The Virtual Assistant of All Virtual Assistants. Meet Susan Totman.

As a web developer and virtual assistant, Susan started well before anyone else I know in this online virtual world

When I met Susan, she was developing her Virtual E-school. That was over 3 years ago. Little did I know how much experience she had in this arena. She was list building before anyone else I know.

When she's not out cruising around Maine on her motorcycle, she's working on projects for clients and helping her husband run his wrecker service. Today she is sharing tips with us from over 3 decades of being in business for herself.

Tips from Susan to Be a Better Virtual Assistant

1) Do YOU.

Stay true to YOU and YOUR purpose, no one else’s. Don’t copy others. Their path is different and is theirs. Duplicating theirs won’t work for you. It is easy to let others influence your path, but always remember - it is YOURS to travel. 

2) Stop buying SHINY OBJECTS!

Don't buy into the "gurus" mindset, which leads people to believe that if they only do what this one says, and that one says, it will magically change their life. NO ONE is going to get rich overnight. It's a fallacy, but they suck you in by shining the light on what they know YOU want and dream of. Reel yourself back in to reality.


One step at a time, move forward. I am a great example of someone who has gone in 100 different directions at the same time, many times over. I've done well, but would have gone further much more quickly had I focused methodically rather than impulsively.

4) Put your nose to the grindstone.

When you first start your business, unless you are independently wealthy, you will need to roll up your sleeves, dig in and wear most of the hats (marketing, PR, bookkeeping, social media...) Even if you're well-prepared financially, you still need to research, test and feel out the best team with the best fit for you and your business. That takes time.

5) Find your SUPERSIZE.

McDonalds was one of the first to "supersize" meals. Suggesting different sizes, while tacking on a surcharge was a brilliant strategy for more sales, while the cost of the product increased only very slightly with a few more fries and a larger drink at pennies for them, while charging you several dollars. Your supersize could be a specific service you try to upsell on every sale, with every contract. For a web designer, that may be a goal of upselling to a maintenance package for every client. For a VA, maybe upselling to a larger monthly retainer package or an add-on service like social media management package. For an author, offering the e-book version of a book in conjunction with the paperback sale, for a couple of dollars more, while the e-book version costs you nothing more once the product has been set up (passive income).

6) Set Boundaries and Stick to Them.

To this day, there are people around me who feel that I must be available because I work out of a home office and work odd hours. Either set hours, or at minimum, rules on your availability and stick to them.

7) LISTEN to your clients.

Accept feedback - positive and negative both - with grace. Sometimes it can be difficult to hear criticism, but all feedback is good and it challenges us to do better and be better. Utilize feedback and criticism to make your programs and services that much better for the future.

8) Take time for YOU.

Every day, set aside at least a half hour or an hour – walk, exercise, meditate, stretch, have a cup of tea, read something you love to read, do something for you.  It makes all the difference to take a little break and refreshes the brain.

Free Gift from Susan

Susan wants to help you start your virtual business. Click here for your free comprehensive virtual biz startup checklist to get your new online business off on the right foot!

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