What every Virtual Assistant really wants for Christmas

What every Virtual Assistant really wants for Christmas

They say hard work pays off and I thought about what I need that can make the “pay off” so much sweeter.  As VA I realised I need a gift registry to make my life easier, and why not for Christmas.  Family and Friends, please look up and take notes!

As the holidays are getting closer, I think a bit of spoiling is always a nice way to show appreciation towards the people that are working for you.  Not that Christmas is a time for presents, but rather spending a relaxing time with family and friends.  Show love and appreciation and remember to take care of yourself and others.  And as VA, I will still log in and make sure my clients are taking care of, because during the year they showed appreciation with kind words and emails.

They say hard work pays off and I thought about what I need that can make the “pay off” so much sweeter.  As VA I realised, I need a gift registry to make my life easier, and why not for Christmas.  Family and Friend, please look up and take notes!

Everyday technology to make our life easier

Apple’s list is endless, but here are a few items I would love to have.  You can shop online if the rush of Christmas is too much for your nerves (I prefer this option).   Click here for online shopping

  • The Apple watch: You can walk, be in a shop, in the car, even at home and never miss a call or text. We know VA’s need to be ready and available all the time.
  • The Laptop MacBook: With this compact and beautiful design you will look and feel professional and your work can travel with you anywhere.
  • With the Logitech 1080P desktop camera, you can speak face to face with your client and for group online meetings, no more wondering how your clients look. Just remember, you should always look your best, test the camera and view yourself before login 🙂
  • The Blue Vet microphone for that host of podcasts so that you can make clear recordings.

My choice for the Virtual Assistant’s time to relax

As I struggle to switch off, the following 2 ways still make me take a back seat and relax:

  • Kindle for those VA’s that loves reading and the choice in books they can get right there.
  • Airpods: And when you feel overwhelmed and exhausted, put on your airpods, listen to binaural beats and iTunes, and let Apple swift you away to dreamland.

For office gift ideas

  • Please buy me a good office chair for comfortable work.
  • Desk with enough space to work on and enough file space for filing.
  • Foot stool for those long hours just for comfort.
  • Lamp that has enough light.
  • Massive dry erase board if you’re the one that likes to keep an eye on your work.
  • Coffee mug warmer, for those long hours VA’s spend in front of computer or desk and sometimes get up only for a little while.

Business gifts

Investing in your Virtual Assistant and their business is sometimes the best investment you can make, so by encouraging them you can give them the next jump in your business.

Extra paid vacation

VA’s do need time and that always helps to stimulate them for the next workload and show them your trust in them.

And then just for something to consider even if it is not for a Virtual Assistant

For the ladies:

  • Shopping gift cards because some ladies do like to shop.
  • Massage gift card, for a relaxing time of no thinking.
  • Fitbit, so that your VA knows you care about their wellbeing and health.
  • Hair gift card, ladies like looking and feeling good and it gives us a boost.

For the men

  • A fishing trip, depends on how well you know your VA.
  • Sport tickets, so that they can entertain themselves.
  • Shopping gift card, men like looking neat in an outfit.
  • Airbnb gift card, so he can take a break for a weekend.
  • Nice watch, men like looking sleek.
  • Some other gifts can be found here

As the holidays are getting closer, I think a bit of spoiling is always a nice way to show appreciation towards the people that are working for you.  Not that Christmas is a time for presents, but rather spending a relaxing time with family and friends.  Show love and appreciation and remember to take care of yourself and others.  And as VA, I will still log in and make sure my clients are taking care of, because during the year they showed appreciation with kind words and emails.

Why Heritage Day Is Important To The South African Nation

Why Heritage Day Is Important To The South African Nation

Why Heritage Day Is Important To The South African Nation

 

Heritage Day or Braai Day as it has colloquially become known, is celebrated on the 24th of September. South Africans are encouraged to celebrate their cultural traditions and beliefs and the rich diversity that makes us proudly South African.

The day was declared a holiday during the late former president Nelson Mandela’s tenure.

Heritage day should not be seen as a mere holiday and a day off, it should be an opportunity to embrace your cultural values and traditions.

Braai4Heritage

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu became the national spokesperson for National Braai Day in 2007 and the name was changed to Braai4Heritage.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, “We’re going to have this wonderful thing on the 24th of this month when we all gather round one fire. It’s a fantastic thing, a very simple idea. Irrespective of your politics, of your culture, of your race, of your whatever, hierdie ding doen ons saam [‘we do this thing together’]… just South Africans doing one thing together, and recognizing that we are a fantastic nation.”

Archbishop Emeritus Tutu thought that the idea of using the braai to unite people was a very good one as it is common for people from various cultures in South Africa to gather together around a fire to celebrate.

Why is Heritage Day Important?

It is important for all South Africans to celebrate our culture and heritage against the background of our unique diversity. In so doing, we build pride in ourselves and our nation as we remember the difficulties of the past and share in the victories of the present and raise hope for the future.

South African Culture

South Africa has been legendarily referred to as the rainbow nation because it is made up of so many diverse cultures and religions.  To name but a few in South Africa, we have:

  • Zulu
  • Xhosa
  • Tswana
  • Ndebele
  • Khoisan
  • Hindu
  • Muslim
  • Afrikaner

All of these people are united by calling South Africa their home and has their own unique culture and identity.

Interesting Heritage Facts

South Africa has eight places declared as World Heritage Sites, these are:

  • The iSimangaliso Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park
  • The uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park
  • Robben Island
  • The Fossil Hominid Sites of Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai and environs
  • The Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape
  • Vredefort Dome
  • The Cape Floral Region
  • The Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape

Purpose

The purpose of Heritage Day is to expose people to the differences, to enable us to understand, respect and appreciate other cultures. There are positive things in every culture. If we can adopt or even just accept what is good in other cultures, we will grow as individuals and contribute to a more unified South Africa.

Conclusion

South Africa has its ups and its downs but one thing is always certain. When needed our rainbow nation comes together as a force to be reckoned with. Happy Heritage Day, South Africa.

Mom guilt, we’ve all been there!

Mom guilt, we’ve all been there!

Mom guilt, we’ve all been there!

 

Where is “there” you ask. “There” is the in between sweet spot where you have a flourishing career on the one side, you are the boss, the main tool in the shed, and the go to woman for everything, and then the other side where you are supermom, mom in a million, mom there for every step, every meal, every bath, every laugh, every new obstacle faced and overcome. It’s the sweet spot. The one I am still searching for.

I still look back and have a good laugh, before my little girl was born my maternity leave was two weeks. Yes, two weeks. I had no idea why everyone looked at me like I was crazy. I was going to be the woman who had her baby, had two weeks at home but then would be back on my feet, working from home or the office, baby in routine, sleeping well and this new bundle of joy would be slotting into my well planned out mommy and work sweet spot. Well two weeks, became one month, and one month turned into three months and three months turned into five months. And then I was ready to roll out on my own. Dress for success, leave my baby at home with the nanny and go out and conquer the world. And then there was a feeling, a feeling I had never felt before, what could it be? Enter mom guilt.

 

Up to this point, I had focused on spending time with the nanny so that I felt comfortable to leave my little one at home, prepped every evening for the next day to ensure nothing was forgotten and every meal planned. My super-nanny was amazing, and my baby girl was so happy, she wouldn’t even notice if I left home for a while. But still I would sit at work, or during the day find myself feeling guilty for number one enjoying the time to myself, for being able to sit and get my work done and not just be a mom for the day. And secondly for not being at home, worrying that she was going to do something, and I wasn’t there to see it, for not being the one feeding and changing and putting her to sleep.  I started to question if I was being a good mom. If I should look at rather being a stay at home mom and rather not have to deal with my own guilt.

 

While dealing with my mom guilt and on my way to resignation station, I started trying to find a balance, finding the sweet spot as I put it. When does work come first and when does my child and family come first? And the simple truth is that my family will always come first but I also come first, me, myself, mom. I enjoy my job and working with people and enjoy adult conversation. I also have to have a place. And that place is during the day while doing my job or running errands for my family and in the mornings and afternoons with my little girl.

 

Being a mom is not easy, it is probably the hardest task I have ever encountered and the toughest full-time job, I cannot resign from. When things get tough, I have to dig in my heals and carry on. If I have to give anyone advise on how to deal with mom guilt it would be:

 

Number 1: don’t feel bad about having mom guilt

It is going to happen, and it does not make you any worse of a person or mom. Its normal to feel sad that you are not with your little one.

 

Number 2: enjoy your time away

I have found that being away for a couple of hours, allows me to cherish the time that I am at home more, and I am happier for it. I allow myself to give 100% at work and then 100% at home.

 

Number 3: give yourself enough time at home

Two weeks is not enough time, believe me, you need a good solid five months at home to get to know your little one, be with your nanny and your little one together and build up a relationship between the three of you, and by the five months mark you will be ready to step back into the world as you, not as a mom, but as you.

 

Number 4: know that your little one will always be number 1

No matter where you spend the day, you are going home to your little one and your family at the end of it all. That is where your heart will always belong.

 

Number 5: someone else’s opinion doesn’t matter

I am of the opinion that others make us feel more guilty than we need to. Try not to listen to what others think and what they have done. You know yourself and you know your baby. If you are not comfortable with something, don’t do it. If it works for you and your baby, then it’s the right thing to do.

 

Number 6: take time

Time is all the medicine you will need. Take each day as it comes, and you will find your rhythm.

 

So I missed resignation station and went straight onto finding my sweet spot. Some days are better than others but each and every day I get up and try my best. I still evaluate my days and weeks and if something doesn’t work or doesn’t feel right, I don’t force it, I merely try it a different way until it fits.

 

You do you, Mommy, everything else will slot in as it needs to, and soon you will be finding your own “sweet spot.”

The Secret Reason You Want Women in Top Leadership and Executive Positions in Your Company

The Secret Reason You Want Women in Top Leadership and Executive Positions in Your Company

The Secret Reason You Want Women in Top Leadership and Executive Positions in Your Company

 

When it comes to business, everyone from the entrepreneur to big corporates needs to listen up and take note of this interesting development in the business world. Although the number of women in executive roles in companies is often limited to a single-digit percentage, studies are increasingly proving that if companies want to increase their profit, they need to rethink their strategy on gender diversity within the company.

 

Why it’s important to have gender diversity in your company.

In January 2018, McKinsey & Company published their 42-page report Delivering through Diversity on their findings with regards to valuable aspects of this very topic. They found that “Companies in the top-quartile for gender diversity on their executive teams were 21% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile.”

I don’t know about you, but this statistic really had me sitting up straight. So often we as women don’t even realize the importance of our contribution to the business environment. We often focus so extensively on get the job done despite facing challenges, raising families and contributing to our communities that we undervalue ourselves. I, of course, am of the opinion, that if we don’t know and acknowledge our worth first, no one else will.

 

Personal challenges women face that are featuring in executive leadership roles globally

It goes without saying that featuring in these executive roles brings challenges of their own for these successful women. Just like a normal wife and mother she has duties to fulfil that lie outside her corporate duties. The reality is that their male counterparts, especially those without children rarely understand the extreme stress and challenges these women face and they rarely have empathy for women in these situations.

 

What type of support do they need?

It doesn’t need to limit women’s opportunities to excel in the business environment. As women, we can support each other to better achieve our individual goals. Handling personal finances, paying bills, diary management, travel arrangements, event planning, holiday itineraries, the list goes on… The fun part for me is knowing that there’s always a solution for these types of challenges. And no, it’s not a personal assistant, but rather a Virtual Assistant. Both may have similar skillsets but there’s a fundamental difference between a personal assistant and a Virtual Assistant. That difference is mindset!  A personal assistant is invaluable but has the mindset of an employee. The right Virtual Assistant is an entrepreneur in her own right, so she already has a growth mindset, a get the job done attitude. A no-excuses mentality. She is focused on results!

 

Stronger together

It’s so important for us as women to empower each other the reach our goals and dreams. It’s within our grasp if we support each other. There’s no shame in getting help. We don’t have to do everything ourselves. We just need to know where to get the right assistance. As mothers and wives, we often face this tremendous guilt when it comes to our jobs and families. We are always spreading ourselves too thin. Feeling guilty if we need to take time away from work to spend with our children or families. Even taking your child for a dental appointment can seem like a mountain.

My suggestion? Get that trusted support that will free up your time so you can focus on the quality events in your family, children and work. Value yourself and your loved ones enough to let go of some things.

Let’s celebrate each other’s strengths and support each other’s weaknesses. Together there are no limits to what we can accomplish!

 

3 Tips to kick the mid year slump’s butt!

3 Tips to kick the mid year slump’s butt!

3 Tips to kick the mid-year slump’s butt!

 

 

It’s mid year and you’re looking back at what you’ve accomplished so far… Disappointed? Don’t fret you still have another few months to get it right! Yeah mid year slump is such a real thing for me.  You hoped that you would be a little bit further along the line by now but hey, sometimes things don’t always go as planned so stop beating yourself up about it!

Luckily I’m bringing you a couple of tips to pick yourself back up and keep pushing, maybe you’ll be able to accomplish that goal after all 😉

 

Re-align your goals

We are prone to make a ton of goals at the beginning of a year but sometimes you need to step back and ask yourself if those goals really still resonate with where you’re going in life/career/relationships etc. If you’ve written down your goals a couple of months ago, sit down and ask yourself if you really need to have accomplished them by the end of the year. What’s happened from then until now, what have you achieved?  Re-structure so your goals align with the vision you have for yourself as we’re coming into the last part of this year.

 

Don’t be too hard on yourself

Let’s face it, life happens… I didn’t know I’ll be moving this year, it just crept up on me and bam! I still haven’t launched a course I was creating because I had to take some spare time to pack up and move my life. Sometimes unexpected things in life throws you off course, don’t worry you are awesome enough to pick yourself back up and climb back on the right path.

 

Planning…

I’m a sucker for planning, although I never seem to plan a time to plan… Hmmm hope that makes sense? What went wrong in the first half of this year that prevented you from being where you wanted to be mid year?  How can you improve/change your circumstances so the same thing doesn’t happen with your newly planned goals?  You can only improve if you admit where you could’ve done better.  Being healthier is always a big one for me.  So instead of just winging it with the knowledge you thought you had, maybe plan a couple of meals ahead so you’re sure you’re making the right choices.

 

Most people do not reach their goals in the time span they planned to reach it.  Have you ever wondered why?  Because life happens. It’s sad but true.  The best you can do is pick up and keep on keeping on. Being sad about your situation won’t help you one bit.  But if you realize what went wrong and how to counter it, you’re well on your way.

If you have reached the goals you set for mid-year then CONGRATS! The gratification of reaching a milestone that you’ve set for yourself is unmatched.  Keep doing what you’re doing and this year will turn out to be one of your most successful yet.  If you haven’t, just remember when life gives you LEMONS make LEMONADE!