This past weekend was really wonderful. Here in Baltimore, we had rare August weather (not hot, not humid), and as a result, we were up and out each day really early, and back long after dark, exploring places near home we’d not seen before.
I love road trips–long or short. I actually prefer them to any other sort of travel. And I prefer taking road trips with Dominic over anyone else. I love that he enjoys detours and adventures, and shunpiking, and never cares about getting to the destination if it means we have to miss something about the journey. Those are probably some of the reasons I love sharing my life with him, too.
As we were driving around this weekend, and I was thinking about writing about this, the thing that grabbed me for this week’s Virtual Moxie is, “…never cares about getting to the destination if it means we have to miss something about the journey.” Now I understand that I was talking about my husband, but let me use that phrase to now describe the absolutely best virtual assistants.
Wait. Let me start this differently.
Back in the day I wrote an article called, “Stifled by the Corporate Box.” (If you’d like to read it, email me and I’ll send it out to you.) The basic premise is that in the world of employment, your employer tells you where to sit, when to go to lunch, when (and if) you can go on vacation—you know the drill. The employer also tells you what to do, how to do it, when to do it, what not to do with it…and your advancement depends on how well you do it and see it the way they say to do it and see it—they don’t often encourage innovation, or looking outside whatever’s the norm for more creative or effective/efficient solutions.
In that environment, sooner or later, you stop being able to look for those cool, new things. It’s rather like a muscle that atrophies with lack of use. I called that being stifled by the corporate box. The article is about that, and about ways to go about becoming unboxed and reclaim the ability to see the world with new eyes.
One of those ways is self-employment, where you, of course, get to make the rules, make all the choices, and call all the shots. The problem with self-employment is that, as the years go by, it can be easy to get overly comfortable with specific ways of doing things, which, of course, puts you right into a box of your own creation.
I’ve recently met several fabulously talented solopreneurs who are so boxed in by their own old ways of working that they can’t even see all the new possibilities swirling around them. Unfortunately for them, sooner or later, that box will render them old, stiff, and not so fabulously talented—or useful to their clients.
Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen to you! Be sure to routinely take a look at how you do things, then, purposefully find new ways of doing them. Be adventurous. Go shunpiking with regard to your business. Take chances. Take detours. Learn something new and unconventional, or in a new and unconventional way. Get in with a niche that no one else is exploring without worrying about how it will pan out. Do something different.
Chances are, one of the reasons you left employment to be a virtual assistant was because you were tired of being boxed in. Make sure you’re not now doing that same thing to yourself. Give up the destination if it means you have to miss something about the journey, or the destination will be less worth reaching, and you may never be the best virtual assistant you can be.