Work at Home Life

Virtual Assistants, Joining Forces, and Reinventing Work At Home

Thanksgiving. November 19, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized,Work at Home — kena-virtuallyassistingyou @ 11:01 am
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The last shreds of fall hold on like the stubborn leaves on an oak tree. You rake, and rake, but when you look up you realize they are still hanging there waiting for their OWN time to drop.

This year, Thanksgiving seems like one of those leaves. We have to wait for it to come before we can spring open the gates of the Christmas season. Around here, our neighbors seem more eager than ever to get on with the season of giving. So many lights are already up, days before the turkey is served, and the sales started weeks ago.

This eagerness points to the reason Thanksgiving is so perfectly placed. It might just seem like the road bump holiday that gets shoved out of the way in a mad rush to the Christmas season, but maybe instead, we should think of it as a starting point for all we celebrate at the end of the year.

After all, how can we give, if we do not first know what we are thankful for?

This year there are many blessings that bring us thanks. Family: who love and support us in what sometimes seems like a wild adventure. Children: who are the reason for the work we do. Friends: old ones who can be with us daily to bring joy and new ones that are physically miles away but always close in our hearts. Clients: whose enthusiasm is contagious, and whose success is part of our reward.

We are thankful too, that the Internet is bringing us together in new ways. Social media is something to celebrate. It is an opportunity. And the chance to pass its power on to others is a great blessing.

Thank you for your business.

Thank you for your friendship.

And as your thanks turns into giving this season, we wish you much happiness with those you love.

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I’m Admitting It! I Can’t Do It All, All The Time. July 9, 2010

Ok…I’m admitting it!  I need a break!  Is that wrong?  Does that make me a bad Mom?  I don’t think so – everyone needs a break every now and then.  Since summer break began I’ve been juggling a very busy schedule.  I can’t speak for the rest of you Work at Home folks, but I know I try to do it all and it’s not working right now.  I needed a little time to work and focus without “Mom, can you make me a milkshake?” or “Mom, can we go swimming NOW?”  In a desperate plea for some alone time, I called my Mom to ask if the boys could come over.  Without any hesitation she said, “Sure, I’ll come get them.  We’d love to have them.”   Thank you so much to my Mom, Dad and Brother.  I have the most wonderful family anyone could ask for!  

Being a WAHM or WAHD [Work at Home Dad] as Scott Stratten aka UnMarketing made famous here… is a wonderful way of life if you can make it work for you.  And, I can see how some just give up and say I’m going back to work – as in, getting a job outside of the home.  I have a lot of respect for working moms and dads.  I have no idea how they get everything done.  I’m at home all day (usually) and I still can’t find the time to do the things that need to be done.  Even with daily chores set for my boys, some days it still looks like a tornado went right through the living room.  A schedule used to be a way of life for us here. But, as my kids get older it’s not working quite as well as it use to.  As a matter of fact, my son said just yesterday, “Um, yeah.  I’m 10 years old now – I don’t need quiet time.”  Ok, so maybe YOU don’t, but I DO! 

This summer has already been very busy for us.  I’ve taken on new clients and even kicked a few to the curb – no more time suckers for me!  On June 25th I had surgery [female issues – don’t ask 😉 ] and last weekend one my 13th wedding anniversary, I was wrestling with my youngest and ended up with a broken nose!  LOL  Who would’ve ever thought a 7 yr-old could break a grownups nose?!  Him breaking my nose wasn’t the bad part…ME  having to pop my own nose back into place was.  OMG!  Talk about peeing your pants!  Ever tried to focus with a broken nose?  Not so easy to do.  It was funny, but it wasn’t, ya know?!  LOL  Oh, did I mention this weekend (July 10th ) is my birthday and July 14th is my son’s 8th birthday?  Phew!  As you can see – it’s already been a crazy summer, but you roll with the punches, right?   

Making life work as an Entrepreneur is very important to me.  I want to work from home and be here for my family.  My life as a WAHM can be hectic, but I love every moment of what I do and I wouldn’t trade my country life for one moment of city life.   

I found this article to be helpful and I’d like to share it with you – How to Work at Home Successfully . 

The Boys and I last Christmas

Tweet: I'm Admitting It! I Can't Do It All, All The Time
 

Exchanging the Flip-Flops & Cowboy Boots for High Heels (only for few hours) April 20, 2010

For a few days in May, I’m trading the flip-flops and cowgirl boots for high heels.  I’ve been asked to speak at The Bob Proctor Matrixx Event (http://www.bobproctormatrixx.com/business-retreat-business-goals-wealth-accumulation/) in Canada.  Although I totally despise being called an expert, I’m going to run with it and be a guest as their Social Media Expert.  I’ll be speaking on using Social Media for Business.  Social Media is a never ending learning process.  There is something new to learn everyday and that is one reason I have a hard time with the term “expert”.

This is going to be a whole new experience for me and my family.  Mom (me) is always here to get everyone out the door.  Whether it is off to work or taking my boys to school with lunches packed, clothes ironed (or thrown in the dryer for wrinkle release 😉 ), papers signed, homework checked or whatever it may be; it’s done by me!  Not that my husband wouldn’t help, it’s just never been an issue of someone else doing it.  Then I thought, “who’s going to water the garden or the flowers?”  When I approached my family about this adventure, there was nothing but quarter sized eye balls and wide opened mouths and a “are you serious”?  I stood firm and said I sure am. 

Q:  “But, Mom, who’s going to make sure all the soap is out of my hair?” 

A:  You’re planning on bathing while I’m gone?  I’m impressed.

Q:  “And who’s going to match my socks up?” 

A:  You or your Dad, or possibly MeMe?!  We’ll figure it out and y’all will make it just fine.  

Q:  “But, Mom you always take me to school and you’re the only one who drops me off at just the right time.”

After a big long discussion of who, what, when and where, my family agreed.  My boys gave me a hug and said “even though we will miss you, we’re very proud of you Momma and what you’re doing with your business and for other online business owners as well.”

I’m not a public speaker and don’t plan on starting now.  However, I do have some knowledge to offer, so why not just get up there and let it out.  I’ve been practicing on my grammar, as well.  I’ve also been trying to say “You All” instead of “Ya’ll.”  But, my husband pointed something out – “They asked YOU to speak and that’s just not YOU honey.” Oh man, he has a point.  Saying ‘Ya’ll’ is one of those things that’s just part of me being me 😉

I’ve always enjoyed being the one behind the scenes; making things flow for my clients online and obviously my family at home.  I never had any desire to “go anywhere” but after some serious thought, I decided I’m going to do this!  Yes!!  I’m going to Canada.  Am I nervous?  Hell Yeah, but I can do this for the industry.

So, here’s to all of us – entrepreneurs, online business owners, virtual assistants and small business owners for getting out there and letting it be known about what exactly we do and how important each and every one of us is.  I’ll be kicking off the flip-flips and boots for a couple of hours and wearing my big girl shoes!

tweetmeme

Wish me luck –

Cheers!

 

Taking a break – Getting Away in any Small Way March 12, 2010

           Work and play are words used to describe the same thing  under differing conditions. – Mark Twain        

      

  Mark Twain’s words are truer today than ever. The native of our home state knew that to be effective in your work life, you also need to know how to play. As you dive into social media marketing you are often mixing work with play. Personal relationships cross over into your work world. It may mean you forget the fun.

             You started this venture to be in control of your own destiny. You might have wanted to earn a little bit of extra money. You might have wanted to grow an existing business, or start fresh on your own. Now, don’t forget the fun that’s in the adventure.

            If you’re struggling with which move to make next, try getting away to figure it out. Everyone needs a break. When you get consumed in work, a step back may be the best thing for your growing business.

            You could take a virtual vacation (http://www.link4u.com/vacation.htm), but maybe you need a little more than that. Remember the world is a real place. Remember how to play. Put your actual feet in actual sand, or if you’re not able to do that, just find the best that your area has to offer and go do it. Stepping away for a few minutes, or a few days is a great way to unwind and think about what’s next.

            Play may be the best way to improve your work, and remember the enjoyment in it.

            So, our advice for this week is to check out the local “What to do” section of your newspaper. Get your family or friends together and put some extra “life” into your life. You might not be able to completely log off, but you should take time to enjoy the reward for your efforts and step back for a few days before diving into the grind again.

            Have fun.

Taking a break – Getting Away in any Small Way
 

This is who I am. This is what I do. February 19, 2010

Filed under: Learning By Example,Work at Home — kena-virtuallyassistingyou @ 10:00 am
Tags: , , , ,

While attending the funeral of a very close friend’s Dad, something was brought to my attention.  After the service was over we had the opportunity to visit with friends and relatives we hadn’t seen in a while.  A friend’s Dad was chatting with my husband, small talk, you know.  Asking if we were still farming?  If my husband still worked at Dairy Farmers of America (local plant)?  Then he moved on to say,  “Is your wife working anywhere?”  After stumbling over his words for a bit, in a hesitant tone, my husband replied, “Yes.  From Home.”  My mind went crazy.  “Yes.  From Home.”  That’s all he could say?  Seeing how it wasn’t the appropriate time, I didn’t address the answer he had given nor did I smack him square in the forehead.  However, the latter of the two weighed the heaviest.

The more I thought about it, I’d never really explained it “thoroughly” to him.  I had never set him down and taken the time to tell him just exactly what it is I do.  Yes, he knows I’m a Virtual Assistant.  Yes, he knows I work from home (obviously).  Yes, he knows I have clients.  And yes, he knows I bring in an income.  But, what does all this mean?  All he knew was when he got home the house was clean, the kids were fed and in between all that, I stared at the computer screen.  If you think about it, his not knowing was my fault.  I can’t expect him or anyone else to just know what I do.  There’s even been times when I beat around the bush to answer the question of “Now what do you do?” 

After a discussion and a few clicks of the mouse, he now knows and somewhat understands what I do.  He knows I’m on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for a reason.  He understands that Excel spreadsheets don’t have information on them unless someone puts it there.  Google AdWords, keywords & key phrases, tag words, categories & such did not interest him what-so-ever.  But, he now knows and his own terms were this – “So basically you help set-up and establish online presences. You’re the one in the background making it happen.”  YES!! You got it, babe.  So, the next time someone asks him what his wife is doing now or what his wife does, he has a great answer; one that could also bring in business.

As an entrepreneur, always thinking of ways to get more business or bring in new clients comes naturally.  Letting people know, “This is who I am. This is what I do”, simply by using the good old fashion word of mouth advertising, will make a difference.  I’ve learned to speak with confidence and self-assurance that I am an independent entrepreneur who works remotely, using technology to deliver services to clients globally.

Now for the why:  This was given to me on Valentine’s Day from my 10 year old son.  It’s the little things like this that makes me realize, “Who I am, What I do, and Why I do it”, is for all the right reasons.

I LOVE YOU

How do I love you? Let me count the ways.                                    
I love you when – you help me                                                                                        

I love you when – you play with me

I love you when – you are funny

I love you when – your gone

I love you when – your here

I love you when – you love me

How do I love you?

It’s impossible to say.

For if I had a million days, and time enough for all the praise, I could never tell you all the ways…

I LOVE YOU! Happy Valentine’s Day 2010

Tucker

Thank You for letting me share with you!                                         

 

Wonderful Book Review-Part 2 January 20, 2010

I have currently been reading a book called, “Making Work at Home Work” by Mary M. Byers.  Last week I wrote about Part 1-Saving Your Sanity.  This week I will be discussing Part 2-Preserving Your Profit. 

There is a ton of information within Part 2.  This particular section focuses on accepting the “At-Home CEO” title, taxes, equipment, subcontracting, boosting revenue and all things planning-yearly, reinvesting and retirement planning.  Since there are so many important sections within this second part, I am only going to focus on a few of them.  I encourage all of you to pick up a copy of this book for yourselves so that you can do a more in depth analysis of your business.

In Chapter 13-Accepting the At-Home CEO Mantle, Mary explores what it takes to be a CEO and where you are mentally.  She shares an experience of her own about being paralyzed with fear about having to make some heavy duty decisions about her business.  Couple that with feelings of inadequacy about her skills as a professional running a successful enterprise and the stress of not being the mom she wanted to be and you’ve got the makings for a disaster!  What saved her? A bit of advice she had heard: “Ace like the person you want to be.”  It’s pretty simple advice, right?  It’s so simple in fact that most either forget about it or figure there has to be more to it than that.  What we come to find out is that it’s the simple advice that seems to be the most helpful and direct, but the hardest to hear and follow.  She goes on to suggest creating a list of characteristics you feel a successful at-home entrepreneur should possess, then start “acting” like those characteristics.  Basically, how you think about yourself will inevitably determine your level of success.  There is additional advice throughout this chapter to help create a successful business.

With regards to your taxes, Mary offers quite a bit of suggestions.  I have listed some of the biggies below, however, for a more in-depth description; you’ll need to read her book

  1. Do not mix your business and personal finances.  (the most important suggestion)
  2. Know what’s deductible.
  3. If in doubt, ask.
  4. Realize that small deductions add up.
  5. Keep your receipts.

The last chapter in the book, Chapter 22-Giving Yourself Permission to Make Your Business a Reflection of You, was great!  Learning that it’s okay to give yourself permission to live life, to be a mother, to be work-at-home CEO, etc was empowering.  To be able to embrace those permissions while learning to be flexible and knowing that things will invariably change with or without warning can be a challenge.  But then again, we all knew that when we made the conscious decision to work from home, right?  Riding the waves of success is never an easy thing and allowing ourselves permission to change the rules as we see fit (becoming more of a flexible individual) for not only our business lives, but our personal lives as well will, enable us all to achieve the goals and dreams we set out to achieve. 

I would love to hear what all of you think of this book….so grab a copy and send me a comment.  Happy reading!

 

Loving Life Means Planning Time January 15, 2010

Wow, this has been one busy week around here.  With a lot of new opportunities coming this way, and some old plans being rekindled, I’m reminded that schedules are good. It’s fun to relax at the holidays, but routines make my work AND personal life flow so much better. What about yours?

Mondays are always my “focus” day.  I plan out my work week, my personal week and everything that falls in between.  They say you can’t have it all, but I find you can have a lot more if you plan carefully, choose your projects wisely, and enjoy yourself.

This was my first good “Monday” of the New Year. The kids are back to school for the first full week since Christmas break. So, we HAD to get back into a routine.  Pick up. Drop off. Make time to get the boys to wrestling, don’t forget to call back the client, keep those social media pages updated and change the laundry.

Without a schedule, the day can get away. The dream can become fuzzy, and I’m less productive. When that happens, stress can start to creep in. Then, it can be tempting to forget the blessing of working at home, and to veer off course.

But, when I stick to a schedule I find I love my life. I’m able to enjoy the simple pleasures, like a few minutes to chat online with my fellow VAs or send a tweet to old friends. I feel great about the work I am able to accomplish. It’s meaningful work, where I get the reward. AND I remember to be thankful for the unending support of my husband, who believes in what I’m doing, and the blessing of small freedoms like getting to be with my boys at their wrestling meet.

A boring routine may be what you tried to escape when you decided to work at home. But don’t shy away from it now. This time the routine is YOURS! This is your chance to put what’s important into your day, to do work YOU choose, and have the freedom to enjoy it.

So, plan today. Choose wisely how you spend your time.

Then, enjoy where you are. Keep your eyes on where you want to be, and love this work at home life.

 

 
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