I flew to Minneapolis, MN two weeks ago, to attend AssistU’s yearly Community Recognition Awards Ceremony, and to connect and re-connect with my VA pals. Although nominated for three awards, I never expected to be among the winners.
Can you imagine my surprise when I heard my name called as a winner? Was is really my name that I heard? “It can not be ME; there are others who deserve this much more than I do.” The thoughts raced through my mind. Yet, my heart jumped with joy and I almost danced to the front of the room to receive my certificate.
I am thrilled to have received this award, not for the first, but for the second time. And having been chosen as the most supportive member of the year, to me represents a big responsibility; therefore, I choose to commit here and now to continue to nurture this wonderful community, to help it grow and prosper even more. I have been involved with AssistU for three years now; our unique community of Virtual Assistants helps each other freely, with lively interactions on its membership site, and instant support.
What I so deeply cherish is that my engagement with the community is so welcomed. This, by itself, makes my heart sing! By voting for me my pals express their appreciation of me, my actions, my personality, my style. I am dancing!
Have you won a community award? What were your thoughts that raced through your mind? Did you experience similar feelings, and what, if any, actions did you take because of the award? I’d love to hear from you.
Every year,in the fall, AssistU holds its yearly Community Recognition Awards ceremony, lovingly called “Homecoming.” Being AssistU VAs, we all have completed a rigorous 20-week training program and, once passed the weekend-long exam, are required to sign a strict Code of Ethics each year, in order to remain a member of the community.
My peers nominated me for three awards this year. When the emails came rolling in a few weeks ago, for a moment I was speechless; I didn’t believe my eyes. Then the emotions set in: gratitude, happiness, love.
These are nominations that I do not take lightly; they display great trust in me, and honor my contributions to this community that I value so deeply.
AssistU VAs work in long-term relationships with their clients; that’s what makes us different from other VAs. We deeply care about our clients, and over time become their one-stop-go-to resource.
I feel so very humbled by having received these nominations. Whether I will receive the award for any of these or not, I thank everyone in the AssistU community who helped to make this happen!
It’s a time of celebrations: both my husband and I are having big Birthdays this year; and we are celebrating our 25th Wedding Anniversary. Is there a better reason to throw a party?
Visitors arrived: from Germany and Holland, from Quebec and Ontario; up to 10 people slept in our house. We had fun; we laughed; we found ourselves crammed into the gazebo and counted 14! I lived from one food shopping trip to the next; how on earth could the fridge shrink by the minute?
I thought I had it all prepared and that juggling work and guests would be quite possible.
I was wrong!!
I didn’t want to have to work when everyone else was in bed; I wanted to enjoy our guests and spend as much time with them as possible; see, they don’t come and visit every year ….. I didn’t want to end up sleep-deprived either.
I felt torn! I felt pressure inside just thinking about the time I needed to do the work my clients trust I do 100%. And thinking about that trust helped me to balance company and clients’ requirements.
What to we need to do in preparation for such happening? Most importantly, inform your clients as soon as you have firm dates; and determine, with them, the tasks that need to be done while your have guests. If possible, arrange your working hours in such way that allows you to spend more time on each client beforehand so that there is no lack in performance.
My take-away from this experience:
- Don’t compromise and only agree to what you absolutely, definitely know you can do!
- Don’t make firm commitments; chance is that it’s tough, if not impossible, to keep them.
- Plan your working time around your visitors’ outside-the-house activities and stick to your plan.
I didn’t count on things to work out differently than I had planned! I didn’t allow for the unforeseen! And ….. I learned a lesson!
I am grateful to my clients who have been wonderful and understanding; and I am grateful to all who flew in, or drove, to spend these precious days and hours with us. Some are still here, so is my sister, my best friend. I savor every moment! Who knows when we’ll see each other again!
I wonder, how do you juggle visitors and work? I’d love to see your thoughts and advice.
You are excited, exhilarated! You have found yourself THE best Virtual Assistant!
You have done your due diligence; you and your new VA talked in length about your requirements and how you both are going to design your partnership. You read and responded to her Welcome Packet and started sharing your workload with your VA.
Then, all of a sudden, panic sets in. You now not only have to organize your own work, it’s also your VA’s work, for this week, this month. You experience a sense of overwhelm. “How do I decide what work to give her?” Or “Will she be able to do this? What if it doesn’t work out?”
We all know and dislike the “What if’s.”
The little devil on your shoulder is laughing; he is winning again as he has managed to instill doubts in you.
I call this the Quicksand Syndrome. This is the phase where, as quickly as sand runs through the hourglass, you experience another fear.
This a crucial time in the client relationship; open and honest communication on both sides is most important. It’s here that your VA can gently coach you through the rising feeling of panic. You are a team, and as team mates you talk about your feelings, your concerns, your fears. Being able to voice your anxiety helps you sort through it; it helps you build trust, and it helps your VA understand you better; she is able to show you that she is there for you and can ease your pain. It’s a win-win situation when done properly.
This happened recently, again, with one of my clients. When I realized the Quicksand Syndrome, I encouraged her to talk about her thoughts, and listened with an open mind. At the end of our conversation, she was at ease, her questions had been answered, and we had worked out how to proceed in our working relationship without her feeling overwhelmed.
When a VA is committed to great client relationships, it’s not only the physical work that she does for the client that is important; it’s very much about caring, about being compassionate, loyal, and honest. It shows in little things, such as an email to say “I am thinking of you” when she hands over her children to her ex-husband for the week and feels lost; or it’s the unexpected snail mail card reading “Just saying Hi” that pops up in her mailbox.
Great, long-lasting client relationships are created by having the clients’ best well-being in mind at all times, and through working from the heart!
Are you working with a VA? How did she help you through the Quicksand Syndrome and what makes your relationship with her special?