What does Success mean to YOU?

Well here it is – the day after Thanksgiving! I have so many gifts in my life over the past years that now I embrace the entire month of November and each day I give thanks for at least one thing in my life.

In the past years my life has many successful areas. But, it depends on how you define success.  I define it by having a family and husband whom I adore with a stronger relationship now than almost 20 years ago when we were married. Success for me is also a business in which I get to do what I LOVE and with clients whom are amazing to work with every day. Success for me is being surrounded by people who truly are there for me.Success is also continued improvements in my health.

How did I get all of these gifts in my life that I am so thankful for you ask? Magic? Pixie Dust? Nope! I KNOW it was many different things that gave me this success. But, one of the most important to me is that I began to adjust the way I thought.  That is right – it was with me. It was the way I was thinking. Once I began to embrace the fact that I could achieve something more for my life, my business and my future, it began to happen. Once I began to take steps (sometimes in faith) of action towards my goals, then success came to me. Once I put others needs before my own and identified solutions to help others, then, solutions were available for me.

My success is that of learning to think of not what was wrong in my life, but to think of what solution I could find, learn and do to make my life better. When I began this business, before one business card was printed or my website was launched, I had already embraced the idea that it would be successful, I would have clients, there were resources and people to help me. Once I began to think in that way and stopped blaming everyone and everything around me, things began to change.

Then I learned that one success meant that I could now find success in other areas of my life also. My relationship with my husband has improved because I began to see where i could make changes, took action to do so and now my relationship is stronger for it.

What is your goal? What success do you want in your life? Try to rethink about how you can come up with action items and steps to make this happen for you.

Recently it was my great joy to have someone ask me this question – “How are you so successful in such a short time?”. It brought a huge smile to my face because I don’t think I am successful yet as everyday there is more to learn, new people to meet and the future is exciting! This is only the beginning. But, my answer was something like the graphic in this blog.

Honestly, there are no secrets to success, just learn, do and have an attitude of gratitude. Be more today than you were yesterday.  That is success… in my humble opinion!

Happy Thanksgiving to All! I am grateful for you in my life!

Vote for us to Win New Computers

Hello again friends!  About a month ago, my husband and I made a decision to purchase a new computer for my daughter. A good investment and much needed as she enters high school this fall. She is a very motivated young lady and has already decided college will be her next step, along with a career as a Real Estate Agent. She will use this laptop for a good while and we were excited to be able to give it to her.

I did my usual step by step, methodical process to any decision. This drives my husband nuts, but it is just who I am and no way around it. Step 1: Ask all my closest, inner circle, friends who buy and know computers for help. Questions like –  Where should I go locally and online? What do you suggest? Got any referrals for me?

Then I reached out to my wonderful computers and took full use of the search engines. As my daughter says, Google has it all! Final step, run around town and see if any of these laptops can be found for a less expensive price. In the end, I left the decision, based upon several options, to my husband and daughter. They know all the capacity requirements for memory and other details needed and I was happy to know the decision was made and an action would be taken.

They ended up with an ASUS computer and I have to say that for the price (around $300), it is an awesome laptop. She uses it to video chat (constantly as she could NOT be out of touch with her bff), she plays games, is a Facebook junkie (like mom and dad) and also is able to work on Power Point documents. It is really crisp and clear as far as her resolutions. I am impressed.

Then, ASUS Computers sent me an application to enter a contest for my small business to win a new laptop (state of the art) or computers for my offices! I completed the application but really did not think much of it. Then here we are in the running – amazing!

I usually don’t ask for help but sometimes, it is what you have to do! Please vote for us at the link below! And share it with your friends for us!

Here’s some of what I could use these computers for in our business –

A new laptop would be marvelous for me. I love my Dell Notebook but meeting with clients to review with them their new social media platforms at Facebook, You Tube and more will be much more visible in this new laptop. I will be able to show them and work with them to improve graphics, backgrounds and feeds in a much faster pace as this new laptop will run at the speed of light compared to my Dell Notebook!

In addition, I have my family and team members who use the computers in our home offices in Pasadena to serve our clients. Having more computers will mean more team members can work at one time! I will be able to train several folks at one time with multiple systems.

The most exciting part of all this to me is that if my business wins the new computers, I will be able to send a newer computer to our team member in Pennsylvania. She is in dire need of a faster, better computer and would be thrilled! It would mean her life would be easier and she could help our wonderful clients and hers better! It makes my life so happy when I can help others, too!

Vote for us – Please and Thanks so much for your support!!! 🙂

CLICK HERE TO VOTE – ASUS COMPUTER CONTEST

Summertime thoughts

Howdy! Just thinking that summer is just about over and finally, my family and I are going to take a few days to rest and be together. Due to circumstances beyond our control, this will NOT mean our usual trek to the ocean nor visit to the Maryland State Fair. We had to have many conversations this year due to my husband’s recent knee injury as to how we could be together for a little summertime fun.

In the end the decision still remains, cook on the back deck, play a few games, go to the movies and just ignore the 5,000 emails, 4,000 phone calls and all that is a part of owning your own business within the walls of your home and including your family as part of your team. Just a little ‘chill’ time!

We love what we do and our clients are amazing and inspiring people, but everyone needs rest.

Summer is always also a time to remember – my 19th wedding anniversary is on August 21st and so the remembering begins a few days before as my oldest son asks, “Are we going to watch the video this year?” My answer is probably not as the VCR Is broken… alas, customs in our house are difficult to break. Every year for 19 we have watched this video at this time with the kids reliving our beautiful day but change is a part of everything that is happening for us right now! It is Positive change bringing positive, good people and opportunities into our lives!

July tends to bring out the “oh no we are 1/2 way through the year” in me and I review everything. Now, August and September become take action times, but as I have learned, sometimes you have to re-energize, regroup and enjoy a little family, summertime first!!

What are you doing to enjoy the summer?

Drug Free Charlie Appearing LIVE at Six Flags!

Greetings! I hope this finds everyone having a fabulous summer! Usually I blog about social media, email, relationship building content or some other related business topic, but today I want to change gears and tell you about a wonderful opportunity.

My friend and one of the wonderful clients I have the joy to work with, Richard Van Dyke, has a great program for children called “Drug Free Charlie“. For years now he has been bringing his vision of Drug Free Charlie helping our children to stay free of drugs by learning at an early age through engaging and fun songs and activities! As a person who has spent 20 years of my life dedicated to helping our children, I was immediately drawn to Richard and Drug Free Charlie.

Drug Free Charlie is now appearing at Six Flags on August 18th for two shows – 1:30 pm and 3:30 pm.  I assure you that he will have your children laughing, singing and dancing to drug free songs! In addition, Six Flags and Drug Free Charlie are offering discount tickets to the amusement park, water rides, and the Drug Free Charlie Shows! Visit www.sixflags.com/america and enter the Promo code in upper right corner – “DFC”. Tickets are just $28.00 including tax!

You may find more about Richard Van Dyke and Drug Free Charlie, one special clown, at www.drugfreecharlie.com

Thanks for tuning in and hope this info will help you to enjoy a wonderful day with your children, grandchildren, nieces, Girl or Boy Scouts, or anyone who is young at heart with Drug Free Charlie at Six Flags America!

Have You Heard of Pinterest?

Pinterest, a new type of social media site, which uses words like pinning – boards – a visual pin board.  I have to say at first, even I, a programmer and social media gal, was skeptical of this new site.  Really, I asked my team as they were exploring Pinterest and giving me weekly reports – Really? People are using this graphic “bulletin board”?

Nine months after launch, the site counted 10,000 users, with few of them active on a daily basis BUT – Did you know? Pinterest reached 7.2 million visitors in the U.S. in December 2011. Wow, and now I am an active user! Just like my team and many others, I see the fun, social-ness, and value in Pinterest!

Here’s a definition straight from the site CEO, Ben Silbermann of what Pinterest is all about:

Pinterest – is a Virtual Pinboard.  Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.

Ben worked at Google prior to launching Pinterest and now is talking to others about how to begin their business. Find more on Pinterest and their CEO in this article:  All Things D – Pinterest article

My definition: It is much like a bulletin board where you pin photos, mementos from events you’ve attended, and even much like, a Dream Board or a Vision Board, if you will.  For me, of course, my first embrace to the site was it is a way to display the beautiful dragonflies that I love!

Get started today at Pinterest by going to www.pinterest.com and asking for invitation. This will come via email and usually takes a few days now that they are such an active and busy social media site!

For pinning to your boards, you can upload a graphic or photo from your computer or find one anywhere on Pinterest – just type into the search bar at top left – or you can find something on the web to pin.

The choices are infinite! But, there are many beautiful beaches, homes, places, and even social media! Another great way to find inspiration for what my team and I do is to look at how others display and portray themselves. If you are a visual person, this is a very fun social media site.

For business, there are a few ways that can be engaging and social at Pinterest and still help you to market your business. One way is if you have a product, have photos taken of others holding the product and pin those. (I encourage you to get their permission before pinning. 🙂

My team and I will be giving some social media workshops in the next few months on this new, fast moving and active social media site – Pinterest. Hope to see you!

Is your content embracing others?

Recently, my team and I have been giving social media workshops. We often get asked some form of this question – What should we use for content? What should we post?

I have an infinite number of suggestions on this subject, but what I try to communicate to folks is to use content that is going to be what people who are following your content will want.  How do you know what they want?  Have you asked them lately?

Are you offering tidbits of info to help others from your area of expertise? Do you post inspiring, motivating, uplifting or helpful content? Are you giving articles which you are interested in reading? Are you asking questions? How about discussing community fundraisers, bringing awareness to non-profits in need or just sharing a funny video?

These are quite a few questions and when I ask my clients these and more questions – sometimes they feel overwhelmed, but you must have a plan; a goal.

Your audience is craving your attention – what are you giving them? Is it content that will embrace them? Will it make them remember you? Are you truly portraying who you are?

Carefully proofread your words; sometimes it seems like the best idea in the world to share when you feel down or when your world has received something great but how are you wording it? Do you appear to be a Me Monster? Are you going to want to remove this from your Facebook Timeline in a month, a year or more? A good indicator that maybe, this is not the best content.

Remember – Embrace your audience – give them what you like to see in your News Feed! Spread the positive, give information, share educational data and generally, help others with your social media and you will embrace others!

The Importance of a Tidy Home Office

Written by Dianne Westrook, Team Member at Virtual Assistance by Anita

The importance of organization cannot be overstated; it affects all areas of our life. As a Virtual Assistant, I have found that an untidy workplace can be one of the biggest pitfalls for the work at home employee, however, following a few simple steps each day will help you maintain a tidy workplace, improve your mood and increase productivity.

Begin and end each day with a clean desk. When you begin your day with a clean, tidy space it will make you feel refreshed and ready for the busy day ahead. At the end of each work day, make a point to clean off your desk and rid the area of the pile of stuff that has accumulated. Throw out, or shred, any unnecessary memos, scrap paper, and old documents that have cluttered your desk.

Utilizing the appropriate home office furniture will improve productivity by helping you stay organized:

  • Purchase a desk that has shelves or drawers, and a small file cabinet so that organization is made easier.
  • Establish stations in your workspace, so that you always know your home office supplies, tools, and resources have their place.
  • House reference material in bookcases, and establish a printing station.

Make home office supplies accessible. Keep your home office supplies at the ready, so that you can easily grab what you need when you need it. Place the most frequently used items at close range, and move other necessary, but less frequently used, items to a supply drawer or decorative storage box. If you frequently use a memo pad or a stapler, don’t keep those items in a cabinet across the room.

Create a Memo Station and reduce the mess. Hang a Multifunction Memo Board above or beside your desk where you can write to-do lists and other important notes. These boards have a cork portion, that allows you to hang memos on the board with push pins, and a dry erase portion for keeping important visual notes and for writing things down quickly without having to waste paper. Dry erase boards are also magnetic. In addition, having a memo station will cut down on missed appointments and forgotten phone numbers, because you will have a neat and organized place to store them. Another helpful tip is to keep your daily planner close to the memo station, so that if you have to quickly jot down a number on the dry erase board, you can then transfer it to your address book.

Besides keeping your work area clutter free, remember to open up the curtains and windows to let the fresh air and sunshine in. Sunlight is known to be associated with happiness, combat depression, is a natural mood enhancer and stimulator, and can be rejuvenating. In winter months, use essential oils or scented crystals to keep you productive, and you may want to consider purchasing a light box for times when sunlight may be minimal.

Begin and end each day with a clean desk and you will improve your productivity, mood and your quality of life!

Have You Heard? The Timeline is Coming to Facebook PAGES!

Oh my! Yes, it is true! Another set of changes have been confirmed by Facebook in New York on February 29th! The new Timeline will now be rolled out all at one time on March 30th, 2012 to every Page at Facebook.

This means if you own, run or operate a business, the way you connect and build relationships with your Facebook Page will change! The good news is – the changes are awesome! Your business will now have the ability to enjoy a large Cover Photo! The details are still be clarified by the folks at Facebook as to what your Facebook Page’s Cover Photo can and cannot include.

Here are a few details we do know about Cover Photos for Facebook Pages –

  • You may not use contact details or website links
  • You may use multiple photos to create one collage giving an image of your business
  • You may have Custom Apps such as Welcome Pages, Daily Deals or Testimonials

Here is an informative article with details of what is happening at Facebook from their help center! Be sure to watch the video as it gives a great visual of how a sandwich shoppe uses their Facebook page to get the word out about their yummy food!

Introducing NEW Facebook Pages

Do you wish to dedicate your time to growing your business? Would you like these changes implemented but just don’t have the time? Contact our team as we can help! Begin enjoying the Facebook Timeline experience today! Or tell someone you know who may be interested! Let us help your business fly to new heights using social media!

Listening!

Listen! It is a word that parents use with their children quite often; maybe sometimes a bit too often. Since I was a very small child, it seems someone was telling me I needed to listen better; and of course, talk less.

As you grow and age, one thing you gain is the understanding of why it is important to listen. As a mother, child care provider and volunteer as a Girl Scout Leader, I find that listening to children really gives them a feeling of empowerment and confidence. As they have much to say and when you listen, you can discover many wonderful parts of their personalities.

But, for me, in the past few months Listening has been defined more as something I was attempting to do as a business owner. By listening to those around me who have expertise in areas that I do not, I knew that I could help my business to grow. Sometimes, this meant, believing in what they were telling me, even if it seemed impossible or out of reach for me. They have the expertise in their field and I knew in my heart and head that I needed to embrace what they were telling me is possible.

The first instance of this was a few months ago I moved homes. For the first time in years, I called upon help – my friend, the Realtor. On more than one occasion what she seemed to say to do would have “never” entered my mind, but when I followed her expertise and advice, and listened, my family and I found the best home we’ve had in many years!

Just recently my business coach met with me and what his proposal for me included for 2012 seemed out of this world – I actually looked at him as if he had 3 heads when he discussed this plan with me.  However, he is the expert in his field and so, I came home and began to embrace the new goals; both for personal development and for my business. By outlining the goals (on paper – there is just something about written form), then implementing the goals in small chunks daily; I was able to listen. By doing so, new doors and opportunities are beginning to open for my team and I in 2012!

Listen to those who have the expertise knowledge and experience in their fields; those whom you know and trust. Listen and embrace what they tell you!

You can have a Professional Email Signature!

People ask me this all the time – How do I get an Email signature that shows my social media icons and has some style to it? Maybe a splash of color, or a hyperlink, even a photo would be nice!

All of this and more is possible and for – Free! Just check out WiseStamp which gives you the ability to set up an Email signature with Gmail, AOL, Yahoo or Hotmail. They welcome these browsers: Mozilla Firefox, Safari and Google Chrome!

In just moments you can create a personal and business signature. You can add color, fonts, sizing and more! It is very user friendly for adding the social media buttons for places like Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and more. As it is simply a matter of adding the url into the box and Viola it creates the icon and inserts it into your signature for you!

In addition there are settings for adding your signature automatically every time you compose a new email. I adore this feature as it makes it super easy to do and not have to worry about it! Visit WiseStamp today!!

If you are an Outlook user, please check out my friend Michelle Mangen’s data on how to add a Twitter (or other icon) to your email from Outlook.  Click here to read Michelle’s article!

And enjoy your day!!