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Preview: Crystal's Blog

Crystal's Blog

Updated: 2016-03-26T02:48:45.338-07:00


I'm a guest on Team DoubleClick's podcast this week!


In lieu of VA To Stay this week, take a listen to my guest spot on Team DoubleClick's podcast. I sound a little frantic, but hey, that's me! Enjoy...

Thanks to Rebecca Rose and everyone at Team DoubleClick for allowing me to be a part of their show!

Insomnia and thoughts


I'm thinking a nice long blog entry is in order. I feel like I've provided not a whole lot of substance as of late and honestly, I don't think there's going to be much is the way of substance today, either. But I feel like writing.

I can't sleep. Since I got back from my trip I haven't been able to sleep very well. I told Jim last night that it's because I was spoiled by the air on Maui. The best I've slept in years has been when I've been there.

I can't stop thinking about this last trip - much more so than the first time I went for vacation. How corny is it to say that the islands are calling me? I don't care. That's how I feel. It's a weird feeling.

Summer is winding down and with the onset of school, I am suddenly sad. As hectic and crazy a summer as this has been, I'm going to miss it when it's gone. I'll miss the kids in and out, hanging out with the neighbors in the evening outside, running in the early morning when the air is perfect - all of it.

Chris is leaving for Taiwan for a week on Friday, so it will be another week of managing the house on my own. This time I'm ok with it. I've been invited to a party that I found a sitter for, so I'm excited about going and doing a social thing in downtown Denver. I have plenty of work and house stuff to keep me busy, so the week should pass quickly.

I have been listening to a CD that a co-worker of Chris's made for me since he found out I'm an 80's nut. There are 886 songs on it and I am in heaven. Kirk, you are my hero. I think if I listen to anymore Foreigner, my kids are going to move out. Hey, maybe I should play some more Foreigner.

VA To Stay 07.26.07


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MP3 File

Honestly, who has the time to Twitter?


I decided I really don't. I think Twitter is a cool idea, but am I missing something? I know you're usually just typing in a little phrase here or sentence there, but man, I was kidding myself by thinking that I actually have the bandwidth to add this to the other things I think I need to be doing. The last thing I should be spending time on is taking a break every two minutes and losing focus on what I'm doing to throw down what I'm doing for everyone else to enjoy.


Don't remove me from your reader yet!


I need you to hang in there as I'm still trying to get it together after my trip. Things will roll again on Monday!

Aloha from Maui!


I'm still alive and I'll be back to Colorado on Wednesday - just wanted to check in! I will be doing the podcast and it will be posted on Thursday. Definitely check in because I have tons to talk about including meeting Wayne Dyer in the flesh!!

Tee Hee


Revised attitude toward having the 4th in the middle of the week


Remember I said I liked having the 4th in the middle of the week? I lied. I hate it. For days, I had no idea what day it was, having my husband home in the middle of the week and then on the weekend wasn't working for me, and I felt depressed and not motivated. Not good. Because I was feeling so low, I ran on both Saturday and Sunday in the hopes of lifting my mood (and lowering my weight because what's up with eating mounds of potato salad over the 4th?). I definitely felt better about myself, but I had a nasty stomach thing all day yesterday that sucked.

Wow, usually I don't complain so much (here, anyway) but I wanted to get it off my chest and bring up the subject of working when you really don't feel like it. It's hard. It's up to you to motivate you and sometimes it's pretty hard coming. I know for me that the downward spiral usually turns up after a day or two and I'm ready to get back at it. And in order for that turnaround to happen, this is what I do:

  • I exercise. It always makes me feel better - never fails.
  • I shut down my computer and my Blackberry completely.
  • I engage my kids - they have really good, wacky ideas that have nothing to do with anything but fun.
  • I call my life coach. She's always there for when I need a pick-me-up.
  • I meditate. When I'm down, it's probably because I'm stressed, overwhelmed, tired and scattered. I need to sit, breathe and relax.
Not rocket science, but simple stuff I can do that can really help me get out a funk. My husband says I'm missing something from that list, but that's another post;)

What do you do when you're down?

VA To Stay on hiatus until I get back from Hawaii


I am super busy trying to get ready for my trip and with the wacky holiday this week, I decided to wait until I get back from Hawaii to do another show. I have a great guest in mind for the next show and I'll let you know when I know details.

In the meantime, take the time to listen to some past shows if you haven't had the chance to. I think there's some good stuff there!

Because I had insomnia


I couldn't sleep, so I got up and have been Stumbling ever since. I found Dave Werner and his stuff is fantastic!

Enjoy the holiday


Kind of cool that the fourth of July falls in the middle of the week this year. I thought I hated that, but now I think I like it. I'm going to take most of the day off tomorrow after making sure I have a handle on the important stuff. Then it's enjoying the fact that my husband has a day off, we have fireworks to shoot and I may even get to read some of my book, catch up on TiVo or take a nap.

Integrity Day



One of the YahooGroups that I'm a member of does an Integrity Day once a month and I participated last week. I love this idea! You post your To-Do list, then check in at noon, then again around four or five to update your progress.

I am always a big fan of posting your junk out in the open so that even if no one on the planet knows it's out there, theoretically, you've put the word out that you are accountable for something. Just having that little twinge in the back of my mind is often the push I need to get things done or work just a bit harder on those things that I've been putting off.

It applies to more than just work, too. I started a blog with a girlfriend a couple of years ago when we started training for our first triathlon. We both wanted a way to track our progress and to see what the other one was doing without having to call each other all the time. It was an online diary where I kept track of my weight, what I ate and how much I trained. I knew my friend was checking it and a couple of my other friends knew as well, so I kept up with it and it did keep me in check, knowing that other people were reading it. It wasn't anything earth-shattering (do you really care how much cottage cheese I eat?), but it helped me lose almost 40 pounds and not only did I do the triathlon - I ran a bunch of races including a half-marathon. Go figure.

We abandoned it about a year ago, but I still think about how much that helped me accomplish what I wanted to accomplish.

What do you think?

VA To Stay 06.28.07


This week's show is about moving my website to Wordpress, my upcoming trip to Maui courtesy of my client, Maui Media and other stuff!

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Right-click to Download

Make it so...


I'm saying this out loud so that I really will get it done. I am switching over to a Wordpress blog and ditching both and this blog. Everything will live on the new Wordpress and my plan is to get it up by the end of next week. I've been wanting to do it for a long time, but the pieces weren't ready to be put together. Now they are. Well, sort of. Am I correct in that because this blog is new Blogger, I can't import into Wordpress? Which isn't that big of a deal I guess, because there's not a whole lot here and I'm changing the logo. Hmm, still lots to think about, but it's exciting to think about the changes. And I'm really excited about all I'm going to be able to do with the new site!

Keys locked in my car and other stuff...


My keys were locked in my car yesterday and I didn't realize it until everyone was packed up and ready to hit the road. It seems like things are falling apart a bit around here - in one week, our air conditioning wasn't working (that amazingly fixed itself as I'm thinking it just took some time to get it's groove on after the long winter), the garage door opener is busted, the coffee maker refuses to work more than half of the time. Go figure, the locks on my car work just fine. Sigh.

It's a good thing I like being a Virtual Assistant because I foresee spending much time on the phone, scheduling service guys and waiting on hold to see if Cuisinart will send me a new coffeemaker. Too bad I'm working for me because I can't afford myself;)

Everything not going right this week has made me once again aware of the fact that my problems are pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Which reminds me of this blog post by Chris DeBarr of New Orleans. I am going to take my kids to the park, take some deep breaths and just enjoy the fresh air. Because I'm able.

Operation Life Coach


Collette Garrett, my personal life coach, has revamped her website and changed her business from OpenDoorsConsulting to OperationLifeCoach. I love the changes! She specializes in coaching military members and their spouses, but she is available for anyone that needs some help getting their lives in order. Please check out her website as she is offering a complimentary consultation for all new clients. She's also doing a biweekly podcast at Blogtalk Radio.

Your mission is to go check her out!

VA To Stay is finally up this week!


Folks, I apologize! Major technical difficulties with the show this week, but we're here and my guest, Jennifer Bennett was great! Thanks for your patience and enjoy the interview! Jen has some great advice for those of you who are ready or thinking about starting your own business.

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Right-click here to Download MP3

Newsflash! When It's A Good Thing NOT To Be Virtual!


I am out of here! I've got the best client in the world in the most beautiful place in the world and I've been invited to leave my home office for a few days to work in the real office on Maui! I leave in July for five days to setup systems, organize my client's office, maybe tackle all the work stuff stored in the garage, and anything else that needs to be done.

Chris is staying home with the kids - we'll see how he does trying to work from home and manage the kids;) He's already said he's thinking he needs to call in some reinforcements. It's finally my turn to go on a business trip! Woo hoo!

Jennifer Bennett of the CLT Source


Get set for a great show this week! My guest on VA To Stay is Jennifer Bennett of CLT Source.

Jennifer Bennett has over a decade of office experience. She began her career as a sales assistant to three financial services representatives at a small international markets trading firm in 1998. In 2001 she was named Sales Assistant of the Year at her Smith Barney branch. Six months later she obtained the Series 24 general supervisory license and was promoted to Operations Manager, overseeing the back office operations of over 100 brokers and their assistants. She then left financial services to work as a virtual assistant. Today she owns CLT Source, an administrative solutions company in Charlotte, North Carolina.

I have a special place in my heart for Miss Jenn - even though we've never met in person, I think she's fabulous and I am so proud of her for making the decision to start her own business. And she's in Charlotte...'nuff said! Tune in Thursday for some great insights from Jenn about how she made that big decision and all the things she did to make it happen!

BTW, the great photo of Jenn was taken by Lee Bautista.

Long Week


Am I the only one that feels like this was a really busy, stressful week? I started out strong, but dang, I am burned out. I am looking forward to the weekend to recharge. I am flat out refusing to look at my computer.

Peace out.

VA To Stay 06.14.07


Here's this week's show, as promised - Jake Linnen was my guest and he did a great job!

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The program of the week is Qumana - it's an awesome tool for all you bloggers out there, especially the ones with multiple blogs. Using Qumana means you have a centralized location for all your blogs where you can create new posts, cross post the same entry to more than one blog, edit HTML code and all sorts of neat stuff. Check it out!

Someone's actually listening!


(image) I got the best phone call today from a woman in Florida saying she had heard my podcast and she had some questions about becoming a Virtual Assistant.

Obviously, I've thought about people somewhere in the stratosphere listening to my show (that's why it's there, right?), but to actually hear directly from someone that liked what I said enough to hunt down my phone number to call me? Wow.

I hope I was able to help her today because I know she helped me...thanks caller!

Awesome Podcast Guest!


I wanted to give everyone the heads up that VA To Stay is having its first guest this week - I'm interviewing my son, Jake Linnen and I'll be grilling him about the trials and tribulations of having his mom (me) work from home. He's the perfect person to talk to about how my working from home affects his life and the life of our family.

Jake is eight (well, almost), he's a full time elementary student off for summer break and in his free time he likes to speedstack, practice pro wrestling moves on the tramp with his buds and do magic tricks.

Tune in on Thursday!

How do you feel about this?


I read an interesting blog post at Danielle Keister's The Gritty Virtual Assistant that I wanted to share and get some feedback on. Let me know how you feel - any of you that know me probably know my opinion, but I'll share it here anyway.

As a Virtual Assistant, I believe one of the hardest things to do is find clients and good ones at that. If you're lucky enough to find the ones that already know they need a VA and what that means, you are already doing well! But I think a lot of potential clients aren't sure what a Virtual Assistant is and how valuable having one can be to their business. One of the things that clients more often than not don't understand is that we are business owners, NOT employees. Part of our job is to communicate to them what we can do and how we work. We're all different in that we have varied skill sets, some of us offer more services than others, some of us are specialists in niche markets like real estate or internet marketing - but what we all have in common is that we work with clients, not for them. It is not up to the client to decide what type of skills YOU need to have (that's your choice). It's up to the client to decide the right VA to work with based on his/her needs.

Read Danielle's post because it really does address some good points about the nature of our industry and I'm so glad she brought this issue to the forefront as I believe it's good food for thought for those of us trying to become the most successful Virtual Assistants we can be.

My turn to get off the soapbox - anyone else want to take a turn??

Please check this out!


Here's the web movie, Do You Remember Love?, that I mentioned on the show yesterday - thought I would put it here because I love it so much and am very proud to have been a part of it!

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