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Business Management &Skill Development Wil Hart on 01 Nov 2013

Break Through Your Salary Glass Ceiling

Violence: shattered pieces of glass over blackAs an employee, have you ever had an absolutely fantastic year! You crushed every single deadline. Your superiors praised your valuable contributions on a weekly basis. BUT…

When the end of the year arrived, you receive a hearty pat on the back along with the adage, “atta-girl” routine. Certainly, you thought that a pay raise was deserved. Guess what, your manager and her manager felt the same way. However, the company just does not have the budget to express their great appreciation by means of monetary compensation.

Once again, you have hit your head on the salary glass ceiling!

Do you want to change this situation? Is it important for you to take control of your employment security? Do you want to break through the glass ceiling that has been bruising your head for years? Of course you do! Perhaps you have yet to learn that you can take the administrative skills and knowledge that you have and create your own source of income.

Decide To Change

If you really want to change your employment situation it is important that you decide to do so. When you decide on a matter, it means that you exclude all other options. For example, when you decide to change your current employment situation, your current state is no longer on the table as an option. Your new focus is to create a new situation whether you will be employed or self-employed.  So, make your decision to break through your compensation glass ceiling.

Learn How To Change Continue Reading »

Marketing &Networking &Skill Development &Target Market Wil Hart on 15 Oct 2013

5 Pieces To Effective Business Conversations

five men with jigsaw puzzlesHave you ever had that feeling? You know what I mean.

It’s that feeling that you get when your mind is racing, your palms start to sweat and your thoughts decide that they do not want to make the faintest connection to your vocal cords. And then, you become…


Has that ever happened to you met a potential business associate. You exchange greetings, you learn each others’ name, and then the conversation goes deeper with the one question that makes you cringe… “So, what do you do?”

For many Virtual Assistants this is the most dreaded question because they do not know how to clearly convey the problems of their target market (if they have one), or how they solve those problems effectively.

What Are the 5 Pieces?

There are 5 critical pieces to masterfully articulating your value as a business owner and making strong connections. When you are face to face with a conversation partner keep the following conversation pieces in mind.

1 ~ Choose A Target Market

Having a target market gives great subject matter on which to have business conversations. If you tend to be on the shy side, focusing your attention on a separate group of people will give you the confidence needed to add more fuel to your conversation fire. If your target market is business coaches, you can talk about how that stresses that they experience with owning and operating their coaching practice. Then move to piece #2. Continue Reading »

Skill Development Wil Hart on 30 Sep 2013

What Is The Next Skill

skill dev 1Growth is an ongoing objective of your Virtual Assistance business. A major component of business success is your skill development. Back in the day when you were employed, you likely had to learn new software, new systems or even new ways of carrying out your responsibilities. That type of skill development enabled you to remain relevant to your employer. Likewise, you have to continue developing your skill set as a Virtual Assistant.

This summer I’ve been working on building a few skills. One of them is video recording and editing. I love the excitement around creating videos and posting them on the web so that other people can benefit from them. There are so many tools and opinions on what to do and what to buy. The biggest challenge for me when it comes to skill development is finding the time to practice. Learning is one thing, but implementing what you learn is a different beast!

Do you have a list of skills that you need to add to your repertoire? If you do not, you may want to start creating one. The skills that you have now will need to be improved upon as time goes on. Your virtual work environment can become obsolete if you fail to implement helpful tools, knowledge and skill that will help you to grow your business. Avoid becoming stagnant. It is imperative that you increase your skill in order to grow your business.

Here is a tip to help you develop skill in a systematic way. First, make a list of the things that you want to learn. Second, rate these items according to level of important (i.e. #1 being most important, #10 least important and so on.) Third, add the training to your budget. Fourth, schedule a time for the training including when you will begin to practice and implement the things that you learn.

So, what is your next skill? I’d love to hear about the cool new things that you are learning now and plan to include in the future.

Business Management &Skill Development Wil Hart on 10 Aug 2012

5 Fantastic Tips to Boost Your Tech Skills and Increase Your Profits At The Same Time

Learn & EarnI must admit that I am always on the dull side of technology. Being on the cutting edge has never truly been exciting for me. If there was ever a person who waited till the last minute to make a change with his technology, it was ME. Life changed drastically for me when I got my first iPhone. I am still astounded by the power of this magnificent device.

Just to give you an idea of how powerful it is, I attended an event one time and was able to sell more than $1,000 in products because of my iPhone and the tools that I used along with it. Guess who LOVES technology now. Yep it’s ME! I want to share with you 5 Fantastic Tips on how I went from a techno “dud” to acing everything that I want to know about anything tech-related. Here we go!

  1. Invest Time: It takes time to learn anything new. When it comes to mastering tricks and tips on your new iDevice, time is needed. It will be time well spent when you figure out how to use tools that save you time, simplify the complex or save money. Of course there are many other aspects of your life that you desire to enhance or change. Put in the time and reap the benefits.

Read more fantastic tips >>

Skill Development Sydni Craig-Hart on 15 Jun 2012

Two Ways to Improve Your Skills and Increase Your Income

There are two kinds of Administrative Professionals. Those who just show up to work and collect a paycheck, and those who take pride in their craft and truly strive to support those they work with.

Last Friday, I spent the day with a wonderful group of women who belong to the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP). This organization teaches administrative professionals how to upgrade and maintain their skills, and how to reach their true potential. I had the privilege of training more than 100 members how to use systems and technology to decrease their stress, work more efficiently and make themselves indispensable.

What is special about the women that I spent time with is that they are progressive in their careers. They work hard at improving their skills and therefore have more opportunities to increase their income. How do they do this? More importantly, how can YOU do the same?

Constant Education

It is critical to your success that you never allow yourself to stop learning. I realize that your days are action packed and you have a lot on your plate.

However, you and you alone are responsible for your professional development. So this is an activity you have to make time for.  To excel as a valuable employee or as an entrepreneur you must continually re-invent yourself through education. These areas in particular deserve your attention

  • What is happening in your industry
  • What new technology is available to help you be more effective in your job
  • What trends are taking place in your profession

Perhaps you work in financial services, in legal or with small business owners as a Virtual Assistant. Are you keeping up with what is happening in your industry and the interests of those you work with? Are you using old, antiquated systems in your day-to-day work-flow just because you are intimidated by new technology? What is really expected of Administrative Professionals and Virtual Assistants these days?  How is your role evolving?

The more informed you are about what is taking place around you, the better able you will be to service the needs of your company and your clients. Things will continue to change rapidly as time progresses and you will find yourself further and further behind if you don’t put forth the effort to stay ahead in the game.

In addition, knowledge is what allows you to feel confident in your abilities. Confidence allows you to earn top dollar for your work and easily earn respect from those you work with it.  Thus continuing education should be a high priority that you give ample attention to.

Personal Investment

The second way to increase your value and income is to invest in your personal growth and training. True, there is a lot of free information to which you can avail yourself.

However, in most cases, you get what you pay for. To progress in your career, you will need to make practical financial investments. That may include hiring a business coach or working with a mentor to help you achieve your goals. A coach or mentor can also assist with mental blocks that you may not see.

The women at the IAAP conference all invested in their personal and professional growth. Their event lasted from Friday through Sunday. Can you remember the last time you took time away from your work, family and friends to advance your career? It takes a significant investment from your finances, time and energy to rise above the crowd in any endeavor. But doing so is well worth the effort.

What steps are you taking in order to achieve your professional goals? If you want more out of your career than the status quo, which is working harder while receiving less reward, take steps to invest in yourself. Your pride and your pocketbook will thank you.

Achieving Goals &Business Management &Marketing &Mindset &Organization &Skill Development &Transition Sydni Craig-Hart on 22 May 2012

5 Keys To Becoming A Successful Virtual Assistant

In 2009, there were 27.5 million businesses in the United States, according to Office of Advocacy estimates (per a report published in January 2011). What does that mean for you?

A) That number has only increased since 2009.
B) EVERY single one of those businesses needs some type of administrative support to function and be profitable.
C) There is more opportunity for you to be successful than ever before.

Since you have expressed an interest in becoming a Successful Virtual Assistant, I want to share with you all the tips, short cuts and resources that were not available to me when I first got started. I had to figure out on my own most of the things that I learned. I hope that you will utilize the tools that I give you so as to make your journey a LOT less stressful than mine turned out.

Fortunately, I kept track of every step I took, every mistake I made and everything that worked along the way. I didn’t have a real reason for doing so at the time, but I’m SO glad I did because now I can share them with you. When I look back I see that there are 5 critical keys you need to start and build a successful Virtual Assistance company:

1. Mindset: You may not realize it now, but to be successful as an entrepreneur, you have to THINK like an entrepreneur. As employees, we are conditioned to do what others tell us. Someone else typically decides our schedule, how much we get paid, who we work with and what projects we work on. When you become self-employed, YOU call all the shots. This is probably one of the things that is most attractive to you about the opportunity to be a Virtual Assistant. However, you must understand that you will have to go through some growing pains to make-over your mindset. You cannot operate your business they way you function as an employee. It simply won’t work. If you avoid working through this transition it could be the ONE thing that can make or break your business.

2. Infrastructure: What makes up the infrastructure of your company?  Here are a few things to consider: 1) Insurances – health, life, disability, dental etc. 2) Technology – computers, phones, an online presence etc.  3) Operations – you must have operational systems in place such as accounting, tax filing, setting up new customers, processes for working with customers, etc. 4) Structure – will you set up an LLC or a Sole Proprietorship?  5) Finances – it takes money to make money. Considering these important matters and making well-informed decisions about which situations will work best for you, will enable you to start and manage a successful company.

3. Marketing: Marketing your services and getting clients boils down to one thing, ‘Offering solutions to people who are already looking for them.’ You don’t have to “hawk your wares”, you don’t have to convince people to hire you and you don’t have to take any opportunity that comes along. Marketing at it’s best is simple, focused and consistent. Those who do not market their company tend to find themselves out of business very soon. The best thing that you can do for your business is to know how to generate leads and enroll new clients. You do not want to wait to figure this out. You can develop a marketing plan even before you have made your first dollar, taking advantage of the resources, relationships and opportunities already within your reach.

4. Transition: Having a PLAN around your transition from Executive Assistant to Virtual Assistant will help you to make the leap from employee to entrepreneur smoothly. Please do not quit your job and then ‘hope for the best’. That is NOT a plan that leads to success. You want to make sure that you have not only your infrastructure in tact, but also a step by step plan that has dates attached to keep you focused. This plan gives you time and space to make the transition. In your mind you may think you can “wave a wand” and make the changes you need to make overnight. But that is an unrealistic view. Mapping out a realistic plan will help you to make steady progress, avoid unnecessary stress and minimize wasted time and wasted money.

5. Building Your Business: When you work for someone else, that company does all of the heavy lifting for you as an employee. The company is responsible for building the business so that you will have a place to work each day. Now, YOU are responsible for whether you win or lose. Success or failure is 100% in YOUR hands! You, therefore, have to perform all of the needed tasks to REMAIN in business. This includes constantly upgrading your skill set, setting up systems, marketing consistently and more.

If you would like help with each of these 5 Keys, I invite you to join me for a FREE training call on Thursday, May 31st, entitled “How to Use the Skills You Already Have to Add An Additional $500 – $5,000 to Your Monthly Income…Working From Home”. Click HERE to get the dial-in details!

Achieving Goals &Mindset &Skill Development &Virtual Assistant Sydni Craig-Hart on 21 May 2012

Do You Want to Become a Successful VA?

You have been searching for some time haven’t you? There are many questions about the Virtual Assistance industry that you have been trying to answer. Can I really make a living from being Virtual Assistant? Will I be able to pay my bills? How will I find clients? What tools do I need in order to work from home?

Since 2008, we have been answering these questions for our EAtoVA.com community. I’m here to assure you that If I can do it, you can do it too! (Become a member of the EAtoVA family and see how I conquered the journey of going from Executive Assistant to Virtual Assistant. Simply enter your name and email address in the boxes at the top of this page to get INSTANT access to my FREE special report “The Liberated Executive Assistant – How to Break Free From The Corporate Grind and Become Your Own Boss!“)

I know it is your goal to become a successful Virtual Assistant. That is how you found our website and introduced yourself to us. I really want to serve you first by inspiring you to set and accomplish this goal. Additionally, over the next several weeks, I am going to personally walk you through the process creating and succeeding in your very own business.

Just to keep you in the loop of what is happening here at EAtoVA.com, I want to know that I am creating a new club for people like you who want to have full support in your journey of starting your own business. Within the next couple of weeks, you will be the first to receive this exclusive information. Here is what I need you to do in order to get that information.

Click here to sign up for notification about my new club. The word will not go out to everyone. That is why I need you to raise your hand and say, “Yes Sydni, I want more info about the club”. Take a moment to sign up and you’ll be among the first to know when I unveil this new training center. And be sure to tell your friends, family members and colleagues about this exciting opportunity!

Skill Development Sydni Craig-Hart on 14 Oct 2011

Educate Your Way to Success

adult learningAt EA to VA, we constantly encourage you as a Virtual Assistant to define what success means to you. When you have a clear vision it is much easier to shoot for the target and hit the bulls-eye.

One thing is for sure when it comes to reaching your definition of success. Education is a key factor that will get you there.

Have you ever heard the phrase, ‘the more you know the more you grow’? How true for a Virtual Assistant who has left her corporate career and has decided to use her knowledge and skill to create her own business.

Always remember that what got you here, won’t get you there. The knowledge that helped you to reach this point in your business will not necessarily take you to the place of success for which you are aiming. What will help you to get there?

New knowledge will certainly bridge the gap between where you are now and the goal that you are seeking to attain. What are the best ways to educate yourself as an entrepreneur? Consider first, what your learning style might be.

How do you best learn, retain and apply information? Your learning style may be one of the following:

  • Visual – learn from seeing techniques and images
  • Auditory – learn through listening
  • Reading/Writing – learn from books
  • Kinesthetic or tactile – learn by doing

If you understand the best way for you to take in and apply knowledge, you can equip yourself with the right tools that will help you to build your business. For instance, if your learning style is through reading, there are hundreds of books that detail how to be successful as an entrepreneur. With video being so popular these days, you can certainly satisfy your visual and auditory learning styles.

I encourage you to be clear and specific about your business goals. Remember, there are only a few things that you need to bridge the gap between where you stand and where you want to be or what you want to accomplish.

Knowledge is a major factor in that process. Figure out what you need to learn to grow your business. Decide the best method to learn that information so that you can retain what you learn. Do whatever you need to do to invest in yourself and gain access to the training you need. Then apply that newfound knowledge and enjoy the success that you seek!

Skill Development &Target Market Sydni Craig-Hart on 07 Oct 2011

How to NOT Become Obsolete

Your knowledge, skill set and the tools you use can make you a force to be reckoned with OR make you obsolete.

How so?

Because your clients are looking for solutions. They are not looking for a Virtual Assistant. They seek your assistance because they are struggling with a particular problem and no longer want to handle it on their own. By increasing your knowledge, skills and tools to solve their problems, you will stake your claim in your marketplace.

On the other hand a lack of knowledge, skills and tools can make your business OBSOLETE!

Where do you stand? Are you a ‘go-to’ Virtual Assistant? Do clients and other Virtual Assistants look to you when a particular skill is needed? If you learn about the popular technologies and skills that are needed in your marketplace, you can quickly build your business.

Supply and demand is still the order of the day. Are your knowledge, skills and tools needed in your market? If you find that you need to make improvements in this area. Don’t fret about it. Do something about it! 🙂 Start by doing your research to see what your target market is looking for in a Virtual Assistant.

Here are a few skills that many entrepreneurs need help with today:

  • Client management
  • Customer service
  • Shopping cart management
  • Video editing
  • Email marketing management
  • Social media management
  • Copywriting and proofreading
  • Product and program launches
  • … much more!

Your service offerings must meet the needs of your marketplace. Every type of business has to have some market share. Be sure to get your share by enhancing your knowledge, skills and tools.

Protect your business from becoming obsolete by investing in yourself and presenting solutions that your target market is looking for.