Life beyond Corporate – Getting started as an Entrepreneur

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Life beyond Corporate. Getting started as an Entrepreneur is always a challenge to anyone brought up as an employee.

What does it really take to leave the comfort of a well-paid corporate job and start out on your own? More than you think.

Passion
Working for yourself, starting a business is not for the faint hearted and if you haven’t got an overriding passion and infectious enthusiasm the challenges in business that will test your resolve to the limit. There is little room for self doubt.

But what if you want to leave the corporate rat race and you’re not clear about where your passion lies?  ‘You don’t really know what you want to be when you grow up’.

Don’t beat yourself up for you are not alone, as this fascinating Ted Talk from Emilie Wapnick reveals.

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Network One
The greatest challenges that people leaving corporate face is being used to a support structure that provides ideas, talent, skills to contribute to the overall purpose of the business of generating portable revenue.

As soon as possible surround yourself with people who will provide skills, services and inspiration necessary to make the most profitable use of your time. Most people starting their own business fail to budget for this. They attempt to do everything themselves, in the belief that when the business is profitable they will introduce such a structure. Wrong way round.

It won’t happen, for the distracted, and ultimately tired and frustrated individual will never achieve as much or as fast as a support team helping reach past break-even into profit.

Hire a personal assistant who has already made that move from corporate to starting a business. The good ones help entrepreneurs prioritise, focus and keep on track. They help entrepreneurs use their time in the a more productive fashion whilst they take care of many of the necessary activities previously provided within the corporate structure.

A Virtual Personal Assistant’s understanding of the corporate culture from a similar, even higher level is quite important when sharing ideas. This special insight could be worth more than their monthly charges.

Network Two
There is a massive gulf between the marketing undertaken within a large corporate and the type of marketing required to get a business start-up off the ground. So much money is wasted on marketing by people who don’t know what they’re doing.

Instead, your personal and extended connections will make up your network and your network is said to be equal to your net worth.

The more people who know what your goals are, the better, as people generally love to help people. This is one area that need not cost too much money but instead will take time to develop. Time well spent.

Check out a local Business Network International (BNI) meeting.  They have referral marketing strategies down to a fine art.

You will achieve more in less time, when you focus on creating strong referral partnerships rather than attracting an extensive list of ‘networking junkies’ aimlessly wandering from networking event to networking event, looking for that quick sale.

Learn how to use LinkedIn to make and develop online connections. Lynda.com has some great courses. Don’t risk exposing yourselves as a novice during this important time.

Practice Patience
If you are going to be in business for the long term you need to be patient, for it may take longer than you expect to create the visibility and establish your reputation as someone worth doing business with.

If you have experienced other challenges making to move from corporate to your own business then please comment below or perhaps connect on LinkedIn.

rebecca crossRebecca Cross is an Award Winning Virtual PA with a background experience working with IBM and the Wall Street Journal, amongst others. She specialises in providing creative business and administration support for entrepreneurs and business owners who understand the value of working on their business, rather than in their business. She is especially looking to work with business start-ups, entrepreneurs and professionals who travel extensively

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keeping entrepreneurs on track

Keeping entrepreneurs on track is very much like herding cats.

Don’t get me wrong. I love working with entrepreneurs.

You know the one’s I mean. Steve Jobs described them as “the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently – they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

You need a special type of patience and insight to work with people like this. I get to work with people who have this genius within and feel my focus is to help them release it.

I would like to think I keep them on track. But, I flatter myself. You don’t keep entrepreneurs on track, you just know what needs to get done to keep the track clear for them to do what they do best. Innovate, hustle, produce.

You see ‘would be’ entrepreneurs are still doing stuff they should not be doing. Like arranging meetings, preparing presentations, getting ‘bogged down’ with emails and other distractions. Distractions that take them away from where they are meant to be focused. Working in their business instead of on it. Typically, they are frustrated because they can’t understand why they are busier than ever but not getting where they know they should be.

Distractions are the enemy

Technology and social media can help us all connect and get more done faster but at what cost? Competitors are not the problem, distraction is.

A savvy Virtual Personal Assistant who is already working with ‘a few crazy misfits and rebels’ has the clarity to see who to keep the tracks clear so the entrepreneur stays on track and accountable.

rebecca crossRebecca Cross is an Award Winning Virtual PA with a background experience working with IBM and the Wall Street Journal, amongst others. She specialises in providing creative business and administration support for entrepreneurs and business owners who understand the value of working on their business, rather than in their business. She is especially looking to work with business start-ups, entrepreneurs and professionals who travel extensively

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Staying Focused in 2016

Staying Focused in 2016

I work with many people who need to stay focused in order to achieve that which they set out to achieve. I would like to think that, as a virtual personal assistant (VPA), I help entrepreneurs meet this challenge.

And it’s a challenge for everybody who wants to be successful because, let’s face it, there are so many distractions that can dilute our effectiveness. Pull us off course.

In his post, “How to Stay Focused”, Brendon Burchard nails it, even suggesting that we actually make fewer decisions and that we stop browsing. Heaven forbid, this is probably how you found my post.

One of the biggest challenges, covered in Brendon’s excellent video, is to get action orientated entrepreneurs to say no more often than they say yes.

Anyway, you be the judge. Discover your focus for 2016 to make it the best year ever.

Read Brendon’s Original Blog here: http://brendonburchard.tumblr.com/post/112317302023/how-to-stay-focused

rebecca crossRebecca Cross is an Award Winning Virtual PA with a background experience working with IBM and the Wall Street Journal, amongst others. She specialises in providing creative business and administration support for entrepreneurs and business owners who understand the value of working on their business, rather than in their business.

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what to do when nothing is going right

Do you ever have any of those days where nothing is going right? Of course you do. We all do. But, do you know what to do to re-set your day to become more fulfilling, more productive.

It’s a challenge but one that can be resolved with a few unexpected tweeks.

When nothing is going right, check out the 4 steps Brendon Burchard recommends you take to re-start a bad day. Keep it to hand and use it. It might just help you get more out of even the baddest of days.

Read Brendon’s Original Post here.

I would love to hear how you cope with bad days. What works for you?

rebecca crossRebecca Cross is an Award Winning Virtual PA with a background experience working with IBM and the Wall Street Journal, amongst others. She specialises in providing creative business and administration support for entrepreneurs and business owners who understand the value of working on their business, rather than in their business.

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better work-life balance

What does a better work-life balance mean to you?

One of the key reasons business people engage with me and my services as an award-winning Virtual Personal Assistant (VPA) is to arrive at a better work-life balance.

It sometimes manifests itself in being too busy to get everything done or being too stressed to enjoy time with your family and children.

Here are 5 great insights about work-life balance from Brendon Burchard and in my view he nails it. From the very first question, “why do you need a better life balance?”, through to developing the power to say no, when normally you find it difficult to do so.

In business, saying no, sometimes means, delegating an important task to someone who has better skills or the time to complete the task. I get a lot of those requests from my client.

However, I particularly resonated with Brendon’s video because it is very much the sort of conversation I have with potential clients who want more than just a typing service.

I highly recommend you watch this short video (13:24 mins) and discover what you need to fix to get back some work-life balance.

ps. if you don’t think you have 13 minutes 24 seconds to watch it perhaps that call with me is more urgent than you think.

original article: 5 Steps to More Balance in Life

rebecca crossRebecca Cross is an Award Winning Virtual PA with a background experience working with IBM and the Wall Street Journal, amongst others. She specialises in providing creative business and administration support for entrepreneurs and business owners who understand the value of working on their business, rather than in their business.

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Stop Making Time the Excuse

When it comes to a work life balance too many people think time is the enemy, when lack of priority is the real challenge. Stop making time the excuse.

Too many people think they have to do everything themselves. This video perfectly illustrates the sort of tasks you can outsource to a really good virtual assist when you have prioritised the most effective use of your special skills and talents.

Rebecca Cross is a Virtual PA with a background experience working with IBM and the Wall Street Journal, amongst others. She specialises in providing creative business and administration support for entrepreneurs and business owners who understand the value of working on their business, rather than in their business.

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Tim Ferris 4 Hour Work Week

Tim Ferris has two qualities I admire. He is extremely entrepreneurial and he is a master of time efficiency.  He is famous for advocating a 4 Hour Work Week

In fact, his best-selling book, the 4 Hour Work Week, is excellent and will completely change the way you look at the way you think about work and where it leads.

Ironically, it will take you more than four hours to read it. But you can get the jist of it in just 9 mins. Brilliant insights for all entrepreneurs.

As an award winning virtual personal assistant (VPA) I work with entrepreneurs from various discipline and so I was particularly interested to see his comments at 6:07 mins. on the timeline.

Good man.

Clocks Go Back and Impact on Productivity?

Clocks Go Back This Weekend and the question is this, how will this affect productivity?

Here in the UK, we turn the clocks back this weekend by one hour. How this might affect business productivity is up for debate. Going to work in the dark for some could affect the way we work. If it does, here are 18 ways to sharpen up our productivity whatever time of the day.

Let’s admit it, some of us are more productive in the morning, some in the afternoon and some of us are night owls.  I have a solution for everyone.

5 Scientifically Proven Ways to Have a More Productive Morning 
Here are a few scientifically proven ways to jump-start your brain and get the most out of your morning.

10 Ways to Make Your Afternoons As Productive As Mornings
To help you nail your afternoon routine here is some practical and science-backed advice from successful entrepreneurs who have built multimillion-dollar companies.

3 Productivity Tips for Night Owls that Will Make You More Successful
But what if your brain is just programmed to work at night? Whether it’s the midnight moonlight or the hush that falls over the house when everyone’s asleep, working after-hours can equal some serious productivity.

rebecca crossRebecca Cross is a Virtual PA with a background experience working with IBM and the Wall Street Journal, amongst others. She specialises in providing creative business and administration support for entrepreneurs and business owners who understand the value of working on their business, rather than in their business.

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Outsource these 5 tasks to Save Time and Make Money

Outsource these 5 tasks to Save Time and Make Money

If уоur to-do lіѕt fееlѕ еndlеѕѕ аnd уоu’rе drоwnіng in work, you’re nоt аlоnе. So many оf uѕ аѕ ѕmаll buѕіnеѕѕ оwnеrѕ fееl thаt wау. And yet оftеn, wе don’t seek ѕuрроrt bесаuѕе thе реrсерtіоn is thаt it eats аwау аt оur profits.

I see оvеr and over аgаіn wіth mу сlіеntѕ that thе орроѕіtе is truе. Thе mоrе thеу frее uр thеіr оwn time tо do thе іmроrtаnt wоrk that only thеу саn dо, thе mоrе wоrk gеtѕ done еffісіеntlу, аnd thе mоrе рrоfіtѕ they mаkе.

Sо it’s time tо ѕtор drоwnіng. Here аrе 5 tasks to save time and money.  You may or may not do these tasks now you соuld easily оutѕоurсе tо a savvy virtual assistant, gеt thе same quаlіtу results, frее up уоur time, аnd еаrn mоrе mоnеу.

  1. Cuѕtоmеr Sеrvісе – If уоu’rе ѕреndіng уоur time аrrаngіng mееtіngѕ with сlіеntѕ аnd fulfіllіng orders, іt ѕееmѕ рrоduсtіvе bесаuѕе those аrе money-making асtіvіtіеѕ. But thеу are еаѕу fоr ѕоmеоnе else tо dо wіth very lіttlе trаіnіng, ѕо thіѕ іѕ оnе to check off уоur to dо list аnd аdd tо ѕоmеоnе еlѕе’ѕ.
  2. Following Up with the many people you meet at events. You know, networking events where you recycle business cards from the hand to the pocket, to the desk drawer to the bin. Your network in business is your future business and needs to be nurtured. If you can’t find the time to do it, let someone else do it on your behalf.
  3. Eѕtаblіѕhіng a Sаlеѕ Funnеl – If уоu’vе knоwn уоu nееd a funnеl fоr mоnthѕ and months nоw but keep рuttіng іt off because it seems ѕо соmрlісаtеd, welcome tо thе club. It’s tіmе tо оutѕоurсе іt bесаuѕе іt’ѕ еаѕіеr thаn іt ѕееmѕ аnd іnсrеаѕеѕ your revenue.
  4. Prospecting on Linkedin – helping you make and maintain meaningful connections. Linkedin is the world’s richest, business to business, online networking platform in the world. Most people are on Linkedin but don’t do anything with it. Outsource the use of this rich source of business to someone who will.
  5. Growing and Managing your Referral Partners. Introductions from referral partners are over 60% more likely to result in business than a cold call, but the key is to establish relationships with a network of referral partners and to stay in touch with them.  A knowledgeable virtual PA will make this happen.

A good virtual personal assistant helps entrepreneurs work on their business, not in their business.


rebecca cross

Rebecca Cross is a Virtual PA with a background experience working with IBM and the Wall Street Journal, amongst others. She specialises in providing creative business and administration support for entrepreneurs and business owners who understand the value of working on their business, rather than in their business.

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The Question Guaranteed to Increase Business

In sales, it’s said that quality questions reveal hidden needs and want to share the ‘must ask’ guaranteed to increase business

Yes, if you really want to open up different ways to help your clients, prospective clients and referral partners you would remember this one question. “How do you see the next 12 months working out for you?”  Ask it at every opportunity. 

It is such a powerful question when asked at the right time and with the correct tonality of voice. It’s a question that looks forward and one that shows genuine concern and interest about the person you ask.

Clearly it show that you are interested and if you ‘listen with your eyes and your ears’ you will begin to understand how you can help that individual. Eyes will reveal body language. From the way someone may shift in their chair, lean forward or try to hide a frown or grimace if they are in fear of the future.

Listening ‘between the lines’ is critical and you will generally find three types of response:

  1. They are concerned about the future. Maybe worried about lack of future business, competitors or disruptive circumstances, beyond their control, that will effect their future revenue.
  2. They are excited about the future. They may have expansion plans or new opportunities for growth. Maybe they’re taking on new products or services or new staff, larger premises. You may notice an enthusiasm and excitement in their voice. Their plans may or may not be realistic but a few questions about how they going to practically achieve their new goals will reveal all.
  3. They are happy with the status quo. Everything is fine and cannot imagine any circumstance that could change their world.

The reason this question is so powerful lies in the responses from types 1 and 2 and your willingness to help. To help them overcome difficulties with your product, services or advice. To help them achieve their goals fast or with less risk or less cost with your products or services.

Let’s keep this practical you may or may not be able to help the person yourself but I’m sure you have a referral partner that can help them. This question is a very powerful one in helping you reach out to help more clients. Teach this to your referral partners – they will thank you for it.

 


rebecca cross

 

Rebecca Cross is a Virtual PA with a background experience working with IBM and the Wall Street Journal, amongst others. She specialises in providing creative business and administration support for entrepreneurs and business owners who understand the value of working on their business, rather than in their business.

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