How many of you were aware it’s International Women’s Day on Sunday?

Can I let you into a little secret, I didn’t … eek!

Not that I don’t want gender equality or to celebrate how far women have come – in the workplace as well as within cultures. But I guess, being a Virtual Assistant and running my own business for the last few years has already made me feel empowered – both professionally and personally.

Having said that, I do want to mention International Women’s Day.

Why?

Because we all should celebrate.

Each and every one of us (apologies to any male VA’s who may be reading this … !)

Whether you’re high up the corporate ladder, or content servicing a few valued clients, you should feel proud.

You have stood up and fought for what you want. To run your own (successful) business. Yes it may be hard at times. Yes you may want more clients, to make more money, to grow your own VA Empire. But you’re making it happen. One day at a time.

And most importantly, you’re showing younger women that they can do whatever they set their mind to, too.

It’s not a man’s world anymore.

And whilst it’s not entirely equal yet either, it is a far cry from the days when ‘a woman’s place was in the home’ – yeah right!

On Sunday, women all over the world unite to celebrate each other’s achievements. With the theme …

Make It Happen.

Perfect words. Make It Happen for your Virtual Assistant business.

How?

By following your passion, drumming up business at networking events (even if you’re an introvert), developing your skills and continually pushing yourself.

Make It Happen for your business – however large, or small, you want it.

And remember:

1. Your achievements

You’ve started your own business – that’s more than many women (or men) have done.

So don’t beat yourself up if you lose a client along the way, it’s inevitable, and often a good thing. It gives you a reminder that you can’t sit on your laurels. It gives you the motivation to get out there and network. Tout for business. Make it happen.

Remember and celebrate your achievements.

Whatever it is … finishing off that tricky spreadsheet, writing the perfect email pitch, getting a fab testimonial (without asking for it), working through the night to meet a ridiculous client deadline, gaining a new client, publishing your own business website, connecting with the company you’d most like to work with … whatever it is, don’t overlook each and every one of your achievements.

Stop for a moment to give yourself a pat on the back. You deserve it.

2. Your strengths

Stop focusing on your weaknesses. It’s an easy thing to do, and probably the most natural, but stop it. Today.

There are always going to be things you can learn and people who are better than you at something. That’s okay. Tap into their strengths when you need to (if you can) and learn from them.

And remember you have strengths that they don’t. Bring those to the table next time you’re speaking with a potential client, a fellow VA, or even your own family and friends.

Focusing on your strengths will bring a sense of empowerment, whatever the situation.

3. Your values

Don’t lose track of you.

Your business is an extension of yourself. It’s okay to bring your own core values to the forefront. That’s what sets you apart from your peers.

It’s also what will help you do the best work for your clients.

Find clients that align with your values and you both will benefit. Find clients who don’t, and you’ll both most likely find yourselves disappointed or frustrated by the work.

If it means losing or turning down a client or two along the way, that’s okay too. In the end, you’ll enjoy your business more, which in turn will make it more successful.

Women, and men, have played a positive and influential role in my professional life. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have built my business up so quickly, or discovered what path I want to steer it in moving forward.

Perhaps the same could be said for you?

But ultimately it was down to you. Your determination. Your drive. Your ambition. Your skills. Your perseverance.

Exactly as it was for me.

So join women around the world on Sunday 8th March to celebrate our successes.

Show your support on social media channels:

Share your voice using hashtags:

  • #MakeItHappen
  • #womensday
  • #IWD2015
  • #internationalwomensday
  • #PaintItPurple

Want to do more? Here’s how International Women’s Day suggest you help:

  • Retweet and share content
  • Display the International Women’s Day on your website or blog
  • Donate to your favourite women’s charity
  • Paint It Purple – your website, blog, emails for the day
  • Insert the IWD logo in your email signature block for the day
  • Support a female-focused crowd-funding initiative
  • Make and upload a video
  • Run a webinar

But whatever you do – celebrate yourself, your fellow VA’s, and women all round the world and call for equality – to ‘Make It Happen

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