Virtual Assistants are Powerful Team Members

What is the difference between one time task management  in comparison to the role of a Virtual assistants are powerful team memberslong-term virtual assistant (VA)?

I see my role as a virtual assistant as a team member, so I will base my answer to this question on my personal thoughts and opinions.

A team member consistently has their eyes focused on the betterment of the business (both their own business and the client’s business). This equates to looking beyond the task at hand. The VA role is better defined as an off-site manager. A valuable manager does this:

  • Personal Proficiency – Possesses personal qualities that make him/her effective. Possesses and uses social skills, ethical behaviors, and emotional intelligence.
  • Strategy – Adjusts to varied business needs as needed. Properly responds to challenges and/or emergencies. Prudent decision maker. Involves and asks for the client’s involvement with grace and precise common sense.
  • Executes – Delivers as promised. Makes things happen. Backs up their own word with actions taken.
  • Manages People – This depends on the VA’s role, but, every VA must be razor sharp with the handling of clients, customers, and this is reflected in verbal and written skills.
  • Accountability Model – Always present. Now, this doesn’t mean a VA is present 24/7 — no, no and no — but the VA is reasonably present and always responsive. When a VA is contracted in, they aren’t simply a paper or online spreadsheet pusher (for example), they become a thinker, and this goes beyond the task at hand. Open eyes, open ears, and (hopefully) a client that is open to hearing recommendations.

So, there are the qualities of a virtual assistant (VA) beyond the one-time task at hand. There’s plenty enough VA’s that work for the completion of one-time tasks. They are out there – available. Many of us, though, have the drive to go beyond!

Related post: Defining Virtual Assistant Roles


Defining Virtual Assistant Roles

Virtual Assistant Roles

By now, most of us know what a VA (virtual assistant) is. Still, let’s spell out the basic definition: A Virtual Assistant is a team member who happens to work remotely.

Virtual Assistants complete work under contract:

  • by a single task or project
  • by the hour
  • by the week, month, or year

Virtual Assistants are not employees—business owners hire VA’s under contract. The business owner is not obligated to pay employment taxes, nor are they required to provide benefits. Office space and equipment falls to the sole responsibility of the VA, a plus for any business owner.

Today, Virtual Assistants fall into different roles, or categories. Examples (which are fast-changing in today’s business world):

  • GVA (General Virtual Assistant)
  • OBM (Office Business Manager)

It is entirely up to the business owner to determine what needs they want or need to have met by a Virtual Assistant. These are some of the questions I recommend business owners think about when considering hiring a VA:

    • Do you need an assistant to help you get organized?
    • Do you need an assistant that has the ability to operate your back office—virtually?
    • Do you need an assistant to complete your administrative tasks?
    • Do you have specific needs, such as, video editing, podcast transcription, or email maintenance? Blog or email writing? Proofreading?
    • What tasks/areas do you not get done, persistently put off/cannot do yourself?

The types of work and roles that can be filled by a VA are nearly endless, and as I mentioned earlier in this post—similar to most things in business today (social media, for example)—virtual assistance is a fast-changing field. It morphs all of the time!

I hope I answered any general questions you might have about the role of a Virtual Assistant, and if not, I would love to see your comments!

Goal Setting Beyond the New Year

goal setting www/relianceoutsourcing.comWhere are you with obtaining your goals and aspirations today?

Are you where you want to be with your business, personal, or other intentions?

Many of us set goals at the end of the year—in an effort to begin the new year with a fresh start. This is a good starting point, but unfortunately unless there are solid check points in place, the achievement of our goals dwindle away as the months float by.

Specific goal setting must go hand-in-hand with exact planning and implementation.

For each goal:

  1. Determine an “achieve by” date
  2. Determine stopping points to review progress (monthly, weekly, or daily)
  3. Record these check-in dates (electronically—in an app, in a paper planner, in an inexpensive notebook…on paper)
  4. Commit to checking your progress as scheduled, and ensure action is being taken for each goal

So, let’s look at an example of a goal. You want to finish writing and self-publish your book in the next 4 months. This would be the outline of your steps in obtaining your goal:

  • Determine and record the “finish by” date
  • Record each specific step of the book that you must complete (write/proof/edit/obtain cover/submit to self-publisher)
  • Break the complete-by time frame down into monthly increments—which will be your check-in points. Ask yourself, where do I need to be at each monthly check in?
  • In order to obtain your  monthly goals, what do you need to do weekly? Daily? How often will you working on the book (especially if not daily)? How many hours/minutes can you devote to the book each day? Make a record of your weekly and daily goals.
  • Make yourself accountable. Who is your support person? Choose someone that will not let you off the hook. If you aren’t where you are supposed to be at your weekly or monthly check-ins, the person you have chosen (and has agreed to do this—ask them beforehand) must not sugar-coat their reaction to any lack of momentum you might share with them. On the other hand, celebrate some of the set points you successfully reach! Remember: when you are achieving your goals, celebration isn’t designed just for the end!

Where are you today with your goals for 2017? We are beyond mid-year (yes…already)!

Say Goodbye to Defeating Words


Our lives are shaped by our thoughts, but our words speak volumes about ourselves.

Our words affect those that hear them.

Our words send us in directions we either do or do not want to go.

I quit. I give up. I retreat. I failed. No, no, and no!

When we quit, we move on to something new. Right? We never quit, we get better. We have revelations, we move towards our goals, and we march onwards.

I love to throw up my hands and wave to (whomever) is behind me, “See y’all later. I am moving forward.” This doesn’t put me on a higher level than anyone else, it simply means I am through with dragging my feet. I am through with sharing negative talk. I see a new path, and I am ON IT. Thank the good Lord for that insight. Adios amigos! See you later.

I remind myself when I am NOT ON IT:

  • I am enough (beyond God).
  • I am protected.
  • I am creative. I nurture my gifts and talents.
  • I shape my own destiny.
  • I am surrounded by love.
  • I great this day with curiosity and wonder.
  • I have the power to transform my life.
  • I am at peace.

This does become second nature. Concentrating on ability and self-worth is healthy, both mentally and physically, and it is catching.

When we stand firm and confirmed in peace, it spreads to others in ripples and waves.

Let’s do this together.



Client Appreciation

virtual assistant clients

I am totally aware of what I should be sharing in social media marketing, but today I am breaking the rules. I am not focusing on me or how glorious my services are.

When I decided to fire up my business, Reliance Outsourcing, it was after I listened to the words of one person, a Virtual Assistant Coach. She said, “I serve others and I love my work.” It was a simple statement, but it sunk in as a conviction to me.

I am an encourager. I have four blogs published. Each blog steers toward a central point no-matter what my role is at that time (farmer, author, life coach, virtual assistant). When I am inspired, my fingers fly to the keyboard to share. To be able to encourage and assist people, to make their business lives less stressful, is incredibly satisfying to me. Enough about me, though, this is about others…you…my clients!

So, yes, I do have the best clients in the world. They have chosen me and I love to partner with them in today’s business world.

When I tell complete strangers, “We are all in this together. In this world. Helping each other. Taking care of our piece of the pie.” I mean that! The world goes ’round with collaboration!

So, I dedicate this day to my clients, whom I truly appreciate. You are the best!

National Be On Purpose Month


National Be On Purpose Month fits right into my chain of thinking.

Many of us turn over a new leaf in January. We exercise, eat healthier, set new goals, and overall we feel energized to start a new year. So, why not fire it off with Be On Purpose Month?

When I saw the Be On Purpose title, it plopped me back down in the middle of a thought that has rolled around in my head for several months. Be real. Just be.

We are busy people. I am not sure what we are trying to accomplish when we barrel down the highway at break-neck speeds, while shouting angry obscenities at the person in front of us, who by the way, is cruising right at the speed limit. Or, we become irritated standing in the grocery store line because it might shave an extra 10 minutes off of our day. So, why not have someone hand-pick and bag your groceries so all you have to do is run into the store, or drive through a lane to pick the goods up? This will allow you to…well…be busier!

Living on purpose, in my estimation, goes being just being. Purpose is summed up in two definitions: the reason for which something is created, or someone’s intention or objective.

Logically, I have no intention of hurrying, or being busier. I embrace the intention to live my life the best that I can live it, not based on my circumstances, but based on who I am and what I was designed for. I am a wife, mother, business owner, grandmother, and a person that loves nature, reading, writing, and (shhh!) numbers (hence the bookkeeping). Where does being purposely busy fit in? Exactly. It does not.

Intentional living, being who we are, notice the word intentional (not just being).

Just be.

Scratch off being on purpose for one month. Be on purpose this year. Scratch that, be on purpose.

I am on it.

Are You An Organized Small Business Owner?

organize small biz www.relianceoutsourcing.comDonna Maria Johnson, CEO of Indie Business Network, said to me, “You are organized.” Yes, I am. I go nuts when I feel I am wading through chaos. Chaos does not produce clarity.

She asked me how often I check my email. I replied,”You would be surprised.” Not much of an answer? Later, I thought about my response. I do have a system.

As small business owners we cannot watch our phones and tablets all day long. We cannot afford to not pay attention to our email, but we should never check it continually, or as the whim strikes.

Here is the scoop, everything that we do can be maximized. So, you do not want to miss important emails? Use one particular email address for your “hot” items. Or, use several email addresses for different systems or products that you have in place. Even if you don’t do this, set a schedule to check your email. If you insist on checking email twice a day, then schedule in the time to do so. at any other time!

Social media is another example where we are able to maximize time. Applications that social media to be scheduled are excellent. Unless you have the time to sit at the screen and post social media updates all day long (who does?), use the tools that are at your fingertips — automated and scheduled social media. Show up in person on social media at scheduled times. Don’t let Facebook or Pinterest drain hours off of your day. Set the timer for 5 or 10 minutes, or less. Do the job, whatever needs to be done on social media, and leave.

Stay organized. If we aren’t organized, we know nothing. We do not function. Take the time to plan, strategize and maximize working hours. When we don’t focus, nothing gets accomplished except confusion and frustration. Start a planner, grab some colorful folders, markers, whatever it takes to lift up and motivate! Do not rely on memory. I love using a ringed binder for a planner. When a new idea strikes me, I write it down. When the focus shifts, or when a phone call needs to be added in, I change the schedule. I use small “sticky” notes in a pinch, but at the end of the day my small notes are shredded and the important notes are written into appropriate places in my planner (the schedule – today, tomorrow, and next week, biz ideas for the future, writing ideas, etc.). I also use several small white boards. When I want something to stick in my head, I write it on a board. It stays there, close-by and visible, until it becomes habit!

What is your purpose? Why do you do what you do? Do you serve others? I hope you answered yes to this, and remember this is your key focus. If you are organized, you will serve others with a sense of, “I love what I do,” rather than, “I cannot do another thing, and I am not sure I can do this at all.”Let your joy shine, entrepreneurs, solo-preneurs, micro-preneurs, and author-preneurs! Make ’em wear sunglasses!