Quiet times in business happen to all of us. They happen to established Virtual Assistants, as well as to those just starting out. The phone stops ringing, your email inbox is so empty you wonder if your internet service is down and you can't think of a make-work project to save your life.
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Why Work Slow-Down Can Be the Virtual Assistant's Best Friend

Quiet times in business happen to all of us. They happen to established Virtual Assistants, as well as to those just starting out. The phone stops ringing, your email inbox is so empty you wonder if your internet service is down and you can't think of a make-work project to save your life.

The good news is that once you've experienced a few quiet times and learned that they always end, they'll lose their ability to frighten you. But I understand that until you have that experience there can be scary, hairy monsters waiting in the quiet hours when your work has dried up.

Therefore, I want to offer you ten proven ways to banish those monsters, and even turn those quiet hours to your advantage. Using some of the items and ideas from the list below will help not only keep you occupied while business is slow, but they will add to the strong business foundation you are already building.

What I am trying to do with this list is maximize the potential in your business so that you do not unnecessarily fall victim to work slow-down when you don't want to.

1. Follow up on old leads. It sounds simple but this number one tip can be a lifesaver and a business-builder. Dig through your contact files (you do keep a list of business leads, right?) and refresh the memory of those you haven't talked to in a while. Send them a 'thinking of you and your business' email, mail them a card with your business card enclosed, send them an e-card that announces a new service you are offering. Ensure ALL your leads, old and new, are keeping you top-of-mind when they realize they need virtual support.

2. Clean up something you've been tolerating. "Tolerating" is a coaching word - it means those undone tasks and buried ideas that we carry around with us, sometimes unconsciously, that can drain our energy.

What comes to mind when you think of something you carry around with you mentally all the time? Do you need to complete a business relationship with someone you've been dreading to call? Do you have a pile of paper that needs filing? Is there a page or two of your web site that are not complete? Is there some task you've been putting off for months or even years?

In order to move forward, we need the energy, both mental and physical, to do so. These things that we are tolerating drain our energy and therefore prevent us from achieving all we wish to. Stop tolerating, even one thing, and you'll make room for more success.

3. Call your mother (or your best friend, or your coach or mentor) and ask for what you need. Being a self-employed professional can be a tough row to hoe. Get the emotional support you need to keep going. The person you call (or even better, speak to in person) should be someone you trust with your feelings and someone who can applaud and congratulate you when it's needed.

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