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.

 

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An Eventful New Year

Hello, fellow bloggers! Hope the new year is treating you exceptionally well. For me, it is quite eventful. As some of you may have noticed, I’m in the process of re-branding my virtual assistant business. This process has been time-consuming but fun I must say. Most entrepreneurs would see it as stressful and a little painstaking. I look at it as an opportunity to build upon the foundation I have started and further my growth.

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My decision to make modifications was influenced by client comments. When you work in close collaboration with people, they can give you insight into your business. If you’re open to it! In my case, their subtle suggestions made sense, so now I’m running with it. So as this month moves along, you will see my new business name The Militant Virtual Assistant. I’m excited about the change.

A Total Do Over!!!

Love is funny!!! As a young girl, I wanted to own a business, be married to my best friend minus the children. During my time in the military, I was going to be a lifer and married to a lifer as well. Children never fit into life’s equation for me. One of the reasons for the end of my first marriage was because he wanted a child. That was the minor issue, but the rest is a story to be told later. In the past, when I dated which was not often I stayed away from men with young children. Well, when Jim and I met I decided to try something different. In the beginning, it was okay, but things changed. His son started to have behavioral issues that were leading him down the wrong road. So, to make a long story short, we decided to end our engagement and continue as friends. Single again!!! I thought I would be sad and depressed but what’s weird is I feel like a load has been lifted off my shoulders. I can’t figure out why!!! What is also funny is that everywhere I go online I encounter singles ads and blog websites for 40 and overs. I almost feel like I’m being spied on. LOL!!! I visited a blog, and the blogger wrote as if single at forty is the end of the world. I got a good laugh that day. Life is what you make it! Saturday, I will be forty years young, and I feel as if I’m in my prime. Life has granted me a do over!

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This year so far has kept me smiling and laughing. Definitely, good writing material as well. I hope life has been full of laughs and smiles for you as well.

 

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

 

 

The Importance of Social Media for Businesses

Great blog post for #entrepreneurs and #startups regarding business and #socialmedia. I enjoyed it!!!

Internet Marketing Blog

This will be my last blog post before I conclude my blogging career, so I have decided to discuss the topic of social media. More specifically the importance of social media for businesses and the impacts it has on marketing.

How Big is Social Media

First, let’s establish how big social media really is based on these statistics from July 2015:

Twitter: 320 million users
LinkedIn: 450 million usersSocial Media Logotype Background
Instagram: 400 million users
Facebook: 1.71 billion users
Overall 2.3 billion active social media users

(Smith, 2016, para 2)

Before the internet and social media businesses would have had to pay thousands to millions of dollars in advertising fees, to possibly reach a small percentage of the total 2.3 billion users. Today it is expected that businesses include social media in their marketing strategies, as it is extremely beneficial to both consumer and business. “Social networks appear to be an exceptional…

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Get Social to Enhance Customer Satisfaction.

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I recently wrote an article entitled “Transitioning Your Business in The Growing Virtual Industry”. My article highlighted the change from traditional business practice to the virtual world. It points out how we have moved deeper into the virtual way of running businesses. This change not only affects how we do business but who patronizes our business.

Customers are an important part of every business. Customer satisfaction determines business growth; customers can help a company excel or go belly up. The Genesys Global Satisfaction survey shows that 86% of Americans are satisfied customers. The survey was conducted in 2012 but I feel it still has some merit. My opinion is the percentage has dropped over the past three years, I was unable to find statistical data to support my claims. I’m speaking from a customer’s point of view!

As a customer, I have had some outstanding and horrible service. There are some companies that I will remain loyal to because of their product or the service. While I refuse to patronize a couple due to the poor service I received. I know that I’m not the only customer who feels that way! During my many years of customer service I have worked for a couple of companies that lost customers not because of their products but due to the service. Even before I became an entrepreneur I hated to see them go.

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Is it not disheartening to patronize a company for years then one day call the company to have an issue resolved only to talk to an ineffective IVR system? It’s even more frustrating to sit on hold for thirty minutes before you speak to a representative if you get that far. Thirty minutes to some is not that long but when you are busy with work, in a hurry or have children to look after thirty minutes is an eternity. Some companies have online chat representatives that are waiting to assist their customers. That is not always convenient, especially when there is not an agent available. Online chat agents are limited as to what they can do so they often times refer you back to the customer support line or give you a link to their frequently asked questions. Frequently asked questions is not a solution for all customer’s issues. In the minds of most customers this level of support is unacceptable thus pushing them to sever all ties with the company.

There are many ways businesses can improve customer support thus increasing customer satisfaction and retention. Customers do not want options that are ineffective or not readily available. They want service and a solution to their problem. Scripted representatives with empathetic opening lines is not effective customer service. I agree with empathizing with the customer but it’s impossible to always understand what the customer is feeling. They want empathy but most importantly they want their issue resolved, quickly and efficiently.

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The companies that choose to utilize social media as means to service their clients will dominate in customer satisfaction. These companies are making themselves more accessible to existing and future customers. Recognizing that increased response time for their customers’ issues is key to survival in this industry. A happy customer is a forever customer!  Most companies use social media strictly for marketing their product and service. Why not use social media to acknowledge and engage with our customers. Outwardly showing the world that we do empathize with our customer. We will efficiently handle your issue! It does not make sense to keep issues and opinions about a product or service hidden. Customers are aware no matter how much we sweep them under the rug. The transparency of handling customer disputes over social media is a bold concept. However, allowing us to acknowledge it and offer a resolution in a reasonable amount of time. Customer service using social media can bring more customers while keeping current customers happy. In my opinion, more companies should consider how social media can enhance customer satisfaction thus improving customer retention.

Transitioning Your Business in The Growing Virtual Industry

“The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change.”Bill Clinton

Small and large business are considering all possibilities available to cut company costs while remaining a stable competitor in their industry. Businesses have laid off employees and many have transitioned to remote workers. Abandoning their traditional businesses for a remote work environment? A few companies are still deliberating on making the change.

Change…. A word or action not many of us appreciate. In my opinion, change can be good. Change is constant and cannot be stopped. It can also determine the success of your business.

In the mid to late 1990’s, companies allowed employees to telecommute if they had a sick child or if the employee was considerably ill. At that time working from home or virtually was not popular. Only three percent of Americans worked from home in the 1990’s. Companies considered employees out of the office as a loss in productivity.

Time has definitely changed, small and large companies are adapting to the change for many reasons. Business owners are recognizing the benefits of hiring remote workers. Listed are a few of the benefits they are using to their advantage. Also a few of the benefits I present to prospective clients.

  • Cut company costs.
  • Increase productivity.
  • Maintain morale/ loyalty.
  • Communicate effectively.

Hiring remote employees gives business owners the ability to save money. No need to lease and equip a brick and mortar environment. Tax and healthcare costs are minimal as well as other expenditures that comes with work in a traditional business environment. The money saved can be funneled into other areas of the business to promote growth.

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Productivity increases in a virtual environment. Freelancers, virtual assistants and customer service representatives are less likely to call in sick. Work hours are more flexible, this flexibility benefits parents, those with chronic ailments and the business owner. Weekends, holidays and part- time hours are no longer frowned upon.

Office politics is a thing of the past. Morale in the work place determines the performance of employees. Those who choose to hire remote workers no longer suffer from low productivity. Negative water cooler gossip and emails can be a virus in the workplace dramatically decreasing productivity. When there is a team of virtual workers, the level communication is different. Virtual workers are upbeat and positive, they love their working environment and their jobs. When an employee is happy they are prepared to take on any task that comes their way.

Communication is a key factor for all businesses. Traditionally, all is not well when an employee is working on an important project and is out sick. Often times it’s hard to call an emergency meeting in a brick and mortar environment. As a virtual assistant, I have been party to many last minute meetings. A sudden document revision needed on the fly or an emergency social media update. There are so many ways to stay in constant contact. Over the past few years’ virtual communication has grown significantly, thus making it easier to conduct meetings and pass on important breaking news.

The decision making process for hiring remote workers can be a “no brainer” for some business owners. Understandably, every business has its own work processes. Business owners considering making the transition should carefully weigh the features and the benefits. Start by asking yourself a few key questions.

  • How can I cut company costs?
  • What can I outsource?
  • How can I free up some of my time?
  • How can I increase business growth?

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Once you have outlined the features, benefits and conducted the necessary research the decision making process will be straightforward.  Lack of knowledge is what generally prevents the transition. I have found out this key fact as I market my services to businesses. Seek out virtual assistants who offer free consultations. Top assistants have the ability to assist you in how to cut costs without compromising your brand. They should also save you time by efficiently supporting you administratively giving you the ability to grow your business.

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My primary purpose for writing this informational article/ blog post is to inform entrepreneurs. In hopes that the information I share will assist the business industry which keeps America thriving. I also wanted to highlight the fact that virtual workers can be an asset to your organization. If this helps one business owner, I have done my job!

Quote by Bill Clinton courtesy of http://www.inc.com/dave-kerpen/11-powerful-quotes-to-inspire-your-team-to-embrace-change.html

Images courtesy of https://pixabay.com/

Team Bossy Gals New Website is Active!!!

I’m so excited about the “NEW” Team Bossy Gals website, I just had to blog about it!!! I feel like a child at Christmas.

My excitement is not just due to the new look but also the ability to better inform and assist other female entrepreneurs with their pursuit in entrepreneurship. The new website is more interactive and lists all of our features and benefits including but not limited to advertising, business development, mentoring and much more. Assisting entrepreneurs is my passion in life, not because I’m an entrepreneur but mostly because my calling in life  is to be of service to others.

I have been blessed to meet a team of women who not only are entrepreneurs, but who share my values. We are a mixture of new and seasoned entrepreneurs. Dedicated to inspiring other women to do what they love for a living and that absolutely rocks!!!

I encourage all of my female followers to visit the “NEW” Team Bossy Gals website. We support entrepreneurs, authors, graduates, working momswomen over 50 and stay at home moms in their mission to “Do what you love for a living”. It is possible!!! I can definitely attest to this fact!!!

Guys… refer your wives, sisters and mothers. Support women in business!!!

Team Bossy Gals believes in women supporting women and the conglomerate is growing quickly. We are thankful for our ability to take part in the growth of women in business. TeamBossyGals

Come join our team!!!

Time to Write!!!

It has been a while since I have “Shared” from the heart with my followers. Lately, everything has been work related with a some tidbits of “Life”. Today, I decided it’s time to “sit on the couch”. LOL!!! I think I have said before blogging here is like therapy for me. My followers are like family and psychiatrist!!! When I visit the blogs of my followers, I have the ability to be educated, escape, collaborate and laugh.

I want to thank all of my followers for all the likes and tweets. Due to your support I gained another client for my virtual assisting business. As many of you know writing and virtual assisting are the love of my life. Writing is my first “Love”!!! I have had a void in my life over the last two weeks due to being so busy with virtual assisting. Writing satisfies my creative side and is very therapeutic for me, no matter what type of writing I’m doing. Don’t get me wrong… I love what I do! I just have not had a writing assignment which I love. Christy Birmingham of “Poetic Parfait” and “When women Inspire” requested a guest post for her “When Women Inspire” blog. That filled the void for a few days. Monday another dear friend Marilyn Davis, an editor and writer requested that I write about “Writing”. I’m currently working on that now and I’m having fun creating the post for the blog “Two Drops of Ink“. I guess what I really needed was to reach out to my followers. I felt as if I was neglecting my blog and my followers. Although, my following is small I cherish you all.

I’m happy to have such loyal and dedicated supporters. I’m also happy to share the news of a new client due to my followers. My business is growing and that makes me even more happy.

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