My Most Important Business Tool?

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Today I was asked us to consider the Number ONE  tool that I use and cannot do without, in my business.

This challenge has had me a bit stumped.  Just when I identify one, another comes to mind.

First, I cannot do without my computer.  My MacBookPro has become my right hand, so to speak.  Without it, I cannot gain access to the internet, or the other tools that I use daily.  I’d always been a PC girl until I finally decided to give the Mac a try… and this was based on all the rave reviews by other Mac users.  They are especially well-liked by creatives who use it’s built-in suite of tools.  I don’t actually use many of them… as I have my own and have had my favourites for years… but back to that shortly.

Next, I cannot be without a camera.  The camera in the graphic above is my older Canon  Powershot SX40, an awesome little ‘instant’ camera with an amazing optical zoom and great effects built in.  Lot’s of fun, easy to use and very portable.  When I first got it, it was top of the line for instant cameras and I’d been looking at it for a while… and no regrets.  I also LOVE my Canon T5i, DSLR.  What a beauty. It never leaves my side.  I use cameras to capture my day, sometimes thoughts… to create images I need for my business or clients.  I cannot be without a camera.

Another important thing for me, in running my business, is planning and although I do use a couple of online tools, first and foremost, I use a whiteboard (because I am definitely a VISUAL creator – I need to see what I am doing and what I’ve got planned) and I have my Daily Planner and notebooks…  I use the dollar store notebooks to make notes whenever I speak with new clients…  Then, later I can gather my notes and thoughts and type them out into Notes on my MacBookPro.

Adobe Creative Suites… Creative Cloud!  Where would I be without Photoshop or Illustrator?  These are tools I use every day!  Great for manipulating images, cleaning images and creating new graphics.  Love me some P.S. & Illustrator.

So the next important tool for me, actually, would be Notes.  I have an iPhone, a iPad Air, and my Mac Computer and Notes syncs seamlessly between all three.  With all those online tools out there (there are some great free to use tools like Asana & TeamworkPM), I still come back to my Notes.  They are always right where I need them.
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Another favourite tool for me, is Pocket.  I Love Love Love Pocket!!  If you haven’t heard of it, check it out!  It’s an awesome little tool for grabbing websites and webpages and holding them for you.  If you log in to Pocket, you can organize the pages you’ve put in pocket and you can use tags as well… but it has it’s own handy little search and it works like a charm!  I save and organize videos and tutorials, websites I’d like to check out… If I’ve read something somewhere about a new program or tool and want to look at but don’t have time to, there and then… I just Save to Pocket.

So, there you have it. I’ve failed the challenge. I could not come up with just one tool… It is like raising a child. It takes a village and these tools are my part of my personal arsenal.   There are several other tools that I do use, but more on them later.

I would love to hear from you.  Let me know if you use any tools I’ve mentioned and what your favourite is!

Save

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Back at it…

I’m back!  I haven’t blogged in a number of months, but the time has come.  I was writing quite regularly but something (I can’t even remember what), threw me off my schedule… and before I knew it I had stopped.

When I was writing before, it was a personal blog that I slowly tried to shift more to business but at the time I wasn’t confident about posting business related information, or tips and tricks because I really felt I was still in the development stage of my own new career.

Back then, I would wonder when I would turn the corner from feeling, almost, like a fake or a fraud.  Do you know that feeling?   Have you ever thought to yourself,  “who am I to tell people that I am a business owner?”?  I didn’t always see myself as a ‘Solopreneur’.

The key for me was not giving up on my dream.  That truly kept me going…  When I would let my mind wander, I would find self-doubt.  Had I made a mistake… giving up a pretty good job that I had had for over 10 years?   I’m lucky… I’ve always been the kind of person who is hopeful and that self-doubt never lasts very long.  I kept my eye on the prize by reminding myself EXACTLY why I wanted this career.

Now, here I am, a year and half since the launch of JenSheaVA and I recently realized that things really are moving in the right direction and in fact,  I have organically found my niches.

I’ve always known that what ever I do, I really wanted to be able to be creative and help people.  After a couple of recent conversations with another VA and friend, I realized I that I am doing both.

My business really is taking off…  people are finding me!!!

I am feeling blessed. I’ve met some wonderful people since starting this journey in the Virtual World.  Women who were starting around the same time as me… women (and men) who so very generously shared their time and knowledge  and others who became clients… and I feel confident in calling all these people, friends.

I will only look back now with a huge smile on my face, and look forward to all the exciting things to come.

2014 has already become my year!

News Release

News Release

News Release

I finally finished my News Release.  Here it is:

NEWS RELEASE

 

February 18, 2013

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Jen Shea VA

My Job is a Virtual Reality.

 

 

Small business owners, could you be spending more time generating new business? Are admin or social media tasks filling up your networking and sales time?

 

An enterprising Ottawa, (Ontario) area woman has recently launched a business perfect for the technological age:   Virtual Administrative Consultant ~ more commonly known as a Virtual Assistant.

Jen Shea recently started her business, after working in office administration for more than 20 years.

“Just like a traditional personal assistant, I handle a wide variety of tasks using today’s technology.  The only thing I can’t do is get your coffee.   My tag line is ‘Your Virtual Collaborator’.  I want to work with people who are building and growing their businesses and I feel very strongly about developing a relationship based on trust and compatibility.”

“I specialize in creating & maintaining websites using WordPress, and also in desktop publishing, client services and social media set up, and other time-saving administrative tasks.”

With software programs such as Skype, email, e-fax and secure file sharing sites (for example Dropbox) almost anything can be done virtually.

Small business owners can hire a ‘VA’ to keep costs down.  A VA is a self-employed contractor, not an employee, so you don’t have the expense of overhead costs such as office space, equipment and computers, etc.   The most appealing part of outsourcing to a VA is that the client is only billed for the actual time spent working on that particular task or project.

“We are always furthering our skills and perfecting our techniques so that we can deliver superior work.  My clients do not pay me when I go on a personal appointment, take a holiday, or get sick.  Virtual Assistants are only paid for time actually worked”, offers Ms. Shea.

“You would be amazed at how much it costs to hire a full-time, or even a part time, employee.”

Ms Shea explains that some clients hire her to do one-time projects and others work with her on a retainer basis.  You can hire her to work a couple of hours a day, a few hours a week, or several hours a month.

“Every client is unique and so are their needs.  After our initial discussion, a plan is put in place and a contract is signed.  Adjustments can easily be made along the way.”

Ms. Shea also works with a team of other VAs with specialties of their own and this enables her to offer a ‘Total Client Experience’.  The client doesn’t have to spend precious time looking for different VAs because she can do that for you.  “I only work with VAs who share my work ethics and whatever your need is, I have an expert who can make it happen”, she explains.

 

Contact Jen at jen@jensheava.com to set up a free consultation.  You can also visit her website at http://www.JenSheaVA.com for details on services, packages and rates.

Information Overload…

Today was one of those days… Information overload!

I learned a lot because I landed on a new blog post that was full of so much good information, I ended trying to implement all the tidbits I was reading about.  

What I really need to do though is find a good way to ‘log’ sites and pages that I like and remember to go back to them.  I need to schedule these things.  Just yesterday I was telling my mentor that I am getting lost in time.  I start reading and the next thing I know I’ve gone from one page to another to another site and I’ve lost 4 hours.  Not always, but it does happen.  Look at me now, it’s 2:30 am… again!

Does anyone, out there, have any suggestions for me on how to keep track of the pages I want to go back to read?  I save them in my favourites/bookmarks but now I have so many I can’t remember where anything is.

Thank you in advance for helping this New Girl 🙂

Have a great night and I hope we can connect soon.

Jen 🙂

www.JenSheaVA.com
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Time to Reorganize…

Lately I have been finding myself collecting a lot of information‘, websites I need to revisit, tools & software I might want to use etc, and at a pace faster than I can read.  

So, I’ve been saving all these tidbits in several different places. I have too many ‘bookmarks’, too many folders on my desktop, and too many paper notes. 

Time to reorganize.  So, I spent the past couple of days catching up on notes and reorganizing my computer files and paper files.  I hated to take myself away from the list of my other tasks, but I knew this was the best way for me to be able to move forward (and look back to find what I had saved…)

Now, with my desk cleaned off, and folders I can find, I am ready to hit tomorrow running.

Have a great night everyone.

Cheers,

Jen 🙂

http://www.JenSheaVA.com