Hi everybody, Dachia here
Welcome back to Focus On Your Small Business.
Let me start by saying I’m sorry it has been a while since I’ve posted an episode.
If you’ve been listening…. or at least trying to… you know that I’ve been talking about and then struggling with niching down.
In the last few years I went from a job as a shift lead on the tasting room floor of a local winery… to a job as a professional driver… to a virtual assistant for a Realtor, which turned out to be not as virtual as I was wanting… to being… on my own.
Since I was a kid, I was always doing my own business. I’ve had dozens of jobs through the years, but always had my own thing going, too. And several of those little businesses made some money but I struggled to find a way to make it bigger without going too big.
I never wanted to have staff. I didn’t want a storefront. I wanted to work from home.
I know that is like a pie in the sky dream to so many people, but I knew I had something I could offer. I had real world experience in sales and hospitality. Loads of training with companies as well as a lot of formal education. I had to have something that I could offer.
So, I was always trying stuff.
Last year, when I offered my services as a virtual Assistant to a realtor, I felt closer than I had ever felt in the past. I could work from home in my own hours.
I was doing social media presence for her and it was a lot of creative work, which I excel at and enjoy.
Just to say here, there are many things I’m good at… but that I do not enjoy. I’m sure you understand.
So, having something that I was good at AND that I like doing, it was great.
But being kind of new to the VA arena, I made some mistakes.
In the beginning, when we were both excited to work together, I said we needed to have some ground rules. That I would be doing ABC and I would be paid $X for the work… not the time. I was pretty clear that I did not want to work hourly.
And the reason for that is that I had some ideas for other projects that excited me and I wanted to work on.
One being a podcast.
So, I mentioned a few times that we should sit down and write some stuff down… make sure we were both on the same page.
It didn’t happen and I let it go because it was going ok.
But as time went on, I was asked to be more present in the office. She wanted me to attend the office weekly meeting. And then the weekly training.
Now, it made sense to attend the meeting, so I could offer to help her as a more informed assistant. And I wasn’t opposed to the training, because I’m always up for training.
But as time went on, she wanted me to do more things since… I guess I was getting my tasks done more quickly. And coming into the office was a … quite frankly a pain the butt.
I do my best work in the morning. And alone. And in blocks of time.
Going to a meeting or the training meant I had to be reasonably clean (which … quite frankly is kind of an effort) put on clean clothes… public type clothes, not the sweatpants and t’shirt I was usually rolling around in, and drive in… about 40 minutes each way.
So, just in non-actual-office time, it was about 3 hours of dead time… non-productive time, non-paid time, every time I went in.
But it was important to her. So I did it.
Then she wanted more. She wanted me to come in another day and for me to stay longer each day.
And while I could at least bill for those hours, I was still expected to get the work done, which meant I was working more and more hours… but we had agreed on a set monthly fee… so, I was getting paid less and less money per hour.. AND… I didn’t have the time or bandwidth to work on my own stuff.
Other things happened and I finally left to do my own thing. I will talk about some of the things that happened because they were important to my journey to where I am. But… it’s a bit too much to get into right now.
All this to say, that when I left that job, I had some ideas that were based on what I did at that job.
The realtor was not the first person I had helped navigate online branding. I’d been doing it for years. So, when I left I thought I’d likely need to just go find another person who could use my services… but this time I would be much more careful with getting a written agreement in place.
While I was thinking about who I could offer my service to and what I could do for them, the same stuff I had been doing in my personal hours for years… I realized that I really didn’t want to do this again as a one-on-one business model.
One of the ‘things’ that happened that helped me see the light in my relationship with the realtor, was that my income was far too reliant on hers.
I didn’t want to trade time for money anymore. What I was trying to do with her was trade knowledge and outcome for money, and that worked better, if I had made sure we stuck to that agreement, but still… it is time for money.
I wanted to scale this. I wanted to scale this immediately.
I wanted to create something that I could sell or sell access to.
That’s how the membership site came to be.
If you’ve been listening for awhile, you know that I tried to niche down and focus that site on Realtors. And it didn’t sit well with me.
However, I also thought I just needed to keep going and see if it grew on me.
Well… it didn’t.
When I moved away from careers or particular businesses, and focused on types of people or groups… I thought about Silvers starting there on small business.
It was starting to feel better to me. I love small businesses and want to help folks create and build one of their own. And as a Silver myself, I was really kind of excited to help them in particular.
And THAT is who the membership site is for. Silvers who either recently started a small business… or whose goal is to start one soon.
Likely, you have either minted time, or limited interest in the minutia of how to do this. Where to learn about this platform, and how to use youtube for self-development….
So, all the best, latest, most accurate resources for online branding, either personal or for a small business, is in one place…
Now, if you enjoy spending hours looking for resources like I do… great! I hope you choose to stick around and keep listening and sharing your own story whenever you’d like.
This podcast is still meant to be useful and interesting and maybe a bit humorous to you.
Something else I’ve created is a weekly enewsletter that is delivered right to your inbox. It will have whatever cool stuff I found that week. Also, a daily email of affirmations and inspirational quotes. My podcast of daily affirmations is surprisingly popular and I thought there might be some folks out there who don’t listen to podcasts or don’t want another one or would just rather read the affirmations, so I will email 3 affirmations and an inspirational quite… every single day.
And they will be on lovely quote cards so you can either print them off or share them with friends Whatever works for you.
To get either or both of those, just sign up on my website dachia.com. They are offered on the right side of each page. Super simple, just drop your name and email address and you’ll start getting it right away.
This podcast episode was a bit longer than usual. I had some time to make up. Going forward, it will be the usual few minutes… AND… I’m committing to publishing every Monday.
My goal is to be consistent.
As always, feel free to ask me anything or share a story either through email or the voicemail button on the site, it is right on the right side… teal button that says voicemail. If you have a great motivating or inspiring story about being silver and/or starting a small business, I’d love to share it here. Up to you.
It’s all up to you, with a little bit of me.
Talk to you next week.