Brainy Girl VA: Virtual Team 360 – 014

Kim Garnett, a serial entrepreneur, started Brainy Girl Virtual Assistant in 2012 after fifteen years of assisting small business owners with technology and marketing. She hired her first subcontractor within 6 months and now has a team of five other VA’s who help service her clients. In 2016 she opened the VA Success Academy to teach others how to start, and grow, a profitable virtual assistant business.

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Subcontracting Turned Up A Notch: Virtual Team 360 – 013

team-podcastThe moment Christy Haussler realized it was time to make the leap and become an entrepreneur, she was in her car, driving to work, listening to podcasts to pass the time. Christy spent hours commuting back and forth to an office for a job that didn’t fulfill her, and decided it was finally time for her to make a move and give her own business a try. The first thing she did? Take the first step, and then another and then another.
Today, Christy’s company — Team Podcast — provides production and strategy for more than 40 shows and produces about 200+ episodes a month. Her business is steadily growing, she lives in a city she’s happy to call home and she spends her time doing work she loves.
On this episode of Virtual Team 360 she discusses how many more clients she is able to serve using the subcontracting concept.


Taking Your Virtual Biz To Next Level

I’m taking the time at the end of this year to look back and see what’s happened with my business. I ask myself what fell short of my expectations, what worked really well, and what improvements I want to make going forward. My continuous goal is to keep taking my business to the next level. It may be a matter of investing into my business or finding free quality resources. I never want to stop improving, and the best way to do that is to use my 20/20 hindsight.

One of the most successful aspects of my business has been the Virtual Team 360 podcast. I was very fortunate to have the wonderful Denise Griffiths coach me and assist me in starting this. A valuable lesson from this is the advantage of having a coach or accountability partner. It’s a simple choice that brings remarkable benefits. Are you utilizing your business contacts? Look for opportunities to connect – you never know where it might lead!

I just hired another coach, Christy Haussler from Team Podcast, to help me continue to grow my podcast. All of this has supported me as I expand and given me the freedom to create some resources for you! I’m not going to spill the secret yet, but very soon I’ll have some tools and resources for you to download and listen to. These were designed to help you succeed and grow your business. Among other things, I talk about goals. With the new year approaching, you’ll want to set goals that you can then review at the end of the year!

Now, one of the first things I do after evaluating my year (and that I recommend you do as well) is take a look at my budget. You should examine your recurring costs, and see if there were any large purchases or investments you made for your business. Perhaps there’s something you need to account for going forward into the next year. I’ve been fortunate to have an increase in income which led to the hiring of my latest coach. Is that something you can budget for yourself? My experience has been so positive. It’s great having someone to brainstorm with, who has unique ideas and specialized experience.

Soon I will have a new resource I’ll be bringing to you will have an impact on the way you run your day-to-day operations, as well as affecting the big picture. It’s exciting whether you have a virtual assistant business, manage a team of subcontractors, or are looking to become a subcontractor yourself. It has helpful items to help you get into the industry quickly, and start things off efficiently. Best of all, I’m providing it to you as a free giveaway!

Have you reviewed your year? Do you have any exciting news for the coming months? Your experiences are valuable and I’d love to hear from you!

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Passion Gets You To Success

This morning I was watching the show “The Profit” and it got me thinking about why I enjoy it so much. “Shark Tank” is another one of my favorite shows, and what I discovered they have in common is that these are very accomplished business owners whose passion has brought them great success. They were driven by something specific, and it kept them going through the trials that every business owner endures.

So, today I want you to think about what drove you to start your own service business. What passion drives your decisions? Sharing your enthusiasm will actually bring more clients in versus pitching them a particular service or product. I’ve shared this before, but allow me again to share a little about my own passion.

The promise of a full-time income was not what drove me to this sub-niche. It was the possibility of supplementing my current income. I wanted to take my kids on vacations, be able to buy those extra little things for myself, and give more to charity organizations than I’d been able to before. Sometimes it’s seemingly small things like this that make a big difference in one’s enjoyment of life.

Those three things drove my passion. I wanted to serve others. That is what’s neat about this sub-niche. In addition to working on my own business, I have a hand in helping others become successful in theirs. I assist them in creating a successful business that has been built from the heart.

You can see why it’s absolutely vital to identify your passion and allow it to drive you. When there’s no energy in your body, or your mind even, to keep growing your business, this zeal will carry you on regardless. You might think of a mathematician who hasn’t eaten or slept for hours, but hardly notices because they are completely consumed with solving an equation. Their enthusiasm is so intense that it carries them through any physical discomfort.

Now, I’m not asking you to skip meals or sleep while growing your business! I am encouraging you to find your why. Meditate on why you started this business. Developing a small business is no easy task. So, there surely must have been something that urged you on regardless.

Was it to bring in enough income to quite your full-time job? Perhaps you needed to buy a new house or car. Or maybe your child, or aged parents, got sick and needed care at home. Think about what it is that wakes you up, ready and eager to start your day.

Now share it with others, and the clients will come! Tell your story on your website, in social media, and on forums you visit. Don’t be afraid to shout it out. This drums up interest in your business, because it shows a human side. That’s what people relate to. In the end, it’s not about being an expert, or that you provide this or that. It’s how you jive with your clients. Identify what it is you are, what you stand for, and you will be able to connect on a personal basis.

Have you identified your passion? Share it in a comment! I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Business Growth, Subcontracting Inspiration, Subcontracting Tips ,

A Client From My Own Backyard

All businesses, including my own, face the challenge of actually finding clients and customers. In my virtual assistant business, I’ve had one particular client for 4 years now. The stability of that is great, but I’m always seeking out others that I can help. Recently, I was pleasantly surprised when I found a new client in my own backyard!


It’s amazing how small a world it is. You never know who might be looking for someone to help grow their business. This new client is in direct sales. She’s not someone I was even aware of. I was lucky enough to meet her because of the network we are both part of: Women Helping Women Win. I’ve talked before about how vital it is to network, and this is proof of its importance.

I found out that she needed a virtual assistant to help her with back office tasks. Despite the fact that we’re in the same area, I’m still working remotely from home, as that’s what works best for both of us. I’m sticking to tasks that I normally provide, which includes web research, bookkeeping, Excel spreadsheets, and other administrative tasks that are essential to a small business.

Something I learned from this is that yes, it’s important to go outside of your comfort zone when looking for clients. At the same time, don’t miss what’s right in front of your face. It could be a neighbor, a friend of a friend, an acquaintance – if you’re always looking for new clients, the possibilities will be endless.

Be aware of what you’re truly passionate about. That gives you purpose to carry on even when you don’t have as many clients as you might like. That passion will show, and make others more interested in what you’re doing. So, where was your closest client? Were you surprised when you found them? Share your own story!

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Canadian Virtual Guru: Virtual Team 360 011

We are a virtual service company offering a full range of administrative, receptionist, social media and web development services. All our assistants are Canadian and we service Canada and the US.

We offer Pay-per-tasks, Virtual Assistant Packages, Virtual Receptionist packages and with that we also have web designers, bookkeepers, social media marketers, transcriptionists and more.  Everyone that signs up get access to the project management system where they are able to delegate and monitor all work being done, they can even add users and seperate accounts for seperate projects.

The company was founded by Bobbie-Jo in 2012 but she mainly worked as a VA herself, she started subcontracting about a year later but only to 1 or 2 other Va’s. It wasn’t until 2015 that Bobbie realized she could do something more with this business and turned it into a subcontracting and multi-va source for clients and started her search for business partners.  At the end of 2015 she found her business partner match with David who has the same vision.  David is now the CEO and Bobbie-jo is the COO / Founder and in charge of operations.

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Streamline Your Subcontracting Team: Virtual Team 360 012

Tess Blankenship builds and grows better virtual teams helping entrepreneurs reach their revenue goals. Knowing what to hire out, how to work and using performance data to build rockstar teams. Spending over a decade focused exclusively on contracting virtual teams across the globe for big business, she’s sharing the secrets. To keep her business running strong requires a big mug of coffee, a good pastry and a dose of the outdoors.





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Subcontractors Don’t Just Fall From Sight

On disappearthe Virtual Team 360 podcast, I’ve interviewed many guests on their experience using the subcontracting concept in their business. There aren’t many complaints but we’ve discussed some of the difficulties that might arise. One item has come up several times: people who’ve been hired as subcontractors suddenly disappear. They seem to fall from sight! What would cause someone to do this? Believe it or not, you play a large role in keeping them on board. I’ve come up with some strategies to keep this from happening.

First, you want to do some investigating before hiring a potential subcontractor. Social media is an excellent tool for discerning important information about them. How are they interacting on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, and the like? Look for their work style, how much their personal life might impact their work, and how they behave in general. Are they professional or too relaxed? Red flags would include bickering with others and being completely inactive on all their social media. You’ll get a feel for what they’re like and what it will be like working with them.

Once you’ve got them on board, don’t just throw them out in the water. Take the time to strategize with them. What ideas and insights do they have about the client’s work? What questions do they have? Ask them if there’s anything in particular they’d find challenging and would initially need some support on. I recommend a monthly check-in call with your subcontractors; however, you might consider doing a weekly call for the first month. It’s important that they get a feeling of ownership in these projects. When they’re personally invested, and feel valuable, they aren’t likely to simply disappear on you.

I’ve said it before, and it can’t be said often enough: communication is key! If you don’t communicate with them, how do you expect them to feel like they need to communicate with you? In a sense, by shoving them out blind, you’re the one disappearing on them! This needs to be a team effort. Assure them that if they have a question they don’t want to ask the client, they can come to you. Utilize tools like Skype, Join.Me, Snapchat, messaging apps, etc., to keep the line of communication open.

Finally, it’s very important as a virtual service provider that you show them that you do personally care. The way you treat them is the way they’re going to treat the work of your client. The more attentive you are with them, the more attentive they’ll be with the work. If you make them feel like a member of a team, they’ll see their contribution to the project as vital, not disposable.

How can you show personal care? Small things make a difference. Send them a birthday card, or congratulate them on an anniversary. Ask occasionally about their children. Do you know they’ve had a bad day, or are struggling with a personal issue like health problems? Send a quick encouraging email. If they’re a private person, that’s fine, because you can still show personal interest in them. Be aware of these things that affect them, because our personal lives absolutely affect our professional lives.

If you implement these strategies, check in with them often, and communicate efficiently, then you aren’t going to have the problem of them falling from your sight. With that said, please feel free to let me know if there’s any other issues you’re facing that you’d like me to talk about. You can send me a message at!

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What to Do When Health Affects Your Business

Aug 2016 blog photoAll entrepreneurs have varying personal circumstances that affect their businesses. Some are childless, yet planning for a family, while some desire to stay that way. One might be an empty-nester, the next a stay-at-home mom. Many are working parents with a job outside the home, trying to balance their small business.

Personally, I’m talking from the standpoint of a mid-40s parent who is working outside the home while growing my business part-time. In the last few months, I’ve begun to notice a pattern. It seems that my health is often getting the best of me, in terms of my productivity. Spring and summer were full of celebrations, including graduations, first communions, and the like. Those are enjoyable activities but they also require energy, especially when they come one after the other.

My daughter also found a new job, which is great, but I need to plan on how to get her to and from work, while still having my own outside job. Like any other kid, my son can get bored during the summer. So I’ve had to make sure I keep him occupied. That can be very time-consuming! I’ve become run-down, and hence inconsistent in my business. All of this caused me high amounts of anxiety, which continued the cycle of inconsistency. While I recognized that I’d had no choice in what led up to it, I knew something had to be done.

I started with simple steps. I began to utilize the Google Calendar tool, in order to stay organized. It’s immensely helpful to see all my upcoming events and deadlines in a glance. It’s so much easier to stay on track with my client tasks. I continue to work with the accountability partner I found on VA Networking, who has been vital to my success. I also stay in communication with my ghostwriter and have monthly calls with her. It’s important for the people I work with to know what’s going on.

Last but definitely not least, the support of certain friends, family, and fellow business owners has been so important. I’ve been incredibly thankful. Unfortunately, with being so busy and having a tendency to struggle concentrating on my own things, I haven’t had a chance to truly thank them for what they’ve done for me. This fall, I’m looking into specific companies that specialize in sending out special gifts. Some of the ones I’ve looked at include Send Out Cards and Cupcakes in a Jar. Even something as simple as an inspirational book can show them how much I appreciate them, and can hopefully help them as well. In the end, it’s not so much the gift as it is the acknowledgement of their help. Everyone wants to feel appreciated.

Have any of you had this issue? What have you done to fix it, or what are you doing to work on it? By sharing our stories, our experiences can help others. Please share – I’d love to hear from you!

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Share Your Business Story

Share Your StoryWhen you think of putting your children to bed, what comes to mind? Or perhaps, what’s a favorite pastime when sitting around a campfire? Telling stories! Every parent knows how it engages them, excites them, and makes their eyes light up. Long ago, many cultures passed their stories down orally, from one generation to the next. They shared their accumulated knowledge and experience. Clearly, humans are natural storytellers!

Lately I’ve been reading the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series. Surprisingly, it’s taught me a lot about my business. It got me thinking about the basic appeal and benefit of storytelling. These accounts delved into the deepest and most basic human emotions: loss, joy, humor. They inspire others, arouse a passion in them, give comfort, and often make them laugh. They truly connect us.

I realized that I needed to think about my blog and website content as a unique sort of storytelling. I’m trying to accomplish the same thing those childhood bedtime stories did: teach, touch someone’s life, and inspire something in them. It doesn’t matter what the format or length is. The principle applies across the board, whether the subject is business or fables. This is how you reach people.

I’ve been enjoying three podcasts lately, which are The Eventual Millionaire, Brilliant Business Moms, and Your Partner in Success. I noticed a pattern amongst all the guests of these shows: they said they could never have become successful by themselves. The support and talent of others helped them reach their goals. I realized that my chosen niche, subcontracting, was a great idea. I’m providing a service that is needed and helpful.

It was encouraging to realize that, and I never would have known if those people hadn’t shared. It illustrates the point once again. What about you? What stories do you have inside you? Your knowledge could help someone’s business grow. Sharing your past experiences might change the course of someone’s career path. You never know.

So, please, share your story, so that we can all learn from each other!

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