Are you a business owner or freelancer who's struggling with trying to do it all while growing your business? In this episode, I'm joined by Nicole Bandes, founder and CEO of Virtual A Team and virtual assistant specialist, who helps entrepreneurs and freelancers free up their time by delegating tasks to the right Virtual Assistant for their online business.
Nicole shares how a devastating experience opened up a path to entrepreneurship and starting her own outsourced VA business. She also provides practical tips for entrepreneurs on how to delegate tasks, the importance of organization when delegating, and building a team around your business.
So if you are feeling overwhelmed and at a loss on how to manage it all, then this episode is for you!
Join us as we discuss:
(1) Nicole's life-changing experience that made her realize the importance of spending time on things that matter most
(2) The benefits of hiring a Virtual Assistant and how to find the right one for your business
(3) What tasks you should delegate first
(4) How to prioritize tasks when you don't have a budget to outsource
(5) Tips on time blocking to maximize productivity and achieve business goals
(6) What you can do to create and set effective and clear boundaries with clients
(7) Some of the services offered by Virtual A team and how they help their clients
(8) Nicole's biggest piece of advice to entrepreneurs on how to manage overwhelm and take back control of their business
**How to Make Money on Fiverr: A Masterclass for Freelancers**
To kick off the new year, I'm hosting a masterclass on Jan 4th to teach you everything you need to know to make money on Fiverr. You’ll learn how to set up your profile, optimize your gigs, get your first few clients, and more! Head to lindsayhanson.com/fiverr to register now, and kickstart your freelancing biz in the new year!
Connect with Nicole
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Lindsay: How many times have you thought about quitting your job and starting a new life? Hey, I'm Lindsay, the girl who actually did that, and now I'm on a mission to change the nine to five narrative that dreading Monday and working for the weekend is normal and acceptable. My goal is to see your potential beyond your credentials.
Lindsay: Gain clarity on what it means to live life on your own terms, and build the confidence to go after your dream career. I'm here to prove to you that it's possible for you to do work you love, make a positive impact on the world, make even more money than you're making right now, and live a deeply fulfilling life.
Lindsay: So let's dive in.
Lindsay: Freelancers. Imagine waking up every morning to new orders and clients in your inbox ready to work with you. That is what I wake up to every morning on Fiverr, all because I decided to create a free profile and set up a $30 gig back in 2019. That one gig is now making me nearly $2,000 a month as a part-time income stream.
Lindsay: And I wanna show you how to set up and optimize your profile so you can turn Fiverr into a consistent client funnel. Whether you're a brand new freelancer looking to get started or an established freelancer who could use another income stream. My make money on Fiverr or Masterclass is for you. I'm sharing everything you need to know to set up your profile and make your first few sales.
Lindsay: Plus, I'm offering a special bonus to the first 10 people who sign up. You will get a personalized Fiverr profile audit from me, where I will give you specific tips for how to optimize your gig and stand out on Fiverr's platform. So if you've been thinking about getting started on Fiverr, this is your sign to start today.
Lindsay: The masterclass takes place on January 4th, and spots are filling up quickly, so I would not wait. Go to lindsayhansen.com/fiverr right now to get all the details and secure your spot. That's lindsayhansen.com/fiverr F I V E R R or click the link in the show notes and I will see you on the inside.
Lindsay: Hello everyone and welcome back to the podcast. I'm here today with Nicole Bandes, who has an incredible story. After losing her 17 year old son in a car accident, Nicole stepped into her purpose of encouraging others to make time for what matters most. In 2017, Nicole founded Virtual A team, a virtual services agency, helping overwhelmed coaches and consultants who wanna define success by the wealth of their lives.
Lindsay: Not the size of their bank accounts. Nicole now walks the walk working less than 20 hours a week, and today she's here to show [00:03:00] you how you can live a thriving life and grow a successful business. Nicole, welcome to the podcast.
Nicole: Thanks so much, Lindsay. I am excited to be here.
Lindsay: I am excited to have you. I know you have such a powerful story, so I'd love for you to start by just telling us a little bit more about your journey and what made you want to start your business.
Nicole: You know, I mean, sometimes when I listen to these podcasts, I'm like, okay, how far back do we really wanna go ? Because honestly, I, I knew I was gonna be an entrepreneur from a very young age, even though my parents weren't entrepreneurial. But I, I started down this path probably about 10 or 15 years ago. I kind of started going down the path of being a coach.
Nicole: And my area of expertise was around productivity and helping clients, particularly other entrepreneurs, be more productive. And what I realized after doing this for about five or seven years or so, was most of them just needed to have the resources to help them outsource. And they didn't have that, or they didn't know how to outsource it.
Nicole: They didn't know how to manage the people that they were outsourcing. and that's where I sort of kind of created virtual a team and, you know, filled the gap that I saw there was a need for and mm-hmm. . And that's where it really kind of started.
Lindsay: Yeah, I mean there's definitely a need as a service provider and coach.
Lindsay: I can tell you, , there is a need, and I'm sure any of the service providers listening can attest as well. And I know that a big part of what you do is, you know, you want to encourage others to really make time for what matters most. . And I think that's a big reason why a lot of us go into entrepreneurship is because we want that time freedom.
Lindsay: But then we can sometimes get into this trap where we end up just working all the time and not actually having the time for the things that we want. So why is that factor of time something that's so important to you and the work that you do with your clients.
Nicole: Well, you know, I mean, you, you alluded to it in my intro, in my bio about losing one of my sons when he was 17 years old, and I'd already been teaching productivity at that point.
Nicole: I'd already been kind of trying to master it myself, and I started down learning productivity simply because I was kind of like, I was lazy, let's be honest. I wanted to learn how to do more in less time, so I had to be more productive to do that, and I had the benefit when losing my son. If you can say that there's any sort of benefit at all to that kind of an experience.
Nicole: I had the benefit of realizing that I didn't have any coulda, woulda, shouldas. I reflected back on the time that I spent with him and realized I was very deliberate about the way that I chose to spend time with him. You know, I was there for his, when he got home from school, I was there for little league games, but yet I didn't spend every little league practice sitting there.
Nicole: You know, I told him, I'm gonna work little league practice, but I'll be there for the games. And it was a very conscious choice and so whereas a lot of people reflect on the loss of somebody and they have those, man, what if I had just, just spent a little more time with them? I didn't have that, and that was an opportunity for me to share with other people.
Nicole: And when I did, they're like, oh my gosh, that's what I want. That's what I really am striving for, is that ability to spend my time on those things that matter most. And while I love my business and I have a passion for what I. I don't want to sacrifice my family and myself and you know, all of these other things that are truly important.
Nicole: I don't want to have to choose. I want it all. And this is how you get it all.
Lindsay: Yeah, I think that's so powerful and it's always just a powerful reminder that really puts things into perspective and it's, you know, unfortunate that sometimes it takes losing someone to gain that perspective. But it sounds like you had it all along and you were always really intentional with spending time on what matters most.
Lindsay: But I think a lot of us can probably think about either how we're spending our time now, whether it's the amount of hours we're working in our career or in our business, and think of, I kind of wish I'd been spending more time with the my children or my partner, or just doing more things that fulfill us.
Lindsay: And we can sometimes lose that perspective when we're in it. And all we're thinking about is work and all we're thinking about is growing our business. And that's why it's something that's so important to me too, because I started this business to have that freedom and to make sure that I was spending time on things that matter and things that fulfill me.
Lindsay: But it's still so easy to get caught up in it and then, you know, spend all day working and be like, oh, well I'm just gonna work a Saturday here and there. And then realize that like, this isn't even why I started this business in the first place. And I think a lot of us have, might even have this idea that like, well, we're working, I'm working a lot of hours, but it's only temporary.
Lindsay: But what does that actually mean? Cuz then you're five years in and you're still doing it, right? So I think it's so important to really check in with yourself regularly about how you're spending your time. And is that something that you do or something that you recommend for your clients? Like any practices to really evaluate how you're spending your time and whether you're spending your time in the ways that really do matter most to you?
Nicole: You know, there's a lot of productivity experts that really strongly recommend doing time audits, and these can be a little tedious and a little challenging and a little boring, but they are really, really valuable. But if you're not even gonna go to that effort to do a time audit, at least do a gut check and a heart check. And take the moment throughout your day to say, is this really the most valuable way that I can be spending my time right now?
Nicole: And there's gonna be times where you're like, well, I need to spend time with my family, but I need to spend time with my business. And it's a hard choice. But when you can look at the big picture throughout your week or your month, then you realize that it becomes not balance. You know, we don't strive for balance, but we strive for harmony.
Nicole: You know, you may have a launch going on, and so you have to spend a lot of time on your business while you're planning that launch. But then you have a break after the launch and that's when you get to spend more time with your family. So it's harmony, it's not balance.
Lindsay: Mm-hmm. I think that's such a good word too, cuz we can like beat ourselves up for feeling like, we have to balance it and we have to spend like the same amount of time on our business and our personal life.
Lindsay: And I think it's just so not realistic most of the time. So I really like that word harmony instead. And I know I also mentioned in the intro that you're working less than 20 hours a week in your business. So what is it that got you to this point of being able to have a successful business while only working at 20 hours a week?
Nicole: It was a very conscious decision. I knew that's what I wanted to reach, and if it hadn't been a conscious decision, I would've continued to work endless hours, you know, and never gotten here. But two or three years ago, I said to myself, okay, I now have a granddaughter. I know a lot of your audience is younger, but I do have a granddaughter.
Nicole: She's two and a half, and I wanna spend time with her. And then covid hit and the realization that we can't always know what's gonna come up to affect our time and how we're spending it. And my husband is approaching retirement, so he and. Purchased an RV and we wanna go travel a lot more all across the country.
Nicole: And that desire for me to minimize the number of hours that I was committed to working meant that I had to be very, very strategic with the time that I spent, that the hours that I spent working my business had to be very deliberately, things that only I could do. And that's the key. The only way you're gonna get to 20 hours or less a week is to do only the things that only you can do in your business and outsource the rest.
Lindsay: Hmm. Okay. I know that's probably a scary word for a lot of you listening, it was a scary word for me when I was a new entrepreneur. I mean, I'm still a new entrepreneur. Why do you think that's something that is so hard for a lot of entrepreneurs to do is to outsource and delegate tasks in our business?
Nicole: Yeah. There's a few key reasons. One is, this is our baby. This is, I mean, it's like thinking, oh my gosh, am I gonna send my kid to daycare? Am I gonna send my kid to you know, a private school? Do I have any control over who's raising my child? This is the same thing with our business is this is. We didn't just start a business to hand off pieces to somebody else.
Nicole: It really is a passion of ours and giving away a piece of our passion is challenging. The other thing is we're not generally raised to know how to give work to other people. I mean, in our school systems today, it's do your own work. Do your own work. And even if there's a group project, yeah, it's, you know, you're rarely the leader of the group project.
Nicole: You know, so we don't learn the skill of how to give pieces of work away to somebody else, and that's, you know, they don't teach it in a business school either, so it's just not a natural talent.
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Lindsay: Yeah, that's such a good point. Like there was really no time where I remember ever learning how to do this effectively. And exactly what you said, it does feel like giving up a piece of your baby and a piece of your passion. But I think there's also so much space where it can free up more of your time and really help you to expand your business and create the business and the life that you want.
Lindsay: But first, we have to overcome that hurdle of actually. Giving away a little bit of control. So do you have any tips for entrepreneurs who might be in that spot where they know they need to delegate, but they're struggling to actually do it?
Nicole: Yeah, there's two levels of outsourcing and delegating. There's one where you as the business owner, no exactly what you want done and how it should be done, and you have an exact step-by-step process for doing that.
Nicole: And that's the point where your basic general VA can work very well for you. But if you don't know exactly what you need to have done or creating those systems, those standard operating procedures is not your zone of genius, then often it's a better step to work with you know, an online business manager or virtual business manager, somebody who is an implementer and can help you create these processes and procedures in your business.
Nicole: Hire the experts that already know how to do what it is that you want to have accomplished. Let's say you wanna create an email list. But are you gonna spend all of the time learning how to create an email list only to then set up a standard operating procedure to go have somebody follow that for you?
Nicole: Or you can hire somebody, you can say, I need an email list. Here's my opt-in, set it up for me. Hmm. And it's done. They walk you through whatever it is that you need to have done. They do the majority of the tech work, which a lot of entrepreneurs, you know, once we start talking tech and tools, they're like, that's scary.
Nicole: You know, so get somebody that's already the expert and then have them help you do the things that you don't know how to do.
Lindsay: Yeah. And do you always recommend delegating, like from the beginning of your business, or are there sometimes where delegating is not the answer?
Nicole: You know, there are different levels.
Nicole: You certainly can delegate from the beginning if you're getting help. For example, creating your brand or setting up your website or those kind of things that from the very beginning you might not know how to do websites and you want to delegate that out. So there are certain benefits to delegating right from the start.
Nicole: Now, often the limiting factor there is your budget. And so you need to get started smaller and wait to start delegating until you have a bigger cushion in your income that it's easier to pay somebody else to do some of those things.
Lindsay: Yeah, that definitely makes sense. I know that delegating was a really difficult thing for me, so I think an issue that a lot of entrepreneurs
Lindsay: probably struggle with is if your business grows faster than you anticipated. You kind of reach this point where like your business is growing and that's great, but you're also super overwhelmed and you're overworked and you're burning out. And you need to delegate, right? And that's kind of the point that I hit in my business, which was when I hired two assistants to help me.
Lindsay: So how do we figure out what is it that we should be delegating in our business and who exactly should we be hiring?
Nicole: Yeah. And again, this is one of those, it depends questions. I know it's horrible, but you know, some of the things that I often recommend people start with are the things in business.
Nicole: Absolutely, positively have to get done, but you hate doing. So for me, bookkeeping. I don't like to do bookkeeping at all. It, I'm not a numbers person. And even opening a QuickBooks file is just like, yeah, I'd rather go clean my toilets. So, but it is critical that that gets done. You can't not do the bookkeeping in your business.
Nicole: So that's kind of the number one thing to think about.
Nicole: After that, really start thinking about those things that you tend to procrastinate. They should get done, but you're kind of like, you know, I just never really get around to those things. I know I need to do them. You know, often social media or email marketing, you know, being a guest on podcasts, those are things that you should be doing, but they're easy to put off in, you know, in the interest of
Nicole: look, I can either do the things that I have to do to make the capture as you're seeing. Or I can spend time with my family. So yeah, I'm gonna pick those over those things that I should be doing.
Lindsay: Mm-hmm. Yeah. So kind of starting with what has to be done, but you hate doing it. And then what are the items that you tend to procrastinate on?
Lindsay: And that's kind of where to start when it comes to outsourcing, right?
Nicole: Yeah. And another one is the things that you're just not good at.
Nicole: I mean,
Nicole: I have a podcast of my own. And yet when it comes to audio, I couldn't tell you what a good audio sounded like from a bad audio. So, I'm not the best person to edit my own audio.
Nicole: I could do it from the technical - I know how to start the program. I know how to set the levels and I know, but I couldn't tell you what sounded good and what didn't. So that's a good thing for me to delegate.
Lindsay: Yeah, that's such a good point too. So what advice or what would you say to someone who's new in their business?
Lindsay: They don't necessarily have the budget yet to outsource all of these things that they either don't like doing or aren't very good at?
Nicole: For those individuals I really suggest that you be very strategic about what you're spending your time on and eliminate those things that are not necessary right now. It is absolutely imperative that you have a website.
Nicole: It is not absolutely imperative that you be on six different social media channels. It is not imperative that you have an email that goes out every week or even every month at the beginning. So be very strategic and don't try to do everything because somebody else is doing it all. They probably have a team supporting them.
Nicole: Yeah. So, you know, be conscientious about the things that you have to do to build your business and let go of the other things until you begin to open up the capacity for them.
Lindsay: And I think also looking at the things that you think you have to do and asking, do you actually have to do those? Like you said, a website is something that we often think we need.
Lindsay: But at the end of the day, it's not actually going to be moving the needle forward in your business. Or at least not as much as some other tasks, which are more important at first, you know?
Nicole: Right, right. For sure. Get out there and network, you know. Meet people. Connect. And I don't mean social networking, I mean actual networking and doesn't have to be live. It can be virtual. But that's the best way to start building those connections and making that now, as I say, making the cash register sing.
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Lindsay: I'll see you on the inside.
Lindsay: I know you've spent a lot of years on productivity and time management, and I'd love for you to share any tips you have there of how can we get more done throughout the day and maybe get more done in less time?
Nicole: You know this question, I love it. And a lot of it goes to mindset. It's being willing to say yes to the things that matter, say no to the things that don't matter.
Nicole: And not feeling guilty when you say no. You know, I mean, we're kind of obsessed with being guilty of things these days. And you know, whenever we have to say no to a project or a task or a even a potential client, that's not an ideal fit for us. You know, the guilt kind of creeps in and it becomes overwhelming and like, oh my gosh, where's the next client gonna come from if I say no to this one?
Nicole: But being willing to put those boundaries in place and allowing yourself that, hey, I'm giving myself permission to say yes or to say no. And the other thing that I really highly recommend is to time block your week. And what this is, if your listeners aren't familiar with it, it's taking a blank calendar, week long calendar and blocking out if you were to live your ideal week.
Nicole: When would you have your appointments? When would you work on your accounting and admin? When would you spend time with family? When would you have free time to kind of do creative flowy kind of things, you know, and put blocks on your calendar for all of these things. Then you can try and move them around as you need to, but having that time block in place allows you to be able to know that everything's gonna be done.
Nicole: That way if you're like, oh my gosh, I have to work on writing three scripts for my podcast. You don't have to feel rushed to do that today because you know it's on your calendar for next Friday. And that frees you up from all that head space of thinking, oh my gosh, I gotta get it done. I gotta get it done.
Nicole: Nope, it's on the calendar. I know it's gonna get done.
Lindsay: Yeah, that's definitely been huge for me. And it's exactly what you said is like it frees up so much of my head space. Like I'm not in the back of my mind thinking of my entire running to-do list, which is like endless because I know that I've blocked off time specifically to do those things.
Lindsay: So that's something that's so helpful for me. I literally, every Sunday I go in and like block off all of my time for the upcoming week and like when am I gonna do each task? And that's definitely been huge for me. So it's always something that I recommend as well. And I think too, it could help and be kind of an indicator for you of, you know, if you're saying, well ideally I want to spend this many hours a week
Lindsay: on this task, but then you find yourself spending way more time every week on that task. Well, maybe that's something where you can delegate right? So I think that also can be a good tool when it comes to figuring out what in your business you want to delegate.
Nicole: Oh, absolutely. Because a lot of times we don't realize
Nicole: how much time it actually takes us to spend on, you know, to complete things. So that is a great indicator if you think it's gonna take two hours. So you block off two hours and all of a sudden you have three of those two hour blocks to finish something you thought was gonna take one. And that's a huge indicator.
Nicole: And you know, the good news is you don't have to do it forever. I'm past that point where I have to time block because yeah, I've gotten it down. I've gotten that, that vibe going. But it's a great way if you really want to capture that 20 or 30 hours and say, I only wanna work this. If it doesn't fit within the boundaries of those time blocks, then you know you need to outsource it.
Nicole: Or it's time to let it go, you know, and stay true to it. Or you know, it's something that you work towards if you're still at 40 hours or more, or you know you're working a full-time job and your goal is to kind of fit that business around your full-time job till it takes off. And you scope that out using the time blocking, and it allows you to be realistic about how much time that's gonna take.
Lindsay: Yeah, that's such a good point too. And I'd love if you have any other tips to share for our side hustlers who are listening, who are still working full-time, and also trying to build their business on the side.
Nicole: Yeah, you know, it's a tough one cuz it is a lot more on you. You know, find breaks in your day that you can do the little things, you know, you'd be surprised sitting there, you know, watching TV for an hour takes up
Nicole: a lot more time than you would think, but you could, even if you're sitting there watching tv, spending time with your family, and that's what your family enjoys doing, there are possible things that you could be getting done. At the same time with their permission. I always say do it with their permission.
Nicole: Because if you're sitting there on your phone answering emails, they may think you're surfing social media or playing video. But you could be very productive. But when you check in with them and say, Hey, look, I'm here. I'm watching tv, but I'm checking my emails. Are you okay with that? Then it allows everybody to kind of be on the same page. And then, you know, your family can say, you know what?
Nicole: For one day I'd love it if you could just do this with stay focused. And you can say, great, I'm gonna put the phone down and I won't. You know, while you're driving, find apps that can read articles to you or find other ways that you can be productive. And I don't call this multitasking because multitasking is a misnomer.
Nicole: We can't actually switch brains as easily as we think we can. But you can multipurpose your time. And that's about figuring out how can I get two things done with one activity. So as an example around the house, having your kids help you prepare dinner is an excellent way to spend time with your children while accomplishing, getting dinner cooked.
Nicole: So you're killing two birds with one stone. You're multi purposing that time.
Lindsay: That's such a good way of looking at it. And I think, you know, there's space where it's probably not a good idea to try to do more than one thing at a time, and I think it depends on kind of yourself, and whether that's gonna be overwhelming to you or whether it's gonna help you to feel more productive, right? But there's definitely been times where I'm like, I need to work out. I also need to answer these emails. So why don't I answer the emails while I'm on the StairMaster? Yeah. So it's figuring out, I think, what works for you, but I think it's also so important to kind of build in breaks in time where you're not focused on work or focused on your business.
Lindsay: Cause allowing that rest time I think is huge too.
Nicole: Yeah. You know, there is productive time does not mean that you are packed solid from the moment you wake up until the moment your eyes fall asleep. Productive just means that you're doing the most effective thing for that moment. And you're absolutely spot on that sometimes taking a break is the most effective way you can be productive right now.
Lindsay: Mm-hmm. Yeah. That's so good. Do you have any tips for, you know, the time management piece is kind of okay, I've blocked off my time and I'm dedicating these two hours to this specific task. So within those two hours, do you have any tips for how can we really maximize our productivity within that time?
Nicole: Yeah, for sure.
Nicole: First of all, I always recommend to break the tasks down because if you write in a time block, such as, you know, let's say you're trying to write a book. I'm just throwing something out there, and you write in write book. That's too overwhelming and you have no idea where to even start. You know, you sit down and you open your program and you stare at a blank screen.
Nicole: Whereas if you write down research five topics to write chapters one through five, You know, or write a thousand words in the next, you know, hour, whatever the case may be. So break those down into bite size and actionable things that are very clear. You know exactly what you wanna accomplish, and it is very accomplishable within the timeframe that you are setting aside.
Nicole: And the next thing is give focused, turn off the buzzers and the notifications and everything else, if at all possible. Now, I realize some people's jobs or businesses don't allow for this, but do it as much as possible because if you're in a doctor's office and your phone rings, you're probably not gonna pick up the phone and answer it.
Nicole: So make this your doctor's appointment, all right? And, and schedule that time, and then build in time later where you can return phone calls or emails or messages. And just know that you've got maybe three or five times during your day for responding to those kind of things.
Lindsay: Hmm. I think that's huge. It's so easy to get distracted.
Lindsay: I think, especially as a coach or as a consultant, if your clients are reaching out to you throughout the day, it's so easy to feel like, well, I need to respond right away. But being conscious of that. Like your client is gonna be okay if you respond to them in two hours, like I promise.
Lindsay: And really shutting off your notifications during those times where you're working on something and you want to really be focused, I think is so huge.
Lindsay: And one thing that I started implementing, which was helpful for me is like using the screen time limits on my phone. So that after a certain time of day, I don't even see the Slack notifications or the email notifications coming through from my clients because I'm off the clock, like I'm not working.
Lindsay: That's my personal time. And I think it can be sometimes hard cuz we feel like we need to always be there for our business and for our clients. But you don't. No, no, don't. You don't need to be there 24/7.
Nicole: Yeah. At Virtual A team, it's even in our signature line for every one of our teammates, it says we do not work after 5:00 PM or on weekends.
Nicole: Now, I'm a big believer that Dr. Phil says we teach people how to treat us.
Nicole: And so it's imperative that we set the boundaries that we want to abide by. And if somebody is working with you that doesn't abide by those boundaries or doesn't agree with those, then they're not the right client for you.
Nicole: There's somebody else that would be a much better fit. So feel empowered to create those boundaries around your time and what you want it to look like. Not just what you think it's supposed to look like based on what everybody else does.
Lindsay: Mmm and I think it's so important to be clear with what those boundaries are.
Lindsay: Like you can literally build it into your contract with your clients of like, yes, these are the times and days when you can expect me to be responsive, and these are the times when I'm not working. I think especially, you know, in this virtual world, you might have clients that are in a different time zone than you, so
Lindsay: being really clear upfront about like when they can expect to hear from you, and if it's after 5:00 PM your time, or whatever time you've decided is the end of your workday, then they'll hear from you the next workday, right. That is something that has helped me a lot. I have a lot of clients who are on the west coast.
Lindsay: I'm on the East coast and so sometimes they'll send me a message and it's like 7:00 PM my time, cuz it's only 4:00 PM for them. But I know like I don't have to respond to this. They're not expecting me to respond to it because they know I'm on East Coast time and I've told them I don't work after 5:00 PM, right?
Lindsay: So it just being really clear about those boundaries with your clients, I think relieves a lot of the pressure too, where it's like, even if they're reaching out to me on their time, they know that I will respond to them in the morning.
Nicole: You know, and there's a good kind of bonus tip for this is even if you are working after hours or weekends, most of our email tools
Nicole: of a send later feature now. So I really encourage people to use that send later feature so that they don't see you working in the evenings or around weekends. Because again, we teach people how to treat us and if they see you working or if you do sort of respond in those off times, then they're like, oh, well I can do that again and I can do that again.
Nicole: And it's lot like raising children. You have to teach them over and over and over again before they get it.
Nicole: And that's okay to give them those gentle reminders to say, I don't work after hours and don't work on weekends. However, I will respond at my first earliest convenience. And I'm gonna give you the best attention that I can when I'm working on your particular stuff.
Lindsay: And you can even set like autoresponders on your email. That for sure if they send you something after hours, then it says, Hey, reminder, I'm not working, and I'll get back to you in the morning, or the next business day or whatever. So whatever you need to do to keep those boundaries in place. For your clients and also sometimes holding yourself accountable to following them as well.
Lindsay: So tell us a little bit more about the work that you do in Virtual A team and how do you help your clients?
Nicole: Yeah, Virtual A team, I took a very unique approach when I created the business model and rather than just being a VA matching service, we actually provide our clients and our clients are all coaches, consultants, and other online based business owners in that.
Nicole: And when we work with a client, we assign them a director. Their official title is director of stuff you don't have time to do. And the director is basically like a project manager. So everything that you have on your plate that you wanna get off your plate, you give that to the director. And then our directors work with a team of experts behind the scenes to accomplish your website design, accomplish your podcast production, or your podcast guest outreach to do all your admin, all your bookkeeping.
Nicole: We're kind of that one-stop shop for all things that you can outsource or most things that you can outsource. But it still provides you one point of contact. So you're not having to manage your graphic designer and your website editor and you know all of these different individuals because it becomes overwhelming too.
Nicole: And if anybody has to leave the team for any reason. We replace them and train them at our cost. So you're not having to go through that process of trying to find, hire, and train and manage a whole new person all over again.
Lindsay: Yeah. That's a interesting, I mean, I don't, I know of, you know, agencies who connect VAs with business owners, but I've never heard of that method of having that one contact point, and I can definitely see the value in that for business owners and so, for the contractors that you work with, how do you get, I'm just thinking of like the VA is listening who might be like, Ooh, maybe I wanna get in on this.
Lindsay: Is there anywhere that they can go if they are interested in joining your team as a va?
Nicole: We have on our website, virtualateam.com towards the bottom, there's a join our team link and they can click on that and figure out what position they would fit the best. And submit an application.
Lindsay: Awesome. And then for any entrepreneurs who might want to get in touch, is that your website virtualateam.com?
Nicole: Yep. Or the direct link to schedule a call with me is delegatesmarter.com, and they can book a call to learn more about our services and whether or not they are a good fit for us and we're a good fit for them.
Lindsay: Awesome. Is there anywhere else, like social media or anywhere where people can connect with?
Nicole: They can get all of that on the same website. That way they only have one place to have to remember.
Lindsay: All right.
Lindsay: I'll link that in the show notes for you guys. And Nicole, before we wrap up, my last question for you is, what piece of advice do you have for the woman listening who's feeling overwhelmed and struggling to do it all in her business?
Nicole: Taking a step back and realizing you don't have to do everything. And then to just start somewhere. And I don't care how sometimes it's cleaning off my desk. Honestly, it's just taking that one step forward [00:42:00] to feel like you have control over one tiny little piece of your world. And then it all kind of blossoms from there.
Lindsay: I love it. Well, Nicole, thank you so much for coming on and sharing all of your tips with us today. This was a great conversation and I know the listeners took at least one thing away that hopefully they can go implement into their business.
Nicole: Well, thank you Lindsay. I appreciate it.