virtual-assistant-income-report

A Year in Review: Cash Flow Diary $194,290.66

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I really enjoy talking about all things business / marketing / finance / building and I appreciate the chance to stand on this platform that I have built here and share my thoughts, and I appreciate you for reading and following along.

My hope is that you are able to pick up some nuggets that you can apply to whatever it is you’re doing, whether it be building a business, a non profit, a side hustle. Or maybe you just like numbers as much as I do you want to take a peak and leave.

What ever your reason, I hope you find something in this report that is  helpful, informative, or motivating.

Is Your Business An Authentic Representation of Your Success?

I am about to drop a truth bomb on you all this week. You know all those blogs posts you see about “How I made MILLIONS of dollars in my FIRST month” or “How I grew my mailing list to THOUSANDS of subscribers with these SIX easy steps.” They are not the standard. What those people have achieved is great, but it should not be your expectation.

It is all too easy to get caught up in other people’s successes and feel like we have messed up because we haven’t achieved this level of success by an x amount of time.

 

But your success does not need to look like theirs, or mine. 
We are all on our own journey.
Your success should be something that represents you.
It shouldn’t be influenced by someone else.

 

Are Your Business Goals Authentic?

Are you setting business goals around what is popular? Is that course you are launching authentic to your business or are you pushing something out into the world because it’s made someone else a lot of money? While there is nothing wrong with wanting to emulate someone else’s success, you still need to be true to yourself.

If you do not want to be that overt salesperson who sends out hundreds of pitch emails a day – don’t do it. Run your business in an authentic way that feels more personal and catered to your overall business goals. Your audience will plug into that and appreciate you being real with them. After all, people buy from people they like.

Stay true to who you are, and the success you are after will come in the way it is intended.

If you find yourself on a path that isn’t authentic, it’s never too late to stop and change direction. We all make mistakes, but as long as we learn from and grow, it’s always worth it.

 

Even if your success looks different to everyone else in your niche,
as long as you have found a way to success that makes you feel proud,
you will always be winning.

THE NUMBERS

Don’t get caught up with another person’s success or trying to be the next BIG THING. We are all on our own journeys and timelines. You are not a failure if you don’t achieve something in the same way as someone else has. There isn’t a one size fits all when it comes to creating and running a successful business.

Keep doing you, staying true to what makes you proud and your business will flourish.

Income/ Sales

Sales (direct client billing) 182,769.18
Affiliate Sales 1349.24

Total Sales: 194,290.66*

*Pending 3 invoice payments: $4225.54

Expenses

Office Costs 2363.21
Web Hosting 1703.52
Computer Software/Programs 5064.40

  • Adobe Systems
  • Mail Chimp (no longer using)
  • Canva
  • AutoPilot (no longer using)
  • Membermouse
  • Meet Edgar
  • Dropbox
  • Zoom (cancelling)
  • Zapier
  • Crowdfire
  • Active Campaign
  • Microsoft
  • Vimeo
  • Wave Accounting (no longer using)
  • Invoicely (no longer using)
  • Sam Cart (no longer using)
  • PickMonkey (cancelling) 
  • FreeAgent

Office Equipment 423.50
Cell Phone 118.09
Miscellaneous 1155.13
Staff Training 335.27
Auto Expenses 90.94
Meals 66.51
Accommodation 1079.12

Advertising and Promotion 5741.74

  • Facebook
  • Google Ad Words
  • Prish – Client Appreciation Gifts
  • Photos

Staff Entertaining 145.24
Accountancy Fees 152.03
Consultancy Fees 23,207.21

  • 90 Day Year program :// 2714.77
  • Kirsten Robers Rad Fest Live ://2714.77
  • Brendon Buchard :// 678.69
  • Todd Herman: Base Camp :// 13573.85
  • Ask Method :// 678.69
  • Business Coach : // 3393.46

Subscriptions 788.64

  • Haute Chocolate 39.36/ month
  • The Geek Factory
  • App Sumo

Bank/Finance Charges 5022.32

  • Paypal Fees
  • Stripe Fees
  • Banking Monthly Service Fees

Travel 4106.09
Realized Currency Exchange Gain/Loss -735

Total Expenses $50,541.84

Staffing Costs

Materials 2103.95
Staff 39, 856.90

  • 1 Full time assistant
  • 1 Part time assistant
  • a few subcontractors over the year

Staffing total: 41,960.85

Ashley’s Payout: 72, 814.33

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How To Not Let Fear Rule Your Business

no-fear

“Stop being afraid of what could go wrong, and start being excited for what could go right.

~ Tony Robbins

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about why you need emotion to be successful in business. Today, I want to touch on that one feeling that holds us back. That cold sweat. That racing heart. That bottomless feeling in your stomach. Fear.

It’s the number one thing that holds us back when we want to approach a high paying potential client, raise our fees or launch a new product. It happens to the best of us. It even happens to me.

So much so, that I feel I am a bit of an expert in the fear department. I’ve let fear hold me back from achieving my dreams, realizing myself worth and stop me from creating some crazy memories.

But at the beginning of this year, I decided to try something new. After watching Shonda Rhimes inspiring Ted Talk about her year of saying yes to everything, I decided to take up the challenge.

 

And with 2016 coming to a close, I want to reflect on how rising to face my fears in business has changed me and how I approach my work.

Whats the Worse That Can Happen?

“Stop being afraid of what could go wrong, and start being excited for what could go right.” –  Tony Robbins

 

According to Psychology Today, fear is a perceived physical or emotional threat. But we often fear situations that are far from life-or-death.

 

The first step I took in confronting my business fears was practicing a well-known psychology trick. Every time I felt that sense of dread creeping up on me about a situation, I took a deep breath, stepped back and asked myself two important questions:

 

  1. What’s the best thing that can happen?
  2. What’s the worst thing that can happen?

 

You’ll find more often than not that the worst thing that can happen is usually not that bad or quite unrealistic.

 

Hesitant to send that cold pitch introduction to a potential new client? The worst thing that could happen is them saying no or ignoring your email. But at least you summed up that courage, sent off that email and TRIED. You’re still alive.

 

You survived and now you can move onto the next person who might be looking for the services of someone like you. You’ll never know if you don’t take that risk and shut down your fears with cold hard logic.

 

Facing The Cold Hard Numbers

 

“Owning a business means you are facing your fear every day as you fail and soar, sometimes simultaneously.” – Mindy Schoenemann

 

Running a successful business means you have to be brutal with yourself when it comes to the financials. You need to know if you are sinking, breaking even or soaring – but it can be daunting.

 

I didn’t want to feel that disappointment of not reaching my goals. I didn’t want to feel like I was letting myself down like I was a failure. This fear of the what if, held me back in many aspects of my life for quite some time.

 

But since applying that thought process mentioned above, I started to see a shift in my thinking.

 

I began to realize that I needed to be okay with my numbers so that I could be comfortable with my worth. I’ve worked hard to establish my business and provide a fantastic service to my clients. If someone comes along and thinks I’m too expensive, I need to be okay and realise it’s not the end of the world.

 

By knowing what my services are worth and confronting the bottom line I need to make at the end of each month, I can grow by business and manage my income by accepting nothing less than the standard I set for myself.

 

I have to put away all those fears inside my head telling me that no one will pay my rates, that I’m not good enough or that my new product won’t sell.

 

I had to grow my financial self-confidence to grow my brand. We all deserve to get paid what we worth; we just can’t be afraid to ask for it.

 

If you find yourself facing the same crippling fear, I hope I’ve given you some ideas for how to handle it, harness it and make it work for you.

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How to Transition from Founder to CEO Like a Boss

building-your-empire

“Once your business starts to expand, it’s vital to break the habit of having everything in your own head. This is where you start learning how to delegate, to organize yourself, and to set visions and goals for yourself and your company.

~ Amy Porterfield
The Three Crucial Phases of an Online Business

It seems like only yesterday when I had my brain child for YVA Solutions and decided to make the jump from employee to entrepreneur. But after the dust had settled and my business started to take off another transition was need: this time I needed to transform from founder into a full-blown CEO.

My company was at a tipping point and I could no longer guarantee its success and growth by carrying it all on my shoulders.

One of my biggest challenges through this period was learning to let go and to stop being my own support staff. I had to learn to trust the staff I had hired and realise that my way was not always the best way of doing things. I needed to delegate more and show my staff that I trusted and believed in them.

This awkward transition period can be tough on entrepreneurs. The role requires you to focus more on red tape, processes and setting the tone of the company from the bottom up. This is why I had to learn to let go and focus on working in my new zone of genius.

If you find yourself going through similar growing pains, here is what I learnt about delegating, letting go and transforming into a bonafide #GirlBoss.

You Can’t Do It All and You Shouldn’t

While you might have been able to deal with everything from hiring to bookkeeping in the beginning, it’s going to come to a stage where there is just too much to do. You’re going to have to face the cold hard fact that other people can do those tasks better than you.

This is when you need let other people bring in their expertise and energy so that your business stands the best possible chance at reaching the next level. No one is good at everything. We all have our own zones of genius and you should be focusing on yours not trying to micromanage all facets of the business.

 

How to Delegate Strategically: Delegating the Stuff That Doesn’t Light You Up

Once your business starts to expand, it’s vital to break the habit of having everything in your own head. This is where you start learning how to delegate, to organize yourself, and to set visions and goals for yourself and your company.” – Amy Porterfield, The Three Crucial Phases of an Online Business

 

An important exercise to go through when you transition into your CEO role is to identify your key strengths and passions.

This is where you need to start practicing self-awareness to identify where your skills are needed the most and when it’s time to bring in someone else.

Are you amazing at finding investors? Do you have a knack for shaping the company’s culture? Or do you have a talent for sifting through piles of CV’s and finding the perfect candidates that will help your business grow?

Identifying your staple responsibilities will make offloading tasks easier. It will help you make the best decisions for your company’s continued growth while giving your employees a chance to shine.

What Tasks Should You Delegate to Grow Your Business?

Deciding what to delegate will be different for each CEO, but here are some core tasks you should think about delegating first:

●      Accounting

Once your business starts taking off buying software and hiring someone to manage your accounting and taxes will be one of the biggest time and stress savers. You’ll never have to worry about forgetting to issue paychecks or making a mistake with your numbers again.

●      Social Media

Although it might not seem like it at first, social media can end up eating away at a lot of your time. Hiring someone to take care of your company’s social media updates and monitoring your brand online will keep you focused on the bigger picture and out of the social media rabbit hole.

●      Marketing

Email marketing, content creation, web design and online ads will quickly grow into monsters that will require someone’s full attention. Hiring a third party like YVA Solutions might cost you money but it will save you from making costly mistakes and give you peace of mind that an expert is in charge of such an important part of your business.

Practicing Accountability and Self-Awareness

After going through this phase, you’ll need to put your efforts into practice. But despite our best intentions, we are still human and often find ourselves slipping back into old habits.

This is when you need to lean on your staff and ask them to help keep you in check. Are you delegating one task and then micromanaging it? Or just not following through with your delegating promises? Whatever the problem, having talented and trusted employees that can help you identify where you are going wrong will keep you and your company on track.

Learning to let go, focusing on your strengths and delegating responsibility is one of the hardest parts about becoming a successful CEO. But if you don’t learn these essential skills you will be limiting the possibilities of your company.

 

 

What has been the hardest part about transitioning from a founder into a CEO for you? Let me know in the comments below.

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Building Your Empire: Why You Need Emotion in Business to be Successful

building-your-empire

Knowing how you actually want to feel is the most potent form of clarity that you can have. Generating those feelings is the most powerfully creative thing you can do with your life”

~ Danielle La Porte”

When we think about building our business empires images of branding, business plans and dreams of reaching our goals are often the first things that come to mind. But what about our emotions? Where does “how we feel” fit in when it comes to business?

In the corporate world, we are taught to hide our feelings. It’s considered a sign of weakness, especially for women. We have to constantly defend ourselves against labels such as “emotional” and “bossy”. But regardless of gender, skin or creed, we are all emotional creatures at our core. Suppressing our feelings goes against our nature and can lead to a disconnect in business.

There are countless articles about using emotional intelligence in personal relationships, but what about in business? How is that new business deal making you feel? Are you feeling uncomfortable or absent minded during a meeting? Do you feel fully present at work every day? Acknowledging how certain situations are making us feel and realising that there is a disconnect between how we want to feel is an important step in achieving success in business.

Building Your Empire:

Why You Need Emotion in Business to be Successful

Business and Intuition Go Hand in Hand

Intuition is a very powerful thing, more powerful than intellect.” – Steve Jobs

If there is one thing that I have learnt throughout my business journey, it’s the importance of listening to my intuition. By learning to trust how something makes me feel, it has become the backbone in my most important partnerships, product creations and hiring decisions.

 

How do you know if your intuition is trying to tell you something?

There are many signs that your intuition will give you when it is trying to tell you something. Think about an important business decision or a meeting you have in the next couple of days. Does the situation give you feelings of suspicion, anxiety, doubt, curiosity or wonder? Or are you experiencing physical symptoms like a churning stomach or goosebumps?

These are all signs that your six sense wants you to listen and trust your emotions.

 

Encouraging Emotion in Your Company

“Sincerity is magnetic and unifying. Understanding happens. Solutions arise that you couldn’t see when you were hiding out. We relate. And this: Trust is built. Precious, precious trust.”

I was prompted to write this post after reading a blog written by one of my mentor’s Danielle La Porte. In the piece, she talks about the risk of being emotionally sincere in business.

This hit home for me. More often than not, when life gets in the way of  work, we don’t feel secure enough to reveal the true reasons behind why we can’t make that meeting or deadline.

Instead, we hide behind empty excuses like “having a flat tire” because it’s easier than being emotionally honest.

 

But how can that negatively affect your business?

By creating an environment where you or your employees don’t feel comfortable enough in expressing their feelings, it creates a toxicity that can eat into your bottom line.

Think of it this way, if you are going through an emotional rough patch, you aren’t going to be able to deliver your best work. Or maybe like Danielle, signing a contract on that date just doesn’t feel right. Having the courage to acknowledge this and the support to step back and reassess is a work environment we should all be trying to foster.

Tuning into your emotions and trusting yourself that it doesn’t feel right to commit to that meeting, sign that contract or take on a new client will set you free from making business decisions you aren’t comfortable with.

 

Building Your Company’s Emotional DNA

A crucial step  in building an empire is defining your company’s DNA. Your logo, branding, website design, brand personality are all genomes that work together to create a cohesive, memorable brand.

 

But how does your brand make YOU and your customers feel?

This is an important element to keep in mind throughout this process of building your business. Posing this question to yourself every time you need to make a decision will help you connect with your intuition and bring you back to your core message. When dealing with customers online or in person, reflecting back on this question will help you create a brand that people love and trust.

By making sure a decision feels right, you will set you free in making the best choices for your business to thrive. By tuning in and not shutting off your emotions, you put the power back into your court. It gives you the ability to dodge those curve balls life throws at us and keep you on track to reaching your goals.

 

Set yourself free. Trust your gut and watch your business grow.

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va vs obm

OBM vs VA

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YOU’VE MASTERED THE HUSTLE.

BUT CONTINUED GROWTH REQUIRES SPACE TO PLAN YOUR NEXT MOVE.

WHAT WILL YOUR NEXT MOVE BE?

WHO WILL YOU HIRE?

As businesses are expanding, and online communication is becoming more and more effective, there are more opportunities for people to telecommute than ever before.

It is becoming apparent for small business owners that they can hire fantastic independent contractors to complete important tasks for their company, without ever needing them to come into the office, or work as a full-time employee.

Two career paths that are currently taking off are Virtual Assistants (VA) and Online Business Managers (OBM). While these two positions have many similarities, they also have key differences that distinctly set them apart. 

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VA’S AND OBM’S?

Here are some of the main differences between VA’s and OBM’s.

 

Online Business Manager- An OBM is a highly specialized worker that aids in the administrative duties of a company. This person helps manage and delegate tasks among employees, is proficient at running online marketing campaigns, is proactive in taking control of ways to help the business grow and improve, and personally takes a stake in the business as if it is their own. OBM’s are typically excellent at multitasking, and they are great at overseeing others to assure team success. These workers are not necessarily doing things themselves, but they are constantly assuring that tasks and responsibilities are being completed at the highest possible level. It is best to see an OBM as a highly skilled, and qualified person that is a partner in making your business as successful as possible.

 

Virtual Assistant- A VA is someone that is usually hired to complete tasks that a business owner is not able to do themselves because of time constraints, resources, or other reasons. The tasks a VA can be hired to do are usually pretty diverse, and this type of worker typically completes their assigned work without worrying about further obligations. VA’s are usually not in charge of others, and once they complete their assigned task to the satisfaction of the business owner or manager they are done with their work for the day. Hiring a VA is a smart choice for when an owner needs something done, but doesn’t need someone to be too invested in their business.

 

This is a basic outline of the typical differences between OBM’s and VA’s. It is important to remember that there are exceptions to these rules, and many workers can fall somewhere in between the two.

You’re stretching into new opportunities and testing out new possibilities but you need the headspace to do it right.  And you can’t focus on dreaming big if you’re stuck in the 8632 daily tasks that demand a business owner’s attention.

 

Which is exactly why here at YVA Solutions we’ve designed The Opening Act Package.  It’s perfect for business owners like you who are starting to see the payoff of a gazillion (approximate number) hours of hustle.  And need the headspace to move your business in even more amazing directions.

YOU ARE READY!

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