Tag Archives | virtual

The Immersive Ugliness of Our Environments in America is Entropy Made Visible

I cannot claim to have made the title of this blog post but rather James Howard Kunstler can. He did so at the beginning of his talk at the TED conference in 2004 (I love the gems that keep getting found at the TED website).

Oddly enough I came across this video when reading a blog post about web site strategy. The parallel between building of public spaces in the “real” world, and the building of public spaces in the “virtual” world can come to a common understanding that we care about those spaces that are designed well and invite participation.

The video of his talk is worthwhile to watch (and funny in parts too).

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My Business, Version 1.5

This past week of work, the first week of February, was an interesting one for me in terms of my career and my business.

Last week was a transition period and if felt like it all week. January was a very busy month for my business with the first two weeks filled with many meetings about new projects while at the same time working on many of my current design projects already underway. At times it felt as if everything was up in the air and I had no control over anything. I guess this feeling of “losing control” is not uncommon. I read recently that the sense of control one feels as a business owner, or just a plain human being, is really nothing more than an illusion anyway. Who really has control over everything at every moment? I mean isn’t reality nothing more than your perception of the present? OK, I digress…

Anyhow, the beginning of last week had me scrambling to finish tasks on projects that I had worked on over the weekend, catch up on other projects that had been put on the back burner because of meetings in the first couple of weeks in January, and start to develop proposals for the new work that I had the meetings about the weeks before. Whew!

I did manage to make it through the week because I was looking forward to Friday. Friday, February 2nd, was my first official meeting with my new VA (Virtual Assistant). Now I can tell that I was very excited for this phone call because it was an actual “line-in-the-sand” if you will with regard to a transition for me and my business. I was now going to have someone other than me involved in the “day-to-day” activities of the business. Furthermore this person is invested to help my business succeed. As one of my business mantras in “your success in our success” so it is with my VA. This is cool for a number of reasons.

First, what I already said above. Second, once we iron out workflows, etc. this relationship will help me be more productive by allowing me to focus on what I do best, help my clients. Third, I should get to have a bit more sanity in my life by not having to do absolutely everything for my business. Fourth, I can’t think of a fourth at the moment but I know it exists along with a fifth, sixth, seventh, etc.

The most intriguing part of starting this phase of the business comes down to one thing for me, delegation. I must admit that during our one-hour phone call I felt completely disorganized (although I asked and was told that I was actually pretty well organized). Before we had our meeting I filled out and sent a few pages of questions relating to what things I need help with in terms of tasks. However, when I was on the call my brain was like a giant void.

The question was asked, “What can I help you with right now?”

A long pause–my brain scrambling for a task. I honestly could not put my finger on a task. How stupid I felt. Lucky for me we had already stumbled across a significant task, helping with data entry to get my companies new project tracking system online (btw, if you have not seen or heard of activeCollab, I highly recommend it!)

So, for now I will close this entry here. I could probably ramble on for longer but this is enough for now. I’m sure to have more to say soon.

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February first is around the corner

Next week the month of February will start. Other than making me realize that the end of the first month, one-third of the first quarter, is done it marks a time of transition for me and my design business.

I’ve been in business now for 19 months. I am closing in on the “24 month” threshold that is the old tale that any business that can make it past 2 years is going to last. I must admit when I started the venture of starting my own business I was unsure I would get enough clients to pay the bills. I’ve been fortunate to sustain and slowly grow my business completely through word-of-mouth.

However, now I find myself at a threshold. I spend a great deal of my time “managing” the business and work, and not doing the work itself. It’s a paradox I’m sure every person that has started out on their own has come to face.

I’ve decided to search for a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant is a qualified business professional that can offer a wide variety of business support services. It really depends on what your needs are. I have gone through the process of filling out a thorough form, received inquiries from qualified candidates and then had phone interviews with four people. From those four I selected “the one.” I am starting the new phase of business this February first that will begin to allow me to focus on the things I do best (think billable!) versus the things I can do (think unbillable!).

It really is a simple solution. I find myself spending from 40-60 hours per month managing my business. If I get half of that back in billable time, my inflow will increase overall not to mention the good feeling that will come in having someone other than me invested in the success of my business.

More will come in the next few weeks as we start working together.

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Another step towards a VA.

Today I emailed a small group of VA’s (Virtual Assistant’s) on my way toward selecting one. Continue Reading →

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Well, I am in the midst of a period of transition. I’ve been self-employed for a year-and-a-half now and as I have wanted it growth is happening at a very modest pace. This is in part due to my desire to know what is happening and to learn all that I can about managing and running a business. Continue Reading →

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