How Did You Begin 2013?

January 2, 2013

Unlike some, I spent much of today (January 1,2013) working.  Yes, I know the saying, “All work and no play…”  however, I felt driven to work and to get some things in place to begin the year with a more inspiring work area.

After fielding a morning call from a client, I decided to spend several hours on projects for another client – fun, creative stuff – yay!  That was plenty of time on the clock especially with my son home from school today.

Next, was creating a better work space.  A space where things wouldn’t linger as my plan is to have a home for everything.  I mean everything!  Nothing is to be without a proper home.  Over my 8 1/2 years of working as a virtual assistant from my own home office, this has been easy to manage and maintain, but by the end of this year in particular, things seemed to get stacked albeit in an organized fashion, but still “homeless”.

My revamp started when I pitched my beautifully photographed 2012 wall calendar which freed up a bright white space on the wall and I have no desire to fill it.  I like the white, open, uncluttered appearance of this new space.  New pretty pens were recently purchased (I love jotting notes, appointments, and more in fun colors), my 2013 desk calendar which I use daily vs. any online version, new file folders for clients as necessary to house current project info, notes, etc.  A clean work slate, new desk plant, and some of my tried-and-true check point systems in place, I feel that 2013 is going to be a fabulous year.

Plus, I took time to try out a new yoga stretch.  My plan is to try a new stretch, yoga move, or exercise each week/every week.  This week it is yoga move Warrior 3 – woo hoo.  I think my gluteus maximus will feel this tomorrow!

Happy 2013!  I am big on goals (if you’ve read this blog you know that), not so big on New Year’s resolutions and I’m okay with that! :)

Alrighty, I have got to get my son’s favorite dinner made … easy beef stroganoff, plus tonight’s dessert is homemade easy blackberry cobbler.  Yum!

Tell me about any projects you completed to kick your new year off on the right foot!

Best to you!
Jan

Goals – July

July 10, 2012

Hey there,

For those following the GOALS, this is just a friendly reminder that 2012 is half-gone.  We can’t get those first six months back or rewrite the time we didn’t use to focus on y/our goals.

Are you on track – right now – with your goals?  If not, can you identify where things strayed?

What tools do you use to stay on track and achieve your goals?

Best to you,
Jan

Monthly Checklist

June 23, 2012

As a busy business owner, homeowner, and mom of an active 4 year old, I have quite a bit on my plate.  In reality, the flow doesn’t always flow as planned and although I hate to admit it, things that I *should* do, don’t always get done.

I think it was 2009 when I implemented a little monthly checklist.  Don’t know about you, but I am a visual person (maybe that’s why I like doing graphic design projects).  While super simple, this little checklist serves as an accountability system on my being productive.

Here’s what works for me – on the page for the entire month at-a-glance (I use a Weekly/Monthly Planner), I prepare my super simple list for the month with little empty boxes to the left beckoning their check mark:  post to business blog; daily earning goal (and an area to note how many days I achieved that goal); monthly marketing quota; act of kindness; and a few related to personal goals (e.g.  monthly home improvement project, post to my personal blog, money to savings, etc.)

While it may seems silly, like I said the accountability side is that driving factor when the end of the month is looming.

HTH – Best to you,
Jan

 

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

As a virtual assistant offering Social Media assistance with everything from set up to ongoing posting/maintenance, I am a proponent of using social media to market and propel your business upward.

While there are a vast number of mistakes (some obvious, others not so much!) that I’ve discussed with clients and via blogs and my social media networks, one I’d like to write about today is the importance of evaluating your results.

social media logosYou need to have ways to measure your social media marketing results, otherwise you won’t know if your efforts are worthwhile.  You may be excited to see your friends and followers increasing each month but how many are paying attention to your messages?  Are they looking into and buying your products or services?  Decide on the best metrics that make sense for you and your business (i.e.: click-throughs to your website;  sales resulting from social media site referrals; exclusive social media network coupons being redeemed, etc.).  Analyze and document these results.  It will be extremely helpful to know what’s working and what needs to be improved in order to get the results you desire.

Tip: Set some goals for yourself and be dedicated to achieving them.

Need help – contact me!
Best to you,
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

Messy Desk?

February 25, 2011

Is your messy desk slowing down your progress?
Does it make you feel less efficient?
More than likely, your honest answers would be “Yes!” to both questions!

disorganized office messy desk stress

My suggestion:  next time you get up from your desk, simply take 60 seconds to straighten up.   I mean literally, count out 60 seconds as you quickly organize the items on your desk.  You will be amazed at how much you can get accomplished in 1 focused minute.  I guarantee, you will feel better (and probably relieved) about working when you return to your desk.

Best to you,
Jan

Work From Home

January 3, 2011

Watch this video with Tory Johnson about working from home that my long-time friend, Imo, shared with me.  This contains really great information and thought provoking dialouge for those considering starting a work from home adventure.work from home video Tory Johnson

Go for it!  If nothing else, lay out some goals for this brand new year to get yourself on the path to where you REALLY want to be!

Best to you!
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

Good Day All!

We are closing in on the half way point for 2010!  Can you believe it?
– Are you achieving your goals?
– What challenges or obstacles are keeping you from reaching your goals?

Personally, I have had to alter a few aspects of what I initially considered to virtual assistant meets goalbe the “definition” of my goals.  Example: under my Career section, one goal addressed having a “full” client base – which USED to mean having enough business coming in to fill 8-10 hours each day/5 days a week.  However, to fit my current work/life balance, my full work day as a virtual assistant is closer to 4 hours due to other responsibilities.  According to my *old* definition, I wasn’t achieving my full work day, but alas, I AM!   Not only am I achieving this goal, I’m exceeding it with plenty of work and best of all, I’m working with some really great clients…even “ideal” clients.  I love it!  A big THANK YOU to my pleasant, professional, upbeat, busy clients …. ahhh … success abounds!

Best to you,
Jan