Monday, March 03, 2014

I is for Initiative - and also for Listen to Instructions


Use some.. call it thinking creatively, thinking out of the box, etc etc, you have to use your initiative if you are going to be successful in the virtual world. It's about being proactive, not reactive. You don't need anyone to succeed, other than yourself.

I get so frustrated with people, especially new transcriptionists or VAs, or can't or don't show any initiative. Seriously, folks, if you don't have any, or can't think for yourself, then don't become a VA or a transcriptionist. In our line of work, you need to be able to think on your feet all the time. I don't mind at all helping newbie transcriptionists or VAs who ask intelligent questions and use their own imaginations. I do get tired of it when people ask me the same question over and over, don't do the things I suggest or cannot seem to think for themselves. After all, my time is money as well, and I don't charge for mentorship although sometimes I think I should. Some experienced VAs do. However, the fact is as long as you're willing to help yourself, I'll help you when you have questions where I can and there may come a time when I need to ask you for something as well. So there it is - show initiative, and we'll get on fine, and you'll get on fine in your business too.

You've got to be able to think how to handle a job, how to market, what to do next. You always have to be one step ahead of the game. If you're part of the pack, and not a leader, it's going to be hard for you to make a success at this kind of work.

Even once you've been doing it for a while, it's possible to slip a bit with your mental attitude and your thinking - and suddenly you find yourself back in the pack. This can often be when you are tired or ill, and a bit under the weather. The difference between a leader and a follower, however, is that the leader realises he's slipped and regains the lead, by thinking creatively.


The other thing I want to make mention of is Listen To Instructions. Can't highlight that enough. Listen to Instructions. If my client passes me instructions and I pass them on to you as my subcontractor, or if I have my own set of rules and regulations and I'm the client, you need to pay attention to the instructions I give. Nothing more annoying than outsourcing a job to someone and then they send the work back and all the work's been formatted wrongly, the wrong form of words have been used, the wrong titles have been used, etc etc.

The best is to question the client until you are satisfied you know what they really want. No client minds being questioned a lot - in the knowledge that they are going to get a good quality product at the end of the day.

But, if at the end of a job, the client realises you haven't paid any attention at all to what they've been telling you, then they will probably either dock you pay or not use you again.


Damaria Senne said...

Initiative is critical for a small business owner. At heart, I'm just a writer. But when I don't write for an employer, it means I'm every cog in the wheel that makes my business run. Which means that I need to learn things that are out of my comfort zone. That takes initiative, I think.

Damaria Senne said...

One of the hardest lessons I had to learn as a writer was that, I had to follow instructions. See, like many people I thought being a working writer meant I got to be creative (read: write what I want). And you can take that gamble and win the jackpot, get it published. But most writers I know who make a living off it are able to do that because they write according to client requirements. The client tells you what they want written, how they want it written and when they want you to deliver, in what format it should be, sometimes even the style it should be written in. And you listen, go home and do what you're told.
We all dream of being able to write what we like and for editors and publishers to like it.. and for readers to pay for it, which is where the initiative comes in, but in my book, first you should understand the requirements, so that when you show initiative, you trully exceed expectations and you're not in danger of under-delivering.

Shawn said...

Initiative is such an important thing for any person to have if they are going to work for themselves. They aren't going to have a boss tell them what to do on a daily basis. The client will want to see results so some good old fashion get up and go is needed for the entrepreneur. Thanks for the reminder.