3 Strategies to Help Reach Your Goals
Are you where you want to be in your virtual assistant business right now? Did you set goals at the beginning of this year, only to tuck them away and never look at them again? Below I’m going to show you the 3 strategies to help reach your goals.
If that’s you, don’t beat yourself up about it. Today is a new day, so course correct and start working on what you really want your business and life to look like.
Here are 3 ways you can start working on your goals right now:
- Set Goals that are Measurable
I don’t believe it’s ever too late to create goals and a plan to achieve them. Yes, some people like to take time at the end or the beginning of the year to work on their goals (I’m one of those people.). If that’s you—or you want it to be—continue to read this article to help you with your own plan.
There is really no “right” time to work on this kind of thing. I think it’s less important when you do it and more important that you just do it. Get started and keep checking in with yourself along the way.
That’s how I like to tackle it. Yes, I create goals for myself at the end of the year, but then I keep them somewhere I can see them every day. I work on tasks that will make those goals happen. And then I regularly check-in to see if I’m making progress.
- Start the Day with Intention
I have a quick and easy way that I start my day so that I’m in the right mindset and stick with tasks that will help me reach my goals. I’ve always wanted to be that person who starts their day out with meditation and then takes 20 minutes to journal, sitting in a quiet space with a cup of coffee. Is that you?
But let’s face it—that’s not my life. First of all, I’m NOT a morning person. As much as I’d like to be, I’m just not and that’s ok.
My Successful “Start my Day Plan”
Here’s what I do when I start my day. First, I grab a cup of coffee and then get on Facebook on my personal profile to welcome everyone to a new day. This has become a ritual that I started a few years ago and everyone knows that if I don’t do that morning post, something is definitely up with me. They get worried and ask me if everything is alright.
After breakfast and getting myself ready for the day I go to my office to really begin my day. One of the first things I do is open my personal email to look for my email from “Notes from the Universe”. I love my “Notes” because they are so perfect for my goals and intentions for my business.
If you need a little more help to switch your mindset around to that of a successful entrepreneur, you can try this:
Changing from the Employee Mindset
- Believe That You Can
If you want one more way to really tap into making things happen for you, I highly recommend you have a “Goal Journal”. Here is an excellent place where you can put your goals you can reference to keep you on track. I go through mine every quarter to make sure I’m doing what I need to do to get to where I want to go. This is a valuable tool you can use year after year.
So, here’s a quick recap. Set goals. Work on them daily. Start your day with intention. Believe that you CAN achieve your goals.
What are your thoughts? Have you tried any of the strategies above? Leave a comment and let me know what works for you.
Why Being Assertive is Important and How to Develop It
Learning to be assertive is one of the most important life skills you can develop. Studies have shown that being assertive can lead to a whole host of benefits. From increased self-confidence to better relationships and improved mental and physical health.
Before you start, it’s important to understand what being assertive means.
assertive [əˈsərdiv] ADJECTIVE having or showing a confident and forceful personality. “patients should be more assertive with their doctors” synonyms: confident · forceful · self-confident · positive · bold · decisive · assured · self-assured · self-possessed · believing in oneself · self-assertive · authoritative · strong-willed · insistent · firm · determined · commanding · bullish · dominant · domineering · assaultive · feisty · not backward in coming forward · pushy · pushful
Psychologists define assertiveness as being able to express yourself effectively and stand up for your point of view while respecting the rights and beliefs of others. The basis of assertiveness is mutual respect and honesty. Assertive communicators are straightforward and know how to set and maintain healthy boundaries. Their relationships value and promote trust.
If you’re serious about living an authentic life and succeeding in reaching your goals, learning to be assertive is crucial. Think about how you feel about your life right now.
Are you satisfied with your personal and professional situation?
Are you conflict avoidant?
Do you worry about what other people think of you?
If you’re not happy with where you are now, the good news is that assertiveness is a habit that can be learned just like any other. With practice and commitment, you can change your mindset and live a life more aligned with your true values and aspirations.
Try these tips for introducing a more assertive approach into your life:
- Decide what your priorities are and stick to them.
- Work out your individual
- Develop a positive open posture and look people in the eye when you speak to them.
- Use positive ‘I’ statements about how you’re feeling instead of blaming or finding fault with the other person. Be especially wary of feeling tempted to say, ‘you always’ or ‘you never.’
- Get comfortable with saying ‘no’ to things you don’t want to or can’t do. Keep it simple and non-emotive and don’t feel you need to add an excuse or explanation.
- Only use ‘sorry’ when it’s appropriate for the situation. You don’t need to apologize for saying no.
- Offer alternative suggestions to proposals you don’t like.
- Look for compromises.
- Be honest and direct about your feelings, thoughts, and
- Consider writing a script for a situation that feels awkward. Rehearse being confident.
Try to keep your focus on the impact of the situation and finding a way to work together to find a mutually satisfying solution.
Being Assertive IS Important
Above all, being assertive means staying in your power, accepting that you have control over how you approach the situation and your feelings about it.
Assertiveness won’t get you everything you want all the time, but you will feel in control and deal much better with situations that would have previously been stressful.
Until next time …
The 4 Part Strategy for Finding Clients
Today, let’s discuss the 4 Part Strategy for Finding Clients. I’m asked a lot of similar questions from virtual assistants about getting clients using social media, whether they’re new or they’ve been at this for a while.
It usually goes something like this:
How do I find clients online?
How do I find clients if I have a small marketing budget?
How do I find more of my ideal clients?
How do I find time to market to clients while I’m still working full time?
How do I make connections with people online if I don’t know them at all?
How do I get potential clients to notice me?
What I’m about to tell you in this article answers every single one of those questions.
It’s one of the strategies that I’ve used to successfully build and grow my VA business.
This strategy is relationship marketing. What?
You heard me…it’s all about building RELATIONSHIPS!
It’s about finding and meeting your potential clients where they’re are online, developing a relationship with them and then offering a solution to their problems. It’s a simple fact.
This method works, but it takes time. It takes consistency and you need to be genuine. You are building the know, like and trust factor. I know you’ve all heard this before but it’s true.
You also don’t need a big marketing budget for this strategy, since you’re connecting with potential clients on free social media platforms.
But if you take consistent action on this plan, you will develop relationships. And those relationships could turn into clients.
But, before you start this strategy:
Before you start using social media to develop relationships, you need to have some basic foundational pieces of your business covered.
You need to know what exactly you have to offer (your services) and who you serve (your market).
If you still need to figure out your services, click here.
If you still need to figure out your market, click here.
Here’s one thing you need to remember, DO NOT LET FEAR GET IN YOUR WAY!!
Now, once you’ve finished those pieces, you can move on to the strategy. For our relationship marketing strategy, we use the acronym R.I.S.R. Research, Interact and Share, Reach Out
What does that stand for?
Research – To find your target market online
Interact and Share – Interact with them, share their posts and share your own
Reach Out – Reach out and connect with potential clients via message, and ultimately a phone call
Let’s get into the details of each piece.
You need to do some research and find out where your market hangs out online, and be present there.
When it comes to social media, you don’t need to be everywhere.
Use some keywords to search and see if your audience is hanging out on that platform.
Choose the platforms that you enjoy using.
Start with two to reduce overwhelm.
Learn everything you can about using those particular platforms properly.
Then start following those in your target market on the social media platforms you chose. Send them a friend request and follow them on Facebook. Add them to a list of potential prospects on Twitter or in your notebook. Connect with them on LinkedIn.
Example: Get specific when doing your searches to decide what social media platforms you’d like to be active on. If you want to work with business coaches, then use the words “business coach” in your search on Twitter to see how many you find on that platform. Scroll through the options to see if they meet your ideal client criteria.
Interact and Share
Start creating your own brief content posts on social media. Create small snippets that help solve a problem that your target market faces. Share a helpful tool or a tip that will save them time or money. The idea here is to start creating a presence for yourself online and establishing that you know your stuff. Use a product like Buffer to schedule your content posts to save yourself some time.
Then choose some time each day, or three days a week for a half-hour, to be active on your chosen social platforms live. Engage, interact and thank people for sharing your info.
Share other people’s info.
Join online groups where you find your market, not just groups of other virtual assistants. Yes, you can and should join those groups for networking and getting answers to your own questions—they are very valuable. But then also find groups where your target market shows up.
Answer their questions. Be helpful in there.
Subscribe to their blog, podcast, YouTube channel. Share their posts and tag them. Leave insightful comments.
Example: At the beginning of my VA career, my target market was business coaches. I joined a group online that was specifically for business coaches and those who served that market. Being one of the only VAs in the group, I was able to jump in and answer questions. And boy did they have questions!
They had questions related to the services I provided. They recognized that I was knowledgeable about these subjects, and ultimately turned to me when they needed a VA all because they knew me in the group.
Make the above actions a regular part of your weekly marketing activities. Then, start creating a list of potential clients based on the people that you’re interacting with.
Really do your research to make sure you’d be a good fit for each other. Do you like the way they run their business? Do you have the same values? Do you see how your services would solve a pain point for them?
Then start reaching out individually to the people on that list. Private message them or send them an email. Introduce yourself and explain how you know each other. Perhaps you’re in a LinkedIn group together. Then make a personal connection. Maybe you both love cats or you both have kids in Jr. High. Explain what you do and why you love working with people in their industry. Finally, be clear about what problem you can solve for them and invite them to have a conversation with you to talk more.
That’s relationship marketing in a nutshell. This is something you can do on a small budget. It’s something you can do on a busy schedule. If you’re short on time, schedule in a half-hour per day to perform these activities.
Just be consistent about it.
Consistency is really key here. If you continue with this strategy, create that potential client list and consistently reach out to them, you will start forming those relationships.
Check out our Relationship Course on Teachable. You’ll find even more ways to build your relationships to create your successful business.
Did you find this information helpful? Let me know in the comments below.
19 Things You Should Know Before You Start
When I started my first business, I knew I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t even know what I didn’t know! If I could go back in time and teach myself, there’s so much I would want to say.
Here are 19 of the most important things that I would try to explain to myself as a newbie entrepreneur.
1. The more organized you are, the less you’ll have to work
When I’m disorganized, time flies too fast. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do next. I don’t know where to find the thing. I don’t know who I’m supposed to connect with. I don’t even know why I’m doing what I’m doing.
Spend more time keeping things simple, and you’ll spend less time spinning your wheels. (You’ll also enjoy your work a whole lot more!)
2. For the sake of your sanity (and perseverance), CONNECT with others
The #1 thing that makes the biggest difference in my happiness, optimism, and progress is connecting with peers. Find those people are who do the same sort of thing as you and have positive attitudes about the challenges along the way. Talk to them regularly. Motivate them and let them motivate you. Support them and let them support you. Community is everything.
3. Taking action solves everything
You can have the best plan in the world, but if you don’t act on it then nothing is going to happen. Don’t wait until your plan is “perfect” (it never will be). Consider your options, do a reasonable amount of research, and then GO! You can correct your course along the way.
4. Plan, but then RELAX
As an entrepreneur, things won’t always go as you expect or hope. Embrace the flow, and learn to be flexible. Better to be relaxed and enjoy the journey than be so stressed out about not being in control of every little detail.
5. Systems save your sanity
Trying to do all the things and be all the people will make balance impossible! Focus on creating systems that enable you to delegate and get more done in less time. Give your work focused, regular attention so that when you AREN’T working you can be fully present with your family and friends.
6. There will be seasons of less sleep
When you own a business, there are busy seasons and then there are busier seasons. During the former, you might have it “all figured out” and feel very balanced. During the latter, you WILL get less sleep. You’ll stay up late working on your launch, or wake up early to write your blog post in time — or both. Embrace the season of busyness, but create plans for rest and recuperation as well.
7. The more prepared you are, the more successful you’ll be
This goes for launching products, services, giving speeches, teaching classes, going to the gym… anything really. The more time you take to be fully ready, the more you’ll get out of the experience. (That being said, don’t overthink it. Give yourself a reasonable amount of time, put in the work, then call that good and GO.)
8. “Everything is figuroutable” — Marie Forleo
She said it and it’s true. You can figure out ANYTHING that you need to figure out to make your business successful. If someone has done it before you, you can learn from them. If not, you can figure it out on your own (which might take a little more time, but it will be more worth it).
9. Focus on ONE thing at a time
The more focused your attention is, the more progress you’ll be able to make in that one area. That success can then make other things much easier! For example, social media platforms: you can try to grow a following on five different platforms at once, and gain 1000 followers on each, or you can focus your attention on just one, and gain 5000 followers there (or perhaps a lot more, since you’re more focused). Those 5000 followers can then be directed to your other platforms, and many of them will easily go.
10. Consistency is the key to gaining momentum
Want your business to GROW? Be consistent. Show up consistently as the same person and brand. Publish content consistently. Stay consistently in your niche. Preach your message consistently.
Dripping water all over the place won’t accomplish anything. Dripping water into the same bucket continuously will fill your bucket to overflowing.
11. Solve real problems
Nice things are nice, pretty things are pretty, but problems take precedence. Problems have to be solved. People pay money to have their problems solved. Focus on helping your customers and solving their problems, and they will cling to you.
12. Outsource, it’s so worth it
The other day, I was delegating my time: deciding how much time I wanted to spend on each activity of my business and how much time I really wanted to be working at all. I realized that I could spend 8 hours/month posting to social media, or 8 hours/month putting out a podcast (or both, or neither). I didn’t really want to spend the full 16 hours, so I chose to outsource the social media posting because anyone could do that for me. Only I can host my podcast show.
Spend your time doing those things that only you can do. Outsource all the things that anyone can do. You’ll get so much more done, make so much more money, and provide employment for someone else in the process!
13. Take the time to keep records
Keeping records is no fun. It’s my least favorite part of running my business. Well, almost. Really, my least favorite part is when I don’t keep records and then I need something and can’t where I put the information I need. Create systems that make keeping the essential records simple, and then make those systems into habits.
14. Take a break BEFORE you are burnt out
Don’t kill yourself working for 17 days straight and then never want to look at your website again. Take at least one day each week completely off. Take some time every single day to slow down and really separate from your work. Paint your nails, walk the dog, watch your favorite show, or make a beautiful dinner. ENJOY life while you are growing your business, or else you will come to hate your business.
15. Know your focus
What is that one thing that you specialize in? Get extremely clear on exactly what your “offer” is, who it’s for, and why people need it.
16. Practice pays off
Practice your speech a dozen times before you give it. Practice writing the copy for your website. Practice connecting with people.
If you aren’t good at something, either decide to outsource it or practice. Being bad at something sucks, but you don’t have to stay bad at it. Keep doing it (in fact, do it way more than you have to), and do it intentionally. It will get easier.
17. Appearance matters
Whether you like it or not, people DO judge books by their covers. That’s just the way the world works.
People will judge you on whatever they perceive. They will judge you on how you look and sound. They will judge you on what you create and how you create it.
Does that mean you have to be perfect? No. Does that mean you have to cater to everyone? Definitely not. But, what it does mean is that you need to show up how you WANT people to perceive you, and you need to care about the details. What you wear matters. Your grammar matters. Consistent branding matters.
Keep things simple, high quality, consistent, and focused on what your customers actually want. Then, ask some of your trusted peers how you could improve.
18. The money is in the list
To make money, you have to sell. To sell, you have to have an audience and have a way to be able to connect with them. Focus on building that audience and creating a relationship with them. Your audience must trust and appreciate you. Your audience is your most valuable asset.
19. You can be happy TODAY!
Happiness doesn’t come as a byproduct of success. Happiness is a choice you make every day. Happiness is gratitude for everything you HAVE and curiosity about what you will be able to create next. Don’t deprive yourself of the enjoyment of the journey.