Thursday, February 26, 2009

Facebook Facebook Facebook

It seems like Facebook® is the subject of most of my conversations these days.

Hi, my name is Sally and I am a Facebook-aholic user. I’ve been talking Facebook® with my friends, neighbors, clients, strangers, my mom, my kids, people on Twitter & Skype, basically anyone who will listen. It seems like everybody and their mother is on Facebook® these days.

Last night @CandieB and I even moderated a chat about Facebook® during the VAnetworking VAjot Chat.

Are you on Facebook®? If you are an entrepreneur and you are not on Facebook®, I believe you are missing out on some great networking opportunities.

For many (including myself), Facebook® is not intuitive and not very user friendly. I’ve learned a few basic steps that have helped me navigate my way through Facebook® and wanted to share them with you.

  1. Notifications Did you know that when you sign in to Facebook® there is a quick way to see what's new in relationship to you? Just click on the little white sign icon at the bottom right of your screen. If there is a red box with a number in it that means you have a new notification. This is the fastest way to see what has happened since the last time you signed on. It will tell you if someone has tagged you in a photo, if someone has written on your wall, etc
  2. Fan Pages & Groups – Fan Pages are very popular on Facebook® right now. Most business have one or plan to get one soon. Does your business have one? You may already be a Fan of a number of pages but do you know how to find those pages again? The fastest way is to type the name in to the Search Box located at the top right of your screen. (This also works for finding friends quickly).
  3. Ignore – Facebook® can be overwhelming. My advice is to use the ignore button frequently. If someone throws a sheep at you, sends you a drink, invites you to take a quiz or download a new application just hit the ignore key. Don’t feel obligated to accept everything that is thrown your way.

  4. Etiquette - If you are going to throw something or invite people to play games, join various applications please hand pick who you are going to throw things at. If you must throw things at people please do so only to people that you know will enjoy it. Please don’t send/throw things to your entire list especially if you are using Facebook to network, you wouldn’t want to annoy a potential client.
If you are new to Facebook®, want to set up a Facebook® profile or page for yourself or your business and just don’t have the time or the patience to do it yourself… Virtual Simplicity can help you!

Monday, February 23, 2009

I Got Things Done Today!

Seems Jaime Lee Mann and I woke up with the same feeling today... the feeling of being overwhelmed by the amount of emails in our in box.

Before turning on the computer today I pulled out the book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen to re-read. It's a great system that I usually follow. Somewhere along the line I dropped the ball and things started piling up. Maybe it was when I was sick in December, maybe it was my vacation in January, maybe it was I've been so super busy I forgot to take my own advice and plan my day. Whatever it was... my email in box and my actual in box on my desk were overflowing.

After turning my computer on today, the first thing I did was open my in box and blast through it. Just like Jaime, I sorted by who the emails were from and was able to quickly get through them. For the most part everything that was left in my in box was something that could have been taken care of in 2 minutes or less.

The 2-Minute Rule is one of my favorite GTD tips from David Allen. If you can do it in less than 2 minutes then just do it! Considering I had let 68 emails pile up in my in box (the kind that would have taken 2 minutes or less to deal with) I just doubled or tripled my time spent on emails because I read them when they originally arrived, decided to deal with them later, occasionally scanned them over the last few weeks, then re-read them today and finally dealt with them. Instead of the 2 minutes that I could have taken as the original emails arrived I probably spent over 3 hours dealing with those 68 emails instead of 1 hour or less if I would have just dealt with them when they arrived.

How do you manage your emails?

Like Nike says, "Just Do It!" (Like David Allen says - Do it, Delete it or Delegate it).

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ideas For Getting Out Of Debt Part II

In Part I we discussed the first few ideas to be on your way to getting out of debt.

1. schedule a time each week to pay bills
2. create a designated place to put bills as they arrive (folder or a nice box)

Next step. If you don't know already... find out how much money you owe. Enter this information in an Excel document or on this form and total your monthly expenses.

If you have done all the steps so far you should have a scheduled time to pay bills each week, a designated place to put your bills when they come in and the awareness of how much money you owe. (If the amount you owe is huge - don't panic. Remember - knowledge is power. Nothing has changed, you still owe what you owe but now you know how much.)

More ideas and steps coming soon...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ideas For Getting Out Of Debt Part I

Do you want to get out of debt? If so, you need a plan. Debt does not go away magically. It goes away when you follow a plan to get out of debt. Over the next few weeks I'm going to be blogging about ideas and steps that might help you get out of debt.

The first step in getting out of debt is to become conscious about money. You need to know how much money you have, how much you make, how much you owe and what you spend your money on. The only way to get out of debt is to first get out of denial.

How do you normally pay your bills?

Do you have a set time to do this each week, month?

Where do you keep your bills?

If you don't have a scheduled time to pay bills then this is a great place to start. Schedule a date and time to sit down and pay all your bills each month. (Go put that date and time on your calendar right now!)

Are all your bills in one place? If not then it is time to get them all in one place. Start a folder for bills or get a box to put on your desk. Do something that works for you. Every time a bill arrives in the mail immediately put it in this new designated space.

That is all for today. More ideas coming in the next post…

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

BIG News at VAnetworking

I went on vacation for just one little week and come home to find out this BIG news.

My favorite co-author Yvonne Weld is going to be partnering with Tawnya Sutherland at VAnetworking! Yvonne is going to be the president of the VAinsiders! Woohoo! I'm so excited about Yvonne and Tawnya working together! Watch out world!

Here is the press release:

Today, more than ever, we are seeing growth in the Virtual Assistant industry. As people fall victim to layoffs, work reductions and business closures they are finding there are very few opportunities for employment and, in an effort to survive in today’s economic strives, many are seeking ways to utilize their skills and work from home. Those starting Virtual Assistant businesses, in today’s competitive markets, are quickly learning that it takes more than just administrative skills to grow a thriving business and are continually looking for the tools and resources they need to not only build, but also maintain, a solid business.

Following in the footsteps of industry leaders before her, Tawnya Sutherland believed in the Virtual Assistant industry and wanted to help Virtual Assistants, both aspiring and practicing, by providing them with the tools and resources they needed. In 2003, she founded VAnetworking, which quickly became a meeting place where new and seasoned Virtual Assistants began to intermingle and share resources. Sutherland has learned to adapt as the Virtual Assistant industry has grown and continues to provide new resources, including the introduction of VAinsiders in 2006. It was this ability to adapt and grow that made her realize that there is so much more that the Virtual Assistant industry needs to realize its full potential.

In 2008, at an industry conference for Virtual Assistants, Sutherland met in person fellow Virtual Assistant, Yvonne Weld, after years of corresponding virtually. They began to share their ideas for Virtual Assistants and realized they not only shared their passion for seeing the Virtual Assistant industry grow and prosper, but they also worked well as a team, brainstorming ideas. Sutherland began to realize that a partnership was the best choice to fulfill her goal of becoming the premier resource that Virtual Assistants turn to when they have questions. “We want Virtual Assistants to realize their dreams sooner, to have the resources and tools they need to build a solid business, attract clients and become the successes they know they can be,” says Sutherland. “The ideas that we are developing now would make the industry leaders before us stand up and take notice.”

Sutherland is excited to announce that, beginning February 1, 2009, Yvonne Weld will be joining the team as VAinsider President. When asked about this partnership, Weld stated, “I am so thrilled to be working with Tawnya. When we get together, it is electric the ideas that flow between us and we are already implementing a lot of the ideas into programs and resources for Virtual Assistants. 2009 will definitely be the year to be a VAinsider.”

About Yvonne Weld
Yvonne Weld is the owner of Canadian-based Able Virtual Assistant Services, author of The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Thriving Business and the co-author of Managing Your Thriving Business for Success. Yvonne brings knowledge from a number of resources including personal experience (8 years in her previous employment as an Office Manager), education (graduate of several courses at the Small Business Centre, London, Ontario) and her love for information through reading and internet research. Yvonne also works with new and aspiring Virtual Assistants, through coaching and mentoring, to reach their full potential. To learn more about what Able Virtual Assistant Services can do for you, stop by

About Tawnya Sutherland
Tawnya Sutherland’s professional background as a legal secretary, and then vice president of a computer company, formed the foundation for her foray into entrepreneurship over 10 years ago when she launched Mediamage Business Solutions. Today, Sutherland is a Certified Internet Marketing Business Strategist who helps business people turn clicks into cash. To learn more about Tawnya, VAnetworking and how to get your own business on the inside track to virtual success, visit