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.”
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.
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!
5 Tips on How to have a Holistic Approach to Balancing Working at Home and Life in General
So, I am a virtual assistant, but I am more than that, I am also a mother, wife, daughter and friend and therefore I have to manage wearing those many different hats on a daily basis.
When balancing life and work in a normal setting, generally work and home are separate because when you leave the office it stays behind and you get in your car, in the train or bus and you go home, to your home which is away from the office. However for a VA our home is our office, our office is our home!
Now how to balance that conundrum you ask? Well below are 5 points, ideas, tips which I try to use daily in order to create this balance, in a holistic, focused manner:
As a person who works from home and who also has two young children in the house routine is my buzzword. If we did not have routine I think my house might literally fall down!
Now what sort of routine are we talking here? Well it’s not military grade, but not too far from. I ensure I start the day same time every day (no thanks to my human alarm clock of course), I grab a cup of coffee – first of many! I then head on to the office (lounge) and switch on the gadgets and start to plan my day. In between the kids need to be fed and sorted with their various needs as well, which generally are also on some sort of clock. I try to keep the routine everyday as this allows me to work efficiently and effectively for my clients but also ensure the other part of my life is seen to and working just as effectively.
Don’t forget about you
This point is one that I took a while to get used to, but it is important. Remember you! Just as the kids need to eat and get dressed and have some fun so do you.
So what this means for me is, I make sure I get dressed (comfy but dressed) every day and maybe put on a little bit of a face or at the very least some moisturiser, mascara and lip-gloss. It is important to remember that although we work from home we can also behave the same as if we were going out to work. In fact studies have shown that prepping yourself as if you are going out to work actually helps to keep you more focused through the day. When you look good you feel good and good things happen!
My fun comes from playing with my kids, helping my son build LEGO or cheer the 7 month old on as he starts to become mobile.
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail
Some more reiteration on routine here, but truth is to have that balance you need to plan your work day. You need to know what needs to be done, what is priority, what can go in the “tomorrow pile” and what needs to be addressed ASAP! If you do not have these plans in place you are going to be like a headless chicken trying to juggle way too much and end up not getting anything, or very little, done during your working hours.
My plan of action each day? I ensure I have my task list set up for each client, I know what is needed for each day. I break it up into the hours which I have allocated for each client and I mark off as we go along. Some of this is done electronically on apps like Trello or else manually in my diary/notebook. Make no mistake sometimes an urgent task pops up and that then needs to take preference, but at least I have a system in place for the general day to day operations.
Know when to step away
Another one of those very hard to do things, but it needs to be done. You need to set a time when the day is done because again, when you work outside of the home when your colleagues start packing up and leaving you know it’s time to go, but when you work at home?? Well you kind of need to set an alarm to tell yourself, “Switch off that computer, the day is done.” No one is able to work 24/7 even if you are in the comfort of your own home.
The final bit to make it holistic
So, now that we have gone through all of that I have come to the final, most important part, taking time out for you! Now this can be anything really from reading a book, taking a walk, going to the gym or whatever else. For me, it is that time at the end of the evening when my babies are in bed and I can just stretch out on the couch and veg out watching some Netflix. I also ensure I, at least once a week, have a spa bath at home, you can do this by introducing Epsom salts and essential oils, you can read about it and the benefits here .
At the end of the day to balance life, home and work – when you work at home, is work in itself but it can be done and it must be done in order for no one or nothing to be neglected.
Happy working from home!!
Five Of The Best Things To Do In Mtunzini
When given this topic to write about I was very happy to have the opportunity to write about the little coastal paradise I am blessed to live in called Mtunzini. The name of the village is taken from the Zulu word emthunzini which means “a place in the shade”. In the history of the town it is referred to as the place under the Milkwood trees near to the Mlalazi River where the White Zulu chief named John Dunn would meet with the tribal elders of the area.
Mtunzini is truly a nature lover’s paradise that offers a variety of activities that can be enjoyed outdoors.
Walking & Running
Through the Umlalazi Reserve runs the Umlalazi river and there are several walking trails which take one through mangrove swamps, coastal forest and on a long sandy beach. One can enjoy taking early morning walks or runs on the beach and experience magnificent sunrises and enjoy watching the whales when they pass by. You can choose to walk or run on your own or join a group of locals. It’s a great place to take your dogs for walks around the peaceful neighbourhood or on the beach if you have a permit.
There is the Raphia Palm monument which has a lovely wooden walkway through an avenue of palms. You can read more about the Raphia palms here:
Wildlife and bird watching
The Umlalazi reserve have zebras and red forest duiker that can be seen frequently and there are also bush buck and grey duiker, although not seen as often because they are shy.
There is an abundance of birdlife bringing people from all over the world to see the rare Palmnut Vulture that feeds from the Raphia Palm. We are also very fortunate to have many African Fish Eagles that soar the sky above the village and their distinctive call can be heard daily. Just a few other birds to mention are the Trumpeter Hornbills, Purple Crested Louries, Oyster Catchers, Natal Robins, Violet Back Starlings and Giant Kingfishers.
Many people enjoy cycling in the area and many mountain bike events are run in Mtunzini. There are many trails through the forests, sugar cane fields and the reserve. There are even organised moonlight bike rides from time to time.
Mtunzini has a large lagoon which attracts many boating enthusiasts that enjoy fishing, skiing, sailing and kayacking as well as sunset cruises up the river. One can even moor their boat and enjoy a picnic on the river bank.
The perfect place for lovely outrides, walking through the bush and sugar cane fields or having an exhilerating gallop up a hill. It’s such a lovely way to start or finish the day.
Next time you are heading north on the N2 freeway, keep your eyes open for Mtunzini, you will be surprised to find what is on the other side of the hill.
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 VA 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 virtual assistant, 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:
- It takes a long time to find the right person.
- Employee costs are on the rise. With a VA, you pay only for what you need.
- Hiring permanent staff means setting them up with an office and equipment too.
- You need to keep the permanent staff you have busy.
- Availability isn’t the same as competency.
- Permanent employees don’t really work eight hours per day.
- The recruitment process is a hassle.
- Your staff budget is suffocating your margin for growth.
- 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?
- Filtering Emails / Handling Spam
- Database Building / Updating Contacts or CRM
- Answering Customer Service Emails /Support Tickets / Chat Support
- Sending of Greetings Cards / Birthday Messages / Event Invitations etc.
- Calendar Management
- Email marketing
- Appointment Scheduling
- Travel Arrangement and Planning
- Reminder Services
- Audio / Video Editor
- Content Writer
- SEO / Web Marketer
- Graphic / Web Designer / Web Developer
- Dropbox / Google Drive Organization
- Creating / Managing Spreadsheets
- Preparing PowerPoint / Keynote Presentations
- PDF Conversion, Splitting and Merging
- Transcription of Video and Audio Files
- Simple eBook Layout / Formatting
- Preparing Online Meeting Minutes
- Report Creation
- Forms Creation
- Document Template Creation
- Online Research
- Data Mining & Development / Lead Generation
- Blog Publishing Management
- Moderating Blog or Social Media Comments
- Adding Tags & Images to Blog Posts
- Receptionist Duties
- Voicemail Checking
- Invoicing Clients
- Basic Bookkeeping
- Personal Errands (Purchasing Online Gifts, Reminders, Planning Family Holidays etc.)
- Project Management Between You and Team members
- Training Employees or Delegates
- Preparation of Training Materials
- Onboarding of New Virtual Staff
- Deadline / Deliverables Tracking
- Social Media Management Tasks
- 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!