“Don’t worry, you may have got this wrong, but you do a million and one things right”, this is what a client said to me the other day and I can tell you, it was so appreciated and it got me thinking.
Fortunately for me, I have the most amazing clients who understand that yes, I am a Virtual Assistant (and therefore superwoman about 95% of the time), but I am also human and do make the odd mistake.
After speaking with many VAs, it seems that we all feel the pressure to be perfect. But what is perfect? Working for many clients, I’ve learnt very quickly that as individuals what is perfect to one person is not perfect to another, and therefore are we piling on unnecessary expectations?
The idea of perfection means that there is nothing to improve, and with nothing to improve, how do we grow and develop as people?
“Imperfection inspires invention, imagination, creativity. It stimulates. The more I feel imperfect, the more I feel alive.” ― Jhumpa Lahiri, In Other Words
Instead, perhaps we should be striving to be a successful VA.
- Understand you as clients and your business. For example, the majority of my clients are coaches, and as such have very unique working styles. Understanding each individual and adapting my working style to meet their needs is key for the strong relationships we build for effective working. Using a brief can assist in making sure you have understood exactly what the project involves and should contain all the information you need to complete the task.
- Communication is key. From the very outset, I ensure to communicate with you. This means you understand what you can expect from me from the outset as well as being kept regularly updated with progress of work, and vice versa, you can update me of any changes or additions – business moves at such as pace that your initial brief may change, and this is perfectly ok, as long as we keep in contact about it. And not just by email. Although this is sometimes an easy and quick method, it does tend to lose the human element. During large tasks and projects I like to send updates and drafts of the work to help make sure I’m on the right track and to make sure that by having your input throughout, your tone and style is reflected in the work I produce on your behalf.
- Reliability and Professionalism. Not only does this means in terms of delivering the work, but it means if you call me, I’ll call you back and I’ll respond to your emails in a timely fashion.
- Time Management. One of my biggest selling points is the I give my clients your time back, and a service I offer is diary management. With that in mind, I need to be pro at this. Having several clients can lead to conflicting interests, so time management is essential for me. Again, this links back to communication. It’s so important for me that I keep my clients aware of when they can expect their work to be done.
- When I make mistakes, I own up and put it right. This has actually helped to instill confidence with my clients that I’m trustworthy and honest, and my priority is to rectify the mistake.
I am proud to say that I am not a perfect VA and I am happy not to be perfect because what I am is actually a really good and successful VA!