MAXIMIZING THE VALUE OF TIME – CAROLINE COLLINS & KIMBERLY FAITH
When Kim approached me recently with an idea to do a joint blog post about “Maximizing the Value of Time”, my first thought was “that is a wonderful idea”. My second thought was, “how the heck will Kim find the time to do that” - oh the irony!
Knowing Kim as I do, she will either be traveling to speak at workshops or busy adding final touches to her new book. I work with Kimberly Faith – Author/Speaker/Consultant/Wife/Mom and everything in between (I’m her VA and based in Ireland). Kim is based in the US however, she could be anywhere in the world as you read this. Which brings us nicely on to the topic of this post and how you too can maximize the value of time.
You are probably a super busy professional with 101 things on your to do list. If you often think about reaching out for help, then keep reading because there are nuggets of wisdom for you too.
Firstly, Kim is a Self-Starter who is reluctant to ask for help, not because she doesn’t want help but because she stays too busy to slow down enough to consider it. I on the other hand, am super busy too but I’m office based and find myself wondering if I should suggest things to Kim – worrying that she might think I’m over stepping the line, or that she will feel as though I’m criticizing her processes. Therein lies the problem, Kim doesn’t want to ask for help and I don’t want to suggest it.
Thankfully we are over it now but it took a little while to feel comfortable enough with each other to lay our cards on the virtual table. Luckily for me Kim is very open to new ideas, new ways of working, new systems and new processes – that makes my life a lot easier too! If you really do want to maximize the value of time, stay open to new ideas especially if there is a possibility that it will streamline your business. And above all, let go of the belief that you need to do it all.
I could share numerous examples of how I free up time for clients like creating Trello boards for Kim’s never-ending to-do list, but I know you barely have time to read this article. In a nutshell, remember this:
From a VA’s perspective:
This blog post was something we both wanted to do, so I set about writing the first part from a VA’s perspective and I will now hand over to Kim, for the second part of this post. Therefore, let’s ask Kim to share her perspective, as she waits in yet another airport lounge right now ….
How do you spell relief? V.A.
It was 2017 and I was creating a new online course in response to client demand. The good news was my business was growing faster than expected. The bad news? My business was growing faster than expected!
At times, success can be a double-edged sword. It can cause growing pains which lead to feeling overwhelmed. The best advice I ever received was “find yourself a virtual assistant.” A what? I heard of VA’s but had spent little time investigating the idea. Thank goodness life has a way of handing us a life raft when we need it the most. Finding Caroline was the universe’s answer to my quest for business growth without burdensome infrastructure. I worked for years to create a life of freedom by owning my own company. The last thing I wanted to do was build any kind of system that limited that freedom.
Agility, innovation, and broadening my reach were three key areas of focus in 2017. I was pushing myself out of comfort zone every chance I had. Tenacity and perseverance are two good qualities as I have tackled many new challenges expanding my reach. However, sometimes the very things that make us successful, can also stand in our way. Learning every new skill needed for this new professional chapter and pushing myself to do it all myself was no longer a winning strategy. Yes, I could learn anything I set my mind to. The reality was the ROI on where and how I invested my limited time was dwindling.
Learning to let go was the first crucial step in building a more solid foundation to embrace bigger opportunities. That is where having a great relationship with a virtual assistant like Caroline made a difference. We started with small projects to test the waters and to find out if our working styles were compatible. What impressed me was her ability to execute every idea I had and then how she went the extra mile. Her initiative was refreshing and opened my eyes to more possibilities. She thought of things I did not have time for and gave me confidence that someone had my back. On busy jet-setting days around the globe, knowing someone else could juggle the balls for a while made me rest much easier.
My top three tips for someone considering how to free up their time for bigger opportunities?
- Invest time in the process – finding the right virtual assistant is important. Yes, it takes some time up front to explain what you need done but the ROI will quickly multiply once you develop a trusting relationship.
- Independence is NOT always the best path – the qualities that make you self-reliant might be the very same things binding up your professional future in knots. New opportunities can’t emerge until you create space for them to flow into your life.
- Be honest – VA’s are a lot of great things but they are not mind readers. Commit to having open and honest conversations about what works and what doesn’t. The right VA will welcome these conversations because they truly are committed to your success.