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.

Follow these great benefits to improve your blogging

Follow these great benefits to improve your blogging

Follow these great benefits to improve your blogging

Blogging can help drive internet traffic to your website. A blog gives you the chance to create original and relevant content to your customers, which can be a tactic to drive traffic to your website.

Blogging also helps your SEO or Search Engine Optimization. By consistently putting out new content in your blogs, you boost your rankings in different search engines, making you and your business more visible on the internet. You can also include various keywords, topics, and categories that you want to be found with your business when you write your blog. That way, when someone searches something related to that word or phrase, you will come up in earlier in search engines.

Blogs are no longer just an expression of an individual or a platform to share one’s ideas and thoughts. Blogs have started to be one of the most influential and useful tools in the market space. It’s an excellent way to showcase thought leadership as well as keep consumers updated on what’s happening in the company

Companies that maintain a blog seek:

  • Brand awareness and visibility
  • Authority and trustworthiness
  • Site traffic and higher SEO ranking
  • Leads and sales

The 4 benefits of blogging

  1. Blogging drives traffic to your website

The content you create for your blog can be shared on all your social media platforms. If it’s good-quality, valuable information, people will be encouraged to click through to your website to learn more about your products and services.

  1. Blogging can increase your SEO

If you use keywords in your blog posts, you can enhance your organic search results. Search engines use content to help them determine the subject of web pages. By continually adding fresh content to your site, you make it easier for these search engines to index your page correctly.

  1. Blogging establishes you as an industry authority

Sharing industry information with your customers is the perfect way to demonstrate    your knowledge and skills. It sets you up as a leader in your field while giving you the opportunity to market your product or service in a subtle way. With a blog post you can simultaneously educate your customers and provide them with useful information about your business.

  1. Blogging helps you build a community

Your blog provides your customers with a place to ask questions, share opinions and         engage with you. This makes it the ideal place to build a loyal following. All the comments remain on your site permanently, which means that new visitors will be able to see them. Compare this to social media where any posts or comments are quickly lost in the ever changing newsfeed.

Conclusion

A blog is much more than a way to share information and ideas. It is also a marketing tool and a very powerful one at that.  If you have yet to start a blog, it’s never too late to get started.  There’s really no excuse why you shouldn’t start one today, whether it’s a business, corporate, or a personal blog.  Somewhere out there, someone is waiting to hear from you.

Celebrating Everyday Heroes as a Daily Inspiration

Celebrating Everyday Heroes as a Daily Inspiration

Celebrating Everyday Heroes as a Daily Inspiration

“Celebrating the Women in your Life in Honour of Women’s Month” WOW, what a topic.

There are many Women in my life both alive and the dearly departed that have made a huge impact on my life and impact of the direction that my life has taken.

The woman who made the most impact in my life

Let’s begin with the most amazing Women that has made the biggest impact, my Mom.

What a truly remarkable, inspirational and caring person she was. My Mom brought me into this world and taught me the value of life, love, happiness and most importantly time. My Mom always used to say, “make the most of every second in your life, every second that has been wasted on the trivial matters in life and things that don’t matter is a second you will never get back”.

My Mom taught me the value of work ethic, the value of working hard in life for what you want. Nothing gained in life is for free. What you put in, is what you get out! Remember what your mother taught you, it came from the most sacred place of love that exisits.

The reason I get up in the morning

Then I have my daughter and granddaughter. What a combination these two angels are. These two angels are SO special to me. The tinkle in my eye, the reason I get up in the morning and the reason that I live life to the full.

The biggest blessing one could ever hope for is too be able to bring a child into this world. Melissa, my daughter, is such a wonderful young lady, she has brought SO much joy and happiness into my life. She works hard, focuses on the important things in life.

I truly see so much of my Mom in her. Melissa is such an inspiration to me. I am SO very proud to be able to call her my daughter.

Then we have little Mia, Mia has taught me the biggest lesson of all, LOVE, LOVE and more LOVE. Just when you thought you couldn’t love someone any more than you do, along comes a grandchild. Have you noticed the admiration they have in their eyes when they look at you and everybody around you? So much love.

How does a child spell L O V E ……. They spell it T I M E! My little Princess, your Nanny is SO lucky to have you in her life. I am constantly amazed by your beauty and the love that you portray for the little things in life.

If I could turn back the clock to when my kids were much younger, there are so many things that I would do differently. First and most important of all, I would spend more quality time with my kids. Embarking on adventures together and loving life. When my kids where younger I found that I spent far too much time working and I kept telling myself that I was doing this FOR them.

The Entrepreneur that inspires me the most

The next lady that has come in too my life, teaches and challenges me on a daily basis. I mention her now, but not last as in order of importance, Karen Wessels. Karen has taught me the value of doing what you love and doing it with all your heart. Such an inspirational lady. Karen has brought back into my life the importance of why I do what I do and to love, grow and feel challenged by what we do in our lives. Walking alongside her is such an honour.

In conclusion

In closing, I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of the very special Women who have made an impact in my life. I love you all SO much!!

I stick by the philosophy in life, “Do What You LOVE, in order to LOVE What You Do!” Take time to smell the roses for want of a phrase.

You only have ONE life, LIVE IT!

 VA Connect has a team of Virtual Assistants just waiting to be of service to you, to lighten your load! To FREE up some of your time!

5 Interesting things to explore when visiting Cape Town

5 Interesting things to explore when visiting Cape Town

5 Interesting things to explore when visiting Cape Town

Welcome to Cape Town my hometown. Perched between the ocean and the iconic Table Mountain, which serves as a backdrop to the “Mother City”.

Table Mountain using the Aerial Cableway

The Cableway takes you to the summit in under 5 minutes and allows you a 360 degree full view of the city and the mountain. Go early to avoid long queues and wait for a sunny day or you may get lost in the fog. Everyone gets a fair view through the open windows, as the car rotates as it travels, so very clever, and amazing views.

5 Interesting things to explore when visiting Cape Town

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens

Situated on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch is internationally acclaimed as one of the seven most magnificent botanical gardens in the world. The 528 hectares estate includes a cultivated garden and a nature reserve. The developed garden displays collections of southern African plants including many rare and endangered species. The Treetop Path is an amazing treetop walking path that allows you to meander through the foliage, and peer down through the canopy.

5 Interesting things to explore when visiting Cape Town

Robben Island

Robben Island is situated about 10km offshore from Cape Town. The name “Robben Island” was given by Dutch settlers and roughly translated means “Island of seals”. It is accessed by ferries that depart from the V&A Waterfront. Many visitors come with some understanding of the prison, but seeing Mandela’s tiny cell and viewing Table Mountain from the island will give you a far deeper perspective than any history book could ever achieve. Whether you are visiting Cape Town for the first time or you are a local wanting to explore the city’s history, a visit to Robben Island is highly recommended.

5 Interesting things to explore when visiting Cape Town

Penguins at Boulders Bay

Just around the corner from the seaside village of Simons Town is the famous colony of African Penguins. Once called Jackass Penguins for their hilarious braying call. After you have fallen in love with the penguins head to the secluded Boulders Beach and take a swim in the comparatively warm waters of the False Bay.

Swimming with penguins at Boulders Beach, is a real thrill. A small public beach is set apart from the main penguin colony that resides here, but that doesn’t stop the penguins from sitting on your beach towel or darting around your legs while you take a refreshing dip in the Ocean. A boardwalk has been built around the dunes so you can get a great close-up look at the entire colony eating, breeding, preening, swimming, and chatting away.

5 Interesting things to explore when visiting Cape Town

Company’s Gardens

Right in the middle of the bustling CBD of Cape Town you will find The Company’s Garden. Started by the Dutch East India Company way back in 1652, this beautiful laid-out garden provides a cool, leafy break from the city noise. Beside its green lawns, huge trees and cooling fountains and ponds, it’s all set about with fascinating places to visit.

The Company’s Garden is home to an overwhelming amount of fauna. There are the famous squirrels, who you can purchase bags of nuts to feed. There are pigeons, Egyptian geese, herons, and rodents, and there is even an aviary where dozens of species of birds can be viewed. I love feeding the squirrels, who will scamper right up to you for a snack.

5 Interesting things to explore when visiting Cape Town

Spend a day in my life as an efficient Virtual Assistant

Spend a day in my life as an efficient Virtual Assistant

Spend a day in my life as an efficient Virtual Assistant

When I became a , the thought of working from home seemed idyllic.  I mean, who wouldn’t enjoy being able to get up, go for a run and have coffee before firing up the computer?  Not to mention being able to catch up with friends or wear comfy clothes all while tending to your family and work.

It didn’t take me long to realise that I needed to set myself boundaries and a routine if I were to be a top notch VA.  I know that I crave structure and social interaction in order to be productive.  As race walking has always been my go to “happy place”, I start my day with a 8km walk, breathing in fresh air and starting my day off on a positive note.

After a long walk I fire up the computer, whilst I have a well-deserved cup of coffee.  For me the need to dress for success is vital, one cannot be productive if you do not dress for success, I don’t have to don a jacket and high heels, but being clean and presentable does wonders for one’s self esteem and allows me to feel motivated throughout the day.

As I sit down at my desk strategically placed in front of the window, first thing I do is check my emails, as this will determine the type of day I will have.  Normally, whilst the emails are loading, I look out of my window at my goose splashing in his pond and that is when I feel truly blessed to be able to work from home.  I have found that setting specific work hours has helped me to establish my own unique work style.

I have learnt that I cannot be in front of the computer all day and I need to take regular breaks.  Going out during the day, goes a long way to keeping me connected with the world, a trip to the grocery store or a chat to friends at lunch time always lifts my spirits and allows me to come back to my desk after lunch refreshed and ready for what the afternoon might bring.

Every day I have a “to-do” list that I strive to get complete, this ensures that I don’t procrastinate and I maintain a steady pace throughout the day instead of a mad rush at the end of the day.  There is nothing as satisfying as crossing off a task on your list (“tick”).  Working from home allows me be able to have dinners cooked and the house cleaned as this is all part of my daily routine.  There is no greater pleasure than having the kettle boiled for when my daughter comes home in the evening.

It takes dedication to stick to a routine when there is no one there to hold you accountable, however, if you are committed and have support, a day in the life of a VA can be a wonderful experience.

For more information on Annie please visit our team page.