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What Are You Doing? Making Excuses or Making It Work?

Michelle Dale - Monday, April 08, 2013

Last week you may have noticed I went 'radio silent' and a blog post didn't appear on this blog and a newsletter didn't go out either. This really was for a couple of reasons, the first, it was Easter and I decided that I would give myself a break from my routine for that reason, and the second, I had a major relaunch for a client, and several other very important projects simmering on my virtual stove for other clients - and when that happens, clients come first, and my time is wholeheartedly devoted to their businesses.

You see here's the thing, I am a real stickler for routine and meeting any commitment I make, you'll probably see that from the hundreds of blog posts from this site - a majority posted every week without fail. When I skip a post or a newsletter, I don't like it - but this is not an excuse for why I was unable to post last week, this is simply me making my business work, and prioritising. I think I'd like to talk about the difference between the two in relation to having a successful business.

The Entrepreneurs 6th Sense.

Usually I have more structure to my blog posts, you may find this is a little random, but sometimes a little random is exactly what is called for. Over recent weeks I have continued to have the pleasure of speaking to clients and VA's about their businesses and the future of their businesses. As a natural part of this discussion, lives outside of their businesses come into play, because this to me isn't just a business. I don't see a business as something you switch off from, or close the door on, that's simply a job or being an employee, for me, having my own business is a 24/7 type thing that blends in with my life and family. I Accept it.

Often times I wake up first thing in the morning remembering I should have done something, it's like having a 6th sense, or even sometimes in the middle of the night, and I can then slip into the office and right myself some notes, or schedule a reminder. Do I care that it's 3am in the morning, no... not really. You see if you ever have children, you'll know that the sense of responsibility becomes an integral part of your very being, you listen out for them, even while you're sleeping and for me, my clients' businesses all have a similar importance, but they just occupy a different part of my brain and a different part of my awareness. But essentially, I take care of my clients, in a similar fashion to taking care of my children, making sure they are okay at all times. It's not the first time I have used this analogy and I am sure it won't be the last.

But you see here's the thing. If I had been a salaried employee, I wouldn't have that same unconscious sense or gift of perception. I'd be wanting to distance myself from the thing I had to endure on a daily basis in order to pay my bills, but being a business owner, and knowing that my bills won't get paid unless I set certain standards in my business is enough to care, but it goes so much more beyond that too.

It All Comes From Having A Bloody Good Reason.

I'm in Crete right now, and last week I celebrated 1 year of living here. We sailed over from living in Italy on the 1st of April 2012, and we intended to stay here a year and then move on to another unknown place. But as time moved on, we realised this place was special, the island, the people, the weather, the lifestyle - how everything is so wholesome and invigorating... We then said to ourselves... Why do we have to go? Where exactly do we have to be? What's stopping us from staying? And we decided that until we felt the time was right to move on, we'd hang out here for a while...

Without my virtual business, I would have that decision removed from my hands. I am proud to say that I am in my 8th year of being a nomad, having left England, I have no need to return, but at the same time, no need to be in any other specific place either.

Without my passion for living this lifestyle and for raising a family within it, I wouldn't have developed my ability and drive to do the best I possibly can for my clients, this 6th sense I'm talking about. I am often told that I am "lucky" to be living the way I do - when I have come to the conclusion that luck plays little to no part of it. Dedication, determination, an ability to strive for something that means something and taking my income seriously, to the point where if I need to sit up until 3am in the morning working, because I have to meet a responsibility, I will, and I will do it with gratitude that I have a purpose, and that also provides for my family. 

Just FYI, I often don't stay up later working these days because of the way I structure my business and schedule my clients' work with my team - however, it was not always like this in the early stages when I was on my journey to success, when I was living in France our neighbour once commented on how the light was always on in our office before 7am in the morning and after midnight, 7 days a week, at that time we had a 15th month old son and a newborn baby with us 24/7 too, and even though I feel now that I've come a long way beyond that several years later - I am still more than willing to pull out all the stops if needed, and that willingness is always there. 

The 3 Musts.

What I am trying to say is that in business, not just a virtual one, but any business, if you want to see the kind of rewards that are in your big vision for the future, you MUST genuinely care, about yourself and your clients, you MUST be prepared to work harder than you would as an employee, and you MUST then learn to enjoy the fruits of your labours to keep reminding yourself the reason why you do what you do, to have fun and make the most of out your life and business combined.

So next week, you won't hear from me, because I will be enjoying the fruits of my labours, I am having family and friends to stay with me here in Crete and I will be making the most our time together, and I will be missing a weekly post on this blog, but I want you to know that even when I don't post, YOU my readers, my clients, the members of my programmes, and the people I mentor, are always on my mind and in my thoughts and I am always eager to return.

Making Excuses or Making It Work.

It's okay to break your schedule, to veer off your business routine, to miss the odd commitment here and there, but if you want a successful business, that your clients and even colleagues rave about, it's important to make those moments exceedingly rare - and learn the difference between the reason why you've done it -as being an excuse, or it simply being you making it work and prioritising something else as more pertinent to the bigger picture and the vision of where you want to be in life and business.

Cryptic this week, right? 

Have a great week ahead, and I'll see you soon!

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Hi I'm Michelle, an entrepreneur specialising in virtual assistance, a digital and real world nomad, and a down-to-earth mother of three.

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