I've been looking for an assistant for years.
I've hired many contractors through elance, odesk, (both now upwork) fiverr, and other places. But what I found is that I had to go through this process to find the right VA at the right time.
My attitude about what I wanted from an assistant had to undergo a transformation. I'd given up for a while. I thought I'd have to spend mega bucks to have a chance at finding someone that might be able to help me out.
I've had some great VA's, don't get me wrong. They were all unaffordable on a long term basis. I have a budget. Sometimes I struggle with that budget. There are times when I work, just to pay my team. But the work I did to earn their wage was worth every hour.
I've looked so long that I think that I found my VA, Faith, from trial and error. Somehow, the powers that be let me swim through a sea of tuna to find my dolphin. Or rather, wade through insincere, part-timers that just wanted to test this VA thing out.
Faith is phenomenal, not because she knows everything, but because she's part of the team. I mean really invested. She works an average of three hours a day Monday - Friday.
So how did I find her?
I'd like to think I found Faith by the questions I asked, but in the end it was just a feeling I had about her profile, the roll of the dice and a bit of luck.
It took a while to judge cover letters and see who could walk the talk and who just wanted to see if this was for them. When I put out the call for a VA on upwork, I got a ton of answers. It was overwhelming. I had to slog through eighty-something resumes. I worked through them for three weeks. I got the initial ones down to fifteen, then three.
This process of going back and forth with people really helped drop off the curious. I would go back and forth, seeing how soon the applicants replied if at all.
Then it was down to Faith or Tom. Tom had an awesome resume. Tom was from a country that had sexy accents. Yay Tom. But as I spoke with him he seemed less and less responsive.
Faith had an enthusiastic resume. What I mean by that is she was new to upwork, but her words radiated excitement and dedication. I've gone with excitement and dedication--and found excitement fades. When excitement fades dedication drops off. Then my expectations don't get met.
Now here's the funny thing. Expectations and communication together are vital when choosing a VA. When I asked if Faith is interested doing something for me she always says yes. This can-do attitude is wonderful, but also can make someone's expectations exceed what the VA can do.
I've given tasks to Faith and realized this is not something within her forte. That is not a bad thing. VA's are like spies. You can not have the James Bond of VA's. They don't exist.
You can have social media managers, an accountant and a designer--but not in one person. Let me rephrase that...not in one affordable person.
Pepper Potts makes what...ten million a year? Ten billion? I can't even count that many numbers let alone pay someone a salary like that. So I go with strengths. There are certain things I've learned not to give to a VA (aka their weaknesses). That's just as important as knowing what to give them.
I can't give you the exact questions I asked Faith when hiring her, but I can tell you instead of crossing off a list of "what to ask" I had a conversation with her. Faith was the ONLY one, who conversed. Everyone else just tried to get me to hire them.
Out of all the professionals, all the people telling me they have 30 years experience of being a VA, all the people that gave me one line answers, the only one that made the cut was the person I talked to, found out her goals, found out about her motivation, found out her experiences not from a resume but from asking her.
So if you're looking for a list I'd tell you to look up most common questions for dating and ask them. Because having a VA is a relationship between two people. They can't read your mind if they don't know you. They can't make suggestions if they don't know you. They can't help you unless you just want very simple things done--which is fine, I have recommendations for "order takers" that do great with yes/no procedures.
But if you want a thinking mind behind the screen on the other end of the internet, it's very hard to find. I now have Faith in two ways. I have the VA and the belief that my tasks are well in hand because of her. I couldn't ask for a better assistant. But I have to say that there was a bit of luck finding her.
I could have gone with Tom. But I have a feeling I would have been disappointed. My only expectation was that I could have someone that wanted to learn about what I did. What I found was my expectations might have been too much, but I wanted to try and find that person anyway. Luck would have it that I did. But it also showed me my expectations needed to be flexible too.
Out from the darkness of the warm and safe Troll River catacombs comes author S.N.McKibben with an award winning short story. Dangerous Gamble is an Elite: Dangerous fanfic of the Trials of Corran Antilles. Here's the blurb:
Corran Antilles is having a bad life.
Schlepping cargo for the Federation doesn't pay. Even worse, the corporate hauler assigned to him malfunctions inside Trevithick Station.
Before Corran's ship trouble costs him his life, he's able to land, but at the price of his job.
Down on his luck, with no money and no way to get home, Corran thinks he’s hit the jackpot when a stranger approaches and offers him the chance of a lifetime. But of course, nothing in the Federation is free, and there's always a catch.
If you'd like the free read--no strings attached (no signups, no nothing) click the cover to be taken to the blog where it resides! Even if you aren't an Elite: Dangerous fan, this is one story you don't want to miss. Happy reading!
The countdown timer has just run out!!!
And there’s just one thing left to do: Announce (and contact) the winners.
I want to take a moment to send a big thank you to everyone who participated in the contest and helped make it a success!
Special Congratulations to: A. Page, Sherri H. and Mary P.
The winners of "The Sweet Spot" by Stephanie Evanovich HARD COPY giveaway contest.
Be on the lookout for an email
Our panel of judges, which included The Troll family used random.com to come up with the winners...You too can be a winner!!!
Stay TUNED for more information on the NEXT ROUND'S GIVEAWAYS.
Head Troll - Troll River Publications
"Forever More" available now at TRP for the FAN price of 99¢ before it's world wide release on March 1st, 2016.
Not only is the book available one full week before it's for purchase on major retailers, not as a pre-order, not an extra long excerpt but the whole book WITH an exclusive scene to "More" Rachel De Lune's first book.
This special scene is only available from TRP. There will not be a future release of the scene. You can only get it from TRP (or maybe if you troll Rachel and swear to review all her works for life.)
So if your ready for Rachel's second book and can't wait...push the button below.
Would you like to host a blog for Jacob and show your support for author Kris Michaels? We'd be delighted if you'd like to participate! Reviewers get a free copy of Jacob!
Sign up and pick your day!
Sign up for the "Forever More" R4R event!
Write a review and be entered to win:
Sign up at:
What if you had everything you wanted within your grasp, but let it go?
Isabel Fields stands on the brink of a new life. She has the Dominant/submissive relationship she craves with the man she loves, but her past continues to haunt her.
With Isabel, Sebastian York can release the sexual Alpha Male he’d always tempered. He doesn’t intend to let her go, even when she bolts in panic. Together, both could experience the freedom to explore their relationship and sides of themselves previously stifled.
Their love is tested when issues of trust rising from Izzy’s past marriage and her damaged heart take their toll. They may have fallen in love, but that doesn’t guarantee it will be forever more.
Izzy and Seb have two choices: grow stronger together or be pulled apart by the past.
Communication is the #1 problem in marriages. They say lasting relationships are work. Why not try some advice for work relationships and apply them to your partner for better communication and a lasting marriage? Check out The Key Class series for all the you need for a happy, successful life!
Minion troll was able to catch author Kris Michaels on her way out to the next super secret mission about her book "Adam" the third book in the Kings of Guardian series.
In two weeks, "Jacob" the first book in the Kings of Guardian series will go on sale at 99¢
be sure to pick it up February 21st!
Below are questions and answers! Happy reading!
"Soft skills" include behavior and manners. They are the ability to get along with others. Understanding how to behave in different situations is fundamental in social situations. How to communicate and having positive relationships with others and consideration of others will not only help you with work, but in life as well.
Even though people can have job skills, it's the Soft Skills and the way you behave that moves you toward real success. If you don't know how to interact with others with consideration, you won't be able to succeed.
John Daly's latest book explains it. Take a look at the excerpt:
John Daly is a multiple award-winning, internationally-renowned event designer and producer dubbed the “Guru of Event Design” by Special Events magazine some 28 years ago. He didn’t get the title just because of his creative talent, but because of the thousands of peers that he taught and with whom he shared all his secrets. His name alone at events conventions packs a ballroom.
According to Carol McKibben, founding publisher of Special Events magazine, "When he teaches, other professionals just want to sit at his feet and hang on his every word. He embodies innovation and creativity."
But today, John Daly is changing the lives of others. This second journey in his life began when he was a young adult and was fascinated with the protocol and etiquette of countries around the world and how they affected the events he was producing.
His hobby of learning about the proper rules of etiquette led to him advising his clients on both a domestic and international basis. It didn’t involve just which fork to use at an important dinner but how to dress, greet foreign dignitaries and carry on polite business conversations. And, the more he traveled, the more he honed his skills, evolving his hobby into an expertise. At the same time, he became a Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) and began mentoring teens. Realizing that these young people had never been taught manners or how to even go about getting a job, John decided to use his outstanding teaching abilities and began to put together a curriculum to instruct students on how to not just do the things that are expected in everyday life, but to teach them the necessary interviewing tools to successfully secure a job or college entrance.
John Daly’s Key Class program was launched by partnering with the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse’s Teen Court in Santa Barbara. This amazing program allows youth who have committed a first-time misdemeanor offense to avoid a criminal record and a chance to re-evaluate where their life is headed while still being held accountable for their actions.
From there, it was just a matter of time before John expanded to high school students as well as working with at-risk teens. Collaborating with Santa Barbara Partners in Education, John has taken The Key Class into the Santa Barbara County School System.
"I can't tell you how much I appreciate your skills at maintaining the interest and attention of these young people. Many people claim to have a way with teenagers but I seldom see someone as skilled as you are in your field." -Robert Foster, Juvenile Institutions Officer Senior
"I would like to start by saying that I hope your etiquette teaching rubs off onto my soul... In return for your passionate willingness for us to succeed in the job world, I will be successful." - Richard Palafox, Student
The "Adam" R4R Event is over and we here at TRP wanted to thank all the participants! The winners were:
If you didn't win, we'll have more events for you, just sign up for Troll River's mailing list and you'll be included in our fun filled shenanigan's! You'll also get "Undertow" a free ebook of short stories. One of which is "Backwater Blessing" by Kris Michaels!
When Cole, Mr. FBI, and Logan, local cop and reigning Ice Princess, hook up to solve a case of Mississippi corruption at the highest judicial levels, sparks fly.
Their attraction is hotter than the sultry southern sun. She wants to hate him—but she can’t. And Cole would never commit career suicide by staying in a backwater Mississippi town…not for any woman…especially not for Isabella Logan Church.
My efforts are to make this a learning blog where writers can see the flip side of publishing. If you have comments that will improve your experience or have a certain topic you'd like discussed, please contact me through email - HERE.
~ Sincerley, Your Editor
Troll River Publications
Books on Kindle