This was my biggest mistake and how you can learn from it.
Yes, so if you caught my Facebook Live last week you heard my story, I got fired.
It happens to the best of us.
Business relationships don’t always work out.
C’est la vie.
But it still hurts. I really cared about her business. I wanted to see her succeed and be a part of her journey. I loved her product and believed in her. I also knew we weren’t a good fit quite early on. But I kept pressing on. And neither one of us were able to change.
If I could rewind-re-do it, I would have ONE piece of advice to offer…. ONE thing I should have done differently with this particular client
I should have set office hours for her.
A time every week she could count on me.
I knew it frustrated her to not know when I was working on her stuff. I always met deadlines, some weeks fuzzy for various reasons. Yet I could never dedicate a set time to work on her things.
I got frustrated too. I wanted her work to be READY FOR ME when I found the time to work on it. And every week that was a different time. I never knew if I could get ahead or if her stuff was ready for me. Half the time she still had gaping holes in content or had ignored my requests. And I cannot work piece-meal work all week on a small-budget client for tiny projects. It was like the newsletter that NEVER EVER went away. Work 5 min. Plug a hole. Come back to it the next day. It was killing my billable hours. And sometimes I would forget to circle back to it and that was a BIG OOPS.
I should have just told her every Tuesday from 9-12 she had me. I’ve heard this request from other clients too … <—- SO TAKE NOTES. CLIENTS WANT THIS.
My week is so inconsistent because I am a work-from-home-mom of four kids in single mom land because my husband is on deployment. This quarter, I had some unplanned stateside trips to see him and two PLANNED business trips, and tons of sick kids (seriously one after another after another), plus lots and lots of appointments (some were massages, I won’t lie!!!) ….. and other clients to work for who also have demands and crises and launches and weekly content. But this “hectic” schedule is my norm. I wish it weren’t.
BUT I OWN IT … IT IS MY NORM!!!!!!
Not knowing my schedule was my norm. And I don’t see that changing much until the Fall when my family is more settled and complete, and I can count on school busses… (Fingers crossed)
I’m not apologizing. Because this is why I do this remote work. For the flexibility. 100%. I could go get a corporate PR job and be trapped 9-5 and still have to figure how to get all those teeth cleanings, sick days and scheduled facials in a full work-week.
The bottom line. For this client. She needed a time to count on me.
It didn’t matter that the work always got done.
I was not a good fit.
She was not a good fit.
There is no bitterness.
But before you take on TOO many clients … and say YES to too many projects… Think about those weekly clients and set the stage early…. set your boundaries … set your weekly office hours for that repetitive work.
You may just keep your super organized clients that way!
And if you are suffering a recent client break up. Girl, I got you! She/he was NOT your type and you are so much better. And you learned a lesson… JUST LIKE ME!!! That’s all that matters!!!
-Emily, Digital Media Consultant (and Virtual Assistant …)
PS– If you like my “mindset/insight” blog, which I don’t feel like I’m qualified to write but promise to be human, open, honest and helpful, here is another one about a fear of not knowing everything. If learning about me getting fired didn’t give you enough confidence, then read this one! Because you don’t have to know it all to get started. TRUST ME!!!
“I WILL MAKE AN ARMY OF VAS WHO CAN HELP THESE TRIBE PEOPLE!!!”
I have a Facebook community for digital media VAs. Come join us! –> https://www.facebook.com/groups/1651635074935415/
Where to Get Started Online
I have a list of 10 virtual job tasks for you here…. this will help you get started in the online space and let you in on exactly what clients coming to me are asking for help with and willing to pay a VA for… take a look!
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