When I think of networking as a virtual assistant, I think of making bread dough! Both contain basic ingredients and are not easy to handle, but can turn out excellent results. You never know, if it will turn out as planned.
Bread dough is basically flour and water. Networking is you, the virtual assistant, and the event. Great care has to be taken to get good results. For the bread dough, fresh ingredients, a clean working surface, the determination to massage and finesse the dough to the right consistency, and time and patience. These are essential to getting good results.
Virtual assistants are basically administrative professionals that have advanced skills and talents. They need to attend social events to promote themselves and their businesses. Virtual assistants have to take care of their own businesses by preparing for these events. They must look professional, have great social communication skills, and be able to gently extract pertinent information from potential clients, so they can initiate a meeting or set up some type of communication with them.
While making bread dough requires physical strength and coordination, the virtual assistant has to stimulate conversation and stretch themselves skillfully to attract new clients. In the bread dough, the yeast is the essence of the bread. This is a process of using just the right degree of warm water and yeast. The yeast has to sit there and “work” until it’s ready to be put into the bowl and allowed to rise to its full potential.
Virtual assistants go through the same formula. They have to have the right mix of skills, learning capacity, and they have to give themselves time to “mature” and be ready to formulate their own business and be successful. They’re ready, when they have mastered several skills and they’re ready to jump into the competitiveness of the business world.
What if the bread dough doesn’t rise or is too sticky or lumpy? We all make mistakes and sometimes things are just not meant to be. Learn from your mistakes. The greatest chefs in the world burned toast and failed many times before achieving success. Learn from your mistakes and keep on trying. You will not make as many mistakes as you think you will and you will become better at your craft, the more you do it.
The bread dough, if prepared and handled properly, will yield a delicious loaf of bread. It will look enticing, taste incredible, and compliment any food that’s served with it. So too, for virtual assistants, they must continue to grow and develop in many ways, while they’re preparing themselves for business ownership.
When they’re ready, they will present a professional presence by being able to speak about many topics, act in a professional manner, and connect with their potential clients on several levels. Their expertise will impress their new clients and reinforce their business relationships. Virtual assistants and their businesses or brands will have a far reaching effect. Most of the clients will automatically promote their virtual assistants and their skills. Virtual assistants, if skilled properly and ready for a challenge, should complement any business.
So the next time you sit down to eat any type of bread, whether it’s fancy, spicy, with seeds, crusty, thin-sliced, or hearty, think of the bread-making process and how long it took to get to what it is right now in your plate. Think of the work, the hours, and the care that made this bread what it is. Look at it and then taste it and feel the results of someone’s hard work, talent, and patience.
These same principles should be applied to any virtual assistant business and if anyone is thinking about becoming a virtual assistant, I say “go for it”. Start right now to develop your skills and abilities, start working on your business plan, develop your professional brand and remember that time and patience yields a good harvest.
Check out my website Virtual Colleague LLC.