February  2016 | Volume 17 Issue 2


Yvonne Weld, President

Yvonne Weld

Hello IVAA Members,

I am getting so excited about our upcoming IVAA Summit in Orlando and can't wait to see many of you again and meet some new friends as well. I always love the Summit as it is a chance to step out from behind our computers and meet face to face with others who truly understand the challenges and rewards of being a Virtual Assistant.

One of the biggest challenges I often hear others talking about is this feeling of overwhelm. For many of us it seems to be a feast or famine type model where we are either struggling to find enough to do in a day or struggling to find enough day to cover everything we have to do.

Today's article will provide you with a few really great tips on how to help you through some of the times when you are in a feast mode in your business. If I have learned any one thing it is important to prioritize and understand what is most critical. I myself try to create my To Do list at the end of each day and prioritize in which order the tasks need to be completed.

More importantly I always put self-care into my calendar and this is a step many of us are missing. We often overlook our own mental health at the expense of pleasing others (our family, our clients, etc.). As such I challenge each of you this month to schedule a "mental health" day for yourself (or if you can't afford a whole day then schedule out a mental health hour)!

Do something you love and haven't done in a really long time. For some of you who are struggling remember your mental health day doesn't have to be a trip to the spa or a vacation. I like to take a book and read at the beach or soak in a warm bubble bath. Just remember the importance of self-care and get it onto your calendar!

Last Chance – Don't Miss Out:

There are a couple of important things due by the end of February that I want to bring to your attention.

1. Nominations – Nominations for the Board of Director are due by the end of February. If you are interested, please send your name (or the name of someone you feel would be a good fit) to nominations@ivaa.org.

2. Early Bird – IVAA Summit – the Early bird pricing is ending shortly and we don't want you to miss out! Make sure to join us and register today.

Welcome New Members:

I would like to welcome the new members, we are so happy to have you join us!

Leslie Rivera, Jillian Bath, Michelle Downing, Kristel Blan, Siobhan Scott, Donna Thompson, Leijun Campbell, Donna Thompson, Angela Sisneroz, Janet Bow, Melanie Woodham, Lily Izurieta, Kelly Alisauskas, Niki Franklin, Khadya Hale, Ann Thompson, Ellen Raidl, Amanda Johnson, Lynn Kolarik, Robert McGrath

To your virtual success!

Yvonne Weld

Where Is Your Time Going?
By Tracey D'Aviero

Tracey D'Aviero

Do you ever get to the end of your day, or your week, or your month, and wonder where the time went?

Managing your time is often something that business owners dread, particularly if they don't do it well.

The little things that get in the way, that don't get noticed, can tick away your time and leave you feeling rushed, stressed, and overwhelmed.

You know those little things: unexpected phone calls, social media, water cooler chats with your colleagues.

Or maybe it's the big things that are tripping you up. Things like researching a new process or service for a client, taking a new training program, or all those free webinars.

Whatever it is that is chipping away at your week, let's get a handle on it now.

Here's a neat way to use your Google Calendar to keep an eye on what you are spending your time on.

1. Use your calendar to chart your activity every day. Google Calendar is great because you can easily set up a separate one to schedule and track anything you want.

2. When you attend any event online or offline, (including a free webinar), put it into your calendar right away. Include the details of the topic, takeaways and host.

3. When you sign up for any free download, mark it in your calendar for that day. Go one step further and write down the file path to where you downloaded it to on your computer and you'll never lose it!

4. Record any networking that you have done on that same calendar (you can get as detailed as you want, but you really should use a CRM for the details on this one). But at least, indicate where you have spent time networking.

5. Write down all phone calls – scheduled and unscheduled.

6. Indicate anything else that you are spending your time doing, that will impact your productivity or profitability of your business.

At the end of the week, have a look and see what you have spent your time doing … keep in mind that these things are mostly (if not all) unbillable time so it's really important to track it all.

What are your habits? Some will need breaking! You may see that you are a serial webinar attendee but you know what? That's fine … as long as you implement the knowledge of each of the webinars into your business, it can be time well spent!

If you look back at your calendar and see that you are NOT using any of the learning, or following up on the networking, then it's time to break that habit. Think twice before signing up for each thing that comes along. It's hard if it's your habit, but it's essential to you being the best business owner you can be.

To help you gain back control of your day, you need to know how you are spending your time. Using your calendar is a really easy way to do that. It really only takes a moment to enter something into a Google Calendar. And, by recording things like this, you can actually get better organized to use the things that you are learning on the fly. And you can keep track of your networking as well.

You have to give yourself the best advantage in your business. After all, you are the boss!

To make sure that you are a happy and productive business owner, you have to keep yourself on track (no one else will!).

Keep an eye on how you are spending your time, and use it to your advantage. Track your activities and then use that information to manage your calendar moving forward. And when you get to the end of next month, you will be singing a different tune!


Jeanne Biggerstaff

Peer Discussion for Social Media VAs
Thursday, March 10, 5:00 pm - ET (4 pm CT, 3 pm MT, 2 pm PT)
This month we're focusing our Peer Discussion for Social Media VAs. Join in to share best practices and ask questions as it relates to writing and editing for clients!

Held on the second Thursday every month at 5:00 pm Eastern (US), Monthly Peer Discussions, are a great place to share ideas & best practices, brainstorm, and network with your peers. Meetings are not recorded (there are no stupid questions!) and format is casual. Bring your beverage of choice and "talk shop" with your fellow VAs!

To register, click here.

Expert of the Month – 10 Ways to Provide Support and Increase Sales by Liza Magcale
Thursday March 17, 5:00 pm - ET (4 pm CT, 3 pm MT, 2 pm PT)

This session will provide you with useful guidelines to develop highly valued custom packages while scratching the surface on maintaining excellent service levels. The sales is another element that eludes most entrepreneurs. We'll explore the role, cycle and systems for more effective and efficient sales.

Each month IVAA presents Experts on requested topics for the opportunity to continue learning and expanding your knowledge. Held on the third Thursday every month at 5:00 pm Eastern (US), you can register to join live sessions (check our calendar for topics and registration info).

Check out our File Cabinet for past videos to enjoy and learn from!

To register, click here.

Resource Recess – Mailchimp: The Jedi User by Layne Tinsley
Tuesday, March 1st, 12:00 pm ET (11 am CT, 10am MT, 9am PT)

A brief overview of the general Mailchimp tool, working with Mailchimp premade templates (pros and cons), overview of the tools when creating a unique and custom Mailchimp template, how to reuse the template so you are not reinventing the wheel every time, and how to properly schedule them. Tips and tricks interspersed throughout.

Resource Recess webinars are intended as quick overviews of tools or skills to help you with your business. Sessions are recorded so you review the session at your convenience.

Have a favorite tool you'd like to share? IVAA is all about sharing and we encourage our members to share the tools or tips they can't live without. It's also a great opportunity to practice presenting to others, a skill that can be used everywhere in your business! Please contact our Education Director, Jama St. John (email to education@ivaa.org) if you'd like to present a topic.

To register, click here.

IVAA Coffee Chats
Monday Coffee Chats are a casual place to network, learn and share your experiences. The Coffee Chats are open to members and non-members of IVAA. Invite your Virtual Assistant friends to join us! Hope to see you there!

Upcoming Coffee Chats:
Monday, March 7: 10:00AM ET
Monday, March 14: 5:00PM ET
Monday, March 21: 10:00AM ET
Monday, March 28: 5:00PM ET
To register, click here.

Café Virtual
When: 2nd Thursday of Every Month
7:30 pm - 8:30 pm VET (7:00 pm – 8:00 pm ET)
¿Eres Asistente Virtual o tienes interés en serlo? Ven a charlar con Asistentes Virtuales veteranas y nuevas.¡Una oportunidad única para establecer relaciones de negocio y aprender!

Translation: Are you a Virtual Assistant or have interest in becoming one? Come and chat with attendees, virtual veterans and other newbies as an opportunity to establish business relationships and learn.

Register here.


Jama St. John Bryan
Education Director


Jeanne Biggerstaff

Live Summit 2016 – May 2-5, Orlando, FL at The B Resort & Spa

Create Virtual Magic for Your Business!

If you haven't registered for the Live Summit, NOW is the time!

The Early Bird price of $449 will end February 29th! We are offering a convenient 2-pay plan. Book now to get in on this deal!

Hotel Reservation link now live! Get the special IVAA hotel rate of $149 per night by using our private registration link. Book your room now!

Program Planning Underway

This year's Live Summit will offer a mix of extended hands-on sessions, shorter informational sessions, moderated open discussions and plenty of networking opportunities.

We're excited to give you a peek at some of the speakers that will be sharing their expertise with you!

  • Michael Mapes – Find Clients Everywhere, A 7-Step System to Never Worrying About Where Your Next Client is Coming From Again!
  • Toya Nicole Benson – "Go Social" - Building a Bankable Social Media Business Brand
  • Victoria Baird – Presenting a Professional Image

Stay tuned - we'll be updating the Live Summit website over the next few weeks as we confirm topics and speakers so please visit often!

And don't forget to join the conversation in our Live Summit Facebook group (available to those who register)! Start networking before you get there!

Jeanne Biggerstaff
Events Director


Tracey D'Aviero is a veteran VA and Founder of Your VA Mentor. Tracey trains and mentors professional women and men who are brand new to the VA industry or who have been struggling to make their business successful. Her mission is to educate professionals on how to build and grow successful and profitable virtual businesses in the VA industry by implementing systems and smart principles. Contact Tracey for speaking engagements, group training or private coaching at www.yourvamentor.com.

May 2 - 5, 2016

President's Message
Working with a Virtual Assistant - Where Is Your Time Going?

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