Posts by lauraallen

Keepin’ the dream alive

Posted by on Aug 9, 2015 in Challenges, Inspiration, Liveaboard, Sailing, Virtual Assistance, Wholehearted | 1 comment

A decade ago my hubby and I envisioned a different life. A life that represented freedom and as off the grid as we could imagine: we wanted to live on a boat and travel. I solved the income challenge almost immediately. I discovered the ideal mobile business and have successfully worked from different states and Canada, even from a sailboat for a short period, as a Virtual Assistant—and I love what I do! So why hasn’t the dream become a reality I ask myself? Life happened. Unexpected major events that we’ve handled surprisingly well and bounced back from—wiser but not deterred from our dream. And that’s okay. I get that we’ve only hit the snooze button. But some days I feel unmoored. Are we on the right course? Do we need to adjust the sails? Doubt for our North Star seeps in. We recently found a fixer upper sailboat that met 90% of our must-have-list on the hard (out of the water) in a marina near Tarpon Springs (a doable two hours away instead of in Oregon!) It had been the owner’s dad’s project boat but his dad had died before seeing it complete (sadly this is a common tale). Fixed up this boat would sell for five times the asking price. We enthusiastically set out the next day with our cash deposit in hand. I climbed a wobbly aluminum ladder (my faith in hubby’s hold on said ladder complete) to step on board into almost shin deep rain water in the cockpit! I waded to the companion way and braced myself as I slid the hatch cover back and pulled the slats out. I could hear water running inside like a faucet in a bathtub— she was full to the bottom of the galley cabinet doors. Oh, NO! I was able to clear the cockpit drain obstructions and get the water flowing out. From the algae and gunk build up it was apparent this had not happened recently. The boat was already a big project for our experience but we were game—but this—this changed everything! Fresh water rots and mildews wood faster and more effectively than saltwater—any water inside a boat is undesirable but long standing fresh water is a deal breaker. I snapped photos for the unsuspecting owner and for Jeff, my heart sinking. Once again—this was not our boat. And I was saddened from the high spirits of expecting to have found and made an offer on a boat—finally! But also for the boat herself.  I grieved for her, for the loving work undone, for her obvious neglect, that I couldn’t help her beyond alerting the owner and marina staff. Sad. That. How do you determine if the obstacles between you and your dream are the Universe’s way of steering you clear of a rocky shore or only mighty storms to be weathered to prove your passion and commitment to your dream?  We brainstormed to see if there was something else we’d rather do—a third option we’d overlooked. Or was it only our ideal boat was still waiting for us to ready for her? What do we need to let go of to make room for her? For me I think its attachment to an extremely comfortable and privileged life: I’m deeply attached to electricity, hot water, indoor plumbing, and air-conditioning! Detaching from these comforts seems a small price for the freedom and adventure inherent in the live-aboard lifestyle! It took a few days but we buoyed ourselves up and we’ve reached out to a sailboat seller again on the Gulf coast and he offered us...

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A decade of wonder

Posted by on Jul 13, 2015 in Authenticity, Connections, Virtual Assistance | 2 comments

Ten years ago this summer I took a leap of faith. For me at that time it felt like I was standing on a precipice with no bottom in sight. What could be so scary you might ask? Meeting people; People who were important to me; People I’d been the real me with; People who were supporting me in creating a brand new business. I was halfway through the virtual assistance training program offered by AssistU—I hadn’t even graduated and become a Virtual Assistant but I was planning to attend a face-to-face event hosted by AssistU’s local chapter in Maryland. Yes, I flew from Florida to meet people I’d only met virtually in order to connect and take our relationships to—to whatever was next! Hence, the leap of faith. Anastacia Brice founder of AssistU happened to be my course trainer and had already changed my life forever by creating the possibility for me to become a successful business owner doing work I loved. She’s impacted my life personally and professionally in a gazillion ways and I am thankful every day for the work she does and the difference she makes in lives. I met her in person that weekend and have loved her every day since. Thank you, Anastacia.  Our hostess was Dawn Goldberg (now Schuler) who opened her lovely home to virtual strangers (pun intended) and shared her delightful daughters. Many of us sat at her kitchen table into the wee hours and played a card game called Bullshit which my novice status and friendly innocent face made me quite good at! Later my connection with Dawn and her love of language and writing combined with her gift for teaching would help me polish and hone my writing skills dramatically. I’m forever grateful, Dawn!  Antonette was already a successful VA and her small packaging (five foot one) did not keep her from BIG things! She had a live wire running through her and a contagious laugh that attracted people from way across the room! Over the years she has become my sister from another mother and along with my family we have been adopted by her entire family.  I cannot imagine this past decade without your love and laughter AA! I connected with many other VAs that weekend and have continued to learn and grow from our connections. If a fortune teller had predicted I’d be here in ten years with a thriving VA practice, unveiling a new website and blogging about a decade of doing what I love, with people I love to work with—I’d have smiled politely and thanked her. But I wouldn’t have believed her! Yet, here I am doing exactly those things due to the serendipities and connections that were created at that picnic ten years ago. Because I took a leap of faith. Because I practiced the life lesson I was handed: feel the fear and do it anyway. Because I was willing to be authentic and vulnerable.  Because I believed in possibility. I am thrilled and proud to unveil a new new website after almost ten years in business and I have two talented women to thank for making it a reality. Terri Moore created WOWVA’s wondrous new logo. I wanted a tree theme to play on the idea of nature and wonder; a client being rooted with a VA partner; and branching out as an entrepreneur to include a VA. You may see more of Terri’s work and connect with her at  Graphic Ventures.  My Digital Marketing Maven, Aletha McManama is responsible for the personalized design of my WordPress theme and it all...

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I love library books!

Posted by on Sep 9, 2012 in Books, Inspiration, Travel | 1 comment

I can't take them all on the plane! Ruthie's dream of becoming a successful screenwriter captivated me. This is Jennifer's tenth book and I've loved her writing since her debut with 'Good in...

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I’m in print!

Posted by on Sep 3, 2012 in Books, Celebration, Connections, Inspiration, Web/Tech, Weblogs, Wholehearted, Writing | 2 comments

When you post something on any type of social media you never know who might read it or where it might end up. In April I shared this review on Hungry for Life and I was contacted in May by Jennifer an Assistant Senior Managing Editor at Artful Blogging asking if they might quote part of my post in their upcoming autumn issue. Heck yeah! I BIG shout out to Honoré for sending me a copy when she heard my bookstore didn't carry...

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waaaay more than a nod

Posted by on Aug 30, 2012 in Celebration, Community, Connections, Virtual Assistance | 0 comments

I'm not on the ballot but still thrilled at the nominations, thank you my friends! The AssitU community is an incredible resource for support, encouragement, and knoweldgeable insightful answers.I am honored to be a member!...

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