The year that was 2018

The year that was 2018

The year that was 2018

A new year has started, for many, it represents a fresh start, a chance to pursue new opportunities or it may even mean time to finally get training for that big race you’ve always wanted to do. As the saying goes “new year, new beginnings”, and boy are new beginnings exciting! My question however is, have you taken a moment to take a step back in order to reflect on the year that was? To appreciate your successes and be thankful for the obstacles that taught you some great lessons?

Looking back in order to move forward

The minute the clock struck 12h00, on the 31st December 2018, my brain went into automatic mode planning and thinking up all the things I want to get done in this year and I was full of adrenaline, ready to take on 2019. I kept saying to my myself – “This is going to be “my” year”, which considering I am expecting my first child in a couple of months, is already making this
year AMAZING for me. I quickly saw however, I was not alone in saying, this was going to be my year – numerous family and friends shared the same sentiment, combined with the fact they were glad 2018 was over with. This got me thinking was 2018 that bad? I mean, it was the different challenges and life lessons that I experienced in 2018 that had fueled my ambitions
and plans for 2019. I then remembered a quote I had read not so long ago by an unknown author that says “If you want to move forward, often look back. Otherwise, you’ll forget where you came from and where you need to go” Reflecting on 2018
All of this got me thinking, and I decided to take a step back and really reflect on my life during 2018. 2018 had started off quite roughly with my fiance being hospitalized for a lengthy period of time, I was in a work environment that I did not enjoy, was in over my head with assignments due for varsity and was planning a wedding amongst other things – a true mix of highs and lows.

Giving new perspective on life

But looking at all of this carefully, these very things that had me experience a mixture of emotions both negative and positive, turned out to be the best possible things that could have happened to me in 2018. Why? Well, On the 14th April 2018, the most beautiful and magical day of my life thus far surrounded by the people that mean the world me, I married my best friend. My now husband who thankfully is back to full health, learned to take a step back every now and then, now lives by the motto YOLO – you only live once, something that rubbed off on me. His new outlook on things gave me the courage to make the changes I wanted to make in my career, I always wanted to be an entrepreneur but was always too scared to take the risk, in
June, I took that risk and even though it’s been challenging, I am now my own boss, doing what I love daily. The hard work on my studies during the year last year will allow me to make my dream of graduating this year a reality. Above all, I rediscovered the power of faith & gratitude and how lucky I am to have the family and quality of friends I do in my life.

Grateful and Blessed

Personally, I am glad I reflected back on the amazing year that was 2018, I am so grateful for all the lessons and blessings I received during the year. Looking forward to 2019, I know I am going into it a stronger, happier, healthier and humbler person and for that, I say thank you to the year that was 2018.

The top 3 things to do in Gauteng, with young children!

The top 3 things to do in Gauteng, with young children!

The top 3 things to do in Gauteng, with young children!

Having 2 young girls who are as active as they are vocal about what they want, like and need (their needs are more like wants, but to them it’s a need) means that I need to ensure that there is always something fun and exciting, active and hopefully educational for them to do!

Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens

Just this past weekend, with winter on its way, I decided that some fresh air was just the thing we all needed. Along with a great friend and her two young children we set off for the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens. The goal was to hike to the top of the water falls. I remember this hike, from back in the day, however on this day I was put to shame by a 4 and 6-year-old, who led the charge up the precarious 3.5 km hike to the water fall. This hike was not what I recalled, and though the struggles were real for me, not having exercised in longer than I can remember, the fun, the perseverance I saw in these young children reminded me that giving up was not an option!! This fun journey should be one that everyone should try at least once. The tranquil gardens, the educational aspect, the fresh air and the quality of time spent with my daughters was an amazing experience.

Pretoria Zoo

Second on our list is the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa otherwise known as the Pretoria Zoo. What can I say but WOW. Animals for Africa, huge. A great time out for the entire family! My daughters were able to spot animals all over the place! Unlike the Johannesburg Zoo which feels very run down and desolate, you will find every animal imaginable!! Even the Kangaroo! and leopards, Guerrilla’s, tigers. A fun time, also walked for hours, a gold cart may have been better, but the chance to spend that time enjoying the looks on their faces was the highlight of my day. Revisits are definitely in the cards!

For the young at heart where coordination is not a problem, we Roll eGoli! Roll skating! Not for the feint hearted as demonstrated by myself, where my butt was more on the rink than my roller skates. An immensely fun time, learning a new skill, the music is great, the friendly staff are amazing and the pizza to die for! Parties, or just a casual visit will have you revisiting the 80’s!

I’ve learnt the hard way that trying to find things that we all enjoy need not be the most exhaustive thing to do! With google only a tap away, and my daughters eager and excited faces as we head off on yet another awesome journey is worth more than words can ever tell!

And I did have an ice-cream or 2! How can I not!

How to Quickly Get Over Jet Lag Before an Important Meeting

How to Quickly Get Over Jet Lag Before an Important Meeting

How to Quickly Get Over Jet Lag Before an Important Meeting

Do you travel frequently for business meetings? Then you’ve probably experienced jet lag at some point. Jet lag is one of the most common side-effects of travelling extensively for business, and the effort It takes to get back to your usual, productive self is challenging—especially when your body thinks it’s night-time when you’ve got an important meeting to attend.

While the physical and mental effects of jet lag can be different for various people, there are certain steps you can take to minimise the impact on you, regardless of how great the effects are.

Need a Virtual Assistant? Read more here!

Before the flight

You can adjust your sleeping schedule before your flight. If you’re flying east, try to wake up a little earlier than usual and go to bed a little earlier as well. You can do this by getting a sunlight-mimicking lamp. If you’re flying west, go to bed a little later than normal.

Wean yourself off caffeinated drinks and alcohol at least two days before your scheduled flight. Caffeine will keep you awake and alcohol will give you that woozy feeling after the flight. While you wait to board, don’t eat foods high in fat as they will cause your stomach to go into overdrive during the flight.

Lastly, make sure you get enough rest before your flight to ensure that you prepare your mind and body for the change in time zone.

During the flight

When on the plane, move your mind to the destination time zone. If it’s daylight there, don’t sleep on the plane. Adjust your watch to the destination time and you will already reduce a lot of your jet lag.

Eat small portions—it will help your body digest it better. When you’re on a plane, you don’t want to put too much pressure on your internal organs. If you’re worried that you’ll be hungry later, ask the flight attendant to set aside some extra food for you. Also, make sure you eat all the vegetables and drink lots of water.

Do not use sleeping pills on a plane. As much as they can help you sleep, they are also tied to producing blood clots in people who are stationary. Since you don’t get much movement on a plane, avoid sleeping pills altogether. If you really need to sleep, go for a natural hormone (melatonin) that will help you sleep.

You also want to get a little exercise by walking up and down the aisles every two hours to keep your blood circulating.

Lastly, prepare for normal plane conditions:

  • Earplugs to block out noise
  • Eye mask to block light
  • Comfortable pillow
  • Blanket
  • Comfortable clothes
  • Socks

After the flight

As soon as you can, take a shower to reboot your mind and body. You can also at this point reboot your energy levels with protein and coffee.

Avoid sleeping if it’s not night-time at your destination. This will throw your body off into a spiral of jet lag. Try to explore your surroundings by taking a walk or visiting a popular landmark.

Can We Help You with That?

Can We Help You with That?

Can We Help You with That?

Many entrepreneurs experience anxiety over delegating tasks. Yes, you’re buried in work and know that you need help, but you can’t possibly see yourself handing over your precious work to anybody else.

Is this you?

Understand that delegation benefits your entire company. By delegating, your processes move faster, you have more time to focus on income-producing tasks and you are better positioned for growth.

Yet, delegation remains as one of the most underutilised management capabilities. Countless studies have found that most people say they are too busy to delegate. They simply don’t have the time to train somebody else to do it and they find it more efficient to just do it themselves.

If you’re having trouble delegating tasks or relinquishing control, can we help you with that?

How Connect Can Help You!

VA Connect simplifies your life by helping you delegate without the anxiety attached to it. We upskill and allocate a suitable person according to your needs.

With a , you grow your business without growing your staff. We handle all the nitty-gritty while you focus on income-producing activities.

Here are nine reasons to hire a virtual assistant:

  1. It takes a long time to find the right person.
  2. Employee costs are on the rise. With a VA, you pay only for what you need.
  3. Hiring permanent staff means setting them up with an office and equipment too.
  4. You need to keep the permanent staff you have busy.
  5. Availability isn’t the same as competency.
  6. Permanent employees don’t really work eight hours per day.
  7. The recruitment process is a hassle.
  8. Your staff budget is suffocating your margin for growth.
  9. You hate admin work.

Here’s a personal experience from one of our clients who said yes to hiring their first virtual assistant:

When they came to us, Maxiware needed help with the workload in their business. They chose VA Connect and were allocated a VA with the right skills for their needs. We asked the Managing Director what he thought of VA Connect, here’s what he had to say;

  • What do you love about VA Connect? / What would be the one thing you mention to a friend about VA Connect?

I love that VA Connect handles the billing of the relationship as well as provides a pretty cool solution for handling the phone calls side of things. That simplifies things greatly. It’s an easy way to get tasks off your own plate.

  • What do you think about your Virtual Assistant?

Annie is great at hounding people. She’s super friendly while doing it but also super persistent. And she’s so friendly with me, as well. I love working with her.

  • What has your experience been with the onboarding process of your Virtual Assistant?

Onboarding has been easy.

What are some of the tasks you can delegate?

  1. Filtering Emails / Handling Spam
  2. Database Building / Updating Contacts or CRM
  3. Answering Customer Service Emails /Support Tickets / Chat Support
  4. Sending of Greetings Cards / Birthday Messages / Event Invitations etc.
  5. Calendar Management
  6. Email marketing
  7. Appointment Scheduling
  8. Travel Arrangement and Planning
  9. Reminder Services
  10. Audio / Video Editor
  11. Content Writer
  12. SEO / Web Marketer
  13. Graphic / Web Designer / Web Developer
  14. Dropbox / Google Drive Organization
  15. Creating / Managing Spreadsheets
  16. Preparing PowerPoint / Keynote Presentations
  17. PDF Conversion, Splitting and Merging
  18. Transcription of Video and Audio Files
  19. Simple eBook Layout / Formatting
  20. Preparing Online Meeting Minutes
  21. Report Creation
  22. Forms Creation
  23. Document Template Creation
  24. Online Research
  25. Data Mining & Development / Lead Generation
  26. Blog Publishing Management
  27. Moderating Blog or Social Media Comments
  28. Adding Tags & Images to Blog Posts
  29. Receptionist Duties
  30. Voicemail Checking
  31. Invoicing Clients
  32. Basic Bookkeeping
  33. Personal Errands (Purchasing Online Gifts, Reminders, Planning Family Holidays etc.)
  34. Project Management Between You and Team members
  35. Training Employees or Delegates
  36. Preparation of Training Materials
  37. Onboarding of New Virtual Staff
  38. Deadline / Deliverables Tracking
  39. Social Media Management Tasks
  40. Creating Social Media Fan Pages / Groups

If time is your most precious commodity and you can’t afford to waste it, give us a call!

How hiring a Virtual Assistant can benefit your business

How hiring a Virtual Assistant can benefit your business

How hiring a can benefit your business

Is running your business or department making you feel like you are drowning ?

Hiring a Virtual Assistant is a simple solution and will allow you time to spend on managing the important aspects and tasks within your business while outsourcing many of the mundane time-consuming tasks. The effect on your productivity will be obvious.

As an entrepreneur, business owner or executive, your time is precious and you need to be able to delegate certain tasks to your Virtual Assistant allowing you to focus on what really matters.

Benefits of a Virtual Assistant include the following :

  • No need for office space – a virtual assistant works from home
  • Ensuring your staff are always busy – a virtual assistant can work flexi-time based on your requirements
  • Saving you money – a Virtual Assistant is less expensive than a full time employee
  • Freeing up your time – a Virtual Assistant can handle all the less important tasks & admin allowing you to concentrate on the more important issues
  • Reducing your workload and need to manage employees

A Virtual Assistant is simply an online employee and will allow you to take the load off and help you scale up your business to the next level.