For years as a virtual assistant, I’ve been telling business owners to hire support and hand off tasks that someone can do better, faster, or for less. This frees up time and energy for work only the client can do. I’ve seen them do just that with amazing results.
For almost 17 years now, I’ve been the one to take over those tasks and support other businesses while holding my own success hostage with a fear of failure. By all accounts, I am successful. I made it past the 5 years threshold most businesses fail to achieve. I’ve worked with ideal clients, weathered the ups and downs of industry shifts, and worked through my issues of imposter syndrome and am I worth what I charge. My chest swells with pride sometimes that I’ve beaten the odds.
Up until now, however, I’ve played small when it comes to my own business. For most of my career, whenever I thought of a successful full-time practice, I envisioned myself a solo player billing 60-80 hours a month. Last fall, I hit that hourly goal and it nearly killed me.
My vision for my business shifted fundamentally. I knew what I didn’t want – to do it all for myself and my clients – but had no idea what I did want. I love working with my clients. I love brainstorming, collaborating, and coaching them from their vision to reality. I was just overwhelmed with doing all the tasks that come with it.
In my head, I was starting to sound like one of my clients. A friend suggested I take on some help, maybe my own virtual assistant. A suggestion I’ve made countless times over the years to various friends, family, and colleagues. At the time I couldn’t give it much brain-power, but I left the idea marinating in the back of my mind.
As Patricia Crane explains in her book, Ordering from the Cosmic Kitchen, I had put my order into the Cosmic Kitchen and the Cosmic Chef was getting it ready for me. I’m able to look back now and see the stepping stones as they started to appear.
Practicing What I Preach
One thing I’ve learned about the Cosmic Kitchen is it works on its own timeline. Once I decided to walk my talk and think realistically about hiring help, I casually mentioned it in one of my accountability groups. The next day I got an email from a friend asking if I would consider working with her daughter. Within a week of hiring her, I had started to shift both my work and client work onto her to-do list.
Everything I handed off felt small and big at the same time. They might have been small tasks, like creating social media graphics, researching hashtags, e-course platforms and payment portals, but they were things I didn’t want to do. There was ease in handing them off and relief when my VA completed them with minor adjustments. We were building trust right off the bat.
The Universe likes to fill a void and handing things off to my VA created a big one for me. The creative gates opened and ideas poured out of me. Overwhelming but in a good way.
Walking my talk has been magical. I knew hiring a helper would ease my chaos and open space for more creativity because I’ve seen it happen to all my clients over the years. For the first time, I understood what it feels like to be a client. To feel the freedom of handing things off.
The feeling of safety and excitement to try new things. To take a risk and build something big because I have a team member to support me and hold me accountable.
I am beyond excited to share what’s coming next! I’m working on crafting a VIP day and e-course that supports solopreneurs and coaches who are thinking of hiring support but want help to figure out what they need.
While I’m building that, I’m launching a second round of my accountability group, Working Thursdays. It’s been amazing both for the participants and myself.
“Working Thursdays keeps my head from spinning in every direction, helps me focus on MY tasks and keeps me accountable.”– E. L.
In 45-minute segments, we’ve been able to:
- Write blog posts
- Draft social media content
- Clean closets and a pantry
- Organize a craft room
- Clean and organize kids’ rooms
- Plot out stories
- And more
“I LOVE Working Thursdays! It’s amazing how much I accomplish in two hours when I have the accountability of the group! And I stay focused because I know they will be checking in with me at the end. Rachael provides gentle guidance and encouragement to keep us all on track.”– B.H.
Participants expressed their wish that we could do the group every day because they’re so productive. They’re using the tools I shared in week one for all kinds of other projects. It’s fulfilling to see the impact of our time together.
Registration is now open for the next round of Working Thursdays, starting May 5th. This 6-week program is $97. Click here for more information.
Have you had the experience to walk your talk? Share with me in the comments.