Thanksgiving – Every Day

happy-thanksgiving-pookin“Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.”  ~Edward Sandford Martin

When I was a little girl growing up, my dad used to say that every day of the year is a day of Thanksgiving.  I did not completely understand that then but I certainly do now.  As an adult with a husband, three children and especially as a business owner,   Every day is a day of thanksgiving.

Sure there are lots of things in my life that I could ‘complain’ about, but what good will that do for me or anyone else around me? Instead, I try to find something to be grateful about or thankful for each day.  In the month of November, I usually tell my family each day what I am thankful for as they need to hear it.  I ask them to try to do the same – my kids just ‘love’ this – haha – but being thankful, outloud or in writing, affirms this feeling!

My way of thinking seems to be working for me.  I have been very blessed with new paths to fly at in business, in my personal life and health and in my friendships.  Each day of this past year, I  seem to find a new person who helps me, a new piece of technology to help my life to be better; and to help the lives of others to be better! Although there are still ‘challenges’ in my life, I am so thankful for all that I have been given.

This is truly the way Thanksgiving should be – A time of the year that we remember more often to be thankful for all the gifts in our lives – But mostly I want to remember, to be thankful Every day of the year.

I guess Daddy was right, Every Day of the Year is Thanksgiving!  Happy Thanksgiving to you all!  🙂

Virtual Assistant travels on new adventure

Travel has always been something that I said I would do when I was older and the children were raised, but here I am journeying on a new adventure.  Snowy road This travel is as a Virtual Assistant and my path is the world wide web! Like the snowy, icy road above, it has been a slippery way, but in this New Year and with my friends, I will take flight, like the dragonfly over the Ocean!

I have been given an opportunity to travel along with other self employed, small business owners as I launch my own business!   I have told quite a few folks lately,  “I am flying on my own now.”   This is inspired by the dragonfly that I so love.

Seriously though, Here I am.  I am starting a new Virtual Assistant business with a new self hosted website – www.anitamhicks.com !  The road here has been a bit rough and I think my dragonfly’s wings are still damp!   No matter – onward!   In 2010,  Virtual Assistance by Anita will take flight and soar into business.

This flight so far has been supported and guided by my wonderful husband, Danny.  He has, out of necessity, become my web designer, my ‘how does this code work’ person, my co-pilot and my encouragement!  A big thanks to him!

It is by the blessing of my friends and their excellent advice, help and encouragement that my business, like my beautiful blue dragonfly, is flying along this new path!  Great thanks must go to Kim Wesley and Glenn Garnes.  They are my solid rock that all dragonflies must have before taking flight.   A huge thank you to my awesome friend, help and WordPress Super Woman, Michelle Mangen.   Another amazing person in the creation and design of the new website, Deneen Wilson!  A huge hug goes to her for the beautiful, blue dragonfly and for many hours of support to me!  These folks are the reason that Virtual Assistance by Anita will fly over the snowy places and into the warmth of the sun  in 2010!

There are many more folks who have reached out to me via the Internet to give me their honest input and help with regard to my business.  I really appreciate you all — Marie, Sandra, and Kathleen, are  just a few!  It is a truly amazing place here in my virtual world.

Just a few short months ago, I read the book  The Go-Giver.  The principles of giving, without expecting anything in return, are outlined in this book!  It was one of my first inspirations for becoming a Virtual Assistant.  I can see that there are people in the world who are willing to help you, just because, without expecting anything in return.   It has been my personal experience in the past month alone that dozens of folks have reached out to me.   A select few have become my close friends.

Happy 2010!  Happy New Year!  Come on over and visit me at www.anitamhicks.com!  Leave a comment,  Please !  Tell me what you think!  I love input! 🙂

Let's Not Be Partners, by Glenn Garnes, (2nd half)

This book has been fabulous! Again, I have to say that I’m not in any place in my life  to have a partner, but the words of wisdom that Glenn writes in the book, Let’s Not Be Partners, are very useful in life!

“You’re dreams will be realized when you get connected with people that are on the way, not in the way.” Anon.  This was from Chapter VI and it is very true in my opinion.

Glenn writes in the final chapters of the book about the evaluation of relationships and what to do when the relationship falls apart. He brings his caring of people to the words on the page.

After Chapter X, there is a terrific set of forms to use as discussed in the book.

If you have a copy of the book and have not read it, you should set the time aside Now!  If you do not have a copy, follow the link and purchase one at Glenn Garnes’ website.

As always, I love input – Please tell me what you think 🙂

New Book I'm reading – Let's Not be Partners

I am reading this new book that I just had to share with everyone.  It is –  Let’s Not Be Partners, Things you must do before you tie the Knot (Not), by Glenn Garnes.

Being an honest person, I must first say that Glenn is my new friend.  My life was blessed this past October when he became my new friend.  The first time I met Glenn, I already knew quite a bit about him.  One of my most trusted friends recommended Glenn.  She was singing his praises as a Connector, as a friend and as a mentor.  I had learned that Glenn had been a lawyer and had done some really impressive things in connecting business professionals with each other.   When I met Glenn, the man immediately made me feel as if we had known each other forever.  His love of people shines through just like the warm sunshine of a summer day.

Having said all that about the author of this book, now let me tell you about the book !  I’ve only read 5 chapters, but I had to sit down and blog about it.  It is inspiring, whether or not you are considering a business partner, it has valuable information that we all should know.    The book is packed full of ideas of how to build relationships;  what to avoid in business relationships and generally will help you to focus your efforts.

I love Glenn’s quotes as they are always something that motivates, inspires or makes you think.  This book has them sprinkled in and here is one I especially like “All the ideas in the world are worthless without quality people to help you implement them.”

I’ll keep you updated on the rest of the book, but I suggest you all run to his website and buy one and Yes, I mean Now!

Then, Let me know what You Think – I love input 🙂 – Anita

Twitter Tips

I just Love to share!  Since I’ve learned so many wonderful things of late as a Virtual Assistant, I wanted to share a few.  I’ve chosen a few special Tips about Twitter to discuss here!  I hope you like them or that they help you as they’ve helped me!

One of the first wonderful sites that helped me and continues to is – SocialOomph.  This site is great for scheduling tweets, monitoring if you have been mentioned or your tweets retweeted and it also has the ability to search on keywords for you.  All of these things and a bunch more for Free!  The ‘pay business’ account for SocialOomph offers even more resources for users.

Now, as a Virtual Assistant,  I follow some folks almost daily.  These folks are my ‘online’ mentors. I visit their blogs and websites frequently.  When I noticed that Scott Monty, Ford Social Media specialist, also recommends SocialOomph, I knew I must have found a real gem for Twitter!  My daddy, a Naval Mechanic, was a Ford man, so I follow Scott’s blog almost daily.  In his recent post on Twitter “Enough is Enough”, he talks about SocialOomph as a tool that has successfully helped him.

I also recently was given a link to a new site that provides the same type of services as SocialOomph, and although, I admit, I have not used it very much, it seems very useful.  Tweetminer, has been highly recommended to me as the newest and easiest to use for scheduling and monitoring tweets.

Another tool that is really helpful to get Company’s information out there and visible, is Twellow.  This is a yellow pages for Twitter.  When I create a new Twitter account for clients now, I automatically sign them up at Twellow.  After all, it is all about getting the Company information out there as often as possible.

As of October, 2009, Flickr reports that 33% of the users on Twitter are from ages 18-29 and 22% of the users are from ages 30-49.  This is 55% of the folks that are Tweeting and the age range that most  companies are targeting.  I just read an article today that says that Twitter is estimated to be worth $600 million and it has about 70 million users on a daily basis, worldwide.  These numbers make it impossible to ignore Twitter as a possible tool for all businesses.

I hope that these Twitter Tips help you.  If there is anything that I can do to help you further, please feel free to contact me.  I Love Input, so just pop in and give me a comment 🙂 `Anita

Business Cards

Hiya All!

The subject of business cards has come up quite frequently in my house and with my new company.  As a new Virtual Assistant, I am working with someone who believes that business cards are important,  and my husband has decided recently that he should ‘help’ me with this.

Research started at this point – What programs do we have that could reproduce something quality?  Well – duh, without a quality printer, forget it.  Off to the web to find some resources.

We start reading articles about business cards .  They tell me what I should have on them, how they should look, and even that I should have my picture or Twitter Avatar on them.  Check this cool article out from Michelle Mangen, a Virtual Assistant in Wisconsin, as I think she has some great info.  It seems all the social media news sites have lots of tips of what to do with the creation of the card

In the end, the best and most reliable source comes to me from a referral.  Someone that I know, and trust, is recommending someone they know, and trust, to me for my business cards.  This is always the best way, I believe.

Social Media – Is it changing the way we live?

Ah, the question of the hour, Is Social Media changing the way we live?  Is it changing the way we purchase products, the way we advertise, the way we find the things we need and the way we spend our time?

In my personal journey, I would have to say Yes!  In just a short time, my family and I have expanded our lives into Facebook;  we’ve purchased the last 3 or 4 books at Amazon and we spend a great deal more time on the computers than we watch television.  All three of my children (21, 15 and 11 years) are constantly debating which of them get a turn on the computer.  They know better than to ‘touch’ mommy’s computer as that is for her ‘work’.  As a Virtual Assistant, I have been suddenly immersed in social media and have found it to be such a joy.

There are many areas that social media affects folks’ lives, but one especially cool way, I think, is when it brings attention to things.  For instance, here is a link from msnbc that talks about travel and social media.  They address the wonderful aspects of bringing issues to the attention of folks in the travel industry.  Twitter is great for this as when anything happens, it is immediately sent out in a tweet.  Information flows rapidly at Twitter.

I ask you – Is it changing the way your family and you live?  Do you watch less TV?  Do you spend more time on the computer?  Do you order / shop online more?  Tell me !  `Anita

Twitter And LinkedIn Working Together!

I guess I must have missed this information as it just came to my attention.  The two Social Media sites, LinkedIn and Twitter are now working together.  The LinkedIn Blog has a posted from November 9th announcing the partnership.

The deal is that you can update your status in LinkedIn and it will tweet it for you in Twitter, also.  This way you are reaching more people with your information.

Twitter is really becoming the place to become connected in my opinion.  Companies like Ford Motor have their own Social Media employees,  who are getting Tweets out regularly.  These Social Media experts for many Companies are aware of the benefits that the LinkedIn site has as well.  There are possible job opportunities on LinkedIn in almost every arena of the business world, and many companies are using these resources.

The information on the web is overwhelming at times.  I know that more and more I feel on information overload.  I read somewhere today, there are over 200 million blogs out there!

In my opinion, it is an amazing feat to have instant access to information that’s happening Now on Twitter.  But, to have LinkedIn connected in this new way, it will make the possibilities for job opportunities for everyone increase.  ~ Anita

Linked Working

Linked Working, is an excellent book, that I have just finished reading.  The authors, Frank Agin and Lewis Howes, are totally amazing folks and their book really gave me new inspiration to try to make my LinkedIn account something more than it is now.

There is such good information in there.  I am currently in the middle of exiting one career and entering into another one.  The idea that is suggested in the book of connecting with people that you already know really made me think.  Like a light bulb coming on, I thought –  I can ask my clients who I am sadly leaving after many years, to write a referral for me.  I can still stay in touch with some part of their lives through LinkedIn.

I have always thought that my life is a great variety of activities, organizations and people that I know.  In Linked Working, this is one of the other ways that they say to expand your network.  The book suggest you should have a ‘diversity of connections’ by ‘creating a variety of cliques’.

Both these ideas have really hit home for me.  I am hoping to make an action plan for a goal each day this week for my friends at LinkedIn.  Catch up with me there!

I’d recommend this book to any business professional as it is a great read!   I also loved the quotes at the top of each chapter!

Tell me your thoughts or comments – If you’ve read the book, it is important to me – What did you think?  ~  Anita

Twitter – What is this creature?

Hello Again All!   Happy Almost Thanksgiving to All!

As a Virtual Assistant, I am learning very rapidly the benefits of the creature called Twitter!  This social media, micro blogging site, is becoming the place to locate the up to date, happening right at this moment, news.  It is a great place for many other things.

Perseverance – This is what I think of when I say Twitter!  I think that if I keep working at this and since I want it so badly, then I will have it!  This really translates to – I’m not going to become frustrated and I’m going to stick to it!  No matter how many things about Twitter I learn, there is always more.

Here is the link to Language on Twitter.  Yes, believe me, they have their own language.  These are Official text commands for Twitter from their site.  These are like – RT, which means to ReTweet someone’s tweet as you thought it was good!

Mari Smith, a very informative and connected Social Media networker, says “It’s a social media jungle out there!!” Of course, what she is referring to is the massive amount of different social media sites, blogs, webinars, and services.

Twitter is like that – an infinite amount of other sites, resources, helps, language etc. to accompany the site.  Twitter has so many things that help with it.  I especially like Twitbacks which allows you to customize your background.  I love this one. As it makes me look like I know what I’m doing – like I’m a Graphic Artist –  funny, I draw stick figures 🙂

Twellow, is a site for yellow pages on Twitter.  This can help businesses to be located and to locate them on Twitter.  If you’d like to schedule your tweets for when your away, go to SocialOomph and you can do that, too!

I am most excited because there are so many folks that have reached out to me.  They have found my Twitter profile and then, they offer help.  This is an amazing thing to me! It is on Twitter that I have been able to feel as if the world is a smaller place.  Plus, there is the benefit that as soon as something happens, there seems to be a Tweet on Twitter about it!  Keeping me up-to-the-moment with a ton of information!

So – what do you think about Twitter? Is it a Creature?  Or a hug-able bear?   I’d love to know your thoughts!  Yours,  Anita