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Dana Fortier

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Dana Fortier last won the day on February 11 2019

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About Dana Fortier

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  • Birthday 12/27/1971

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  1. What life lesson did I learn (am still learning) the hard way: People, in a large group setting, can be petty and childish. I keep expecting 30-40-50 year old people to act like they're 30-40-50 years old and not in their teens. It doesn't happen and I get disappointed in the human race every single day.
  2. And look at this article I just found: https://www.citibank.com/womenandco/article/5-things-not-to-do-when-you-work-from-home.jsp I know I've kind of veered away from the topic here, but I think putting iron-clad processes in place will stop a lot of "bad client" experiences. This industry is too vital to play with. Business owners need what a VA can do. We owe it to ourselves and to our clients to be the professional they are paying for.
  3. The best advice I ever got was, "Don't treat yourself like a small business." Take the time to set up your corporate paperwork the RIGHT way: at the very least, an LLC. Don't mess around with dba's. Get a tax ID number. Create your processes and STICK.TO.THEM. no matter what. If you bill in advance, then bill in advance and don't back down when it comes time to get paid again. Don't cheapen yourself just to get the client. Value YOU and they will value YOU.
  4. Where in Michigan are you? I might have someone you should connect with. I don't know if she'd be a client, but the two of you are in similar areas of expertise and it might be a good match. If nothing, just to talk. Feel free to email me and we can connect.
  5. I think it would be beneficial just to get your name out there among the rest of the business community. Call the organizers and let them know who you are, what you do and let them know you're interested. Even though YOU aren't a "physical" business, lots of physical businesses use virtual assistants. One of my long-term clients (3 years now) is one of the largest HVAC businesses in the south with over $20M in sales & service each year. I started out doing personal stuff for the CEO and its morphed into Operations Management with the VP of Operations with some personal stuff for the CEO thrown in. I do about 80 hours / month with them. Started out at 20/month. So that's definitely a physical business because they have 11 locations in 3 states.
  6. Okay ... I'm having a brain fart ... who in Canada has the CREVA knowledge? I want to say Pam Ivey, but she's more marketing. And Shannon, I didn't mean to indicate you didn't have experience. Your initial post didn't go into detail, so unless I know you, I have to err on the side of caution rather than giving someone advice and ideas they may not be ready for. REVA Academy has a Facebook group, but that's (I think) only open to their "graduates". Feel free to contact any of the 3 ladies I mentioned and ask if you could join the group. And if anyone knows who I'm thinking of (Canadian REVAs) - please post it here.
  7. Have you worked with real estate agents before? So many of them now, I've found, want VAs that are trained and/or have experience. I went through the REVA Academy Bootcamp last year and it was totally worth it. Even though I don't work in real estate right now, the training I got has helped in other ways. Take a look at what they have to offer and reach out to Serita, April or Megan. They're all great and will gladly answer any questions you have.
  8. I really like Teamwork PM. Works well. I've tried and discarded Basecamp and MyClientSpot so many times, I've lost count.
  9. The more you get your feet wet with this service, the easier it will be. You'll likely be able to create a list of "Customer Favorites" and then work with the vendors that offer them to give a discount, or cross-promote. Think: high-end, custom designed jewelry; spas; leather artists (that can create wallets, portfolios, briefcases, even); custom seamstresses or needle artists. One of my clients was a multi-millionaire and he had a jeweler he liked to use that would create custom bracelets for his wife. His wife only wore a gold wedding band (she had "ugly hands" - according to her), but she LOVED bracelets. When you cultivate relationships like that, this will become easier to you.
  10. When someone wants to hire you to do their shopping, charge them a deposit before you start doing anything for them. If they say, "I want you to find a gift for my wife, and I want to spend about $200", charge them a $200 deposit and then bill them for your time after that. You might want to think about doing gift research/ordering as a flat fee type of thing: figure out the average amount of time you'd spend looking for something, and then have levels - Up to a $100 gift: $167; $100-$200: $227, or something like that.
  11. Concierge Reminder Service Special Occasion Concierge/Personal Shopper
  12. Plus - my mother-in-law's oven is broken, they're leaving for Florida on January 12th, so they're going to deal with replacing it when they get back in May! I don't blame them ... why bother with something like that right now. I told her if she needs a stove, she can come borrow mine, so she's coming over on Saturday to bake cookies that she wants to take to a couple of people's houses on Christmas Eve.
  13. About 4 years ago we were ALL sick at Christmas, so that morning I got up, made the ham I had bought, and threw the cheesey hashbrowns in the oven and warmed up some waffles and after we opened gifts on Christmas morning and ate some breakfast, we just lazed around all day. The kids were getting over whatever we had (flu, maybe?) and I was coming down with it, so we were all "blah!". In the past, we had gone to my mother-in-law's and/or my father-in-law's (they've been divorced for over 25 years now) and then we'd hit Aunt Dianne's house. That year, we didn't go anywhere. Mother-in-law was coming down with whatever we had, too, and I think father-in-law may have been spending it with his new wife's family that year after we told him there was going to be little to no festivities going on, i.e., no one's cooking a turkey! After that year, we decided that THIS is the way to do Christmas, so Christmas morning I'll be making ham, Hashbrown casserole, Baked French Toast, a Jello salad (black cherry jello, walnuts & apples), pumpkin bread and mini quiches (Broccoli & Swiss, Asparagus & Swiss, Spinach & Swiss) and we'll open gifts around 10, have some brunch and then just graze on that for the rest of the day. I told my mother-in-law that its really not necessary that we come over to her house later, they can come over here, eat, open gifts and then we can do whatever for the rest of the day. Low key is the way to go for us now. I don't think it does anyone any good to do so much running around anyway. We're with the ones that mean the most to us.
  14. Its easy to get overwhelmed. I'm under deadline to finish a book by the end of the month so it can be sold at the NY Bar Association meeting in January .... and I haven't been motivated to write in over 2 weeks. This time of year with holiday obligations, end of the year obligations, work obligations, family obligations - it can get stressful. If you find yourself in overwhelm, don't feel guilty about taking an hour or more to yourself. Turn your phone off and go somewhere quiet and peaceful and just be. Be still, be quiet and listen to your inner you. If that sounds hippy-dippy, oh, well! It does work.
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