Sunday, November 29, 2009

K is for Kids

Do you want to have more time with your children, pets, and partners?

Seems like a simple question right? Unfortunately, life isn't that simple most of the time. No matter how secure you are in your decision to be a stay at home mom or dad, you will most likely have a hint of doubt about your decision at some point.

There is an idea shared among some obtuse professionals which implies that somehow, you are less of an asset of society if you choose to stay at home with your children. When, in fact, I can't think of a more valuable contribution to make than to raise the future of mankind. (LOL, sort of. ;) Regardless of how peers may tease you a bit about "sitting at home watching talk shows and eating bonbons," we all know how far this is from the truth.

Your Life Up Till Now

The typical working adult in America works from 8-5 Monday through Friday. The average commute time is 25 minutes to work then of course you have to have 25 minutes to get back home. We try to get our 6 to 8 hours of sleep every night. We have a lot of responsibilities to take care of in our 24 hours.

This leaves very little time left over to spend with our families. No wonder we are chronically fatigued, the divorce rate is high, and supposedly working parents only spend 19 minutes with their children every day. We barely have enough time to floss let alone fit in any down time!

5 quick tips for time management

* First, understand how much you can handle. (Work during nap time, when they color, you schedule, etc.)
* Second, be careful what you promise (To kids or clients!). Say what you mean and mean what you say. If you say in a minute, that means 60 seconds, not 10 minutes.
* Three, automate everything you can.
* Four, learn your optimum time periods throughout the day to get the most done. It's different for everyone!
* Five, limit your time on the computer – I strongly recommend 2 hours a day max for the first few months. You will be more productive if you limit your time on projects. It's worth the effort to make sure your life stays balanced. The main point in working at home is to maximize your time with your children (quality, not just quantity). No kid wants to be raised by Nick Jr. You know the difference in just being there and being present there with your kids. Your clients deserve your best as well. It is very possible to do this right, so start off having the right habits!

Great Expectations
When you begin the process of fitting in a work schedule in your home work schedule, you must take small steps. You are probably not going to start out making $100,000 a year. However, I believe you should establish challenging goals. As long as you leave room in your plans for adjustments.

According Google’s neat little insights page, the number of people searching for “real online jobs” has risen +90% in the past 12 months! And many of those people will be bombarded with garbage and get rich quick scams. This is sad. But it will only get better if real information becomes available before the false information. That is the goal of this blog. We have the technology to do it right, we just need to share the “know how”.

If you have anything to add to this information, please do we give full credit to resources.

Two Links Work at Home Mom sites that have interesting articles for becoming a Virtual Assistant.

How to become a Virtual Assistant

A Story of How She Became a Virtual Assistant and got it all together

Sunday, November 22, 2009

J is for the Jobs

There are a number of odd jobs Virtual Assistants end up doing, some are fun and some are kind of tedious. This is a list of jobs that almost any starting out VA or consultant can do. These are the kind of jobs you can do until you find your specialty:

* Data entry
* Editing articles
* Gift orders and/or wish lists
* Remote PC support
* Research target markets for advertisers
* Travel Arrangements
* Setup business facebook profiles,
* Writing articles / freelance writing
* More standard Virtual Assistant services

Experience will teach you how to do these this in the most efficient ways possible. Make your clients happy because they won't have to do these jobs. DON'T take on more than you can handle. Your goal should be to become efficient in a specific area to be able to market yourself and streamline your business. Your clients will be your most valuable source of advertisement.

What titles have you had in the past? This is a list of occupations that quite easily transfer to the virtual world. If the title has a * next to it then it is one of the occupations highlighted in an article dated 7/29/09 called: 10 Best Work at Home Jobs and if you are interested in the options you have doing this job online, simply click on the article link and read more about it.

*Administrative Assistant/Secretary (commonly called Virtual Assistant)
*Call Center Representative
  Chef or Baker (You can make cooking videos on YouTube)
  Criminal Profiler
  Data Entry Specialist
*Franchise Owner
*Freelance Writer/Editor
  Fashion Designer
  Graphic Designer (Artist)
  Historian (e.g. Ancestry)
*Medical Transcriptionist
  Marketing Expert
  Market Researcher
  Project Manager
  Researcher for data of any type
  Social Network Addict (I use "addict" in the lightest sense of the meaning :)
*Technical Support Specialist
  Therapist and Advisors
*Travel Agents
*Web Developer / Designer

Other Valuable Work at Home Articles for Virtual Assistants

10 VA Skills: HOW MANY DO YOU ALREADY HAVE? article date: 9/3/09

Could you be a virtual administrative assistant? article from the "Chicago Sun Times" dated 9/9/2009

The Virtual Assistant A Team: The Helpers to Business Success

This is also an extension of my blog post: Virtual Assistant Jobs

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I is for Instant Messengers

These can come in handy when you are working for some clients and business associates in real time. And almost all of them can log your conversations for referencing later if necessary. As you begin to network with other VA’s and build teams, collaboration via chat can save time in a way that e-mail cannot match.

The best instant messengers are:


AIM pro

Yahoo! Messenger


This is a great tool under Google business apps:

Google Talk

Google Talk

Windows Live Messenger

There is a program called Trillian that has a free base version. With Trillian you can chat on Windows, iPhone, and their web based platform. Supports Astra, Windows Live, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, MySpace, AIM, Email, Google Talk, and others. The professional version costs $25, and if you're interested in this tool it might be worth is because when I tried it and I had issues with logging my conversations. And of course, I had a client that logging came in handy (you know, the busy type that was only online for a little bit every other day, so there was no asking to ) so I didn't use it much.


Other chat programs worth mentioning:

ICQ - haven't used this one in a long time

Pidgin - supposed to be able to support most other im programs but apparently has known issues with yahoo

Meebo - going to look into this one more

Jabber - recently taken over by Cisco

If you have an opinion of any of these chat programs, let us all know. Leave a comment.