4 Time Management Tips from the Queen of Getting Sh*t Done

Listen y’all...I’m the self-proclaimed Queen of Getting Shit Done. I started my first business as a Virtual Assistant with a 16 month old at home and 0 child care. While he was awake, I mommed. While he slept, I worked. And that meant I had to get MASSIVELY good at getting #allthethings done while he was sleeping because I didn’t have the luxury of doing it later.

And I’m gonna toot my own horn for a second and tell you I got REALLY good at time management during that time.

Now that I mentor women starting + scaling businesses just like I did, I hear a lot about what isn’t working and time management is definitely at the top of the list. And listen, I get it. Working from home doesn’t come naturally to everyone. There’s laundry to do, bills to pay and about 9883637643 other distractions staring you in the face each day. But, if you want to build a successful, profitable, balanced business you’re going to have to strengthen your time management muscle.

To help you do just that, I’m sharing my favorite 4 time management tips that helped me go from frazzled to focused in my business.

TIP #1: Find a great task management system and USE IT.

It’s no secret that I’m level 22 obsessed with Asana. I’ve been using the free version for almost 2 years and while I’ve used many other platforms (looking at you Trello and Basecamp) Asana still has my detail-loving heart.

Now you’re probably wondering how Asana can help you with time management and girl...I’m gonna tell you.

Asana keeps you organized so you’re not flipping through pages in a notebook, post-it notes and calendar reminders to figure out WTF you need to do each day. Asana also makes it insanely easy to manage multiple businesses (both yours and your clients) and makes subcontractor onboarding a sinch.

Three cheers for Asana!

TIP #2: Time block like a boss.

If you have 4 hours a day to work on your business and want to be productive AF so that you maximize your work time and income then you definitely want to consider time blocking.

Here’s how it works:

I have 6 hours a day to work when my little one is in school. I drop him off at 9:00 AM and pick him up at 3:00 PM. Here’s what my time blocking looks like each day:

9:15 AM - 10:00 AM | Work on my business (writing content, developing new ideas and anything else that relates directly to the growth of my business)

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM | Mentoring client calls

12:00 PM - 12:45 PM | Lunch + Netflix or Podcast

12:45 PM - 2:45 PM | Client work, Happy Thoughts work or business work run over (emails, social media responding, etc.)

Setting guidelines on when I work on what during my day helps me to stay focused on the task at hand instead of floundering around and wasting time figuring out what should get done next.

TIP #3: Write it down + set time limits

While I keep ALL of my daily, weekly and monthly to-dos in Asana, each time I sit down to do work in one of my time blocks I like to get super specific about what I want to accomplish during that period. If I have 45 minutes to work on my business I’ll check Asana to see what I assigned myself to work on and then pull open my favorite notebook (Fringe brand is the BEST!!!) and get detailed about how I’m going to spend my time.

Here’s what that looks like:

Content additions - 15 minutes

Marketing PDF fleshing out - 15 minutes

Emails - 10 minutes

Social media responses - 5 minutes

Then, I keep my eye on the clock and only allow myself that period of time to get the task done. If I run over, I can decide to “steal” time from another task or have to push it to another day.

I’ve found that I’m WILDLY productive when I set time limits and write down what I want to accomplish.

Also, crossing this all off a list definitely makes me feel like a productive queen...just sayin’!

TIP #4: Weave in brain breaks and rewards to make work fun.

Girl listen, you started your business to create a life + business you love...not to create another overworked + overwhelmed corporate environment for yourself.

So, if you’re working on better time management in your business to get more done in the time you have 1. give yourself a pat on the back and 2. remember that it doesn’t have to feel like it did when you worked in a cube.

There are two things I like to do during my day that you’ll definitely want to add to yours.

  1. TAKE BRAIN BREAKS. If you’re in the middle of something and starting to feel bored/annoyed/tired/pissed/insert emotion here give yourself permission to take a brain break. For me, this is a quick Instagram or Pinterest check, a snuggle with one of my dogs or a walk to the fridge for a watermelon seltzer (OMG SO GOOD!). It’s just enough time to get me out of the doing and I can come back feeling refreshed and ready to finish.

  2. REWARD YOURSELF. Can I be honest and tell you that writing content is hard for me? Ok good because it is. I love the end product but it takes me a loooooooong time to get it done and out the door. And sometimes, I get annoyed that it takes me so long. #truth But, when that happens I reward myself at the finish as a way to keep me focused. And y’all...it doesn’t have to be anything crazy. This could be a walk with your dogs, a trip to your local coffee shop for a latte or a call with your BFF. When you have BIG stuff to get done give yourself a reward so you have something to look forward to.

And, if you prefer to watch or listen to my 4 time management tips check out this Facebook LIVE I did on this exact subject right here!


small-LaceySara_Besties-n-business_10.jpg

Sara Wiles is an Online Business Mentor for done-for-you service providers. She spent 8 years traveling the US producing high-end corporate (and a few celebrity) events before becoming an entrepreneur. After just 4 weeks of starting her business, she filled her roster, replaced her 9-5 income and brought on a team. Sara is also a mother, champagne enthusiast and four-letter word addict. 

She loves supporting women to start or scale their Virtual Assistant, Online Business Management and Social Media Management businesses. Click here to book a discovery call to talk more about mentoring! 

How to Set True Financial Goals In 4 Steps

 

I’ve helped countless women start online service-based businesses and leave their 9-5s and many of my clients now come to me because they want to do the same thing.

One of the very first things I do with all of my clients is set true financial goals. This is important both for my newbies trying to leave the 9-5 grind and the women I serve who desire to scale their businesses but don’t know how to make the income jump.

Why?

Because if you don’t know what you really, truly need to leave the 9-5 or scale the business then how are you going to actually get there? Truth time: you’re not!

Now you’re probably thinking...how do I know what I need to make in order to set a true financial goal?!

Girl I’ve got your back! These are the exact steps I walk my clients through and I’m sharing them with you today.

STEP 1: Figure out your true income goal + how much work it’s going to take you to get it

Let’s use Jen as an example here. Jen desires to bring in $5K months in her Virtual Assisting business. Her current hourly rate is $35 so she’ll need to bill approximately 143 hours a month to get to this goal. That means Jen will need to BILL approximately 35.75 hours a week. Note that this does not account for any hours Jen will need to spend on discovery calls, doing client work that isn’t billable (like creating and sending invoices) or working on her own business (like marketing herself, working on her website, implementing new systems, etc.).

Now that Jen knows her true income goal and exactly what it’s going to take to meet that goal she gets to make a decision. Either billing 35.75 hours a week/143 hours a month to get to her $5K goal works for her, or it doesn't. And if it doesn’t then she has options. She can either raise her rate so she can work less, bring on a team so she can work less and make more or decide to work less and make less.

The best part of this is that Jen is now in control of her income because she knows exactly what it takes to make it based on her current business model. SCORE!

STEP 2: Account for taxes and business expenses to figure out what you take home each month

Figuring out how much money want to be bringing into your business each month is GREAT, but that dollar amount means nothing if you don’t know what it’s going to cost you to get to that amount and how much you’re actually going to be taking home each month.

Let’s say Jen is making $5K a month as a Virtual Assistant. She pays $250 a month in subcontractor costs (the person she hired to do all of her clients’ manual Facebook postings), $16 per month for her Squarespace website, $25 per month for Dubsado, $15 per month for her business checking account, $15 per month for a Zoom account and $10 per month for iCloud storage. That’s $331 per month in business expenses. Jen puts 30% of her income aside for taxes each month which comes to $1500. So, after business expenses and taxes, Jen is looking at a take home monthly pay of $3169.

Now you see why making business revenue goals is GREAT, but figuring out what you’re actually going to be able to take home is way more helpful.

STEP 3: Save your money, girl!

Once you’ve figured out how much money you desire to make each month and what your business expenses and taxes will look like there’s one IMPORTANT piece that you can’t ignore.

YOUR SAVINGS ACCOUNT.

At most US banks, you can open a business savings account for free if you also open a business checking account. If you already have a business checking account and don’t have a savings account...go call your bank! If you still need to open business accounts make sure to ask about a savings account.

Now listen up. If you believe in the long-term success of your business you owe it to yourself to be saving.

For what?

Girl for everything! A new computer every few years, website design, Game of Thrones coffee mugs (that's not just me, right?!), taxes you didn’t realize you needed to pay, office decor, a fun and travel-worthy business event...ANYTHING.

Decide how much you want to be saving every month and immediately put that amount into your savings account BEFORE you pay yourself.

Treat your business as though you’ll continue to grow for years to come by saving for that growth now.

STEP 4: Give yourself permission to make changes

Once you start figuring out the difference between your revenue and income you’ll see how different those numbers can be.

What’s so important to remember is that this is YOUR business and if you don’t like the way something looks you have the power to change it. If you figure out your income is actually less than you wanted you can either eliminate some of your business expenses or decide to take on another client. Really and truly...one of the best parts about running your own business is that you get to call the shots! So call them!


small-LaceySara_Besties-n-business_10.jpg

Sara Wiles is an Online Business Mentor for done-for-you service providers. She spent 8 years traveling the US producing high-end corporate (and a few celebrity) events before becoming an entrepreneur. After just 4 weeks of starting her business, she filled her roster, replaced her 9-5 income and brought on a team. Sara is also a mother, champagne enthusiast and four-letter word addict. 

She loves supporting women to start or scale their Virtual Assistant, Online Business Management and Social Media Management businesses. Click here to book a discovery call to talk more about mentoring! 

3 Ways to Pamper Your Clients to Create Raving Fans

 

So often, we put all of our focus on how to get the client (marketing, the sales process, the discovery call, closing the sale) and forget that what we do AFTER we get the client is just as important.

You see, before becoming an entrepreneur I got REALLY good at pampering my clients. And yes, pampering can certainly include gifts but what I’m talking about here is something way more impactful and lasting. Prior to this biz, I spent 8 years traveling the US producing high-end corporate events (+ a few celebrity ones too!). Much of my time in that industry was spent serving VIP clients (both CEOs and celebs alike) and arranging seamless events from the second they stepped off the airplane. What I learned in those years is this: it’s not what you do, it’s how you do it.

Here’s an example:

I could craft up a perfect event for a client. A 500 person sales meeting that goes off without a hitch, the perfect closing reception that leaves the guests on a high note and the company morale wildly high as they go into a new quarter with new (BIG) sales goals.

But, if I don’t pamper my client...don’t pay attention to her needs, likes, preferences, don’t act appreciative for her business and forget that instead of looking at the event as an exchange of money for time it’s actually an opportunity to serve and become personally invested in the outcome...I’ll still have a successful event but I will not have created a raving fan.

And yall...raving fans are the best thing for your business. Why? Well because selfishly, who doesn’t want to feel like the work they’re doing is being noticed and appreciated but also because raving fans are FREE MARKETING and referrals are the easiest way to get more clients. Raving fans want nothing more than to tell their friends about you because obviously...you’re the best of the best. Creating raving fans is how I build my first VA business to 10K months and to be consistently booked solid with a waiting list.

Now let’s relate this to online business:

Say you’re a Virtual Assistant. You’re helping your client through a HUGE launch and everything goes well. The product sells better than champagne on New Years and your client is pleased. But you missed the mark because while you did the work on time, there was no sparkle. You treated your client like the work she gave you were tasks waiting to be checked off a to-do list instead of pieces of a collaborative puzzle where you were given the opportunity to show up with all of you and contribute to the team.

See the difference?

Pampering clients is providing a massively high level of client service and it’s what will set you apart from your competition and fill your roster EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.

Need more actionable steps? I’ve got your back sister. Here are 3 ways you can up your client service game and start pampering your client quicker than I can get my tush to the mall for a Lululemon sale.

 

# 1 BE A TRUE PART OF HER TEAM

 

The easiest way to think about this is: are you showing up for your client and her team the way you’d want someone to show up for yours?

When you’re on calls, BE ON THE CALL. Don’t check your phone, email, etc. Show up each day with a positive attitude, give her your best and do what you’d want someone on your team to do for you.

 

#2 ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT HER BUSINESS

 

When I was still taking on OBM clients I had a rule: if I didn’t believe in a business I wouldn’t take them on as a client. Why? Because if don’t believe in the work that person is doing in the world it’s going to be reallllly hard to crank out work and the energy I’m bringing to the work will be crap.

Take on clients that whose work you believe in and then TELL THEM THAT! Tell your client why you love what she’s doing. Read her blog posts and social media content. Get connected to her brand so that you put care into the work you’re doing.

 

# 3 TAKE INITIATIVE

 

Y’all this one is HUGE! It can take a minute to get used to your client’s needs and preferences and being open and willing to change things up to meet her desires will absolutely help to create a pampered client who turns into a raving fan. If you notice something that isn’t working, suggest a way to fix it. Take the initiative and pay attention. This is something a large percentage of team members don’t do and will set you apart. Remember, clients don’t want taskrabbits, they want people with brains who show up :).

Ok, now tell me! What been your favorite way to pamper clients OR to be pampered as a client?

 


small-LaceySara_Besties-n-business_10.jpg

Sara Wiles is an Online Business Mentor for done-for-you service providers. She spent 8 years traveling the US producing high-end corporate (and a few celebrity) events before becoming an entrepreneur. After just 4 weeks of starting her business, she filled her roster, replaced her 9-5 income and brought on a team. Sara is also a mother, champagne enthusiast and four-letter word addict. 

She loves supporting women to start or scale their Virtual Assistant, Online Business Management and Social Media Management businesses. Click here to book a discovery call to talk more about mentoring! 

3 Ways to Get Clients (+ Make Money) as a Virtual Assistant

Here are 3 ways to get clients (+ make money) as a Virtual Assistant_.png

I started my Virtual Assisting business in March of 2017 and within 4 weeks I had filled my roster and replaced my 9-5 income 🎉. Online businesses are popping up each day, and the need for Virtual Assistants will only grow as more of our world population comes online. 

So, you're probably thinking "yeah that's cool Sara, but how do I replicate your success and make money with MY Virtual Assistant business?". 

I've gotcha girl! 

Here are 3 ways to get clients (+ make money) as a Virtual Assistant: 

 

1. Hang out in Facebook groups. 

This is my #1 tip and it's so successful you should be RUNNING to Facebook right now. Go find some entrepreneurial Facebook groups (here are a few suggestions: 1,2,3). Hang out in there to understand who is there and what their business needs are. When someone asks for a recommendation for a VA, respond! When someone asks for tech help (something that often happens in these groups) help them! When one of these group members runs a free challenge, ENTER IT! That's actually how I got my first 2 clients, just by entering a challenge and giving tons of free value. 

2. Use your network.

I know VAs whose clients come entirely from a business I know NOTHING about. Examples of this include realtors, lawyers, MLMs and writers. While most of my business comes from online entrepreneurs that is DEFINITELY not the only space where business owners are hirings VAs. Use your professional + personal network (via email, Facebook, Linkedin) to let people know you're open for business and that you'd love to help them.  

3. Take a client on trade. 

My 3rd client was one I took on trade and it was so beneficial. She had a product and service based business and we traded services for a few months in addition to a stellar testimonial and referrals.  Taking on this client helped me get more experience with a platform that I didn't know much about (Instagram), add another testimonial to my website and book more clients from her referrals. Win-win!


small-LaceySara_Besties-n-business_10.jpg

Sara Wiles runs a Virtual Assisting, Online Business Management + Event Planning company for female online entrepreneurs. She spent 8 years traveling the US producing high-end corporate (and a few celebrity) events before becoming an entrepreneur. After just 4 weeks of starting her business, she filled her roster, replaced her 9-5 income and brought on a team. Sara is also a mother, champagne enthusiast and four-letter word addict. 

She loves helping women start or scale their Virtual Assistant or Online Business Management businesses. She's works with driven, high-achieving women just like you to show them the ropes, save them time and money and support them in achieving their financial goals. Click here to book a mentoring session with Sara! 

Getting Real: When Life and Biz are Both Shitty and Ah-mazing

In this episode, we talk about how leading with AMAZING is needed to balance the shitty things going on in our lives and business...and how to manage it all. Because here's the thing: balancing life and business is damn hard. So grab a glass (or two!) of champagne and join us as we embrace this crazy entrepreneurial journey all while giving yourself permission to feel it all.

Read More

Ready for #lessbullshitmorebubbly? Join us LIVE at The Happy Thoughts Show

Have you ever wished that you could just sip some champagne and shoot the shit with some other entrepreneurs that really GOT this crazy rollercoaster? Like ALL the life AND business stuff that it brings up?

Us too. All the time.

That's why my best friend Lacey Craig and I have created our new FB Live show, called Happy Thoughts.

Because here's the thing… we are PRETTY obsessed with being entrepreneurs, doing it our own way, creating success and being pretty darn happy. 

BUT, we also know that ALL thoughts on this journey aren't happy. Heck, all thoughts each day (hour?) aren't happy. 

And we're kind of over everyone pretending otherwise. Or putting pressure on themselves to feel good 24/7. Cause it just doesn't serve any of us ya know?

So we're bringing our champagne drinking selves to your FB screen every Tuesday at 8pm EST. 

We want to have real conversations, real connections, and REAL dialogue (and maybe a little advice and inspiration) around this crazy journey called entrepreneurship… and all the ups and downs that come with it.

Also, we're a pretty good time. 

Join us here, then make sure to watch this video to let us prove it to you and get a sneak peek at what's to come!

Here's what we chat about in the video: 
 

  • (1:52) what Lacey is really guilty of in her business (and what we're doing differently)
  • (4:20) intentionally cultivating an experience around creating your next big thing
  • (6:40) a not-so-secret secret to success in your business
  • (10:10) the question to ask yourself when starting your next project
  • (13:10) the importance of taking time to celebrate and honor all that you've done (rather than racing on to the next big thing)

 

Then mark your calendar - we're going live for our first Happy Thoughts episode on 8/8 at 8pm EST. 

And truth be told? Lacey's got something she really needs to be open with ya'll about. 

So we're diving right in and opening with that in our first episode (I mean, why not dive into the deep end of the pool?!).

We would love your love, support, and positive energy to be part of it (cause vulnerability is a bitch… am I right?) join us here

What "Overnight" Success Really Looks Like with Lacey Craig

A few weeks ago, my best friend (and badass Business Mentor and Success Coach) Lacey Craig and I chatted on camera and I'm so pumped to share the convo with you today. We both experienced success really quickly in our businesses, but in this video, we're sharing the truth behind our "overnight" success.  We open up about what we did, if it was worth it, and if we'd choose to do it the same way again. The video is below.

Here's what you'll learn in this video: 

  • (2:45) - Our stories behind "overnight" success
  • (3:45) - The work, effort, and commitment required for quick success
  • (5:50) - Trading services or working for free?
  • (8:15) - Would we do it again the same way?
  • (10:05) - Quick growth or growth with ease? Stop comparing your growth or making yourself wrong.
  • (12:00) - Giving yourself grace after deciding what you want and the importance of being attached to showing up and doing the work, while not being attached to specific results.

Have you experienced a similar "overnight success" in your business? I'd love to chat about it! Shoot me an email here

Catch Me in The Fearless VA Mastermind with Eveline Traxler

Last week, my amazing client and friend Eveline Traxler launched a new program called The Fearless VA. It's a one-of-a-kind mastermind experience for up-and-coming Virtual Assistants and it's going to be AHHHHHMAZING!

Combining the best of 1:1 coaching, mastermind experiences, and VA training programs, Eveline has created a once-in-a-lifetime experience that has ALL the pieces new VAs need, in one place.

You'll cover everything from business planning to legal basics, building your portfolio to signing clients, and everything in-between. You’ll get unlimited access to Eveline via a private Facebook community, and access to NINE (!!) incredible guest experts (including moi!). 

 

And the best part? It’s at a price that your brand new business’s pocketbook will love.

I'll be participating as the expert in all things VA 101. I built an insanely profitable VA business in less than 2 months, filled up my services and was so busy I had to hire help. I'm so pumped to bring my expertise and knowledge to other budding VAs and watch them build their own businesses. 

To learn more, watch this video.

And then, head right on over to www.evelinetraxler.com/the-fearless-va

Questions? Feel free to shoot me an email! Hope to see you in the Mastermind! 

FREE VA Help...you read that right!

Next week I'll be participating in Brittney Rossie's Summer Giveaway in her group Business BasecampThe giveaway officially starts on May 22 and runs through May 31st and there are tons of amazing products and services for business owners. 

On Tuesday, May 23rd, yours truly will be going LIVE in her group giving away a 2 HOUR VA PACKAGE to one lucky winner. 

I've you've been needing VA help, here's your chance! Be sure to join her group and the giveaway here.

The Newest FREE Platform That's Saving Me SO MUCH TIME in my Biz

I'm all about helping a fellow entrepresister out, so today I am sharing this ahhhhhhmazing new video filming/screen sharing platform that has saved me crazy amounts of time in my business. 

Girlfriend, meet LOOM! Loom (tagline: Quick Videos, Faster than Typing) is a completely FREE platform that allows you to record exactly what you're doing on your screen WITH audio AND video of you. Yes...REALLY! It's saved me stupid amounts of time explaining things like processes and flows to my clients, contractors and peers and it's something you should absolutely check out ASAP. The platform is super easy to use and I was able to start filming and sharing videos within 10 minutes of being introduced to it. So much winning, right?!

 

To help you see how it works, I filmed a quick Loom for you below. 

 

Again, the platform is 100% FREE! You start off with a limited number of options, and with each referral you bring onto the platform, you get additional options. 

Sign up for your own account using this link and please let me know how you're liking it and what you're using it to do! 

Blog Signature.png

WTF to Outsource

Most of my clients come to me knowing they desperately need help in their business, but have no idea what exactly to outsource to a support team. So, during our first strategy call we dive deep into their unique business and figure out the tasks that they love, and the ones that they absolutely loathe. It takes some time, but by the end of our call we have an entire list of tasks that they are so ready to get off of their plate and onto mine. 

Because I know so many business owners get stuck in this place, where you just don't even know WTF to outsource, I've made a super simple 3 step workbook that you can use to figure out EXACTLY what you need to outsource to your support team so you can stop doing the work you hate and start working in your zone of genius.

WTF to Outsource.png

Once you've finished your workbook, shoot me an email at sara@sarawiles.co to talk through what you found out you need help with in your business!

Blog Signature.png