Love of ReadingThis is Day 1 in the 31 Days to Become a More Efficient Virtual Assistant Series

I strongly believe that the virtual assistants who realize they don’t know everything and are committed to lifelong learning have a competitive edge over those who feel it’s unnecessary or a waste of time.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a VA complain that a business owner approached them but only wants to pay overseas rates. These same Virtual Assistants are the ones who won’t invest in the software, hardware and tools to become more efficient and to better serve their clients. I’m not saying that overseas Virtual Assistants don’t invest in themselves. What I am saying is if we want business owners to invest in our services, then we need to bring value to the table.

There will always be business owners who don’t seem to understand that efficiency can be the difference between a $25/hr person taking two hours where a $40/hr person may only take one hour on the same task. Now who is more expensive? The $25/hr person actually cost the business owner $50.00.

What is a good idea worth? An idea may not be tangible but a good idea implemented well can also reduce the need to manually do something. Which results in more savings for the business owners we work with.

The question becomes: How committed are you to investing in yourself and your business? How can you change your mindset from “this is an expense” to “this is an investment”? They are worlds apart. Cut expenses. Don’t cut investments. They provide lifelong value.

Do you want your client to see you as an expense or as an investment?

One of the easiest ways to invest in yourself and your business is by reading books.

In mid-2013 I wanted to learn more about Google Analytics so I could offer services geared around all the features available within it. I asked a friend at BarCamp if there was a book he would suggest. He suggested Lean Analytics, which turned out not to be what I was looking for, but I learned a lot from it. In reading it, a $19.00 book, I also discovered I didn’t really want to offer Google Analytics services to clients. I still highly recommend the book, especially if you work with an online business that has products, software, subscriptions, etc. that they sell. With a $19.00 book and the several hours reading it, I saved myself from building out a service that I came to realize (only by reading the book) I would have hated doing.

I challenge you to read 12 business books this year. One book a month.

Here are some of my favorite business books (in no particular order). I don’t want to inadvertently influence you towards any particular outcome or thought process, so I won’t tell you what I found to make these books worth their cover price.

  1. Lean Analtyics
  2. StrengthsFinder 2.0 **Note: If you enjoy assessments such as this, also consider getting your Kolbe A  Index
  3. The Referral Engine
  4. The E-Myth Revisited
  5. The Small Business Lifecycle
  6. EntreLeadership
  7. Complete Guide to Money
  8. Get Rich, Lucky Bitch!
  9. Do it! Marketing
  10. Becoming an Online Business Manager (intended for virtual assistants)
  11. The Power of Unpopular
  12. Less Doing, More Living

Will you join me in this challenge? It’s just one book per month!

I’d love for you to comment below with the titles and authors of books that have made a difference in your business. I’m always looking for ideas!

As a not-so-funny side note. The reason this post is so late today is because yesterday I managed to get a really super, nasty trojan on my PC. Luckily I recently purchased a Mac (and have something to work on while I wait for the recovery disks to ship from Lenovo), except I’ve never worked with a Mac before. So…guess what I’ll be learning over the next few weeks? Wish me patience. Lots of patience.