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Working with me, and Flying Solo


Ok, this is what I’m thinking.

I need a business manager or something. I wish I was a guy and then I could have a wife. I just think about work and I don’t sleep properly or organise meals and I keep forgetting to put the washing machine on. I know I have deadlines to meet but there are so many, I hang around on Facebook and Twitter instead. Or fall asleep at my desk. When I get to the end of the day, I want to start it over again cos I need two days for every one. Then I wonder what that thingie was that Hermione Granger in Harry Potter used so she could got to two classes at the same time…

So that’s what I’m thinking.

I spend all my time organising flights and trips and conferences and accommodation and sending out information and answering the phone and emailing stuff and doing invoicing and tax and ….

I’m running out of time to actually put the big picture stuff together. And I love going out for coffees and lunches even if I think the other person is so wrapped up in their project they won’t listen to what I have to offer. 🙂 But I’m losing the ability to do even that. And I know I am not unique in the small business world.

And forget invoicing. I only invoice when cashflow dips below a handful of bucks in the account.

So what should I do? Do I keep working as a solo consultant, with every waking hour including evenings and weekends dedicated to the stuff and nonsense of running a business? Do I find some comfy evangelist job in a fairly bright company and let them do the infrastructure stuff while I amble around giving presentations and consulting and educating?

Or do I employ some juniors to do the office stuff – invoicing and filing and answering phones? Maybe a graduate that is interested in social networks and wants to tag along having a giggle with me? I don’t like employing people – it’s a whole different ballgame – but I need to think about it. It might be time.

Or do a I find a promoter/management agency that will act like an employer and make sure I’m booked and paid and clothed and fed?

Man, I don’t even have time to think this through properly.

If you or someone you know does want to work with me, be warned. I’m irritable and grumpy when I’m wrestling with bigger issues or just before going up on stage. Or when I have eaten too many sweeties and have a sugar hit. I cry easily when I’m tired. Nothing worse than working in an office with a snotty weepy highly strung, high maintenance chick, is there? Not that I am like that all the time. Sometimes I’m lots of fun. Usually at inappropriate moments. But I could y’know, help train them up on social networks while they helped me get my life organised.

I bought a book called Flying Solo – the business one. They are building an online community around small businesses. It’s just such a shame I don’t have time to join and participate and learn. I probably won’t have time to even read the book. 🙁

Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

11 thoughts on “Working with me, and Flying Solo

  1. I would love to help, have to think of a way that I could do it with the other full time thing that I do….You need a week in the Maldives with no internet access and lots of good food/sunshine. Dont underestimate how much you are inspiring others . Dinner offer was badly timed hey!CL

  2. Maaaatey, I rang and left you a message. I think have a party on the 5th to go to.. but I’ll double check. Kate C knows.

    I wonder if I could use my social network to organise my life for me? Now there’s a thought!

  3. hey there
    Have you thought of using a virtual assistant P/A? There are quite a few around who work from home when you need them. I can probably dig up a couple of names if you want.

    I know what you mean about needing a wife tho…hee hee

  4. By virtual assistant, do you mean a computer based one? i.e. an avatar?

    I mean, as much as I’d love to give SilkCharm a job *shudders* she’d be useless. 😛

    Or do you mean an outsourced P.A.? If so, yes please, I’d love the name of a company.

    Wives do all the running around, social organising, bringing home and then cooking the bacon…. I’d be a polygamist I reckon. I can’t think of multiple uses for husbands, but I can definitely see the reasoning behind many wives.

  5. Laurel,

    When doing some consulting for an IT/communications outsourcer (voice, collaboration, email, sms etc) i came across a Melbourne based website called Virtually Yours – http://www.virtuallyyours.com.au/ Which offers an Australian based network of ‘Virtual Assistants’ which you can contract out all the various tasks that you don’t have the time/speciality/etc to do yourself. The big advantage they offer being that compared to employing someone to sit and answer phones all day doing nothing when the phone isn’t ringing, they only work when there is work to do, and charge accordingly.

    Definately worth a look imho.

  6. Thanks Dave, they look very interesting.

    Hmmm…. I wonder if there is a peer2peer community for virtual assistants? I saw the guy from eLance on Leo LaPortes Lab the other day, and he said he was setting up peer to peer job networks in other areas than design and web development…

  7. Laurel, Laurel where do I start!

    First up I have always wanted a wife to organise my life, even when I already had a wife no I no longer have a wife I need one to organise my life again! Gosh that is almost a recursive loop.

    You could also look at a coworking environment where a few of you share minions, lower cost & risk.

    Anyway yep as you know there are companies you can outsource low level work, just like in the 4 hour work week. Not sure I have seen any in Australia, but do they need to be here??

  8. I use a virtual assistant when things get crazy – it works great but some time (sometimes lots of time) is needed in the explaining of the task (especially if its needs to be done ‘just so’…) I have also been checking out the flying solo website – wanted to run some adds for our training but its all operated by sensis and they are so $$$ (thinking of all the adwords clicks I could get for the same dough makes me feel a bit wooozy!)

  9. Hi Laurel – We’re so delighted you’ve found us at Flying Solo and I do hope you find some time to read the book. The need you describe would most definitely be satisfied by a virtual assistant I would have thought. We had a recent article on the site that explored the topic and you may find this useful: http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/p247598781_Virtual-Assistant-Five-tips.html

    Also if you google ‘Kathie M Thomas’ you’ll find she has a comprehensive directory of Aus VA’s.

    Love your work,

  10. Hey

    Flying Solo – a great start (and now Robert’s here also).

    I’d also suggest you check out Dynamic Small Business Network (http://www.dsbn.com.au/) as they (and Flying Solo) grapple with these things all day.

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