I recently read a humorous but also helpful blog post that was sent to me by one of my friends, Tess Strand and posted here. The post described how Kim Kardashian would be a terrible Virtual Assistant (VA) and gave a litany of reasons. Essentially, the post, written Julia Jasmine Sta Romana, argues that since Kim has certain traits, she’d make a terrible VA. These traits include:
She needs the spotlight
She overshares information
She’s overly dramatic
As such, Kim would make a terrible VA. I’d definitely agree, since any VA should be a hard worker who helps you “behind the scenes”, keeps important information to him or herself, and works well in an open, communicative (and drama free!) relationship.
That post started me thinking, “Well, if Kim would be a terrible VA, who would be a good VA?” That led me to think about what characteristics really define a fantastic VA, which led me to think about my own working relationship with Angeline, my wonderful VA. I let those ideas roll around in my head for a while, and here’s who I came up with for the perfect VA:
I think Tim would be perfect for the job! Granted, he’s a celebrity, but I think he has some defining characteristics and traits that would easily make him the world’s best VA. So, why would I think that Tim would make a great VA? Here’s the reasons:
- He understands Pareto’s Principle [HYPERLINK]. Just like my own personal VA Angeline, Tim understands that you get 80% of the results from 20% of the effort, so focusing your efforts on this key 20%–and offloading that other 80% to a VA—will make you a faster, more productive, and more efficient physician, entrepreneur, business owner, and human being.
- He understands that we are sometimes paralyzed by fear. Example: Some people hate submitting customer complaints, even though they’re well justified. Deep down it probably stems from some deep-set belief of not upsetting authority, but that’s clearly self-limiting belief. How to work around that paralyzing fear? Easy: Have your Virtual Assistant accomplish those unpleasant task for you as a “disinterested third party” of sorts. Problem solved! Tim understands this “paralysis by fear” and would easily take care of those seemingly unpleasant tasks with aplomb.
- I love Tim’s quote in The Four Hour Workweek, “Many a false step was made by standing still”. Tim would make a great VA because he’s always doing something. Another awesome quote from that book is “The opposite of happiness is boredom”. He’s certainly not doing busywork, but he’s hard at work on projects that matter. He’s published multiple books, gives TED talks, is interviewed on countless blogs, and runs a business empire. He never stops! A great work ethic is obviously paramount for any VA, and Tim has that ethic in spades.
- He has perspective. Again, a great quote from The Four Hour Workweek, “Being able to quit things that don’t work is integral to being a winner”. Any VA needs to be able to give you honest feedback on your projects. As Angeline has done for me (and Tim would do for me if I hired him!), the provision of feedback so that you know when you’re fighting a losing battle is key so you can focus your efforts on maximizing your opportunities. Tim’s perspective and insight would be invaluable and as a VA, I’d ask him questions daily.
- Time knows processes. Essentially, if you build a poorly constructed process and then hire a bunch of VA’s to execute it, you’re going to have more problems than when you started. Conversely, if you have a well thought out process that you then outsource, you can double, triple or quadruple your production! I’ve done this with my Virtual Assistant Locator Service and with my eBook composition project (that’s a little insider secret—I have a superb process I’ve formulated for eBooks with VA’s that I think will change the world!). But back to the VA Locator Service: I worked through hiring numerous VA’s, reviewed what worked well and what didn’t, and then created the process to streamline hiring a VA and now I’m offering that service to you as a result. I utilize VA’s to make this service run, and I think that since it’s a well-refined process, it will work great!
- He realizes that time is money. If you’re spending your valuable time, worth even up to $150 or $200 per hour doing something that someone else could do for perhaps $5 or $10 per hour, you’re just being foolish. Additionally, he knows that time is our most valuable resource and if he heard what a friend told me last week, “I’m too busy to make myself more efficient”, he’d probably scream! If I hired Tim, he’d have that foundational belief and know that what he was doing for me (offloading tasks) was mutually beneficial and he’d work extremely hard so we’d both reap the benefits!
So, Tim, if you’re reading this (you own VA will probably see this pop up in your Google Alert for your name), let me know if you’re available! You’d rock as a VA!
All joking aside, these characteristics that I wrote about above are key traits for your virtual assistant to possess. At a bare minimum, they must possess that drive and work ethic to continue to plow through projects and they must have that teamwork mentality and open communication for the relationship to work. Building on that, the additional characteristics of providing valuable feedback, etc, are extremely helpful and if you haven’t yet asked your VA about feedback on projects, for instance, do so today. Your VA likely has a wealth of untapped knowledge and expertise, so maximize your relationship with them!
Image courtesy of W. Oelen, wikimedia commons