I’m a Contractor, not an Employee

Hey there, fellow freelancers and contractors! Today, let’s talk about something that can be a bit tricky: keeping your clients from treating you like an employee. We’ve all been there – getting bogged down with tasks that weren’t in the original agreement or feeling like we’re at their beck and call 24/7. It’s time to set some boundaries and keep things professional while still delivering top-notch work.

Set Clear Expectations from the Start

One of the best ways to avoid being treated like an employee is to be crystal clear about what you’re offering from day one. Outline your services, deliverables, timelines, and communication channels in your contract or agreement. This sets the tone for a professional relationship where both parties know what to expect.

Communicate Proactively

Don’t wait until issues arise to communicate with your client. Regular check-ins can help you stay on the same page and address any concerns before they become bigger problems. It also shows that you’re proactive and committed to delivering quality work.

Define Boundaries

It’s essential to establish boundaries early on. Let your client know when you’re available for calls or meetings and when they can expect deliverables. Avoid responding to work-related messages outside of your agreed-upon hours unless it’s an emergency. Respect goes both ways, and setting boundaries helps maintain a healthy working relationship.

Be Assertive

If your client starts asking for tasks that weren’t part of the original scope or agreement, don’t be afraid to speak up. Politely remind them of what was agreed upon and offer to discuss any changes or additions separately. Being assertive shows that you value your time and expertise.

Offer Solutions, Not Just Problems

If you encounter issues or challenges during a project, don’t just present the problem to your client. Offer potential solutions or alternatives. This demonstrates your problem-solving skills and proactive approach to finding solutions, which can strengthen your client’s trust in you.

Know When to Say No

Sometimes, a client may ask for something that doesn’t align with your expertise or values. In such cases, it’s okay to say no respectfully. Explain why you’re declining the request and offer alternatives if possible. Remember, it’s better to maintain your integrity than to take on work that doesn’t suit you.

Evaluate the Relationship

Periodically evaluate your working relationship with each client. Are they respecting your boundaries and agreements? Are they appreciative of your work and efforts? If you find yourself consistently feeling undervalued or overworked, it may be time to reassess the partnership or consider parting ways amicably.

In conclusion, keeping clients from treating you like an employee requires clear communication, setting boundaries, being assertive, and knowing when to say no. By maintaining professionalism and mutual respect, you can foster healthy and productive relationships that benefit both parties.

Keep freelancing like a boss!


Kathy ~ TheBestVA


27 Years!

Hilltop Secretarial is 27 years old today!  Where did the time go? It feels like the last 27 years have flown by. I’ve been incredibly blessed in my career as a virtual assistant and I have the best clients in the industry who have been with me almost from the beginning.

I still can’t imagine retiring, I love what I do too much!  So here’s to many MANY more years doing what I love!


Touching Base

Good morning! It’s been quite a while since I blogged here! I’ve been blogging on my personal blog, and my herbal blog, but not here…

You can read my personal blogs here: Deliciously Disorganized – Loving my chaotic life (tobenamedlater.com)

And my herbal blogs here: Herbal Journal – Easy Herbal Remedies

I’m happy it’s Spring at last, even though I prefer the cooler weather, the cold wet weather here in Pennsylvania makes my pain much worse. But, I’m working through it.

Yes, unfortunately, I’m still in pain and still treating it on my own. But, I have more options than many people do in that I’m an herbalist and can build my own formulas.

It’s starting to warm now and I’m already seeing my favorite herbs (or weeds as my hubby says!) coming up in my little forest. I will be spending time this spring and summer harvesting that bounty!  And, bonus, it will help me stay a little more active.

I’m still plugging away as a virtual assistant, and even though I have to work from bed many days, I’m still marching along.

I hope everyone is doing ok and are staying healthy!

Kathy  ‘thebestva’

Staying Productive Using Technology

Hello Everyone! I hope you’re all having a great day. Our weather is wreaking havoc on my chronic conditions and as such I’m forced to stay in bed. I’m grateful for all the wonderful technology that is available that allows you to work even if you’re not able to get to the office – or home office!

Kathy’s Bed Desk

First, I start with the fastest internet I can get. In my area, we really only have one choice, Xfinity. I don’t like how much they charge but I do like the reliability. I no longer have their TV or digital voice packages so that helps. (I use Hulu and some Prime channels to make up the difference).

Next, to get the fastest wifi possible throughout my house – or you can use it in an office environment – I have the Orbi Wifi Mesh system, with the router and two satellites. We really love it, and the range is amazing, I have no issues even in the Treehouse Office, or the studio, it is a great product by NetGear.

Next, for remote working from bed, I log into my desktop upstairs using SplashTop by LogMeIn.com I can easily manage not only my computers but my clients’ as well. They even have mobile apps for logging in from your phone or tablet. I have used their service for many years and it just keeps getting better.

For ambiance, and to provide a bit of background noise so my tinnitus doesn’t scream at me so much and make me dizzy, I keep a crackling fireplace video going on the TV. There are a number of videos that are included in Amazon Prime, and I’ve included the link. This is perfect for winter, but for summer I like the streams, rivers and so on. And I’m a huge fan of the Smithsonian Channel’s Ariel America – I’ve probably seen every episode multiple times.

Now, for the desk, I use a simple bed desk I got from Amazon – with adjustable legs – this is important because some days you might want to snuggle with a puppy and they need a bit more room 🙂 My kids are constantly wanting under the desk, and under the blankets – which cheers me up immensely. I got the basic one made of bamboo with a fan built in that I can plug into the power strip. But now I’m thinking I need to have a bit more oomph for it, so I’ve put this one in my cart to “think about”. It is much more than the one I have currently in that it has adjustable height and tilting top, but I’m not sure I really need that. I might just look for things I can clip to the one I have.

See? You CAN work and be somewhat immobile. Or in the middle of a pandemic and being forced to work from home (which I’ve been doing since 1996 by the way). and it can still be comfortable and productive. Having worked from home for so long, I’ll never go back to a traditional office.

Best wishes to everyone and I pray you stay healthy and safe!

In all transparency, if you click on one of my links (except the search results links) I’ll get a bit of a commission. 🙂

Website Up-down-around…

How often do you check your website? How often should we be checking our websites? This was brought home to me with a bump recently and it made me realize I don’t check it nearly often enough!

I have a curated newsletter that runs every day and is fed to my website (Social & News Bytes). I’ve had this newsletter for years and have only had issues after major updates on WordPress or when I had to make my site https compatible (Thanks Google). So I don’t often check it…

Well, today, it published as usual and I was notified by a tweet that the site appeared to be broken, and the newsletter had no content. Major heart squeeze – what happened?!? It turned out to be an easy fix but it certainly brought to mind the need to check on the website much more frequently.

My plan, going forward is to set up alerts to let me know when my website is down and when it’s back up. I also plan to check weekly for relevant links, outdated content, spam comments (I get notices when there’s a comment but if I see its spam I just let it go until legit ones come in and take care of them then), bad links, updates, and especially after major updates I plan on checking everything right away!

So, thanks to the person who alerted me – I really appreciated it! And I’m on it!

Have a great rest of your day folks! ~Kathy