Lara Nieberding

The Purple Lara

Posts Tagged ‘Entrepreneur

Duped by Marketing 101

with 3 comments

I saw this headline pop up in my blog rss feed:

“A Team of ”Virtual Assistants,” Awaiting Your Command”

The article is on a reputable web site who’s target audience is entrepreneurs. Maybe I should clarify that to say, it is on a site I consider reputable but now am starting to doubt. Did you notice I did not link the article for you to click and go? I purposely did not link it because the “article” is not worth your time. The title lead me to think I would learn about what a virtual assistant is, what services the virtual assistant provides and how I can keep a team of them at my disposal. Silly me. No. One look at the article only to discover it is four sentences long. The whole purpose of the blog post, because obviously it is not an article, is to direct readers to the web site of a fellow columnist of the author of the blog post. The fellow columnist is a “serial entrepreneur.”

Since I am here, I cannot help myself, I click on the link to his web site. I just have to know if this is where there is a directory of fellow VAs. Silly me. No. There is no information about the virtual assistant industry. He wants you to fill out a form. Lead generation. Well, why not? In the name of research, I forge ahead. I fill out the form. Then, my browser jumps to a web site with oodles of words and no substance. This is internet-marketing 101. I imagine the owner of this poorly formatted junk sitting at his desk thinking, “What is today’s hot topic? What is the current buzz word?” He chose “Virtual Assistant.” His material is the three-ring circus dog and pony show. He does offer one link to one virtual assistant company.

Ok, now I am knee deep into it. I am compelled to click on the actual virtual assistant link. At this point, I am curious to know what his connection is to the virtual assistant. Perhaps this link will lead me to the information I thought I was going to get originally. Silly me. No. The business appears to be legitimate but I cannot tell if the information is current. Some of the links are dead. Some of the web pages do not load correctly. I do not recognize any of the names associated with the business. I do not see any industry associations. I swear it is as if these two got together and said let us give these internet marketing and search engine optimization formulas a whirl.

I have no reason to believe anything negative about the virtual assistant. From my heart, I wish her success. If she wanted media exposure, why did the author of the post not directly mention her? Why go through the “serial entrepreneur?” My criticism is of the original blog post. The article was not about virtual assistants, and the fellow columnist is not a virtual assistant nor do they own a virtual assistant business.

Written by The Purple Lara

November 3, 2007 at 12:40 AM

Too much information!

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Too much information!

by Lara Nieberding

The Internet is an over abundance of information.  Have you ever researched a product online?  Do your eyes bug out of your head when you see all the “Os” in the word Google at the bottom of your search?  How do you sort through all your options?

I would like to thank Michelle Ulrich, Chief Villager of The Virtual Nation, for her comment that inspired my post today.  She said when she does research she selects five resources.  She looks at those five resources and from that prioritizes them into her top three decision points.  Then she makes a choice.  After she makes her decision, she moves on.  Michelle is a successful virtual professional.  Her time is of the essence, as is your time.

It is excessively overwhelming to worry about the 1.3 billion other options you did not consider.  How do you sort through all your options?  To keep you organized, efficient and productive here is an action plan:

·         Organize

o   Write down the product/service you are looking for.

o   Write down the top ten features the product/service must have.

Unbelievably, writing down these two things is a critical action.  As your search progresses, you will be inundated with details of the product/service.  It is very easy to get side tracked from what you are actually looking for.  Having a written reference will keep you focused.

·         Efficient

o   After writing down the product/service and the features you need, get online and start a search.

o   Out of the search results, select five resources with these criteria: 

§  Select one resource from the most expensive or most popular or the one with the best reviews category.

§  Select one resource from the middle price wise, recommendation wise, etc category.

§  Select one resource from the least expensive, least known, etc category.

§  Select one resource from the “looks interesting” category.

§  Select one resource at random.

o   Thoroughly research your five resources.

§  Read the FAQ

§  Watch demos

§  Refer to your top ten features list

·         Productive

o   After thoroughly researching your five options, make your decision.

o   Know that you made the best decision you could based on the information available to you at the time.

o   Do not doubt yourself.  Give yourself permission to let go of the fact that you did not consider the other 1.3 billion resources. Your productivity depends on it.


Written by The Purple Lara

October 10, 2007 at 5:58 PM

An Unproductive “To Do” List

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Do you keep a list of all the tasks you need done in your head? Does your task list consist of one task on one piece of scrap paper with lots of scraps cluttered around? Right off the top, I would like to acknowledge, I understand this method works for you. Thoughts and information are processed in a matter of seconds. Sometimes, you need to make a note quickly and move on. When time is of the essence, managing this type of “to do” list is shoved to the end of the list. Now, your productivity is hindered. Why?

You have told your brain to remember your “to do” list internally. This requires your brain to cycle through the “to do” list while you are trying to focus on something else. Especially when you are trying to focus on a task, you do not particularly want to do. Suppose “write business plan” is on your “to do” list and for the sake of this discussion, you find writing a business plan tedious. At this moment, you have decided to buckle down and write your business plan. You use a word that reminds you of a task on your “to do” list. You then try to remember where you wrote the note. When you cannot remember where the note is, you start looking for it. Derailed by your thoughts, you have been distracted from your objective and made less progress on your task. You have hindered your productivity.

I am not here to introduce a new organizational method for you to implement. Cause guess what? You are the way you are. Your method works great for you. If organizing things is not in your skill set, you will be wasting a lot of time trying to learn a method you will eventually abandon. I am here to help you be productive. My brain does not function the way your brain does. Organizing things comes naturally to me. That is why you hire me to maintain your “to do” list. You record a voice mail, send out a text message, or instant message me. It is my responsibility to organize, prioritize and maintain your “to do” list. Then, when you are in the process of writing your business plan, you can quickly reference your “to do” list if a word reminds you of a task. Also, you are not spending energy on remembering where each piece of scrap paper is located. Once you send me your idea, your brain checks it off your list of things to do. You know the information has been processed for you. This allows you to be more productive.

Written by The Purple Lara

September 30, 2007 at 12:57 PM

It takes one to know one

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As I sat here contemplating content for my blog, it occurred to me, I better research the terms I use. Perhaps I am tossing around buzzwords that I am not actually sure what they mean. What is an entrepreneur? What is a virtual assistant?

Since I am a virtual assistant, I should start with that term. A search on returned a very basic definition:

“A virtual assistant (or VA), is an independent contractor providing administrative, technical, or creative services to clients, usually to other independent entrepreneurs and solo and small business practices, such as that of a lawyer or realtor. Virtual assistants work from their own office (hence “virtual”)

A virtual assistant is an independent contractor, not an employee. They set their own rates, operating standards and policies, pay their own self-employment taxes, and manage the work and how it is carried out from a distance.”

The definition of entrepreneur at is:

“An entrepreneur (a loanword from french introduced and first defined by the Irish economist Richard Cantillon) is a person who undertakes and operates a new enterprise or venture and assumes some accountability for the inherent risks. A female entrepreneur is sometimes referred to as an entrepreneuse”

At least I was using the terms appropriately. What fascinated me about the results was until I saw it written out; I did not make the connection. A virtual assistant is an entrepreneur. Who better to help you with your business than someone who truly understands what you are going through. It takes one to know one.

Written by The Purple Lara

September 28, 2007 at 1:38 PM

Hello world!

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Entrepreneurs want to keep their focus on their vision. Yet all the details related to launching their vision distract them from their goal. I help entrepreneurs turn their vision into a reality. Sometimes you just need someone to walk beside you. Encore Virtual Assistant: Keeping you organized, efficient and productive.

Written by The Purple Lara

September 28, 2007 at 1:12 PM