Be True to Thy Self!!!

A Woman’s Worth Is Far More Than Rubies. Proverbs 31:10

Woe is me… A popular song women choose to sing on certain holidays and during this time of year. Tis the season! Wedding bells are ringing, extravagant cakes with four to five tiers are being baked, expensive wedding gowns and bridesmaid dresses are shopped for as we speak. Although, through it all there are female participants in the festivities and bystanders wondering, moaning… “Why not me?”

Always a bridesmaid never a bride.

A couple of female friends and I sit comfortably in my living room sipping wine and playing catch up. The conversation is wonderful then here it comes. The mood takes a turn that I have no interest in because they always hate my outlook. I’m not wielding pom- poms! All from one jealous statement. “Why is Susan getting married?” “When will it be my turn?” Faces turn red, eyes are rolled! Negative and slandering statements are made about the soon- to- be bride. The male bashing begins!!! I reach for my wine in aggravation! Thinking about the character of each woman as a glance around the room. Two, are not married for good reason!!! No shade! My friends are quite aware of how I feel.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect! If I was, I would not be single. I’m the woman who tries to fix men. I will find a bad boy and dress him in a suit and tie and call him “reformed”. LOL!!! But, if I know nothing else… I know my worth! As a woman, the one thing we should not do is measure ourselves against another woman. What is even more deplorable is stomping on another woman’s success. Shame on you!

The woman in the mirror!

Instead of standing in the mirror taking duck-faced selfies, look into the depths of yourself. Again, I am not throwing stones. I have one or two duck- faced photos of myself on Instagram. Although, when I look into the mirror I rather speak positivity into myself. Mantra’s like:

“I am beautiful; We may hear it from men constantly but it means the world when you say it to yourself.”

“I am strong; It helps me through the times that I feel weak.”

“I am successful; Quiets the voice that says, you will fail.”

“I am who I say I am; Powerful against all self- doubt.”

Ever heard the saying… Why buy the milk if you can get the cow for free? I asked the women that question. Of course, I giggled at the looks of contempt. So, I explained myself. Half naked pictures advertising that you’re single. More than willing to sell your virtue for dinner and a movie. Maybe a trinket or a trip here and there. Why in hell should he put a ring on it? Newsflash ladies: Men are looking for a woman, not a girl using her looks and body for an opportunity.

Who can find a virtuous woman?

Listen for a moment! Do you hear that? Men are asking their counterparts, married homeboys, and mothers… Where do I find a virtuous woman? My brothers, guy friends, workmates, business partners ask me that very question. They claim to want a woman who is going to add stability to my life. I need an equal! You would not believe how men truly feel about women.

“Women are just as aggressive as men. You don’t have to work for it!”

“It’s ok for a one night stand but I would never take her home to meet mom.”

“She’s not wife material.”

“Women nowadays are golddiggers.”

If this is the type of woman I have to look forward to then why commit? So, men rather play the field and drink the milk of all the free cows roaming around. Once they get their fill or use up one, they move on to the other. You, my friend, are left empty and wondering what went wrong. Did you think he was the one?

You are powerful!

Stop giving up your power! He does not define who you are. Find your worth within yourself and you will attract he who is worthy of you. Decide what you can and will bring to the table and whether he is worthy to take a seat! It’s okay to eat alone!!! Once you realize that you’re worth more than rubies you will never again settle for being treated like costume jewelry.

Don’t worry ladies, I know there are two sides to a coin. Part two will talk about those men who are “dazed and confused”.

 

#MondayMotivation for Writers.

For some of us, life throws obstacles in our way. These barriers prevent us from achieving personal goals or following our passions in life. Persevere…. make time to invest in yourself. This is a mantra I started telling myself. I found myself slowly being consumed by work and losing out on the moments that I NEED to be creative. Writing is not just a past- time for me!!! It is for my well-being and a passion. I will no longer ask permission to achieve greatness.

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#FridayFeeling!!!✍✍🎶🎶✍✍

I have been held hostage in ‘Slackerdom’!!! It’s a little kingdom that has kept me from writing as much as I usually would for Two Drops of Ink and for my personal blog. The inhabitants of Slackerdom usually visit me when I get caught up in work. They convince me that work is more important than pursuing my passion. What’s funny is I do what I love for a living. #Amwriting and doing #socialmediamangement daily but work is work. Returning home to the creative realm on a daily basis is an almost impossible trip. I fall prey to the #impossible forgetting that #I’mpossible!!! Half written compositions are evidence of my attempted voyage but I am unsuccessful in reaching my destination. I get lost along the way!!! Practice what you preach, Chica!!! Is what my creative side screams from the recesses of my being. The workaholic puts her in chains and throws her in a #Heart Shaped Box.

Today, I’m working on social media for my love… Two Drops of Ink. I have been separated from my love!!! Funny to say that when I have Live, Love, Share but Two Drops of Ink is a relationship I can’t explain. A forbidden affair that I can’t get enough of.  Live, Love, Share is a love that I take for granted but don’t want to let go. I need Live, Love, Share!!! It’s me stripped bare, truly naked, transparent with all inhibitions out the window. My readers see me and ALL my flaws. Liberation feels good!!! Allows my light to shine brighter!!!

This, my friend, is my #FridayFeeling. An attempt to Live, Love, Share! Hey, enjoy the song by Santan “Put Your Lights On” that I felt was fitting. At least in my head!!! The lyrics are poetic truth!!!

 

Featured Image: John Hain via Pixabay.com

 

 

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.

 

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

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

Pixabay/ geralt- businesswoman

Pixabay/ waldryano- Secretary

 

5 Tips for Marketing Your New Book.

“Writing a book without promoting it is like waving to someone in a dark room. You know what have you done, but nobody else does.”
~Madi Preda.”   ― Madi PredaHow To Promote and Market Your Book

Congratulations on writing your first book. As an author, you must be on top of the world. You have basked in the joy of your new accomplishment. The beauty of its cover, your words, pieces of the world you created. Now. It is time to get serious.

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What’s next? My research has given me the knowledge to assist you in marketing your book. What good is a book that no one gets to read? The next step is to get the book in front of prospective readers. The most efficient way is through creating a marketing strategy. Thorough research will reveal several marketing methods. Take a look at a few of the steps in the journey.

1). Reviews: As an author feedback is valuable. This is where reviews come into play. Consider the options for free or paid reviews. Only pay for top quality feedback. Determine if your reviewer will base their comments on reading the book in full or an excerpt. Your ultimate goal is to make sure it is beneficial to you. Every author desires raving reviews and high recommendations.

2). Blog Posts: Guest posts and interviews on blogs is another way to build a fan base. You may also start a blog centered around the subject of your book. Your blog may be the forum for your future books. Be sure to follow the blogs of like- minded writers.

3). Media Kit: How many business or post cards have you passed out? Advertise locally as well as virtually the more exposure, the better your chances for sales. Keep in mind; image is everything! A professional head shot is necessary. Your biography will invite readers to get to know the books creator. Don’t forget to include a ‘one- sheet.’ A high-quality photo of your book cover on the front and a synopsis of the book on the back.

4). Book Launch Party: A book launch party is not only a way to celebrate your accomplishments but an awesome way to get the word out. Offer giveaways or reduced prices for the date of the event. The event can take place both locally and online. The more excitement you build means, the higher potential for buyers.

5). Social Media: We are in the age where the click of the ‘send’ button moves at a speed of light. Millions of people have the opportunity to view your content on a daily basis which means book sales. Although, sales should not be your primary focus. Build a relationship with fellow authors and writers. Support those with the same goals and those aspiring to reach the depths that you have in the literary arena. Social media marketing makes sense regarding book marketing. Embrace it and reap the many benefits.

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Now that your feet are firmly back on the solid ground, and your head is no longer in the clouds, put in the footwork. Start doing the research and making all the needed connections. It may be difficult but all of your efforts will pay off.

 

 

 

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

 

My Message to Aspiring Writers

What inspires you to write?

Two Drops of Ink: A Literary Blog

By: Lydia Oyetunji

Do you have a talent or hobby that you love to indulge in? You may love it so much that you wish you can do it for a living. Writing is a talent that brings me that level of excitement! Who wouldn’t want to do what they love for a living?
I have always been a proud literary nerd. As a child who suffered severely from asthma, books were my best friend, pen and paper my side-kick. When my siblings were filling their Christmas lists with the latest games and toys, books were always at the top of my list. In grade school, Thursday was my favorite day of the week because the class visited the library to check out books. Remember school-wide book fairs? That was a treat as well!

There is no cure for what ails me.

My love of books infected me and created…

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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.