{Guest Post} Leah from LeahMac.com talks about starting her business

Leah Mac

Today we have a guest post from my friend, and Digital Administrative Assistant Extraordinaire Leah Mac. I asked Leah to provide us with an inside scoop as to how it felt to get her business online, and lucky for us, she obliged.

When I decided to work from home, I knew there would be challenges.  What I wasn’t prepared for was just how much time I would spend on the non-billable parts of my business.

There certainly were days where I felt like my business was the cobbler’s kid without shoes. (Thank you Aliza Stein of A Freaking Great Company for this analogy.  You can read what the Creative CEO herself has to say about shoeless businesses here.)  The basics for becoming a solo-preneurer didn’t seem to be a lot on the face, but when I really started digging into it, I found it is more, MUCH more.

Anytime you want to start a business you put out your shingle, and wait for the clients to come rolling in.  Well, in the digital business world that means building a website.  If you are a DIY’er on a tight budget like me, then you have a whole host of things to make yourself crazy worrying over. Things like which platform to use, the cost, the learning curve, and what domain name is available but won’t cost $3000.  The last one is a doozy for sure, especially if you are including words that will rank high in SEO analytics, but that’s a post for someone else to bang out.

I found, and continue to find, the whole website bit a little intimidating.  The entire process; from the back end building of the site, to what the face of the site will say about me.  This is going to be my new digital office – who is it going to attract?  What if no one comes?  I built it, damnit, where are they?  (Sorry, the PTSD from website building just cropped up there.  Let me tuck that back in.)  Then, once the site is up and running, it must be maintained and updated regularly, or it just gets stale.

While I worked on bringing the website online, I had to consider how to handle social media.  In my line of work as a digital administrative assistant, social media is an extension of the new office I just built.  Being the fabulous mix of old school – keep it to yourself, gamer, and general internet junkie – I found this difficult.  I had to find a compromise between sharing pictures of my breakfast, and what I was currently sharing… which was next to nothing.  Then, there is marketing, and selling, and the constant learning about each new technology or techie change that happens, and the list keeps going.  If you are out there and thinking about starting up a new business, GO GET ‘EM.  Just remember your kidlet of a business has needs beyond new clients and cash flow to keep it going.

You can find Leah by clicking here. Her website may be offline as it’s still in the design stages so be sure to bookmark her and visit often.

Why don’t you ever follow through?

This is a guilty thought that runs through my brain often.

I posted here a few weeks ago and said I’d do income reports monthly, and weekly updates at the very least. Did it happen? Nope.

My income from the blog has been minimal, and it’s been mostly because of my lack of posting. You have to have content to have readers, and you have to have readers to make money. Now I’m lucky to still have my readers, so that’s a cue to write more.

Why haven’t I been posting? Well I have written several drafts and clicked save for later. That counts for something right?

The truth is, I’ve been happily consumed with paying work and this has changed my focus. In the past I spend most of my days filled with overwhelm, exhaustion, and dread. I was taking on the wrong work, and not focussing on my talents. I gave myself wholeheartedly, as I always do, but sometimes it just wasn’t a good match.

So I’ve decided to let it go, and not in the annoying Frozen song kind of way, I mean for real. I’ve hired back in one of my bestie’s to help me with internal work. I’ve shaken up my core offering and had a chat with my waiting list to see who was ready for big things. I’ve also opened back up my creative boutique, and good god it feels amazing. I’m mentoring brave new souls and it almost feels like I’m somehow giving birth to the next generation of big business.

The message in all of this? It’s ok to evolve, and it’s ok to morph. Both of those things breathe life into your business ( soul, self, whatever you want to come alive ).




Book Review: Becoming an Online Business Manager by Tina Forsyth

About 2 years into my Virtual Assistant stint I realized that I was destined for more. I remember chatting with a friend (mentor really) who grew  her biz from being a VA, to a Multiple VA firm, to an Online Business Manager, about how she got where she was. She mentioned Tina Forsyth’s book, Becoming an Online Business Manager, and recommended that I have a read.

A few days later I bought the book and when it arrived I flipped through anxiously awaiting the wealth of magic I was about to learn. As I read through the book, I ended up not connecting with it and put it down only to let it collect dust.

Fast forward to the future and I was cleaning out a box of business books when I came across it again. I started reading chapter 1 which was titled “To be or not to be” and it hit me. The first time I read the book not only was I not ready for it, I was clearly looking at my business from the wrong angle.

Since then this book has sat on my desk and become a reference for my daily ops as well as my clients. It also serves as a wonderful tool in my mentoring sessions.

When I read the book for the first time I can recall thinking “is this all?” and “I’m already doing this stuff” so I totally blew it off. The truth of the matter was, I may have thought I had all the answers but did not. It actually took me failing as an OBM in order to see those things. Around that time I was juggling the wrong clients, as well as the wrong type of work for the wrong amount of money. I began to dislike all that was my business.

Around that same time I also struggled with combining my business entities into one. I was highly technical, but didn’t want to create a stuffy old business. I wanted to be sure everything I was offering was cohesive and something my ideal clients would want. It started with branding and everything just fell into place. I often had to remind myself that I am building my own thing, not copying anyone, so it’s OK to do things differently.

Ok back to the book…..

Here are a few of my favorite takeaways from Tina Forsyth’s, Becoming an Online Business Manager. 

  1. Becoming an OBM requires you to ask yourself  “How can I help grow this business” rather than “How can I make this business owners life easier”. This is 100% true.
  2. Client’s determine where the bus needs to go, it’s the OBM’s job to make sure we all get there. It’s called driving the bus. I’m a bus driver are you?
  3. All business owners want to make money but most are allergic to managing it. There is an entire insightful chapter on this. All gold.

So if you are looking for a little direction, even if becoming an Online Business Manager isn’t in your realm of thinking, this book will help. I pretty much recommend it to any of my Administrative/Executive Assistant, Virtual Assistant, Online Business Manager or Administrative Consultant type friends and clients.

P.S. I have used my affiliate links in this blog, but know I wouldn’t promote anything I don’t feel 100% confidence in and only promote things I’ve personally used or experienced.