New Year, fresh start – Make sure your professional virtual assistant business is the best it can be in the New Year!
New Year’s Resolutions – easy to make, not quite so easy to stick to! We’ve all been there, promising to ‘eat healthier’ or ‘get fitter’ in the New Year, but it’s far too easy to slip back into old habits as February rolls in. Professional resolutions can be just as hard to keep, but if you are passionate about improving or developing an aspect of your professional life or VA business this new year, there are certain things that you can do to make it easier to see those changes through to fruition.
1.) Be positive. We’ve all got enough guilt in our lives – from working-parent guilt to feeling bad about using what should be ‘billable hours’ for personal development. For many of us, feelings of guilt permeate a number of aspects of our personal and professional lives. As a result, the last thing you need is to feel bad about ‘failing’ at your New Year’s Resolutions. Why not describe your resolutions as ‘Things I would like to achieve in the new year’. No pressure, no worries, a kind of ‘bucket list’ for your business rather than do-or-die rules that you’ll feel awful about if you fail to keep!
2.) Set realistic goals. Yes, it would be great to have a best-selling book to promote your skills and experiences. Yes, it would be lovely to speak at international conferences about topics that you are passionate about. Yes, it would be great to delegate and outsource all of the work you have and live on a beach in the Bahamas. But are these realistic goals for you? Do you have the time, skills and associate support necessary to actually achieve these things? Some people do, which is great, but some people don’t and aren’t able to get these things in place fast enough (and well enough) to realise their wildest dreams in just 12 short months. Why not ‘tone down’ your fantastical resolution a little and work towards a mid-point on the journey towards that goal that is actually attainable first – for example, if you want to do more public speaking, get your voice out there by volunteering to speak at a local conference or networking event. Have a platform that you can build on to get closer to your ultimate goal, rather than going all out for something that may not be a reality in the coming year given your current experience and skill set. Just remember, having a dream isn’t a bad thing – it’s just not necessarily the best ‘resolution’ if you are really looking to make a positive change in your business this year. Don’t write off your dreams though as they could well become part of a three year or 5-year plan, you just need to ensure that your goals are realistic and attainable in your specific and chosen timescale.
3.) Regularly review your progress. Don’t leave it until December to evaluate whether or not your resolution-making has been a success! Give yourself a few minutes on a fortnightly or monthly basis to track your progress. Off track entirely? Try to determine what exactly you need to do to get back on track with your resolutions or goals. Just remember that it could be your original goals weren’t quite right for you and your business; it’s only by regular evaluation of your progress that you will be able to make this assessment and devise new and achievable goals, if necessary.
4.) Make small changes. Unless you can fully commit to a major change – i.e. you’ve got the funds to set up shop in a tropical island paradise, or the time needed to learn a major new skill from scratch with intensive learning – smaller changes tend to be easier to adapt to, and stick with! If you want to develop your skills, why not consider undertaking a part-time distance learning course that only requires a few hours out of your working week, so shouldn’t have a dramatic impact on your earning potential in the short term? If you want to develop your own marketing, why not block out a couple of hours per week to dedicate to your own business? For self-employed freelancers reliant on ‘billable hours’, investing in yourself can be a bit of an alien concept, but making a conscious effort to invest time (and possibly a little cash) into your business can really help to ensure that your VA business is sustainable and successful into 2018 and beyond!
What resolutions have you set up for your Professional Virtual Assistant business this year? We’d love to hear from you! Why not let us know on our Facebook page HERE: