The One With the Bowling

It’s been another busy week, although I confess, not that much time has been spent working. My husband, Adam has had a big job on through his handyman business, and as a result I’ve been spending more time in Mum role than business role.

Frankly, it’s exhausting, and I am looking forward to being back at the laptop more next week!

My biggest challenge

For the last couple of weeks I have been struggling with something, and this week I finally came up with a solution, and acted on it.

For 10 months I have been working with a client, and I’ve not particularly enjoyed it. The work itself is not particularly challenging, though this is not one of the issues. The biggest problem is the client himself. Before you start feeling awkward about my talking about him behind his back, he has already read this post before I hit publish, and given his permission to go “live” with my tale of woe.

Lincoln is a busy man, which is the main reason why I was called in to help out with his business. The difficulty is Lincoln is too busy to use a VA effectively. As a result he is not fully engaging with the service I can offer, and is undoubtedly not getting the best out of it.

He’d be the first to admit I have tried, on multiple occasions, to address this issue. Always looking for ways to make it easier for him to submit tasks, pick up emails, get reminders etc; however, nothing has really been suitable. Frankly, it’s a mindset issue and there is only so much I can do to help with that.

We have talked, but any meaningful conversations have been thwarted by proclamations that he is too busy to discuss matters with me. The long and the short of it is that nothing changes and an underlying conflict remains.

I would love to say that the problem is all Lincoln’s, but that would be unfair and undoubtedly naïve on my part. I have no doubt that his gruff manner, and tendency to bark orders and never say “thank you” or “please” has irked me somewhat in the past. Actually, I know it has. And that makes things difficult from the off.

Having a virtual relationship (on any level) is not for everyone. In this case, it’s become clear that Lincoln needs someone he can see, and liaise with directly on a day to day basis. It’s not that I am not the right VA (I am the last in quite a long line that haven’t been right for the job), it’s that a VA is just not right for him.

After a discussion on Monday in which I essentially sacked Lincoln, I then spent time on Tuesday and Wednesday helping him screen prospective real life replacements. Next week I will be conducting phone interviews with five different candidates, and any I feel are suitable for the position will then have a face to face meeting with him.

It’s been a bizarre situation, and one I’ve not come across before, so has been an interesting learning curve for me. Interviewing my replacement will be a challenge in itself, as while Lincoln is asking for one thing, having worked with him, I know what he actually needs. There is definitely the potential for more conflict on the horizon. And a large glass of gin.

My highlight

This week I managed to head out of the office, and away from the realities of home, to hit the town. Well, more the alleys to be honest, down at AMF Bowling for the annual Made in Bury Bowling Tournament.

I teamed up with the lovely guys and gals at Square Peg Associates and, well, we had fun. Which I think is the most important thing. Apologies as the cover photo may be a bit misleading, we didn’t get many strikes. I certainly didn’t get any!

I adore networking, and if it can take place in a fun and relaxed atmosphere (ideally with a bar) then I am a very happy lady. Really getting to know people you network with on a regular basis is great for further developing relationships. You can tell a lot more about someone when they are out of work mode and letting their hair down. In fact, some of the best business collaborations I have ever entered in to have been off the back of a few glasses of wine, or a bop on the dance floor.

Do people still bop? Crikey, suddenly feel old!

Regardless, it was a great night, and for those that missed it this year, there’s always next time.



*Might be his real name, might not be.

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