In The News

Wed 17 Jan 2018

Great Virtual Assistants and Having a Business Mindset

Business Consulting & Coaching
success sign

Working with many Virtual Assistants (VA) over the years, it is interesting to see how a business mindset can be the underlying reason for their business’s success (or not).  You see, our mindset is something that we are often unaware of, but be assured: the ability to develop a sound business mindset is profoundly critical to your business’s success.  And, this is even more so if you are a solopreneur/home business operator/virtual assistant, because ultimately the ability to succeed starts and ends with YOU.

Listen up because this is really important, and once you ‘get’ it, you will never look back!

I’ve put together a list of traits that successful VAs with a sound business mindset display – and to be honest, these apply to all businesses, not just VAs.

As you read through the list, think about them and apply them to yourself and how you operate.  Ask yourself if this is true for you.  If you find there are areas you are lacking in, be gentle with yourself!  Remember, the first step to change is by being able to recognise areas we are lacking in, and then consciously working on them.

Great VAs have mastered the ability to think creatively and “Outside the Box”
Employees are used to following procedures and protocols that have been set up by the organisation they are working for… they don’t have to think too hard, and if something anomalous occurs, ‘someone else’ will usually be responsible for adapting the process or procedure.When you are a VA, you are also a business owner, and by default you become that ‘someone else’, and you need to put your thinking cap on and get really creative with your thought processes!  To be successful in business, you need to be able to ‘think outside the box’ – that means challenging the status quo and questioning whether there are better, faster or more efficient ways to achieve the results you are seeking in order to effect a favourable outcome for your client.

It also goes without saying that business owners need to be willing to step up to the plate and take a risk.

Great VAs understand and embrace failure and mistakes
The fewer mistakes you make as an employee, the better.  Employees who continue to make mistakes will generally not get far in their chosen vocation.  Making a mistake as an employee has a certain level of fear attached: you will generally be reprimanded for your failure, and as a result, employees have learned not to try to push the envelope and potentially end up with egg on their face for trying something that didn’t work.However, really successful VAs/business owners learn that failure and mistakes are their proving ground.  The experience gained from making a mistake or experiencing a failure helps them to go on and perfect what they have been doing, and helps them to assure their business’s growth and development into the future.

Be aware that as a business owner, you WILL definitely make mistakes.  However, rather than run from them or bury your head in the sand, learn to take responsibility, stand tall, learn lessons and move on when a mistakes occur.

Great VAs are solution-focused
Employees are generally problem-focused.  They focus in on the issue, rather than thinking about a potential solution (generally – not all the time).A successful VA/business owner recognises that every business experiences problems and challenges.  The majority of successful business owners have honed the ability to think proactively and focus on solution-driven approaches, rather than getting bogged down by an issue and potentially letting the problem defeat them.  By using their creativity and applying a ‘thinking outside the box’ approach, they are able to deal with the many challenges that come up in the day to day running of a business – large and small.

Great VAs are passionate about their business
In order to start a business, most VAs/business owners will understand and have developed a real passion for what they do.  It’s what drives them and sustains them, it’s what gets them out of bed every day and it’s the key to their business’s success in the long run.  If you lack passion, you won’t be as emotionally ‘invested’ in your business, or in the outcomes you are generating for your clients.

Great VAs are lifelong learners
Employees, in the main, are retained to follow a set procedure to achieve results for their employer.  They have done their education and they are in the role that matches their abilities.  Sure, there will be opportunities for them to continue to learn, but for the main part, they are ‘there’!VAs/business owners will generally find that they are on a continual path of learning – one that never really stops.  This is evidenced by the fact that business owners for the most part are always educating themselves about new and better ways to do things, trying out and implementing new skills and processes, reading and learning from colleagues and peers.  What’s behind this is a very simple mentality:  what needs to be done, has to be done – there is just no room for excuses.

Great VAs have developed a love for numbers
Being in business requires more than a basic understanding of the flow of money.  It’s more than just budgeting.  When you are a VA/business owner, you need to understand the numbers in your cash flow, and be quick to recognise when there are issues or errors.  Even though some business owners may employ or retain accountants and bookkeepers, they still need to understand and – in a way – love those numbers because, ultimately, the numbers that are reflected in sales, costs, profit and loss will either bring you sleepless nights or an enviable lifestyle. But, one thing is for certain, without an adequate understanding of these numbers, your business will be at risk of heading for the rocks.

Great VAs are savvy about who they listen to
The rewards and knowledge that come with associating with successful people are well-known by savvy VAs/business owners.  They understand that when it comes to being successful, there is no way they are going to learn anything from somebody who doesn’t have what they want, and has not travelled the path they are currently on.

How many of the traits listed above applied to you and how your operate your business? Leave me a comment.

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