is required of your process?”  to be successful at each step.

Step #1 – The Mindset

The first step to ensuring you are building a successful implementation business is ensuring you have the right mindset around your business.  I talk to hundreds of implementers a year and am always surprised when they treat their business more like ‘extra’ income or a hobby rather than an operational business.  How you see your business will be the extent of how others will see it, both clients and team.  Your mindset about your business will determine how much money you make, how quickly it grows, what type of clients you attract, etc… What is your mindset about your business determining for you?

If you see your business as an extension of yourself then you will only create what you can see in yourself.  But if you have the mindset that your business is the result of an executed skill set meeting an in demand need,  well then, your business can be anything you desire it to be (regardless how you think or see yourself.)  This is a huge mindset shift because many of us get so caught up in what we do or do not see in ourselves and that limits how we see our businesses.  Set your mind on being a business owner not a service provider.  The service is the product your business sales…

Step #2 – The Model

I cannot tell you how many implementation businesses are trying to build their 1:1 service based business on a 1 to many model.  This simply does not work.  Your model is not the same as what 90% of the business coaches are teaching on how to build a business online.  As an implementer you provide a 1:1 service (even if it is your team who is providing the service this is still the model.) The model that fits a service provider is different than a passive income model (think product based sales) or a leveraged income model (masterminds or mentorships), instead the way to successfully build an implementation model is on systems, processes and proven result based initiatives.

If you want to get  out of the day to day business operations of 1:1 service required of an implementation business you will need to hire someone to provide that service.  Therefore you will need a solid process structure in place for that person to easily follow and provide the same result you have to your clients.   Skip this step and you will work 24/7… develop this step into mastery and there is no limit to what you can build in your business.

Step #3 – The Mastery

Once you have settled on your mindset and your model the MASTERY is where success actually begins to become a reality.  In mastery you learn to manage the time, effort and result of every aspect of your service.  With mastery comes the ability to train others, create solid workable processes, streamline systems or automation to how you deliver your services.  It will allow you to see what is coming and have a better grasp on the ‘potential’ unknowns that slow down production.  With mastery you become a better communicator of both your skills and what is needed to be successful in a given project.  There is a greater since of confidence that lends to you being able to charge more, promise more and produce more.

As you master your craft you will no longer be an implementer but instead a problem solver, the one who generates solutions rather than simply executing tasks.

Step #4 – The Marketing

Time and time again I speak with Virtual Assistants who essentially are having to ‘start’ over… either they have worked with the same clients for a long time and now need to take on new clients or they are new to being a VA and need to take on new clients. Either way the same thing comes out:  I have never had to market myself.  But the truth is if you want to build a business with any longevity at all you will need to master this skill of marketing your services as quick as possible. Again, this does not have to be done the same way as other business models.  You don’t always need to grow a list, but you do need to keep your site up to date and with the most up to date templates.  You don’t need a blog, but you do need solid copy on your site that intrigues the prospect client and shows you know what you are talking about.

Think about your web presence like this… if you were going to hire a housekeeper and went to their house and it was a mess or even less than your expectation would you have them come and clean your house?  Your clients web presence is their house and many times as implementer’s we are the ones who keep it clean, tidy, in good running order… they need to see that from your web presence as well.  Not only your website but also your social media presence is being considered by every prospective client.  IF you are complaining how you have so much on your plate you don’t know how you are going to get through the day, then a prospective client takes a peak at your facebook post, you just lost a client. Could be that was the most IDEAL one you have been hoping for…

Step #5 – The Money

Ahhh the money conversation… seems as implementers we tend to really avoid this aspect of business.  We either don’t charge enough, don’t bother to even bill (invoice) or inflate our value, not giving the client what we promised.  I hear every angle of the money issues from both sides.  This is what I know to be true… if you do what you say you are going to do you can charge what you believe it is worth and no one will ever question you.  If you believe you are charging more than what your service is worth everyone will question you (as you are out of integrity with yourself) or if you charge more than what you deliver on, there will always be a money problem at hand.

The truth is everyone has money issues at some level, we do, they do, everyone does.  Now what to do with it is the question.  If you don’t figure this out you will never really make any money in your business.  If you don’t overcome this issue you will continue to fall in it’s traps.  So what to do?

Make a plan is my answer… know exactly what you need to run your business (include paying yourself), know what you desire beyond your need, come to terms with what you are willing to do to make that money, then do the work and GET PAID.  Ensure you have a solid contract in place with clear expectations of payment (how much, when to be paid by, etc…), then do the work and send the invoice (if you are paid in the rears) or require payment before you do the work.

It really is that easy… but if you see it as something else, give it an emotional weight, or allow it to revolve around YOU and not the service you provide. Then there can and will be breakdowns in your ability to both generate and collect money.

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Don’t create info products!

February 4, 2015

Bookmark on Delicious Digg this post Recommend on Facebook Share on Linkedin Share with Stumblers Tweet about it Subscribe to the comments on this post Print for later Tell a friend

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New Habits for the New Year

January 14, 2015

I am a HUGE goal gal!  I believe the only way to truly stay the course of success is to set goals, long term, short term, attainable and a bit unattainable (whats the old saying if you shoot for the moon and fail at least you land among the stars  But for this New Year […]

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Avoid Burnout and Hire Early

January 7, 2015

As virtual support professionals we don’t always give ourselves permission to expand.  We think we have to do it all… often because the way we have our business set up requires for us to be the one to do everything. When I opened my VA business almost 6 years ago now, I hit the learning […]

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You are Santa and You Get To Decide!

December 10, 2014

This is the time of year to layout the PLAN, to determine the strategy, to write it all and check it twice… to find out if you are naughty or nice… sorry a bit caught up in the moment, well kinda.  See what I want you to know is this:  ultimately YOU ARE SANTA and YOU […]

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You know you’re an online business manager when…

November 18, 2014

Recently I was working on our OBM StarterKit (if you have’t signed up I encourage you too, as the video series is AMAZING if you are considering becoming an OBM).  One of the autoresponder topics is ‘you know you’re an online business manager when…’ So I began to think about the attributes that seem to […]

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