Have you ever seen the circus act where the performer is running frantically from one end of the stage to the other trying desperately to keep a number of spinning plates all twirling on the end of long poles?
It’s a pretty random thing to do, you have to admit, but apparently it is a skill set that over the years, some have been able to turn into income. However, they could have saved the cost of replacing all that broken dinnerware and just started a small business or consulting practice. They would have been able to experience the same rush of accomplishment counterbalanced with frantic frustration by trying to run a small business or operate as a sole practitioner. Deadlines, responsibilities, marketing to new clients, servicing existing clients, taking out the trash … all the elements of a good carnival sideshow are there when you work for yourself and try to keep all the plates of your business spinning at the same time.
Which brings us to a good laugh.
Here’s an actual listing that appeared in Craig’s List, just as it was written:
Personal texting assistant
“I get 40 – 50 texts an hour, I cant handle my workload plus texting responsibilities. My phone gets too full and needs deleted every couple hours. This is a full time position and you must be where ever I am at, because my phone is always with me. Serious inquiries only.”
Okay, depending upon the time of day when you are reading this, let’s say you have had at least one cup of coffee and are alert enough to read this and then burst into laughter (or tears if the insanity of it hits too close to home). What is this busy person thinking? There are dozens of ways to solve this problem without hiring an assistant to follow you day and night, (wonder if this job is 24/7?) responding to your text messages for you.
But in a really sad way, we’ve all been there, too busy keeping the plates spinning to see the faltering logic of our thoughts and actions. The problems of the small or sole business person needing a little help often or a lot of help irregularly have grow worse as we’ve all stopped living and working on Main Street and relocated to an internet address somewhere on the World Wide Web. Our opportunities have increased tremendously, our potential market and client base has expanded almost immeasurably. But with it, has come new needs and more frequent requirements for more help, as all those plates threaten to crash simultaneously, shattering into a million broken shards of pottery.
Relax. The same dynamics of cyberspace that gave you more clients, more opportunities, (and more competition) than would ever be possible without the internet has also yielded up a solution to your problem. You can find answers to many of your business needs by turning to a virtual assistant.
A virtual assistant can provide you the admin or support staff you need on a schedule and at a price you can handle. No need to set up another desk in the corner of your office, screen applicants, and keep track of hours worked by your new assistant. Hire a virtual assistant and then get back to doing those things which make your business or consulting practice profitable and fulfilling.
FoxNews.com explains the phenomenon (and value) of hiring a virtual assistant like this:
Demand for virtual assistants — for individuals and small businesses — is climbing, according to research firm Evalueserve, which estimated revenue from such sites last year at $250 million and anticipated it would grow to $2 billion by 2015 …
Tim Ferriss, author of “The Four-Hour Workweek,” uses what he calls a “small army” of virtual assistants for everything from checking his e-mail to screening his phone calls and sending gifts to family and friends. He has even had a team find and schedule dates for him online. Ferriss, 30, who lives in San Francisco, estimates that the services are affordable to anyone who makes more than $30,000 a year. A day of that person’s time would be valued at more than $100 — making outsourcing well worth the investment …
What’s the value of your time? What are you worth to your business?
Realistic questions, and the answer just may have you turning to cyberspace for a virtual assistant to help you manage your workload so that life doesn’t always feel as if you have way too much on your plate.