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.

Get Your Goals Done With this Mid-Year Check-In

Get Your Goals Done With this Mid-Year Check-In

Get Your Goals Done With this Mid-Year Check-In

 

Goal setting is essential to living a life with purpose and meaning. Goals give our lives direction and focus, and help us stay motivated.

Nearly everything in life revolves around goals, they encompass all of our plans for the future, all of our hopes, dreams and visions for what we want in life. And yet we often fail to reach our goals. That’s because we’re all human and can be easily distracted.

Avoid the Mid-Year Slump

Maybe you’ve been powering through and are making great progress toward your goals. If so, that’s great! Take a look back and enjoy seeing what you’ve accomplished. At this point, the danger is letting complacency set in. You want to keep moving forward and avoid that mid-year slump that can derail your progress for the remaining half of the year.

Check In to Reach Your Goals

Checking in on your goals might show you progress you didn’t know you’d made, that’s always encouraging. Checking in can also give you some insight about how you need to change your goals.

How to Check In

Go back to your goal list (if you’re pursuing more than one) or your goal description.

Ask yourself, where did I start?  Where am I now? The point is not to berate yourself, it’s to accurately assess your rate of progress, the obstacles encountered, and to determine how you can keep going and even improve for the rest of the year.

Set some markers for progress, one every two to four weeks, and check in when you reach each marker. A little at a time adds up to a lot, and you’ve got five more months in this year to get things done.

Evaluating

Evaluating your progress is like drawing up a roadmap for the year. You can’t get back on track if you don’t even know where the track is   or if it leads to where you want to go.

Have you ever set a goal at the beginning of the year only to realize you don’t care about it just a few months later?

That’s why evaluating your progress isn’t just about making sure you’re working hard on your goals, it’s about making sure your goals still work for you.

Ask yourself why you want to accomplish each goal. If you don’t have a good enough answer, it’s time to say goodbye.

  • What are my achievements?
  • What are my struggles?
  • What is the next step?

Using these three questions to work your way through your goals for the rest of the year, really gives you the opportunity for a reset. I urge you to physically write the answers to these questions down, and not just think of the answers, you will find if you can be honest with yourself and write out your struggles, you will be more likely to pinpoint the steps needed to achieve your goals.

It is important to not get defeated at this point. If there is a goal on your list that you haven’t even began to work towards, don’t put yourself down for it. Break the goal down into smaller, tangible goals. Try to give yourself the grace you would give to someone else.

Conclusion

It is never too late to start again. Trust where you are in your journey and be honest with yourself and you will find a way to reach your goals.

How is that 2019 goal list looking? A 6 month check in with…myself!

How is that 2019 goal list looking? A 6 month check in with…myself!

How is that 2019 goal list looking? A 6 month check in with…myself!

 

What?? It is July already??

Well that was unexpected – seems like just the other day I was getting my kid ready for his first day at big school and now we are 6 and bit months down, 2 terms into school and a talking, almost 2 year old, into 2019!

So I thought it fitting to do somewhat of a check in with myself – have you done something similar?

Now I will admit – this year really has challenged me a fair deal, but in a good way (if there is such a thing) because challenges mean we are learning or have been given an opportunity to learn, take a step back and reassess situations that may not be all that great for us and have the chance to make a change.

One of my big challenges was balance this year – and funny how it was also something that was on my list, my new year’s resolutions if you want. Balance in life and work. Finding more time for me (which still eludes me it would seem) and because of this, I found myself on the brink of mental meltdown.

In this blog, I will share how I plan to get back on the proverbial horse and put me first in order to be there for everyone else who needs me. Because if you do not take care of you, no one will!

 

How am I going to reach my goal in the last half of 2019? 

Now, I had a few things on my list of resolutions, goals that I wanted to achieve for 2019 but one of my main ones was finding balance in my life, family and work. But the main thing I knew I needed to do was put me first!

If I am not at my peak when it comes to health and mental wellbeing, how can I possibly be there for my family? How can I possibly be there for my clients? How can I possibly be there for me?

After my personal hurdle knocking me on my behind for a few days – I decided to sit, take a breather, have a mini digital detox and reassess the situation and how I was going to overcome the madness.

This is what I came up with (these were on my original list):

  1. ME FIRST – I have to take time for me. Whether that be a morning out on my own for breakfast or meeting with a friend or my mom or sister for a coffee then so be it. Perhaps even just having a bit of time to pamper at home is what I will do – set aside an hour or so to do nails, have a spa bath or get a foot massage.
  2. BE MORE PRESENT – Being a working mom, working at home and still trying to be present with the boys can be challenging, especially when deadlines and tasks are at the forefront of my mind most of the time. But I have noticed remarkable changes in my kid’s behaviour when I spend, even 10 minutes, of time just with them, fully present and participating in whatever silly little game they want to play. So I know that I have sort of checked this one off the list – but will continue to have this on all lists going forward.
  3. EAT BETTER – Seems like something that should be easily done – but this is possibly the one goal that has eluded me the most. Convenience is king and most times that results in take-outs and snacks and so on. But after re-looking my list and realizing that I definitely need to make the change – I am prepping meals and making sure that not only my kids are well fed and eating their veggies but that mommy is too … after all, we lead by example.
  4. GET QUALITY SLEEP – I have also had serious trouble with getting more than 4 hours of sleep in every night and something that I am trying to get around.

And this brings me to – how this relates to me as a VA….

Conclusion

All these things make for a better me, and a better more balanced home life and therefore a more quiet and focused brain when it comes to working and providing clients with the best and more.

I would say that this would be the same for anyone whether working from home or at an office, freeing your mind of the clutter and madness and having balance can definitely help you achieve your goals. It can make a serious difference when it comes to completing tasks and learning new things and taking on more challenges with a positive outlook.

I have complete faith that all of the above – as well as a few extra things – will be achieved before midnight chimes at the end of 2019!

How far have you come this year? Did you reach any or all of your goals?

Happy half year and let’s end it with a bang!

 

 

 

4 Secrets to Growing Your Business’ Sales Exponentially This Year

4 Secrets to Growing Your Business’ Sales Exponentially This Year

4 Secrets to Growing Your Business’ Sales Exponentially This Year With The Use of Social Media

What new small business owner or entrepreneur doesn’t need MORE SALES in their business? Especially when it’s free! Social Media offers endless potential and opportunities for the young entrepreneur or established company to drive traffic to their website and increase their sales for free. In this beginner’s guide to using social media for growing your sales, we are going to take an in-depth look at what it takes to drive that potential sales through the roof using social media to target your audience. In this modern day there’s not a person that doesn’t have a mobile device which is excellent news for the business owner. Just imagine crushing those sales goals when you have the right audience at your disposal – a global audience available 24/7, 365 days of the year!

#1 Do your research

What you want is knowledge about your audience before starting any campaigns on social media. Consider and research the demographics of your target audience and use the information to determine which social media platforms to use to reach them and what type of media would be most likely to succeed.

#2 Quality content vs Quantity content

So, this is where you expect me to say, “Start a blog”, right? Wrong! If you don’t already have a blog for your website, you’re missing out on one of the most powerful FREE marketing tools to boost those sales and you might want to take a step back and first take a look at where to start when writing a blog post or how to improve your blogging.  Our focus is on social media so that means you’ll need quality content to share. Take note my emphasis on quality content. Your biggest faux pax on social media is to share a whole lot of content without providing value to your audience. Don’t just post and share random stuff. Make sure what you have to say or share will either engage or entertain your audience.

A good guide is to use the 80-20 rule, which means you share 80% content that engage and entertain the audience and 20% sales content. Hard-selling is a definite NO! It adds a desperate flavour to your business that will chase away your target audience faster than you can schedule your next post.

#3 Consistency is key

Nothing is of greater value to improve your business’ online visibility than consistency. If you stuck to rule number two your content will be of value to your audience. It doesn’t matter if it’s a blog, motivational quote or short video, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest. Your audience will be anticipating your next post. A social media calendar will enable you to plan your posts to coincide with special dates and events to maximize the effect of your content. So, what’s better than using a social media scheduling tool to make sure you free up your time while sharing quality content on a consistent basis to all the platforms and targeted audiences of your choice.

#4 Engaging with your audience

Social media is about engaging your followers. If you don’t grasp that concept first and foremost your hard work will all be for nothing. Nothing is as important as responding to your audience’s conversations, likes and shares. This is how you build trust in your brand and develop a relationship that turns a follower into a client.

Be intentional

Do the research, create or curate the content. Be intentional, be consistent, find your own voice and style. In a world where we are often overloaded with digital content, we need to be unique. AND we are – so use it to your advantage to outshine your competition. You’ll be amazed at the results!!

What you can do to get great work ethic

What you can do to get great work ethic

Setting boundaries and rules whilst maintaining good work ethic as a Virtual Assistant

As a Virtual Assistant we are sometimes so hungry to get that next client and maintain the best working relationships with the ones we have that we sometimes forget that the key to success is actually to set some boundaries. Setting boundaries and laying down some ground rules with your clients need not be a daunting, scary thing, in fact if anything it should be a relief to you and could even show your client a whole other side of your personality which they may love. Assertive and confident professional remote worker – THAT’S YOU!

Now although it may be a necessity to set these boundaries to avoid things like burnout and less than average work being handed over to clients, you need to be able to do it in a proper manner and without coming across as bitchy and condescending.  You also want to make the rules clear from the get-go, so things like what hours you are available to one specific client, what your actual working hours are and so forth need to be discussed right in the beginning to avoid any awkwardness further down the line.

Below I will discuss a few tips for setting up rules and structure within your business which will ensure your success and success for your client.

Boundaries for you and me

Your phone – Now although you have a phone and the general idea of a phone is to take calls you do not want clients calling you all hours of the day and night and weekends expecting answers. So you need to be clear that, if you do not have a phone purely for business, that you tell your client you are available for calls between hours x and y and thereafter there will be no response to calls or messages.

Set working hours – Most VA’s have more than one client and therefore would want to have specific times scheduled in order to provide the best most focused work to each individual client. This can be tweaked according to the workload of course as sometimes one client has nothing for you to do on a specific day, but another may have a mountain of tasks which are all urgent, you can then use your discretion, but setting some sort of guideline around this with your client is very important.

Treat your business like a business – All business’s have hours where they open and then the same for when they close, you as a virtual assistant are essentially running a business and should do the same. Business’s have rules and regulations, therefore so should you. A virtual assistant is not an employee and therefore does not have to adhere to the management from a client.

Having a task list – A task list is also great as you and the client can set up the tasks together that are needed for any particular day,  if the client then tries to deviate from this you can respond by saying that because the list has being drawn up in a specific  way you have planned accordingly and unfortunately any extra’s would have to wait for the following day. If you are unsure of what the priority task is it is always best to communicate and find out, this is also a good way of setting the rules that priority tasks are completed first but whatever falls outside of the normal working hours will be added to the following day.

Conclusion

At the end of the day we all want to be able to deliver top-notch service as a VA and we want to have as many clients as possible and keep everyone happy – but happiness comes from being honest and upfront about things. You never want to find yourself a few months down the line, when you realise you cannot handle the workload, telling a client you need to set boundaries, it will probably not end very well.

Be assertive, have a clear idea of what you can and cannot do in any one day and then have that chat with those clients and you will flourish.

Happy Virtual Assistant = Happy Client