Recent Comments
    • Candy on Budget Crisis, Red Tape and teenage crushes...
      “@Shawn - Money can apparently buy a LOT of happiness - and it seems to come in the form of pills and smoke-able items. *sigh* (yeah, sure you didn'”
    • Shawn Powers on Budget Crisis, Red Tape and teenage crushes...
      “It always amazes me the number of overdoses and suicides in the celebrity death pool. I mean, I know, "Money can't buy happiness" -- but you'd think ”
    • Candy on Phooey on social media privacy
      “Justin - ah, so you keep separate accounts - how much bleeds over though? Do you think people pay attention to DuckDuckBlue? Or just to JustinRyan? Do”
    • Justin on Phooey on social media privacy
      “I doubt I have to tell you, but I'm in the "let it all hang out" camp. (Despite vicious rumors of being obsessively private.) My feeling is, I am wh”
    • Candy on Phooey on social media privacy
      “I guess my point is... if an employer is going to delve that deeply into someone's stuff as to look back through their wife's silly twitter account, d”

Posts Tagged ‘Summit’

PostHeaderIcon How brave am I?

Years ago, at an IVAA conference, Beth Quick Andrews gave a talk that she opened with “What would you do if you were brave?”. It was a powerful question for me at the time. I chewed my lip a bit and wrote down “Grow OffAssist beyond just myself.” It had been something I was considering, but was like my ‘pie in the sky’ and I was terrified – more terrified than standing at the top of 50 story building, but she asked so I answered. Man, who knew what would become of that? Wow.

I ask myself that question each year when I’m reviewing my own business plans. Largely, though, I decide that I’m not that brave yet and just pretend that question doesn’t exist. BUT it always does make me think. I mean, what’s next? If you don’t take a leap, personally or professionally, then nothing happens, right?

Today, I attended an eWomen event with Mark Fox speaking to us about Word of Mouth marketing. I’ll give you three guesses (and the first two don’t count) what he put up on the projector? Yeah. “What would you do if you were brave?” I saw that and literally heard “well crap” in my head. Why do people keep asking me that every 5 years or so? *laughing*

The thing is, I know exactly what I would if I were brave, but I’m also the main (and currently) sole breadwinner in the family. It’s a bit too big of a risk for me to bite off right this very moment. BUT, I’m already doing things that make me feel brave. Just going to any networking event is a big step for me. I, generally, feel uncomfortable at those things and never know what to say or do. I also am attending toastmasters (which, um… I promised to do nearly two years ago!). Those are smaller steps to the bigger thing I would do if I’m brave.

Mark did, however, make me think… what crazy thing can I do to continue the fabulous (no really, my clients really are my best piece of advertising) word of mouth I already have? In a service business, that’s a little more difficult to do and being in bookkeeping makes it a little weirder. It was good food for thought.

So, the big brave thing? Not quite ready to share that. No, it’s not becoming a coach or speaker or anything like that. Who knows, maybe I’ll share it eventually, maybe that can be brave in and of itself?

What would YOU do if you were brave? You don’t have to answer, but really think about it. And be honest because it can be a fabulous business tool. That one question can change your life. Trust me. Be brave and jump when you’re ready. It’s so worth it.

PostHeaderIcon Conference Musings for IVAA Summit #ivaa10 – changes, twitter and winning

As many of you know, I attended the IVAA Live Summit in Phoenix last week. This was my 5th conference that I’ve attended for the virtual assistant industry and I must admit that my reasons for attending have changed. I still go to learn and attend the sessions, but I no longer feel compelled to stay in one that I feel is irrelevant to my business. However, this was the first year I actually left a session just because I wasn’t enjoying it. Hey, you win some and you lose some. I’m sure others were getting a lot of it.

I now go more for meeting other people. I work virtually and have a monthly peer meeting here in Austin, but it’s kind of awesome to meet with everyone like that. I’d much rather hang out at the bar after dinner and see who turns up and talk – yes, about business, but also taking time to get to know other people.

ANYWAY… one big difference for me was Twitter. The organizers set up a hashtag ahead of time. The interesting part of it, for me, is that because the conference is so small (about 106 people attended), most of us on there knew each other. It kind of allowed us to talk a little behind the scenes and discuss not only what was being said, but also helped us find stuff… let me explain.

Have you ever been sitting somewhere and get a huge headache? Usually you’d ask those around you and then head to the concierge desk and buy some overpriced Advil from the hotel. Aha! No longer. I saw at least twice someone asking for Tylenol or Advil and another person passing it to them. My own roommate needed cortisone cream (yes, long shot right?), and what do you know… someone came up and said “I have some in my room”. Amazing, really. I think, more than anything, I was amazed at that. People were talking about places they had visited for dinner the previous night, I used it to set up a meeting in the lobby with someone I wanted to work with. I mean, really – it was a convenience factor. And yes, I warned my followers several times to pause my tweets (Muuter has a service that is supposed to be great).

It’s interesting to watch social media shape how we interact in settings such as that. Most people had their laptops open and were tweeting, emailing, etc. BUT you could always tell how interesting the speaker was by looking to see how many people were looking down constantly compared to how many were not looking down at all – others were truly taking notes and looking up and down too. Some may say it could be construed as rude to the speaker, but I don’t think so. Some of what was going on was us talking about what they were saying, providing links, etc.

In other news… I won a gift certificate for Amazon. I heard them announce they were going to give away the prizes for the badge contest. Since I had nothing to do with the thing around my neck, I tuned it out through 4th, 3rd, 2nd… and then I heard my name. I looked at Andrea Kalli, who was seated beside me, and asked her what I won. She said the badge contest. Um… I didn’t have anything to do with them! No no no, she says, the graphic. No! I didn’t design that – I can’t even color inside the lines! No no, the thing you click on… OH!!! THAT! I’m sure Andrea though I was completely crazy.

After I finished panicking, I remembered that early on, they had sent out a graphic and specialized link and if you got the most clicks, you’d win something. I forwarded to my web guy and said “put it here, here and here” and didn’t think anything about it. I guess it worked cuz I got a gift card. Go me!

Overall, this was good Summit. I am hoping they change it up a bit, but ultimately I’m there to support the industry and have a little fun while making some meaningful connections. I just may learn a thing or two too 🙂

PostHeaderIcon Summit: Apex, the Topmost Level Attainable

It’s coming…

IVAA’s 3rd Annual Online VA Summit is only a little over a month away. IVAA members’ early registration discount–a chance to save 20% off Summit registration–ends at midnight Central time on Wednesday, September 24, 2008.

We are virtual assistants, and, for many of us who started our business to be home with children and family, traveling to the in-person summit is difficult, if not impossible. Enter the online summit. A full day of networking, great seminars, and lots of take-homes in the form of full recordings of sessions that you can go over later at your leisure. Heck, if you can’t attend the summit, you can still register and get the recordings–how many professional conferences can you say that about?

Look at the definition of “Summit” in the title bar and you’ll see why we call it a summit and not a conference. The purpose of the IVAA Summits, both in-person and online, is to help VAs reach the “topmost level attainable” in their chosen profession.

FYI, Candy will be presenting a discussion on the personal and professional benefits of volunteering at the online summit this year. You don’t want to miss that, do you?

Hurry up and register today!

PostHeaderIcon Ohh… getting excited now!

I’m so not ready to leave work-wise and have at least 25 things on my “to-do” list that I have to get done, but I fly out on Tuesday afternoon for the IVAA Summit. People have posted on a few forums and now I’m finally starting to be excited. I’m glad because so far I was excited, but I was more like “whatever”. I’ve been walking around in a semi-fog over the past few weeks. Turning over the Presidency reins on 4/1 was wonderful, but time-consuming and add that to the insanity that is tax season plus a child having some issues with bullies in school (all fixed), and I’ve just been feeling pretty wrung out.

BUT I’m almost caught up with work, have a new team member (wow, there’s 8 of us now that work pretty regularly!), and things seem to be settling down again.

I will try to send some pics to Dy or Tom to post like I did last year.

In the meantime, Tom is coaching our daughter’s soccer team and I’d better start getting everyone going. It’s going to be a busy weekend, soccer, friend’s birthday party, AND trying to finish up some work so I can leave without working while I’m there!

See ya in Charlotte for those that are going!


PostHeaderIcon Inspiration From Down Under

I have to just tell you guys real quick about Kylie… whom I call “The Pink One”. She’s this lady from Australia who I first met at a VANA chat. We were looking at each others websites. Hers was pink. No, I don’t think you understand. It looked like a bottle of Pepto Bismal had exploded all over my screen. It was PINK. Did I tell you that I hate pink? I do. I hate hate hate hate pink. She’s since toned it down so it’s not hot pink, but she’s still pink.

I’ve been following Kylie’s career since then and she’s a pretty funny lady – smart too. And she doesn’t mind that I poke fun at her pinkness 🙂 At any rate… she has decided she wants to come to the IVAA Summit this year. Then she looked at the prices. Ouch! So, she decides to be enterprising and is taking donations to get her butt there. Check out her blog here. I thought, wow, how inspirational! A ticket from Australia to the US is pretty pricey and she really wants to come, so I think it’s a great thing to at least show how serious you are about it.

I hope she makes it. I’d love to meet her – pink or not.


PostHeaderIcon Dinner in SFO

Just a quick photo from my adventure at the IVAA Summit in San Francisco last week…

While there I had dinner with Donna Sooter, Cindy Opong, Debbie Tester, Lana Newlander and Lanel Taylor. Great conversation and a great time!

PostHeaderIcon Sight Seeing SFO

Now that the IVAA Summit is done, Candy finally has some free time. Here is a quick picture she took of Lanel and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Candy will be back at work Monday morning, bright and early. So make sure you all send her an e-mail welcoming her back!

PostHeaderIcon Greetings from San Francisco!

Candy is currently attending the IVAA Summit in San Francisco. She has asked me to post some pictures of her experience while we all eagerly await her return.

Lanel of the OffAssist Team

Lana of the OffAssist Team

IVAA Summit Picture

PostHeaderIcon My two favorite toys…

We were talking on the VANF forum recently about favorite toys (tools) of the trade. I have two actually. The first is easily Morris, my Treo. That guy is my brain, if I lose him or forget him, I feel naked all day long. My schedule, my address book, EVERYTHING is in this guy. And when I’m away from the office, I can still check email, browse the web, send SMS messages, you name it! I LOVE my Treo.

My other favorite is my VAdala that I won at the IVAA Summit – yes, I actually won something! That never happens! This thing is awesome. I’m a fiddler, always fiddling with something and this is a great stress relief to keep on my desk to grab at random times and mess with.

Anyway, so of the many uses of the VAdala, my favorite is a holder for Morris 🙂