Business Services

How to Contract a Virtual Assistant

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Hiring a Virtual Assistant, what you need to do before you decide to hire/contract/work/invest on a VA for you and your business.

Question: Your business is growing, right? Great!

 

But do you have the tools, processes, and procedures in place to hire/contract people in order to continue that growth without overwhelming yourself?

 

Well, now’s a great time to take charge and see where you may need help, as well as what processes and procedures you need to put in place to get this process started!

Here are somethings to ponder...

So, if your thoughts are to grow your business (today or in the future), you have to understand that it’s going to require lots and lots of work, if you want this contracting/recruiting process to work!

 

Things you must consider before you decide to hire employees, or recruit freelancers because (trust me), they will either “make you or break you”…YES, I SAID IT!

 

Also, keep in mind that it’s your responsibility not only to hire/contract employees, freelancers, contractors, management, etc., but it’s also your responsibility to train, mentor, but more importantly to have processes and procedures in place, because otherwise instead of moving forward you will be taking steps back!

 

💡TIP 1: Don’t line people up without having the right procedures in place.

💡Tip 2: Really understand your Biz growth and what you need and where you want to go.

💡Tip 3: Set your processes in place; recruiting, HR, administration, etc.

 

 

  • Lining people up before having processes in place will ONLY create chaos, confusion and in the long run problems.
  • Many of use don’t have an HR degree, or experience and therefore we may not be good in the whole recruiting and training process and that is why creating these processes and procedures will come in handy. (I created my own internal processes and procedures and therefore have been tested and proven to work effectively for all business sectors)
  • So, if you decide and envision your business growing, it is very, very important to have these procedures in place for each department, each staff member, etc.

These are just some basics to ponder, but it requires more than just this…

 

I hope you find these growth strategies helpful when you decided to hire help. These three simple tips make such a huge difference when it comes to getting the right person for the job, trust me, I’ve been there!

 

For more guidance and specific tips for your situation, that’s where my coaching can be even more useful – so contact me today, let’s chat and see how we can work together and get your processes and procedures in place, so that you can #BOSSUPANDRISE and be that #CEOHUSTLER you’ve always dreamed of!

Daily Life

Your Voice; Keeping it Healthy

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If you work as an Interpreter, Dispatcher or even in a call center, your job depends on your “voice”, and you are considered an occupational voice user.
Meaning, you are “The Voice” and that is your tool and the most valuable tool you have in order to convey and get your job done.
So, whether your an Interpreter, Conference Interpreter, Dispatcher, or work in a call center, or as a scheduler, your voice is your only link with the customer, correct?
So, it’s important that you take care of your voice and that you maintain a healthy voice in order to get the job done.

Because just as neat professional attire is essential for face-to-face interactions, having a clear voice is essential for your day-to-day business operations.
A hoarse voice from an Interpreter, or call center agent (CCA), dispatcher carries the same negative impression as a worn-out outfit and can detract from building credibility and or doing your job the right way, do you agree?

 

Little Story: A few years back I was doing a Conference appointment for the State, I actually had a team interpreter (who was sick) and was coughing up a storm.  Having a sick interpreter onsite who’s unable to do his/her job (use their voice to speak) not only did it affect the overall assignment, but it was a major distraction and also put on more stress on me, because I had to complete the job myself because my partner was sick with laryngitis.

 

So a healthy voice is crucial, but because you are constantly talking and using your voice to do your job and if you don’t take care of your voice, you are at risk for damaging your voice and developing hoarseness.

 

A 2002 study on voice problems among CCAs reported voice problems in 31 percent of CCAs, with several negative outcomes, including:

  • Increased sick days
  • Fewer calls per hour
  • More breaks away from the phone
  • Needing to repeat themselves
  • Needing to force the voice out

Overall, Interpreters, Dispatchers, CCAs with voice problems are bad not only for the CCAs, Interpreters, Dispatchers, Schedulers, and those who use their Voice to work but at the end of the day it’s bad for business.

I’ve learned from some Voice experts who now think that voice problem is a form of repetitive motion injury because the vocal cords are being injured by overuse, similar to the way data entry personnel may develop carpal tunnel syndrome.

Did you know that when we talk, the vocal cords vibrate about 200 times a second for women and about half that for men? That can add up to more than a million cycles of vibration during a workday at a call center causing vocal injury this is also true for singers, interpreters, dispatchers, call centers, etc.

 

As a professional conference interpreter who’s constantly working and who uses her voice to work, it is so important to take care of your voice!

True Story: About 4 years ago (I was a major workaholic) 🤔😊working all day, every day and would not take breaks in between and didn’t like working with other colleagues (I had bad experiences with other agency interpreters), so I was working for a whole straight month non-stop during the Winter months and around November while working at a conference my Voice literally starting squeaking, I could NOT Speak, my voice started sounding horsy like, my chest started to hurt, my throat was just feeling horrible, I started to sweat, got dizzy and literally passed out! Apparently, I had walking pneumonia and laryngitis and was in the hospital! I failed to listen to my body, I was just so excited about the work, I love what I do and was just “Go-go-go” non-stop that my body finally gave out in the middle of an assignment!  This little scenario ended up costing me months being out of work until I was able to get my Voice back and recuperate from this horrible experience!

So yes, dear interpreters, dispatchers, CCAs, Schedulers and all of you who use your work to fulfill your responsibilities TAKE CARE OF YOUR “VOICE”!

Here are some recommendations and things that I do and have done so since this episode.

Posture

Taking frequent breaks and being able to move around is so important because it reduces the tension in your body and will prevent you from having other joint/muscle problems.

Breaks

Taking frequent breaks will give your voice muscle a rest, so try to rest your voice – meaning no talking, or drinking cold drinks.

Voice Pacing

Voice scientists advise those who use their Voice to work “to think of voice pacing on three levels:

  • Breaks within phone calls
  • Breaks between phone calls during the work day
  • Breaks between work days”

Tips

Besides posture, breaks, and vocal pacing, you must also practice good voice hygiene. These tips have helped me keep the throat moist and free from irritation so that my vocal cords are less likely to be injured:

  • Drinking lots of (room temperature) water (or non-caffeinated liquid) during the day.
  • Keep water with you at all times.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which are drying to the throat.
  • Avoid excess coughing and throat clearing.
  • Don’t smoke! Smoking causes irritation and can lead to cancer and other health-related problems.
  • Don’t work if you have a hoarse voice due to a cold or upper respiratory infection.
  • Seek medical attention to manage any medical conditions that can cause throat irritation including acid reflux, postnasal drainage, allergies, asthma, and endocrine conditions, etc.
  • Avoid dry interior climates
  • Avoid high-rise areas they are known to cause damage to your voice.
  • Eat good and moist meals and avoid spicy foods, they cause acid reflux or GERD
  • Use a humidifier in your room or home, especially in dry climates.
  • Avoid mouthwash (it contains alcohol), if you need to gargle use lukewarm salt water
  • Take vitamins or eat fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamins, A, E, and C
  • Drink lemon tea with honey (instead of  coffee)
  • I made my own paste that I add to my teas and helps with phlegm and it also has helped me from getting sick; it includes:
    • Ginger
    • Honey
    • Coconut oil
    • Pepper, etc…I will include the paste recipe in my next food meal article.

Get Help Early; Listen to Your Body

Seek medical attention early don’t wait until you have lost your voice to seek medical help.
Pay attention to the signs that your voice is getting tired such as– dry throat, raw or tired feeling in the throat, increased mucus in the throat, feeling like talking takes more effort, feeling throat strain — in addition to a raspy or hoarse voice.NIDCD-TakingCareOfYourVoice-Figure1

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Business Services

Biz Start Up Tips

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Get your Biz Start-Up Tips…

As the end of the year is coming I want to share a bit more about Who I Am, What I Do and What I Provide and to share My Love and Passion for both Interpreting and Entrepreneurship.

So let me ask you; do you have a Special Skill?

Do you have a Product or maybe a Service that you want to share with the world? or;

Maybe you are Bilingual and want to Start Your Own Business?

So, if you answered yes to all of the above, let me ask you one more question; How would you like to use those “special skills, products and/or services” to create additional income and start your own business?

So many of you who already know me know that I’ve been on both sides of the aisle.  I started off as a freelancer working with agencies (and still work) with a couple of agencies. After a few months working as a freelancer and seeing the do’s and don’ts and the “Good, Bad and Evil”, I decided I no longer wanted to continue to work as a Freelancer and working for “pennies on the dollar” and personally I didn’t like the process and demands of agencies especially since I was a “Freelancer / Independent Contractor” and NOT an Employee.  Therefore, I decided to venture off on my own.

So as an Entrepreneur and Former CEO who’s been on both sides of the aisles and someone who started and built her business on her own, here are a few tips to get you started, learn from the voice of experience, learn from someone who started and built her business from the “ground up”.

Yes! I started my Biz 18+ years ago helping businesses tap into the Hispanic Market. I helped businesses “Break the Language Barrier in Communication”.

I built my business from the ground up, yes literally from the ground up…I built a team of 10 staff employees and a cadre of over 2,500 freelance interpreters and offered services in over 150 languages around the world. I built my services around my clients’ needs; Interpreting, Translation, OPI, Transcriptions, and Coaching…I had contracts with the State, County, City, Federal, Hospitals, Insurance, Law Firms, Nonprofits and so many more…and I can help you too!

But, in order to make my business work and grow I had to make sure I was ONLY contracting and training the best of the best; therefore I was able to help and continue to help “Bilingual Individuals” and those with “Specials Skills, Products and Services” Start their Own Business and I can help you too!

So here is what you need to know if you decide you want to venture out on your own…You need the “Basics”

Resume

Business Plan

Strategic Plan

Training

Experience (gain experience as a volunteer)

Affiliations or Organizations

Terminology

Now, these are some basics to learn and know if you decide to start.  You can also join my list and get your Freebies and learn more about my Training and Coaching.

#BossUpandRise and become the #CEOHustler you always dreamed of!

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Business Services

Interpreting and Translation Tool

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Your business your world

Here is a Great Tool that I’ve been using to post jobs, manage online glossaries and network.  I’m sure that you will find this on-the-go tool very useful!

Although, I no longer operate as an agency from time-to-time I receive assignments in other languages for both Interpreting and Translation and therefore I use this tool to post those jobs and provide language professionals to accept or decline the jobs.

I also, use this tool to post my online glossaries. It’s just a great tool to have on hand and when you need it.

This tool is available for macOS AppStore and Windows Store

If you sign up and register today, you will also receive a FREE glossary slot… Make sure to sign up and start enjoying this tool.

Click Here and Sign Up Today!

***I only recommend tools, products, services that I have personally used and that have worked for me…Hope you will like it too!**

Business Services

Start Your Interpreting Career: Inside Secrets from Freelancer to CEO

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The Entrepreneur Cafe Members Club is an online member-only entrepreneur platform for all entrepreneurs around the world.

Inside you will find lots of resources, tips, information to help you start, grow your business. You will also be able to connect and mingle with like-minded professionals from around the world.

You will Receive Freebies, YES! – FREEBIES!

  • How to market yourself
  • How to start your own business
  • Step-by-step guides
  • Step-by-step worksheets
  • Free content to help you with your Biz
  • SSM information – How – To – Market Yourself
  • Networking
  • Marketing
  • Branding and so much more…

You no longer have to attend ALL these ONLINE WEBINARS, TRAINING, etc. I will provide you with “ALL THE BELLS AND WHISTLES” THAT YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS!

Learn More and If you Like What You See, you will be able to join online today! Join Today!

Interpreter Training

Are you a “Good Interpreter”

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Pico Conference
Simultaneous Interpreter

After 18 years working as a professional interpreter, many people always ask “Do you consider yourself a Good Interpreter?”… My answer will always be the same – I consider myself a good interpreter because;

  1. I take pride in my work.
  2. I love what I do.
  3. I love to research and learn more about the industry, terminology in order to do my job the best that I can.

So, yes I consider myself a “Good Interpreter”

Now, I know what you are thinking “Man, this woman is full of herself, she’s kinda conceded”, hahaha but its OK., that just means I’m confident of myself and I know what I can and can’t do!

Now, don’t get me wrong there’s more to this…So, for starters, the interpreter must – as our colleague would also state

( https://rpstranslations.wordpress.com/2018/04/16/what-makes-a-good-interpreter/ )

  • Be able to communicate from one language into the target language.  But don’t forget, the ultimate and “main goal is to make sure that everything interpreted was conveyed in such a manner that the person receiving the information, is able to understand the language of the speaker” The Professional Interpreter– “We are the VOICE”.  So, it is VERY IMPORTANT that the interpreter understands both the source and target language.  A good interpreter must be able to understand, synthesize, and have command of grammar, culture, and vocabulary” The Professional Interpreter
  • Be able to interpret everything “word for word”, but more importantly that everyone is able to understand him/her.  “Heavy breathing, coughing, slurping, rushing through the speech, and chasing speakers too close to what they just said makes you not only look bad” The Professional Interpreter, but even worse sound bad, so even when you are a good interpreter, you need to make sure you keep the pace and make your speakers aware that they must keep a pace (in order for you to be able to interpret everything). “Good voice, décalage, volume, rhythm, pace, voice modulation, clarity, enunciation, are a very important part of a rendition.” The Professional Interpreter
  • Finally, I strongly believe that a good interpreter who gets along with others is more desirable than a great interpreter who creates conflict everywhere.

To me a “rock star interpreter”, is one who understands a “concepts, digests it, and is able to convey it to the client in a pleasant clear voice, so it can be understood by the foreign language speaker; and does it all while being professional, good colleague, and decent human.” The Professional Interpreter

So, what are your thoughts of a “Good Rock Star Interpreter”… Thanks to “The Professional Interpreter for sharing some wise words… Don’t forget to follow him at RPSTRANSLATIONS “The Professional Interpreter”

Are you Bilingual and are looking to Start a Career as a Professional Interpreter, or maybe looking to Start Your Own Language Agency?  Learn More

 

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