Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

How Crowdsourcing Turned Me into a Resource for One of My Favorite Authors

bookThis is my story about how a Facebook conversation led to meeting one of my favorite authors (Brad Meltzer) and getting mentioned in the Acknowledgements section of his recent book release, The President’s Shadow. Even though I am an avid reader there are only a handful of authors that I am a diehard fan of and that I hurry off to purchase their newest book on release day. This is about one of those authors.

Just over a year ago Brad Meltzer posted a question on his Facebook page about gardening and types of flowers readers liked and why they liked these. My Facebook friends will find it no surprise that a post like this caught my eye. I frequently talk about quilting and working in the flower gardens around our home, share photos of my flowers, and talk about which posies were picked for a fresh vase of flowers on my desk. This day Brad was asking to get some ideas for a passage he was writing for his book in progress. Like many others I decided to leave a comment and shared how for me gardening is a trip down memory lane in remembering family members and friends who are no longer with me physically but their memories live on through the flowers they’ve shared with me and that I continue to nurture, raise, and share with others.

flowerI shared a brief story about having coral bells from my grandmother’s farm that have been shared over the years to grow in flower beds at my home, at mother’s home, at my aunt’s, and at my cousin’s home. We each have pieces of grandma’s love of flowers with us wherever we live. As we’ve moved from home to home the plants are dug up and transplanted at the new place. As I look about the many flower beds across our lawn I not only see plants of all varieties I see living remembrances of family and friends.

I didn’t anticipate what happened next. I got a private message asking if we could talk about flowers and gardening. I agreed. Over the course of time we talked several times via email or by phone and I became one of his resources for gardening. When he said he’d mention me in his upcoming book I was honored. Seeing the book in print, holding it in my hands, well, that feels surreal. As a dear friend commented “it’s a reason for a little giddiness.” Absolutely! And the bonus, I got to meet one of my favorite authors beyond the bio and headshot photo on the book jacket. Incredibly cool.

Takeaways You Can Use By Crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing is the process of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people. This is exactly what took place via the Facebook post and what I commented on. When you are stuck or searching for some fresh ideas the answer could be a question away. So ask. Make use of tapping into the insights of others and build your next step off this newly gathered information and different perspectives. You never know where a catalyst for your next idea may come from.

The magic happens in what you do with the information gathered plus finding new resource people to connect with. Networking is all about getting to know people and having them get to know you.

Being a Resource

Becoming a resource person for the media or for reference projects is actually much easier than you may imagine. It’s a matter of getting to know people, being available to share information, and being willing to share the information that person needs.

If you’re interested in connecting with journalists then join HARO – Help A Reporter Out –and receive free daily digest emails on topics journalists are writing about. Sharing your expertise about business or hobbies or special interests could be exactly what someone is looking for. Journalists are actively looking for knowledgeable people to be their source. That person may be you.

If you would like to be a source for an author – a best-selling author, one in your industry, or for research reports – then follow them on Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn to get to know them better and join the conversations they are hosting.


Give Me Your Opinions, Cause I Really Want To Know…The Naked VA: Virtual Assistant Interviews

For a change of pace this Tuesday I’d be pleased as punch if you’d spare 3 minutes to take this quick survey. You’ll see the first question below and scroll the bar to see a couple more.  The survey is anonymous unless you share your name and/or email addy.

And a teeny  favor, would you share this page with others? The more responses the better.

Thanks so much! It means a lot.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

Something New Is Coming…Guest Book Reviewers

It is with great joy that I announce the addition of several guest book reviewers who will be contributing to The Naked VA blog.

The book genres that will be reviewed include:book reviews

  • Business related
  • Marketing
  • Virtual Assistant themed
  • Software/Hardware
  • Customer Service
  • Networking
  • Balancing Work/Family

Now, there are no worries that the Tuesday interviews will decline. These are here to stay. There are simply too many rockin’ virtual assistants around the globe that I need to talk with and share about their business and inspirational stories. There will still be a topical blog post about whatever’s touching my heart or peaking my interest. The book reviews are another layer to enrich your experience here.

To help you keep track of the collected reviews click on the Book Review tab in the navigation bar or the Book Review category in the side bar. As this archive grows bookmark the page so you see what the reviewers have to say before making your next book purchase.

I’d hoped to add more reviews myself because I’m always reading something but getting the afterthoughts from my head to a blog post hasn’t happened as regularly as I’d liked. I’m grateful for this review team who are willing to lend me a hand.

I hope you’ll give everyone a warm welcome and leave a comment or two to let them know you’re reading.

Are you an author of a book in one of the genres mentioned above and you’d like the team to review your book? Head over to the Contact page and let’s talk.

6 Personal & Business Benefits to Attending an IVAA Online Summit

Different people attend the IVAA Online Summit for different reasons. For some, it’s a time for learning new skills. For others, it’s an introduction to software, a niché, a speaker, or a specialty services area that’s held some curiosity. And for many, it’s a time to connect with like-minded colleagues for an inspirational-ramp-up-your-business motivational two days.

I always come away from an IVAA Online Summit energized about my business, with a renewed excitement to implement something I heard about or learned via one of the many sessions. I thoroughly enjoy the speaker and colleague exchanges. I’m never disappointed by the caliber of expertise each speaker so graciously shares. I’m especially drawn to the tiered offerings of each session time slot – something for an emerging virtual assistant, the seasoned virtual assistant, and usually something for virtual assistant who crave a deeper level of conversation and understanding – PLUS the bonus of receiving links, days after the Summit, to ALL of the recordings for every session. 

Let’s look at important benefits that attending will bring to you – personally and business-wise.


1.  An Increased Knowledge Base: The sessions are geared to increase your knowledge base. You’ll come away with a better understanding of how to do XYZ, of how a specific niché works and functions from an expert in that area. You’ll have a go-to professional should you desire to delve deeper.

2.  Become a Better Researcher: I can’t count how many times after hearing about topic I’ve been spurred to dig deeper and research more. My search results determine if this area constitutes a new add-on service or a resource tool I can implement to make my business operate more efficiently.

3.  Motivation Booster: The excitement and passion shared by the speaker is often enough to get you jazzed about the session topic. The energy from the Q&A that follows each topic can be the fuel starter that gets you through a slump.


4.  Income Lift: Chances are during the two day event you’re going to learn something that you can convert into an income earner.

5.  Seed for Real-time Discussions with Peers: Following the Summit conversations with peers will blossom and you delve deeper into topics covered and share one-on-one about what resonated with you and how you’ll put your spin on what you’ve learned. It’s worthwhile to plan a lunch date or phone session with a few close colleagues to continue the topic discussions and become accountability partners in each other’s journey towards new goals.

6.  Staying Ahead of the Competition:  Attending the Summit can give you the edge – keeping you ahead of your competition. Your attendance demonstrates one way you invest in your business.

Getting a Little Honor

What a sweet surprise to find in the CWAHM newsletter this month.  I’ve been honored as the Blogger of the Week;  click here and take a peek. 

A warm thank you for showcasing me.  I’m truly honored.

VAnetworking is Celebrating is celebrating their 5th Birthday in one gigantic bash for all Virtual Assistants worldwide! And if you are a Virtual Assistant or even just thinking about becoming one, there’s a lot to celebrate and a truckload of prizes to be won. RSVP at to receive your special invitation to attend this party that will be celebrated over the next 20 weeks.

I’m attending, cya there!