Michelle is definitely is enjoying the time of her life as a Virtual Assistant. The flexibility of being a VA allows us to enjoy our time at our own pace, whilst maximising our full potentials to benefit our clients. Congratulations, Michelle!
Michelle Poole is an experienced and enthusiastic virtual assistant professional, who treats business as if it was her own. She owns Virtual Hand, supporting businesses by allowing business owners to do less but more of what they love in their business. Michelle has a variety of skills to support any business size and links to many others, primarily working closely with trainers and coaches but all other industries welcome.
What made you decide to venture into Virtual Assistant career and Coaching? How does this help you with your long-term goals?
My background is in EA/PA roles and I had been researching the Virtual Assistant industry for some time – back in 2010/11, it was pretty new. Then my contract ended and it seemed the right time to jump into self employment. I was already a qualified coach in my ‘hobby’ and combining to help business owners seemed like a natural move. Long term, like most people, is to do as little as possible for as much as possible but ultimately to enjoy life – every day.
What is a typical day like for you?
I do not have a typical day. I love the flexibility of my work so it can range from a day at the spa, PT session, hairdressers to a full day onsite at a clients’ office. Some days I don’t leave my desk, others I just don’t see it! Unfortunately, I do like to do lots and over extend or cram too much in each day but I would much prefer this to being sat twiddling my thumbs. Flicking through social media or tv channels all day does not appeal and any time spent doing this feels like a waste to me.
How do you begin to assess what specific services your client would greatly benefit from if they are unsure of what they need?
Questions, questions, questions. What they do, what they love, how do they serve their clients, what’s a priority, what’s the ‘nice to have’s’. Generally trying to get a picture of their life, their business and what they see as being part of their business back-up. Most importantly – what they are prepared to let go of or start doing within the business.
Congratulations on being awarded as an Outstanding Virtual Assistant of 2012 by the ‘6th National VA Conference & Awards 2012’. How does it feel? What are your plans ahead?
Thanks. In 2016, I was shortlisted for VA of the Year North East in an ever growing industry. It’s great to be recognised by your peers and the Virtual Assistant Conferences held within the regions are good opportunities to meet up, collaborate and learn together. It can be quite isolating but being in such a collaborative industry, we chat daily in Skype groups; helping and supporting each other.
I understand that you are also training people in management and business operations before. How have you used your coaching and training skills online?
Previously I was helping new VAs to set up; showing them the all new arena of self employment, skills and pitfalls of being a Virtual Assistant. It was an exciting time for me as I love training. I’ve carried that forward to training in marketing and blogging to help all business owners get to grips with marketing for their business.
What type of work are you not good at? What work do you prefer not to do?Outsource those jobs you don't enjoy! Click To Tweet
I’m not good at very technical stuff – like building websites. I see all these courses showing you how to do it but I really don’t have the inclination. I’m happy to edit (where I can) and certainly uploading and SEO’ing blogs on websites but that’s as far as I go. I don’t see myself as a creative so I struggle with that but I do my own graphics on canva when needs is must; the majority being outsourced to my Virtual Assistant or others. I certainly practice what I preach – outsource those jobs you don’t enjoy!
What key lesson have you learned from a client that you would like to impart to your fellow VAs?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help! I was struggling with my business in a certain area and when I mentioned it to my client, they came back with some great ideas and were happy to help me see it through. It’s a two-way street.