I have recently been talking to many Virtual Assistants about blocks they are facing in their businesses.
One of the ones that comes up time and again is that they can’t concentrate enough on their own business to grow it properly.
We work hard to get clients, and then we get too busy with client work to look at our own business.
We stop marketing, we don’t network anymore… we forget how to tell people how great we are at what we do.
Then when something happens, and we need new clients, we struggle to find them. We have to start all over again.
Or worse, we suffer working with clients we don’t like or doing things we don’t like to do, simply because it’s easier to do that than to begin again.
We all cite the same excuses:
I don’t have time (to network, to market).
I don’t have money (to go to events, to take trainings).
I don’t know where to start (to find the shortest path to what I need).
And these reasons are valid, but they will keep you where you are.
If that’s not where you want to be, you need to dig deep and find your way out.
Getting motivated to work on your own business can be tough. Here are a few tips that might help:
1. Start your day on a positive note, and in a positive mood. Work hard to keep yourself in a positive frame of mind, and note when you slip away from that (write it down if possible, to establish patterns). When you keep yourself in a good mood, you can complete your client work more quickly, and then jump to your own.
2. Try to avoid the need to vent to colleagues. I love the social media groups as much as anyone, but I see a lot of negativity and time wasting in those groups all day long. Find a trusted colleague you can vent to when necessary, and keep it off of the public airwaves. You don’t know how much this will keep you focused on moving forward in your business until you do it (trust me!)
3. Compare yourself with yourself, not others. Go through your numbers from last year and write them down, month by month (revenue, expenses, # of clients you worked with). Begin to update those numbers with goals for this year (small to start, bigger as you get more confidence). And be sure to enter your numbers for this year as well to start to compare your own stuff to your own stuff. Invigorating! And it really shows you where you can make small changes that will yield you big results!
4. Simplify things for yourself. If you have a project or task management system, take extra time every day to get that organized. You will find your day so much more productive when you have that up to date. Being organized is one thing. Staying that way is another. Both will help you get more done, no matter how much you have to do.
5. Pay yourself to do your own marketing and business stuff. One of my business coaches told me to do this once and it was a great way to get me to block time into my schedule to get my own business stuff done. I would only work about 2 hours a week for myself but paying myself (or knowing how much I had earned, more like it) was really motivating for me. I knew I was worth more than I was earning.
6. Make the effort. Motivation doesn’t just happen. Unfortunately, you have to make the effort to make it happen. To do that, make sure you understand what the payoff will be. More money? Better clients? That’s all good. What does that translate to for you? Maybe a vacation? Pay off some debt? A night out every month? Some other guilty pleasure?
In order to really stay in tune with your business, you have to stay aware of it.
Immersing yourself in client work is an extremely common excuse for not paying attention to what we have the most control over – our own decisions!