Monday, June 14, 2010


In December of 2009 President Obama hosted the Jobs and Economic Growth forum on the grounds of the White House. This forum was attended by about 130 small business owners from all different areas of the job sector. The focus was a discussion on job creation and expanding the economy. During the session the President recognized the CEO of Arise Virtual Solutions, Angie Seldon. Her company has been the trail blazer of the Homeshoring Industry, and is the world’s leading provider of virtual agent business services. Here is a synopsis of Angie’s contribution to the forum:

“Facing the steepest revenue growth challenges in three generations, the Fortune 500 companies are seeking to boost their margins by expanding their outsourced workforce. As companies learn about the unique mix of cost savings and high quality service that the homeshoring model delivers, they see that lowering expenses and hiring Americans are no longer mutually exclusive goals. It was an honor to participate in the forum, and I’d like to thank President Obama and Chief Technology Officer Chopra for bringing homeshoring into the national conversation.”

Angie credited her company for creating thousands of call and sales jobs, bringing jobs back to the United States that have gone overseas in the last several years. She also stated that she had some very specific ideas about how we could foster more of this reverse job migration. The President promised to take a look at the homeshoring model.

Since the job forum two legislation, (one in the House and one in the Senate) were proposed in support of Homeshoring or as the government prefer to call it teleworking. The House Bill proposal would give Federal Workers the option to work from home. Last month however, the bill was defeated in the House….It fell short by 9 votes.

The argument opposing the bill is that it will cost the government 30 million dollars to implement. Advocates of the bill however made arguments that over time homeshoring will save tax payers over 30 million dollars. Here are some of the points that were cited in the support of the homeshoring bill:
- Reduced carbon emissions
- Improve Traffic emissions
- Maintain government operation when the downtown area is under grid lock
- Bolstering the Federal Workforce
Similar legislation awaits a vote in the Senate.
The proposal requires federal agencies to appoint telework managing officers to oversee new policies developed by each agency and the Office of Personnel Management. If employees’ jobs do not impact agency operations then they would be allowed to telework. The bills also prohibit workers who handle secure or classified materials or information or who perform tasks that cannot be performed remotely from teleworking.
According to the OPM of the 61 percent of federal workers who are eligible to telework only 5 percent do so regularly. John M. Berry, the agency's director, has devoted most of his tenure to convincing lawmakers and other skeptics that in order to retain and recruit potential federal hires telework options may be the answer.
There are plans in progress to reintroduce the homeshoring bill in the house in the near future.
Do you think the Federal Government should take this path? What are your thoughts? If you are interested in learning more about Legitimate Homeshoring jobs the eBook an inside job is a valuable information guide.  You can check it out here!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Virtual Agent Working From Home - A 7 Step Survival Guide

The Success Guide  List                              
               1). Choosing Your Hours:                            
Most companies will allow posting hours in ½ hour increments. In the beginning if you can, try breaking up your time in 2 hour increments then taking a break for 1/2 hour to an hour. Trust me on this. Your day will seem to go by a lot faster and you will have a more productive day.

2). Dealing With Family Interruptions:
Educate immediate family members of the importance of your "do not disturb" notice during work time. Post a copy of schedule in a mutual place for family members, and advise them of the times you will be available for socializing. It is difficult for them to wrap their heads around the fact that you just happen to have a work from home job . Be patient. Give them time to adjust. When they come around they will be your biggest supporters. The ringing of the door bell can be very annoying and distracting when you are on a call. If feasible post a "do not ring" note for your mail man. Set a special time for making and returning calls and stick to the program.

3). Your Resource Guide:

When in training make your notes so structured that you find key information at your finger tips. This will be your main resource guide. Make a list of frequently asked questions and answers and bookmark page in your notebook. Better yet, post them on a wall or on the sides of your computer. This will improve efficiency making you more productive
Make a cheat sheet to include any scripts that you have to say verbatim and structure it so that you control the flow of the call. Post-it is great for writing “must know information”. Use the sides and bottom of your computer to post them so that they are at your finger tips.

4). Balance Your Social Life:

As a Virtual Agent working from home can be lonesome. Without the office environment some agents may suffer isolation from no longer having that level of office interaction. To alleviate this, join forum groups on line with similar interests. Connect with work at home agents in your area and schedule regular meeting for brunch or lunch to discuss issues and share professional ideas.

5). Keeping Healthy:

When making your schedule always factor in regular times for an exercise routine. If you do not have a home gym considering joining one in your community. What works for me is stretching exercises that target the neck,shoulders and abs. These exercises are very effective,and can be done right from your chair in between calls. They are very relaxing and help to relieve stress. If you have to eat in between meals choose snack foods wisely, your waistline and abs will thankful.
6). Appropriate Working Attire:

Most work from home agents will tend to agree that the best advantage of working from home is to go to work in one’s pjs. I prefer to get dressed. For me it makes me ready mind, body and soul and increases productivity. Please understand that this is what works for me. My suggestion is for you to have an open mind and try both to see what feels comfortable.

7). Want A Smile In Your Voice?

I am sure you have heard the saying "Put a smile in your voice" Have you ever wondered why so much emphasis is placed on this matrix? Remember you do not deal with your customers face to face. It is more difficult to make your smile come through especially when you are feeling frustrated. When you are on the phone, customers can pick this up so easily and will walk away with the wrong impression. This is how I have done it and you can to it too.
When you are working always have a mirror in a position where you can always see your reflection. You will know when the smile is gone from your voice when your reflection is not smiling back at you. So just keep smiling.

As a VIRTUAL AGENT you are always looking for new clients so that you can increase your earning potentials. You can see all other options for the best homeshoring job available by taking a look at the eBook An Inside Job.  You can check it out Here!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

How to Survive As A Virtual Assistant Agent

Congratulations! You have done it! You are now your own boss working from the comfort of your own home. Now that you have taken the plunge to become a virtual agent I can hear you asking yourself these questions: Do I have what it takes to make this work? What tools am I missing to be successful? Where do I get these tools? Don't panic! You have the tools. In fact you have been preparing your self and gaining job related experience with every job you ever did. Your commitment is to now harvest all these skills and good work ethics and transfer them over to your new business.

All successful business owners have these three threads in common that scream success. They have to be optimistic, determined and creative. Optimism and determination will help them put things in perspective and to reaffirm that they are going to succeed in whatever project they are tackling. In addition the business owner has to be focused, disciplined and adaptable with excellent time management skills and most importantly have the right mindset. (Always keep in mind that the rate of failure for small businesses is a very high. Refuse to be part of that statistics).

As a business owner your success will be measured by the financial worth of your company. This goal can become achievable by being focused and by factoring in discipline, adaptability, and time management skills. Developing the right work ethics is also of paramount importance and may be the key to the success of your work at home business.

The Virtual Agent has to learn to make a quick transition from a brick and mortar office and the 9-5 job. This can be a challenging endeavor. No longer do you have the luxury of having a supervisor to direct and address issues, to schedule your lunches and breaks or peers to throw out the life line of support. You are on your own. You now have to make all the decisions. Go ahead! You have come this far. You can do it! Dig deep inside and channel those latent job proficiency skills that you used in all your other jobs to the surface. Challenge yourself to be self-motivated, self-reliant and self-confident. Enhance your customer service and problem-solving skills. Heighten your ability to deal with irate customers and soon you will master job proficiency.
View my tips for surviving in the work at home job arena. These are tips that I have been using for the last three years. You can use what works for you, delete what doesn’t to come up with your own workable guidelines. To find out what virtual assistants jobs are available you can browse through the little eBook An Inside Job at your leisure.

How Do I Test The Waters As A Virtual Assistant?

The truth is that at some point or another we all have that burning desire to go out on our own –steer away from our current occupations – and start a new career path as a solo professional in our field of specialization. But why don’t we? What is holding so many of us back from going out and doing what it is that we want to do with our lives?

Why do we allow ourselves to be tied to our employer as if we're tied into our cubicle with invisible wires? What skills do we really need in order to finally break free from the nine to five life and start out on our own as a virtual assistant? Ask yourself all of these questions before you even think about quitting your current occupation in pursuit of the dream of pursuing any type of solo job.

Each and every year, far too many people believe that they can simply quit their current occupation and pursue a career as a virtual assistant, freelancer, or start their own businesses. Far too many of them fail, only to be forced back into the nine to five world with a sense of disappointment and hopelessness. They have given up on their dream. This isn't meant to happen to you, so you must be prepared before you branch out. When this happens it happens for one reason and one reason only – the person who wanted to pursue his or her dreams had no idea what to expect.

As a new entrepreneur your focus is on the pros of having your own business- free to have as many days off as needed, the joy of retaining all of the profits from the work you have accomplished. However, the truth of the matter is to be successful it takes a lot of working long and hard hours to meet deadlines, manage your finances, putting in place a good retirement plan, setting up a medical insurance and competing with thousands of others for the same jobs.

Before beginning any ventures in the world of the solo professional, know that it is not all fun and games. A lot of serious thought must go into your actions if you are going to be successful. Are you ready to put planning into your efforts? Are you willing to start our slow by moonlight, so that you will be able to continue to live in the manner to which your are accustomed?

Whatever you do, the answer is not quit your current job right now. You will not have a livable source of income for several months while you search for well paying gigs. Quitting your job will come in due time, but only after you have managed to net a few solid contracts and references.

The first step of your new life as a virtual assistant should be to log onto your computer, open your web browser to Google, and start the search for work at home jobs . Sounds easy, right? Use specific keywords that describe what your skills are – the types of projects you can actually accomplish. After a few hours of research you will wind up with a massive database of different websites that cater to the solo community in your specific field. These are the websites you'll want to scour, learn to work with, and set up profiles so that you can begin exploring contracts and building relationships in the freelance community.

There are also many other places on the web to subcontract with other virtual assistants to gain experience and work, however, there are far too many to list in this article. It is highly suggested that you look at other Virtual Assistants websites to see what they offer. Research how they market themselves to get ideas on how to start your own advertising to grow your own business portfolio. The eBook An Inside Job is a valuable resource if you would like to explore additional homeshoring options.  Check it out here!