My Refuge, Therapy, and Happy Place

My Refuge, Therapy, and Happy Place

Everyone asks me why I always go to the beach. My simple answer has always been; “because it’s my happy place” or “I love the sound of the waves, and the smell of the ocean air”. And while those are both very true, they are just simple answers. So, I set out to find out why. What really lies behind my answers? Why do I actually go to the beach?

It has become my place of refuge. Have you ever just needed to get away? But where do you go to get a break? It’s different for everyone. And unfortunately, I’ve learned that some people don’t ever actually find their answer. So, I’m lucky enough to have found mine. In fact, after a recent tragedy in my life, I ran away. I’ve been doing this since I could drive. I get in my car and drive and drive and drive, until I clear my head, and can return back to civilization. LOL This particular time, I found myself driving towards the beach. Once I got there, I got out, ran to the edge of the water and laid down and just stared at the stars in the sky, listened to people talking and laughing, smelled the salt air, and listened to the waves crashing. I just laid there for hours, thinking, breathing, smelling, listening. When I had cleared my head, I got in my car, drove the hour home, and was a much better person for my family, friends, and business.

The beach is therapeutic. I can walk along the ocean edge, or sit on my beach chair, and just get lost in thought. I recently turned to my Mom and asked, “why is this the only place I can just sit and do nothing?”. We laughed, because I cannot sit anywhere for very long. When I sit, I am on my phone or iPad learning something, or falling asleep. I can quite literally sleep anywhere. HAHA So, why can I spend 6 hours staring at the beach, and not doing anything at all? I still don’t know… other than I feel better when I leave, EVERY. SINGLE. TIME!!! The smells, sounds, sights, and places I allow myself to go to, within myself, heal me. It’s my therapy.

It’s truly our happy place. Since the kiddos were little, the beach has truly been our happy place. After reflecting on our days at the beach, over the years, I came to realize that is where we are all the happiest. There is no arguing, no complaining, no sadness of any kind. Well, except for the occasional bit of sand in the eye… there’s no way around crying about that! We are the picturesque family: riding the waves, walking on the edge of the water, playing football in the sand, laughing, barely taking a break, and never wanting the day to end. I think this is when I first realized the beach was magical. It’s full of nothing but peace & happiness.

So next time you need a break, go to your place. If you haven’t found your refuge, your therapy, your happy place, I implore you to make that your #1 priority. There’s nothing like knowing that if you are stressed, overwhelmed, depressed, or just need renewed energy, that you have the knowledge and power to make that change yourself and live towards being a better person for everyone whose lives you touch.

Here’s to making your world better, so you can better serve others. Isn’t that what all this is about?!

10 Things You Should Do Daily

10 Things You Should Do Daily

kids style clock

We all wish there were more than 24 hours in a day. Inevitably, if you are anything like me, you simply run out of time to get it all done. Get what done? Important stuff of course. Let alone being able to fit in family time, sporting events, and social gatherings. In this fast paced don’t-get-left-behind world we are living in, it’s even more important to manage time as efficiently as possible. Do you ever feel up against it? Things like deadlines, projects, meetings, and flights. Our schedules can be littered with so many appointments and to-do’s that it gets a little stressful.

This is why I wanted to discuss the Ten Things You Should Do Daily. Let’s face it, we must prioritize what’s most important since time is scarce. Obviously, I hope you can get 100 things done daily, but make sure these Ten Things are on your radar.

GET SOME SLEEP. My wife always tell me that “sleep is such a waste of time.” It’s natural to think that way. Wow, just think of how many other aspects of my business I could work on. Instead, I’m laying down to close my eyes for one third of my life (big sigh). The fact is our bodies need rest. We put it through enough with bad eating habits, stress, lack of exercise, and adult beverages (#cheers). Red Bulls and Starbucks lattes only go so far before we C-R-A-S-H. Being an entrepreneur and business owner, it’s vital that you are sharp, focused, and energized.

gray cat lying on a bed

KNOW YOUR AGENDA. Google puts out this thing called a Google Calendar. Ever heard of it? Of course you have. This along with countless other schedule keepers are easy tools we can keep track of what is supposed to take place each day. If you wake up and literally have nothing scheduled out ahead of time, it’s likely to be an unproductive day. Time blocking is cool. Reminders on your phone about tasks that have to get done are a good idea. Pencil scribble on a desk calendar even works. Whatever you do, have a plan of action prior to the next day mapped out. Going into your day with no agenda leads to distractions. Distractions are the enemy of progress.

LEARN SOMETHING NEW. Science tells us we actually use very little of our brain power. So there is plenty of memory space available and internal RAM. Why not put more stuff in there. I mean fill it up daily with new innovations, skills you haven’t used before, books you have yet to read, and practice over and over. Work on any weakness you feel is an obstacle to success. Be a sponge. Soak up every drop of the latest and greatest information out there that applies to your business. You do not want to be left speechless if a potential client doesn’t feel you are on your game and knowledgeable about your industry.

ACT LIKE THE WINNER YOU ARE. What’s your purpose? What goals do you want to see become a reality? How much income do you want to bring in this year? Everyday we should have goals that we are striving for. To reach the highest peaks and climb the mountain in front of us, it’s imperative to believe in yourself. You are a winner. No scoring judge or referee needs to announce you as the winner. It’s within you. Envision your company trending and becoming the latest hashtag on Twitter.

BRAND, BRAND, BRAND. Close your eyes and think for a moment about what your Brand is. What do you see? Who are you? The Brand of a business is it’s reputation. True iconic Brands only need their logos to be shown for people to recognize them instantly. Think about the NIKE swoosh or that APPLE shape that is everywhere. Your Brand is what you represent. Nothing is more important than your honor and reputation. Own it. Protect it like an army does for it’s King. Market your Brand consistently across all Social Media platforms. Represent your Brand well by using the best advertising approaches out there.

PROVIDE BENEFITS. To sell products or services in today’s world, you have to be very clever and spot on with how you introduce them. What approach you decide to take is important. Daily, consumers are inundated with ad after ad of numerous companies grasping for their hard earned money. Because consumer choice is wide ranging, make sure you sell the benefits. Consider the needs of who you are selling to. Let the Brand and the product’s value sell itself.

CREATE. Being creative doesn’t mean you have to be brilliant with painting on canvas or able to build a home with your hands. Anyone can create things. Each day look for ways to share your originality and talents with the world around you. Creativity opens up doors to other ideas that can boost your business. Write a blog. Think of an easier way to do something quicker and more efficiently. Find solutions to obstacles you are running into.

STAY AHEAD. To remain a viable force in your industry, companies must stay ahead of the competition. Ask companies like Circuit City and Blockbuster about this. There stores were nice. They both at one point were doing well financially. Yet, due to a lack of innovation and vision for the future, both companies no longer exist. I’m thankful we don’t have to get those bulky VHS tapes anymore or worry about returning them on time to avoid late fees. Netflix and Best Buy took advantage and remain strong.

DON’T BE CONTENT WITH YOUR CONTENT. When you put it out there for the world to see, it’s there forever. Any content you place or share on your website or social media sites is quickly consumed, shared, and reflected upon. Make it count. Keep it interesting and relevant to the market you are trying to connect with. Grab attention.

LIVE LIFE, REMAIN BALANCED. One of the main reasons my wife and I started our own company, virtualRVA, is so we could be free to have Fun and work virtually. Work is work, but work should be fun. Also, although entrepreneurs and start up companies kind of have to work a lot especially in the beginning, we all need balance. Take time for family. Spend some weekends on the river or at a backyard barbeque. Put adventure in your life to keep the blood moving. Laugh as much as you can.

Do these ten things consistently and watch how more enjoyable and productive your work and company will be.

Social Media Review – A Look Back

Social Media Review – A Look Back

It’s still hard to believe it’s actually 2017. Snow has been falling in most states the last few weeks and it’s been bitter cold here in Virginia. I love it though. All the leaves have fallen and 2016 is in the books. Rather than rushing into New Year’s resolutions with a new list of things you want to accomplish. Take a moment to reflect on last year. Make a list of your Wins and also jot down any mistakes or shortcomings you ran into.

Social Media

For those of you business owners who started to go into Social Media this past year, I wanted to speak directly with you. Maybe you wanted to build a following on Instagram, or took the first steps towards starting your first Social Media account. Perhaps you have dabbled in Social Media Marketing for a while but really haven’t figured out the best way to get traffic online. Regardless of where you are in the Social Media world with your business, it’s a great idea to look closely at how things went last year.

What Social Media Platforms are you using currently? The most popular platforms to name a few would include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, Youtube, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Hopefully, knowing you want your business to reach as many as possible, you have started a business page on a few of these sites already. If not, no worries, 2017 is a good time to do just that. You can hop on the train like so many others have and experience increased sales and a bigger following.

Most Social Media Platforms in one form or the other have ways you can track how you are doing reaching your target audience. Facebook for example has Insights which tells you what’s working well and what isn’t so effective. According to Twitter Analytics, 69% of tweeters make a purchase from a small business because of something they saw on Twitter. With technology the way it is, everything is tracked statistically and there

are a multitude of measurements you can look at to find out how your Social Media Strategy is progressing. Aside from actually getting a call or email from a prospective client, it’s vital to look at how your Social Media posts are tracking. How many people are engaged? How many followers were added to your Instagram account last year? Who actually clicked on a video you produced and for how long did it hold there attention? Who went ahead and took it a step further and followed the link to your website to check you out?

Activity for activity sake isn’t what Social Media Marketing is all about. The best strategy involves the least amount of effort with the most effectiveness. Careful attention must be paid to what content you are sharing daily or weekly. The saying is that “Content is King” and that is the absolute truth. Market your business with your brand in mine at all times. Every post needs to be clean, error-free, and interesting. Avoid doing a Sales Pitch on the majority of the content you post.  Let your Brand sell for you instead.

The goal is to create trust in your business which can be done through motivational quotes, educational articles, and product explanations to name a few. Content comes in various formats and you definitely want to mix it up. Like the 1980’s mixtapes of the past, switch it up and give a variety. You can share videos, photos, memes, quotes, articles, and blogs for instance. The more of your own Company Content you can bring to Social Media the better. Obviously, there are so many strategies when it comes to Social Media depending on each business out there. There is no one size fits all, but there are solid plays that should be included as I’ve mentioned.

So, find out how you think you did last year. Use the tools available for you. One way or the other, your eyes will be opened to your “did wells” and your “areas of improvement”. Marketing is a huge piece of your business. Explore the ways Social Media can partner with you to reach more people and increase your revenue.

Simplifying and New Ventures

Simplifying and New Ventures

Matthew and I are so excited to share some news with you!!! We are starting on a new venture. But before we tell you about what is happening, we want to tell you how it all developed.

Motorcycle Shadow
Superman Mug

As a result of my Father’s accident last year, we learned that life is way too short. We have so many dreams and so many things we both want to accomplish. But, as so often is the case, life happens and dreams get pushed to the side. We have started a year long process of simplifying our lives. We still have a long way to go, but that is a story for another time. 🙂 In this process, we have found out so many things about ourselves, individually and jointly. One of those is that we had to find a way to make our lives more effective.

So how do we go about making our lives mean something? How do we create a better future and enjoy it at the same time? How do we go about making sure life doesn’t pass us by without accomplishing these things? The only answer I have is that we just do it. Go for it. What do we really have to lose anyway? My favorite answer is this: someone is going to do it, why not me?! Why not US?!

Profile Picture of Matthew
Matthew and Heather Profile Picture
Heather Profile Pic

So, we are excited to announce the launch of our global Virtual Assistant Marketing Company, VirtualRVA.

Virtual Assistant: This is someone, possibly located on the other side of the world, ready to partner with your business to: ease your burdens, expand your abilities, and broaden your brand’s reach.  Whether it’s something as simple as clerical assistance, like organizing emails, or something as innovative as global brand marketing, a virtual assistant helps to fill in the gaps, leaving a small business owner free to focus on the success of their company.

With both of our degrees and work experience combined, Matthew and I, collectively, have 20 plus years in the kind of experience that we feel is vital to helping small companies excel in their specific field. Some of our specialties:

  • Blog Management
  • Social Media Management
  • Email Marketing
  • Web & Mobile Design
  • Online Customer Service and Sales Support
  • Proofreading and Creative Writing
  • Photography

Yes, you heard that right! We are launching a global Virtual Assistant Marketing Company! And we couldn’t be more excited!

To contact us:

Heather Angel/Matthew Evans 804-238-9038

Email: heather@virtualrva.us

www.linkedin.com/in/heatherlynnangel

www.linkedin.com/in/mevans191

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