13 Important Tips for the Self-Employed

October 11, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Making the jump from working for someone else to working for yourself is a big step.  There is a lot to learn and much of it you wind up learning the hard way (through trial and error).  The freedom and flexibility that comes from being self-employed and running your own business however makes it all worth it!

I came across a recent blog post today from Glen Allsopp (@viperchill) “Living Self-Employed Online: The Manual They Forgot to Give You”.  Glen shares 13 lessons from his first 18 months of being self-employed:

As some people here don’t care about making their living from the internet, I understand that this post will not be for everybody. However, if you’ve just made the leap to working for yourself, currently run your own business, or you’re looking to make your money online in the future, this article may be just what you need.

Over the last 18 months of working for myself, I’ve learned a ton of things on my journey. Not every piece of advice I took on board has helped, with many ideas quickly being discarded. From reading dozens of books, speaking with hundreds of entrepreneurs, and living this life myself for a year and a half, there are a few lessons I would like to share.

I found this post to be full of wisdom and something I wish I had read when I first made the leap.  One tip that I really liked Read more

The Mystery of Multitasking: Productivity Tips for Busy Entrepreneurs

March 10, 2010 by · 30 Comments 

Today I’m psyched to share a guest video post by my friend and colleague Chris Ducker. I met Chris through Twitter and it was immediately obvious we shared a passion for working virtually and living a flexible lifestyle.

Chris is the CEO of the Live2Sell Group of Companies, a thriving Total Business Outsourcing corporation based in the Philippines where he lives.

Chris has developed systems and ideas to manage his time and make his business life easier and more productive. Watch this short video where he explains why multitasking actually makes you less productive and shares tips for staying focused and growing your business:

Read more

Our First Flexwork Chat on Twitter

February 25, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

On Wednesday, February 17th we had our first Flexwork Chat on Twitter.  I was joined by Jasper
Westerway (@JasperWestaway), CEO of OneDrum, and Lokesh Datta (@LDatta) of AllCollaboration.com as well as a bunch of other great twitter folks who were eager to discuss and debate the current state and challenges of flexible work.

The discussion centered around some of the findings from One Drum’s recent flexible work study.

We discussed a number of topics including:

  • How can flexible/remote working can make you more productive?
  • What are some of barriers to productive remote working?
  • What should businesses consider when choosing tools to facilitate remote working?

View this post on the One Drum blog for a summary of some of the key points and a full transcription is available in PDF form here (Thanks Chip!).

It was fun, exciting, and informative and we are planning to make this a fairly regular event.  It looks like we will be doing one again next Wednesday so I hope you will join us!

What is a tweet chat?
For those of you unfamiliar with this online discussion format, a tweetchat is simply an organized group chat that takes place using the Twitter platform. Participants use an assigned hashtag (in our case #flexworkchat) for their tweets during the discussion. For more information on Tweet chats check out this short article.

You can follow along, or participate, by visiting http://tweetchat.com/room/flexworkchat or simply following the #flexworkchat hashtag on twitter.

If you want to know about upcoming chats (and other events) please subscribe to our email newsletter (on the right hand side of any page of this blog) or follow me on Twitter!

The Lost Art of Focus: Multi-tasking vs. Mono-tasking

October 12, 2009 by · 6 Comments 


Further research continues to indicate that focusing on more than one task at a time actually decreases productivity and may jeopardize the fundamental quality of our work and communication. But this data seems to contradict what many people hold as the vision of a fully engaged and adapted 21st century worker.

The people who engage in media “multitasking” are those least able to do so well, according to researchers. This recent BBC article examines the results of a study done at Stanford University.

And this NPR radio segment also highlights some enlightening research into multi-tasking.

But in today’s workplace, and even just in our day to day lives in the information age, a certain amount of multi-tasking is unavoidable. So it seems the skill to develop is knowing when, where, and what to multi-task. Ali Hale weighs in with what I feel is a reasonable and well thought out opinion in her article ‘Multi-Tasking vs. Mono-Tasking’:

So how do you know when you should “multi-task” and when you should “mono-task”? And how do you manage to do the latter? Some things lend themselves brilliantly to multi-tasking. These tend to be activities which are purely physical, or which by their nature take a set amount of time to complete – however well you focus.

All of this has given me food for thought – as I am a person who is prone to multi-tasking and have convinced myself that I am pretty good at the juggling routine. In fact, I half-jokingly said to my brother just the other day, ‘I’ve got to focus, no more multi-tasking, from now on I’m only going to do two or three things at a time.’

So, here’s a little eye-opening challenge if you feel the same way: try this online game called MULTITASK and see if it might start to change your opinion.

Starting or Growing a Virtual Assistant Business

January 14, 2009 by · 14 Comments 

We got a comment on one of our Podcasts from a visitor named Collette Schultz. Her question about the Virtual Assistant industry is one we get pretty frequently, so I thought I’d include my reply here as a post.

Collette Schultz on October 26th, 2008 11:21 pm

As a new virtual assistant subcontractor I’m getting into researching the VA industry through podcasts. I listened to this one last week and am bound to hear more. What I find most frustrating is knowing where to start. Do you offer a beginners series to help getting started?

While we have never blogged or done a segment specifically on Virtual Assisting, I do not believe it differs greatly from other types of internet based businesses: that is to say that it relies mostly on abilities and training, networking, and marketing.

There are several places people can obtain training to become a virtual assistant or, as in Collette’s case, improve their existing skill base; some of them offer certification:

Certification Programs

Our Jumpstart Kit is also intended to improve people’s fundamental skills with virtual teamwork and remote work technology. Also, Phil wrote a book called Lose Your Commute about finding legitimate work-from-home opportunities in general and it contains a lot of insights and resources. Read more

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