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Virtual Assistant, Blog, time, help, assist
Cloud Freelance Virtual Assistant Website building

11 hours!!!!

11 hours!! Are you kidding me?!!?

Virtual Assistant, blog, belfast, admin, freelance

It is weird that we’re zooming through December and I haven’t got my tree up yet?  I look around my neighbour’s homes and I wonder how a plane hasn’t tried to land on them yet – I live near some very artistic characters.  There is a house further up the street that actually haven’t taken their decorations down from last year and I’ve just this second realised they haven’t been lighting them up this year yet – wonder if they are ok, if I knock at the door am I going to be greeted by the ghost of said neighbours?

So, it got me thinking about the book I’m reading at the moment, granted I’m only 2 chapters in, but oooo I tell ye it’s a goodun. Atomic Habits by James Clear challenges us to make small 1% habits each day for the better.  Make your bed when you get up – start your day off organised.  Leave

your phone downstairs when you go to bed, then it’s not the first and last thing you see at bed time (tricky one), make that to-do list for the next day before you go to bed, then you can hit the ground running with a predetermined plan of action.  After all a goal without a plan is just a dream! 

It’s not that I’m procrastinating about the tree honestly.  I’ve just had other priorities, mostly work related (that, and I hate cleaning dog pish off the tree and floor).  Skewed priorities get in the way of living. Yes, we all have to work, the bank manager dude keeps on insisting that I send her money every month for something called a ‘mortgage’ and there

Virtual Assistant, Blog creation

are electric bills, rates, gas, insurance, groceries – see when you have a mountain of a son to feed, the grocery bill is not a joke, it’s more than my mortgage!!!! 

Where is the down time?  Where is the me, friends, family, movie, takeaway and jammies time?   I was shocked at my screen report last week, I apparently averaged 11 hours of screen time PER DAY!  Actually, SHOCKED!!!  I thought back upon my week and tried to argue with what the figure in front of me was telling me.  But I did this, and I went there and… I couldn’t think of one thing that added value to ME, I’m not talking ££££ here, I’m talking me.  I couldn’t think of one thing that added value to my family.  Nothing.  That is incredibly sad.  We tell ourselves, and it’s true, that we work hard for our family, that we put the hours in so our loved ones can enjoy a certain quality of life.  But 11 hours of screen time per day.  I must have taken a toilet break or two in there somewhere, but I could find no ME value or family value at all anywhere in my life last week.  That actually rocked me!

There’s a ££££ value that we all NEED to achieve each month.  There’s a ££££ that we want to achieve each month.  For our financial needs and our financial wants we bust our asses.  At what cost?  Little to no added value to our life, little to no added value to our family and friend’s lives.  Our lives should add value, leave a lasting legacy of love and inspiration – I’ve never heard any speaker at a funeral say, I wish my dad could have made more money, or I wish my mum had spent more time making money than with me.  No, we all pray for more time WITH them.  We all have value to give our loved ones, our spouse, our children, our friends.

I put so much time and emphasis into asking people to claim back their work/life balance, to rest, to relax to just be and I’m over here like HEEYYYAAAAAAA!  Pot, kettle, black!!! 

I didn’t NEED to do a lot of the stuff I did last week; I chose to.  I chose my screen over myself, over my family and over my friends.    I am not rocking up double figures on the screen time ever again – I am making an atomic habit change.  I am speaking (not texting) to at least one friend every day and visiting in person at least one friend every week.  Oh, and I’m putting my tree up tomorrow!!!

Virtual Assistant Belfast
Website building

HAVING A VA BY YOUR SIDE

Having a VA by your side

So, you’re a small company, you wear many hats, one day you are out pitching your most premium product to the elite of the business world, the next day you are stuck in the office under a pile of invoices, post-it-notes and a to-list that’s longer than your arm.  Not what you signed up for?

I have a small list of just 3 questions that I want you to answer:

  1. What are the things you HATE doing?
  2. What are the things you CANNOT do yourself?
  3. What are the things you SHOULDN’T be doing?

Number 1. is straight forward enough: write down what you dislike doing in your business on a day-to-day basis. This could be anything from bookkeeping to administration.

Number 2.  The second thing are daily elements of the company you don’t have any experience in, which could consist of social media marketing to graphic designing.

Number 3.   This one is the ‘game changer.’ Ask yourself honestly: what shouldn’t I be doing? Remember, you’re not a superhero.  Yes you can do anything, but you can’t do EVERYTHING!

A VA can both scale your business and shave off hours from your work week. With an experienced VA, you can IMPROVE BUSINESS GROWTH, get back to what you love, the real work during real work hours and back to family and friends.  All the stuff that goes on behind the scenes can be taken care of for you and importantly the core tasks won’t be sacrificed due to lack of time.  It is now possible to come back to your old self of previous years, where there really was such a thing of work/life balance.

On top of that you get the benefit of cost effective and reduced expenses as a VA works in their own office, using their own equipment, pays their own salary, their own PAYE/NI, pension, benefits.  You just pay for what you need when you need it.  No long-term contracts whatsoever.  In fact, you can buy from 5 – 20 hours of time in one go and have no further commitment.

Yes – NO commitment!

Which means you could back to that pitching we talked about at the very start!

 

_____________________

VAS business values are integrity, honesty, trust, accountability, commitment to clients, passion, fun!   We gotta have fun, right?!?!

 

virtual assistant
diy
Website building

Ever had a DIY disaster?

Hands up if you’ve had a DIY disaster?!?

Of the 45m  plus UK active users of social media, approximately 39m of these are mobile media users – meaning most of us reach for our phone to check out or social media platforms rather than our pc’s and if your website isn’t optimised for mobile users (therefore disjointed, haphazard and unpredictable), you could be losing a valuable audience.  Also remember, sites can look different depending on whether you are viewing them on Chrome, Edge, Safari etc.   

With the rise in so called do-it-yourself websites a lot has been lost in translation as few people (the last statistic I heard was 9%) making their own site actually understand SEO, indexing, HTML, PHP, CSS or what to do if and when your site gets a bug, how to prevent your site from getting a bug or even how to not lose everything!  That is, lose every pain staking hour you have put into your site, customer access to your online shop, customer information (oh that’s serious!) and your services.  It can happen with something as simple as making an update.   It happened to me quite a few years back!

I used a DIY web builder for my first business, it looked amazing, I saved a LOT of money and was living the dream for a good few months and then I applied a little update to a little plugin, one tiny little thing and BOOM!  It corrupted the whole site.  It wasn’t a virus, no the plugin itself was absolutely fine, BUT the code in that plugin, didn’t like the code in one of my other plugins and when they mingled with each other, it just trashed my site.  I applied a regular backup of my site, so I thought everything we be ok, but nah!  The job the backups was providing through the site builder was not what I thought it would be and so, grrrr!  Gone!   Although it is hard to quantify exactly how much I lost, I certainly did lose out on online sales, plus I had to pay someone to unravel the conflicting codes.  Eventually, I had enough and paid someone to do a professional one for me, complete with maintenance package.  The galling thing is, the professional build probably cost less than the fix and what I potentially lost out on in online sales!  That was over 10 years ago.

Bruised, battered and financially kicked in the balls from my innocent attempt to save money, I went on a mission to learn from the ground up – code, hosts, support, the lot!  And now I’ve made this part of my business.  I do love it, but it can be quite hard to convince people to have their website built by someone who knows what they are doing!!!   I said to a plumber I was working with recently:

Me: “Do you have any experience with fixing cars, or car maintenance?”

Him: “NOPE!”

Me: “Well, would you attempt to replace your own brake pads?”

Him:  “I would if I could find a decent YouTube tutorial!”

Me: “So, you have the experience, proper safety equipment and support?”

Him: “NOPE!” 

Me: “And you’re willing to risk a serious accident, just to save a few quid?”

Him: “‘Errrrr, …..?!?!?!”

Ok so your website crashing and costing you lost business isn’t the same as crashing your car and losing…potentially… well… you know.  But it drove home a point to him.  To be honest, he didn’t  take heed, he’s gone off to build his own website and I’ll probably hear from him in the next week, month or months to fix something that has gone wrong or and the fix, the labour and the software needed to fix it… well it’s going to cost a lot more than a professional website would have cost you in the first place!!!

Have you ever consulted with Dr Google and she (yes she!) tells you that those symptoms you are having mean you have a flesh eating disease and not only will you be dead by morning but everyone who has come within a 10ft radius of you will also succumb. 

Doh!!!!  Go to a real doctor!

 

I’m not trashing DIY site builders (or the lovely Dr Google); they have their place.  It helped get me to where I am now and there are some fab personal sites and blogs out there, all done with builders.  Even me now, I use WordPress as my base line along with the likes of StudioPress but I don’t have the basic everyman subscription – I have the full-on heavy duty all singing all dancing big momma, because it helps towards me giving my clients a fabulous website and service.  AND more importantly, I know what I am doing AND I have heavy duty support and backup behind me who have masses of years of experience between them!

Why take the risk? 

And on that happy note, i shall go spread some more joy among the peeps of the webiverse!

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