Tag Archives: yvonne richards


Does Someone Who Does Stuff for a Living Know More About it than YOU!

What business are you in?

Construction, finance, engineering, marketing, retail?

Do you know a lot about that little niche of yours?  I bet you do, else you wouldn’t be running the business you are.  You wouldn’t know enough about the market share, the products, the top dogs of the industry.  You wouldn’t know the best places to go to sell your stuff or the best people to approach.

And how have you learned all this?


You’ve been in your niche for a long time probably before you decided to venture out on your own and test the waters of self-employment.

You know all there is to know and some…

You run your own business don’t you?

So you run your own business and you know a lot about your own business sector or niche.

Am I right?

So, is it not a given that other people who run their own businesses also know a lot about their given business, niche and customers etc?  Makes sense to me.

If you’ve ever considered hiring staff, you have probably thought about the costs involved of equipment for them to use, office space for them to occupy, pension plans to provide for and tax and national insurance contributions to worry about.  With all that on top of finding the right person is it any wonder you are put off by the idea of finding paid help for your business.

However, have you ever considered outsourcing jobs that take up your time to those people who are working in the virtual environment? These people have their own equipment, provide their own office and contribute to their own personal pension plans and pay their own taxes.  Sounds too good to be true.  Well it isn’t and there is more.  And probably the most important part of all.

Virtual Assistants nowadays run their own businesses.  They aren’t like the folk who apply with their CV looking for their next stable 9-5 job.  These are tech-savvy individuals who have taken advantage of the internet revolution that is taking place across the world that enables them to work alongside people in the UK, US, Europe, Australia and anywhere else you can think of at one and the same time.  They provide an invaluable resource that can be hired long or short-term, dependent on your preference or complexity of the job in hand and they don’t have the added costs of equipment and office space.

Yes, you pay them the same amount per hour as a regular offline employee, or you should if they are worth their ‘salt’ because despite what people think, i.e. oh they work virtually so we can get them for pennies because they don’t have to travel – they never consider what the hidden costs of employees really are.

Once you begin to add up the costs of office equipment, space and contributions, you begin to see that minimum wage for virtual assistants isn’t that expensive at all.  With no contracts as such, no redundancy packages, they are the new modern solution to our ever-burgeoning workload as entrepreneurs.

Consider the benefits of working alongside a virtual assistant when you next start to think about hiring employees but get put off with all the hidden costs they come with.

Plus, if these people are running their own businesses and know all about their niche, doesn’t it make sense they will be more adept at running the administrative side of your business than you?  This is something they have experience in and can probably do in the half the time you do it.  Surely the time saving alone has to be worth looking at it more deeply.

The online virtual world is becoming more and more attractive every day, don’t overlook this valuable resource when you next feel overwhelmed and exhausted by just trying to keep ahead of the game in your business.


Are you Throwing Money Down the Drain?

Do you believe the mis-guided (in my humble opinion) notion that if you do everything yourself you get it cheaper?

Do you spend inordinate amounts of time doing things that you don’t want to do?


It’s either because a) you feel you can do it better than anyone else, b) you feel only you can do it, c) you believe that it will be quicker if you do it yourself or d) you believe it will be cheaper if you do it yourself.

Okay, well I can accept a and b because that has been my motivation for pretty much most of my life.  And to be fair, it’s hard to hand over admin and organisation to other people when you’ve been doing it since the womb and everyone else seems to miss those important little details.  I know, you often feel, why didn’t I just do it myself, it would have been quicker and I’d have got it done the way I wanted it done in the first place.

110% agree with you, but – and it’s a big but, you are not only selling yourself short, but you are selling a raft of potential helpers short too.

So what’s the answer.

Training my friend.

Training  your ‘staff’ to understand how important certain aspects of your system and organisation are and how they impact on your business. Training them not to do the job per se but training them in how they fit into your organisation, instilling them with the same kind of motivation and excitement for your business as you have.

No, they will never really ‘get it’ to the extent you do – else they would have set up the business you have – but bear in mind that they are in business themselves.  They have to go out and find clients to work with just the same as you, they can’t just rest on their laurels and hope that jobs just miraculously appear as if from nowhere.

But isn’t that just spending MORE time on doing stuff than you would normally by having to train people?  Well yes it is, but it is money well spent.  You have to see beyond the time you spend now in training and toward the time when the person you’ve engaged can do the job and it frees up your time.  You need to build this vision of your business being sustained by not just you but an ‘army’ of helpers who know what you want and need and are happy to provide it either long or short term.

Being a virtual assistant myself, I’m a great proponent of working virtually – I appreciate it’s not for everyone but it suits my lifestyle and to boot,  I don’t have to own a car or commute daily to earn my income.  It’s a win-win situation for me.  Whilst I am a gregarious person, my first offline jobs usually involved having my own office (as one does, being a PA because you’re dealing with confidential information), so I sort of got used to working alone or with just one boss.  It’s the way I like it and I just love the flexibility working at home affords me.

But you can find people who are happy to come in and work at your office premises say one day a week and then spend the rest of the time working remotely for you.  This works particularly well for small businesses such as plumbers or electricians or builders who have a raft of receipts and never find the time to do anything with them other than filing them in a shoe box, which they ceremoniously hand over to their account on an annual basis.  His heart must sink when he sees that each year, or they unceremoniously hand it over to their already stretched other half and hope that it gets done.

Imagine that plumber or builder using a remote worker who collected their receipts on a weekly basis and then entered them in to either an accounting software package or a simple Excel spreadsheet.  It would probably take an hour a week tops.  Would you be prepared to pay £6.25 for an hour of someone’s time – who, incidentally, does this for a living or two or three hours of yours or your significant other’s time who do it because it has to be done.

Is that really saving time and money?

How much can that builder earn in that hour?  You could argue, well they do that at night, so they can’t work then but they still have to do quotes and work out quantities to order materials etc.  Why more builders don’t employ a local VA to outsource their admin work to is beyond me.

It makes you think doesn’t it?

Are you throwing money down the drain?

Are you spending your very profitable time doing jobs you hate or could be done faster and ultimately better than you for less money?

Try looking for an administrative assistant and start using your money and your time more effectively.


Who is Your Number One Enemy in Business?

Who is your number one enemy in business? I bet you’re going through a myriad of names now of competitors who’ve nabbed that deal before you got chance to get your tender in or people who’ve pipped you to the post for that long sought-after promotion.

And to be fair, it should read WHAT not who but then it wouldn’t have made for such an eye-catching headline now would it!

Just for a minute though, think about how many tasks you perform during a single day; a myriad of them before you even get to your office – and your head, if it’s anything like mine, is always full of a zillion and one things that need doing and you have ‘to do’ lists as long as your arm.

It gives you a headache just thinking about doesn’t it!

But let’s just concentrate on your business day, how many of these do you process in a day?

  • Emails – more than you can to mention!
  • Meetings – one or two a week, or more.
  • Follow-ups – most days.
  • Admin – when I have to!
  • Invoices – when they need paying!
  • Social media updates – don’t get me started, how many accounts do I have?
  • Phone calls – how do I turn this thing off?

Seriously though, do all of these things contribute to your business?  Well, of course, you say, else why would I be doing them?  Well that’s a great question to ask yourself.

Why are you doing them?

Are you good at them?

Do you enjoy doing them?

Or, are they necessary ‘evils’ that have to be processed?

Do they really contribute to running your business?  Do they create income in and of themselves, or do they just suck time like vampires?  Agreed, some phone calls and meetings are absolutely necessary and will bring you income but is it necessary for you personally to make those initial calls to set up a longer call to talk things through?  Is it necessary for you to sort out times to meet and book that client into your diary?

Another great question to ask yourself is, what are you good at doing?

You must be good at being an entrepreneur else you wouldn’t have started your own business, so you must have drive and commitment and vision to see where you want to go.

Wouldn’t your time be better spent honing your vision and making sure you are on the right track, making the right connections with the right people at the right time?

If all of those administrative tasks could be given over to an assistant, virtual or otherwise, how much business time would it free up for you?  I’m guessing over 75%.  Yes, it costs money to hire staff but how much can you earn as opposed to how much you need to pay an assistant?

There is also the added benefit that working with a virtual assistant helps lower your costs, they are running their own businesses and take care of their own tax bills and have all the equipment ready in place.  They are used to doing these jobs and will have them processed twice as fast as you.  Your business will be more productive than ever.

So, given all of that, how many of these necessary ‘evils’ could be off-loaded onto someone else?

Think about it.

Time is your number one enemy.

It’s something you’ll NEVER get back so pay someone else a cheaper rate for their time, so you have more capacity to charge a higher rate to your clients for yours.


Put your Feet up – Take the Rest of the Day off?

www.theultimatevirtualassistant.comWhat I hear you cry?  Do you even KNOW how much work I have to do?

Do you feel there aren’t enough hours in the day?

Feel like tearing your hair out when the family wants to get together and you know full well that you need to catch up with your social media, blog posts, invoicing, admin… and so the list goes on and on and on!!!

How often can you be heard murmuring the words under your breath – when will it ever end.

Do you go to bed exhausted only to wake up exhausted and still have to run your business and do the other myriad of things that are expected of you in the merry-go-round of life?

What if you could do all those things and more?

What if you could have the life you dreamed of when you made the huge decision to work for yourself and run your own business.

What if on a Friday night at 5pm, you could pack up for the weekend and have a much-needed break over the weekend – do what you want to do, chill out with family and friends, have some quality me-time or take a quick weekend break?

Sound like a pipedream?

Well it doesn’t have to.

What one thing could you do that would make your life easier all round?


Oh yeah, right – and who do I delegate to in this one-man band I call my business?  Who else can do all the things I need doing and do them right and on time and…

Excuses, excuses, excuses.  I’m sorry, but they are!

You are in overload and overwhelmed because you’ve allowed yourself to get that way.  And please don’t think for a minute that I haven’t been there, because I have – I too have been overwhelmed and exhausted and then I made a BIG decision.  I decided to delegate work that I could easily do but that took time and took me away from my business.  I decided to hire a virtual assistant.

I can hear the cries of protest already – I don’t earn enough to keep me going let alone staff.  I hear you but being time conscious also brings its own financial rewards.

Think about it.

How much can you earn at your business per hour? £15, £20, £40, £100?  Wouldn’t your time be better spent in working toward making each hour you work that productive?  Put another way, if you were given the choice of two pay packets each hour and one contained £40 for your business time and one contained £5 for your administrative time, which one would you choose?

I know which one I’d go for.

Well, yes, you say, I hear what you’re saying but even so, I don’t have the time to source a virtual assistant, where would I get one, what should I look for.  It’s easier to just keep doing it myself.

There are loads of resources on the internet and plenty of sites where you can source virtual staff from, it takes some time, agreed but at the end of the day, it is time well spent – a productive use of your time working toward freeing up a major portion of your day so that you could hand all that other stuff over to your administrative assistant.

What’s the alternative?

Being an overwhelmed entrepreneur who’s not focusing solely upon growing his business.  Someone who is constantly tired and harassed, not functioning at his or her optimum level, spending precious expensive time doing jobs that could easily be outsourced.

Or you could hire someone to take over all that pesky paperwork, get down to earning what you should be and living the life you want.

Seems a small price to pay in my book.


Yvonne Richards is a Virtual Assistant and entrepreneur running The Ultimate Virtual Assistant, training for overwhelmed entrepreneurs and under-utilised VA’s.

With 40+ years experience of being a PA, 5 years as an online virtual assistant and 15 years running her own businesses, Yvonne is well-placed on both sides of business to understand the needs of both entrepreneurs and virtual assistants.  She has a degree in Business Administration, is an excellent communicator and can often be found helping small businesses improve their admin functions.  Her feedback from clients speaks for itself.

“Yvonne is a talented PA, whose common sense approach has been a huge help to us. Her professional, straight-forward manner has made her a pleasure to deal with.” Sam Goodwin

“Yvonne has exceeded my expectations by thinking outside the box, working super-hard on my project, and coming up with all sorts of helpful suggestions and tools.” Britt Bolnick


Linked In: uk.linkedin.com/in/yvonnejrichards/



Are you an Angel for our Planet?


I was sent this video a while back and this is the first chance I’ve had to review it. I was stunned by not only the technical difficulties to create it initially but also the beautiful imagery of the insects and mammals it depicted.

Watching the bats feed at night with their huge translucent wings reminded me of angels and I wondered how many of us were indeed Angels for our Planet? What do we do to enhance the beauty of our world. We make a big thing out of buying the latest gadget for our kitchen, or the latest set of cushion covers for our lounge but how many of turn that artistic streak to our environment. Yes, I know a lot of you love your garden and I, for one, love my greenhouse and my solitary bee hives. I leave a lot of my lawn uncut to provide much-needed food and nectar for the bees and I also re-cycle a lot of my rubbish.

“SEP – Somebody Else’s Problem.” Yvonne Richards

But all of that said, I still don’t go out and help clear up the canal towpath of rubbish, or even just walk round my street collecting rubbish. These things tend to be SEP’s as I call them – somebody else’s problems. “Oh that’s what we pay our council tax for.” But what if by everyone helping clear up the mess, we could reduce our council tax bill? I can’t believe the amount of people I see who drop rubbish as they walk along the street, or out of their car window. SEP. Somebody else is paid to pick it up i.e. the local council – but don’t they realise that it ultimately comes out of their pockets?

Anyway, watch this gorgeous film and see what you can do to be an Angel for our Planet – #angelforourplanet

Occupy Love!


A brand new film is coming out on 3rd May 2013!  I can’t wait.

Are you feeling disempowered regarding this beautiful planet we call home?  Hate what is happening to it, wish we could all just rub along with each other?  Hanker after Global Peace?  Well, my friend, there is only one person who can begin to change it and that’s YOU!  Yes, YOU.  You are the most amazing, awesome person put on this planet at this time ready to face the biggest challenge of your life.

We all know that there is safety in numbers, but there is also strength in numbers.  Some species of bees have twigged that if they cluster around a certain predator that tries to invade their hive and lay it’s eggs in their honeycomb, they CAN kill it.  So whilst they are small and seemingly insignificant in terms of size to the vastness of their predator, if they work together for a common cause, they can overcome any difficulty.

I am not suggesting that world peace, global change and all the other myriad of issues surrounding us at the moment will be solved that quickly, but we MUST begin to realise that we have the power to make our voice heard as long as we are all signing from the same hymn sheet.

Here’s a trailer of this film Occupy Love. I urge you watch it and then mark May 3rd in your diary. Why not, come over to the FB page at www.fb.com/angelicgems and tell us what you feel inspired to do. Community work, group meditation, online get-together. Let’s all have a think and do some brainstorming on Facebook. See you over there and remember, be the change you want to see in the world.

Yvonne-Making Changes-Richards

Awesome April!!!


How’s everybody doing?

Did you have a fabulous Easter.  I had a really good rest and enjoyed my birtdhay, which happened to coincide with Easter Sunday (cool or what)!

The clocks have gone back and now we’ve longer days to look forward to – hopefully a bit of sunshine along the way and the start of a new self-care regime for me.  It’s about time I had a bit of me-time, a bit of pampering and I thought you’d probably feel the same way too.

So, what are we going to do about it?

Hmm. Well I’ve had some ideas, a short walk each day, a nice relaxing bubble bath once a week, a night to myself where I just curl up and read poetry or listen to music and nobody disturbs me.

I’ll come back to this and expand it on tomorrow – just you wait and see 🙂  I didn’t get chance to do that but here’s my weekly newsletter.


Apologies for not being in touch over March.  March turned out to be sooo hectic it wasn’t true!  We’ve had illness in the family that is still ongoing and then I ended up in hospital as a day patient for the day.  Was a bit scary at the time but in the cold light of day, I think they went into hyperbole about it, sticking a butterfly in me and taking me to the surgical ward for assessment!!!  Anyway, they let me out after 6 or 7 hours and I’m now down for some more tests, but that’s fine, they were ones I needed anyway, so all good.

Then – would you believe, within days of doing that, I end up tripping over a wire in my office and badly grazing my knee, bashing my glasses so much I couldn’t see out of them and cutting my eye!!!  999 was called and I got checked out but fortunately nothing broken, despite me thinking my hand was.

On both these occasions, I turned to Reiki to help heal my body.  After the hospital incidence and the gallbladder problems, I really couldn’t eat anything but soups.  After a week, I got a bit tired of that, literally and asked for a massive healing on my liver and gallbladder!  Boy, did the universe come good.  I have NEVER felt such heat as I did that day, it lasted about 10 minutes and then was gone as quick as it came on.  Pete thought he’d have to rush me to hospital again, but of course, it was just a massive dose of healing to help the inflammation.  Granted, it’s not brilliant still, but at least I can tolerate solids again.  My hand and eye were healing up nicely and when my askew glasses were sorted, I was normal again – well as normal as I can get.

So loads to tell you.  During February and March, I took the Doreen Virtue Angel Card Reader course and got my certification in March.  You may have seen that on Facebook.  I went on to take the Advanced Tarot Course, which was absolutely fascinating.

If you want to learn more about that, then you can details here

Get a FREE Sample Card Reading and Learn More About Tarot HERE


It tells you more about the Tarot deck and also gives you a FREE sample card reading.

I am also certified to teach how to give angel card readings, but at the moment, I have so many other things going on that I don’t have time to put that together YET!

I’m working on a Co-Creating with the Chakras Course at the moment, and once that is launched, I will be picking up where I left off with the Archangel Course – more news when I can.

It was my birthday at the end of March and I had a beautiful book on Reiki and also one on Celtic traditions, which fascinate me as my family originally came from Ireland (on my mother’s side).  Also a lovely deck of Doreen Virtue Romance Cards.  And this month is all about Romance for me.  It’s our 25th Wedding Anniversary on the 16th of April and so I am offering a BOGOF offer if you purchase a Romance Card Reading up to the 16th, I will give you a FREE reading for a friend.  Can’t say fairer than that can I? 🙂

You can purchase a card reading on our FB page shop at

Our Facebook Page Shop


So in the true spirit of Romance, I am going to do a weekly Romance reading for the 8th to the 14th April and I’ll let you have the next ones as they come up.

No images, I’m afraid as yet, you’ll have to trust me on this one, so I’ll just do the reading.

Romance Reading

8th – 14th April 2013

Start of the Week


The separation card signals that you are going to be spending some time away from your partner.  This may be a holiday, a business trip, a family trip that you need to go on alone, or just a few days break where you rest and recharge your own batteries away from the constraints of your relationship.  It can be a good thing to sometimes get away from your significant other – as they say absence makes the heart grow fonder and you invariably feel more gratitude when you are back together.  So not a bad omen by any stretch of the imagination.  Of course, it could mean, you need to spend time apart if there are struggles within the partnership.

Middle to End of the Week


This card says you are lovable.  Don’t forget unless you love yourself it’s not easy to be as lovable as you could be.  You must love yourself above all else, only then do you have sufficient reserves to give love away.  The picture on the card shows a woman with a bow and arrow, firing it across a river.  Perhaps you are seeking new horizons and a new love.  Tell yourself you are loveable, you do deserve to be loved and despite she is standing is the fast, free flowing river, she is almost at the other side, you are coming through this period and looking toward the future.  Perhaps love is on the horizon for you.



This card tells you it’s time to take back control of your own life.  The picture is a unicorn surrounded by a circular gated enclosure.  You are perhaps feeling trapped – maybe not in the relationship per se, but maybe within yourself.  You are not expressing love as openly as you could.  If we give love, we cannot help but receive it, it is a universal law.

Looking at the whole week, it could well be that you are needing some time to yourself, getting back in touch with who you are and freeing yourself, taking control back of your life and you as a person.  This will inevitably make you more attractive to the opposite sex and lead to either a new relationship or an improvement in your current one.

You can always keep in touch with me on the Facebook page @AngelicGems – I go on there at least once if not twice a day, so any questions you have about Angel Card Readings, don’t hesitate to ask them there.

Hope you all have a great weekend, and keep that romance alive this week, or at least LURVE.  You can extend love to anything and everything, it’s what makes the world go around.  Hope your world spins wonderfully for you this week.

Take care and Angel blessings.




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