Pie, Anyone?

a1b9ba8fd415ac4fe2770b759ef83889I remember very well the Thanksgiving at my Great Aunt Barbara’s house in New England. It was a lavish affair with every detail well-attended to.  All the kids were banished to the kids area, away from the adults and where our eating manners would not destroy furnishings and carpets!  That was the day my brother and I made a scene.  It wasn’t a big scene, but we tried to make it one.

My brother took the last piece of pumpkin pie and I was so upset I started to cry. Even to this day, pumpkin pie is one of my favorite treats.  He didn’t want to share and my mother asked him, point-blank, “Why won’t you share with your little brother” and he replied, “cause then my piece won’t be as big!”  My mother suddenly felt sympathy for my older brthe-best-vegan-gluten-free-pumpkin-pie-10-ingredients-fool-proof-methods-so-delicious-fool-all-your-guests-this-thanksgivingother and of course THAT infuriated me!  How could she possibly think it was ok to take his side? Then my mother leaned closer to my brother and said, loud enough for me to hear, “would you prefer to have a small piece of this pie, or none at all?” My brother knew his pie was on borrowed time because if he didn’t come up with the RIGHT answer, and quickly, Mom was the one who was going to be enjoying that piece of pie!  So he quickly changed his mind and shared the pie with me.

 

We all want as much as we can get, right?  Pile the buffet plate higher.  Fill the glass to the tip-top.  Less ice, more drink, please.  No thanks, I’ll hold out for a better deal somewhere else.

In real estate there are a LOT of important steps. We call that due diligence.  It’s doing the work before making a deal and then making sure that the process continues right up until the closing.  However, once you submit your offer, there is absolutely NOTHING you can do except wait.  It makes no sense to rise every morning to check on your deal.  What are you going to do and how will you feel if THAT deal falls through? Now what?  You just waited HOW LONG holding out for the right deal!

I had a long talk with a young lady in the real estate business who continually “ran the numbers” on hundreds of leads and in 12 months she never had one contract. She said she’ll know the deal when it comes along. I eventually learned she had no interested if she couldn’t make it work so that she earned at least $2,500 on the deal.  Any less just wasn’t worth her time.

So I ask you – do you want a small piece of pie or no pie at all?  Are you holding out in hopes that you’ll get a bigger piece because while you are, a lot of little pieces walked right past you and those little ones all add up to a heck of a lot more than the one deal for which you are holding out.

Mmmmm…pie…gotta get me some pumpkin pie (and pecan pie, that’s my second favorite)!

Start Polishing Your Resume Because I’m Not Running a DayCare

Submitted By Kurt Danskin, CEO, ORCVirtual, Inc.

Any time that I was fortunate enough to be in a position of leadership, I always made my primary objective the same:  empower the team. If someone was failing on the job, I believed the first line of accountability fell to me.  It was my job to train the team, support the team, and empower them to succeed.  After evaluation and training, if they continued to fail, the responsibility fell on them.  It comes down to my style of management – if, in the beginning, you need micro-managing to help get you over some hurdles because management failed in their training and in clearly outlining their expectations, then I was happy to do so – for a short period of time.  If, after training and coaching and encouraging and supporting and you continued to fail – start polishing that resume because I’m not running a daycare.

closerlookMany of us have experienced being micro-managed and many of us are guilty of doing it.  Usually it comes down to how we appear, or believe we appear, to upper management.  If we are afraid that upper management does not like something from my team, then I’m likely to take it out on my team whether or not it is a real problem – I perceive it as one therefore the only way to fix it, is to put my foot down.  Many times, if the department manager is hovering over everyone going through their work with a fine-toothed comb,  someone above them is doing the same thing.  The only way to overcome this is to have an honest, open, corporate discussion.  You need to always be asking the following questions:

  1. Am I providing them the right tools to do the job?
  2. Did I teach them how to use and care for those tools?
  3. Do I know what it is like to sit in their chair for a day?
  4. Am I listening to what they have to say?
  5. Am I afraid that if they fail, I’m going to fail?

If dialogue is the answer – well, here’s why I do NOT like honest, open, corporate discussion…

It turns in to a whine-fest.  Someone chimes in about a certain time when so-and-so did such-and-such and they go off on a tangent.  They pick one or two times someone was mean to them and dwell on it and focus on that and constantly hammer it home.  The current political scene is a CLASSIC example of jungle-gym bullying.  You honestly don’t have that many bad things to say about others but the reality is, you don’t have anything great to say about yourself so you spend time throwing the spotlight (blame) on to others hoping beyond all hope that upper management will actually do something about it that will make you look like you are the one that is right.

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Even though everyone comes to the mandatory company meeting – not everyone ‘shows up’

I have seen it so many times in the corporate world – “Let’s have a dialogue” actually means, let’s try to listen to everyone and get them to say it like we want it said.  Have you ever had to have a brutal, this-is-going-to-hurt talk with someone?  It’s not a fun place to be, is it?  But did it RESULT in something GOOD?

Micro-managing should not be “do-this-do-that, and then I”ll check your homework”.  It should be a time to get in that trench with that team member, listen to what they have to say and get a real feel for the rhythm of their surroundings.  Look closely and pick up the tools they were given and see if they actually work.  A little empathy goes a long way. 

Managers absolutely do not want to be surrounded by people who are better than they – it makes them look bad and they fear for their job.  Leaders thrive to educate and coach people into success and thereby surround themselves with people who are much better than they are in that field.

The next time you feel the need to micro-manage someone, ask yourself, “why am I having to do this? What went wrong and where did I fail that this person needs a babysitter?”  But when given the tools, and shown how to use those tools, and supported and empowered and they continue to fail? That’s when I say, “You may want to polish up your resume cause I am not running a daycare”.

New Additions to the Team

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PRESS RELEASE

CEO Kurt Danskin Announces New Additions to the Team
Tampa, FL – October, 10/01/2016 2016 –

CEO of ORCVirtual, Inc., Kurt Danskin, increases the size of the executive team who services all clients of the company. This growth is indicative of the positive response we receive from our clients and the growing interest in quality, professional, American-based virtual executive Assistance.

Kurt Danskin, CEO of ORCVirtual, Inc. and the Board of Directors are pleased to announce the addition of four team members to the executive, virtual assistance team.

Sophie Camacho, Executive Assistant to CEO, Danskin, oversees the marketing and advertising team and is a key player in communication. She is the right-hand person for our CEO and has direct contact with our clients when needed. She also supervises several team members. She has been with the company since March of 2016 and her role continues to evolve as she raises the bar every time she takes on an assignment.  “There is no way I could do my work without this amazing lady in the copilot’s seat,” Danskin says.

Jennifer Stockton, former CFO of the organization, is now the Chief Operating Office and Director of Client Relations. What this means is that our clients have a go-to person on the Board of Directors if they have concerns, questions, or insights to share about the working relationship between them, their Lead Executive Assistant, and/or the team members. She is key in developing business to business relationship as well as assisting the team members with process and procedures, task management, and time management.

Giorgio Camacho has accepted the position of Social Media Specialist. He plays an integral role for every client. Daily social media postings, strategies, and marketing are happening under his direction.  His work, expertise, time and talent are of tremendous value to our clients and they recognize the incredible amount of time this one person frees up for them on a daily basis.

Dimitri Camacho has accepted the position of Visual Media Specialist. He is under the direct supervision of Vice-President and Director of Media, Robin Ainslie. In this role, Dimitri provides professional video servicing, creating stunning property videos for our clients who chose that option.  He is quick and efficient in his work and approaches every assignment as if it is the most important one.

Finally, Brenda Wheeler has partnered with ORCVirtual, Inc. as and Executive Client Service Provider, being assigned as Lead Executive Assistant for several of our West Coast and South West clients. Her expertise in Executive Assistance is difficult to surpass. She provides amazing results, incredible professionalism, and efficient work.  She is the owner of Wheeler Executive Assistance, LLC in Washington State and provides superior results exclusively for ORCVirtual clients and team members.  “I have searched for several years to add someone to this team with the talent and skills that Brenda holds. She is an absolute treasure in this organization,” Danskin told a recent reporter.

ORCVirtual, Inc. continues to raise the bar for what it means to provide American-Based, virtual, Executive Assistance.

When you take a team approach to administrative duties the client truly feels and is allowed to operate as the CEO of THEIR company. The administrative work happens and they only have one contact person to worry about.

This approach to virtual assistance is new for several reasons but the most important to the clients of ORCVirtual, Inc. is the Team Lead concept. Having one Lead, a true Executive Administrative Assistant, who is managing the team of administrative assistants, as they work every day to provide superior oversight of the clients’ processes and procedures.

“It truly is a unique company and concept and I couldn’t be more proud to be associated with them”, Sophie Camacho recently stated.

For our clients – this has an amazing impact for two reasons. 1) They don’t pay extra for any of these people. 2) It increases the team that works behind the scenes for them to eleven.

A team of seasoned, experienced, American-based, industry relevant administrative assistants, working together to take over and run all the processes and procedures of a real estate investment firm so that the investor can focus on what matters: getting new clients, making deals, and growing their own company. Kurt Danskin, CEO, says time and time again, “If you own your own company and are managing how things are getting done – you’re doing the whole ‘I won my own company’ wrong. It’s time to be the LEADER of your organization and let ORCVirtual, Inc. MANAGE it.

Besides matching you with an outstanding administrative supporter, we are also experts able to help guide some of your decisions, notice and help fix gaps in procedures and processes, and suggest tools, tips and tricks to improve the administrative and operational ends of your company. When you hear the words “virtual assistant” you immediately think, “employee”, or “stay at home mom”. Those are two things we are absolutely NOT. We are in business to partner with other businesses. We use only American professional consultants and only contract with American business owners, executives and entrepreneurs because our core mission is to put Americans back to work and help keep American Companies alive and well. So why don’t we use cheaper workers from other countries? It’s pretty simple. You want someone who is/has

a) Familiar with your industry

b) Has Hands-On Experience doing the work you need

c) Is culturally appropriate and relevant for you, your clients, and your future

Visit www.orcvirtual.com and mention this press release to receive up to 50% off the prices you see online. And remember:  that price is one-flat, monthly rate and you get the ENTIRE TEAM for that one price!

Maintaining Good Credit in 7 Steps

7 Tips To Maintaining Good Credit

1. Pay Your Bills On Time
Being late on payments is the number one contributor to poor credit. Just pay on time, even if you’re paying the minimum balance, if it’s on time, it doesn’t hurt you. Collections have a major impact on your score, so avoid those altogether by paying your bills on time.

2. Get Current and Stay Current
If you have missed payments, bring them up to day asap. The longer you pay your bills on time after being late, the more your score will increase. Older credit problems contribute less to your overall score so delinquent payments won’t haunt you forever, if you get current now.

3. Keep Your Balances Low on Revolving Credit
This is simple, don’t max out your credit cards. You want to keep low balances on your cards. High outstanding debt can negatively affect your credit score.

4. Don’t Close Unused Credit Cards
Some people think that closing unused cards is a short term strategy to improving their credit, but it’s not a good one to adopt. In fact, owing the same amount but having fewer open accounts may lower your scores.

5. Don’t Open New Credit Cards You Don’t Need
We’ve also seen this strategy of opening cards to increase your available credit. However, this approach can backfire and actually lower your credit score because every time you apply for a card, it counts as a ‘hard inquiry’ which affects your score.

6. Re-establish Your Credit History
If you have had problems in the past, opening a few new accounts responsibly and paying them off on time will raise your credit score in the long term.

7. Have Credit Cards –
Have them, but manage them responsibly. Having credit cards and installment loans, as long as you’re making payments on time, will rebuild your credit score. Someone with no cards, and no loans, tends to be viewed as higher risk than someone who has responsibly managed credit cards.

Finally know that checking your credit score does not affect your credit score in a negative way. As long as you order your credit report directly from the credit reporting agency or through an organization authorized to provide credit reports to consumers it counts as a ‘soft inquiry’ and doesn’t impact your score.

So don’t stay in the dark, check your score, and watch it increase. If you have any questions about how we can help you get back on the credit fast track, please email us or give us a call right now!

Great Ideas Traffic Jam From Your Favorite Executive Virtual Assistant

 

Post_It_Notes_at_WorkHave an idea on how to make money?  Perhaps you figured out a target market to focus in on.  You get that idea down and just as you do, another idea comes to mind.  You write that one down and then another and another one, right after the other, come to mind. Then you listen to a guru on a particular subject who encourages you to do it their way so you grab on to that one as well.  Pretty soon you have an entire wall of post-it note ideas that have stopped short of their goal: to make you some money!

“When all is said and done, nothing said was ever done”

Do not fall into the trap of spending so much time creating new ways to make money, that you don’t have time to make money.  Come up with a plan and move it through to fruition or failure – one of the two.  If it just sits there – it’s just an idea.  An idea must have energy behind it to move it forward.

When we started ORCVirtual, Inc. in 2007, we tried getting our name out there in a multitude of markets from real estate to non-profit to educational to law firms – you name them, we wanted to be their client.  It is only when we decided to narrow down our vision so that we could actually see one or two targets that we were actually able to hit our target right on the mark!

I work with people who are stuck in this cycle of finding lots of ways to make money and yet they never make a dime.

 

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Our Strength From Others

I strongly believe that in order to be truly successful, we must surround ourselves with people who are better than we are.  When building a team, you want the contract writer to write contracts far better than you ever could.  You want a marketing expert better than you could ever be in marketing. The truth is – the ones who continually hire the weaker, only become weaker themselves.

dbfa44b746b7a80f59d53c2707fd0531In the race to the White House, the winner will quickly set up their team of experts. The goal SHOULD be to put people on your team who are far better at the particular job then you could ever be.  Why though?  How does that benefit us?

When you are surrounded by strength, you gain strength.  There’s an old saying I learned in Sunday School – garbage in equals garbage out.  If you surround yourself with garbage, you’ll produce more garbage.  If you surround yourself with positive people, you’ll become more positive.  The focus must be on the strength of the team.

I’m not advocating submission by the leader.  Ask the 12,000 pound matriarch of the African bush elephant heard to step aside because you think you could do better – you’ll have a fight to the death on your hands.  But when the leader shows strength then the team works well together.  One of those strengths is recognizing the powerful contributions to the heard of each individual elephant. Without the strength of the individuals members, there is no team.

So go out there and surround yourself with amazing people.  Ones who make you smile, who care, who are amazingly gifted in the areas you are not, and who can meet with you and work with you to achieve your goals.  When we learn from others, and they learn from us, we strengthen our inner circles and community and spheres of influence.

 

The Art of Being Messy

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Disclaimer: not my actual office 🙂

You have likely heard the saying that a clean desk is the sign of a sick mind.  My office is not dirty by any means but it is not super organized.  I have stacks of papers, lots of file folders, and a few random things that truly do not belong in my office like the needle nose pliers that have been sitting on top of my file cabinet for close to a month now.  There’s also a yellow bug lite, still in the green box, just to the right of one of my monitors. Why it is there I cannot tell you.  I know (for the most part) where everything is in my office.  If I need a particular file I can usually go right to it.  Bills?  Those are in the horizontal organizer to the left.  Things requiring follow-up?  To the right of my desk on the gray table.

Albert Einstein is quoted as having said, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”  We may believe that it would be easier to create and work in an area that is clean and organized but what if the opposite were true?

Psychologist Kathleen Vohs, University of Minnesota, tested a variety of working conditions. Among her conclusions is this:

“Disorderly environments seem stop inspire breaking free of tradition, which can produce fresh insights.  Orderly environments, in contrast, encourage convention and playing it safe.”

The other side to interpreting the meaning behind a messy desk is that it is reflective of one’s life.  Is your car a mess?  Is your bedroom and home?  Is your relationship a mess?  Is your spiritual life a mess?  If you experience far more than a messy desk, perhaps it is time to consider putting things in order.  File away the old things, shred the useless stuff, and follow-through on the important items.

Whether a messy desk or a neat desk, I encourage you to take time every now and again to ask yourself, “is my work area reflective of what’s going on in my personal life?” and if changes need to occur, take a time out and straighten things up.  You’ll find that things work better when you do.