Work at Home Life

Virtual Assistants, Joining Forces, and Reinventing Work At Home

Skype for Small Business September 20, 2010

Filed under: Virtual Office Tools,Work at Home — Amber Whitener - Virtual IT Assistant @ 8:47 am
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Oprah has been skyping forever, or so it seems. I’m not really Oprah’s biggest fan, but I gotta love a woman who sets trends worldwide. 😉 Is it time you started utilizing it too? On the very front page of Skype’s website it will tell you all of the things that their service will do for free.

  • Voice and video calls to anyone else on Skype
  • Conference calls with three or more people
  • Instant messaging, file transfer and screen sharing

What is so cool about it?
The screen sharing option I love. Of course, it isn’t as wonderful as remote desktop or Teamviewer where you are able to take over the shared screen to literally show guests how to do something on their computer. Let’s face it though, these options aren’t universal, and not everyone has cash to drop on a Teamviewer license for each client computer.

Think about it though, how often do you have to say: “OK, now what do you see?” when you are trying to walk someone through any task on their computer? And people often remember how and where to do something when they do it themselves other than have you take over their mouse and do it for them right?

How does it compare?
Many of you still use AIM pro for the desktop sharing which I would say isn’t any better or worse than the Skype version. If you don’t have either then you might as well jump on the skype bandwagon since you will likely find more businesses on Skype than you will AOL.

Skype Business Solutions
Skype’s business solutions offer more services like integrating with PBX operators (like if you already use Ringcentral for voicemail boxes and such) and if you have employees across the globe, you can set up an account for them.

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Your Inner Dialogue is a Self-fulfilling Prophecy August 23, 2010

Filed under: Work at Home — Amber Whitener - Virtual IT Assistant @ 11:37 am
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What kinds of thoughts do you have? Are they positive or negative?

  • I am so tired.
  • I am never going to get this done.
  • This client is so picky they are driving me batty!

If these are thoughts that you are having on a consistent basis, you might be guilty of self-sabotage.

A bad mood will often lead to a bad day. Your outlook often gauges your success. If you try to gain a client but keep thinking, “Oh my gosh, I don’t know if I am good enough!“, then you can bet that they will not be sure if you are good enough.

Positive affirmations are a great way of changing your insecure thoughts into ones that lead you to a confident and more fulfilling life at work or home.

new opportunities affirmation

Try saying something like this out loud. Hearing it in your own voice, is like giving yourself a pep talk everyday.

Remember, your thoughts are often your self-fulfilling prophecy. The good news is that they are not set in stone.

Credits:  Positive Affirmation, Photo

 

Change is Inevitable, Progress is Work August 16, 2010

Filed under: Learning By Example,Work at Home — Amber Whitener - Virtual IT Assistant @ 1:53 pm
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Ryans 1st day of preschool

It's ok to cry, not because you're sad, but because you're proud. (Click to enlarge.)

It’s back to school week for some of us work at home parents. It’s difficult to watch our little one’s wearing their brand new tennis shoes and this year’s “cool” backpack. Today was particularly hard for me, because my baby went off to preschool. *sniff* *sniff*

This entire morning I was working around the house and playing games with my daughter who starts third grade tomorrow. We are trying to make the most of her last day of summer vacation. It all happens so fast doesn’t it? Hence the reason why this post is going to be quite short today.

This also means that I am starting a new chapter in my work at home life. With both children off to school (at least for three days a week), there will be more time for me to focus on my work and more quiet for me to actually call my clients! 🙂 So far, I have done 90% of my contacting clients via email and Facebook. It will be nice to hear their voices and take note of their requests in real time.

What I wanted to write about today is change. We all have choices in our lives that bring us to a sort of crossroads. All we can do is go left, right, or forward. However, we know that we can never go back to where we were. Sometimes, we get lucky and we can ask each other for directions, or leave each other instructions and how-tos in our blogs. But in the end, it all boils down to what we decide to do with our turn at those crossroads.

I don’t usually like to post such philosophical messages. However, I felt it was important today. If you think about it, as virtual assistants and entrepreneurs, we are all taking a road less traveled. It is up to us to decide how to pave the way and make it work for us. Once the path is beaten down, it’s becoming easier to continually “revisit” success.

Tweet: Change is Inevitable, Progress is Work
 

Time… Our Most Valuable Asset August 12, 2010

Filed under: Work at Home — Kairos Business Solutions @ 2:56 pm
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Maureen FlorisIn the spotlight today is Maureen Floris, Virtual Assistant at Kairos Business Solutions.

Time is the most valuable asset we have. We cannot make it go faster, make it slow down or go back and do it over again.

How do we spend this valuable asset? Do we really understand it? If you’ve watched the movie ‘The Bucket List’ you’ll have an idea of what I’m talking about. It seems like people who are dealing with an illness are the ones who really ‘get it’. They know how precious our time is here on earth so they make each moment last, taking slow breaths to make it last longer.

We may catch glimpses of what it would be like to enjoy each moment when we are on vacation (unless you’re like my sister and her husband who hike for hours, but even they stop at the top of the mountain to catch their breath – literally!) or visiting another country that understands life is not just about getting things done. I experienced this while in Mexico. For them, life is about relationships – family and friends. Everything else is secondary. While this may seem to our North American culture as lazy, I found it refreshing. They had less things but they were less stressed and much happier. So how can we, living here in a culture that demands our constant attention, immediate replies to emails, twitter and phone calls, remember to slow down, breathe and enjoy the moment?

Start Quote MeWhile living in a culture that demands our constant attention, immediate replies to emails, twitter and phone calls; how can we remember to slow down, breathe and enjoy the moment?Quote Me End

I’m not the first person to ask this, nor will I be the last, but hopefully this will evoke some thought in you to take action – or perhaps inaction, as it were. Also, I won’t pretend I came up with the following suggestion, but I thought it was brilliant and wanted to share it with you.

  • Delete it: Is there something you’re doing over and over again that really is a time waster and not moving you forward in your business (or your life)?
  • Delegate: You may be at that point where you really can’t do all the work. It’s time to think about hiring someone. Hiring a Virtual Assistant is a great option, as she provides expertise in many administrative duties and really does care about your success.
  • Date it: If it needs to get done, schedule it! Give yourself lots of lead time, especially if it’s for a client. In case you are sick or an emergency arises, you don’t want to leave yourself short of time.
  • Do it: What needs to be done now? Stop procrastinating and just do it! Begin your day with your least favorite task. This will allow the rest of the day to be free to do what you love to do. It’s amazing how much better you’ll feel and how much harder you’ll work!

Once you get in the habit of doing this, you will create for yourself time to do what you really want to do. And maybe for you that just means breathing…

Tweet: Time...Our Most Valuable Asset

Wishing you the best,
Maureen

www.kairosbusiness.com
twitter: @KairosBusiness

 

Looking for Virtual Assistants to Spotlight July 26, 2010

Filed under: Work at Home — Amber Whitener - Virtual IT Assistant @ 2:23 pm
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We have posted so many tools, trials, and successes of our virtual businesses this year. Now we want to share the stage with you!

How Being a Guest Blogger Helps You:

This is a free blog resource and it is not a paid opportunity, it is simply an opportunity to share your knowledge with other virtual business owners and get some exposure for yourself. We currently have built up more than two hundred weekly visitors to our blog posts and that number is growing every week. You are welcome to include a banner of no bigger than 468 x 60 or 200 x 200 at the bottom of your post. However, this is not a request for sales posts, it is a request to share experience. You are also welcome to link back to your business site or blog (a maximum of two linkbacks per contributed post will apply).

What We are Looking for in a Guest Blog Post:

Eventually we hope to be inviting two or more bloggers to post weekly or monthly as we do. We need one person for Tuesdays and one person for Thursdays, but for now we are leaving these days open for guest writers. We are inviting all virtual business owners, virtual assistants, and other solo entrepreneurs to take the spotlight and write a guest post on this blog. We are looking for many types of businesses like:

  • financial investment advisers
  • YouTube channel operators
  • podcasters
  • copyright editors
  • legal advisers

or even just a new viewpoint of the virtual assistant businesses that we already write about every week.

These posts are to be real life, original posts about you or your work at home life. If you want to rant or rave about a particular application or virtual business resource, you must write about your experience with the product or service in first person. Unless someone is officially charged with doing something illegal, we will probably not accept negative posts about a specific person or small business. Even though we all love a juicy bit of gossip now and then, we are not in the business of starting rumors. 😉

Quality Assurance:

Before writing the post about any specific topic, you are welcome to contact us and make sure that it is appropriate for our blog. We are welcoming all kinds of input. However, in the interest of protecting our reputation, we will have to approve any content before it is posted.

All posts must be proofread using professional etiquette and grammatically correct. All material must be non-offensive and viewable to the general public. If you do not have a proofreader, Jen has been gracious enough to offer professional proofreading for five dollars per post (with a maximum of two hundred and fifty words). This unheard of deal is only available for contributors to the “It’s a Work at Home Life” blog, for this special or other editing services, contact Jen.

Take the Spotlight

Contact us to contribute to “It’s a Work at Home Life” blog

 

Do You Know What Time It Is? Yes, It’s Time to Get a New Watch! June 1, 2010

Filed under: Virtual Office Tools,Work at Home — Amber Whitener - Virtual IT Assistant @ 3:23 pm
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Remember this little “joke” from elementary school? 😀 It fit well with my post today because I am sharing some different ways to help you keep track of your time. (Especially if your current ways aren’t working for you.) It is so important to make sure you are keeping track of your time. The first step to efficiently planning any sort of activity (including work) is to know how you are spending your time.

Get a Timer

Go down to your local Radio Shack or electronic store and buy a digital timer that you use only for your office.
timerTrack time spent on:

  • client calls,
  • tasks,
  • research,
  • email, and anything else you can think of.
 

Find a Browser Plug-in to Track Productivity

This will help you keep track of how long you are spending on certain websites. (Take note WordPress & Joomla developers!)

Chrome Plugin:
Stay Focusd

 

Firefox add-on:
Rescue Time

 

I couldn’t find one for Internet Explorer, however, the next timer is the next best option if you prefer IE.

Download-able Desktop Timers

Cool Timer is a free download for your PC to clock your time. * If you do download this product, I recommend that you uncheck the installation for the browser toolbar.

 

Online Project Management Tools


Zoho’s CRM online service is free for up to 3 users, and offer very affordable month subscriptions for larger teams. You can create contacts and log calls, tasks, etc.

 


You can also check out Google Sites if you would like to try another robust project management system. All you have to do is create a new site and choose the project management template.

 

Conclusion

Last week I posted a poll to find out how many years of experience our readers have in virtual business. We were pleasantly surprised to find out that we have a very good mix of fresh newcomers and seasoned veterans who read our blog. As any experienced virtual assistant will tell you, in the beginning, time will be your greatest asset. So remember that your time is very valuable, and you must learn early to keep track of it. Many of the tools I have shared with you today are free or offer free trials. Remember that free is only a place to start. As your business grows and your time becomes more scarce, invest in quality products and services that save you time so you can focus on your customers.

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How Long Have You Been a Virtual Assistant? May 24, 2010

Filed under: Work at Home — Amber Whitener - Virtual IT Assistant @ 5:13 pm
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We would like to start a poll for the readers of our blog to find out what experience levels we are helping through our posts.

If you would like to participate, please take a moment to answer the following question:

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Your feedback is highly valued, and with these results we can begin to provide you all with targeted information that will help you in your virtual business endeavors!

 

 
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