Everyone needs a second brain. Sometimes, no matter how focused you are or how highly skilled and experienced you might be, you need someone else in your life – a trusted and respected individual (or group!) – to help you work through problems and solutions so that you can work as effectively and efficiently as possible.

So what kind of brains are there out there? There really is a brain for every occasion.

Emotional support brain – being a remote and lone worker can have its down days. Whether that’s due to frustration at another windows update (argh!) or a challenging client request that you just need to vent about, it helps having other brains that you can reach out to, even if it’s just for a little moan and/or a demand for humorous and uplifting GIFs.  It’s important to keep things professional – no naming and shaming of terrible/awkward clients on public forums, etc. – but a little bit of a vent can prove incredibly cathartic and help to relieve pent-up stress about particular situations, as well as help you feel as though you’re not alone.  The VA Hub community we have grown on Facebook is a resource designed to help you reach out to peers – there are thousands of us out there who know and understand what you are going through and can offer helpful words of support and useful tips.  Our VA members club is a wonderful and intimate community of like-minded professionals, and the perfect positive and safe space for some moral support – if you’d like more information, please visit: https://www.apva.org.uk/apva-membership/.

Business tips and tools brain – looking for some great social media scheduling software? Need a source of good quality, royalty free images? Looking for a business productivity tool that actually helps to make you more productive and doesn’t add to your lengthy to do list? Why not reach out to the VA Hub community for their top tips and recommendations? There’s always someone out there who has tried a certain software and can provide an objective overview of what can and can’t be done with the tool. Another great resources is: https://www.g2.com/ – a platform that provides verified testimonials for a range of different software and services.

Work checking brain – sometimes it really helps to have someone who can sense check your work for you.  Have you written a blog and can’t see the spelling and grammatical errors contained within for love nor money? Perhaps you’ve created some automations in sales or marketing automation software (like Keap, Active Campaign, etc.) and need someone to just cast a quick eye over it to ensure that it looks like it’s going to work, and you haven’t popped a condition in there that means that everyone is going to be unsubscribed randomly from your contact list! Perhaps you just need someone to provide an objective opinion on branding or imagery, or strategies that you have developed for customers? This kind of brain can be incredibly useful when it comes to quality control in your business. Why not reach out to a respected and trusted fellow VA and ask them to review some of your work? You could pay them for an hour of their time every week or so to provide this assistance, but it will really help you ensure that you are consistently delivering top quality work, so is well worth the investment!

Big picture brain – whether you are just starting out, looking to grow your business or change direction, sometimes you just need someone who can mentor you through these events and coach and cheerlead you as you implement change in your business.  For this, a business mentor or coach can be the best brain for the job.  It helps when your coach has first-hand experience of running a successful business in the industry you work in/want to work in, so if you’re a VA looking for this kind of support, don’t forget that APVA can help! APVA founder, Charlotte Wibberley, offers both mentoring and business coaching, and has helped a number of business owners to find increased success by bringing an experienced ‘second brain’ into the equation.  If you’d like to find out more about mentoring and coaching, please visit: https://www.apva.org.uk/coaching/

As you can see, there are plenty of brains out there, and as the old adage says, “Two heads are better than one”,  so why not try and find a second brain for you and your business? It could make a really positive difference.