OIVAC 2017/International VA Day


It’s here again! The Online International VA Convention starts shortly and you can secure tickets here.

If you’ve missed out on tickets you can still attend the free events including the VA day celebrations which take place Saturday morning, 20 May at 8.00am Australian Eastern time!

Register for free events here.

But remember, even if you buy tickets but can’t make the actual event, recordings are available for paid participants.

Should be another great convention with some terrific speakers. The schedule of speakers is included in the link below.

OIVAC Networking Schedule

I’ll be presenting on Service and whether a lack of good quality service is preventing you from taking your business from meh to marvellous!

Hope to see you at the convention!


©Lyn Prowse-Bishop – www.execstress.com

15 Years!



Wow that went fast!!! February 2015 marks the 15th anniversary of my being in business as Executive Stress Office Support! What began as a way for me to remain at home with my then baby daughter, and continue to contribute to the household income, has blossomed into a very busy virtual assistant (VA) practice serving clients across Australia and around the world!

We’ve survived a GFC and two recessions and we’re still going strong! It couldn’t have been done however without the support of clients who have continued to refer our services and have stuck with us throughout this time. So thank you to them, for helping us reach this milestone!

If you’re thinking of starting a VA practice, be sure to check out The Virtual Business Show – my podcast which shares business tips. Some of the earlier shows share my 5 main tips for starting a VA practice!

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – www.execstress.com

Employees and Entrepreneurs Have Personality Differences


This article appeared in Business Insider recently – the original is a bit hard to read so I’ve copied and pasted it below with a link to the original.

Scientists Have Discovered a Personality Difference Between Entrepreneurs and Employees

Around 13% of Americans are starting or running their own companies.

Almost everyone else is an employee.

We may have found out the difference between the two types.

According to a 2013 Swiss-German study, the difference lies in disposition: While an employee is a specialist, an entrepreneur is a jack-of-all-trades.

“Entrepreneurs differ from employees in that they must be sufficiently well versed in a whole set of entrepreneurial skills,” write Uschi Backes-Gellner of the University of Zurich in Switzerland and Petra Moog of the University of Siegen in Germany.

On the other hand, they say that employees are “specialists who work for others and whose talents are combined with those of other specialists (employees) by the entrepreneurs.”

In their study, Backes-Gellner and Moog analysed survey data from 2000 German college students. Their analysis showed that people with a broader portfolio of experiences were more likely to have a “disposition toward entrepreneurship.” Qualities that predicted against entrepreneurship included a desire for job or income security, as well as, perhaps surprisingly, having an apprenticeship or internship — since those lead to specialisation.

Their study built on a decade’s worth of research.

The “jack of all trades” theory first came from Stanford University economist Edward P. Lazear, whose studies of Stanford MBAs show that students who take a broad range of classes and a wider range of jobs are more likely to become entrepreneurs. A follow-up German study replicated those results.

Backes-Gellner and Moog expanded on that finding by taking in social networks. Their research suggested that entrepreneurs don’t just have a diverse set of skills, but they also have a diverse network of relationships — friends, parents, and business contacts that they can call on when launching a business. Findings in network science show that having such a diverse social network is hugely beneficial at a creative level, too, since the more perspectives you’re exposed to, the more refined your ideas become.

So it’s a double-diversity that leads to entrepreneurship: lots of experiences, lots of contacts.

“It is the jacks-of-all-trades across a whole portfolio of individual resources and not the masters-of-one who are likely to become entrepreneurs,” Backes-Gellner and Moog write. “The mere social butterflies or the mere computer nerds are not likely to become entrepreneurs because they are both too imbalanced and thereby less likely to be successful as entrepreneurs.”

The research confirms a lot of folk wisdom about what makes founders function. None other than Steve Jobs used to say that creative people have a more diverse “bag of experiences” than everybody else. In a 1982 speech, the Apple founder told his audience that “if you’re gonna make connections which are innovative … you have to not have the same bag of experiences as everyone else does.”

(original article here)

Employee or VA?


Just a reminder: If you are setting your assistant’s rate or dictating their hours and manner of work completion, they aren’t a VA – they’re a teleworker or home-based employee.

One defining feature of a VA is that they are SELF-EMPLOYED. That means – among other things – they:

  • set their rates
  • set their hours of work
  • determine the method of work completion
  • can work for others
  • have an ABN
  • provide their own equipment and office space

– they are for all intents and purposes independent of you.

If you employ someone to assist you but ask them to get an ABN, control their work flow and work performance, dictate what you’ll pay them, or prevent them from working for others, yet ask them to invoice you for work performed, you could be breaking the law. Use the ATO’s Employee/Contractor decision tool to help you work it out. You can find it here!

For a handy definition of what a Virtual Assistant is:

“A VA is a business owner – a highly-skilled, independent professional entrepreneur who provides remote administrative, technical and/or creative business support services to clients locally, nationally or globally.”

You can also read our article on what a VA really is!

©Lyn Prowse-Bishop – www.execstress.com