Archive for the ‘A Message for Clients’ Category

Hysterical: Please Design a Logo for Me. With Pie Charts. For Free.

Omigawd, I can’t stop laughing. You HAVE to read this hilarious post by David Thorne:

The whole thing is just beyond witty, but I think my favorite lines are:

“I would then travel several months back to warn myself against agreeing to do copious amounts of design work for an old man wielding the business plan equivalent of a retarded child poking itself in the eye…”


“Usually when people don’t ask me to design them a logo, pie charts or website, I, in return, do not ask them to paint my apartment, drive me to the airport, represent me in court or whatever it is they do for a living.”

Oh, and the graphics… can’t forget the graphics, LOL. So perfect.

Obviously, the post isn’t supposed to be politically correct, and it just wouldn’t be as funny if it were.

But amongst the irreverence, there’s this little nugget of truth (in response to the client’s  trivialization of  the work and request for what amounts to free services):

“Actually, you were asking me to design a logotype which would have taken me a few hours and fifteen years experience.”

Anyone else find this as hysterical as I do?

Rant: I’m Not Your Employee

Just saw some idiotic tweet on Twitter. Nothing irritates me more than reading any variation of the ridiculous phrase “…manage your Virtual Assistant…”

Exxxxcuuuuuuuuuuse me?!

Virtual Assistants are not “managed.” A Virtual Assistant is not an employee. Do clients “manage” their attorney? Their accountant? Their doctor? Their mechanic? Their plumber?

Why on earth do they have this insulting notion that they are going to manage us?

Why? Because Virtual Assistants themselves insist on allowing themselves to be led around by the nose by clients like a bunch of schmucks.

They don’t have the balls to come out and say “no” to clients, to say no to being “managed;” to correct clients when it’s clear they don’t have the proper understanding of the nature of the relationship.

They’re so freaking afraid of losing the client. What hostages! I can’t imagine living life like that.

It’s both sad and maddening at the same time.

To Would-Be Clients: I run my own business, thank you very much. I am not your employee. I am your Administrative Consultant. You’re not going to manage me anymore than I am going to manage you. I expect you to talk to me and about me with the same professional respect you would have for any other kind of professional you expect to help you in business. Otherwise, we have no business together.

Dear Danielle: Where Are My Reports?

Dear Danielle:

I hired a Virtual Assistant and in general, I am satisfied. However, I am dissappointed about the lack of follow-up and progress reports. Is this something that you train your Virtual Assistants how to do? I don’t want to micro-manage, but I do expect reports, and what is being or not being accomplished without having to ask what is happening. –PD

Thanks for contacting me, PD. I’m always happy to provide clearer understanding so that business owners (both clients and Virtual Assistants) can negotiate mutually happy business relationships.

The first thing that is important to understand is that Virtual Assistants are not employees. They don’t “report” to their clients. Virtual Assistants are independent business owners, and how they run their business and what services they provide to their clients is up to each of them individually.

Looking at it another way, would you have this same “issue” with your attorney or accountant or bookkeeper? It is entirely reasonable that you would expect some kind of regular updates from those professionals along with clear and timely communication and follow-up, but you understand that you aren’t their “boss” and they don’t “report” to you. That is the same understanding you should have with your Virtual Assistant.

What I mentor Virtual Assistants to provide clients with at the start of the business relationship is clear communication about what her (or his) business standards, policies and processes are, so that clients know what to expect and how things work. That communication should continue throughout the relationship with regard to staying in contact and keeping clients up-to-date.

It does sound as though the Virtual Assistant you are working with has not offered you a system of communication that is meeting your need for a bit of “progress pulse.” I encourage Virtual Assistants to provide monthly retainer clients (clients they are working together with in ongoing collaborative partnership each month) with a telephone meeting each or every other week. This helps keep communication lines open and allows you to stay in sync with each other with regard to projects, goals, upcoming work and events, etc.

I’m not sure what other kind of “reporting” you feel is necessary, and that will need to be discussed and negotiated between you and your Virtual Assistant. Trust and communication are critical to any relationship, and without those elements, there’s no basis for doing business together. I would encourage you to open up the dialogue and give your Virtual Assistant the opportunity to improve her business and services to you.

The Top 10 Reasons Your Business Is Staying Stuck Where It Is

  1. Lack of time (too busy working IN the business instead of ON it).
  2. Lack of focus (pulled in too many directions at once).
  3. Lack of support (spinning your wheels trying to do it all yourself).
  4. Lack of creative “space.” (too stretched and stressed to plan, strategize and think creatively).
  5. Wasting resources on time and energy-busters (doing work you hate or don’t do well).
  6. Focusing on “cheap” instead of cost-effective (putting cost above value, quality and ROI).
  7. Frittering away billable hours (wasting timethus moneyon administrivia).
  8. Not investing in the right support (hiring flunkies instead of skilled, committed, thinking, creative professionals).
  9. Inefficient administrative foundations (failing to systemize, automate and streamline processes).
  10. Squandering core strengths (failing to focus on business growth, revenue-generation and the energizing work you love).

How many of these are killing your business?