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After almost thirty years of working in an office, I now work at home as a Virtual Assistant and am so happy about it!

I have to admit that I have wonderful memories related to my experiences as an office worker, but the thought of committing the mistake as did,  The Shredder (as in the picture above) gives me the jeepers!

Just something light to brighten up your day.  ,-)

Sweet Sacrifice

Daddy and I when I graduated from College more than 30 years ago.

Daddy and I when I graduated from College more than 30 years ago.


Today is my Father’s birthday and I am posting this to honor him.

One of the advantages of working as a Virtual Assistant is that we can spend quality time with our loved ones. Something, I wish I did in my younger years.


Now at this time Mary arose and went with haste to the hill country…

Luke 1:39

My Daddy had arthritis. This means that he cannot take long walks. More so, he could not climb flights of stairs. If ever he is forced to, it takes him a very, very long time because he stops every so often.

When I was in college, I encountered a problem in school. The Dean wanted to talk to my parents so that he could settle the problem with them. My folks agreed to go. The Dean’s office was on the third floor and the elevator was out of order that day. I was so preoccupied with my problem, I forgot that Daddy was having difficulty climbing the stairs. Mom and I rushed up to the office and we both talked to the Dean. The meeting did not take long. And by the time we were through, my Daddy has just reached the third floor. I saw my Daddy catching his breath, paused near the top of the stair. We told him the meeting was over. It was another ordeal for him to go down afterwards.

At that time, the meaning of my Daddy’s sacrifice meant little to me. I took for granted what he did and a lot of other things that he has done for me. But deep in my heart, I knew that Daddy loved me. Now, my father has passed away. And the memories bring tears to my eyes. I realize that they mean very, very much to me now. To him, it was not a sacrifice. He wanted to share that moment in my life that was very important to me.

I see that Mary must have been the same. She was overjoyed at the news of the miracle of Elizabeth. And she wanted to share that moment with her.

When we do things for people we love. It will never be a sacrifice. In fact, it will be a joy. Because we do it for love.

– Marisa


Everything Is A Miracle

picture: darcknyt.wordpress.com


The past week has been one of the most stressful weeks I ever had since I started to work as a VA (Virtual Assistant).

I applied for a couple of jobs with the hope that clients will respond soon. After waiting for quite a while, three clients finally responded last week on different days.

At the start of the week, a client gave me my assignment which I worked on eagerly. It kept me busy during the first few days. Friday morning, an old client sent me an invitation to work on a project with her. Without hesitation, I accepted the job offer because I really like this client very much. She is not at all demanding,  gives clear instructions and is so easy to work with. It was a good thing that I already completed the assignment for the other client which gave me time to move on to this next project. However, on Friday afternoon, I got a job invitation from another client. Because I did not want to miss out on the opportunity, I accepted it as well.

So there, three clients in a week!

I was able to deliver the desired results to all of them but the “stress” took its toll on my health. As I am writing this article I’m suffering with eye strain, colds, cough, and headache. My husband was getting worried and I promised him that this won’t ever happen again. In the future, I know that I must pace myself if I want to be able to do this for a longer period of time.

If you are a new VA (like me) reading this blog post, I’d like to share with you some realizations I came out with from this past week’s experience.

1. Health is wealth.

Our life cannot be measured in monetary values. Yes, we work to earn our keep and that is good. But we must take care of ourselves so that we can work better and longer. If I may quote from Stephen Covey’s  book , The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People :

“If you adopt a pattern of life that focuses on golden eggs and neglects the goose, you will soon be without the asset that produces golden eggs.”

2.  Be responsible. Be committed.

Admittedly, I accepted job offers more than I can handle but out of a commitment to my clients, I fulfilled my work well. Even if I wasn’t feeling well, I completed my job excellently.

3. Set goals.

Set both big and small goals. A big goal would be something like, I will finish this project by the end of the month. A small goal can be something like what you want to finish at the end of the day. Like in this case, I know I needed to finish the two projects by the end of the week (2 days). So what I did was to consciously set a time table per task. After I have finished a task, a sense of accomplishment (no matter how small) motivated me to do the next… and the next… and the next. Before I knew it, the job has been completed. Such a great feeling, indeed!

4. Breathe… inhale… exhale.

Now this is something that I didn’t do which I now know I should have done. I should have taken breaks. I heard about the 20/20/20 rule for those who work for long hours in the computer: after every 20 minutes, take your eyes off from the computer for 20 seconds and look at something that is 20 feet away. My version would be to take a break every 20 minutes, close your eyes, breathe in and out for twenty seconds. This would have helped me to relax.

5. Attitude.

I believe that the key to happiness in life is attitude. Albert Einstein’s three rules of work describe exactly what I have in mind:

“Out of clutter find simplicity; from discord find harmony; in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”

I’d like to end this blog post by saying that our work is our bread and butter. Whether we like it or not, we have to find ways to sustain our needs. The fact that we are able to work and enjoy the fruits of our labor is a gift from God. It is Albert Einstein who said that :

“There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.

I choose to believe the latter, and it has made all the difference!

~ Marisa


Time Well Spent



I know it’s been a while since I’ve checked in on the blog. There were just too many things to do that I hardly had time to sit down and make an update. That’s why I saw it fitting to write about time management.

I read a quote somewhere: ” Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.”

It’s a challenge trying to juggle the 24 hours given to us in a day to fulfill the humongous tasks required from us. But to me, it all boils down to priorities. I’ve read Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and I just loooooooove the book! He talks about distinguishing what is important and what is urgent. If you haven’t read the book, I highly recommend it. It was life changing for me. Stephen Covey said,  “The challenge is not to manage time, but to manage ourselves.”

As a home based virtual assistant, it’s so easy to fall into the trap of letting household duties and concerns overtake me.  But because I gain a lot of satisfaction out of crossing out done tasks  from my “things to do” list, I’m motivated to finish that which I have set out to do. So when that time of day comes wherein I will sit down on my little corner with my laptop on, I turn on my “work mode”.  Then everything else will have to wait and take a back seat. I always refer to my checklist of “things to do” which I usually prepare for the start of each week to monitor my progress and also to make sure that I don’t miss out on the essentials. After a task has been done, I cross it out and get that giddy feeling 🙂 Around dinner time, I shift to “family mode” and turn off my computer and become the doting wife to my loving husband.

It can be difficult because I’m oftentimes tempted to work late but my family is my priority and I always keep that in mind. Or sometimes, I get lazy and would like to spend an extra hour in bed but then I have my responsibilities and get up quickly otherwise, I might just choose to give in.

In the beginning, it wasn’t easy and more often than not, I gave in to my temptations. But with the passing of time, eventually I learned to get the hang of it.

Now, I’m really happy as it is because this way my life is balanced and I get to have the best of both worlds.

I guess, Stephen Covey is right when he said: “The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.”

Invoicing Online

Why do we work?

There are a lot of reasons why we seek gainful employment. Some people say it’s to be able to use their talents, to express themselves, to fulfill a need, or some other reason. However, we have to  admit that the primary reason why we go to work is to earn a living and provide for  our needs and the needs of our loved ones.

As a Virtual Assistant, we would like to have an efficient monitoring of our income and expenses.

Sage Billing Boss is one of the internet tools available online that will largely benefit us.

Sage Billing Boss is an online invoicing tool that create, send and track the status of invoices.  Hence, receiving payments faster and swifter!

Want to know more about this online invoicing internet tool?

Here is a short tutorial on Sage Billing Boss…


A VA’s Journey

It was barely a month ago when I first encountered the term Virtual Assistant. A friend sponsored me to a Virtual Assistant Seminar and what I learned from it was quite a revelation.

Wikipedia defines a Virtual Assistant (typically abbreviated to VA, also called a virtual office assistant), is generally self-employed and provides professional, administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistants to clients from a home office. Common modes of communication and data delivery includes the internet, e-mail and phone call conferences, online work spaces and fax machine. 

The world has become smaller with the onset of technology. My husband and I regularly communicate with our family and friends in the US through the VOIP. If we use Skype, we can even see the other party! Email, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social media websites are largely used for marketing. LogMeIn and similar websites, allow someone from a remote place to look at what you are working on your computer in real time.

There is so much to learn and so much to explore from the buffet of knowledge available. Through this blog I plan to post write ups, tutorials and feature articles on Virtual Assistants.

I hope you will visit my blog regularly.  See you more often…

~ Marisa Aguas