Today's Guest Interview is with Tracy Bates. I connected with Tracy at the beginning of this year when I was looking for a Virtual Assistant to help me organize things behind the scenes and streamline some of the more boring bits of running a biz. Not only did she get things in shape for me, I *enjoyed* the process! She is such a fun and positive person, the process of organizing all the "boring bits" was NEVER boring! As I read through her answers in this interview, I found myself noticing that Tracy seems to do a great job of taking care of *herself*, and I'm curious if maybe that's part of what makes her so great at taking care of and helping others? Let me know what you think!
Leave a comment and share your thoughts, or share YOUR answers to these questions.
If you are familiar with the framework and resonate with the concept of “love languages”, how do you most like to give and receive love?
It actually varies who I am receiving it from! From my partner, close friends, and family members, I enjoy physical touch, hugs, holding hands, little rubs on the shoulder, a reassuring pat on the back, etc. Acts of service are my favorite way to give and receive with others, I have always found it easier for me to do something versus saying something, especially if I am not super close with someone just yet. I dabble in all the love languages though and don't "dislike" any of them.
What are some of your favorite ways to fill your cup, recharge your batteries, or take care of yourself?
Reading has always been important to me and I am so privileged to have had access to so many books throughout my life. I truly fell in love with reading in 4th grade and learned to let books take me on many adventures to different worlds, and also to learn about different perspectives from non-fiction. I have also recently fallen in love with meditation, I had tried it in the past many times but couldn't get it to stick. Ever since the beginning of my journey with therapy, I found that meditation is a great way for me to decompress on my own and that I don't have to be perfect at it to practice it.
Do you have any practices you use for self-reflection or self-inquiry?
Meditation, therapy, and cleaning! Ever since the pandemic started I found myself struggling more and more to feel grateful for anything. I felt the pressure to stay on top of all of the news and was constantly doom scrolling to "educate" myself. I had struggled with anxiety before the pandemic, but feeling isolated really exacerbated everything going on and I knew I had to change my habits. I started practicing meditation daily with the Insight app which has been a lifesaver and truly helps me feel realigned daily. I had always considered therapy, but honestly never felt "bad enough" which was a terrible mindset that I had! Everyone deserves to have access to therapy, and you can feel totally fine and still benefit from it. Therapy has helped me learn how to self-reflect on certain situations and learn from them versus just feeling overwhelmed by them constantly. And cleaning might not seem like a time for self-reflection for everyone, but it is a time when I get to be by myself and do something for myself. I enjoy the whole process of organizing, decluttering, and rearranging things in my physical world because it helps me reflect on how I feel in my internal world. If I am ever feeling down internally I can help myself by changing the way my physical world is feeling.
Are you a good listener? How does listening factor into your work?
Listening is a huge practice in my life. I remember reading a book that said while someone is talking you shouldn't be formulating your response. And that left a huge mark on me because I had never thought that way, I was always thinking about what was I going to say next or how would I relate to that part of their story, versus fully listening to them. I know that I haven't always been perfect at it, but that is why it's a practice! Listening is essential to my work, I learn all about the person I am working with and what their successes and struggles are in their business and then we work on ways to improve their life. I wouldn't be able to do my job if I didn't listen to people and their stories, because every person I work with is so unique.
Do/have you worked with a coach or therapist? What makes this work meaningful to you?
Both!! I started working with a coach for the first time in 2021 because I had started my business earlier in the year and felt like I was in a rut. Going from working in a classic career to having your own business is a huge mindset and lifestyle change. Having a coach has been so meaningful because she helps hold me accountable for my goals and what we have discussed. She often gives me ideas from a perspective that I would have never thought of and has insights into things that I have not experienced. At the beginning of 2022, I started seeing a therapist virtually and she too has helped me see things from a different perspective and hold me accountable. Both my therapist and coach are amazing and empowering women who have helped uplift me and think outside of the box. By having people in my life who have outside perspectives and different experiences than me I have been able to look outside myself for help, which hasn't always been easy! But honestly, this pandemic and starting my own business have made me realize even more how important it is to have that community of support and variety in my life.
Tracy Bates (she/her) is a Virtual Assistant and Certified Dubsado Specialist. She enjoys helping people automate and streamline their business processes so that they can focus on the fun parts of their business instead of the nitty-gritty details. Tracy lives in Austin, Texas with her partner and 3 pups. Tracy loves to read, lounge in a pool, and drink tea while playing Animal Crossing. Tracy agreed to take part in the Practicing Together project because she loves being part of a community that helps each other grow, and enjoys connecting with people she may have never met. Her favorite way to get creative is painting, doodling, and gardening. You can connect with Tracy and learn more about her work at tracytheva.com or on Instagram @tracytheva.