Changing Gears

This year has been a booger. My life – both personally and professionally – has been a jigsaw puzzle, a convoluted jumbled mess of life, death, tragedy and triumph for several months now.

Now, with the warmer days and sunlight returning us to the season of spring – my home, my soul and holding my breath in my lungs (without being aware) is also returning to a more natural, relaxed state.

I am proud to announce, after changing my mind and changing gears, I am in active pursuit of something, a little more challenging perhaps, in my career. Which could prove a risky business move (commission based still independent contractor), considering my historical preference, and my emotional deep need for home, family and domestic security.

For more than 20 years, I have been tied to a desk: answering telephones, managing facilities and personnel, working with people and offering exceptional customer service and support services all the while. But I need change, and in the true nature of life’s wonderful experience, I have manifested change in my life, yes as a result of being subjected to another human being and living with the consequences of their decisions.

My newest adventures will finally allow for real potential for, and possibility of, working less and playing more (ideally with my children).

In addition, exploring the concept of myself realizing financial security is mindboggling in a way. Maybe just so far beyond reality that I can’t even grasp the concept.

Please accept my sincere appreciation and apology for taking leave (and absence). I look forward to our future!

Virtually Celebrating 100!

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Virtually Celebrating 100 Fans

Virtually Self Employed opened for business Oct. 2, 2013.

Patricia Shoffner, Owner and Executive Virtual Assistant brings more than 20 years professional career experience in business and office administration, management, bookkeeping, computer information systems, customer service and support.

A milestone achievement for VSE, as fans of the page hit 100 on Monday.

“I had hoped to reach 100 in the first month, however, I am not disappointed. We met our target goal merely 2 days beyond the mark. I am more than pleased with the numbers.”

Virtually Self Employed has been busy, providing client services as well as branding the name, domain, WordPress blog and several other social media channels, professional networks, and digital media outlets.

Virtually Self Employed would like for you to consider the following when you’re unsure of your needs or question value of service.

Ask yourself a few simple questions, then decide:

  • How much is my time worth? The average rate to hire a Virtual Assistant is $20-$40 per hour?
  • The average Virtual Assistant can type 70-90 words per minute. How well do you type?
  • Can you afford to hire a Virtual Assistant? Can you afford not to? Consider the following:
  1. Amount of time it will take you (you know, the time you already  don’t have)
  2. Amount of energy it will take to get it done (exhausted at the end of the day)
  3. Equivalent costs (supplies, paper, ink, overhead, wages or equivalent, taxes, insurance, general liability, etc.)
  • Projects are serviced off-site, rarely an imposition for you or your staff
  • Qualified, skilled professionals often complete project tasks in less time, and still cost less than a regular or temporary employee
  • Virtual Assistants own their own equipment, hardware, software, machines, and supplies
  • V.A.’s experience, knowledge, frequent practice and skills repetition is constantly maintaining and improving, tasks often are complete and back in your hands professionally prepared, prompt attention and quick turn around time (TAT), almost hassle-free
  • Clients rarely incur expenses outside the scope of project contract, very few exceptions to the rule do exist, depending on services
  • Client pays for hours specific to your project, not coffee, lunch or restroom breaks
  • Virtual Assistants pay their own payroll taxes, health insurance and workers compensation. In 2014, new legislation, crucial to your business, goes into effect.

“In honor of our clients, fans, supporters and cheerleaders, Virtually Self Employed, along with Patricia Shoffner, express our most sincere gratitude and appreciation. Thank you.”

Patricia Shoffner  © 2013

Personal Touch ~ Professional Care

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What? Pay Ransom For My Data?

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A large majority of my life is spent on a keyboard as a Virtual Assistant, and as my title implies, using computers while conducting business on behalf of my clients is imperative for me.

Thankfully, the natural geek in me has an insatiable appetite for technological information and seeks knowledge beyond the comfort of my desk, continually growing, maintaining awareness, and expanding my personal FAQ knowledge base.

However, even my thirsty brain cannot absorb information fast enough to keep up with the racing torrent and speed of technological headlines. Most products in the computer and electronics industry are obsolete before ever hitting the retail floor.

Consumers are constantly flooded as advertising announces new releases of hardware, software, mobile apps, devices among other products. Effective methods of advertising suggests we run out to the nearest place where we can get our hands on the latest, greatest phone, gadget or video game.

But how effective is your subconscious when it comes to communicating the urgency and need for anti-virus software? Do you have protection on all your Android devices, mobile phones and tablets? My mobile anti-virus scan recently found two Malware (Malicious Software) threats on my Droid. Unless you’re using Apple products like an iPhone, iPad, etc. you run a high risk every time you download that next app.

“23 of the top 500 apps on Google Play were found to be high risk” See Infographic Below

Would you know how to live your life without the gadgets you use regularly? Anti-Virus software is essential for keeping your data safe from intrusions and protected from threats. Malicious software technology, just like everything else, unleashes new malicious threats upon consumers daily. Are you and your data protected?

UPDATE By STOPzilla: Nov. 4, 2013
A new kind of computer virus is making the rounds. The Cryptolocker virus is what’s known as “Ransomware.” It encrypts the files on a user’s computer and then demands a payment to get it back. Data is encrypted using a very strong key that’s extremely hard to break. For users, that means that unless they pay the ransom, their files are pretty much gone. To get the files back, they demand payments of anywhere from $300 to $1000. Cryptolocker is being spread by malicious files attached to “phishing” e-mails. The e-mails purport to come from banking or shipping companies, and include attached files which appear to be PDF text files. Clicking on those files will install the virus on recipient’s PC. At this point detection rate is pretty much 0% by all major Antivirus programs. What that means is that by the time it shows up on your machine, it’s too late to stop it.  The standard advice is more important than ever. If you have ANY question at all about whether an e-mail is legitimate, do NOT click on any attached files.
©2013 – Patricia C. ShoffnerCreative Commons License This work by Patricia C. Shoffner is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at http://www.virtuallyselfemployed.wordpress.com.
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The Business Card

While running errands for a client yesterday, two individuals asked for my business card and I did not have one. I hadn’t actually ordered them yet. I know it’s crazy, but I have been quite busy lately. Thankfully, those people were patient, allowing time for me to write my contact information on a piece of paper. I should have done this weeks ago.

I am still contemplating logo design, eventually branding it with the business name.
However, this will do for now.

“Life is an F-Word”

Farouche

My newest adventure is another blog, still brand new in it’s infancy – but already something I know I can invest a little time in each day.

It’s where you can find daily writing exercises prompted by words that begin with the letter F. Simple. Fun. And I am having a wonderful time exploring something I enjoy – writing. Take a look!

Reckless Abandon: Life is an F-Word