Cool Keyboard 2016 by Kathy McCabe Cool Keyboard by Kathy McCabe[/caption] Its the time we all hate, eyesight is getting worse, floaters are having a field day when you’re trying to work on the computer. And…. now you’re all squinty eyed at keyboards. I You’ve already customized your screen so that everything is bigger…. You have your Kindle app set for giant print… And you live everyday as a photographer who’s best friend is her telephoto lens… Yup, you’ve got aging eyes. Now, the latest in a long line of changes comes along in the form of a giant print – illuminated – keyboard. This thing has giant letters back-lit on keys you can’t miss seeing. I chose the Adesso ergonomic ‘illuminated’ keyboard. I chose it because of the letter size on the keys. I’m used to a keyboard that is raised up on the wrist side and the new keyboard is flat.  So, I “MacGyvered” a lift from old parts so its now lifted properly. My only issue now (other than getting used to the slight change in layout) is that the keyboard is LOUD  Very LOUD… clackity noise such as I’ve never heard before… Ugh…  I’m sure I’ll get used to it but for now I think I’ll be hearing the keys in my sleep! Don’t believe me?  Listen to this! Go ahead, I dare you! [audio mp3=""][/audio] See what I mean?  Oh well, I’ll get used to it. And, although there are loads of great ergonomic keyboards out there, finding an illuminated isn’t as easy – at least at a rate I want to pay. So, I’ll wear this one out, maybe it will become more quiet over time.  You think?]]>

Join Avon Today! Join Avon Today![/caption] My most recent passion involves my love of makeup. Yes, I’m a girly girl… I have always loved makeup, nail polish, and so on. When I lived in California, I even completed manicurist  training in a cosmetology school and opened a mobile manicurist   business that thrived until I sold it and returned to my home state of Colorado. I still do nails but these days, only for myself. But I have always loved the entire process of beautification.

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Currently, I turned my love of all things beauty into a new venture and became an Avon Representative. I’m thrilled to say that I’m loving the entire process. I’m realizing its not that much different than my Virtual Assistant business in that I have clients, and I try to be sure they have the exact thing they need and I try to provide the best customer service I can to them. Avon is amazingly empowering. It is truly THE Company for Women. I have seen positive changes in my ability to interact with ‘real live’ people instead of only via the internet. I’ve even been able to use some of the techniques I’ve learned while selling Avon in my other businesses and have seen very positive results. To me, my business Hilltop Secretarial and being an Avon Representative are a perfect combination! I can work both during the day. During off moments from virtual assisting I’m working my Avon business. Win-win for me and my day speeds by! Why Avon? It costs $15 to start, people love the products as much as I do, and they have a solid record of supporting cause that are close to my heart. You get a suite of tools and an estore – Where else can you get all that for one $15 startup fee? Right now it doesn’t take too much time but I’m hoping it will grow much larger and will someday take over in the income I will lose I and when I retire from virtual assisting. I highly recommend Avon as a revenue stream – It is very rewarding and I love helping people feel beautiful and empowered. Get signed up today – Make extra money for the holidays, and make friends for a lifetime! I’ve also turned my love of photography into a business and sell my images when we show our products at craft shows and festivals. I am a graduate of the New York Institute of Photography, which has enabled me to turn my hobby into a viable revenue stream. Mostly my images sell online so there is some passivity to it. I became obsessed with herbalism  after the medication I took when a migraine hit was pulled from the market – for no real reason other than corporate greed – and I had to begin anew the oddysse  to find a new effective medication. It only took ten years to find it in the first place! Two medication changes later, both included horrible side effects, I turned to researching herbal remedies. I created a very effective blend I call Migraine Buster Tea. It’s  so amazing I can get rid of a migraine generally within an hour with NO SIDE EFFECTS! That was absolutely HUGE for me since I’m entirely too sensitive to medications. This obsession with herbs has resulted in a lucrative revenue stream called Hilltop Herbals. I’ve added to my original Migraine Buster Tea and created a number of other remedies to help you in your daily life. I’m proud to have completed study in Herbalism and am constantly continuing my education with research in off moments. I give consultations, and we sell the remedies with we show at craft fairs and festivals, and on our online store, Hilltop-Arts. Another passion that’s become a revenue generator is my woodworking. While it’s  not as steady as my herbal remedies, it’s  still income. I love the smell of the wood, the creation process, and the sense of satisfaction I get when I’ve created something I never thought I could build. Other passions that have turned into services I offer include research, graphic design, website and blog design, talking on the phone (I think I’m a born receptionist!!) turned into my Virtual Receptionist service, and when it comes down to it, my love of office work (but hating to go to traditional offices!) turned into the career of over 19 years! Take an inventory of your passions, do some quick research about how to turn them into money makers. You never know when you might discover hidden income potential.  ]]>

When I first became a virtual assistant over 19 years ago, it was a daily part of my day to work to educate the general public as to what a virtual assistant IS and what we can do to help individuals, small businesses and corporations. For the Coaching industry especially, the Virtual Assistant was key in helping them to organize their practices. In fact, Thomas Leonard, founder of the International Coach Federation, is credited with coining the phrase “virtual assistant” for his assistant Stacy Brice. It took a few years, but eventually the phrase “virtual assistant” became very well-known and our fledgling industry was growing rapidly. Now, I’m required again to educate people as to what a “Virtual Assistant” REALLY is and how we can help people. I don’t know about you, but Siri, Cortana (and other so-called virtual assistant apps) are NOT virtual assistants!!! They are bits of software and programming designed to perform small tasks (after you set up your parameters) or guide you through your customer service calls. They do NOT take the place of a REAL Virtual Assistant! As much as I love Cortana – and I use it every day – there are limits to what it can accomplish. Also, it cannot interpret my mood, the way a real virtual assistant can do with long-term clients.  It cannot answer my numerous client phone calls.  I also love Siri on my iPad, but it doesn’t take the place of a real person. Someone whose function is far superior to any string of bits and bytes.  Are they convenient and make me feel geeky?  Yes, but they are not virtual assistants.  They are more like advanced voice command software. And personally, I resent these companies calling their software a virtual assistant! We worked very hard to make our industry viable and visible. We are an industry of hardworking and dedicated individuals (and teams!) who are committed to providing the best possible service. What are your thoughts? Kathy McCabe, MVA Master Virtual Assistant, VA Certified Ethichs Checked VA Thomas Leonard International Virtual Assistant of Distinction Award 2013]]>

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