Cell Phone Contact List

January 10, 2013

I bet you never think about how many people you connect with in a year.  New potential clients, new subcontractors, other virtual assistants, people you meet at networking groups, other parents at school, someone in cell address bookyour church group, babysitters, etc.  I am known for grabbing my cell, plugging in their name and number and that’s it… done, right?  Great plan if you always have your cell and it operates perfectly.  Mine did or at least I thought so until just after the new year when all of my contacts vanished.  Now what was my babysitter’s number?  Her mom’s number?  My other babysitter’s number?  Hope I don’t have a date next week … LOL!

This post is to remind you to take a little time to either download or jot down all of the contact information that currently resides in your cell phone.   The start of the new year is probably a good time to complete this task – akin to changing the batteries in the smoke detector ;-)

Just my suggestion!
Best to you,
Jan

Find It Faster

May 30, 2012

Sometimes I forget the things I know :)  I go through my day using techniques and short cuts that are automatic/inherent.  The example that inspired this post was while online with a client, we were doing a little research together.  Of course, we received a staggering amount of seemingly pertinent information within seconds from our Google search.  When she chose a document from the search, we had to wait while the huge pdf file loaded only to find that it was a 459 page document.  I laughed when we saw the size of the document and sounding a bit overwhelmed she said, “It is going to take forever to find” her sought after key phrase.  Not!

When I took a few seconds to walk her through the process of  how to “find” her key phrase (using Ctrl+F) and she found the exact information she sought in a millisecond, she was amazed!  I love it when I can dazzle a client and empower them with tools to make their life easier.

Best to you,
Jan

Work / Life Balance

March 2, 2012

I love owning my own business and wouldn’t want to change anything as being a virtual assistant has been an amazing career thus far.  However, sometimes it is difficult to find the best solutions to obtain a work/life balance that fits.

I have found that setting boundaries is crucial but also keep in mind that you don’t have to be super-woman.  To achieve a balance between work and home life, you should know and understand your priorities—and it is vital to cut yourself some slack!

You need to realize that for your career and family life to flourish, you will probably need to adjust your standards when it comes to the some things at home like cleaning and cooking – they may need to slide.  This was extremely difficult for me to accept especially when it came to the cleaning side.  However, try mapping out a comfortable number of home-cooking and cleaning days/times (even schedule it on your calendar), then let the rest go.  And, don’t stress over it.

If you are a virtual assistant or other stay-at-home professional, you will find your workflow will improve because you can stay focused on client work knowing that your family life time is scheduled.

Your kids would rather have you take the time (schedule this, too) and engage with them directly even if it is to just sit down and read a book, color, or play cards with them vs. scrubbing the toilet or cleaning the floor – try it one time and you’ll see it in their eyes.  They will feel important and that is priceless!

Processes and Procedures

December 10, 2011

I am an avid fan and huge proponent of having written Processes and Procedures in place for your business.   This probably stems back to my corporate days when I was the business lead for Change of Century (remember that one? LOL!) for our division of the corporation.   While creating a Processes and Procedures guide or manual may seem like a lot of work when starting from scratch, it is essential to document in detail what you do, how you do it, who is involved, and what to do if something happens to you.

Sadly, this recently came into play when a client passed away (RIP Mark C).   His staff contacted me to take down his website and paypal account because the orders couldn’t be fulfilled (and weren’t really a top priority at the moment).  It was several days after his passing and it got me thinking about the overwhelming task his family and staff will be facing as reality sets in and things need to be handled.

  • Do you have a Processes and Procedures guide or manual in place now?
  • If you have one, when was it last updated?
  • Do you have someone delegated to step in should something happen?

This is especially important for small business owners.   Who will communicate to your customers?

I know ;) you are building your GOALS list for 2012, so it is the perfect time to address the need for a Processes and Procedures guide – or at least, review and update your current guide.

If you need assistance putting your Processes and Procedures guide together, contact me, or your virtual assistant and get it done!

Just some thought provoking information you may want to consider.

Best to you,
Jan

Resume Writing Tips

August 30, 2011

Good Day All,

As a general services virtual assistant, I help clients with a diverse range of services.  Over the past few months,  I have been inundated with requests to assist clients/potential clients with writing their resume.  Seriously, crazy numbers of people have been contacting me.  Yay!  In the current marketplace and sheer volume of candidates seeking the best positions, your resume must be high-impact to get you in the door for that all important interview.resume writing tip

While some resumes have some basic big mistakes, in my opinion, there are several things I keep having to address and wanted to put a couple of tips out here.

1) Create your resume specifically for the position you are seeking.  This means you will need to recreate your resume each time you apply for a position – yes, a little time consuming but very important!

2) Keep it 1-2 pages.  A resume isn’t the vehicle to get you the job, it is the tool to get you into the interview where you get to shine and embellish!

3) Be brief but concise with relevant information, successes, and use action words.  Focus on the actions that led to great results not your responsibilities.  You want this potential employer to relate to how you will be a benefit to their organization.

4)  Don’t send a resume printed on an ink jet printer – you know why.

5) Always include a stunning cover letter.

Good luck!
Jan

It is the half-year mark and wanted to check in with you to see how you are doing on reaching your annual goals.  Is it going well?  If not, can you analyze each goal and see where you can make adjustments/improvements?

Personally, I’ve encountered so many obstacles thus far in 2011 – things I never imagined – my business and personal goals are way off track at this moment.  However, I will not let this impede my efforts in moving forward to achieve my goals … plus I still have 6 months before I tally up the score for the year.

Best to you,
Jan

Nifty tip for Firefox users – after a “virus” seemed to be overtaking my search results and I couldn’t get it to stop.  Try changing your Tools> Options> to Never Remember Browser History.  Read this tip via my newsletter from Steve at WorldStart.com.  Seems to have stopped for the moment after 3 days of havoc!

Happy Black Friday!
Jan

It is amazing to me how fast time is flying by!  Remember, when you were 14 and you couldn’t wait to turn 16 so you could drive?  Personally it seems like the years are getting shorter even though the calendar still has 365 days to check off.

My point?  2010 is almost over and I haven’t mapped out my goals for 2011 yet – have you?  There are still a few items to check off my 2010 list and frankly, I don’t know if I’ll achieve them in the next few weeks.  However, I can add them to next year with a higher level of attention.  All in all , I’m happy with what I HAVE achieved overall in 2010.

Now that I’ve planted this seed, it is time to get cracking on your 2011 goals list.  And, it is best to WRITE them down.  Start with at least 1 goal for each of the following categories: Financial, Career, Relationships (family/friends),  Free Time, Health, and Personal Goals.

Best to you,
Jan

6 Years Ago Today…

September 9, 2010

6 years ago today I launched my eva-colo website telling the world my virtual assistance business was officially open!  Of course, I’m totally revamping the site now, again :) I love what I do and am SO very appreciative of my clients – they/you are the best!  Thank you.

I cannot believe how quickly time has flown by.

Best to you,

Jan

Labeling Power Cords

August 30, 2010

Recently, I spent time with someone who had to unplug a couple of computer components and had to chase down each cord by hand.  He was a little frustrated by this exercise.  I imparted a little tip that I’ve used for years on power cords for my computer and television components.  Make little labels for each power cord.  They don’t have to be fancy labels, heck,  a little 2″ x 1/4″ slice of paper and some clear tape will do.  Just write VCR, TV, cable box or monitor, speakers, USB hub on the strip of paper, fold it in half (makes it about 1″ x 1/4″), wrap it around the end of the cord near the outlet plug and secure with tape – voila! you’ve just labeled your cord!

I couldn’t get a good pic of my computer cords, but here’s the one’s behind my tv, DVD, VCR.  cord labels for electronics

If you don’t quite get it from my description, email me and I’ll break it down for you! ;-)

Best to you!
Jan