Paper with paperclips

I’m a professional, I run my own business and I’m organised NOW!-   But let me tell you, it’s  not always been this easy, in fact I was so stressed and felt like I was playing continual catch-up.  Let me explain:

It’s Monday morning.  It’s early and I’m in my office, gazing out the window drinking coffee. I daren’t look at the piles of paper on my desk. I really don’t want to turn on the computer. And I’m beginning to stress about the clock ticking over to business hours and the phones starting.

I put the coffee mug on the closest stack of paper and debate getting a second – just so I don’t have to start the millions of things I know I need to do today.

I know it’s good to be busy, but I never knew just how much I would have to do just to keep the business ticking over.

Work for yourself, they said

It will be fun, they said

I want to strangle them with their own lying tongues.

Rolling my shoulders I press the start button and turn the phone off silent, cursing the blinking messages already. I turn the phone over so I can pretend I didn’t see them.

Admin – I hate it but it needs to be done. Just like everything else.

I ignore the email button and open the spreadsheet that needs updating before I send it to the bookkeeper.

The phone rings again, but I’m in the middle of this stupid job so I let it go to voice-mail.  I’ll get to it later.

It looks like later will be tomorrow, or Wednesday at this rate.

I drag my eyes to the clock on the wall as my stomach rolls and rumbles. I’ll get food in a minute, after I’ve returned a couple of phone calls.

I finish one call and try and update the contact sheet, the trouble is, I can’t for the life of me remember what I need to send, and calling back will make me seem stupid, so I’ll just wait for them to contact me.  The phone rings again. Who needs to eat…

I race home at the end of the day wondering why on earth I agreed to go out tonight. I’ve got so much I need to do. I could cry off and try and catch up. But I’m tired and a bit of girl time may do me some good.

It’s not working, I’m stressed thinking about the work I should be doing and everything I have to do tomorrow, I can’t relax, and the voices are grating on my already frayed nerves. I’ve already snapped at one of my friends. I just don’t know what’s wrong with me.

You want to tell me what’s going on?

I turn my head to snap out a retort but I can feel tears welling and that’s not like me either.

She put a hand on my arm – you’re not happy, what’s wrong?

So I told her. It was a relief. But I wasn’t prepared for the answer she gave me.

What do you mean I need help – I’m not going to the blinking doctor for some stupid pills!

She laughed – not THAT kind of help – you need a VBA

A what?

Virtual Business Assistant

I do have some issues with that suggestion.  I don’t have room for someone else, I don’t want to send my stuff offshore – I mean I hate getting those kinds of calls so wouldn’t want that kind of service for my clients, I splutter

You’re confusing a VBA with a call centre. They are so much more than a call centre.

As she explained further, I felt a weight lifting – could it be that simple? But I don’t need someone full time.

It doesn’t have to be full time, mine isn’t – but we get so much done in the 4 hours a month.

4 hours!

How did this not come up in conversation before?

What do they do for you?

Essentially they’re me:

  • they take my calls and send me a message, though they are able to answer most questions.
  • they book  my appointments into the calendar, the only thing I need to do is ensure I am where I need to be and when – which is easy when they’re doing everything I don’t have time to do and certainly don’t want to do.
  • they can follow up with clients, chase outstanding money and anything else I can think to give them.
  • The best news is they’re here in Perth, so your clients don’t know they’re dealing with another company.
  • AND get this, they can work remotely from their office so you don’t have to worry about additional overheads and getting a bigger office.

Who are they and will they help me? I ask eagerly

I’m sure they can, let me give them a call…

It’s Monday night


Sure enough, one quick phone call later, and a meeting was arranged for the following day.

They came out to my office and we discussed, over a Map the Way (and several cups of coffee), what it was I was struggling with.  The 90 minutes highlighted what assistance I needed and was time well spent.

So now I leave the calls to them, they book my appointments, and I’m thinking about handing over the blasted paperwork next.  I have more clients – they even got me some of those, all my clients are happy and better yet, I even have a lunch break.


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