Welcome to the Virtual Alternative, Olivia! by Liz Saunders

Every morning for some time now, my daughter Olivia has called me on her way to work.  It got to the point where my day just didn’t seem right if she hadn’t called.

One day back in August, we had our usual call but then shortly afterwards, she called again – very unusual because normally once she got to work she got stuck in and could not be disturbed.  I couldn’t take the call when she called as I was already stuck into work. 

When I called her back, she was very blunt, “I’ve been fired!”  I was gobsmacked.  It couldn’t be true.  She was the glue that held her office together – she was the calming force that kept others, in line.  After croaking out “what did you say?” I was rendered completely speechless other than a few babbling idiotic noises.

Olivia found that being rendered speechless, dumbfounded or uttering “wait, what did you say?” were the universal reactions, to this news.  Her partner’s son thought she was joking and had to be told repeatedly – “it’s true”.  He then suggested she’d been fired for “doing too much” — not far from the truth.

After taking some time to think about her future and after talking to an executive coach, she decided to join me at The Virtual Alternative as a senior associate.  This is great news for me, for my clients and for all potential new clients.  Olivia brings not only a similar skill set to the table so that she can back me up with existing clients, but also a whole new skill set which continues to grow; she is famous for saying “give me 20 minutes and I’ll figure it out”.

After a six weeks, I can attest to the fact that we work really well together, our regular morning phone calls still happen, and a number of my clients have already contacted her directly for work that they, rightly, assumed was not in my bailiwick.  She’s also running interference on a personal matter that had me climbing walls.

It is not only fantastic to have Olivia working with me, but to watch her grow as she learns and tries new things – all of which she will be able to offer to our clients.  She will soon have her Project Management Professional designation, which opens a whole new set of opportunities.

Welcome to The Virtual Alternative, Olivia!  Very glad to have you on board!

Published by J. Liz Saunders

With over 30 years of experience, J. Liz Saunders delivers exceptional office and sales support to a wide range of businesses. More importantly, she does so with creativity. Her ‘can do’, ‘can solve’, ‘can source’ attitude results in the most efficient and effective completion of her clients’ requirements every time. Upon first meeting, Liz’ her most notable quality is her energy. When preparing for and running the Toronto marathon in 2004, Liz channelled this energy with discipline and determination. She uses those same qualities when organizing her many clients and delivering high quality support services in a timely manner. As a virtual assistant, Liz cold calls and generates leads for sales people; researches sites for meetings; schedules appointments and provides client support; offers transcription services, manages broadcast emails, arranges printing, handles basic bookkeeping; writes correspondence, proposals, quotes and invoices for clients; and acts as a call centre taking registrations for seminars. Liz is a certified Virtual Assistant with extensive experience in Microsoft Office. She has a BA from the University of Toronto and studied Fundraising Management at Ryerson University. She has experience in legal services, construction, insurance, real estate and facilities management. Liz builds her business based on trust, quality and a commitment to exceptional results.

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