Business Advisor: Sara Oblak Speicher, M.B.A. of VBM Pro

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Image: Sara Oblak Speicher - VBM Pro

Name: VBM Pro (Virtual Business Management)
Contact: Sara Oblak Speicher, M.B.A.
Business: Virtual Business Manager / Virtual Assistant
Advice Topics:  Golden Rules that can easily be applied when presenting ourselves, our business, interacting with people, and in general, when we are presented with a challenge.

There are several “golden rules” I adapted as an international student-athlete that I still live by, but I keep noticing how many times people completely ignore them. As an owner of VBM Pro and a Virtual Business Manager/ Virtual Assistant, I believe these rules can easily be applied when presenting ourselves, our business, interacting with people, and in general, when we are presented with a challenge.

Winners never quit – quitters never win

This first lesson came from my parents: quitters never win and winners never quit. Life gets hard, it presents you with obstacles and sometimes it seems that the easiest thing to do is to simply give up. It is up to you to find a way over and around those obstacles, to push your limits, to work harder and to learn from your mistakes. Because whatever is that you do, it has an impact not only on you, but also on people around you – your family, friends, teammates, business partners, employees, etc. However, there are situations when it’s smarter to step back and step away, so always use a common sense when making a decision. You won’t always win, but you should always give your best. So, when you fall, get up with a smile on your face.

Treat others the way you want to be treated

The second rule to live by is to treat others the way you want to be treated, even if it is your opponent or a competitorThat includes (non-verbal) communication, phone and email etiquette. Do I need to say more?

Perception is reality

One of my coaches always said that the perception is a reality and I could not agree more. People believe what they see, so always put your best foot forward and a smile on your face. Always be aware of your body language. On a basketball court, bending down and lowering our heads when tired is a sign of weakness – you don’t want your opponent to perceive you as weak, do you? In other words: there are times when you just need to “fake it to make it.”

Assume makes an ass out of you and me

The fourth one says never assume. Check the facts and know that there’s always more than one side of the story and more than one truth. Make an informed decision.

Small things take a big difference

I can’t stress this one enough: small things matter. When I was still playing basketball, we made sure to give a high-five for a great move or a pass, nice shot, great defensive stop. Now apply this to a world of business: follow up after you meet someone; send out a birthday, thank-you, congratulations or get-well note. Your customers, employees and business alliances/partners will appreciate you for remembering them on their special days (birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, etc.). When you close a business deal with someone who has been referred to you, pick up the phone and call the referral source – we all appreciate our help being noticed.


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