An Ode To The Busy Professional

This is my absolute favorite time of year. With the hustle and bustle and stress of the holidays, I put a poem together to have a little fun. Hope you enjoy!

 

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What We’re Thankful For At EVA

Although we should express our gratitude more often than we do, the holidays are such a wonderful time of year to look at our life and think about what we’re thankful for. Some of us have experienced loss and some triumph; either way there’s always something to reflect on and make us grateful for.

I wanted to share with you some of the things our team here at EVA have found ourselves thankful for. In addition, I want to say thank you to everyone who has signed up for our newsletter and that have taken the time to read it. Whether you’re a client, someone who may at some point be a client or just curious about how we operate…thank you for being part of EVA in your own way. Happy Thanksgiving!

I am thankful for having a big, happy, healthy family, supporting & loving friends and for being able to live my dream of having a business I love and I’m passionate about. I’m thankful for the wonderful people I’ve met through EVA, and for those that have become my friends. If it wasn’t for our amazing VA’s and clients we wouldn’t have a business, and for that I am very grateful.

Laura 

I am thankful for my happy & healthy kids and husband, a thriving business and getting to work with amazing & fun people every single day!

Danae

This year and moment, I am thankful for my family, my health, and a rewarding career. I love the women I work with, and I enjoy my work-life balance to the fullest. I am grateful for living the life I have always dreamed of. Life is wonderful and I feel blessed.

Jessica

I am thankful for the wonderful opportunity to work from my home allowing me to be the parent I want to be while continuing my professional career.

Carolynn

I am so thankful for my parents, sister, my beautiful 4 year old niece and my best friend Melissa who has helped me during a difficult time…and my 2 naughty pups!

Kerrie

I am thankful for, of course, the big 3 – Family, Friends, and our Health, but I am also thankful to be surrounded by a lot of humor!  Family and friends who love to laugh, joke, tease, and share sarcasm makes this life that much more enjoyable!  

Melissa

I am thankful to have been given the opportunity to work with EVA and some wonderful clients. EVA has given me the ability to use my skills and talents to help others, while also giving me the opportunity to be there for my family. For that, I am truly grateful!

Robyn

Laura is the founder of Elite Virtual Assistants. If you’d like more information on the services they provide, visit their website or call directly at (440) 973-7005. Happy Thanksgiving!

 

3 Quick At-Home Workouts

I’m still having a hard time believing that Thanksgiving is next Thursday, and right behind it is the Christmas season. There are 3 things you can be sure of this time of year:

  1. You’re going to eat too much
  2. You’re going to be extra busy
  3. You’re going to find excuses to NOT exercise

Making time to exercise isn’t easy when it’s not the holidays, so it’s the first thing we check off our list…until January when we realize we now have 10 pounds to lose. One of the benefits I’ve found working from home is being able to fit exercise in more regularly than when I worked in an office.

What helped me was scheduling time to exercise right into my calendar; if I treat it as an appointment I’m more apt to do it than mentally making a note of it. I don’t say that I “want” to exercise…I say I “have” to. The challenge is finding something that you can get the most results with the least amount of time.

There are days that it’s easy to find an excuse to not exercise, but setting aside just 20 minutes a day to fit in a quick and efficient workout will leave you feeling refreshed and even help boost your immune system when flu season hits.

I wanted to share 3 of my favorite, go-to workouts I use that you can do in under 20 minutes right in your home office. I’ve tried hundreds over the years and these are the best workouts I’ve found:

20-Minute Kettleball HIIT Workout. Good, all over workout you can do in under 20 minutes (my personal favorite and go-to workout).

Tracy Anderson’s 15 Minute Total Body Workout (video) Good, all-over plank position workout.

I made a graphic for my favorite go-to for abs: (I use the timer on my phone and move from 1 position to the next without taking a break; 8 minutes and you’re done…and sore!)

8-minute

 

Keep your mind fresh and pounds at bay with these quick and efficient exercises you can do right in your home office. When January rolls around you’ll  be glad you did!

Laura is the founder of Elite Virtual Assistants. If you need a VA to help keep you accountable and on track, give her a call at (440) 973-7005.

 

How To Afford A Virtual Assistant

I’ve found a couple things to be true over the years; if I really want something I find a way to get it. When I come up with an excuse on why I can’t do something, it’s just that…an excuse.

Instead of saying, “I can’t afford a virtual assistant”, you need to change your mindset to “how can I afford a virtual assistant”? Once your mindset makes that change, you’re ready to work the help you need into your budget.

In the beginning stages of a business, money is tight. You need to allocate dollars carefully to areas that are going to bring in revenue. For some it could be a website, buying office equipment or hiring help to get things off the ground. Many of us will create a list showing our needs vs. wants. Once you put in place the things you need, you’ll eventually get to the stage that you can go after what you want. When you consider a VA as something you need to grow your business, you’ve overcome the obstacle of thinking you can’t afford it.

Hiring help tends to be at the bottom of everyone’s list. As an entrepreneur or small business owner we feel the need to do everything ourselves and do as much as we can for free… and there’s a lot of information out there for free. But free only goes so far, and then it’s time to really decide what you need to get to the next level and invest in what will get you there.

Having a family member that wants to help run your social media campaign is not going to deliver the same results as hiring a professional VA who does that for a living. Sure, free or discounted rates might initially look good on paper, but they’re not going to look good a year down the road for your bottom line.

Highly successful people have a secret; they don’t do everything themselves. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, so making the most of that time is what will make the difference in your business. Change your mindset from “I Can’t” to “How Can I” and you won’t believe what you’ll be able to accomplish!

Laura is the founder of Elite Virtual Assistants. If you’re ready to change your mindset, give her a call today!

10 Ways To Make The Most of Your Virtual Assistant

Hiring a virtual assistant is a great asset to many professionals. Regardless of your industry a VA is a cost effective way to bring experience to the table and only pay for the services you need without having the overhead of an employee.

But it’s not just enough to HAVE a VA; it’s knowing how to work with one that will determine your success with this type of relationship. Understanding how to get the most out of your virtual assistant is important in keeping and maintaining a long term, healthy relationship.

COMMUNICATION IS KEY. Having open communication early and often is what will lay the foundation for a good experience.

  1. Be upfront and honest about your expectations with your VA.
    1. Outline your goals.
    2. Outline what you’re hoping to accomplish.
    3. Outline how you want to accomplish them.
  2. Decide on the best form of communication. If you receive too many emails already, have another system in place for quick questions and responses. You can try:
    1. Whatsapp
    2. Facebook Messenger
    3. Twitter
    4. Text Message
  3. Have a regular weekly meeting. Be sure to set your relationship up for success. If you have a goal to accomplish, be sure you have a weekly plan in place for that to happen. You and your VA can discuss the best route to take to get there. Having a regular check-in date scheduled with clear instructions for the week will not only help you stay organized but also give your VA the direction they need to do their work as efficiently as possible. Be sure you are receiving an update on a regular basis outlining what has been done, what follow up is needed, and that all questions that have been sent to you have been answered.
  4. Encourage File Sharing. One of the biggest areas of concern when working with a VA is not being able to see progress being made in “real time”. You can set up a file sharing system with your virtual assistant to help with this. Google Drive or Dropbox are great and enable you to see where a project is without having to wait for an update.
  5. Progress Tracking. This is important in the beginning to build a healthy virtual relationship. It helps both sides understand how much time is being spent on a task or project. This not only allows you to see where the most time in spent, but can help you plan for the coming months. You can try a program called My Hours where your VA will log their time and send you a report showing what was accomplished and how much time was spent on each task or project. This helps both sides see where and how time is spent and helps you plan going forward.
  6. Don’t Take The “Try It & See Approach”. Typically someone coming in with a “we’ll give it a try and see what happens” attitude is not truly committed. When you give something a “try” you have the mindset that it probably won’t work. You need to have it set in your mind (and your budget) that you will “try” for a reasonable amount of time. Giving someone 5 hours to “see what they can do” and spending 3 of those hours training them will not produce any results. Making a 6, 9 or even 12 month mental commitment will help you get past that mindset.
  7. Make Your Virtual Assistant A Team Member. It’s easy to fall into a pattern of shuffling off the tasks you don’t want or have time to do; that’s what you hired your VA for, right? But as you’re doing that, be sure to get their input and opinions so they feel involved and part of your team. When you treat someone as an equal player it will not only boost their moral but give them the confidence to voice their opinions which could be very beneficial to you and your company.
  8. Ask Questions. If you don’t like the way something is being done or you don’t understand why a task took so long, don’t hesitate to ask. Always communicate openly with your VA and share the good and bad. Don’t wait or be shy to share your thoughts. Brushing something under the rug only leads to a giant pile of dirt, which doesn’t help anyone.
  9. Be Transparent. Although many VA’s are experienced professionals, they are human. Mistakes will be made and just like any other worker or employee you would have, they need to be communicated with regularly and expectations explained from the beginning. Concerns must be addressed immediately so the situation can be rectified as soon as possible. Since a VA isn’t sitting beside you they may not see the eye rolling you’re doing or the concern in your voice if you’re emailing them. Transparency is very important when working with someone virtually.
  10. Be Patient. It takes time to get into a routine with a virtual assistant. People looking for immediate results can be quickly disappointed. Three months is typically a good time frame to expect a flow to be in place working with a VA. Sometimes this can happen sooner (or later), but having some patience through the learning process is the key to getting your virtual relationship on the right track.

Taking steps to make the most of your virtual assistant will help set your relationship up for success. Have a plan, put it in place, and watch your business grow!

Laura is the founder of Elite Virtual Assistants. If you’re ready to put a plan in place to work with a virtual assistant, give her a call today.