Client Appreciation

virtual assistant clients www.relianceoutsourcing.com

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!

There’s Small Biz Power in Pickles

small biz pickles www.relianceoutsourcing.comYou can’t depend entirely on someone else for an income.

You can keep the day job, but the smart thing is to own several income streams.

A hobby easily turns into a business. Make soap. Sew aprons (a seriously popular item). Build websites. Create graphics. Teach your hobby, or craft, to someone else.

I’ll go back and scratch off the word can’t from my first sentence. You can depend upon someone else for income, but what if that one thing goes away?

I recently purchased a jar of pickles. Trust me, I paid way too much for this jar of pickles. I plopped down close to $5.00 more than I would for a name-brand jar in a grocery store.

Here’s the deal. The pickles are attractive. Yes, I said that. The pickles contain garlic gloves and pepper flakes, and they look like something straight out of my grandmother’s cellar (less the label).

The most important thing is, these pickles are handpicked, handpacked, and this beyond middle-aged woman stood outside in the heat to sell her wares. This is handmade to the max. What else? I adored the woman’s bright purple embroidered Mexican dress.

She grabbed a paper plate, opened an ice chest, and didn’t skip a beat. She barely took a breath as she placed one pickle sample after another on the plate, describing each one as if we were attending a pickle party. I was impressed with her salesmanship, right there in a roadside stand on a hot arid central Texas day.

Yes, pickles can be an income stream. Why not?

Do you buy from small businesses? Think about it.

The pickle lady insisted on having me try her fig bread. Talk about yummy! I didn’t purchase any bread because I was well into the double digit dollars with my jar of pickles and two tomatoes (that didn’t come from her garden…most likely from Mexico). Still, this little fruit stand was her small business and I liked knowing that my money went directly into her pocket that day. She was one enthusiastic woman!

What does this have to do with multiple income streams?

Small business, creativity, enthusiasm, and unlimited ways to make money…and to put a smile on someone else’s face while doing it.

 

 

Virtual Assistant, A Team Member Who Works Remotely

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What is a virtual assistant? A virtual assistant is a team member who happens to work remotely.

For the most part, virtual assistants are self-employed. They work from their home office. A virtual assistant (VA) maintains their own work space, equipment, hours, and taxes.

I formed my virtual assistance business, Reliance Outsourcing, after some deep thinking. First, I hired a life coach that helped me to focus on my strengths, on the positive values I brought to the lives of others. Then, a second business coach guided me towards thinking about what I really wanted to do in my work life. Did I want to remain employed, or was there a business in my future? I have reinvented myself several times, with a number of businesses under my belt, so I was not surprised that I chose to serve others through my own business.

I made my final decision after watching a video of a young woman who started and grew a virtual assistant business from her home after her first child was born. Her value system was similar to mine, and her main focus was what she believed to be her calling, to serve others, to be the right hand to business owners so that they were freed up to work on the core of their businesses.

Reliance Outsourcing was born. I mentioned to my long-time friend, Kayla Fioravanti, of Selah Press, that I had started a virtual assistant business, and much to my surprise she had a need. She directed clients to me that needed assistance beyond what she could offer at that time. We were a good match. We shared in similar values and beliefs, and in Kayla’s words, “They needed someone who could speak for them online.”

What a virtual assistant can offer is vast, we:

  • Take on the small jobs that you may not like to do
  • Take on tasks that you never find the time to do
  • Complete tasks that you do not know how to do
  • Free up your time so you can work on your business, not in it
  • Help you to be better organized through outsourced administrative services
  • Give you a second voice by taking on scheduling, calling, and even invoicing — Customer Service

Have you ever said you wished more hours could be added to your day? Well, this is the value of a VA. You need another hour, call your VA. You need a project to be completed that you cannot get to, call your VA. If we cannot complete the job, we’ll assist you with finding out who and how to get it done.

We, VA’s, are also resourceful. We listen and we advise. We don’t step on the business owner’s toes, nor into their businesses, but when they have questions, or need direction, we are always there. That is our job.

As a virtual assistant, I help business owners grow by doing what they cannot do, do not want to do, or do not have the time to do.

Kayla Fioravanti, of Selah Press, and I are both on the same Blog Challenge. We’ve coordinated our thoughts from different sides of the fence. She has hired her own Virtual Assistant, and shares her thoughts and experience through her post, Top Ten Reasons to Have a Virtual Assistant.

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How I Reinvented Myself

reinvent ourselves www.relianceoutsourcing.comWhen we reinvent ourselves we basically create an entirely new version or make over who we are.

I found reinvention to be painful when I needed change. I believe this was because I didn’t want to close the door behind me. Now, I see how appropriate change was, and always is.

Who really wants to hear that I was a soap maker and a farmer, and that I miss all of that, to the degree that I wouldn’t develop into what I want, and what I feel God wants?

First, we should be happy, second, we should take our gifts and skills and use them to the best of our ability. Life changes. We use what we have, what we’ve learned, and we re-create.

See, I think we hang onto what we perceive as a need, but what we don’t see is our own personal value in what we can accomplish if we simply let go, and let be.

Okay, so, I (we, my husband and I) left behind a farm and goats, and a business, and my soap and lotion studio. I changed my life around completely for a number of years (rode across the states with my truck driving husband), and then I went back to work full-time. Going back to work after being my own boss for nearly 15 years was not easy, yet, I was filled with enthusiasm because I faced a challenge that I knew I could handle — a full time job in an accounting office (where my career originally began nearly 40 years ago).

I still work full-time in the “back office,” and I’ve also reinvented myself as a virtual assistant. This is a transition, right now as I speak. Remember, finance to business ownership, farmer and entrepreneur, return to finance and office, and now virtual assistant. I became an author in the past 5 years, with 4 books published, and now with several books in different stages of completion. I earned certifications as a life coach as well, and I have plans to grow that around the VA business.

There is value in this second ear, eyes, and brain for small business owners. I free entrepreneurs up to do what they want to do (not work in their businesses, but to work on their businesses, or both), and I end up being their trusted assistant. They don’t have to provide four walls, a desk, a phone, a computer, or pay payroll withholding taxes. How cool is that?

Reinventions can be positive moves. It was for me. It can be for you.

Remember this, you can let go when you think you cannot. You do not have to tell the same story over and over again, in fact, when you do exactly that, there is little growth for us.

Think about reinvention — who are you today? Have you totally flipped yourself from what you were (or did) then, to who you are (or what you are doing) now. Or, are you somewhere in between? Are you utilizing your best (skills, knowledge, gifts and talents)? Is there anything missing, or something that you have not let go of that could bog you down?

Remember one big thing. You aren’t what you do. You are who you are. There’s value in you, in your uniqueness and qualities.