The Many Hats of a Virtual Assistant

Do you remember the children’s book “Caps for Sale”? I think it went something like this:

A man is selling caps and he wears these caps on his head as he strolls around the town and hillside looking for customers. Unfortunately for him, he becomes tired and decides to take an afternoon siesta under a tree. When he wakes, his caps are gone.

So the peddler looks up at the tree and sees a bunch of mischievous monkeys are wearing his caps! (Side note – where was this guy that there were random monkeys about?) Anyway, the man gets angry and yells at the monkeys. The monkeys don’t answer. Because monkeys don’t talk. What they do instead is mimic his pointing and shouting by making monkey noises. So the man gets mad and throws his own hat down on the ground. And the monkeys, seeing him do this, do the same. 

All of his caps rain down from the tree. The man stacks them back upon his head and continues back to town to sell his caps.

Why am I telling you this story? 

Well, there are a couple of interesting angles to this story. First, as I mentioned at the beginning – I want to talk to you about how a VA can help your business. It’s like taking one of your caps from you. If you have many caps, you have to walk so straight and careful to balance all of your caps. But if you have a few and I have a few; both of us have less weight on our shoulders and we can both relax a little more. In this way, those monkeys taking the caps away made it so that the peddler could rest easier.

Each of your caps is a different type of task you have to do. It’s like the peddler’s red, gray, yellow and blue caps. You keep similar tasks together. And everything seems to work until the weight of it all starts to make it hard to keep going. So maybe you think you want to hand off one or more of those tasks. But, like the peddler, you’re have an eye opening moment one day – but then you still go back to doing what you were doing the same way, every day. So at the end of the story, things are looking exactly like they looked at the beginning of the story.

The other interesting angle to me is the mimicking angle. Sometimes in business, we feel like we’re just singing the party line. We’re saying what we were told to say. Doing what we were told to do. But if we start thinking about it; we’re a little like the monkeys. We don’t really know who told us to do and say what we’re stuck doing and saying – and frankly, it’s become something that isn’t even our native language. Perhaps it’s time for us to throw down the cap. Do something that isn’t our first instinct.

In business – especially a business you built from the bottom up – it’s hard to go against what society and all the self-help books recommend. It’s hard to teach ourselves to wear a hat a little differently. 

As a virtual assistant; I can help you wear fewer hats and maybe even wear them a little differently than you’re used to. Maybe we need to just switch out the blue ones and maybe you keep the red and gray ones. Or maybe you decide that you’re getting “Hat Hair” and you want to get rid of all of what’s weighing you down.

I can help you with as little or as much as you need to keep your business going and to keep you standing tall; but resting easy.

Discussion Questions: 
  1. Do you like to wear hats? Which one is your favorite?
  2. Do you remember “Caps for Sale“?
  3. Do you relate more to the peddler or the monkeys?


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