Archive for April, 2015

If You Want to Win, Focus

If You Want to Win, Focus

Watching SharkTank (episode 23) and Robert Herjavec shared some very astute insight/advice with a pair of entrepreneurs who were trying to be and do too many different things, solve too many different problems:

“Man, you are fighting soooo many battles. Look, a guy that used to work for me, he was at one point the eleventh fastest man in the world. I run five miles a day so I used to say, ‘Hey, let’s go running.’ And he would say to me, ‘I can’t run five miles.’ I’d say, ‘Come on, man, you’re in great shape; you can run five miles.’ ‘I don’t run five miles. I run a hundred meters as fast as I can. That’s my job.'”

Back to the entrepreneurs, he continues…

“I’m not sure what your job is. You’re doing a performance shoe. Then you’re doing email software. Then you’re doing a NASCAR shoe. You’re fighting too many battles. If you want to win, just run the hundred meters. Focus.”

This is a problem a great many people in our industry suffer from as well.

They’re providing administrative support. Then they’re also trying to be in the web design business. And the bookkeeping business. And the graphic design business. And the desktop publishing business. And the marketing business. And the IT business…

They are fighting too many battles.

You don’t have to be this, that and the other, and trying to be will keep you from excelling, gaining traction and succeeding in any of them.

If you want to win, focus.

Dear Danielle: May I Use Your Content?

Dear Danielle: May I Use Your Content?

Dear Danielle: 

As I don’t want to infringe and knowing that your ACA Success Store materials are copyrighted (e.g., the business plan template), am I on the right path of thinking that I cannot utilizes your sentences, that my freedom is to understand the essence and create my unique words and format? —BF

You are exactly correct. My words are there for your eyes only, to instruct and provide examples to help get your own creative juices going. They can’t be used on your website, marketing collateral, etc.

Doing your own work is part of the learning process. It’s what helps you gain that deeper understanding about the concepts and ideas I teach and try to impart.

That said, there’s a certain sensibility that has to be applied individually to each product.

For example, you don’t have to rewrite the contracts. They are provided for you to enter your own info and details in the blanks and adapt/adjust as you see fit for use with your own clients.

However, they may not be shared or provided publicly in any format on your website or anywhere else because that violates my terms of use and interferes with my business expectency. (I once had someone do that and had to tell her to take them down.)

With regard to the business plan (as an example), no one else is likely to see your business plan except you. Which is the most important thing because its first and foremost value is that the exercise of completing a business plan gets you to think through everything more thoroughly and gain clarity and direction in all aspects of your business.

So as you read through it, you might have changes you want to make to it for your own personal path in your business. And if not, that’s okay, too. Because really, the only person it’s for and who is ever going to see it is you. Rarely do people ever use it to try to secure funding (these aren’t the type of businesses that get “funded”).

However, if you wanted to use it to try to do that (with your own details and adaptations, of course), you could do that because it would just be between you and the bank/funding source. (Business plans should also always be marked “Confidential & Proprietary” and come with a non-disclosure clause.)

What would NOT be okay is if you shared the business plan with colleagues and others.

For instance, say someone asked on a forum if anyone had a business plan they would mind sharing as an example. It would be illegal for you to send them the business plan you purchased from me (or any of my products), adapted or not, because it violates copyright law, is against my terms of use and would interfere with my business expectancy. They would need to purchase their own copy.

That’s when you’d say, I got an AWESOME business plan from the ACA that’s helped me so much, and you can get your own copy at the ACA Success Store.  😉

What Makes Someone an Administrative Consultant?

What Makes Someone an Administrative Consultant?

  1. An Administrative Consultant is someone who is SPECIFICALLY in the business of administrative support.
  2. Administrative support is not one-off projects or tasks on an ad hoc basis. That is a secretarial service—completely different business model and type of service. Administrative support is an ongoing relationship where you are administratively supporting clients with the operations of their business across the board. So, it’s important to understand the difference between a projects/task-based business and an ongoing support one. If your business model is project-based, you are not an Administrative Consultant.
  3. If you specialize in transcription, then you are in the Transcription business and not an Administrative Consultant (or VA or OBM or anything else).
  4. If you specialize in social media, then you are in the Social Media business and not an Administrative Consultant (or VA or OBM or anything else).
  5. If you specialize in marketing (of any kind), then you are in the Marketing business and not an Administrative Consultant (or VA or OBM or anything else).
  6. If you specialize in web design, then you are in the Web Design business and not an Administrative Consultant (or VA or OBM or anything else).
  7. If you specialize in bookkeeping, then you are in the Bookkeeping business and not an Administrative Consultant (or VA or OBM or anything else).
  8. Are you getting it now? What you specialize in IS your business.
  9. If you are in the business of getting the work and farming it out to third party contractors, then you are in the staffing/outsourcing business and not an Administrative Consultant. Administrative Consultants work directly with their clients in close one-on-one relationships. That’s what makes it personal and where the magic happens—between two people.
  10. Administrative Consultants don’t have “teams” of subcontractors they farm their clients’ work out to. That is the antithesis of administrative support as it transactionalizes the work, turning it into a generic commodity and assembly line instead of an intimate relationship (which, by the way, is your value and competitive advantage as an Administrative Consultant). What Administrative Consultants do instead is collaboratively partner with another Administrative Consultant (or two) who administratively supports them in their business in the same way they support their clients.
  11. Administrative Consultants are not personal assistants who perform personal tasks/errands. That is a personal assistant/concierge service. An Administrative Consultant’s work is focused on the client’s business support needs.
  12. An Administrative Consultant is not an assistant who does anything and everything. That is a virtual assistant. An Administrative Consultant is a business owner and independent professional who specializes in the expertise of administrative support.
  13. If you specialize in the expertise of administrative support (i.e., it’s the chief thing you are in business to do), and work personally with your clients in an ongoing, collaborative partnering relationship to support the operations of their businesses, you are an Administrative Consultant.