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.
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 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!
A Truly Inspirational Woman That I Admire
There are so many amazing and inspiring Woman across the globe, who I respect and look up to as Mentors and Leaders – making this month’s blog a bit more challenging!
I suppose everyone has a different set of ‘values’ and that determines, possibly, who you follow. By follow, I mean, whose teaching you sit under, whose advice you apply and Leadership you model after. I must say that I look at the Whole of the person’s life, not just their professional life but more so their personal lives. I firmly believe that you get to truly know a person, when you see how those closet to them (e.g. Spouse and Children) relate and interact with them. We good at professional lives, because we’ve been trained to fit a certain model – do or die. But it’s in the intimacy of personal relationship that the real you comes out and especially more so, when one’s personal life can also be a bit challenging – but hey – that’s only what I believe.
Another thought I had as I was thinking about these amazing Woman, and who I could blog about, was there leadership style. You want a Leader whose life will cause you to want to follow them.
Woman in Leadership
Many Woman in Leadership positions today, sadly to say, are power hungry and lead in a dictator type of way.
It was by pure accident that I came across the Woman, I am about to mention below. I was driving in my car one morning on my way to work and this Lady came on the radio and started speaking. Well she was loud and confident but everything she said, resonated truth within me. When I got to the office, I immediately made a note (not much google then), to look up. You say, it was love at first hearing and below is an insert on a bio write up on her, sadly the name of the author was missing.
If you have ever watched ‘Enjoying Everyday Life’, a Joyce Meyer Ministries programme, you would have gotten to see and hear the ever so direct and confident Joyce Meyer. Her teachings are mind changing and heart searching. She just makes so much sense when she speaks, it’s as if she’s living your life, every day. You would think she’s perfect – but she quite assuredly tells you that she’s flawed but she’s living life to the fullest in an overcoming way. You can marvel at that when you know her past.
A charismatic speaker and author
One would have often wondered how a victim of sexual and emotional abuse can talk so assuredly. Well She tells you, its all about God’s grace, His plans and His love. Joyce Meyer is definitely ‘blessed’. A charismatic Christian speaker and author, Meyer went through a great deal of turmoil in her early life but rose to build one of the world’s largest Christian ministries in the world. Her books have helped millions of people find hope and restoration in Jesus Christ and her programme commits at redeeming the words of Jesus Christ by helping people inculcate them in their life. She claims that it was God’s words that helped upturn her doomed life.
She serves as a practical teacher, sharing her experiences and testimony and her life-changing message. Because her life had changed – she longs to see that same change in others and she continues in her effort to help others redeem their life.
- Through Joyce Meyer Ministries, she teaches on a number of topics focussing on mind, mood, mouth and attitude. What has made her Show irresistible, is the fact that she candidly communicates about her experiences and her learning and inspires viewers to learn from them and apply the same in their life. Her practical approach to Bible is quite unique and ground-breaking.
- Over the years, she has authored nearly 100 books, which have been translated in more than 100 languages and have catered to about 12 million readers. The extensive demand of the books and super successful response from readers and critics has led her to become one of the New York Times bestselling authors.
- In addition to hosting a television ministry and writing books, Joyce conducts several domestic and international conferences every year that motivate people to start enjoying their everyday life. Her annual women conference has been quite a big hit, amassing more than 200,000 women from across the globe per year.
- Joyce claims that it is through her teachings that she aims at meeting the needs of the suffering and make people reach out to the Gospel in a practical way. For the same she commenced Hand of Hope, a foundation that serves as the mission arm of Joyce Meyer Ministries. It runs several programs, providing food, medical care and disaster relief supplies.
- In 2000, she co-founded the St Louis Dream Center along with her husband, Dave (you want to hear his story of how he decided to marry Joyce – unique!). The Center aims at serving the inner city through hands-on program that are targeted at treating the needy, lost and hurt through the love of Christ.
Inspirational Joyce quotes
Some of Joyce’s quotes that have really inspired me over the years:
“You can suffer the pain of change or suffer remaining the way you are.”
“Character is doing what you don’t want to do but know you should do.”
“Happiness is not a feeling, it is a choice. To be happy, one must choose to be happy, not respond to a circumstance that now controls your happiness.”
“Courage is fear that has said its prayers and decided to go forward anyway.”
This is why you need to hire a Managed Virtual Assistant Agency
The key to your business success as an Entrepreneur, CEO or Founder is knowing when to outsource and when to keep things in-house.
More than likely if you run a SME or startup you are not keen on hiring beyond your office, because you think it’s going to end up being a very expensive exercise. Well, I’m here to set the record straight. You see, VA Connect happens to be Africa’s largest managed virtual assistant agency and we’re here to prove that hiring a VA from a managed virtual assistant agency is one of the best things you could ever do for your business.
We’ve been doing this for many years, which necessarily follows that we have learned many lessons and for sure earned our stripes along the way!
It’s important for you, the business owner and our client, to be safe in the knowledge that by hiring us to provide office support, that we know what we’re doing and ultimately we make life as simple and as easy as possible for you.
I want to share some of the benefits of hiring a VA from a managed virtual assistant agency.
Benefits of a Managed Virtual Assistant Agency
We come with packing punch
With many years of experience under our belts we have a great understanding of your needs, the level of expertise you require and that the Virtual Assistant you hire becomes part of your team. So it’s really important to us that we assign a well-suited VA to your account. Our team comes with great skills, knowledge and attitude to get the job done and for you to start enjoying business again.
Lower cost, less hassles
At the end of the day it works out to be more cost-effective to outsource certain functions than to hire them in-house. As a very well run managed virtual assistant agency we offer great service at really reasonable pricing, which is excellent for budgeting purposes.
Expertise and knowledge
We’ve done the legwork, bumped our heads a few times and walked away with many business lessons. Because of this we come with expertise that cannot be learned from a book. We have surrounded ourselves with exceptional people and we are blessed to have such an amazing team to work with.
HR is our problem
One of the biggest blockers in any business is the HR department. That is a separate skillset, being able to manage people, recruit the right staff and keep them motivated. One of the greatest benefits of hiring a Virtual Assistant is that you don’t have any HR problems. If you work with a managed services virtual assistant agency and you’re experiencing issues with your VA, the agency will replace them. If your VA is off-sick or on annual leave it is up to the agency to find a stand-in.
Bringing it together
Do your homework when you are in the market to expand your team. Compare the cost effectiveness of keeping everything in-house vs outsourcing certain functions of your business to a virtual assistant. You may be surprised at how easy it is to on-board a VA and that minimum training is required to get them fully integrated.
Use Your Virtual Assistant to Grow Your Social Network
Those who use it know of its amazing benefits. Yep! Social media is Godsend for business. With features such as live videos and stories, businesses can increase their sales via social media networks.
Perhaps you haven’t tried using social media as a business tool because you’re not sure how to use it to generate business or you just don’t have the time. In this blog, we will teach you how to grow your social media network via a Virtual Assistant.
Virtual Assistants who specialise in social media are equipped with the strategies and tools to grow your following and to drive engagement on all your platforms. They know how to get people talking about your brand. They can also recommend which platforms would be suitable for your business.
Social Media Assistants also understand what type of content to publish and promote. Content that your followers will love and which will ultimately lead them to your store. They are often social media influencers themselves and have a large following on social media.
How to Use a Social Media Assistant:
- Set up social media accounts. Your assistant can create your accounts for you and manage it. She can also design your logos, cover images and profile pictures.
- Create descriptive profiles. Not sure what to add in your profile bio? Your assistant can come up with a compelling story.
- Build a social media strategy. She can develop a strategy that can help bring in the followers.
- Write posts for social networks. Your assistant can write compelling posts and publish them.
- Edit content. If you are not comfortable with her writing your posts, you can allow her to edit posts only.
- Perform a social media audit. To understand what is working and what isn’t, you must look at your analytics. Your assistant can analyse your data and put it in an easy-to-understand, readable format for you.
- Research key hashtag conversations. By researching certain conversations, your assistant can find relevant topics to write about.
- Engage with your audience. Your assistant can help direct your audience to the right place i.e. Website or store.
- Participate in groups/forums. By participating in relevant conversations, your assistant can lead people to your website.
- Run a giveaway or challenge. Giveaways are great ways to grow your accounts. Your assistant can manage the entire giveaway including shipping the prize to the winner.
- Create and manage groups. If you want to create a community surrounding your brand, let your VA do this for you.