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Monthly Archives: April 2012

a TEST and TIME

On top of the new VA gig, the new blog gig, the existing blog/ghostwriting gig, my regular (yet random) transcription work for Page21 Magazine, and attempting to have that thing called a ‘personal life’, I am still actively seeking another VA client or at least 2-4 writing jobs (depending on size).

This brings me to the title of my post today ~ A TEST AND TIME. I have used approximately 5-7 hours of my time on reading, research, and testing for a potential VA client, in addition to 3 phone interviews about 30 minutes each. The client is extremely detailed and is seeking a VA for massive amounts of projects. Truly unrealistic for just one person so I spent some time trying to help him evaluate his need for a few different types of helpers.

As it turns out, his 3rd phone interview and request for information has narrowed his desire for my skills in the arena of writing eArticles to be turned into eBooks for one of his companies. The company (his wife actually) has developed a software program that requires 13 minutes a day to teach young people (ages 4-10) how to speak a 2nd language. The software can be used in classrooms or in the home.

The writing sample that I had to provide to them came to life by watching one of their promo videos and he allowed me to pick a topic from it on which I was to provide a 500 word sample. Well that was easy! Being that I originally started college to be a psychologist (most particularly for children, later turned to industrial psychology but that’s another blog for another day)… I digress… I chose the topic of Parent / Child Bonding While Educating.

I really enjoyed writing the sample because it’s a subject that means a great deal to me, something I studied, and something I worked hard at with my own son. So I figured, why waste the sample; so I’m sharing it not only so folks can see a different side of my writing skills, but because it’s a nice article that provokes thoughtfulness in parents of young children. I hope you enjoy and by all means, please reblog or repost.

Parent Child Learning

I certainly hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!

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Posted by on April 27, 2012 in Let's Share...

 

Growing (Slowly) but Growing INDEED

My new client for Virtual Admin work is a real gem and I’m learning a great deal from her. Paula owns and operates East End Business Solutions out of Long Island, NY. I was blessed when she hired me as her VA, not just for the obvious reason that I finally have a recurring gig, but because she is the ideal 1st client for my full-time venture into entrepreneurship. Paula has proven to be an up-beat, kind-hearted woman with a deep desire to succeed and flourish. She has taken the time to recognize that I am a very smart and eager individual and while I do not know everything she needs me to know, she has given me guidance and sent me along my way without micromanaging and with intent to see that we flourish together.

New New New and Good Good Good ~ Despite the slow rate of speed at which my clients are growing, they are growing. My capital will be all gone as of the next round of personal payments, so very soon it’ll be skin of the teeth, praying harder than ever, and getting creative with Ramen Noodles (hehehe). I have always believed in the barter and trade system, and now I’m actually making it work in one instance. You see, I sit at my desk for hours and hours, sometimes 10, 12, or more hours a day. Needless to say, it can be grueling and painful. Since being laid-off and being on a strict budget, many luxuries have been cut (case in point: my massages).

Here’s the barter and trade… My massage therapist (and good friend) is also building his independent business because he’s giving more to chiropractors in fees than he’s keeping himself for his services. His company, Saffron and Cedar Wellness, much like my business, needs some marketing. So I have created his blog and write his content based on subject matter he suggests. This takes me about 2 hours a week and in return I get an in-home 1+ hour massage session to help what ails me. Now, if only I could find a trade-off for somebody to steam clean my carpets (hehehehe).

That’s all for now… Time for a snack ;-)~

 

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Office Mates Matter…

As I finished up the work day at nearly midnight last evening, I was listening to my office mate whimper in her sleep. Chasing squirrels perhaps? Taking that long walk in the woods maybe? Who knows what she was dreaming of, and since she’s not the best conversationalist, I surely couldn’t get a clear answer.

Conversations or not, this little beast is by far my biggest fan.

World…. meet B.B. Girl.

B. B. is a teacup poodle, weighing in at a whopping 4.5 pounds. She is 10 years old as of March 8th, she’s full of grey hair, and missing several teeth. But this little girl is the sweetest, most dedicated friend in the world.

Since I truly sat down to focus on building my business 4 weeks ago this weekend, she has been right by my side the entire time. She used to get the privilege of sitting in my lap when I was at the computer, but now the work is more focused, not so much for fun; and the hours are very long. So she has taken up residence on the bar stool with one of her favorite blankies and sometimes her stuffed bunny/squirrel.

B.B. takes breaks with me to get a snack, a meal, a fresh beverage, check the mail, or whatever little household task may be at hand. But otherwise, together – PARTNERS IN CRIME – we sit at this desk together until all hours of the night.

Now don’t you go thinking that B.B. is a workaholic – OH NO…  From time to time she just has to jump on the Harley and take a ride to clear to her head.She has her own doggie backpack and Momma takes her on rides as often as possible.

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2012 in Blogging, Creative Writing

 

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One Job In ~ One Job Out

I posted on FB last night that not every dollar is worth earning. When I first starting promoting my services nearly 4 weeks ago after losing my job, I bid on everything within my scope of expertise. Transcription being the fastest and easiest money maker ~ or so it would seem.

I was hired by a client in Nepal. Now first and foremost, I must vent and say how disheartened I am that US companies are sending their dictations overseas, only to have it come back to us because we know American English. One of the files came from Chicago (not 20 miles from where I sit now), the other from Atlanta. ARGH!!

So with the parameters of this client’s work, a 1.5 hour file was taking me nearly 4 hours to transcribe and edit. This is inefficient turn time, but the files were not available until late afternoon with a deadline of midnight. Honestly, by that time I’ve already had a full day of work and my mental faculties begin to fade. This is not advantageous for production quality or my physical well-being. Let’s add to that the fact he negotiated my rate down by $0.22/audio minute. I took it because I needed the work; I’m letting him go because there are more critical tasks and jobs at hand that will ultimately help my business in the long range.

Being unemployed, it’s hard to turn down any job, but I know that I must in this case. Accepting and acting upon these things can be difficult and second-guessing one’s self certainly takes its toll. But knowing and realizing there are bigger fish to fry is just one hurdle of being an entrepreneur.

I was blessed yesterday as I sat waiting for my client Mark Antomez of Antomez and Sons (landscaping and tree service) to arrive. You see, I had submitted a proposal for VA work on Guru.com last week. On Monday I had a phone interview with the client, and as I waited for Mark, this client called. I have been accept as her VA. She’s a very personable, laid-back lady that runs East End Business Solutions. I started working for Paula Daniel right away when I got home from my appointment.

So it goes that one door closes and another opens. I’m enjoying the administrative aspect of this job because after all, that’s what I’ve done for sooooo many years and it’s what I’m great at doing.

Today I sit here at my home office feeling a fair bit better about my adventures into making The Write Hand flourish. No, I’m not rich yet, may never be, but as long as my independence is not threatened, I’m going to press forward on my journey.

 

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2012 in Let's Share...

 

A Blessed Week and Another Week of Self Employment Underway

I sure hope that everybody had a wonderful weekend and blessed Easter. I sure did. Saturday and Sunday were both spent doing a lot of riding with people that mean a great deal to me. Saturday we rode about 250 miles (scenic route of course) to go see the Red Covered Bridge in Princeton, IL. It’s one of five remaining covered bridges in Illinois.

I filmed over four hours of riding on my GoPro camera mounted to my windshield. I love my camera that my riding friends gave me for my birthday last year. It’s totally awesome although I’m still learning how to use it. 🙂   I spent a little over five hours Saturday evening (until 1:00 AM) creating the following video our of the footage and photos I had taken from the day.

It’s Monday evening and another productive week is taking shape. I had a phone interview for a VA position with a very nice lady from New York. She found me on Guru.com and said she was impressed with my skills and recommendations. YAY!!

I did another ghostwriting session for a blogger. ARGH – how I wish I could tell you more because it’s very fascinating stuff.

I’m bidding on more jobs and submitted a test scenario for a husband/wife team that needs a VA. Hopefully I’ll hear more about that soon. I have an accounting project in the AM as well as a transcription project setup for tomorrow PM.

I’m not getting rich yet, but my name is getting out there and that’s really what will make this come to life for me.

I have been corresponding with a lovely lady that has some great inspirational women that she features on her blog. She goes by LadyRomp and her blog is quite refreshing. I recommend it for a light and uplifting read.

Other than that, my Easter with my son, grand daughter and their family was pleasant. My son and I rode our motorcycles for a while Easter afternoon which is always a blessing and a treat for me. Now that he’s grown with a family of his own, I don’t see him much so the time I get I cherish immensely.

Easter breakfast with my grand daughter Kylee, her Mommy Tina

(and of course my son and more of Tina’s family).

Easter Sunday Motorcycle Ride with My Son Nathan and other friends.

 

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Tuesday is Over?? Oh My!!

WOW!! What a busy two days. Between finishing up some ghostwriting for a blog, transcribing, and job bidding on Guru and Freelancer … I can’t believe it’s almost Wednesday (well it will be in 2 hours).

I am really enjoying the opportunity to ghostwrite for a blog that is related to bartending. This is not an area that I would normally have an interest, but it’s fascinating to me to research the ‘behind-the-scenes’ info of the career of bartending. I go into an establishment, order my beverage, pay my bill, tip well if the service is good, and continue about my socializing with friends. But oh my goodness, there’s so much more to the industry that I never knew before.I cannot detail the blog I write or the company for which I produce it, but it has certainly been a wonderful experience.

As busy as I am, I don’t get a lot of time to read books for leisure or study areas of interest outside my immediate desires. For this reason, I find what I do for a living a very welcomed way to expand my knowledge.

As such, I have been blessed to create a great rapport with Sean of Page21 Magazine. As of yesterday, he assigned me three more interviews to transcribe by tomorrow. Yesterday I completed an interview with Tichina Arnold; she played Pam on the sitcom Martin. She is a fascinating lady and I love her take on life and career. But to really get a feel for who she is, you’ll have to check out the interview with Page21 Magazine.

Then today, I completed an interview with Rob Lewis. We’ve all heard, never judge a book by it’s cover. Well, Rob is the end-all, be-all to that cliche. This dude grew up in Chicago, less than 20 miles from where I sit now. His story is nothing short of amazing and his success has not begun to slow. I so wish I could share the details because I found him inspiring, articulate, funny, and well naturally… full of talent. He has worked with some of the biggest in the biz and he’s promoting his newly released album, The Masterpiece. This is not your kids’ hip-hop or the R&B of our high school years – this is totally different. You have to hear it to appreciate it. And YES, I already bought the album. I love the horns, the strings, the bass, the drums, and the whole way it all comes together for a sound that joins generations and awakens the senses. You really must listen to The Masterpiece Prelude – it’s a tasty sample of what the album has to offer you.This interview is scheduled to hit the April edition of Page21 Magazine.

So as I listen to my new album, I conclude this blog post and wish you all a successful Wednesday. Tomorrow, I’ll be transcribing an interview with Rudy Currence. Looking forward to it…

 

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