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.


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…


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.


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.



  • 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.

5 Ways to Know If Your Creative Business Is Leading You to Burnout

5 Ways to Know If Your Creative Business Is Leading You to Burnout

Often, organization doesn’t feel easy for creative online entrepreneurs like you. When you’re multipassionate, trying to corral those exciting and brilliant ideas can feel like herding (mental) cats. Let me ask you a question: does managing your business feel more time-consuming, frustrating, and like just more work than you think it should? Do you ever feel like you’re on the edge of burnout as an online entrepreneur? Does the idea of organizing your business leave you feeling emotionally drained? There’s a good reason you’re feeling that way. Without the right support as an online entrepreneur, you’re inviting burnout and mental exhaustion.

If you’ve found yourself spending way too much money and way too much time on tools that promise to fix all of your admin worries (but don’t work), I might have an idea of what’s gunking you up.

Here are 5 of the most common ways that running your business is leading you to burnout.

Do any of these burnout symptoms sound familiar?


We’ve all been there. We have the best intentions to get organized but then end up getting distracted, redirected, or lost along the way. Here are some classic scenarios:

  • An online entrepreneur recognizes she’s stretched too thin and wants to delegate tasks to someone else. To do so, she spends precious hours of her own time and energy each week/month spoon-feeding this new person information, and creating new To-Do lists for herself to ensure the new team member can do the old To-Do tasks she’s trying to offload. The result is she’s spent the same wasted amount of hours on the same old tasks, it’s just dressed up as “delegating.” (Little disclaimer: Delegating is great! Just make sure you’re inventing the offboarding wheel once rather than setting up a new system that requires the same amount of effort from you each time a task is due.)

  • An entrepreneur sees she’s unorganized and looks for productivity software to help. She chooses the most detailed and intensive one, assuming it will give her the most support. Instead, she finds herself frustrated, confused, and scheduling hour-long meetings with tech support and lost in a customer-support email wasteland. In the meantime, business tasks are being dropped and important items are lost in the cracks thanks to her new confusing software.

  • An online entrepreneur decides it’s time she “gets organized once and for all” and emphatically heads out to buy a planner, pens, sticky notepads, a new water bottle that says “boss” on it, stays up all night reorganizing her work desk, decides to update her email signature, gets a new professional headshot, buys business cards, creates a Twitter account, tries a new website building platform, and creates a mood board and — wait a minute — has she done any work?

A fast way to identify if you’re creating more work for yourself is by answering this single question: “Is the task I’m about to take on going to move the needle on the specific task that needs completing? Or is it simply a new task that runs adjacent or parallel to the task I really need to deal with?” If the answer to the first question is NO and the second question is YES, stop. Refocus. Go back to what you’re truly trying to accomplish.


This is so, SO key, you guys! The 9-5pm schedule is not for everyone, especially for creative entrepreneurs!

If you’re dumping your most important items on your plate in the morning and find you’re totally mentally exhausted by lunch, you’re really setting yourself up for a day half-wasted. Instead, try tackling your priorities during the pockets of time you feel your most alert, most creative, most focused, even if that doesn’t mean they’re done “first.”

Perhaps it’s in the early morning hours before your family wakes up or late at night when the rest of the world is quiet. I’ve seen people rock a “2 hours on-1 hour off” format that begins at 8am and ends at 7pm. Sure, they start a little earlier and end a little later, but they have an organic 3 hours of “off-time” built in to tackle life’s other daily needs.

The beauty of rocking your own business is having the freedom (and permission!) to structure your hours in a way that works best for you.


Tale as old as time. When we feel overwhelmed or emotionally drained, we can sometimes panic looking for ways to avoid the grind rather than *master* the grind. Instead of dropping your shoulders and plowing through the work, you spend your day procrastinating and completing a lil’ bit of this here, a lil’ bit of that there, so on and so forth. Then, at the end of the day, you ultimately didn’t save any time and you have nothing finished to show for it.


Listen, I know how good it feels to be “in the zone.” However, there is an important distinction between good business management and setting unrealistic expectations on an impossible timeline. While it feels great to get work done, it’s important to remain practical about what you’re asking from yourself. Maximizing your work when your energy is high is great, but don’t plan your projects around that level or productivity forever and always. You’re going to burn out eventually, and all of that momentum and progress you made will be sacrificed and lost in the long run when suddenly you feel like you can’t do ANY work.


One fast way to tell if you’re in a cycle of bad online business management is to determine if you are always in a constant state of reacting. What I mean is: You’re playing defense. Your days are spent putting out fires, addressing issues that popped up the day prior, and tackling items as they happen, making it impossible to get started on your own goals and objectives. It’s like trying to fill in cracks in a wall while water leaks through.

Good business support will do two things: 1. Allow you to play offense — i.e. put you in a place where you can be strategic, thoughtful, and innovative about the business moves you want to make and ultimately have space and time to put them into action. And 2.) build you a sturdy foundation so water doesn’t begin to leak through the cracks in the first place. I have a lot more to say about this, but that’s for another blog.

Remember: without the right support as an online entrepreneur, you’re inviting burnout and mental exhaustion.


Fortunately, I can help you take the reins on your workflow and implement systems that counteract the pitfalls described here. If this sounds like exactly what you need right now, then I’d love to introduce you to my Set Up to Scale Up Strategy Session package. In just 3 hours together, we can build that solid foundation for the most painful part of your biz.

I promise it’s possible to stop spinning your wheels, capitalize on your energy, maximize your time, avoid burning out, and play stellar offense for your business, and I’d love to help.

1 Quick Hack Creative Entrepreneurs Can Use to Plan an Easier Launch

1 Quick Hack Creative Entrepreneurs Can Use to Plan an Easier Launch

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Buffer Time. White Space. Unscheduled Time. Whatever you want to call it, it’s something I’m a little bit obsessed with right now (because I’m kind of hoarding it, but that’s just where I am ATM.)

pretend the ring is free time, m’kay?

See, last week was crazy. There was snow. The kids had time off school. My husband got a cold, then he graciously shared it with the rest of the family (and I still haven’t totally recovered). Plans changed. Stuff still got done, but, you know… less than usual. Life showed up.

Life’s fun that way. You cannot stop it from showing up. And it usually doesn’t RSVP.

Since you can’t prevent the unexpected, you have to account for it. So anytime you’re making a plan (one with some kind of timeline attached to it), you gotta add Buffer Time.

Back when I was a corporate Project Manager (‘lo these many months ago), I learned some really valuable advice around this idea. 

Now, I know you’re not a corporate project manager, but stick with me here, I promise this will end up applying to you. 

The advice was NEVER to tell management the Best Case Scenario timeline. N.E.V.E.R. So, sure IF the clients gets us all of the specifications in on time and IF they include all the stakeholders’ ideas and IF the testing phase runs as normal and IF… you get the idea. There are a lot of variables that can impact a timeline and a lot of chances for Life to show up at any one of them.

If a project manager were to tell the boss, “Well, we expect the project to take 8 weeks, but if everything goes well, we can get it done in 5,” which part of that do you think the boss really hears? It ain’t the longer time frame, I promise. And how often do you think the project ACTUALLY gets done in 5 weeks instead of 8? There’s probably some data out there on that type of question, but I’m not going to look it up. Both you and I know that it’s probably not very often. Thanks, Life.

And how does the boss feel when the project takes 8 weeks instead of 5? Well, sure, you may have SAID that you expected the project to take 8 weeks, but that’s not what they heard, so when 5 weeks pass, then 6, then 7, the boss gets more and more frustrated and YOU feel more and more stressed because the pressure increases with every extra week that goes by.

So what does this mean for you and your creative business? Here’s what I want you to do: go back to that corporate boss scenario I just laid out for you and read it again. But THIS time, imagine your brain as the boss.

Does that change how this scenario feels?

Those extra 3 weeks between “Best Case Scenario” and “Actual Projection”? That’s your buffer time. It’s the time you add in because you know that Life’s gonna show up.

Giving the Best Case Scenario timeframe is one thing when your job may be on the line, right? That is, it’s easy to err on the safe side if you think your boss is going to be mad at you for missing a deadline. But when you’re both the planner AND the boss, it is SO easy to give your brain that Best Case timeline. And then when things don’t pan out in the best way possible, you’re stressed. Maybe you feel like you’ve failed. Maybe you start avoiding the work entirely. And the longer you put it off, the more daunting it feels.

So consider this your friendly reminder that no matter your plans, Life’s gonna be there. Add in some cushion time to your plans. Just a little unscheduled time around each task (small tasks need a little less, big tasks a little more). No need to be super technical with the amounts (that gets deep into project management territory and we don’t need to go there today). There may be some trial and error and find what works. And if you’re someone who tends to procrastinate when you have the opportunity, keep that in mind. That is, don’t go nutso with your Buffer Time—try to balance momentum with white space.

Allowing yourself a little leeway in your plans will make a HUGE difference in how you feel about them. You’re still gonna get there. But it’s going to feel SO much better on the way.

3 Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done

3 Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done

If getting organized was easy then yes, of course, we’d all do it. Learning how to prioritize tasks and carry out a plan is as valuable of a skillset as any other business-building skill — right up there with the Copy & Paste command on a keyboard. Organizing your work and implementing systems so that you get more done with less effort is a skill that can take years to learn and usually involves a lot of bumps in the road and mistakes, too. 

In my experience and expertise as someone who has a passion for prioritizing, a knack for organization, and a real-life job as a project manager for creative women business owners, I’ve identified the three biggest players in the Prioritization & Execution Business Game, and I’m going to share them with you…

The key is in identifying your biggest motivators, calling out your sneaky potential roadblocks, and addressing your pesky time-sucks

Once you can clearly establish these three components you can start to get strategic about your work! Learning your motivators will effectively pad you with positive launch ammo, like passion, drive, and energy.

Having a leg up on your roadblocks ensures smooth troubleshooting and effective execution, and getting clear on your time-sucks gives you the opportunity to power through tricky tasks that threaten to sabotage your big-picture plan. And not doing this pre-work planning? Well, in that case, you’d better work really well under pressure because your work will take longer, require extra work, and load you up with extra stress.

I encourage you to pour yourself a cup of your favorite coffee, set up by a nice big window with your favorite pen and notepad, and give the following a go: 

Begin by reflecting on what pieces of your project are the most exciting to you. These are your motivators. These tasks will most likely be the pieces of your job that made you start this business in the first place. For a lot of creatives, it might be the end-goal, the final deliverable, or the “big picture.” If this is the case for you, write it down somewhere meaningful and visible so you can use it as a reminder when the going gets tough. If you feel bogged down with the technicalities of a job or project, refer to this shiny motivator — let it energize your drive and boost your momentum! You can also sprinkle small pieces of your motivator throughout your work week to operate as a small dose of drive when you need it. (For example, if you love the feeling of a happy client, work in time to review previous happy testimonials and see how you can apply the feedback to your new or upcoming launch!) 

Next, acknowledge the pieces of your project or launch you’re worried about. These are your potential roadblocks. These items require nurturing, attention, time and space. Do not jam pack the tasks that you know are going to trip you up at the end of your schedule when you will be crunched for time no matter what. Set up a game plan in advance to methodically address these buggers with the care and thought they (and you!) need. The sooner these are addressed, the smoother the launch-waters will be! 

***Note: It might not be possible to address/tackle all roadblocks at the top of the launch, simply because they may not appear until other pieces of your project have been completed! That’s OK! Just knowing they’re on the horizon will give you the chance to plan for them when they inevitably arrive. 

Lastly, identify which specific tasks keep getting knocked down to the bottom of your To-Do list or keep being moved to the next day/week/month. These are your time-sucks. These are the worst. These items are often small, simple things that make a person think, “Oh, I’ll just handle that tomorrow morning,” “Oh, that will only take me 5 minutes,” “Oh, I can do that on my lunch break/before bed/on my commute.” While they might seem small, they are detrimental to productivity. When enough time-sucks pile up, you find yourself way-way behind, or worse — unable to move forward at all until they’re addressed. Make a big ol’ checklist of your time-sucks and set aside as much time as you think you realistically need to handle them. (Then, once you’ve allotted a set amount of time, add a lil’ more.) When you’re able to treat time-sucks as priority items, you’ll be amazed at how efficiently you can blow through other, larger tasks! 

Approaching your business in this thoughtful and careful way will help set you up for major success without the major paint points of confusion and burn out. 

There is no shame in saying “Hey, this piece is going to be hard for me,” just like you should not shy away from the parts that make you go, “I am so good at this!” Organizing your business admin in a way that capitalizes on the good and works with (not against) the “bad” makes you one hell of a smart business-woman, and I hope this system gives you major peace of mind. 

Also, also – there’s more relief where this comes from. 

If all of this still feels overwhelming or you’re struggling with identifying which things are motivators, challenges, and time-sucks I have a dream solution for you: Let me do it. My custom Love Your Launch Masterplan offers 1:1 support and accountability throughout the life of your project. I will pad you up with all the tools you need (including this strategy!) to help you plow through your business admin with grace and agility. Spots are super limited thanks to the specific attention to detail and care that goes into each masterplan. Click over here to get on my calendar!

You Need A Project Plan And Here’s Why

You Need A Project Plan And Here’s Why

If there is one professional piece of wisdom I can bestow upon my clients in this lifetime, let it be this: In order to be successful in your launch, you need a project plan. Sure, it’d be nice if you committed the “why” to memory (partly because I outline it so nicely for you here, and also because it will be useful for you personally in the long run) but truly, if you take away one thing, just remember you need a plan. Done. Period. End of sentence. 

Plans are awesome. 

Plans operate as well-lit, spacious express highways headed straight towards your successful launch. They give you guidance. They also have room for you to change lanes, speed up or slow down as necessary. And most importantly, they get you where you need to go in the most efficient way possible. 

Ah, reader. I love plans (and a good analogy, clearly.) 🛣️ 

By making a plan you are effectively giving yourself…

  • Clarity. 💎 You’ll encounter fewer obstacles as you work your pre-planned system, which will also effectively elevate other areas of your work, too. A plan will help you get to know your client better, strengthen your messaging, and aid in more powerful marketing.

  • Relaxation. ☀️ Or more specifically: the gift of time management. Once you identify what needs to happen and when, you will consequently be identifying time slots that call for work and time slots that allow for rest. With this peace of mind, you’ll avoid that wake-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night-panic that happens when you realize you’ve forgotten something important, because it will already be accommodated for in the plan.

  • Customization. 📝 By crafting your own, one-of-a-kind plan, you are innately giving yourself permission to do it the way you want to in a style that works best for your business brain and heart. Following someone else’s template or simply winging it doesn’t cater to the unique, special things that make you such an awesome business owner!

  • Momentum. 🏃‍♀️ With a clear goal in sight and thoughtfully-designed milestones laid out along the way, you will have confidence with each step you take forward. This will also make it easier to check items off as you go. Once you hit “launch,” you’ll be able to look back and say “Wow, I did all of that?” 

Without a plan you are leaving yourself vulnerable to…

  • Confusion.😖 How many times have you been in the shower thinking about the work day ahead and feel crystal clear on how you’re going to tackle it all, and then by the time you get to your work desk, all you can remember is “check inbox” and “make coffee”? My guess is: a lot. That’s how the human brain works. By leaving all of your launch steps in your head without organizing them on paper (computer, or other) you’re risking getting lost in the mental shuffle!

  • Overworking.🤯 Sure, the main point of a plan is to make sure you achieve what you’ve set out to achieve, but an added benefit is a plan allows you to work effectively and efficiently. Without one, you risk missing key steps that then have to be dealt with last minute, overworking certain elements that really should be left alone, and ultimately chewing into precious weekend, holiday, or family hours that should be set aside for R&R.

  • Decision-making paralysis. 😵 Without a game plan, you might find yourself overthinking or overanalyzing ALL OF THE THINGS that need to be done, making it virtually impossible to start any single task. Feeling like everything must happen at once can effectively shut a project down. Putting 10 percent into a hundred things only moves the needle forward so much, which might make you say, “Ugh, this isn’t worth it!” and scrap the project all-together.

  • Wasting resources 🤑 like time and money on items that feel really important in the moment but you could have avoided had you given yourself the opportunity to see them coming down the pipeline. 

Now, you might be sitting there reading this thinking, “This is all well and good, but I don’t even know where to start! I know what I want to happen, but I’m having a really hard time identifying my very first step, let alone how many steps there will be in total!” 

Yup, I get that. Here is what I recommend: As soon as you are done reading this article and ready to start your really impressive, super responsible plan-making process, take a big piece of paper (or big empty Word Document) and give yourself time to have an almighty, cathartic, *brain dump.* 

A brain dump is when you take every single thought in your head as it relates to your project and write it down as it comes. Don’t judge it. Try not to analyze it. Just write it. 

Once you have everything bouncing around in your brain in one piece, you will have effectively made mental space to begin the task at hand and have a frame of reference for the scope of this project. With everything in front of you and a clear mind to back you up, you can fully begin to get organized. 

That, and you can call me. 

I’d love to help you plan your next big project and Craft a Custom Launch to your specific needs. As part of our 3-hour planning intensive, we can walk through your own glorious brain dump together. With all of the pieces floating beautifully in front of us, I’ll help your create a project plan that makes your business-building brain feel like it went to the spa. And that’s just one small piece of all the goodness you’ll get out of it!

What Is A Business Launch? – The Nuts & Bolts Of Getting Your Offer Out There

What Is A Business Launch? – The Nuts & Bolts Of Getting Your Offer Out There

There’s no such thing as stupid questions, only fear-based insecurities that can sometimes come with your first business launch. Hey, it happens. Being a business owner or entrepreneur comes with a lot of firsts, and you might spend your first year(s!) reinventing all kinds of wheels over and over again. There will the challenges and problems that have obvious and easy solutions, and there will be things that are seemingly so simple that bog you down much longer than you anticipated. 

It’s ok, it’s part of the whole “being in charge” thing, and asking a question doesn’t make you stupid. It makes you smart. It means you are arming yourself with the information needed to make you stronger, better, more efficient, more creative… 

In this spirit, let’s answer one of the “stupid” questions I get all of the time: What is a business launch?

Hey — great question, I’m glad you asked. 

Here is the short, fast and dirty answer: A business launch is characterized by the action of putting anything new out into the world. It could be a new program, service, product, or the announcement of your business in its totality. Anytime you put a date on the calendar with the intention to “announce your new THING!,” that is your launch date. 

In all of my experience as a professional project manager, I’ve boiled down the four basic ingredients I think every launch should include to yield the greatest success. (Sure, have I seen people wing it before? Yup. Do I recommend it? Nope.) If you’re new to the business launching idea but know you have something to offer, grab your favorite note-taking tool. 

To set yourself up for a successful business launch, you will want these four things: 

  1. A clear, tangible goal, or what I like to call “the thing.” The more specific, the better! It must be something you can control and doesn’t rely on outside factors falling into place in order to become a reality. When identifying your goal, it should almost always include a verb! It will sound something like, “Finish my website redesign with new images, branding, and copy.” Or, “Open a group program for my ideal clients to xyz…”

  2. Clarity about what your “thing” is, and more specifically, how it’s going to work. You can’t launch something if you don’t know what it is, how people are going to get it, and how you’re going to give it to them! This requires planning up top and is where you will put the bulk of your energy in the beginning.

  3. An execution roadmap and game plan — This is the how. What are the task items required to make your launch real? As an example, if you’re launching a website, what are the pieces you need to assemble before it can go live? (Graphics, copywriting, logo?) The more detailed and clear you can get on your roadmap, the less unexpected challenges will pop up along your way to launching!

  4. A sense of the obstacles to come — Sure, this one is tricky if you’ve never launched before. How can you know what you don’t know, right? I hear ya, but there are a few things you can do to set yourself up for success. Try getting really honest with yourself about the pieces of your work that excite you and the parts that you know are energy sucks. For example, if you’re offering a group program but admin stuff isn’t your strong suit, set aside extra time in your roadmap to onboard your clients and get all of the information you will need from them. This way, you are full steam ahead when it’s time to get to the pieces of your offer that you love! 

The great news is, it’s really hard for a launch to flat-out fail. Once your “thing” is out there — you’ve launched, baby! Consider yourself in business! While there are loads of variables we can use to measure its success (like positive feedback, gaining new clients, and making money), the only thing that notes a true failure is if you didn’t launch at all. 

Even if a launch is delayed — and girl, that happens — that’s ok. The finish line is still coming, it’s just a little further away than you might have anticipated. Listen, there is a reason people pay other people to help them project manage their launches in essentially every industry imaginable. That’s because it is nuanced. Each launch is different. Each successful execution requires different steps. Every business owner is unique. 

If you know you are ready to launch your “thing” but aren’t quite clear with the what, how, and when… I know just the place to start.

Check out my Craft Your Custom Launch program and see how together we can get really clear on all of the pieces you need to have a wildly successful launch. I know every business launch is different, which is why this offer is so customized. I will help you gain clarity around your goal, become crystal clear on your offer, create an individualized roadmap of everything that needs to happen to get it out there, and a jumpstart on some of the obstacles lingering in the business-building wings. At the end, you’re going to love your launch, and then we can do a happy dance.



© 2021 The Efficient/Creative   |   DESIGNED BY BROOKE LAWSON

© 2021 The Efficient/Creative