The 12 days of Christmas – How to prepare for a holiday

The 12 days of Christmas – How to prepare for a holiday

Oh yes, the holiday, an enemy for some entrepreneurs, but one that is essential to have when running a business to help your mind and body take some much needed R&R.

How can you prepare for a holiday, to make sure your stress levels aren’t sky-high while away, that you need a holiday to make up for the stress of a holiday?

Here are my tips as a virtual assistant, that I have learned for myself or from clients I help. I hope you find them useful, and perhaps share some of your preparation with us too, in the comments!

  1. It’s all about the notifications! Let your clients know that you will be away, and how they can contact you in case of an emergency. What I have found is, when I share this emergency contact information, most clients really don’t need it, and never use it, but having it is a good way to put them (and yourself!) at ease.
  2. Add an extra day onto the arrival date, so you have enough time to go through your inbox, and to recover from the jet lag. If you are having a long-haul flight, this is an essential, so you can recuperate and have some rest after the flight. Even if you aren’t flying anywhere, you will need some time to unpack, get everything in order, and clear out your inbox (especially if you don’t have someone like a VA managing it for you while you are away). Give yourself this extra time, I promise you it will be truly helpful to your sanity.
  3. Do not find a hotel with Wi-Fi, unless it’s a working holiday. You will just get tempted to check your emails and continue to work, making it…surprise…not a blooming holiday! All too often do I have clients ask me to manage their email inbox, and I spot them replying and checking in – why ask someone to care for your emails for you, when you are going to cheekily check them yourself? It also means that those who are with you will potentially get a little miffed, if you are spending a few hours each day replying to messages!
  4. Turn off your phone, even if it’s only for the excursions. Take that time to be truly free from notifications and disruptions, so you can enjoy your holiday. If your only means of photographing the holiday are your phone, turn it onto Do Not Disturb, so you don’t get any calls or interruptions while you take in the sites, and enjoy the time with your friends and/or family.
  5. Take a notebook with you, for ideas that pop into your mind. I often find my best ideas for my business are during my downtime, so I personally take a notebook with me for when I have these ideas, so I don’t forget them. If you are similar to me in that respect, why not take a special “holiday ideas” notepad with you. It’s a great reason to go to your favourite stationary store and treat yourself! (Am I the only one who loves stationary shops?!)

BONUS TIP – actually take some holidays. Coming from someone who has had a few years without a holiday, prior to realising the necessity for time off, I can attest to how helpful they are for productivity and inspiration. We can get stuck in our own day-to-day lives as entrepreneurs, and it can make us feel low, and demotivated. Start with a long weekend away, to see how that feels, then you can upgrade to a few days off in the week.

How do you prepare for a holiday? I’d love to hear!

How to share tasks with others, without feeling a loss of control

How to share tasks with others, without feeling a loss of control

I know, you are a business owner and you believe it’s so much more darn easy to do all of the tasks yourself.

I’ve been there too, I’ve sat in your shoes, when there are clients mounting up, and you would love to say yes to them, but a niggling monkey on your shoulder is telling you you may just not have the time to help. As a business owner, you may even believe you have to do all of the tasks yourself, as it feels like you’re meant to take on all of them to showcase that you’re even more awesome as an entrepreneur. (more…)

How to build my team – the questions to ask

How to build my team – the questions to ask

Starting your own business is a tough decision to make, for most it is a leap they have always pondered before, but perhaps were concerned about the security of it all.

Once taking the leap, you will potentially realise how blooming personal it truly is. I’ve heard the saying “It’s just business, it’s not personal” said so many times, however, when it is your own business, your own job or the service you provide to others, it truly is personal. I think having the personal touch is the defining feature of running a business that people buy into. If you don’t have that personal touch, the edge that makes you different from the thousands of competitors out there, then why would someone choose you, other than looking at the cost? (and don’t get me started on how cost should not be the be-all and end-all for a contact to turn into a client!). (more…)

Simple Inspiration Fundamentals

Simple Inspiration Fundamentals

As a business owner it can be tough to remain inspired about your business, whether it’s because you have become what is called the “Technician”, AKA doing all the tasks for clients, rather than managing the business, or you just feel you are trucking along in your business, not really doing what you love any more.  (more…)

How can I offer more to my clients, without stopping doing what I love or over-exerting myself?

As a business owner you may have started your business saying “yes” to every project available, learning while you go and possibly spending a lot of time doing things you weren’t really in the business for.

This happens across all industries, don’t worry, you are not alone!

However, how can you start to either wean off of these services or, if more clients continue to ask for these offerings, how can you add them to your service without having to spend time on them? (more…)

Are there any problems with working with a virtual team? (and how to resolve them)

As a virtual assistant, who offers services out of my client’s office, I get asked about the issues that can arise from working with a virtual team quite regularly.

In a world where technology is helping us to work more virtually, many business owners and companies are noticing the benefits of having a team that is not fully employed, or working at their office.  (more…)