I received a referral from a client yesterday who had given my contact information to a friend.   This particular client has known me for about 30 years (since I was a teen) and knows my extensive and diverse background.  Not sure of what this potential new client might need, she suggested to call me.

After speaking with the potential client and finding out she wanted me to help her with sales – calls and in person – I told her it didn’t appear to be a good fit for me/my business at this time.  She told me about her/their project and the item they would be selling and it sparked my interest.  I think her/their idea is fabulous.  We decided to meet later today to discuss it and view the rough draft of the item which is going to print later today.

I thought more about it through the morning and decided to rescind our meeting and my assisting with this sales project.  However, if she needed assistance with social media marketing, creating effective marketing pieces, or building a web presence, this IS what I do as a virtual assistant.  It felt GREAT to say “no” to a project that doesn’t fit my business.

yes noIt may have seemed indecisive because while I really want to help people achieve their goals and ease their anxiety/stress, I had to stay true to what my goals and desires are for my business.

I just read an article by Donna Toothaker (love her!) on being passionate about your own business and how saying “yes” to a project that you really don’t want to do isn’t fair to you or your client.  True!

Best to you,
Jan

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

Whistle While I Work

December 14, 2012

Well, not really whistling, but my work day is so much more pleasant when I have good tunes playing in the background.  Granted there are some jobs (like searching code for errors) when I have to turn the music off.  Decided to stick with holiday tunes for a while today.  Plus, I can sing along without any of my clients or subs hearing!  I love being a virtual assistant and working from home!

Merry Christmas to you and whistle or sing while you work today :)
Best to you,Jan

I guess one of the best aspects of owning my own virtual assistance business is the fact that I get to choose the clients I partner with and, luckily, have made some really, really good choices! : )I love my virtual assistant clients

I work with individuals in varied industries (from science to those in real estate) and I get to work on exceptional and uncommon projects.  Yay!

Loving my diverse day today…thanks to my clients!

Hope yours is a good day, too!

THANK YOU!
Jan

 

Social Media Networking

August 23, 2012

Personally, I prefer using Facebook for my business, LinkedIn and Twitter – in that order.  I have other accounts but do not use them the way I initially intended when I signed up.  social media logos

Also, I’m not a huge proponent of blasting the exact same post/info across all networks and think that it may be/become annoying on some level to those who follow you on more than 1 social media network (which I’ve said in the past).

Do you have a preferred social media network for your business?  If you use one and not others, why?  What are your thoughts/comments?

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

 

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!

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

 

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