5 of the Best Ways to Find Your Dream Clients

So you have the services you want to provide. You have the pretty branding colors that you’ve switched 20 times and you even have a kick-ass name. Your website is perfect and you even have a little email marketing going on. Check you out! Things are coming together and then you slowly start to realize that something is missing. YOUR CLIENTS!

Well, how are you supposed to find them? You may have heard the saying. “Build it and they will come”. That’s true in some cases BUT you may have to actually put yourself out there and communicate with people. I know that just gave you a heart attack and your palms are probably sweating right now but, don’t freak out! I’m very much a loner and like to keep to myself. However, I know that’s not going to get me where I want to be in my business. Sometimes you have to step outside of your comfort zone and get a little uncomfortable. That’s the only way you can really figure things out and attempt any sort of progress. 

Here are a few ways to find some of your dream clients:

Facebook 

Everyone and their Mama has Facebook, so use it! Make a business page and optimize it to attract the clients you seek. Follow other business pages that share common interests with you so you can build your following and get a little community going on. Join Facebook groups and ACTUALLY participate (I’m terrible at this). Dropping a comment here or there and a link to your website (if it’s allowed) can attract some potential clients that you never that you would be able to sign. Facebook groups are also great because you join this community of people that may or may not be going through the same obstacles that you’ve been dealing with lately. It’s a great space to ask questions, ask for feedback, and share info about your services.

Instagram

Who doesn’t love Instagram! All you do is scroll, like, and post what you want. If you want to find your dream clients here, make sure your IG is optimized to attract those clients. Your bio should be straight to the point and tell your audience who you are, what you do, and how to get to you. Follow some of your dream client accounts. Drop a DM to get a conversation going (don’t overdo it and be organic). Sometimes reaching out first can make all the difference. Also, follow other accounts that provide the same services as you. You never the friends or connections that you can make and how it can help your business grow. Collaborate with other service providers to get your business out there! Share some of your favorite content from accounts you follow. Engagement is everything! How are people supposed to know about you if they don’t even know you’re there.

Linkedin

Linkedin is another platform that I think people overlook because they just think of it as an online resume for full-time employee positions. Wrong! It can be used for service providers too. Again, make sure everything is optimized and up to date. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen someone with outdated information on their profile. What happens when you do that? You miss out on opportunities. For instance, if your profile says you’re interested in hospitality but you recently changed to engineering then you’re gonna miss out on what you really want. Make sure to look over everything once in a while to make sure potential clients are seeing who you really are and where you’re at. Don’t forget to post content like you would on any other social media platform. You can like and share posts that align with your business and post engaging content to attract others. Join groups on the platform and engage!

Family and Friends

Sometimes starting close to home can give you exactly what you need. You never know who someone else may know. Ask a friend if you can provide services to them for a month or two to get some experience and a testimonial. Try the same thing with family. Ask them to spread the word about your business and to point anyone that may need your type of services in your direction. Hand out business cards so they can have them handy if they find someone that may need you. Ask friends and family to support you on social media liking, sharing, and following your business content. Having a friend or family member on your side will allow them to speak of your character when they’re speaking with a potential client. Yes you’re a business, but you’re still an actual person and clients like to know who they’re actually working with.

Get Local 

Research businesses in your neighborhood and reach out to them. Drop by and leave a business card. Find their business email and introduce yourself to them. Make them aware that you are here, you exist, and that you have services they may need. Let them know the benefit you can bring them by working together. You never know who you may come into contact with and where it can lead. Even if a particular business owner may not need your services, they might know someone who does. Don’t be afraid to reach out and get in contact with people.

There are literally clients everywhere! You just have to know where to look and how to attract them. It is easier said than done but not impossible. Sometimes you’ll be able to turn a corner and bump into a client. Other times it could take you months. Don’t give up, and be persistent!

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4 Ways to Protect Your Mental Health While Working From Home

Starting out on your journey to becoming an entrepreneur is both exciting and terrifying at the same time. You’re excited because this could mean possible financial freedom. It could mean not wasting 3 hours a day sitting in traffic just to clock in for someone else. It means not having to deal with the coworker that takes 15 smoke breaks throughout the day (we all had one of those). But when you get past the initial excitement and the possibility of working from anywhere in the world, you start to think about the actual work. Not the services you intend to provide, but the work behind the scenes. I think we’ve all had the “oh shit” moment after realizing that we actually would have to put in more effort than usual. Dealing with all of this is enough to make anyone overwhelmed. Taking things one step at a time and remembering to take a deep breath before you try to tackle any task can be helpful. Here are a few ways to protect your mental while navigating your journey to being an entrepreneur.

  1. Getting rid of toxic clients

I think we’ve all been in a situation where we’ve had to deal with a toxic client. We mentally put ourselves in this position where we try to decide if the money is worth us dealing with the toxicity we may be experiencing. It should be a no-brainer BUT, depending on the situation, some people may feel like they have no choice but to endure the toxic behavior for the sake of being able to pay their bills for the next few months. I’m here to tell you it isn’t! Never stay in a contract or any working relationship just because you need the money. I can tell you from experience that it’s absolutely not worth the trouble or the headache. If you wake up dreading the moment you have to communicate with your client, it’s time to go. Trust me, it will suck for a minute but you’ll be happier in the end.

  1. Stop comparing yourself to everyone

This is definitely easier said than done but, please don’t compare yourself to other entrepreneurs. I know when you’re starting out, you need some kind of inspiration to go off of but don’t let that inspiration turn into an obsession. If you’re too busy watching someone else, how are you supposed to progress and move forward? It’s like running a race and looking over to your left to watch your competition. You’re too busy watching them and you end up running into something or running off course. Definitely pay attention to your market and the trends going on, but also focus on your own lane. Or make your own lane for that matter. Be the first to do something different so there is no comparison. Focusing on someone else will have your mind plagued with unnecessary doubts. The last thing you need is to be depressed or fighting with imposter syndrome because somebody on Instagram is where you want to be and you still haven’t made it in the two weeks you’ve been in business. Stop the comparison and focus on yourself!

  1. Boundaries 
  1. Give yourself permission to take a break

I struggle with feeling like I deserve a break and I know other entrepreneurs and small business owners can relate. If you feel like your business isn’t exactly where it needs to be then why would you need a break right? We almost start to justify overworking ourselves just because we’re not as successful as we would like to be right now. You need a break every once in a while because if you’re burnt out it will start to show in the quality of your work and possibly in your relationships with your clients and customers. You can’t pour from an empty glass people! Giving yourself permission to take it easy and regroup can make all the difference in your progress and how you approach your business. 

Being an entrepreneur will always be stressful at some point in time. You have to remember that this isn’t an easy path to navigate and there will be plenty of ups and downs. Maintaining your mental health is an important part to staying positive so that you’re able to pour that positivity into your business and everything you do!

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The Sometimes Ugly Truth About Being a Virtual Assistant

I think it’s a fair assumption to make that most people would LOVE to work from home or from anywhere in the world. You physically get the freedom to do what you want whenever you want. Depending on the services you provide, you’ll definitely have the financial freedom you’ve always wanted. Honestly, you can get that with becoming a virtual assistant. Sounds great right? Of course it does because you’re only getting to hear about the good stuff. Well, what about the not so good stuff? What about the things that no one really tells you about? Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy and blessed to be able to work from home and to work with the people that I want to work with. HOWEVER, it isn’t always going to be fully booked out, invoices paid on time and dream clients. That’s okay! It may not feel like it at the time BUT, these are things that you can absolutely overcome. 

Losing clients

This is the one thing I knew could happen, but when it happens, you’re like “what the hell!”. You can lose a client for a number of reasons. One reason could be that the working relationship is not a great fit. It sucks when that happens but it does happen and it’s okay. It’s better off to find out in the beginning instead of causing stress and butting heads with your client the entire time. You could also lose a client if they start to struggle within their own business. Just like you, they’re a business owner and things happen. Whether it’s losing clients themselves or making the wrong decisions, it could lead to them cutting your hours, pausing your contract or terminating everything all together. You can also lose a client if you take on too much work and the quality of your work starts to decline. When someone is paying a premium they expect a certain level of work. If your effort starts to decline, your client may say goodbye. Losing clients cannot only affect your bottom line, but your mental health as well. It can be a blow to your confidence, but it’s only the end of your business if you let it be. Put on your grown up pants and search for more clients! Take the losses as a lesson and learn from them.

Long Hours

Everyone thinks that when you work from home, you’ll have all the time in the world. It can be that way if you work smart. In the beginning, I didn’t have a schedule for myself. I knew weekends were out of the question, but during the week I was working like crazy. There were days that I would be at my desk from 6am to 7pm STILL working. My thought process was if I have 18 hours a week worth of work, I’m gonna do it all Monday and enjoy the rest of my week. Yeah. That was not it. I had to teach myself that everything didn’t have to be done in one damn day! I also needed to give myself a break. Just like all of my other jobs, I would work through lunch, or get up when someone asked for help during lunch. Don’t do this! Just because you’re working from home, it does not mean you don’t get a break! I ended up using Asana to organize myself and get my life together. Every Sunday I’ll sit and figure out what I may need to do for the week and add any last minute tasks that I may receive from clients on Monday. You have to realize that you may not get the task done because your client hasn’t responded all day, or your computer may crash. Shit happens but you’ll figure it out. In the beginning of your VA journey you will definitely put in more hours because you’re running a business too. When you clock out of virtual assistant mode, you may have to clock into entrepreneur mode for another 5 or 6 hours. It’s rough but only you can make your business what you want it to be. If you play your cards right early on, you may not have to work as much or have your own clients anymore once you hire on other VA’s. Time is definitely money and you need to use it wisely!

Figuring out your niche

Okay so you figured out that you want to be a virtual assistant and that’s awesome, but what service do you want to provide? That can be such an overwhelming question for most VA’s and honestly still is for me. Right now, I offer a little bit of everything. Customer service, admin work, social media management and some other odds and ends. This is great because it allows me to bring in different types of customers BUT, having your hand in too many things can overwhelm you. You also can’t really become great at one thing because you’re juggling too many others. If you can, find out what you really love and become a boss at it! When you niche down and start to specialize, the more you can charge eventually. Now that you’ve figured out what you want to offer, the real question is who do you want to offer it to? Hospitals, retail stores, corporate offices…I mean the list can go on and on forever. Just take a deep breath, look at your past positions and see what would be a good fit. Remember that it doesn’t have to be figured out today, but having some kind of solid plan eventually would be better for you, your business and your potential clients.

Making more and working less

It’s not an obstacle when you do it right but it’s definitely a struggle to get there. I always see these posts on Facebook and Instagram, where people say they work like 3 times a month and make 10k. Honestly, sometimes it’s true but they NEVER tell you what it took to get there. They don’t tell you about the extra hours per night that they have to put in. They don’t tell you how much they have to spend on marketing. They definitely don’t tell you about the weekly nervous breakdown you may have when you don’t meet your financial goal. Making more and working less is certainly obtainable but you have to put in the effort. I am coming up on my 1 year anniversary for my business and I’m still not where I’d like to be. Guess what? That’s fine! I’m comfortable but still striving for more. It’s never wrong to want more but it’s wrong to kill yourself over it because you just started five minutes ago and you’re not a full blown agency having million dollar months. IT IS OKAY! Take your time and do things right. You will get there!

These are just a few things that I have struggled with or noticed that other people have had a hard time with. The work from home journey is never going to be perfect. You’re going to have great days, bad days or even bad months, but just know that if you have the perseverance, the drive and the passion then you will be able to overcome all of it in due time. Keep going and don’t let anything deter you from reaching your goals!

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5 of My Absolute Favorite Daily Tools to Use as a Virtual Assistant

When you become a virtual assistant, you have to learn how to play the juggling act. Juggling clients, time, and your own business tasks. It’s safe to say that you’ll need to be organized and efficient. Starting out, there are so many different programs, apps and God knows what else to help you get through your day as a virtual assistant. By trial and error I figured what worked for me, my work flow and what made me more efficient. Now this could change over time because what you need when you’re the only employee, versus having 100 employees can be totally different. But for now, this is what has been working for me!

  1. Canva

I love CANVA! It is so easy to use and allows you to create quick and cute graphics or documents for your client. I use use it almost everyday for my business posts, and for my clients social media. The learning curve isn’t bad at all and honestly it’s so much fun to use. When I first joined the membership was about $1 a month, but now I have a plan that’s a little under $120 for the year. Keep a look out for deals, because Canva always has a random deal here and there.

  1. Asana

This program has been such a life saver! I love staying organized and color coding my tasks. Asana allows me to easily do all of this. I do have the free version of Asana because it’s just me right now and I have a handful of clients, but honestly it’s all I need. You can invite your clients to your account (or vice versa) and create a board that you both can contribute to. You can track your tasks, their due dates, upload files video and photos. It’s the first program that I open in the morning when I’m about to start my day. I actually use to organize my personal tasks as well. It has a tiny bit of a learning curve, but nothing you can’t figure out in 30 mins at the most.

  1. Honeybook

Honeybook is literally a one stop shop! I’m able to send invoices, proposals and contracts to clients, all in one go. I even have automated workflows that I can customize and link to specific clients. So, if someone reaches out through my contact form, it’ll trigger the workflow depending on the type of project they want me to work on. Setting up the automations can be rough depending on what you need BUT once it’s setup, your life is so much easier. You don’t have to remember to send a welcome email or an offboarding survey. It’s literally setup and ready to go. It’s also easy to set up payments through Honeybook so that’s not a hassle either. They do have fees for transactions, but they’re about the same as other programs I’ve come across. Honeybook also allows you to post projects that you need help with and allows you to search projects that you want to work on. It has it’s own little community of entrepreneurs!  

  1. External Hard drive

So I ALWAYS have an issue with my computers. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “Your motherboard is fried”. One of the things I knew I had to invest in was an external hard drive. That way if anything went wrong (which I know it will given my luck), I would still have all of my work and not have to worry about anything. I usually make a folder for every new client I sign on with, just to keep all of their info and my work for them organized. I purchased mine here on amazon.

  1. Google Drive

Google drive is another favorite of mine because I can share huge files and documents with my clients. They also send me documents to edit which is great, because your changes automatically save and you don’t have to email each other back and forth too much! I mostly use it when we’re editing blogs or when I need to share a newsletter draft with clients. It’s simple and easy to use. Honestly who doesn’t use google at this point!

These are just some of the things I use on a daily basis and I hope they can become useful to you too! Comment and share some of your favorite tools that you like to use when you’re working from home.

Great News!

While enrollment isn’t open yet (soon!), the 90day VA program has a free online class that you can sign up for! Learn all of the skills you need to get started working from home online!


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Becoming a Virtual Assistant During Covid and How I Made it Happen!

My journey to becoming a virtual assistant hasn’t been easy and hasn’t always been clear to me, but I am glad I figured it all out in the end! Becoming a virtual assistant is one of the best things I have ever done for myself. It’s kind of a long story but lets start from the beginning…

Early Days

When I was 14 years old, I started my first job working at Mass General Hospital in Boston. From that point on I knew I loved helping people and I especially loved administrative work. I liked solving problems and handling the small things so everyone else could focus on bigger issues. At 17 I went on to work at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in both radiology and OB/GYN. From there I ended up working for New England Physical Therapy, which was one of my all time favorite jobs! The patients were like family and so were my co-workers. Here is where I really got to be myself and connect with people. It only increased the joy I felt from helping others and being a part of a team. After working for NEPT, I ended up working in radiology again at Brockton Signature Healthcare. Throughout all of these positions, I still had this nagging feeling that I needed more, but I still wasn’t sure of what it was. This was my last position in Boston before I decided to take the leap and move to charming Charleston, South Carolina. Little did I know, this move would end up being the catalyst to my virtual assistant journey.

Charleston

I moved to Charleston in August of 2018 and it was the best decision that I ever made in my life! I literally decided to move to Charleston in June of 2018, gave my notice in July and was gone two weeks later. I had no job, no apartment and no car (it literally broke down 5 hours before we got on the road, but that’s another story). I was staying in a hotel and looking for jobs everyday. I was happy I moved, but also having a nervous breakdown every five minutes. I was extra stressed because my mom came with me (whom I take care of) and it added on to the importance of me finding a job and a home. I wanted to make sure we both had a place to rest our heads. About 10 days after moving I found a job working front desk at Marriott. I never worked in a hotel before, so I honestly thought I wasn’t going to make it, but I needed the job.

A week after I started working, we had an apartment. A month after that, I had a new car. A few months after I started working, I became a front desk supervisor! A few months after that I started working in human resources. Things were great and moving in the right direction. I was happier than I had ever been and work was great. I made new friends that became family, and work was awesome. I loved connecting with everyone and building relationships. Even though everything was great, I still had this voice in the back of my head telling me to start my own business. I’ve felt like this for years but something ALWAYS came up, or I would make an excuse. It was heavier on my mind lately and I didn’t know why.

The Pandemic

Right before the pandemic, I was starting to feel like my business needed to happen ASAP. I loved my coworkers, but I needed more. I was getting tired of clocking in and out, and having a boss. I was ready to be my own boss, but didn’t know how or where to start. I also needed the motivation, but had none. That is until good ole covid came around. Imagine going away for your birthday and the day you come back, you get a call saying you’re being furloughed. Yep…that’s what happened. We did have some kind of heads up, but we honestly didn’t think it would lead to that. None the less, I was furloughed and didn’t know what was going to happen next.

Initially, we thought this whole thing would blow over in a few weeks and we would be back to work. Of course that’s not what happened, but we were all optimistic at first. I tried to make the best out of the situation and told myself it gave me more time to think about my future and finish my MBA (yes I was in my masters program when I left Boston and when covid started. No pressure!). I finished my MBA in August of 2020, and I was ready to take on something new. I came across a program called 90 Day VA by Esther Inman, and that completely changed my life. I took a chance and signed up for the program as soon as I finished my MBA, because I’m nuts and didn’t think I needed a break. I’m glad I did though! It taught me some of the most sought after skills I would need to become a virtual assistant.

I finished the 90 Day VA program in October and officially registered my business in November. The clients didn’t start pouring in like I imagined, so of course that worried me and I took a job I really didn’t want, to pay the bills and pass the time. I took a contract insurance specialist job and kind of put my VA dreams on hold. That is until the new year came and I decided that I needed to get my shit together and stop blocking my blessings.

New year, new goals!

So January came around and I realized I need to start putting myself out there and start looking for clients. They weren’t just going to find me. I actually had to talk to people for this to work. So I went on Indeed, not expecting much, and found a virtual assistant position based out of Philly. I didn’t think I should apply because I wasn’t ready, but then I said “what’s the worse that could happen?“. So I applied and had an interview a few days later. A couple weeks after that I started my first paid VA position! Of course I had imposter syndrome, but I pushed through and I loved it! I can’t forget to mention that my contract job laid us all off a couple weeks after I started my new position (during our lunch break…nice). Thank god I decided to stop holding myself back when I did!

About a month after I started my VA position, I was picked up by an awesome agency and added 4 more clients to my roster. A few months after that I received a referral from my first client and two weeks after that I received another referral from my newest referral. Things have been so great and I still can’t believe it. I’m not exactly where I want to be in my VA journey, BUT I am well on my way an excited about the future! I always dreamed of starting my own business and I still can’t believe it happened. I said it before and I’ll say it again, getting out of my own way was the best thing I ever could’ve done for myself.

I’m finally living out my dream of working for myself and working remotely!

“I’ll sleep when I’m dead”: Why do we feed into this toxic concept?

We always see these type of concepts, especially on social media. “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”. “I have to get out and get it or someone else will”. I absolutely get the sentiment, but when is it too much? Where do we draw the line between being your best and damn near killing yourself to be the best? I think it’s so easy to fall into that trap of having to constantly be on the go when you really don’t. Yes, be the best at what you do. Yes, put in the hard work. Yes, reach for excellence. However, don’t burn yourself out. What good will you be to your business if you can’t even think straight half of the time, or you’re miserable from working so much? Are you really going to wait until retirement to enjoy your success? I say hell no! You need to make time for yourself, or all of it can come tumbling down in an instant.

It’s taking me a long time to get to that place of where it’s okay to take a break. I learned, it’s okay to switch my schedule around to give myself a little more self-care. When I first started my business, the hustle was in overdrive because I didn’t have any clients and I didn’t know if my business would even take off. Of course when you start something as major as beginning a business, everything is going to be urgent. You want everything to perfect, you don’t want to make any mistakes and most of all you want clients! That’s all well and good, but stressing 24/7 is not the move. I would go to sleep worrying about if things were going to turn out okay. I would wake up stressed because I didn’t have a new client yet. It was seriously taking a toll on my mental health, as well as my physical. I had to take a step back and breath. This honestly didn’t happen until a few weeks ago. It’s still a work in progress, but I’m having a lot less stressful days than I used to before.

These are a few things I’ve been trying to stick to that have helped me unlearn this toxic idea of constantly working 24/7:

1. Sometimes you just need to clear your schedule. I work a certain amount of hours per week. My plan was to work all of those hours in two days and have the rest of my week free. That was my first mistake. I have this thing where I don’t like work to just sit there, and I don’t like knowing something is left undone. But I realized it’s okay to space things out. I pride myself on having a quick turnaround but at what cost? I would also wake up having the crappiest day but would push myself to work and hate every second of it. I absolutely never hate the actual work, it was just my emotions taking the driver seat and blocking my productivity. Now, I will clear my entire schedule and move everything to another day if I feel like that. It’s okay to do this if you don’t have an urgent deadline. I had to tell myself this over and over again and it’s made some of my weeks a lot better.

2. Realizing things will come when they’re supposed to. In my head, I need to be a million dollar agency tomorrow. That’s definitely not how that works. I had to tell myself that it’s great to have goals, BUT goals of that magnitude are probably going to take more than a month to accomplish. I always feel like I’m not doing enough and this is what causes me to get frustrated when things aren’t happening as quickly as I want them too. Sit back, relax and it will happen. Trust me! When it does, it’s the best feeling in the world.

3. I can only do so much. There are sometimes when I would put too much stress on myself about the tasks I was completing. I always thought the result wasn’t good enough, and that I needed to completely re do it. Sometimes I wouldn’t receive the feedback I needed and would stress out about it. This was a huge thing that would bring on the stress, and I’m glad I created my imaginary SOP on how to deal with it. I can only do so much with what I’m given, and I’m also not perfect. So sometimes a revision will need to happen. It’s not the end of the world! It’s important to make my work a priority but not to the point where I stress myself out about it.

4. Get out. Working from home is great, but taking a break isn’t the same as if you were taking one at a regular 9-5. I would log out of my work, but still sit at my desk eating or, checking my phone. So it didn’t really feel like a break to me. Running to the store, or even taking a nap is so needed sometimes. I honestly didn’t realize how much I needed it until I started to make that mandatory for myself. I think my lightbulb moment was when a friend came to visit from out of town and invited to hangout at the hotel pool. Nothing fancy. That day made me feel so relaxed and recharged! Not only did I get to see a friend, but I also turned my brain off for a second and showed myself a little TLC. If you own your own business or work from home, please give yourself an actual break and allow yourself to enjoy it!

5. Allow yourself to enjoy your wins (even the small ones). In the mist of us grinding 24/7, we don’t leave time to actually enjoy what we’ve been accomplishing. We are so obsessed with accomplishing huge goals, we often take away the importance from our smaller accomplishments. In the midst of a meltdown last month, I took a quick look through my clients and realized I reached my goal of replacing the income I lost during covid.  I was in my feelings so much, that I didn’t even realize that I met my goal. This is what happens when you are on the grind and have tunnel vision. You might miss out on a win. No matter how small it is, a win is a win. Enjoy it! You deserve it!

I’m still a work progress, but every day I take another step to make sure I’m not overworking myself or,  overlooking myself. It will take time to unlearn this concept, but when you do, it will truly make a difference in the way you work. Take time to yourself! I promise the work will still be there and it will be okay.

Imposter Syndrome: Why do we doubt ourselves, when we could empower ourselves?

So, raise your hand (or leave a comment) if you have imposter syndrome and you hate it. I’m definitely guilty of it. I feel like the smallest seed of doubt can, and unfortunately has, derailed me from something I am passionate about. It’s like you get this brilliant idea and you’re super excited right? Then you start doing your research and you get the ball rolling. Someone can say something as simple as, “Are you sure?”, and BAM…motivation killed. Now we start to wonder if we really are sure about what we’re doing. “Am I really capable of doing this?”, becomes the big question. Why do we let outside factors deter us from what we want to do?, and why so easily? We are so ready and willing to support friends and family but we can’t give ourselves the same support and praise. Eventually when we finally get out of our own way, and go for it, then we see it wasn’t that hard to begin with.

In the beginning of my virtual assistant journey, I was super excited. I literally just finished my MBA and didn’t know what to do with myself. I was furloughed from my job a few months earlier and couldn’t stomach the idea of working for someone else again. I didn’t want to be in a position where someone else had my career in their hands. So, I decided to take a 90 Day virtual assistant course to start my own business. Once I finished that, I set up all of my business accounts for social media, made business cards and started looking for jobs. I also started my paperwork to register my business. BUT, of course like clock work, the doubt set in. I didn’t think I had any business having a business (I know it was dumb). I also started to worry about making mistakes in the services I wanted to provide and in general as a business owner. It got really overwhelming and started to make me think that I just wasn’t good enough. 

I ended up taking on a contract insurance job because I was not confident that I would find any clients at all. Literally 3 weeks before my contract job ended, I ended up snagging my first client. It was definitely a boost to my confidence, but AGAIN, the doubt took over. It wasn’t until a month in that I got comfortable and then excited about having my first client. A few weeks later, I signed with an agency that gave me another client and possibly three more in the next few weeks actually (does happy dance). Now I feel more confident because I’ve gotten past these first few hurdles and I’m actually doing what I said I would. I now have a sense of pride in how far I’ve come in the past year. Given the year we’ve all had, I say I did alright! That doesn’t mean that I don’t still battle with my imposter syndrome. I feel it creep up on me every time I book a meeting, or every time I have a task to complete. I just remember that I’ve gotten this far because of me and no one else.

The one piece of advice I can give is: Get out of your own way!

If you’ve already made it as far as you have, no matter your journey…imagine how much farther you can go, if you get out of your own way. Imagine that.

Self-Care and Working from Home

Self care is necessary, but something we usually put on the back burner when life gets a little hectic. It could be work, kids, our relationships or sometimes our mental health. It’s easy to find an excuse not to take time for ourselves, and the obstacles that come up in life give us these excuses. The truth is, if we don’t take care of ourselves we won’t be any good to our kids or our job. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Just like we make time to check in and make sure everyone else is okay, we need to take time and check in with ourselves.

But, what happens when you work from home? How do you separate work from your personal life when it’s literally down the hall from you?

Working from home is great because you don’t have to travel, or clock in and out in most cases. You can set your own hours and work from anywhere. That all sounds amazing, but how do you turn it off? Yes you can make your own hours but we all know that there are times when we say, “I’ll do this one thing and then I’m done”. Four hours later you’re still on the laptop and responding to clients (I’ve done it). The lines start to blur and it gets difficult to separate the two. It’s also hard to turn things off and focus on yourself especially if you have kids at home. It’s even harder to make time for yourself because you have someone else that needs you, and that can cause a little guilt with wanting to take 5 minutes for yourself. Like I said before, you can’t really take care of anyone else if you’re running low on energy and motivation.

It’s difficult but, here are a few things you can try:

  1. Set boundaries

If your work hours are 8-4:30pm, be firm on that. DO NOT respond to clients after this time. Make sure that’s in your contract. Also make sure that you have a clause about emergency tasks, and define what an actual emergency is.

  1. Take an actual break

It’s hard to take a relaxing break when you’re working from home. Take a quick walk outside, or sit on your porch if you can. Maybe take a nap if you want. Taking a few minutes to recharge your batteries will go a long way.

  1. Work on you

On your off days, work on something that will benefit you. Maybe update your website for your business. Make some new business cards for yourself, or maybe try a new skill you’ve been wanting to learn. 

  1. Know when to say No

I know making money is great and everything, but your mental health isn’t worth it. Don’t  take on more than you can handle. Burning yourself out is no good to you or your clients. Take on the tasks that you enjoy and tasks that you truly have time for.

  1. Log off completely

Log out of everything work related. Get a google voice number and leave a voicemail with your work hours. When work is over, stay out of work files. I have an external hard drive with all of my work. When I unplug it, that’s it. It’s a great way to really make sure that I’m not clicking into any client files and ending up in a rabbit hole of work.

These are just a couple ways that you can practice self care while working from home! It’s easier said than done, BUT completely worth it! Leave some comments on how you practice self-care while working from home.

5 Great Tips for Creating an Awesome Workspace at Home

After the year we’ve had, working from home has become the norm for a lot of us. Even though working from home eliminates the drive time to the office, and the stressors from interacting with people all day (I’m an introvert, nice to meet you!), new problems can come up at home. For instance, most kids were out of school for almost a year. Trying to have a conference call and telling your kid to get stop jumping on the couch doesn’t work out too well sometimes. Or, having the dog bark at the mailman while you’re on the phone with a customer is not ideal. The number one tip to creating an awesome workspace at home is finding the perfect space for your office.

  1. Find the perfect spot for you

Wherever you choose to have your office is completely up to you, as long as it serves you well. Make sure it’s a space that’s just yours and is comfortable to work in. When I say comfortable, I don’t just mean physically but also mentally. Make it a place that you know you’ll be able to work in for hours and not be ready to bolt as soon as you sit down. Make the workspaces your own! Tailor it to your needs and your workflow. To do this, you have to add elements of yourself to the workspace.

Make it a space you can fall in love with.

  1. Bring Life To Your Space

Your space doesn’t have to be all work. Make it fun! Add photos of your family and friends to your desk. Maybe get some great pictures for the walls so you’re not staring at blank space. Listen to your favorite music to give you a break from the phone calls and Zoom meetings. Make it as relaxing as possible (Nott too relaxing. You still have work to do!). Bring the colors that you like and add them around the space. Whether they’re bright and playful, or mute and reserved, make your space look the way you want it to. Make it a reflection of your personality. 

Speaking of bringing life to your space, try to give yourself a view if you can!

  1. Sit by a window/Find a great view

Sometimes having photos on your desk or great pictures on the wall, aren’t always going to relax your mind. Sometimes we need a little sunshine to get us through the day. Try picking a space where your desk can look out a window. Just so you can have some sort of connection with the outside world! Or if you work from a laptop like me, take a seat outside on your porch or in a park, maybe even the beach, and get some work done. Working from home is great but sometimes you just have to get out of the house! Whether you decide to stay in or change your scenery, make sure it’s someplace quiet. If not, always remember step number 4:

  1. Great Headphones

Buying some noise-canceling headphones or even just regular ones so you can hear your meetings/ phone calls more clearly is a lifesaver. As I’ve said before, sometimes you’re home with the kids or, you have a few pets and things aren’t always the calmest (or quietest) in your home. You just have to get creative and find a way around it. The last thing you need is to be in a serious meeting and have something inappropriate said in front of clients! Having a quiet space or some great headphones will make your life a lot easier!

  1. Organization

So you have your space, you made it beautiful (and quiet), now you just need to keep it organized! Visually keeping everything organized will help you mentally also. I don’t know about you, but as soon as I see papers everywhere my mind goes haywire. Keeping things in folders or a file cabinet can help cut down on the paperwork if you have any. Making a specific place for all of your things is so necessary, so in a moment of chaos, you’re not spending 30 minutes trying to find a pen. Keeping yourself organized also creates a better workflow for you!

Having a workspace that you feel comfortable and productive in will be so helpful to you in the long run! 
Take some pictures of your ideal workspace and tag @creativeambition_virtual on Instagram, or leave them in the comments below! You can also tag @creativeambitionvirtualsolutions on Facebook!