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Top 3 Business and Life Lessons of 2012

Make peace with your past.

Have you made a couple of mistakes both professionally and personally that continue to hound you or that nearly cost you your life’s savings, even your life?

In life, you learn how to deal with mistakes

Three ways to conquer and silence the beast:

  1. Forgive yourself for committing a faux pas, then move on.  Start again!
  2. What’s the lesson that merits your undivided attention? Don’t lose it.
  3. Recreate something useful and creative from what tripped you in the past.

Eat, pray, love.

Your own fears can be a stumbling block to success and can cause even the most diligent to retrace their steps back to the starting line instead of push towards the finish line.

You eat while I pray which is what they love

What’s wrong with enjoying the lasting benefits of a plateful of fruit with a slab of chocolate on the side? Why be scared of asking God for what you’ve been dreaming of for two or more decades? What’s the fear that’s preventing you from reciprocating the humble affections of a loved one?

Pay it forward.

I started out as a virtual worker knowing only the basics.  With the help of family, friends and colleagues, I was able to understand the intricacies of balancing home life, motherhood and a virtual career.  I was able to discover the joys of helping a business grow and help other people in the process.

A great way to settle old debts

There are many ways to pay your dues forward, but one main thing stands out the most: always reach out.  It is not enough to just listen to what others say or don’t say.  Most times, it is the unspoken word that strikes a deep chord and moves the person to action.  So reach out and hold on to the person until he has steadied himself and can ably help someone else.  Let the cycle continue.

Ovaleye’s Kathy Nelson

Before becoming Chief Decision Maker at Ovaleye, she used to be hailed as the Original Napster.

(photo taken from theworkathomewoman.com)

I came across her video on YouTube while I was lazily looking for a makeover tutorial and I immediately hit the Subscribe button.

Organizing Your Team and Keeping Productivity Up

There’s something about her that makes you trust her instantaneously and from then on, I religiously watched her on Ovaleye TV, followed her and her daughter Jenn on Facebook (who’s Director of Operations) and valued her SOHO tips (small office-home office).  She inspired me to start blogging once more but this time, following a more solid and worthwhile direction.

Her humility and grace is awesome; I felt as if I was aiming for the moon when I sent her a message with a simple request: if I can feature her on my blog, saying that I have nothing to offer her aside from my earnestness to share with you all the wonderful things I learned from her.  And she agreed! More than that, she warmly reached out and made me feel very welcome.

What inspired her to start Ovaleye?

My husband and I owned mainstreetmusic.com from 1999-2005. We competed with iTunes and Walmart music downloads back then. It was a crazy fun business to be in. We had thousands of people visiting our website daily and it created many down times for us. So we bought a couple of servers and put them in a safe location in downtown Seattle and were able to handle our traffic easily. But then Walmart bought our database providers and mainstreetmusic.com stopped. I had two servers now what do I do with them? My husband and I started Ovaleye.com back in 2006 helping our local businesses with their websites and hosting them on our servers. Our daughter Jenn joined the business after she graduated from college. We now have many servers in that same secure location and Ovaleye provides hosting and cloud services to all our members all over the world.

I know how challenging it is to get investors. How did she find investors for the business?
Finding investors can be easy if your business is sound and full of potential. I had a couple investors at one point but it didn’t work out. I learned some very valuable lessons that year. I learned that no one is as passionate about your business as you are. Your work ethics are different from the investors. I am sure there are great investors and partnerships out there. At the moment there are no plans to find another investor.

Her take on the most difficult part of starting the business
Starting the business was the easy part. You have to sustain the business and help it grow with decisions you make every day after that. I would say the hardest part for me so far is year 5 and we got through it.I hadn’t gone to that level with mainstreetmusic.com so it was new territory.  Partners, adding new services, and marketing efforts all were hit and misses.  But if you don’t try these you can’t get to year 6 and beyond.

Kathy and Jenn on Ovaleye TV (photo taken from theworkathomewoman.com)

Her expectations for the future regarding Ovaleye
My expectations for the future are good.  Ovaleye uses tons of tools in our tool box of technology.  We have the love of technology and what it can bring to our members.  We have so many things to offer that we haven’t even begun to bring to light.  It’s very exciting!

With her various roles as Mom, grandparent and Chief Decision Maker, here’s how she manages her time
There is not enough time in a day (I agree, Kathy!).  From day one I have never made rules on what time or days I work. I wake up early and start working if needed and work with my daughter and grandson at the Ovaleye headquarters.  In the evenings we have shows on live stream and weekends are filled with family and work.  It seems to balance out after 6 years.  I wouldn’t do this unless it was fun and exciting!

Being Grandma (photo taken from http://www.urbanblisslife.com)

Her top 3 lessons that she learned and which can help us

  1. Start a business you love that you will enjoy spending oodles and oodles of time on.
  2. Learn every day something new about building a business with books, videos and tips from business leaders.
  3. If you don’t try something every day you don’t succeed.

Watch Kathy on Ovaleye TV, follow her on Twitter and Facebook.  She also has a wonderful and inspiring blog.

Mom says she is a “lovely girl”.

I’m a VA! (Part 1)

I’m a VA! (Part 1)

Recently, I met someone on Facebook via one of the social networking groups I belong to.  Learned about her “dilemma” and how she has always wanted to be a virtual assistant but is not quite sure on how to go about it and where to access stuff pertaining to this profession.

Here are a few items I shared with her, which have helped me immensely when I was starting out in the virtual assistance industry (I’d like to think that we never stop learning new things and relearning old stuff):

Here are a few helpful items to look into………….

1. We need to know who we are and what we do.  There are a lot of helpful links out there and here’s one.

2. Download the latest version of Microsoft Office (I have 2010 and it works fine). Let me know if you still don’t have it in your system and I’ll look for the link to my free download.

3. Make Google Search your best friend. You can search for anything, even as simple as how to learn how to type.

4. Watch YouTube tutorials (how-tos). Type anything in the search field that you want to know about such as “how to open a document in Excel”, etc. and follow the simple steps in the video.

5. Practice practice practice until you’re comfortable with a skill.

I’m planning to put up a series of how-tos on this, depending on the feedback this will generate.  Or perhaps a quick video would do the trick?

What has been the most important lesson you can impart to someone who is new in the business?