Friday, August 31, 2007

Ch... Ch... Changes

"If you don't like something change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain." -Maya Angelou

Wow! I can't believe it's been over a week since my last post.
Lots of changes happening around here with my business and my life in general.
It's all good! I've been busy, busy, busy.
Will post an update on all the changes soon.

In the meantime, here is some music for your listening pleasure.
I couldn't find a good version of this video on Youtube so I pulled it from AOL. I didn't know AOL had videos. Actually, I didn't know there were so many video sharing options out there until I read about the Top 50 Video Sharing sites in Website Magazine this month.

Here's just a few that I did a little test on. I searched each one for Bowie and came up with this. (no Bowie) (no Bowie) (found Bowie but not Changes)

Okay, like I said earlier I am super busy these days which means I really should not be spending my time searching for Bowie videos on the internet.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Monday Morning

It's Monday! Are you ready to hit the ground running? Or are you sitting here reading blogs because you are feeling overwhelmed and don't know where to start?

If the second is true for you stop right now (after you finish reading this blog post), get out a piece of paper and write down every thing you have to do this week.

Now, review your list and put a mark by the ones that need to be completed today. Take another sheet of paper, put today's date at the top and transfer all the tasks that need to be done today to this list.

On today's list prioritize your tasks (1,2,3). Now, what is task #1? Go do it!

Let's all have a productive week!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Happy Birthday!

I just wanted to use this opportunity to send my brother-in-law Jess a big virtual Happy Birthday wish!!!

A little history on Jess.
Jess was kind of a nerdy guy in high school. Despite his nerdiness, he started dating my sister when he was 16 years old. He ended up marrying his high school sweet heart and they are still together today (some 20 or so years later). They stuck together through thick and thin and have two very cool teenage boys. Jess isn't so nerdy anymore, he's turned in to quite a cool dude.

I don't get to see my family often because I am in Northern California and they are in Southern California (about 450 miles between us) but I think of them often and thanks to the internet we stay on top of each others lives.

(I thought if I posted something personal, maybe my lurking family that thinks I don't know they are reading my blog would come out of the lurking closet and post a comment here. And hey, it's Sunday... I'm allowed a day of rest aren't I?)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Do you dare to dream?

This morning I was taking a few minutes to relax and read my Oprah magazine. I read the interview with Fantasia Barrino.

Fantasia, the 3rd American Idol woman dared to dream. Fantasia was raped at the age of 14, dropped out of school and was pregnant at the age of 17. She had a learning disability that was never diagnosed so reading was a challenge for her. She was not good with numbers either so it was hard for her to find a decent job. But she was great at singing! She now has two albums, a memoir and is starring the the Broadway play The Color Purple. With only $50, a borrowed car and her old clothes she got herself to the auditions.

She said when she was a child she used to dream about being on stage in front of lots of people.

What do you dream about?

Remember to keep dreaming!

Friday, August 17, 2007

TV Time!

Thank you Yamisi for posting about the TV contest that 5 Minutes for Mom is is giving away courtesy of Best Buy.

As many of you know, I have been living in the dark ages for the last 4 or 5 years because I chose not to have TV in my house. If I do not pay for cable, satellite or whatever then I have NO TV reception in my house. It just doesn't work here at all... too many trees or something.

Well, I made the decision to switch internet carriers this week. I'm switching from AT&T DSL to Comcast Cable. My DSL was not reliable. It would go out often and I never knew when it would come back on. When you run a virtual business... it's kind of important that your internet service actually works. The DSL people don't seem to understand this though. There have been times when my internet has been down for more than 5 days...

Anyway, I'm not sure I am happy with my new cable yet either. Comcast came out on Monday to install the cable. The guy made a disaster out of my network and you should see what the wires look like on the outside of my house. There are wires going every which way, even across the top of my roof. Not along the side of my roof but literally going diagonally across my flat roof. It just so happens that I need to replace my roof this year... guess what happens if I replace my roof? I'm going to have to cut the cable. Comcast is sending a network specialist out on Sunday to redo the work... I'll let you know then if I am happy with Comcast or not. Sorry, I am digressing...

The whole point of my rambling is that in switching internet providers I got offered TV and Phone service as part of the package deal. So... I now have cable TV and I would love to win the TV that Best Buy is giving away at 5 Minutes for Mom.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Advice For New VA’s

Time again on VA forums I see the same request. “I’m just starting my business and want to know how to get clients”. They get a number of responses and are often encouraged to read the archives of the forums for further information. I thought sharing via this blog might help those considering a career as a Virtual Assistant.

Apart from the obvious requirements such as computer, internet connection, suitable software, good knowledge in how to use that software and suitable experience in providing the services you want to provide (I recommend at least 5 years, but some might say 2 would suffice), then there are these other things that should be done:

1. Know what services you want to provide from the beginning and don’t make it more than 3 or 4 - it will confuse you on how to market and confuse others as to what you provide. It can be built up over time as you develop your client base.
2. Have professional business cards printed and also develop a signature block - both go hand-in-hand. One for when you meet with people in the flesh, the other for when you connect with people virtually. Give them something that tells about you, what you do and how to contact you.
3. Network, network, and network some more. Join online forums and networks and get to know your peers, but also join forums where you could meet prospective clients - your peers will teach you about your profession but few will provide you with work so joining forums of personal interest for example will put you in front of prospective clients.
4. Join local business networks - where you have to go out and meet people face to face and learn about them and teach them about you. Don’t be afraid to get in the front line, i.e. help with things, perhaps get on a committee, give out papers, nametags, handle the registration for events, collect up papers, help others - if you’re where many people have to pass by you, they’ll get to know your face and want to know more about you.
5. Software launches are a good place to network - especially if you already have good knowledge of that software. Many of those attending the launch want to learn about it and often need someone to help them.
6. Take your business seriously and treat it as a business not a hobby.
7. Get a domain name - don’t use a free email account for your business. It’s ok to use one for personal email but you want people to know about your business and a domain name is a good way to get them to take notice.
8. Have a webpage (even 1 page is fine) using that domain so that when people look up the domain out of curiousity they can at least learn how to contact you (other than email) and perhaps a bit about what you do and/or your skills and abilities.

All of the above will assist you in getting started. The phone won’t start ringing, or the emails start coming, unless people know you exist. If you want to know more I have several books available at my bookstore - why not come over and check them out? KMT


Kathie M. Thomas, AFAIOP, MVA, ASO is the founder of "A Clayton's Secretary", a Virtual Assistant Network with members in many countries. Dedicated to teaching others about operating business over the Internet, Kathie is a multiple award winner as both a Secretary and Virtual Business Operator, and has over 30 years\' experience in the secretarial/administrative field. She registered her business in March 1994 and is one of the senior VAs who launched the industry globally.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Virtual Assistants – The Who, What, When, Where, Why and How’s

Vancouver, Canada, August 10, 2007

With the Virtual Assistant industry getting larger every day, Tawnya Sutherland, founder of (VANA), has implemented a survey that will be completed by Virtual Assistants from all over the world so that further awareness can be brought to the Virtual Assistant industry through media and press outlets.

After her radio interview on Brian Greenburg’s Philadelphia-based, nationally syndicated radio show ( and, due to the increasing number of requests for information on the Virtual Assistant industry from other media outlets, Tawnya has decided to go straight to the source for the information. Through a web-based survey, Tawnya hopes to put together a survey to assist individuals in understanding the who, what, when, where, why and how’s of Virtual Assistants.

To date, the replies have been surprisingly large, with hundreds of replies in the first couple of days alone. Tawnya is now looking forward to compiling the results and getting them ready for distribution. She will close the survey on September 15, 2007. If you haven’t already taken the survey, please go to to participate.

In appreciation for completing this survey, VANA will include a link to your business Website, stating you were a contributor to the survey results. You can only have your business advertised with the survey results if you participate in the survey itself. Who knows… you could get a call from a local or national media outlet wanting to talk to you about the industry.

Through the Virtual Assistant Networking Association (VANA) forum, Tawnya will compile all of the information from the survey and will post the information on, where everyone will be able to view and use this information freely.

The Virtual Assistant Networking Association (VANA) is for successful and aspiring "In The Know" Virtual Assistants and/or Virtual Achievers, commonly referred to as VAs, globally. Supercharge your Virtual Assistance business at the warmest networking place on the web that everyone online is talking about. A friendly, informative, educational and resourceful network, VANA is the largest business network online for VAs to share, learn and succeed in their virtual businesses.

So join the fun and stop by the VANA Forum today at You’ll see just how much better your business can become and also have a great time doing it. And for those looking for a VA, you won’t be able to beat the professionals you’ll find here.


Tawnya Sutherland, founder of Virtual Assistant Networking Association (VANA) and author of the Virtual Assistant Startup System (VBSS), is a Certified Internet Marketing Specialist sharing her expertise to help aspiring and successful VAs turn website clicks into cash for them.

Sales and Marketing Goals

What are your sales and marketing goals? Do you know? It is important to know where you want to go if you ever plan on getting there.

A group of us from the VARevolution are reading the book Get Clients Now! by CJ Hayden and working through the program together.

Here is an excerpt from the book that resonated with me.

"Having a sales and marketing goal gives you a destination in your business. Only when you know where you are going can you choose the right path to get you there. And you have to be clear about your destination to know when you have arrived."

Kind of reminds me of the quote from Alice in Wonderland...

"One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. Which road do I take? she asked. Where do you want to go? was his response. I don't know, Alice answered. Then, said the cat, it doesn't matter." - Lewis Carroll

Do you know where you want to go with your business?

Friday, August 10, 2007

Friday Funny

It's Friday night. I'm done being serious. It's time for some fun. I originally saw this when I worked in the corporate world. It was being emailed among all the assistants.

I couldn't find my original copy so I just googled it and found this... I have no idea who the author of this is but it still makes me laugh every time I read it.

How To Keep A Healthy Level Of Insanity
1. At lunch time, sit in your parked car with sunglasses on and point a hair dryer at passing cars. See if they slow down.
2. Page yourself over the intercom. Don't disguise your voice.
3. Every time someone asks you to do something, ask if they want fries with that.
4. Put your garbage can on your desk and label it "in" .
5. Put decaf in the coffee maker for 3 weeks. Once everyone has gotten over their caffeine addictions, switch to espresso.
6. In the memo field of all your checks, write "for sexual favors".
7. Finish all your sentences with "in accordance with the prophecy."
8. Don't use any punctuation marks
9. As often as possible, skip rather than walk.
10. Ask people what sex they are. Laugh hysterically after they answer.
11. Specify that your drive-through order is "to go".
12. Sing along at the opera.
13. Go to a poetry recital and ask why the poems don't rhyme.
14. Put mosquito netting around your work area. Play a tape of jungle sounds all day.
15. Five days in advance, tell your friends you can't attend their party, because you're not in the mood.
16. Have your coworkers address you by your wrestling name, "Rock Hard Kim".
17. When the money comes out the ATM, scream "I won!", "I won!" 3rd time this week!!!!!"
18. When leaving the zoo, start running towards the parking lot, yelling "run for your lives, they're loose!!"
19. Tell your children over dinner. "due to the economy, we are going to have to let one of you go."

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Virtual Assistants Featured in The Momprenuer

Hey check it out. There is a great article about Virtual Assistants in The Momprenuer magazine this month. 7 Surefire Ways to Make Your Partnership with a Virtual Assistant a Success by Yvonne Weld. (page 7)

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Online Networking for the Newbie

I'm not a newbie but I do network online.

I am currently reading the new ebook titled Online Networking for the Newbie by Angela Smith of AccuAssist. I think the title of this book should be Online Networking for Everyone (not just the Newbie).

Angela shares some great tips on how to network online, how to set up your forum profile, how to avoid 20 of the most common forum faux pas (not surprisingly I've done some of the faux pas...) and basic etiquette on forum participation.

By the way she is offering a free excerpt to download here.