You might remember that Jessica recently wrote to ask me for help understanding why her VA wasn’t instantly available to her. She’s back again with a follow-up!  Jessica asked:

Ok, you’re right. I am not instantly available to my own clients, and although I don’t love how it feels when they need something and I have to push them off, I do understand how and why it happens, and helping me connect my own experience with the standard my VA has in place was helpful, thank you.

I have another question.

I currently have a ten-hour retainer with my VA.  But once each year I do a summit, and for about two months, I really need about triple that. Because my summit is later this year, I just talked with my VA about it, and she can’t accommodate me. She said it’s because her practice is full, but I don’t understand why she can’t juggle something to make more time for me. Can you help me understand this one?

I can sure try!

Time, as you know, is finite.  And let’s say that her work week is 25 hours long for billable hours (there are reasons why this may seem short to you, but it’s actually long for a VA, and I’ve written about that in another post). To maximize efficiency and profitability, she needs to fill that time with billable client work.

So the “game” is, again, much like yours in this regard: work with enough clients to fill the available time.

If she has a full practice, her challenge is in the fact that there simply is no more time to give you.

Needing more help than your VA is available to give you may be a sign that it's time to add more people to your team in order to get the help you need. Celebrate the growth!

Oh, sure, she could sacrifice her family time, her weekends, her sleep, and do more work for you. Or she can fire a client to make the space for your occasional need for more time. But really—why would she? If she’s smart, one of the goals for her business is sanity. And upending her life and work to give you extra hours once each year is a pretty crazy thing to do.

Can you see that?

You’re a smart cookie, and I’m betting you can. Plus I’m betting you wouldn’t want her to suffer to help you. But understanding it doesn’t do a thing to help you get your work done for the summit, am I right? If I were in your shoes, what I would do is find someone to add to your team to help at summit time. That may end up being someone different each year, but if your extra need is just temporary, that shouldn’t be a hardship assuming your VA creates kick-ass documented procedures. There are many VAs in the world who love doing project-based work, and maybe your current VA knows someone wonderful who would love to help you that way.

Make the goal to get the help you need, not to get the help you need from one person. When you do, many more possibilities open up for you! Growth is good!!