Ferris BuellerI have to admit…I was always a fan of the 1986 film, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I think I was a bit jealous of his devil-may-care attitude. As Michelle Lee of www.Hollywood.com said, “Ferris…operates under the notion that the universe will make good things happen for him.” I, on the other hand, tend toward the personality that constantly plans ahead, listens, listens, listens, organizes everything, and does her level best to ensure that she has all her bases covered (before even getting out of bed in the morning). Now I’m not saying that my attitude hasn’t served me well. As a long-time administrator, those meticulous and methodical traits served me well and were key in my professional successes. But, wouldn’t it be nice to just let go and let Karma take over from time to time?

About three years ago, my husband, Mike, became gravely ill and my well-organized life was turned upside down. All
at once, I had to retire from my career, sell my home, close Mike’s business, move to a new city, buy a home – all to ensure that Mike’s health was cared for in the best way possible. There virtually was no time to think and plan and organize. I just had to move forward as fast as I could.

It’s now a beautiful October 2015 in Colorado. Everything turned out OK – no – really well! Mike’s health has improved considerably and he is, once again, enjoying living. We (and our Sweet Gracie and Lovely Laverne) have settled into a lovely home in Arvada, CO (in the metro Denver area). And, I am developing my very own virtual business, Data & Document MD.

Some months ago, I decided it was time for me to go back to work, that is, to again become productive and to become a resource for my industry and my community. Due to commitments involving Mike’s health and in order to maintain my own health and well being, I knew I had to work from home. Admin is my thing, so I named my business Data & Document MD because I believe I can help people and organizations “cure their admin overload diagnoses”. (I had never even heard the term Virtual Assistant!)

So I had a business name, but found myself feeling fretful in determining how to get it going. But, reflecting back on that seemingly impossible situation of 3 years ago and how it all worked out, I focused on the positive, reached out to my friends and colleagues, and kept my ears open. I was talking about my business goals to a colleague in Denver who recommended that I connect with Marilyn Stafford (Alliance Virtual Services, www.alliancevs.com) on LinkedIn, and ask her for some guidelines. Marilyn, in turn, introduced me to the amazing world of Virtual Assistance and to the IVAA. It was then that everything started to blossom! Marilyn did, indeed, give me a plethora of helpful info and guidelines, but she also provided me incredible encouragement – and continues to do so! She is an incredible VA who truly understands the concept of “paying it forward”.

Following Marilyn’s guidelines and scouring the tremendous IVAA website, I connected with the fantastic Layne Tinsley (Administrative Sparkle, www.mykta.com). Layne and her talented team created an amazing Logo for me! I also started taking advantage of the webinars that IVAA offers, one of which was Rhonda Quade’s (Quade’s Virtual Office) Resource Recess on subcontracting. During that I won the incredible door prize of free registration in Sue Kramer Harrawood’s (Peace of Mind Virtual Assistance, www.vapeaceofmind.com ) “Exceptional Subcontractor” e-course. While “bragging” about IVAA to a very talented colleague of mine from Breckenridge who was so impressed with the organization and the entire concept of Virtual Assistance that she volunteered to design my website (release date TBA)! And, a colleague of mine in Arvada has volunteered to introduce me to the Arvada Chamber of Commerce and several other local networking groups.

So now my website copy has been submitted to my designer, I’m taking webinars, working on business cards and fliers, and researching/learning a variety of software options to add to my resources repertoire. It won’t be long before Data & Document MD is up and running. I can’t remember when I’ve been so excited about my life! I know I’ve chosen the right course of action. Many thanks to IVAA and to all the talented Virtual Assistants around the world!

Now, I’m not saying that we should be just like Ferris. But, while we’re doing the reasonable and necessary things to move forward, we can also remember to remain hopeful and positive, to reach out to those we know and those in need (never knowing who will give back that “spark”), and to be mindful of all that’s going on in and around us. Go on – let the universe guide you along your way!

Betty DanisBetty Danis is a 26-year veteran of the Administration Division in the Public Works Department at the Town of Breckenridge, CO.  While there, she specialized in Human Resources, Budget (projection, preparation, and oversight/management), Safety, and ensuring compliance with Federal, State, and Municipal Drug and Alcohol Program regulations.  Prior to that, she worked in the banking and defense industries.

Her Virtual Assistant company, Data & Document MD, focuses on writing, editing, proofreading, transcription, and data entry. She is currently pursuing InstructionSmith’s program to gain certification as an Author’s Assistant.