Are You an Employee or a Business Owner?

The Commonsense Virtual Assistant
The Commonsense Virtual Assistant

Sometimes new virtual assistants think of themselves as employees. But you are not! You work for yourself. You are a business owner!

Since you are a business owner, you need to understand what it takes to run a successful business. It takes more than just having the skills your clients expect you to have to help them in their businesses.

You need to now how your clients think and what they want. You also need to know what you want – what you expect from your business.

To help you succeed as a business owner and get out of the employee mindset, the book, The Commonsense Virtual Assistant – Becoming an Entrepreneur, Not an Employee, was written. ┬áHere are what some readers have said:

“This book is a must read for anyone looking to get into the virtual assistant industry and it is a blueprint for success for those who are already in the industry. It guides you through a mindset shift that shows you how to operate as a highly successful online business.”Lucinda Cross,┬áLife Coach, Vision Board facilitator, Business Mentor

“While this book is directed towards Virtual Assistants, business owners of all industries will find it very useful in their pursuit of the American Dream of owning their own business. It will help you understand and overcome the limitations you place on yourself, consciously and subconsciously, that stand in your way of becoming a confident, successful business owner. It helps you develop an understanding of how your customer thinks, why you think the way you do, how to best utilize resources, and put processes into place to help you become the successful entrepreneur that is in every one of us!” – Michelle Randolph, Gold Force Administrative Support

“This book is a great reference for anyone considering a career as a Virtual Assistant (VA). It is well-written and gives a roadmap of the entire VA process from how to think like a VA, the skills needed and even to to how to operate your VA business. I especially love the resource chapter.” – Sandy Plarske, Elite Administrative Services

To get your year started right, begin by reading this book. The Kindle version is available at Amazon for only $3.99.

Eggs. Baskets. Chickens.

Just got word that a big project we’d invested a lot of effort into isn’t going to happen. In the past, I would have pinned a lot of hopes on that money coming in, and been in a panic when it didn’t.

These days I know better. No project is certain until the money’s in the till.

So many metaphors come to mind. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch, f’rinstance. It’s easy to say, look, we’ve got eggs, therefore, we’ll have chickens. Or, look, we’ve got hot prospects, therefore we’ve got a project.

Speaking of eggs, don’t put ’em all in one basket. If you earn your living primarily from a single client, that client owns you. In reality, you’re en employee, not an entrepreneur. Have plenty of smaller eggs, not just one large one.

And more than one basket, if you can arrange it.

Twenty small streams of income is more stable than 2 large streams. Seems nothing is stable these days, so when you start juggling all those chickens and eggs and baskets, be prepared to lose a few.

If you’ve got spares, there’ll always be enough for that omelette.

Don’t Eat the Tea

Recently a personal interaction reminded me of an anecdote I read some years ago about tea. (I love tea, but this may be my first business lesson about it.)

When tea first arrived in England it was expensive. Not, a little bit pricey expensive, but prohibitive, only for the rich expensive. But it caught on quickly, because, well, it’s great.

One woman in the south took a full pound of her expensive cache and sent it to her sister in the north, telling her how marvelous it was. Her sister boiled it, dumped the black liquid off and served it like a vegetable. She wrote back about how terrible it was.

She’d prepared it like a vegetable, which she understood, instead of seeing it for what it was: something entirely new.

Some business folks hear about the ‘new marketing’ and assume it’s just more of the old marketing, except online. They still want instant results, measured in dollars return on dollars invested. They want ways to convince people to buy, no matter what they’re selling. They spend time and money bolting a website and blog and email autoresponders onto their old-school advertising.

They’re dumping the tea and eating the leaves, and then they wonder why it doesn’t work.

If you help your clients with their marketing efforts, you may, like the first woman in the story, assume that they’ll know how to brew a pot of social media marketing. Erm, tea. Whatever.

But, like the second woman, they don’t. They can’t. Because it’s so foreign to them, they have nothing to connect it to. Give information away, with no firm plan for monetising it? That don’t make no sense!

Had the first woman included some simple instructions along with her glowing praise, the story may have had a happier ending. Don’t leave anything to chance. Clients who are new to the new marketing will need a lot of hand-holding, a lot of encouragement and explanation and nudging.

Don’t assume they get it, unless you actually see them drinking the tea.

Our Virtual Book Tour Continues

Several bloggers have already hosted interviews of our book, The Commonsense Entrepreneur- Becoming an Entrepreneur, Not an Employee and we greatly appreciate that.

We’re being hosted today, October 15, 2009, at this blog (thank you Lee):

Other dates are:
10/23 – Rachel Rasmussen

10/27 – Janine Gregor

Come join us on the tour and leave a comment.