You know when you are sat with a careers adviser at school (if you were lucky enough to even have one?!) and they ask you what job you’d like to have when you are older? Well, I didn’t ever really know. Sometimes I thought I did. And then I started the job and realised that actually no, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Because quite frankly, I don’t want to do one thing forever and ever for the rest of my life. And I never have done. I like variety. I like change. I like things to be interesting. And I certainly don’t like the idea of doing the same thing every day for the rest of my life.
Being a multipotentialite, otherwise known as a scanner, renaissance person or generalist essentially means you have many different interests and creative pursuits. Unlike individuals who become highly specialist in one chosen topic or career field, a multipotentialite has no ‘one true calling’ and instead will more likely find happiness by trying different things and creating a career that incorporates lots of different interests.
It’s for this reason that I don’t just work as a virtual assistant. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love being organised and supporting other businesses with their work. However I couldn’t do it every single day for the rest of my life – I need more than that. And so, alongside the work I do for my virtual assistant business I also run an online support for hub for introverted business owners, I do a bit of freelance writing, and now and again I also do a bit of work in a school.
If this blog post rings true for you to, then I highly recommend checking out Emilie Wapnick’s TED talk ‘why some of us don’t have one true calling’. The first time I discovered Emilie and her website Puttylike I felt this overwhelming sense of relief that I didn’t just have to choose just one thing. Her guide Renaissance Business is also fab and is all about turning your various interests into one business.
Need some transcription support? These days my virtual assistant business has a transcribing focus so if you record audio or video as part of your work then you’re in the right place.
Whether you run a podcast, speak at live events, or interview others to create written articles, I can take your audio files and provide you with accurate and intelligently transcribed material so you can reach more people, create even more content, and focus on the tasks where you really shine. Learn more about my services here or get in touch to find out more.
One for the parents this week!
As someone who works with a lot of parents in business, I know that managing a business when you’ve got kiddies is a super doopa monster challenge (to put it mildly!)
A spare hour to get things done can seem like a mythical creature that slips into your grasp every now and again before doing a runner and scurrying back to hiding. It may make another appearance later that day. Or maybe it won’t. Life is hard to predict when children are in the picture.
If your little’uns are school aged, you’ve likely perfected a routine to make the most of the school day when they’re keeping their teachers on their toes. But with the school holidays arriving and teachers ready to jet off for some sunshine – those little scraps of time are going to be increasingly hard to come by…
Before panic sets in – take a deep breath. With a bit of planning, there are ways of managing your business so you can enjoy the summer with your children and still keep things ticking over nicely…so here goes!
Deal with the urgents
What are the absolute ‘oh my god I must get these done’ tasks? Write out everything you need to do and ditch the stuff that can wait for another day. By trying to do everything, you risk burning out before the holidays have even begun which would be no fun for anyone. Work out what the essentials are, put the rest to the side, then accept that you can’t do everything. Your health (and your family) will be grateful for it.
One of the wonders of technology is that you can get things set up then leave them for the online fairies to deal with. By using tools such as Hootsuite and Buffer for social media you can ensure that you still have a voice online even when you’re on the beach trying to cover wriggly bodies with sun cream. Similarly, if you can get blog posts and newsletters written prior to the holidays then the rest can be automated. Newsletter tools such as Mailchimp and Awebber have scheduling functions as does WordPress. Upload your articles in one go, spread them out through the summer holidays then grab yourself a G&T. Sorted.
Let your customers know what to expect
Changing your working hours at certain times of the year is not uncommon so let your clients and customers know what to expect. Set up an out of office detailing your work pattern for the summer and direct new customers to the best of your website and a handy FAQ page. Be honest with them (and yourself!) about what you’re able to achieve during this period and you’ll keep everyone happy.
Get a helping hand
Sometimes trying to juggle everything becomes an impossible task and outsourcing work over this period can be a great option when things are getting too much. Getting a Virtual Assistant to help you out during the school holidays when free time is particularly hard to come by can give you peace of mind that things are ticking over nicely while you are busy with the kids.
As someone who doesn’t have children, school holidays make absolutely no difference to my hours and I’m always happy to give you an extra hand over the summer months. Drop me a line if you need a hand!
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If you’ve ever tried to get on a tube in central London at rush hour you’ll know that life, for many people, is pretty fast paced. There is certainly nothing quite like being herded onto a metal train before standing with your face in someone’s armpit to make you think about the places you’d rather be. I can tell you that for sure – I’ve been there. And it’s not just in London. It seems somewhere along the way, us humans have got ever-so-ever-so busy. At what point life got so hectic, I’m not quite sure, but I for one am not convinced that this pace of life is doing all that much good to anyone.
There is of course a different way. Life doesn’t have to be the constant struggle of rushing around like you’re being chased by a herd of angry bulls prior to collapsing on the sofa.
We all have the same amount of time to use on a daily basis, that’s never going to change. And, unlike pennies in a jam jar, you can’t save time for a rainy day (as much as we may trick ourselves into thinking that’s the case). Once it’s gone, it’s gone. What you can do however, is give some real thought as to how you want to spend your precious time on this earth and give time to those moments that truly make you happy.
So, if you’re fed up of running round like a headless chicken, here are my top tips for slowing down, taking a breather and finding time for the simple things in life.
Work out what’s important to you and get that stuff in the calendar
It’s amazing how the important activities that make you most happy are often tagged onto the end of a day or packed into the odd weekend where there happens to be a bit of time. Surely those moments should have much more weight in your diary?
Be it spending time with family, going for a leisurely walk through the woods, putting an afternoon aside to mooch through fabric or antique shops. Whatever activities really make you tick and feel relaxed – get those in your diary and start giving them some importance.
Struggling to fit everything in? Then it’s time to start saying ‘no’. Seriously. Saying ‘yes’ to everything will only keep you on the road to busy. Work out what YOU want and need, then ditch the rest.
Learn that being productive is not the same as being busy
Many people seem to believe that productivity equals juggling a million things at once and getting as much done as possible. I disagree. This way of living your life is not productive. But it is exhausting.
Being productive is ultimately about getting things done effectively with the least amount of effort. It’s not about packing in as much as is humanly possible, nor is it about being slap-dash. Rather it’s about using your time efficiently so that you can get things done that need dealing with and still have time to actually live your life.
There are lots of ways that you can be more productive and use your time effectively. A few methods include: batching similar tasks together, setting yourself time limits so you get the important things done first, avoiding distractions such as social media and using tools such as email filters and keyboard shortcuts to speed up anything you do on the computer.
Stop trying to do everything
Even those activities you love doing could soon have you tearing your hair out if you try to do everything all at once. Living a slower pace of life is about really giving yourself completely to an activity. Rather than listing tons of things that you want to do over a weekend, just pick one or two and really take the time to enjoy the experience (rather than thinking about the next thing on your list).
Get others to help you
Sometimes activities that take a lot of your time and which you don’t necessarily enjoy could easily be outsourced. This doesn’t have to mean huge expenses but it can be hugely rewarding to you in terms of the time you reap.
For example, how about getting your weekly food shop delivered to your door? Many supermarkets offer free delivery at certain times and you can easily save a couple of hours (particularly if the only time you can normally get to the supermarket is the nightmare ‘Saturday’ shift!). Or how about hiring a cleaner to help you out? Even just a couple of hours a month to give your kitchen a good once over, is one less job for you to do so you can go and spend the afternoon doing something nice.
And if you need help with your business, then why not get me to help you! 😉
Don’t be afraid to simply do nothing
The week I wrote this post was the week the sun came out of hiding. So, on a Tuesday afternoon, I succumbed to the sunshine, went outside and lay on the beach. Listening to the waves with the warmth on my face I felt completely and utterly relaxed and content. A few days later when I spoke to a friend about my relaxing afternoon he said how he felt guilty about doing something similar (despite the fact that I know he works really long hours). So why the guilt from having an afternoon off?
Sadly we seem to live in a world where doing nothing but just ‘being’ isn’t good enough and many of us feel that we should always be on the go. Yet in a society where people are being signed off work from stress and more and more people who seem to have everything are complaining of a void in their lives and a lack of happiness, isn’t it time we just stopped? I don’t feel guilty about the fact I took an afternoon off to sit on the beach on a beautiful spring day. It made me happy and I urge you to do the same. Because that’s what life’s about, right?
If you need some support with your business so you can find time for the simple things then check out my virtual assistant service. I’m in Southampton but can work remotely from wherever you’re based.
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Are you running a business and not enjoying every single aspect of it? Perhaps you’re struggling to be a …(deep breath):
Erm, well here are some home truths. NO-ONE can do all that. You are what is called a human being, and like all human beings you have things you are amazing at and some things you are ok at. Some things you love and some things that bore you. And, most importantly, not only a desire, but a right to enjoy what you do on a daily basis and still have time to spend with the people you love (which is what life is all about, right?)
A great way to ditch all those jobs that you don’t have the time or inclination to complete, is by hiring a Virtual Assistant. So, here is a little introduction to the world of the VA and some rockin’ reasons why working with one might just be for you…
Lower your blood pressure. When you have a million and one things to do on your list and are pulling your hair out trying to get everything done, a Virtual Assistant can step in, take some of those tasks off your hands and help ease the pressure.
Make more money. How much are you worth? If you earn a higher hourly rate than what you would pay a Virtual Assistant, is it really worth you spending a whole day on admin when you could be out working with clients and boosting your income? Just do the maths.
Push your business forward. By delegating the tasks that take up a lot of your time but aren’t necessarily making the most of your skills, you can free up time to work on all those fabulous projects that keep getting put on the backburner.
Be happy, be healthy. There are hundreds of advantages of running a business but it’s not just about the 9 – 5. Seeping into your weekends, evenings and holidays it can be hard to find time for other things and the work-life balance can easily be tipped. If you want to have a break, and I mean a real break, where you switch off from work completely. A Virtual Assistant can temporarily take the reigns, keep an eye on your business and ensure your customers aren’t left hanging. Just put your feet up and grab a cuppa.
Ditch the boring jobs (because life is too short). Do you dread your admin because it is just so dull? Or maybe you sit on your computer trying to get the job done but end up getting distracted by more exciting tasks like laughing at ridiculous facebook pictures or watching crazy YouTube videos. Sound familiar? Then pass these jobs onto a Virtual Assistant so you can focus on the parts of your business that you actually enjoy.
Forget all the employment faff Virtual Assistants are freelance and work remotely. This means you can forget the staffing costs or legal responsibilities that go with employing somebody. No overheads. No HMRC hassle. No trying to work out complicated tax paperwork until you want to scream. They deal with that, so you don’t have to. Simple.
They’ve been there and done it Virtual Assistants are running businesses themselves and consequently will have a great understanding of your needs and the challenges you may face as a business owner. Always handy if you need a ‘been there, done it, bought the T-shirt’ approach.
It’s all about being flexible. As a business owner, your workload isn’t always going to be consistent. One week you may be working 3 or 4 hours work a day and then BAM! Suddenly 3 big projects land on your doorstep. Exciting, but also slightly scary as you realise just how much you have to do. Virtual Assistants are all about being flexible. Often working outside of the traditional office hours, many VAs can be available at short notice. You simply pay for the time you need and then they’ll slink off into the background till you need them again.
It makes travelling the world easy. Due to the nature of how Virtual Assistants work, you can keep in touch from wherever you are. If your perfect VA is based on the other side of the world, it really doesn’t matter. With today’s technology and the tools that have been developed, keeping in touch is simply no longer an issue. So book that flight!
Virtual Assistants have a wealth of knowledge. Don’t go thinking all VAs are your traditional run of the mill secretarial types that just happen to work from home. Depending on their backgrounds, they can offer a huge range of skills and experience, such as social media management, SEO support, event planning, techie help, website development, copywriting and lifestyle management. Make the most of it.
Get your business running like a well oiled machine. Planning, setting up systems, using time saver tools and advising you on how you can cut down your admin. Virtual Assistants can help with all of these. Ultimately your business will be running more effectively, you’ll have more time to focus on the stuff you love and your customers and clients will reap the benefits. Seriously – what’s not to love?!
Need a second pair of hands with your business? Then check out my virtual assistant service. I’m in Southampton but can work remotely from wherever you’re based.
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