What Keeps You Up at Night?

What Keeps You Up at Night?

If you are a business owner, chances are you have a strong gut feeling about your business. Whether you listen to it or not could be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful business. The goal of this post is to focus on the nagging thoughts and stressors in your business that keep you up at night. We all have them but they never go away until we address them and create a plan of action to overcome them. Don’t miss our worksheet at the bottom.

On the worksheet we will ask what your stressors are and to rank them from 1-10 (10 being the highest). We will start with the top ones and create a plan of action to eliminate them, whether that means delegating, hiring someone new, bringing in new programs to help or to remove a product or service. Here are a list of examples:

StressorRank 1-10
Client Follow Ups8
The Cost of my Product6
Presentation Next Week4
Losing Top Client9
Social Media Content3
Cash Flow10

Once you have identified your biggest headaches it is time to make a plan of action:

Stressor1-10Plan of Attack
Cash Flow10Talk with a Bookkeeper to create monthly financial statements
Create Savings Accounts for current and future needs
Have ________ hold me accountable to my spending habits
Create a budget/assess every bill
Renegotiate interest rates with the bank
Worst Case Scenario: Take a part time job
Losing Top
9Continue to build relationship
Build my systems to handle their orders and communications better
Build Relationships with potential new top clients
Hire a Client Care Associate to handle their account
Client Follow Ups8Build e-mail template for appointment follow-up e-mail
Hire a Virtual Executive Assistant (VEA) to handle all follow ups
Cost of Product6 
Social Media3 

Having a plan of attack will not only help you sleep better at night but also create plans to grow your business in new ways. Now it’s your turn. What are your stressors and how do you plan to attack them?

– Derek Burbidge, Manager of Sales & Marketing

If you need more focus in your business, check out our “Goal Tracking” blog and worksheet, as well as our “Think Week” blog post.

Taking Stress Out of The Equation

Taking Stress Out of The Equation

I have heard Doctor’s claim that stress is the cause of all illnesses, it opened my eyes to the damage that stress can do. Stress shortens lives, leaves days jumbled with a lack of direction, it leads to depression and anxiety…nothing good comes from being stressed out.

But how do we cope with it? How do we get past it? How do we keep it from even showing up in the first place? Below we will give examples of how to deal with it, including links to people much more qualified at the subject than us to help. I personally have dealt with stress in numerous different stages of life and have been pretty active in finding solutions to cope, get past and stay away from it altogether.

Coping with Stress

  1. Physical Activity – I have implemented “100 Days of Movement” into my schedule. For 100 days, I moved. That was a run, walk, gym workout, at-home workout, pacing my home while responding to e-mails…anything to get my body moving. What that did was create a habit of moving in my life.
  2. Meditation – Stillness, self-reflection, and quiet. It is my next “100 days challenge” to enforce this habit. Nothing has worked better for me than this, it helps my mind get back on track and reminds me of my why.
  3. Reading or listening to music – Creating playlists with relaxing music or positive lyrics. Negative or angry lyrics is not going to get you out of the funk.
  4. Massage/Mani/Pedi – This falls under self-care, do something to treat yourself, it doesn’t even have to cost anything. Going to a beach with your favourite book or inviting a friend over for a drink works too.
  5. Comedy – Listening to a comedy special or a funny podcast while I work is a great stress reliever for me.
  6. Counselor/Accountability – I do both. I see a counselor to deal with deeper issues and have accountability partners for certain areas in my life.

Negative Coping Habits

Below are things to stay away from, it can start small but spiral quickly. Creating the habits above will help you overcome challenges quicker, keep your weight down, help you sleep better and cultivate a better mindset. The habits below will do the opposite:

  1. Stress Eating – Last night I had a giant plate of nachos at 8:30pm, it was delicious. But, I feel terrible today, this wasn’t as much stress eating as it was a terrible decision. I have stress ate or drank in the past, for me, it was a beer at night. It messed with sleep and I started gaining weight.

  2. Over Spending – Blowing your budget may feel good at the moment to purchase something you really want, but regret sinks in very quickly afterward.
  3. TV Binging – Has Netflix ever asked you “are you still watching?” My go-to coping habit is binge-watching TV, it would never solve a problem or ever make me feel better. I would go back to work into the problem without skipping a beat, I had to find a new way to deal with my stress which was facing the problem head-on. Once I responded to the problem in a productive way, I could take a quick break and feel refreshed coming back to work.
  4. Working Harder – If you are stressed, take a break. I go away for 40 hours with my “Think Week” if it is getting really bad or stop to exercise. Both help me focus, gain purpose and bring vision back. However, sometimes the answer is getting tasks off your plate.


The key to overcoming negative mindsets and habits is self-awareness. Be real with yourself and track why you are doing what you are doing. Chris & Heidi Powell (fitness experts) were on Ed Mylett’s podcast a few months ago talking about a client who gained back a couple of hundred pounds he had recently lost.

It all traced back to a decision he made in a fast-food restaurant. He chose coke over diet coke, it was breaking a promise he had made to himself to never have regular soda again. From there he spiraled, making poor decision after poor decision which led to a massive weight gain.

Every action we take can be traced back to the root cause. If you are not self-aware and willing, to be honest with yourself, you will continue to make poor decisions.


It has taken me a long time to find what works for me to cope with stress, but it changes every season. Accountability will work until it doesn’t, then I will have to create a different plan through trial and error. My counselor will work, until he doesn’t, then I will have to find a new one for my new season. Nothing in life is a “one size fits all.” Try new things and comment below to help others with what has worked for you.

If there is anything I have learned in my life, it is that all challenges make you better if you let them. They guide you to the right place, make you stronger and wiser. No one has it all figured out but there are proper habits you can cultivate to bring you to the right place. Below we have a few links to help you overcome stress, create better habits and even offload some tasks on your plate.

Many of our clients come to us because they are stressed out. They don’t have time for family, exercise or to work on their favourite parts of their business. It starts out with an e-mail inbox that has tons of unread messages, client follow-ups slipping through the cracks or wasting hours a week bouncing between tasks. If that is leading to your stress, let us help, it is why VEA exists. Start with a couple of hours a week and scale it as you need.

If you feel overwhelmed, please reach out to a professional. The first step is realizing you need it, the second is humility to accept it and the third is reaching out. You are three steps away from changing your life.

– Derek Burbidge, Manager of Sales & Marketing
VEA Pros

What is 1 Hour of Your Time Worth?

What is 1 Hour of Your Time Worth?

Business coaches and seminars will tell you that you should value your time. The best ones will even teach you how to do that. There are two ways, decide how much you want to make each year or use your current salary. With that number you calculate your hourly rate based on this formula:

Your salary*/48 weeks (assuming 4 weeks vacation) / 40 hours a week = your hourly rate

**If you own or have shares in your business, you need to add the value of that to your salary, so that your hourly activity is increasing the value of the business as well**



Here are the two examples to calculate your hourly rate:

A.) Your Actual Salary

$125,000 / 48 weeks / 40 hour = $65 hourly rate

Any tasks that you are doing that can be outsourced for less than $65/hr should be handed off to someone else. That could include bookkeeping, HR tasks, cold calling, social media management, etc.

B.) Decide how much money you want to make per year

Your desired salary = $180,000

$180,000 / 48 weeks / 40 hours a week = $93.75 hourly rate

This one can be tricky. If you are just starting your business and bootstrapping it, chances are you are involved in every aspect. You need to be, you need to learn as much as you can to find what your strengths and weaknesses are. You also need to discover what strategies are generating income. (See our goal tracking worksheet to really track this.)

Once you have learned your business and you become profitable, start handing off tasks that drain your time and energy so you can focus on the below tasks. If you are taking out a business loan or bringing on a VC, you can start to build your team and outsource faster.


What tasks should I be doing?

You should be doing the tasks that generate 80% of your revenue, build your team and cost more than your hourly rate. Usually, those tasks are:


    • Meeting with clients
    • Creating video or audio content
    • Vision planning/goal setting
    • Employee mentoring
    • Networking or coffees

Some of these tasks should not be outsourced simply because it keeps you as the face of your business. If you grew it from the ground up that means your clients like dealing with you, so keep at the forefront. If you no longer want to be the forefront you should be creating a succession plan to exit your business in the future.




Calculating your hourly rate gives you a time frame of when to outsource tasks. Make a list of all of the tasks you are completing in your business with an hourly rate beside them which is the cost it will be to outsource it or to hire someone on. Once you hit the number, get it off your plate.

What are the next tasks you need to get off your plate?

Give us a call today for more information:


Derek Burbidge
Manager of Sales and Marketing

Our Top 3 Business Books

Our Top 3 Business Books

If you are in business and have a community of people around you who appreciate business and personal development, chances are you are recommended books all the time. The golden rule someone taught me is to not buy a book until it has been recommended three times. That advice has saved me money and time trying to keep up with all of the recommendations.

With that said, below are the top recommended books from three of VEA’s team:

Lanna, Co-Founder & CEO

Dare to Lead – Brené Brown

How do you cultivate braver, more daring leaders, and how do you embed the value of courage in your culture? 

In this new book, Brown uses research, stories, and examples to answer these questions in the no-BS style that millions of readers have come to expect and love.

Brown writes, “One of the most important findings of my career is that daring leadership is a collection of four skill sets that are 100 percent teachable, observable, and measurable. It’s learning and unlearning that requires brave work, tough conversations, and showing up with your whole heart. Easy? No. Because choosing courage over comfort is not always our default. Worth it? Always. We want to be brave with our lives and our work. It’s why we’re here.”

Nick, Co-Founder & President

One of the most inspiring and impactful books ever written, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has captivated readers for 25 years. It has transformed the lives of presidents and CEO’s, educators and parents—in short, millions of people of all ages and occupations across the world. This twenty-fifth anniversary edition of Stephen Covey’s cherished classic commemorates his timeless wisdom, and encourages us to live a life of great and enduring purpose.

Derek, Manager of Sales & Marketing

“The Slight Edge” is a way of thinking, a way of processing information that enables you to make the daily choices that will lead you to the success and happiness you desire. Learn why some people make dream after dream come true, while others just continue dreaming and spend their lives building dreams for someone else. It s not just another self-help motivation tool of methods you must learn in order to travel the path to success. It shows you how to create powerful results from the simple daily activities of your life, by using tools that are already within you.


All three books have personally impacted our lives in many ways and we hope they impact your life as well. We will be doing a few more of these and we are always reading, so what is your top business book? Comment below.

– Derek Burbidge, Manager of Sales & Marketing

Check out other helpful blog posts from VEA:
– What is 1 Hour of Your Time Worth?
– Why Building Your Network Will Transform Your Business
– The Slow Season Double Down

Finding a Virtual Bookkeeper in Canada: About VEA

Finding a Virtual Bookkeeper in Canada: About VEA

Watching your dollars and cents doesn’t have to cost you a lot of dollars and cents!

Many small to mid-size companies are discovering that they don’t require the services of a full-time Bookkeeper. In-house Bookkeeping can be costly and there are often wasted hours if you do not have enough work to keep your Bookkeeper busy 40 hours per week. This is where a virtual Bookkeeper comes in!

Hire an Experienced Virtual Bookkeeper

What does a Virtual Bookkeeper do?

VEA is a virtual Executive Assistant and Bookkeeping company with 100% Canadian staff. We offer full-cycle Bookkeeping services including:


    • Accounts payable (entering invoices and recording expenses)
    • Accounts receivable (invoicing your clients and receiving payments)
    • Bank reconciliation
    • Credit card reconciliation
    • Payroll and payroll liabilities
    • Intercompany transfers
    • Budgeting and budget reporting
    • Monthly accounting processes
    • Monthly reporting

We have reliable, experienced and dedicated virtual Bookkeepers available. Our specialty is long term partnerships that come at a fraction of the cost of traditional, in-house employees. There are no minimums and no guarantees with VEA. You pay only for the time that your virtual Bookkeeper is actually working on your tasks. Set-up is quick and easy and you will be amazed at how quickly your virtual Bookkeeper becomes a vital part of your team.

Contact us to learn more!


Lanna Thompson
President, VEA
1.833.VEA.PROS (832.7767)