Tuesday 29 July 2014

Guest Blog: How To Get The Best Out of a Virtual Assistant (VA) – 5 Top Tips

More and more switched on business owners are starting to realise that VAs can be the perfect solution for your business, allowing you to pay for exactly the work you need, when you need it, cherry picking the very best experts in the areas that you need assistance with. 

A VA could turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to you and your business, but it’s important to approach the arrangement wisely and with forethought.  If you want the partnership to work, to last and to be valuable to your business, then we recommend you focus on these five areas:

1.       Delegation
When you started your business, you ran the whole show – but you don’t have to do it all by yourself anymore!  Your relationship with your VA is all about delegation.  Hand tasks over in stages and the results will give you confidence and encourage you to hand over more and more projects.

2.       Expectations
A VA is an assistant – not a business partner.  They may be unfamiliar with your industry, your product, or the way you do business and may not be able instantly to leap in and take over.  Keep your expectations in line with the remuneration you can offer, the time allotted and the level of expertise you require.

3.       Planning
A VA can do many things, but they cannot read your mind.  A clear list of tasks, procedures, or instructions is very important.  You also need to consider how the two of you will communicate.  Make sure it’s clear to both of you what kind of feedback will be needed, when and in what format.

4.       Evaluation
Establish a system for making sure the relationship is working for both of you. It’s no crime to find yourself with the wrong person for the job; be ready to make a quick change of direction if need be. You will have learned something valuable about your working style and can go on to make a more informed next move.

5.       Value
A VA can be worth their weight in gold – or a wasted opportunity: it’s up to you.  Remember that you get what you pay for: tasks like stuffing envelopes may require one level of expertise, but if you ask the same VA to take on more skilled work, you may find they are not up to the task.  Make sure at the outset that you have the right person for the job so that you can realise the potential value on offer.

If you would like to receive our top tips or to talk further about how a virtual assistant could transform your business then please contact GetAheadVa.

Website address: www.getaheadva.com
Twitter address: @GetAheadVA
Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/company/get-ahead-va

This Guest Blog was written By Rebecca Newenham of Get Ahead VA.

Friday 25 July 2014

The Cultured Bride: Herts, Beds & Bucks Bridal Fayre - Sunday 21st September 2014

The nights are shorter and the days are longer which can only mean one thing!…Wedding season is here!!!...So are you that blushing bride-to-be soon to embark on that beautiful road to marriage or do you know someone who is about to?

If you answer "I am" or "I do" to the question then please keep reading...

The Cultured Bride is proud to present the First Multi-Cultured Bridal Fayre in Luton, Bedfordshire catering for Brides & Grooms in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire & Buckinghamshire.

To be held on Sunday 21st September 2014 at the prestigious Crescent Hall, Luton, it will be a bride's one stop shop for all things wedding! From wedding dresses to place cards - great suppliers from in and around the area will be exhibiting. To know what/who is hot in the Wedding Supplier Industry you need to be there, so register for your FREE ticket here

We aim to showcase service providers from all ethnic diversities: African, Caribbean and Asian backgrounds, showcasing services in Decorations, Entertainment, Clothing & Accessories, Cakes, Hair & Makeup, Photography & Videography, Wedding Planners and lots, lots more.

What you can expect on the day:
- FREE Goody Bag filled with lots of useful information/products courtesy of wedding suppliers
- Seminars/Workshops that bring focus to key areas in planning a wedding
- A variety of service providers to make choosing the best for your big day easy
- Food & Cake Tasting
- Competitions, Competitions, Competitions

So register for your FREE ENTRY at www.theculturedbride.eventbrite.co.uk 

And if you are a wedding supplier that can service clients from the Herts, Beds & Bucks areas, then we also want you to come along and exhibit! You can email us at info@theculturedbride.co.uk for more information on exhibiting or visit the website and register directly www.theculturedbride.co.uk

If you would like to speak to the organising team, please call 01322 250 015 or 07931 908 995

Thursday 17 July 2014

2Inspire Network Profile: Event Planner and Manager Charley Jai

Former actress turned Event Planner and Manager, Charley once managed MonologueSlam UK (London) produced by TriForce Promotions where she introduced the ‘artist performance slot’ for musicians, dancers and other such performers to showcase their skills in a segment much for the entertainment of the audience, which would also serve to have the artist seen by professional industry persons. Charley booked a variety of talents for this slot including Duane Lamonte (from UK vocal harmony group Brick City), Rapper Luc Skyz, street dance crew Boadicea and British comedian Jason Patterson. Charley has co-coordinated events for many years and has worked alongside the likes of NLPR UK Ltd (www.nlpruk.com) and Deal with D.V. www.dealwithdv.co.uk).  Read more about her incredible journey below.

Please tell us what is a typical business day for you?
Usually starting at 5am, as I freelance within various fields of media and entertainment, nothing is ever really typical about my day. Emails are checked and priorities a set in the shape of a check-list. After a strong coffee I then begin completing the tasks set and these can be anything from having to carry out research for journalism or drafting the structure for a segment of my online show. I try to finish my day by 7pm so that I can get a decent amount of shut-eye too however, that is the one thing I rarely achieve.

What made you want to work in media and entertainment and what steps did you take to start operating freelance in these fields?
As a youngster I was surrounded by a very creative family and also friends who inevitably had me take an interest. While at Secondary School I threw myself into my drama and English lessons where I developed performance and written skills. Once I realised my passions I then spoke with my drama teacher about how I could develop and she mentioned Theatre Royal which was local to the school. I later auditioned for their youth theatre and was given a place. I was just 13 or 14 when I joined. I went on to use my gift-of-the-gab to talk to anyone and everyone I met while at Theatre Royal and began to build my network; contacts.

What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment within media and entertainment to date?
Hmm.. I’d like to think the greatest is yet to come to be honest. I have achieved so much and mostly by putting myself forward through a fear of not knowing what may or may not be in my career. Landing my own radio show was huge as I had never hosted radio before, presenting on-screen for the first time was definitely a big deal, launching my very own initiative, Change the Stereo which has produced short film ‘Pass the Comb’ (shown on the community TV channel in April 2014) had a huge impact on me too! So, I cannot pinpoint one thing and I quite like that actually. I feel incredibly blessed to have reached certain goals especially where I have been able to share the success of such with others.

What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?
Trust! I do not find it easy to trust people at all and so, I tend to do a lot on my own. This can be both a good thing and something which holds you back. The sense of fulfillment from having accomplished a goal through your own efforts is just amazing however; there are times where the process can be made so much shorter and far more enjoyable with others on board. It’s a difficult one for me but, I believe I’m getting better. Although incredibly small, I have put together a team for my new online show. (www.youtube.com/TheRealTalkTVSeries)

What are your future plans in media and entertainment?
To be the absolute best I can be at every opportunity I am blessed with and in doing so to continue providing opportunities for others.

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
 Absolutely nothing because, I fully believe that every choice and action I have made (right or wrong) has led me to the very place I’m at today for which I am incredibly grateful.

Why is it so important to inspire young women in particular to follow their dreams?
For me, it is important to inspire everyone irrespective of their gender or background because, such is what motivates us to go out there and pursue our goals with confidence and self belief. I do not believe young women are any more in need of that than the more mature woman or boys and men. 

What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?
Research absolutely everything, gain complete understanding of your chosen area, network like it’s your full time job, be humble, stay focus, surround yourself with positively driven individuals, eat three healthy meals a day, try to get a decent amount of sleep each night and finally, go with your own instincts but be smart with the choices you make!

What or who inspires you in business and why?
Fear of failure is my drive to be honest and anyone who is succeeding, especially those who show humility and look to help others achieve.

What is your favourite inspirational quote?
This is one of my very own but, I do love it (ha-ha): Let nothing and nobody stop you from boldly walking through any door of your choice because, that might just be the very step which will see you potentially achieve your biggest goal.

Monday 14 July 2014

Victim To Victorious Workshop By Yvonne Omini 16th July 2014

On Wednesday 16th July 9.30am-1.30pm

At MSE Meeting Room

103a Oxford Street, London W1D 2HG,

Nearest Tube Station is Tottenham Court Road (5min walk) Or Oxford Circus (7min walk)

Victim To Victorious is a workshop that is for people who have been a victim of a circumstance such as

· Victim of Negative thinking

· Victim of Food

· Victim of the Past

· Victim of Fear

· Victim of Domestic Violence

That was just a list of a few examples of how anyone of us could have experienced being a victim before.

On this phenomenal workshop you will identity what is stopping you from moving forward in your life, so you too can become Victorious as you were not born to be a Victim.

· You will be able to gain Clarity and Power of your situation.

· You will be in a safe, loving, non-judgemental environment where you can be open.

· Start to rebuild your Confidence and restore Self-Belief

· Coaching to discover that you have greatness within you regardless of whatever is standing in your way.

· Practical tools that can be implemented in all areas of your life right away, so you can love the life you live.


Nearest Tube Station is Tottenham Court Road (5min walk) Or Oxford Circus (7min walk)

Mse Meeting room is located right next to shop Harmony

Event Link:


Youtube videos of myself:

Itv Documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtwMKwTl7Go

Yes You Do Matter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3aEOCT_1GE

I look forward to see you at this awesome workshop.

Don’t Forget….

'You have greatness within you so don't let your fears stop you from truly living with purpose'

Thursday 10 July 2014

The Money & You Programme is back by Popular demand. Commences Saturday 12th July 2014

What's Your Pattern with Money? 
Does it come in and go out as fast as it came? 
Is it a continuous source of stress to you? 
Maybe you're constantly worried about having enough? 
However the pattern shows up in your world, are you just sick and tired of being in that place with money?  
Then let's change it! 

The Money & You Discovery Programme 2014 is designed to help you do just that.
This Programme gets straight to the heart of your relationship with money and what you need to do to  change it.
In the live Money & You one day workshop that marks the start of this 6-week programme, you will work with me to: 
  • Explore and understand your personal relationship with money 
  • Challenge your limiting beliefs and change your behaviours around money 
  • Learn the practices & processes you can use to shift your personal energy dynamic 
  • Put an end to the dysfunction in your money relationship so you can finally open yourself to receiving on all levels

is programme has been designed to help you get maximum benefit from the tools, techniques and energetic processes I'll be sharing, and will include: 
  • 1 x Live 'Money & You' One day workshop
  • 4 x Weekly Top Up Teleclasses with Homeplay
  • 1 x 'Share Your SuccessCelebration Call' 
The Programme kicks off on Saturday 12th July 2014 with the one day Money & You workshop, directly followed by your first teleclass the following week. (The calls will be recorded if you're unable to attend).  
To help you take fast action on this and start making a real change in this crucial area of your life, the investment for the Money and You Discovery Programme has been set at extremely accessible £97; and as a reward for taking fast action, you will receive the added special bonus of aPrivate Money & You Coaching Call at the end of the Programme to look specifically at your personal situation and those all-important next steps. 
This programme is an amazing experience that will make an incredible difference to the way you see yourself and your relationship with money. It will:
  • Consciously shift your beliefs around money
  • Renew your relationship with and depth of understanding of money
  • Increase your openness to allowing and receiving money in your life
  • Equip you with the tools you need to continue the work

If you would like to join me on this wonderful adventure and you're ready to take the next step, then 
book your place now. 
To ensure a high quality of attention and a deep level of participation, I've kept the numbers small, so   book your place today.  
Remember: changing your relationship with money begins when you decide it will. Let that time be now.

25% discount if you enter the code 2inspire in promotional code on registration page.

Wednesday 2 July 2014

2Inspire Network Business Profile: Vanessa Vallely, Founder of WeAreTheCity.com

In this 2Inspire Network Profile we meet the phenomenal Vanessa Vallely, Founder of WeAreTheCity.com, an online network for professional women which is taking the world by storm. By combining a digital platform to empower women in business and women at work, the site has inspired women from across the world. Vanessa is also the author of "Heels of Steel", book about surviving and thriving in the corporate world. Read on and be motivated! 

Vanessa Vallely

Please tell us what is a typical business day for you?
No two days are the same for me.  The one thing that is generally consistent is that I take the kids to school and then I am on a train somewhere.  My Iphone and Laptop are as attached to me as my own limbs.  My days are most made up of calls to my clients, visits to my mentees, perhaps a school and generally a talk in the evening.  I wake up at 5.00am on most days to cram as much in as I can before the kids wake up (6.30am).  I don't watch TV or read magazines so I use this time to answer emails and make calls.  I probably put in 12 hours a day, but I am a true believer, what you put in, you get out!

What made you start the business and how did you get started?
I started WeAreTheCity as I was frustrated that there were a number of women's networks and opportunities to up-skill but they were scattered across the internet.  I wanted to create 1 site that was dedicated to women who wanted to progress in their businesses and careers.  WeAreTheCity was formed in 2008 and I ran it for 5 years alongside my corporate career.  We receive in excess of 4 million hits a month and 200,000 unique visitors, so I guess we must be doing something right! In 2012 we launched Careers City, our female job board and in 2014 we launched WeAreTheCity in India.  I left my corporate role at Head of Governance in 2013 to focus on both businesses.

What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date?
Securing investment, which only happened this year.  We ran WeAreTheCity via our own funds for many years.  I knew I needed investment to grow and this year I locked myself away and wrote our business plan.  We are very lucky in the respect we only showed it to two potential investors and within one week, one of them committed to investing.  I was fully expecting the investment process to take at least year and to bear a few bruises in the process!  It’s a case of be careful what you wish for as now I am dealing with all sorts, building leases, staff, apprentices etc.  It is very exciting and definitely a new chapter for WeAreTheCity.

What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?
Big businesses don't realise how they crush us small businesses by taking their time to pay.  When you are first starting out this has to be the toughest aspect of managing any business.  If we need materials or services we have to pay, then we have to wait 30, 45 and sometimes 60 days for payments to reach us.

What are your future plans for the business?
In august we will get our new offices and 6 new members of staff.  I have never had support of this magnitude and in some ways that has what has prevented us from growing quicker.  My husband and I are just two people, with 2 kids, charity commitments and 3 businesses, to have hands to help us will be magical.  I am also an ideas person and have tonnes of initiatives I would like to introduce to WeAreTheCity, however I was always constrained by time and lack of funding.  I am excited that I will soon have the opportunity to explore new markets and hopefully continue to help women in their careers, not just in the UK but globally.

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
Nothing.  I believe things happen for a reason.  
Every step, every disappointment, every celebration and person that came in to our lives and business did so for a reason.  I wouldn't go back and change a thing.  The only thing I could possibly think of was to chose a better accountant when we were first starting out, we made a number of mistakes through lack of understanding of our own numbers!  Always know your numbers, that is what my own business mentee has drummed in to me.

Why is it so important to inspire young women in particular to follow their dreams?
Because together we are stronger.  I believe in giving back and playing my part in building the next generations of corporate workers and business leaders.  I figure that these people may hire
my own daughters one day!  The world is full of people who tell you all the things you cant do or what you will never achieve, my advice is thank them for their opinions and move on, keep your focus and prove them wrong.  I truly believe you can achieve anything if you try hard enough.  Surround yourself with the right people, do the right thing in terms of helping others and above all, dream big!

What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?
Write your business plan first and do you market research.  I wrote my plan 6 years in to my business and I am sure I would have saved time and money had I done it sooner.   Make use of mentors and don't be afraid to ask others for help.  My biggest advice is network, network and more networking.  The bigger your contact base the better.  However don't just collect people, you need to nurture these relationships, open up doors of opportunity for your connections if you can.  I believe in the saying it’s not always what you know, but who you know.

What or who inspires you in business and why?
I love being my own boss and managing my own time.  I am passionate about women and youth in terms of their progression and as Warren Buffet says, “There comes a time when you ought to start doing what you want. Take a job that you love. You will jump out of bed in the morning”  I jump out of bed every morning because I love what I do and I love the opportunities I create for others, who wouldn't want that job!

What is your favourite inspirational quote?
Your boat doesn't come in, you have to swim out to it – Jason Winters.

Connect with Vanessa
Social media @Watc_girl or the site @Watc_updates