3 Myths (and One Truth) About Hiring a Virtual Assistant

3 Myths (and One Truth) About Hiring a Virtual Assistant

I talk with women who own creative online businesses literally every day, so let me tell you—if you’ve said to yourself, “I know I need to hire a Virtual Assistant, but…” believe me. You are NOT alone. There’s no shortage of ways you could finish that sentence. That is, there are a lot of reasons why you may feel like you can’t hire help in your business. And some of those reasons are valid. But many of them aren’t. Feel like you need to hire a Virtual Assistant, but you’re not convinced yet? Here are 3 of the most common myths about hiring a Virtual Assistant (and one big truth).

Show of hands: how many of you online entrepreneurs—when you started creating your online business—couldn’t wait to get bogged down in administrative tasks? OK, so that’s a ridiculous question, obviously. When you dreamt up your business, you were thinking of the ways you wanted to share your mission with the world. You wanted to help people solve a problem, create a beautiful space, or create meaningful results in their lives.

You started your business to help change lives, NOT to spend time on admin, right?

When you’re in your “honeymoon” phase of business development, you’re not envisioning the late nights responding to client emails, the “just let me finish this one newsletter before I start dinner” frenzy, the hours and energy that you’ll spend on business support work that really isn’t the reason you started this business in the first place.

But before long, that honeymoon phase is over and you ARE bogged down in management and administration. 

Where do you even start with finding great online business support? Fellow online entrepreneurs and Facebook groups can be a wealth of knowledge on the subject—for better or worse! Hiring a virtual assistant or other business support services (like a project manager or online business manager) can be daunting. So let me help make it easier.

I’m here to debunk 3 common myths you’ve probably heard about hiring a virtual assistant for your online business.

MYTH #1: “I’M SAVING TIME JUST DOING THE WORK MYSELF.”

AKA: “It’s easier for me just to keep doing this work because I know how I want it done.” 

AKA: “Delegating to a virtual assistant just takes too much energy.”

AKA: “It would be a waste to hire someone else to do this when I’m perfectly capable of doing it myself.”

YOU GUYS. Just… no. Believe me, I get it. When you first think of delegating, you can feel overwhelmed. Where do you even start? Fortunately, I have a lot to say on the subject of how to go about hiring a virtual assistant (and I can help you hire a VA without feeling totally overwhelmed.) 

The truth is, yes, there’s a little bit of extra time and energy that goes into onboarding a virtual assistant (or an online business manager). But when you find the right VA for your online business, you get that time back in spades. 

Which leads us to…

MYTH #2: DIYING SAVES ME MONEY.

This is closely related to Myth #1 (and they’re both equally false—as long as you’re hiring the right person for business support services.) I wrote a whole post on this recently that breaks down how much more money you can bring in every quarter when you have the right online business help based on real-life examples.

MYTH # 3: I NEED TO SCALE MY BUSINESS FIRST. THEN I’LL BE READY TO HIRE.

If you’re an online entrepreneur who is struggling to get your first clients, then sure. It may benefit you to get to a place where you’ve got some revenue consistency. But if you have fairly consistent clients and you want to *grow* your business? I’ve gotta tell you: you’re ready.

THE TRUTH? IF YOU WANT TO SCALE YOUR BUSINESS TO THE NEXT LEVEL, YOU HAVE TO STOP WASTING TIME ON ADMINISTRATIVE WORK.

Stop:

  • Scheduling clients

  • Fidgeting with your client onboarding system

  • Scheduling your social media posts

  • Setting up your own lead pages

  • Formatting and scheduling your newsletters

  • Tracking down missed payments

  • Proofreading your own content

  • Tracking your own analytics

…just to name a few!

Are you ready to up-level your business? Then you need to be spending your work hours on client-attracting, high-value work. Are you still doing most of those jobs I listed above? If so, you’re going to find it harder to grow your business because you’re not spending your time where it counts. If that’s the case, I’d love for you to check out my Set Up to Scale Up program, where I help creative women with online businesses (just like you!) scale their businesses and increase revenue while doing what they love.

August Resource Roundup: Reclaiming My Time

August Resource Roundup: Reclaiming My Time

OK, Gentlewomen,

August brings two AMAZING articles for our inspirational resource roundup, both happen to be from Quartz Media. 

First, an article about how romance writers can churn out material like it’s their JOB. Because, you know… it is.

Professional romance novelists can write 3,000 words a day. Here’s how they do it

It’s so easy for us artistic types to wait for the muse before really getting down to work. I know I’ve been there, and I would bet that you have, too. But you’ve heard it before (and it really is true) that SHOWING UP day after day after day to create your art is the best way to invite the muse. 

It reminds me of an anecdote that I come back to a LOT. I originally heard it from a class that Ria Sharon teaches on Skillshare, but I’m not sure the origin of it. You may have heard it before.

In the story, there is a ceramics class. The teacher breaks up the class into two different groups. The teacher tells one group that their final grade will be based on the quantity of pots they produce. So, 50 pounds of pots might equal an A, 40 pounds a B, and so on.

The teacher tells the second group that their final grade will be based on quality. They only have to produce one pot all semester, but it must be a perfect one to get an A.

At the end of the semester, however, the highest QUALITY pots came from the group that was being graded on quantity. The moral of the story, of course, is that the best way for the students to improve their craft was to make as many as they could, day after day. It’s definitely a reminder that I need to come back to.


OK, second: 

“Reclaiming my time”: Strategies from a scholar of chronemics, the study of time

Don’t let the headline throw you off, this article was fantastic. There are so many parts that I want to quote, so many ways of thinking about time and how we relate to it that I had never stopped to examine. Thank goodness for Dawna Ballard, who is examining them. I’ll give just a few of my favorites here

Ask someone, “Hey, how’s it going?” she says, and they’ll probably answer by referring to how busy they are, or the vacation that starts the next day, or the limbo they’re in waiting for a message to be returned. They might mention the angst of a traffic or subway delay, and if it’s Friday, they may thank God for it. How we’re experiencing time is how we are.

…we’ve absorbed the message that “your time-discipline is a measure of your virtue as a person.

(Yikes! She’s right!)

I highly encourage you to go read the article not only for the Big Thoughts, but also for the genuinely helpful information that Ballard has about the way we interact with time (including a concept that I know a lot of artists and crafters struggle with: “Refuse to do unpaid labor”). Go take a look at the article and make sure you let me know what you think of it.

Go forth and conquer.

July Resource Roundup: Should You Bother Learning That New Skill?

July Resource Roundup: Should You Bother Learning That New Skill?

Gentlewomen,

If you are anything like me (a multi-passionate creative type), you collect new knowledge and hobbies like others collect credit card rewards points. You may be like me and want to learn new things, but before you’re great at that new thing, you’re ready to move on and learn something else!

If so, here’s two great resources from July, both on the same topic. I recommend reading both because they each have individual takeaways.

1. “TOP TEN STRATEGIES FOR LEARNING NEW SKILLS” BY FAHREEN GANI FROM ZAPIER

 

Though the article isn’t chock-full of brand-new information, I appreciate the reminders (particularly about making information meaningful in order to remember it–telling ourselves stories really helps information stick!)

2. “THE 4 KEYS TO LEARNING ANYTHING” BY LEO BABAUTA IN ZEN HABITS

 

Oh, yeah, that’s the stuff. Leo starts out with the bad feelings that often accompany learning new skills or information: the feeling over being overwhelmed, the fear of failure. The article ends by flipping all of those negative feelings upside down and showing the benefit of each and how to be gentle with ourselves as we learn. 

And, the paradox:

Earlier in the month, I downloaded a few language training apps. My husband is always trying to learn new languages and I’m always *wishing* I spoke better French. So I downloaded some new apps and decided to keep at it.

Then I read this article by Jenny Marchal in Lifehack. In it, Marchal describes the goal lists that Warren Buffett recommends and it breaks down like this:

  1. Make a list of your top 25 life goals

  2. Think about which goals are the most important to you. Go through your list of 25 and cross off the ones that are less important to you until you have 5 goals remaining. These are your REAL goals.

  3. Concentrate only on those 5. Spend your time on those 5 and none of the others.

And I get what he’s saying: those of us who are always wanting to learn or do something new can have a hard time focusing on what’s important. So I wrote my list of goals and you know what didn’t make it to the top five? Learning better French.

Sure, it may be on that list of 25 goals. And maybe someday it will even be in the top 5. But right now, it’s not. So let it go! I feel better already.

What about you? If you’ve found an article or anything else that has been on your mind through the month, share it with the other Gentlewomen! Et merci!

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