Using “Facebook as Page” Can Be Helpful!

Recently Facebook added a new feature to Facebook Pages which can be very helpful if you are the Owner or Admin of a Page you are using for business!

The Facebook Pages now show down the right side a place where it says “Use Facebook as…” and the name of your Page.  When you click on this you essentially become the Page.  To go back to your personal name/profile, just click on Account (upper right) and click where it says “Use Facebook as” and your name.

When you become the Page, you can see the recent people who have “Liked” your page or as it used be called, have become fans.  This is useful as sometimes I see the numbers going up and am not sure who was last! 🙂 And you can see notifications of comments, likes etc for your Page.  This is nice.

But what really motivated me to write about this new added feature to Facebook Pages is – Now since you are the Page, if you go visit another Page, you can comment as your business Page.  So my Page, Virtual Assistance by Anita, can then go out to another page, let’s say Village Connector and comment as the page.  You can say thank you or give some positive input.  When you post, it will leave the link to your Page.  This could be very helpful for businesses trying to establish or build relationships!

Take Action! Try it out today and let me know what you think! I love comments!  Find me on Facebook at – Virtual Assistance by Anita!

Sending out wishes to all for a smooth flight in life and social media – from my dragonflies

Brrr… It’s cold outside

Snow flakeYes, about November in Maryland, I begin to say this Brrrr” I am so cold“.  The winter time never really was my favorite as I am a summer gal and love the beach.  But, recently I realized through a special friend what a difference the weather and season of the year has on your life.  I used to get so frustrated in November when I wanted to rearrange all the storage stuff with my husband and prepare for the holidays, and it would never happen.  I can remember back a few years trying to coordinate some type of activity for Girl Scouts in January and again experiencing that wondering  thought – “Why is this not working?

Recently, my wonderful friend, Shari Sternberger, connected the dots for me.  Winter is not a time of renewal or moving forward that is spring.  Why am I fighting against the seasons to do spring cleaning in the fall?  No wonder it would never work.  This year I accepted that the cleaning for Christmas and the decoration organization would happen in December.  I had so much less stress when the tree did not come out in November.  I just accepted it.  I enjoyed Thanksgiving and did not give it a thought. Ok, for a second I thought about it and then I remembered –   Shari says this is not the time.  Here is a great article she wrote about this in The Village Connector Community News – “Are you Listening to Mother Nature?”

It made my life so much more joyful.  Maybe it is just the ability to ‘let it go’ after all these years, but whatever it is – I am happier.  My acceptance that during the holidays is not the time to prepare for January’s Girl Scout meeting has given my kids and hubby a much more peaceful time.  We’ve actually played a few family games together.

The snow that usually puts me in a ‘tizzy’ worrying about the husband who has to drive in it and the kids being home while I’m trying to work.  Ah, well is this year’s attitude from me.  It’s snowing – Danny will be fine – he’s been driving in it for 20 + years and the kids Have to be respectful or I’ll take away their computers!  Acceptance that it is going to snow – I cannot change the season!  This is working for me.

Yes, Brrrr, it IS cold, so I’ll get another cup of tea and put on my warmer socks.  I’ll check the antifreeze in the mini-van and make sure the kids have extra stuff to eat.

But, I will not try to make winter into spring anymore. Thanks Shari! 🙂

Virtual Assistance by Anita is One Year Old!

dragonfly - mooonYes, It’s true. My business, Virtual Assistance by Anita will celebrate a one year anniversary on 12-31-2010. One year ago on New Year’s Eve, I launched my website. It was the first week of January 2010 that I received my business cards!

I cannot type one document in the past month where I add the date without thinking about it. Last year at this time I was creating my website; I was learning Word Press, and I was still wondering if this ‘new’ business was going to work.  Were clients really going to come?  Was I really going to be able to provide the services that I envisioned.  During this time, many other Virtual Assistants (VAs), friends, and business associates were helping me.  In one year, I have realized success by having many new, wonderful clients, but also I realized strength within me I never realized I possessed.

When you factor in that one year ago, I was still learning to be a virtual assistant and most of my income was being derived from my cleaning business. One year ago, I was still struggling with the major health issues in my life. But, in May, 2010, I began to have enough clients and income to close the cleaning business which I totally disliked. My cleaning clients were angels of people, but the work was so physically hard and wrecking my health so badly, that in the end I totally hated getting out of bed on the days I had to clean. Now, my health is 100% improved. I have even begun to rebuild my immune system and gain a few pounds. 🙂

Wow – that is quite a lot for one year. You wonder why I keeping thinking about it at every turn; with every new client. I sure didn’t get here by myself – granted there was a bunch of hard work; long hours and heart that I’ve put into this business, but I have loved every moment. BUT, I would never have made it to this place without my helpers – my Earth Angels – the Givers in my life.  I read,  The Go-Giver, an inspirational and wonderful book, by Bob Burg and John David Mann,  just a little over one year ago.

I would be typing for hours if I listed every person here that has been a giver in my life and my business this past year, so if I missed you – I appreciate you and know that you were a part of my journey!  It truly has been an amazing journey as if I made a list of the many people who have helped me in one way or another in the past year, I KNOW the list would be over 100, maybe even 200 people… possibly more.

The beginning was because of that one person who just loves you; gives you that extra encouragement and a ‘gentle’ push. That person for me was Kim Wesley. She reached out to me and gave me the idea. A business of my own and a new career seemed mighty scary to me. But, Kim is the kind of friend that never gives up on you. She spent about a month last August talking to me on email about it. Kim then created a subcontractor position for me with her company, TKM Virtual Services. She helped, taught and mentored me. When December rolled around, she decided it was time for this dragonfly to fly on her own. With love, and firm determination, she gave me that final push. Kim is that one person in my life who believed in me and encouraged me. Weeks can go by and Kim and I may not talk, but I know she always there for me. She is truly the sister God didn’t give me and I am thankful every day.

Kim introduced me to Glenn Garnes. Glenn is the kind of person who always has a positive attitude! He helped me, mentored me, taught me and was one of my first clients. Glenn is the founder of The Village Connector Community News. This online newspaper only publishes the good news – no crime, politics or controversial subjects. Glenn has been instrumental in the past year of my success in this business.  Many of the clients who I am now so thrilled to work with each day are because Glenn referred them to me.  He has many special gifts and I appreciate all of them that he has shared with me.

Then there were so many people who I’ve met online. Through Twitter and Facebook, we have connected and although I never have met them in ‘person’, they are my friends. A few of these special people were Michelle Mangen of Your Virtual Assistant. Michelle taught me many things about how to be a VA. She also taught me how caring people can be. One Sunday last December when my website crashed and I was ‘freaking out’, she called me calmly, and restored Word Press, like Magic! Michelle even outsourced VA work to me in my early days as a VA last year. Another example of a ‘Giver’ in my life.

Another instrumental person in my business life this year is my friend Deneen Wilson of The Typing Bug. She gave me a month of free mentoring. Her knowledge, caring and friendship are worth more to me than all the gold in the world. Deneen has a very special place in my heart as she is always there for me.  If I sent her an email anytime, she’s there to help!

In talking about my ‘online’ friends, I must mention Marie Riddle Walker as she is the “Twitter” lady! Marie and her beautiful family live in California – all the way across the country from me, but I feel as if we are neighbors. Social media can be a wonderful place to make ‘friends’ and I have been very blessed to have some special folks reach out to me. Thanks to all of you!!!

Last January I joined a Mastermind Group facilitated by Mia & Ernest Reed. This group of folks have supported, helped and cared for me this past year. There were times they gave me the ‘courage’ I needed to take the next step of growth! Many thanks to them all for their support.  A huge hug to both Mia and Ernest as they are some of my wonderful clients and a part of my heart and family now.

The list could go on and on of all the many wonderful clients, friends and people who have touched my life and business this year, but — The point is – I have been truly given the gift of a community of love and support. As I celebrate one year as a business, I give thanks for all of you – those mentioned here and the many, many more who I have not mentioned, also!

Before I close, I must say that my Family has truly given me the wind beneath my wings to soar as a dragonfly.  My daughter, Hannah has filed for me, made labels and sometimes she knows those little tricks of Facebook that only a 12 year old knows. 🙂  My sons have been supportive in many ways, but especially as they’ve cooked and cleaned for themselves much more than ever before in their lives.  My husband, Danny, has been truly a gift to me all year; encouraging me, reading and learning more about HTML code than he ever knew before and being my partner in business!

As each of you celebrate a Happy New Year on 12-31-2010,  I will also be celebrating my one year anniversary, thanks to a ‘village’ of people! Many Hugs to all! 🙂

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!  🙂

The power of social media

Hey, now you know that term ‘the power of social media’ or  ‘the power of the Internet’ has crossed your path lately.  It is used in news about social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and by lots of business folks everyday.  It seems to be the new marketing phrase.  “The power of social media”  I didn’t buy into this 100% until recently when I had several direct personal experiences with it.

First, since becoming a Virtual Assistant, I have ‘the power of social media’ in my life everyday as I make new friends and am able to reconnect with old friends.

But, it is when I experienced ‘the power of social media’ as a direct result of a status update that made me really ‘believe’ in this creature.  Recently, I purchased a new ‘used’ car.  I was very impressed with the service that the dealership provided to me.  It seemed like the obvious thing to do to post a status update at Facebook on my personal profile on how great they were at Auto-Net Sales.  In just a few days, a friend called me.  She was having lunch with a friend of hers. During their conversation, the subject had arisen that her friend was in the market for a car.  My friend remembered my post about the car dealership and wanted to get more information.  She called me.  “The power of social media!”

Another especially great example in my life of ‘the power of social media’ was through a donation of Girl Scout cookies by a friend’s business, Mobile Car Wash and Detailing.  Ernest Reed purchased the cookies to help my girls and the U. S. soldiers.  I then posted a thank you on his Facebook Fan page for Mobile Car Wash and Detailing along with the link to the GSCM U.S. Mint program, where others could donate Girl Scout cookies to U. S. soldiers.

Business folks that I respect have been telling me for a few months now how important being involved on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and so many more that I am beginning to experience.  As a Virtual Assistant, I explain everyday to business folks the value of having a Facebook Fan page for their business.  “The power of social media” is really a true concept! 🙂

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 🙂

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

My Journey

I am approaching  my 3 month anniversary now as a Virtual Assistant.  Wow!  I’ve learned such a great deal in such a short amount of time.  My journey has been exciting, rewarding, joyful, frustrating, and even at times, has reduced me to tears.  Those tears have been, for the most part, tears of joy.

I think that the most rewarding thing that has happened to me and that keeps happening to me – is that people reach out and help me.  These are people that don’t know me; have never met me; and I may never be able to give them anything in return.  But, as a Virtual Assistant, many  have helped me.  These folks just give you a bit of help that seems to make the hour you may have spent trying to figure it out worthwhile!  They make you smile for they give you hope that us humans have some great characteristics! 

Through Social Media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  I have been blessed to have met many new friends, also.  These wonderful people have extended opportunities to me just because.  If you have not read the book, The Go-Giver, by Bob Burg and John David Mann, it is a must-read!  In this book, there is a concept of “stop keeping score’!  The terrific folks that I’ve met at Networking events and through  Social Media,  they certainly live up to that concept! 

I am happy to say that my journey as a Virtual Assistant is just beginning, but is showing promise and hope for the future. 

“Faith is taking the first step, even when you can’t see the whole staircase” Martin Luther King, Jr.  This quote is how I am feeling about the next three months of this journey

Tell me about Your Journey!  ` Anita 🙂