There are times in the 12 years that I’ve been running Virtually Does It that I have felt like I’m not doing a very good job at being a business owner.
I wasn’t following trends, I wasn’t creating new products and services every month, I wasn’t launching or sending out teasers on social media as to what was coming up or what I was working on behind the scenes.
I rarely did any visible marketing. I felt like I was being left behind, that I should be making more of the online space and creating and marketing more.
And that’s because what I was working on behind the scenes was becoming the best I could be at what I was offering. The best business owner I could be on a personal level, as well as developing professionally. I guess you would call it going deep rather than broad.
I didn’t want to run a business in a way that seemed the trendiest at the time, I wanted to solidify and get really really good at understanding everything that goes on in business. To learn and develop my skills, my mindset and my expertise in business operations, management, strategy and leadership.
From starting out as a VA in the UK when VAs wasn’t a well known or understood industry, to moving into business management, to being a fractional integrator to supporting highly influential CEOs of multi-million pound organisations to create space to focus, to be a better leader for themselves and their company.
The core of what I do and why I do it remains the same.
To make each business I support work better. To support the people behind the business to be happy, accomplished, confident and successful. To quietly evolve Virtually Does It to become a business that is rooted in service, with in depth knowledge of how businesses work best for each business owner.
Being a service based business, and someone who loves nothing more than supporting others, it can be easy to let our own goals and plans fall by the wayside, and this has been true over the years for me too. There have been times when I have had ideas that have stayed in Dropbox and are probably still there!
Some may see that as just not being driven enough to make a change, or not focussed enough to get a new project off the ground, and perhaps the latter part is true.
True focus comes from a want to do something, if you can’t focus on it, is it what you really want or need to do?
That’s not to say I haven’t dabbled in new ideas over those years, and there is more to come, but I always come back to my roots, and the business has grown in to something I didn’t imagine – and I love it!
Go back to your roots
All business evolve, but what is at the core of what you do, this isn’t necessarily a service. You might have started as a VA, but now do more strategy and management, but what is it that underpins that offering? There will be an overarching theme or desire that you have that will run through the business.
Seek out all the knowledge
Learn, connect, learn, connect! Keep developing your skills in the areas you most enjoy and connect with people who are not only where are you, doing what you do, but also thought leaders you admire, who are in or who have come from the same industry as you.
This has been one of the best moves I have made. Open your mind to the next level of business in your field. Don’t just look at the skills you need that you do every day, and that you are probably already an expert in. No one needs another template or e-book on how to do what you already know! Look at what appeals to your clients. What are they needing, or moving into and how you can your business bend and flex the core offering to support them further? What’s the next level in what you currently offer? Does that appeal to you?
This type of development now takes up a big chunk of learning time for me and I have gotten so much from doing this that has helped me with my own business.
I said at the start of this post that I sometimes felt left behind in the online business world, but focusing on my core service and expertise has been what has grown both the business and me as a business owner.
- cement your confidence in what you do, allowing you to grow in the right way, which might not always be the trendy way!
- attract more perfect opportunities for client referrals.
- reinforce your standing in your industry as someone who is ‘the’ person to go to for your type of service.
- allow you to build and offer a first class service that you know your clients really need – no more guesswork.
When the time is right for you to diversify your income streams, or launch a new product or service, you will know exactly the right path. It will be a natural progression of who you are and what you do so you will be invested in it for all the right reasons.
And that being said, 12 years later, I am launching something a few new things early next year. Sign up to the newsletter if you’re not already to hear more as it all unfolds (and no, that’s not a teaser, I just haven’t got all my ducks in a row yet!).