Why Are You Doing Everything Yourself?
Why Are You Doing Everything Yourself?
By Dana Ghermine Mayer
When I consult with business owners about finding new clients, I often discover it isn’t that they don’t know how to market that’s holding them back, it’s that they don’t make the time to do it.
“I just can’t find the time,” they tell me. They’re so busy running their business, they’re not growing their business. They work in their business, not on it.
I call this the “Lone Ranger Syndrome.” The need to do it all yourself. I know all about this syndrome because I used to have it. As a perfectionist, I thought no one would do as good a job as I could for my business. And surely, I couldn’t let someone handle private matters like travel arrangements, billing, or checking accounts!
Then I realized I could buy back my time. And I didn’t have to do it all myself.
Six Figure Entrepreneurs in my recent study say they made similar discoveries. “Going it alone was a recipe for disaster,” said study participant, Vicky White a Feng Shui Life Coach.
Interviews with 106 top achievers confirms my experience with research. The majority of the study participants report the best ingredient for creating a six figure income is supportive business relationships. The essential relationship? Administrative support, like a VA.
What’s a VA?
A client I’ll call “Helena” recently called to ask me what she could do to find the time to implement the hot marketing plan we’d created to promote her online products related to her therapy practice. I asked her, “Who is your VA?”
“Who is my what?” Helena responded.
I said, “Your virtual assistant (VA), an independent contractor who administratively supports an entrepreneur, executive, or mobile professional using electronic technology.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Helena said.
I explained, “In the past eight years, a new Internet-based industry has emerged. It is called virtual assisting. Virtual assistants (VAs) are experienced, professional business support providers who work virtually. They’re not in your office, they’re on the phone, fax, email, and Internet.”
A VA frees me up to handle work that only I can do and enjoy. She takes care of my paperwork, handles my records, monitors and answers email, coordinates travel, meetings and events, maintains my database and calendar, updates my website, helps with teleclass registration, and even supports production of my e-zine. She does all that for me in Florida from her home in California.”
“I can’t believe you’ve hired someone living across the country. Does that work?” asked Helena.
“I gave up my brick and mortar office, I’m not providing space or equipment, so she only works when I need it and I don’t pay benefits. The best part is I got to give up the computer stuff I hate, VAs are usually very tech savvy.”
“Well, you must pay a lot.” Helena said.
“It’s all how you value your time,” I explained. “You know I charge $200.00 an hour for individuals and even more for corporations.”
“So?” said Helena.
I responded, “If I continued to handle all my business support functions, I’d eventually get bogged down in ‘paperwork’ and not have time to enjoy my business or family. When I was my own admin support, it cost me the same $200.00 an hour. VAs charge $20.00 to $50.00 an hour, so even if I pay top dollar, I save at least $150.00. I use those extra hours to service my clients and prospect for new business. It isn’t much, if you factor in the savings on benefits, equipment, supplies, and office overhead. And, I have highly trained, professional specialists working with me. We’re a team.”
“Okay, now that you have explained it, I believe hiring a VA might be worth considering. I have lots of tasks she can complete so I can use my time implementing the new promotional campaign. I’ll give her all that paperwork I’ve been dying to complete but just haven’t gotten around to. My website needs revamping. You said she can do that, too?” asked Helena.
“Sure can,” I told her.
“Wait, how do I find a VA?” asked Helena.
“Look for someone who’s graduated from a VA training program or get more information about Virtual Assistance from the Alliance for Virtual Businesses. You may also contact the VA, Shawn Tuttle, who works for me and tell her I referred you. She’ll do as professional a job for you as she does for me. But don’t wait until it’s too late and you ‘hit the wall.’ For many “Lone Rangers” overdue bills, a messy office, late projects, and unreturned phone calls add up to a business close to collapse. “
Contact Shawn at 805.440.5736.
Based on VA Sharon Williams’ article with permission, which first appearing in FEMALE ENTREPRENEUR MAGAZINE. Dana G. Mayer is a business consultant to entrepreneurial types. Her 15+ years of experience in marketing communications, strategic planning, start-ups, and leadership development helps people put profits in their pockets and ethics in their organization.
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Copyright ©2004 Sharon Williams and Dana Mayer.
Dana Ghermine Mayer, CPIFS, CPC
Putting Profits in Your Pocket and Ethics in Your Enterprise