From Admin to VA – Keeping ON TRACK with Rhonda – September 2017

by | Sep 29, 2017 | Ask Rhonda, Help Me Rhonda, Management

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On the Right
from Rhonda  

Are You Willing To Adapt?   

The world is changing. Quickly too. Are you keeping up with the times? Things are changing ten times faster than just ten years ago.

By the year 2025, 50% of people will be working virtually. Does this scare you or excite you? You either love working from home, or you hate it. It isn’t easy, but once you adapt, it is amazing. 

By 2020 46% of workers will be millennials.

All of this means that we need to adapt our working styles, our processes, and our attitudes to keep up with the times.

I turned 52 this week. I remember when my grandparents were in their 50s and they were old! I hate when I hear “older” people complain about change or things they don’t like. At some point in life, it seems as if we refuse to adapt to the current reality, and I’m not ready to do that yet. 

Your job is changing too. Are you willing to adapt, or are you going to complain that “things were fine the way they were”?

Regardless of when you plan to retire, you must be willing to adapt. It isn’t about just keeping your job; it is about keeping up with the times. My article this month will challenge you … but hopefully, it is a good challenge!
Keep ON THE RIGHT TRACK, current, and relevant!

read this!


From Admin to VA

Does the idea of working from home and running your business interest you? Do you like the concept of having the flexibility to do what you want when you want? Do you want to control how much money you make, the hours you work, and design a lifestyle that works for you instead of a large corporation?

You’re not alone. That type of control and opportunity appeal to many people, except they often struggle with the question “What would I do?”
You’ve probably seen many of your friends step into some retail part-time business, whether that is selling candles, oils, or laundry soap. There is nothing wrong with those lines of business, but there is so much about the job itself you need to learn, and that can be overwhelming.
Instead of starting from scratch, why not use the skills you already have? Why not do what comes naturally? Your job as an administrative professional makes you uniquely qualified to be a virtual assistant!

Slow down; it isn’t that easy. As a matter of fact, it isn’t easy at all, but then again, anything worth having doesn’t come easy right?

The good news is that you have most of the skills you need to be a VA. You just need a little insight to ensure you don’t jump in too quickly without enough homework. 

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a self-employed VA:



–    You are your own boss (sort of). Technically you are the boss so you can call your own shots. However, any paying client will demand, and expect you to jump when they say jump. You can jump, or not, and deal with the consequences of your choices. You are the boss… it is up to you how you respond. That type of control is a pretty powerful incentive.

–    Flexibility. You can set your own hours. Maybe you’re a night owl, and you like to work into the wee hours. You can. Perhaps you’re a stay at home parent, and you need to get the kids ready in the morning and pick them up after school. You can set your work hours around your schedule. Maybe you want to spend your winters in a warmer client; you can do that too! You have the flexibility to pick where and when you work. For those just thinking about starting your own VA business, working in the evenings after your day job might fit just perfectly.

–    Satisfaction. No more being stuck in traffic every day causing your stress levels to increase exponentially (unless there is a lot of traffic between your bedroom and your office that is!). No more office politics. No more expense on cars, clothing, and all the other things that eat away at your pay cheque. You have the ability to control your day, which is hopefully going to elevate your satisfaction rate substantially. At least you won’t have an oblivious manager to deal with anymore!



–    Work/Life Balance. It is very easy to become distracted with all the freedom you have and make time each day to go to the gym, spend social time with others who aren’t in the office during the day, and a million other tempting distractions. Focus can be very hard. The opposite is true as well when business is going well. It is easy to fall to the adage “Make hay when the sun shines” which may cause you to work far more than the 37 hours your corporate job requires. Balance is difficult. Discipline is mandatory and a big challenge for most people (at least initially).

–    Lack of sick time or vacation. Being self-employed means that you only get paid when you work. Holidays are not paid. There is no such thing as a paid vacation (you will typically be doing some work while on vacation), and should you get sick; there is no compassion from your clients … they may just go elsewhere to get their jobs done. As you can imagine, work/life balance becomes an issue when the only money you make is when you are putting in the hours.

–    Lonely. It can be lonely working from home. As much as you may complain about the noise, the interruptions, and the drama your coworkers cause, you invariably will miss them and the frustration they bring. Since you will get lonely, it will be easy to get distracted by the gym, the coffee shop, or anything online. Loneliness breeds balance challenges (as per reason number one).


I’ve been self-employed for almost 25 years, and while I face the very same pros and cons in my business, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.


You’ll learn discipline (or you won’t be successful). You’ll learn balance (or you won’t have any relationships). You’ll learn financial control (or you won’t have any money).


Starting your own business can be fun, motivating, and energizing. Be smart about how you set it up, how you transition, and how you design your own VA business.


Maybe you’re meant to run your own VA business!




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just for

A Little Entertainment!

* On average, adults complain 70 times per day     

(Holy Cow!


* 95% of people have no patience for listening to their voicemail messages     

(Explains why people don’t call back too! 


* Almost 30% of Americans have two or more jobs


* 20% of people have a favorite pen 
 (Extra fine, blue, gel tip OptiFlow from Staples for me!)

Wine glasses today are 700% larger than 100 years ago
(But I only had one glass! 



Information is the key to improving any business, and your ability to manage, manipulate, and present that information is key to your career. Microsoft Excel has an almost infinite number of tools and combinations of tools that can make you the master of your data – and this session is intended to expose some of the most valuable and flexible tools in the program.

In this webinar, we’ll guarantee your data is set up for maximum effectiveness, that your functions are always accurate, and that you’re not taking too many steps to the end result you want.
Buried somewhere in every spreadsheet are valuable insights, waiting to be found. With the right functions and reporting tools, you can pull them out into the light of day. The countless features in this program can be a little intimidating, but once you see their power, you’ll never look at a spreadsheet the same way again! Concepts and features covered in this webinar include: click here

  • Building Tables and Using Dynamic Named Ranges
  • Creating Custom Named Ranges and Modifying Them
  • Calculating Summary Reports with Logical Functions
  • Handling Common Function Issues with Class
  • Generating Subtotals in Larger Datasets
  • Presenting Data After Building your Reports

Introduction to Minute Taking – October 12, 2017 

Rhonda Scharf Presenting

Have you ever avoided applying for a job because it indicated you needed minute taking skills?
Do you avoid eye contact at a meeting when they are looking for a minute taker? Maybe even come to the meeting deliberately late so that you won’t be chosen?
Does the thought of taking minutes scare you to death? Worry that you don’t have shorthand and can’t write fast enough?
You are not alone.
Most people learn to take minutes from copying the previous minute takers example, but what if you have no previous example? What happens if what they have created in the past doesn’t make sense to you? Most people are not even remotely confident when it comes to taking minutes because they were never taught how to take minutes.
Our introductory webinar “Introduction to Minute Taking” will give you the skills you need to get started. We will ensure you walk into your next meeting knowing you can do what they need you to do.
It will cover:

  • The purpose of minutes (what are they designed to do)
  • What should minutes contain (and why)
  • What should they not contact (and why not)
  • Why you shouldn’t be taking verbatim minutes and how to take minutes without the common “Mary said, Bob said” mistake
  • Quick tips and tricks to get you ON THE RIGHT TRACK in your next meeting

I’ve been teaching the full day course on Minute Taking Made Easy for over 15 years and have extracted the tips you need to get started quickly and properly. Tried and true with thousands of graduates, this webinar will be your saving grace (to your current job, or your future job).

No more worrying that you didn’t capture what everyone said. Don’t worry that you missed the important information. You won’t. You’ll make it look like you’ve been taking minutes for years.
Get ON THE RIGHT TRACK with our very popular webinar “Introduction to Minute Taking” today.

Lauren Parsons presenting

Do you feel under pressure, overwhelmed or distracted? Ever wish you could have more energy and get more done, so you end the day feeling productive and satisfied? Energize your day, increase your focus and efficiency, and boost your mood easily. Your Fitbit was a great start to making you accountable and aware you need to move more, but you’ve discovered it isn’t enough right? This webinar is what you need to create more energy every day!

You will Learn:

  • What not to do! You are losing energy from what you are doing every day. Stop that bad habit in its tracks!
  • Learn about your natural rhythms, and how to get them to work for you instead of against you
  • Lauren Parsons’ unique ‘Snack on Exercise’ philosophy and how to apply it to your life
  • Improve your thought processes and mental capacity (as well as health) so you are more efficient at work
  • Get easy strategies so you can add movement to your routine
  • Create an energized, positive team culture by having everyone join in on this webinar

Chairing Effective Meetings
 – October 24, 2017

Bob Parker Presenting

When running great meetings, an effective chairperson recognizes that there are three elements to the meeting: The Preparation (before the meeting); The Actual Meeting; and The Follow-up. While each of these elements have
 their own challenges, the running of the meeting – with all its constraints – seems to be the most challenging. This workshop will cover how to best prepare for your meeting, and take charge as an effective chairperson, so that people will enjoy coming back to your meetings in the future.

This webinar will cover:

  • What are the different types of meetings and how does each one work?
  • What should you do to be well prepared for your meeting?
  • When you should NOT have a meeting?
  • The right way to start a meeting;
  • Your role as the chairperson – before, during, and after;
  • How to take charge of a meeting?
    – Dealing with disruptions;
    – Handling the dominate participant – the hijacker;
    – Getting full participation from all attendees;
    – Sitting in the power position.
  • 5 Ways meetings get off track and how to handle them;
  • The Chairperson’s BEST ideas;
  • How to keep the meeting moving along?
  • The BEST agenda ever created and why you should use it;
  • The 3 things you must do to end a meeting that will want people coming back

All Webinars:


Time: 2:00pm ET (1hr each webinar)

Cost: Only $139.00 per dial-in line (unlimited attendance per dial-in line)


Price of the workshop includes:

  • Executive Overview Document (emailed prior to session)

  • Live Q&A session following presentation

  • Recording of session (available for 60 days)

  • 30 days free email one-on-one coaching

  • Toll-Free access

  • Certificates for all attendees


To Register: Email with “Register Me for XX” in the subject line. He will send you all access information and your invoice at that time. 



Coming to Boston, Toronto, Chicago, and Orlando

Minute Taking Made Easy is perfect for you if:

  • The thought of taking minutes makes you sweat (the truth is most people get really nervous about taking minutes)
  • You’ve only received minute taking examples from others (and you’re not sure that they are right)
  • You’ve just been asked to start taking minutes or have been taking minutes and haven’t received any formal training (and want to make sure you’re doing it the right way)
  • Too much time is spent stressing and second-guessing whether you’re taking minutes the right way (there is an easy formula that’s actually fun)
  • You’re feeling stress and pressure about your reputation in workplace if you don’t complete the minutes correctly (the potential loss of prestige is a real concern and can affect job security)
  • You’d like to apply for a new position but it requires minute taking skills and you haven’t been trained (Minute Taking Made Easy can give you the skills you need to get that promotion)
  • You didn’t even know a Minute Taking Made Easy training course existed (you actually have options for In-House, Online or Public training programs)

The Minute Taking Made Easy Training includes:

  • Different formats, where, when, how and why to use them
  • A reference manual & 1 year of complimentary follow-up
  • What to write down and what NOT to write down
  • How to listen and what to listen for
  • New techniques to make minute taking EASY!
  • Professional tips so you know what to include and what not to include in your final draft

The Minute Taking Made Easy training helps you take quick, accurate and relevant minutes. This training prepares you for all elements of minute taking (and it takes the stress out of the process for you). The training is immediately applicable and designed for the inexperienced through very experienced minute takers. Plus, this program is in compliance with recertification guidelines for IAAP (International Association of Administrative Professionals). This means you can receive a certificate for recertification and for AAP (Association of Administrative Professionals) it is pre-qualified for 5 points.

The Minute Taking Made Easy Training will:

  • Give you confidence and you’ll know you are taking notes the right way
  • Teach you professional tips, techniques, and shortcuts to save time
  • Provide you with highly marketable skills at an incredibly affordable price
  • Give you additional credentials to add to your resume
  • Increase your employer’s confidence that you are completing documentation correctly in accordance with compliance guidelines
Each session will be from 9:00 – 4:00 including a light breakfast, coffee, tea, and beverages.
Boston – October 19, 2017 – Doubletree Downtown, 821 Washington Street
Toronto – November 9, 2017 – Eaton Chelsea, 33 Gerrard Avenue
Chicago – November 16, 2017*
Orlando – January 11, 2018
* Hotels to be determined
Cost is $379 and includes a full year of coaching and support with Rhonda.
Email to register, or check out for more information.
If you are not in the above-listed cities, check out the online program. If you have 10 or more employees that need this training, contact and I can come to you! 



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Rhonda Scharf, CSP, HOF, Global Speaking Fellow

Certified Speaking Professional, Hall of Fame

Rhonda Scharf, renowned and award-winning speaker, author, consultant, and trainer, is the “go-to” expert for the Administrative Professional and Executive Assistant community. With over 250,000+ trained across the globe, Rhonda is THE authority for fun and uplifting education for admins, because #ADMINSROCK!


Rhonda Scharf, CSP, HOF, Global Speaking Fellow

Certified Speaking Professional, Hall of Fame

Rhonda Scharf, renowned and award-winning speaker, author, consultant, and trainer, is the “go-to” expert for the Administrative Professional and Executive Assistant community. With over 250,000+ trained across the globe, Rhonda is THE authority for fun and uplifting education for admins, because #ADMINSROCK!