My Continued Service To You!

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.  – Mahatma Gandhi

 

Skills are either learned or are innate! A calling, if you will! As a pre- teen before I knew what a Fortune 500 company was I knew I wanted to wear a business suit and carry a briefcase. I knew that was not my calling! At that age, a child tends to migrate to what they see as being cool. They start to get their first inclinations of what they want to be when they grow up.

Then high school came along! Freshmen year introduced me to JROTC. Finally, I found my calling! By my sophomore year JROTC undoubtedly removed the briefcase and replaced it with a uniform and the need to serve my country. Once I graduated, I was off to begin my career in the United States Navy. My greatest accomplishment in life!

Finding My place in Service.

Once I finished my service in the Navy, my need to be of service did not end. Like I stated earlier, some skills are learned, and some are innate! I needed to figure out a way to efficiently serve others. The epiphany came in the form of a client comment. As a freelance writer and virtual administrative assistant, I worked with a few loyal customers who loved how I assisted them in running their businesses. One of my clients who referred to me as “The Fixer,” stated Chronicles Administrative Support Services was not an accurate depiction of me and the way I handled business. He elaborated on how he felt about my service. After interviewing other clients, I began my rebranding process.

The Birth of A New Call to Service.

After a week of brainstorming and reviewing the opinions of those I interviewed, The Militant Virtual Assistant finally was born. The Militant Virtual Assistant is a representation of how I service businesses. The foundation is Honor, Courage, and Commitment! To honorably service companies as if they were my own. The courage to go the extra mile and to be a support system for the entrepreneur and the commitment to efficiently help set goals and see them out to completion. The military pillars that are a part of my psyche, I now utilize to motivate entrepreneurs to live out their dreams of being a successful business owner.

Why Militant VA?

As an entrepreneur and business owner, I put myself in the position of my clientele. What do they need the most? It is not just a person to handle calls, check emails or keep them on schedule. Entrepreneurs need more hours in a day! They need to be in two places at once. I pride myself on the ability to keep longer than usual hours; my hours are flexible. I have clients who call or text me on weekends and late in the evening. I have had a realtor showing a house, while I negotiated another deal while texting numbers with them. I feel many Virtual Assistants (VAs) drop the ball by keeping bankers hours and unavailable on weekends. Entrepreneurs rarely take a day off! I am not just there to service the business. I learn the business to become an asset to the company which allows me to aid in its success efficiently.  When my client is successful, I am successful!

Initially, I thought nothing would be as satisfying as my military career. I can honestly say “The Militant Virtual Assistant” fills that void. I get to do what I love for a living which is not considered work but living out a dream.

 

When Everything Falls Perfectly Into Place!

Don’t you love when you put a plan into action, and it unfolds just as you hoped? Even the smallest accomplishments in life can be satisfying. At least they are to me. As an optimist, I believe the small achievements give way to the major ones.

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I have been writing full time for six months now. Which has always been a desire of mine! The ability to do what I’m most passionate about for a living. When I started virtual assisting, I thought most of my work would come from social media marketing and management with a splash of writing tasks. In the past, it did, but as of lately the majority of contract work has been writing content for websites, articles, and research. I’m not complaining, in fact, I am excited!

Two Drops of Ink adds to my excitement! For those of you who do not follow Two Drops of Ink, first I say… “shame on you!!!” Just kidding, to each their own but you don’t know what you’re missing! I have noticed many of my followers here, and on Instagram and Twitter are now regulars on the site. The literary site has grown tremendously, conquering many obstacles. The move from Blogger to WordPress! The move due to growth served up a hit to it’s following, but Two Drops of Ink overcame it by leaps and bounds. When people love something so much, they will do everything possible to keep it a part of their lives. Along the way the site has earned many awards and is on its way to becoming the best literary site for writers. It’s already in the top 50 best writing blogs that achievement is huge!!! All the new features are a great addition to the site. The Book Shelf is for authors to promote their novels. Wall of Poets debuts the work of seasoned and upcoming poets. Hump Day Humor gives us writers something to laugh about so if you have a funny story or memoir piece submit it. Sunday Spotlight highlights contributors to the site. The site is excellent! I remember coming on board right after the transition. The growth I have seen along the way has been incredible. I also credit my growth as a writer to the site. The camaraderie of the team is like no other. I am ecstatic to be in the company of such great writers. As we speak, I’m working on my next three pieces for Two Drops, and I hope to read a post from you in the future as well.

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I will continue to Live, Love, Share!!! This blog is my baby, and yes she has been a little neglected, but I have a strategy. I can function on less sleep!!! LOL!!! For my love of writing and my future literary career, I’m willing to give up a lot!!! So my friends, until next time…soon, have an awesome week and may the power of the pen be with you!!!

 

Qimono on Pixabay

Two Drops Of Ink Literary Blog

 

 

Hello, my blogging friends!

Oh, how I did miss thee…🥀🥀🥀

Hello, my lovely friends. It is so funny how I build up quite a significant blogging momentum and then out of nowhere “BOOM.” Back down the dark empty hole of nothingness!!! The “hole of nothingness” is an inability to write. Work, Work, and more work is the culprit. Lately, I have been working so much that I feel like a zombie. I don’t like that feeling, and I try my best not to be bitten. I have had few close calls! This is my way of shooting it in the head then burning it! LOL!!! To a certain degree, I need money to live, so I have to work.  I have done just a little writing other than articles and content for websites. I have written another short story and posts for Two Drops of Ink. Work- life balance is the key, but it is easier written and talked about than actually living.

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Well,  I can’t say that I have been all work and no play. Life has been treating me quite well. I have been full of smiles, and laughter. Living in my happy field of lavender lilies and butterflies. I have had beautiful days with no real complaints. Happiness and positivity fill my heart. I’m in love with people, life and all it has to offer.

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So, this post is not to say that I’m back full time 3- 4 days per week. I don’t really foresee that happening right now. I’m just too busy for that!!!  I will post as often as I can to build back up my momentum and attempt to keep it at a steady pace.

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How has life been treating all of you? Any big news or life changing occurrences?

All images courtesy of pixabay.com.

 

 

 

 

Mood of The Day😊

Today’s prompt for the 30 day blog challenge is “Mood of The Day”. I have been trying to keep up daily but with being so busy it has been quite difficult. Today, I have a little time to spare so I decided to participate.

My “Mood of The Day” is many moods wrapped up in one beautiful package called Lydia with a big beautiful bow.

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I am happy because I have been blessed to live another beautiful day. Life is precious and to be treasured and grateful for. I’m happy to have gained two clients, one client employs me to do freelance writing (SEO articles), the second is a social media management client.

Excitement is a mood I am feeling because all of my hard work is paying off. Rebuilding and re-branding my virtual assistant business and making time to write my book. Everything is falling in place and it is cause for excitement. It’s great when you can watch all your plans and efforts come together.

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Motivation is what will keep me on the road to successful business owner and published author. It’s the same motivation that burns in me at this very moment that will allow me to reach my goals and encourage others to do the same.

So all of these emotions are my mood of the day!!! Share!!! What are you feeling today?

Woman with laptop courtesy of ijmaki via pixabay.com

Happy emoticon created by 95C on pixabay.com

Brain, emotion, emoji by johnhain on pixabay.com

Where in the World is Lydia?

“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”

― Kevin Durant

 

Where have you been hiding? When is your next post? Is everything okay? The last two weeks has been a boxing match between talent and hard work. So far it has been a draw! Maintaining a work-life balance can be quite difficult. Juggling work and personal life are quite consuming. In my opinion; I manage pretty well considering! hands-600497_640

Work and the pursuit of…. More Work.

Most of my readers are old enough to remember the geographical game and show, “Where in The World is Carmen Sandiego?” Carmen traveled the world conspiring with crooks. I love being a virtual assistant, social media manager, and freelance writer it allows me to travel the world from the comfort of my home and network with entrepreneurs and fellow writers. I find enjoyment in being a gumshoe for startup’s, nurturing my client’s social media, helping them to develop their brand, watching the business grow, their baby becomes my child. They are often surprised and pleased by what I help them to accomplish. Needless to say marketing myself on Twitter, LinkedIn and freelance sites such as Upwork.com has been vital to keeping me busy.

Writing and a writer’s life.

My blog writing has been very limited, but my writing has not stopped. Before blogging, I did content and article writing for clients websites. Freelance writing is also a wonderful way to get recognized and make money. Although, lately I have been working on my memoir, fictional novel and compositions for Two Drops of Ink.  The literary blog voted one of the “100 Best Websites for Writers” for the second year in a row. Thanks to The Write Life for recognizing such a great site, team and all of its contributing authors. Guest blogging is also an awesome way to get exposure to the writing world. Two Drops of Ink is always accepting submissions.  I have so many ideas dancing around in my head, some have been jotted down, and some are begging to be released. It would take a lifetime to give birth to every idea or maybe quit my day job. So I devote at least two hours daily in need of releasing creative pressure.

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Life at home.

We have been back home for two months. Well, at least I have! My dear Jimmy took a month off before heading back out. Which was not a part of the plan! That is the problem with passions. They can be an addiction. It is hard to live without or break free if it. Truck driving is his passion. Throughout the week he is out on the open road continuing his service to his country delivering freight and the weekends are for us. Our understanding the others need to do what we love for a living is what makes us work. Eight days to bond a month and four hours of phone time a day, I often miss my best friend. Two weeks ago we took a four day weekend together which was wonderful. Jimmy is my soul mate and so much more. In an attempt to make sure our beautiful union does not go lacking we promise to escape to the world where only we exist when we are together. It works.

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For my friends and followers who have inquired about me, I say thanks. I am here. Grateful to have such caring friends and supporters. Honored that my clients trust me with their businesses.

Images courtesy of Pixabay

 

 

Outsource?!?! Tips for Hiring a Virtual Assistant.

 

Starting a business is very hard and time-consuming. Many tasks need your immediate attention.

  • Research
  • Data entry
  • Social media management/ marketing,
  • Email management,
  • Meetings or conference calls.

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These are just a few of the daily duties a busy entrepreneur encounters. Many of these daily tasks are daunting and are left incomplete at the end of the day. If you are a business owner, you know what I mean.

Lessen Your Work Load!

The best way to alleviate the daily stress of multiple tasks and being pulled in many different directions is through outsourcing. What business owner would not want the freedom to spend more time growing their business? Some tasks are tedious or require a deadline. Hiring a VA will help you to meet all of those needs.

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We as virtual assistants have the ability to not only relate to the needs of entrepreneurs but also to support business owners in establishing their businesses. Virtual assistants are also business owners, so we understand what all is involved with running and building a successful business. When you leave your business in the hands of your virtual assistant, it is imperative that all be in good hands. A good VA approaches all tasks in an efficient and professional manner. No matter how small or large the task. Our efficiency and knowledge are what determines the growth of our business.

Characteristics of a good virtual assistant?

You want to feel comfortable with the virtual assistant you choose. I feel an outstanding VA has stellar relationship building and communication skills. It is imperative that he/she not only has a bond with you but the ability to relate to your customer/ client base. At the end of your interview, you should know a considerable amount about the virtual assistant. They must be trustworthy and have you and the best interest of your company at heart. Trust is a major component as they will access to a great deal of your personal and business information.

What is their specialty?

Do they have the skills you need? Narrow down the tasks that they will accomplish now and in the future. Hire an assistant that has the experience to do these tasks. Virtual assistants have different specialties and skills they offer. This where your research and communication will pay off. Although, one- time tasks should outsource to a freelancer at a reasonable rate. The most important skills to look for when hiring are the following:

  • Social Media Management
  • Data Entry
  • Writing
  • Communication
  • Desktop Publishing

Reliability or Beyond the Call of Duty!

Consider availability; their availability should be convenient to your specific needs. Daily tasks, deadlines and last minute requests are critical to your day-to-day operations and growth. Are they flexible? Can they be reached during your business hours and weekends even when unscheduled? These are just a few details you want to consider when hiring a virtual assistant. As a virtual assistant, I feel incorporating these details into my business methods are what ensures my success.

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How do I find a good virtual assistant?

The field of virtual assisting has grown tremendously. Small and big companies have begun to hire more virtual employees. Small business is on the rise which increased the demand for virtual assistants. There are many online sites you can utilize to find a VA.

These are just a few avenues to search for the help you need. Word of mouth is also a winner! Reach out to fellow business owners to inquire about a good assistant. You will be surprised what you may find.

Outsourcing may seem scary at first. After all, your business is your baby, and it is imperative that the person you hire will nurture it. With the proper research hiring, a virtual assistant will pay off in big dividends.

 

Images Courtesy of:

Top Reasons for Outsourcing

Pixabay/ Geralt- Support

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Pixabay/ waldryano- Secretary

 

Tips for Marketing on Social Media.

“Social media spark a revelation that we, the people, have a voice, and through the democratization of content and ideas we can once again unite around common passions, inspire movements, and ignite change.”

― Brian SolisEngage: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web

 

I find the quote by Brian Solis regarding social media to be relevant on so many levels. Social media managers, marketers, gurus and enthusiasts can attest to the validity of the citation. When used a user sets out to rally others in hopes to gain customers, support their cause or to spread information; carried out the correct way they will grab the attention of many. Are you attempting to inspire a movement? Are you confused about how to market your brand? My advice to you is to keep reading. This post will briefly unveil the first steps of building your social media marketing skills.

Where should I start?

Start by asking yourself who is my customer base. Who is interested in my brand? The answers are indicative of where you should focus your marketing efforts. Although it does not stop there, these are just the first of many questions that will build your marketing strategy. Discovering your audience is imperative to gaining loyal followers versus fair weather connections.

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Content is critical.

Your content should be compelling and sought after by your followers.  Make sure it is relevant and what’s trending for your brand and among your community of followers. This is where paying close attention to your followers is critical. They know what they want and will share what interests them. Once you have honed in on this information, share it frequently but be careful as not to become a nuisance. Cycle out data shared, you do not want your posts considered as spam.

Engagement or Relationship Building techniques.

The ability to engage your followers in conversation is excellent. These conversations can indeed prove to be fruitful. Moreover, relationship building is by far more valuable. Relationships built upon a common interest are more likely to be sustainable and increase your tribe. Genuine and consistent engagement with your fan base not only shows appreciation, but it makes your brand more personable.

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Caring is sharing.

Show those who share your content you care by sharing their content in return. When you are marketing your brand, you can lose supporters by not being supportive. “One hand washes the other.” This saying is true in the world of social media. It can also be your golden ticket. Taking time to visit the pages of others and share their content is time-consuming, but it is worth it in the end. Devote a little time each day to ensure your social media success.

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Social media marketing is not an easy task but is well worth the challenge. Research, patience, and persistence are qualities that are beneficial to marketing success on social media.

 

Images courtesy of:

QuietQuitter on Pixabay.com  

Johny_deff on Pixabay.com

Geralt on Pixabay.com

 

Pinterest Acquires This Popular ‘Save It for Later’ App — Fortune

Pinterest’s acquisition spree continues, this time with Instapaper, a service for saving articles and other reading items for later. On Tuesday, Pinterest, whose online service is best known as a way to collect images of food and home decor, said it has acquired Instapaper’s team and technology. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.…

via Pinterest Acquires This Popular ‘Save It for Later’ App — Fortune

Social Media: The Etiquette of Sharing Content

As a #socialmedia coordinator and enthusiast, I wrote this article for “Two Drops of Ink” regarding the importance of #sharing #content. Many have commented that it was very informative. A great follow up to the reblogged post by Peter Giblett.

Two Drops of Ink: A Literary Blog

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“If you have a candle, the light won’t glow any dimmer if I light yours off of mine.” 
― Steven Tyler

The saying says… “Sharing Is Caring”!!! This is not always a true statement in the world of social media. If you are an avid social media user, you may have noticed the following:

  • Requests for page “likes” that are not returned.
  • Retweets unreciprocated or impermanent followers.
  • You visit blogs, share content, and receive no acknowledgement. There’s no comment of thanks or a brief visit to your blog or Facebook page.

I refer to these fair – weather Twitter tweeters, greedy Facebookers, and illiberal bloggers as social media vampires. Beware! They lay in wait, ready to pounce and suck the blood of what could be faithful supporters. Thus, leaving them cowering in a virtual corner reluctant to share the content of those outside their immediate circle. This type of behavior…

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