Using New Year’s Resolutions to embrace 2019 and become the best you!

Using New Year’s Resolutions to embrace 2019 and become the best you!

Using New Year’s Resolutions to embrace 2019 and become the best you!

Can you believe 2019 if finally here? It’s been a long and exciting 2018, but as all good things, this too has come to an end. It’s time to reflect on things that helped shape us and brought us were we are today but it’s also time for new things so you can make 2019 just as memorable, and more importantly a huge success.

I don’t have a long list of new year’s resolutions. I don’t trust myself to keep with them and hate disappointment. So three things tops my list this year and hopefully I’ll be able to keep up.

My 2019 strategy

Resolution #1

In 2019 I will be working harder towards my health. My health journey started in August 2018, took a plunge in December and I’m picking it up again in Jan. I’m not only talking about physical health but mental health as well. Healthy body, healthy mind. Looking after your mental health is vital as it affects every aspect of your life, social, family and career. I plan on working on my focus and my planning abilities. I’m not quite sure how to go about it yet but I guess that’s part of the journey. I’ve already started getting some tools together like my shiny new 2019 diary, I’ve used the Headspace app before for meditation and realized that I don’t even have 5 minutes of peace and quite in my house… I’ll try and pick that up again. I’m also reading Getting Things Done by David Allan. I’ve only heard great things about him and this book so hopefully I’ll be able to implement his strategies into my own work-life balance.

Resolution #2

The second resolution is to be a better human being. Upskilling yourself is so easy, all you need is the will power and the drive (the time as well but if you have enough drive, you will make the time). I’ve planned out 12 courses I want to take this year to help me broaden my skillset. They range from digital marketing to nutrition (bonus because it helps with resolution number one). I’ve had the same resolution last year and only managed to complete one. It feels as though I stumbled into and through 2018 but with some help I’m sure I’ll be able to master the goal this year.

Resolution #3

Finally, yet importantly, the easiest resolution… To make a bucket list and start ticking of some stuff I’ve always wanted to do but have never gotten to. The idea is to get out in the world and make yourself heard. I’m sure that finally visiting that networking event or contacting that client will boost my career in the right direction.

The New Year is usually a time to reflect but also a time for new things, a fresh start, a blank slate. Why not take it with both hands and embrace this gift you get to open each year and become the best you that you can possibly be!

Being a Virtual Assistant. This is my Why…

Being a Virtual Assistant. This is my Why…

Being a . This is my Why…

What is a Virtual Assistant

According to the balance small business website, a virtual assistant (VA) is a person who provides support services to other businesses from a remote location. The term originated in the 1990s as the ability to work virtually due to technology improvements, such as high-speed Internet, document sharing, and other advancements, made working remotely a reality.

Virtual assistants are especially in demand by entrepreneurs and online businesses that need help but don’t want to bring on staff in their location. However, many small and mid-size businesses use virtual support, especially for specific tasks such as social media management.

My Why…

Earlier in 2018, I decided to kick the corporate bucket and venture on a solo career path.  I just didn’t know what I was going to do though.  It wasn’t the first time I’d tried my hand at entrepreneurship either.  No, I’m a sucker for pursuing my goals, hopes and dreams.  Have I failed and bumped my head?  You better believe I have.  Has my confidence wavered?  Oh yes, many times. It still does. I have days when I sit back and question my choice, but usually, it takes a drive during peak hour traffic to reaffirm my belief in what I’m doing.

I knew I had to change what I was doing.  There were a few personal reasons for my decision but the main driving force for me is the fact that misogyny is still rife in the workplace.  This is a global phenomenon and a topic not discussed openly for fear of reprisal.

Working hard, long hours has always been a trait I’m proud of, but, as I approach my 50’s, I don’t gel with the rules.  Not that I really embraced these to begin with.  Boundaries create security, this is psychology 101 – but micromanagement and a draconian, authoritarian management style is on another level.  One I don’t tolerate.  Perhaps it’s just my personality, but I have a visceral dislike toward those who deploy this management style.  Nor do I take kindly to whipper snapper millennials boasting their degrees and exploiting others, especially mature women in the workplace.  Don’t get me wrong, I respect the fact that people work hard to attain their degrees.  Point is, it does not entitle belligerence.

I am pleased to observe on many company websites, particularly the UK based companies that the gender pay gap is being addressed.  These modern companies are also addressing their menopause policy for their mature female employees.  This is liberating and makes us ‘oldies’ feel appreciated and still worthwhile in the office and not maligned for being female.

As I was planning my exit strategy, I researched online work opportunities.  I wasn’t overly enthused at the ‘genuine’ options I found.  Seems there’s many a scam artist out there preying on desperate and vulnerable job seekers.  Scrolling through Google I saw the term virtual assistant.  Intrigued, I read on.  Yes!  This was for me and rest as the saying goes, is history.

Another important factor that influenced my decision is my teenage son.  It’s reassuring for mums of small children to be at home.  Unfortunately, there’s not too many half day positions available and mums are forced to either take a pay cut, opt to work from home or find full time employment and utilise the primary school after-care facility.  The assumption is high school kids have it all figured out and cope on their own in the afternoons.  This is not the situation and left to their own devices, teens tend to not be as studious as we’d like them to be. Boys tend to take advantage of this fact…  To this I can attest.

Where to from here

Setting up shop is not easy, and it’s become a competitive work arena out there.  If starting and running a business is such a simple feat, everyone would be an entrepreneur.  When I started out, I floundered for a while and was startled at my lack of up to date techie experience.  This from someone who completed their A+, advanced networking and MCSE in the early 90’s.  A lot has changed, and it can be daunting!

I wasn’t and am not deterred to work for myself and on my own.  As a Virtual Assistant, you cannot offer everything skills wise and there will always be other VA’s who offer more than you do and are better at a task than you are.  It’s about streamlining your skills and finding your niche.  If you don’t know something, say so.  But, turn your not knowing into a positive and learn how to do the task.  There are many online resources to be researched and honing your skills is do-able, without breaking the proverbial bank.

Be honest and upfront with your client and with yourself.  It’s no use struggling to fulfill a task or commitment you know full well won’t be done correctly.  The concept of working online requires open communication channels and engaging regularly with your client or clients.  Learn to manage your time.  When you’re on the clock and responsible for task management and key deliverables, you quickly realize how valuable time is.  There’s no chatting with colleagues round the coffee station or checking your social media profiles.  Accountability is tantamount.

Being on the cutting edge of technology and offering a bespoke service will ensure the global Virtual Assistant market succeeds.  This is an exciting career path and the industry is set to grow, exponentially so.

Need inspiration?  Who better than Mel Robbins to help you with that?

Need inspiration? Who better than Mel Robbins to help you with that?

Need inspiration?  Who better than Mel Robbins to help you with that?

For this women’s month I have decided to feature a woman that truly inspires me in life and business.  She has adopted a no-BS lifestyle that has brought her to where she is today.

My inspiration!

If you haven’t heard about the 5-second rule, you probably don’t know who Mel Robbins is.

Need inspiration?  Who better than Mel Robbins to help you with that?

How Mel started out

Mel started out in a legal career at the Public Defender, left her job and moved to Boston so her husband could finish his MBA.  She then worked for a law firm and hated it.  After maternity leave she didn’t go back and worked in a couple of tech startups which she enjoyed.  Even though she enjoyed her job she felt like something was missing so she started seeing a life coach which inspired her to become one herself.  She started studying towards a certificate in life coaching, qualified and started her career.  When Ink magazine did a feature on her business she got a call from a big shot at CNBC for a job and that’s how her media career kicked off.  After having some issues with a deal with FOX everything came to an abrupt end.  Due to her contract restraints with them she couldn’t do anything in the media business for a year.  She felt like such a failure that she didn’t see it fit to go back to coaching.  On top of that her husband’s restaurant business was going under. Her world was falling apart.  One night she decided she’d had enough.  That morning when her alarm went off she didn’t hit snooze ten times as she usually did, she counted 5-4-3-2-1, launched herself out of bed and started putting the pieces of her life back together.  Today her achievements are awe-inspiring.

Where Mel Robbins is today

Through utilizing her own 5-second rule, Mel became one of the most booked speakers in the world.  Motivating people across the globe to get up and show up.  She’s the CEO and Co-Founder of The Confidence Project which is a media and digital learning company.  She is the Creator and Presenter of the Audible Series Kick ass with Mel Robbins.  In 2017 she published best seller The 5-Second Rule.  It was named the number one audiobook in the world and the fifth most read book on Amazon.  Her TedX Talk has been viewed on YouTube by over 14 million people.  She runs an award winning YouTube series #MelRobbinsLive giving advice and telling people about her life as a travelling CEO, motivational speaker, wife and mother of three.  On top of that she’s a CNN commentator as well.

In conclusion

The 5-second rule helped her to get her life back on track after she was dealt a bad hand and got stuck in a rut.  It teaches us that everything is achievable if you have the right mindset.

I’ve been following her on YouTube and getting daily motivation from her talks and advice.  I can recommend her to anyone that’s hungry for success or that needs to get back in the saddle and start kicking butt and taking names!

How New Beginnings Can Help You Deal With Burnout

How New Beginnings Can Help You Deal With Burnout

How New Beginnings Can Help You Deal With Burnout

NEW BEGINNINGS : Why New Beginnings?

That’s life… that’s what people say.  You know the song from ‘ol blue eyes, Frank Sinatra.  That’s the thing about life isn’t it?  It changes, with ebbs and flows and nothing is guaranteed.

So, what happens when life decides to knock you upside the head and you’re faced with new beginnings?  Well, you embrace them of course.  Let’s face it, change is difficult and certain changes can seriously challenge your resolve.  That being said, this is why I like and embrace new beginnings.

A Journey

For as long as I can remember, I’ve battled a little, well a lot, actually with consistency and routine.  I get bored easily and like to be challenged.  I also clash with corporate culture and authority and the older I’ve become, the more I’ve kicked back against the rules.  It’s not arrogance, nor ego.  It’s incessant determination and ambition.  I don’t settle and thus prefer to march to the beat of my own drum.  Admittedly, some of my decisions haven’t been the right ones and I should’ve zigged where I’d zagged, but, somehow, I always found the strength to bounce back and make things happen!

That’s the thing about new beginnings though.  It’s another opportunity to try your hand at that hobby, project or entrepreneurial spirit.  Sure, it takes guts, sweat and at times many tears to push through, but I think it’s worth it.  There’s a feeling of accomplishment when you’re challenged and pushed beyond the realm of your comfort zone.

I recently effected just such a change in my own life.  I was blessed to be employed by a company and initially the tasks were good for me as I had to learn new systems, processes and procedures very quickly.  At times I felt like the proverbial duck – all was calm on the surface, but below the water I was paddling for all my worth.  Just short of the two-year mark I decided to see my doctor as I was facing major burnout.  My doctor booked me off for two weeks and in that time, I had to make some serious decisions about my health and my career.  I took a bold leap and decided to resign and go solo.  As is the norm, my decision was met with disdain and many ‘how could you?’ comments, especially in this volatile employment market.  I dug my heels in though and knew, that with hard work and determination, I would make it on my own.

Finding Your Mojo

So, where to now? Onwards and upwards I say.  I’ve had sleepless nights worrying about the finances and ‘job security’, but through it all, I have trusted myself enough to know that I would make it.  Work would be sent my way.  I am sincerely grateful for the opportunities bestowed upon me.  In a competitive, global market, I have clients who choose me to assist them.  This is a big deal and I take my responsibilities and service offerings seriously.  The power of networking and taking the risk has paid off.

Ultimately, change is the only constant in our lives.  We live in a world of technological advancement that can be terribly daunting and render one feeling lost and vulnerable.  Take the challenges a day at a time and keep setting goals for yourself.  If needs be, engage with a mentor or coach to assist with those hurdles.  They’re always going to be there, it’s how you jump them that matters.

Lastly, find your mojo!  Be confident and know you make a difference!

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!