Woman Wednesday Issue #45

The Assist Newsletter
November 9, 2022
Woman Wednesday

Name that Woman Trailblazer: She is an American poet and activist from Los Angeles, whose work focuses on feminism, anti-racism and other issues of marginalisation, oppression and the African diaspora. The first ever poet to be named National Youth Poet Laureate in the US, she published her debut collection of poems titled The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough, in 2015. The young writer quickly rose to global prominence following her moving performance of ‘The Hill We Climb’, at President Joe Biden’s Inauguration in 2021.

👉 Click here to reveal this woman.


Meet Lauren Gall and Melanie Ammerman 👋


Lauren Gall and Melanie Ammerman

In 2011, we co-founded of VaVa Virtual Assistants, a boutique Virtual Assistant agency with one simple goal: connecting growth-oriented business owners with high-performing Virtual Assistants (VAs).

We love helping clients achieve their personal version of work/life balance and focus on the work they love. Our future-focused, VA hiring model prioritizes sustainability while empowering business owners to source proven remote talent, break the vicious cycle of hustle culture, and reclaim what brings joy, personally and professionally.

As a small women-owned business, we are proud to have a wonderfully diverse staff that doesn’t conform to one label.

🔗 Want to connect with Lauren and Melanie? Say “hi” on Lauren’s LinkedIn, Melanie’s LinkedIn, and Instagram.


The #1 All-In-One Platform You Didn’t Know You Needed


 monday.com dashboard

If you’re old school and keep a notebook and pen handy to write down your to-dos, or use a handful of apps to stay on top of projects, monday.com can either supplement your workflow or become your sole solution to get things done.

The really cool thing about it is that you can manage all your team’s work in one place (oh, and you can get it free if you’re strapped for cash).

Signing up for free won’t just help you become more productive, you’ll also be supporting The Assist 😊.

Try it free


Lauren and Melanie’s Secrets


Q: How did you get into your current role/industry?
We like to call ourselves accidental entrepreneurs in a sense.

We started VaVa Virtual Assistants as a side business after identifying the VA industry as having a potential huge need in the small business community. Once we ironed more out, we soon realized that we had stumbled upon something that could truly change the lives of busy entrepreneurs.

After obtaining our first client within one month of being in business, we learned systems, programs, and ways of working to bring in more and more clients.

Q: What’s something you do to help boost your productivity?
A:Maintain work-life balance, being proactive about working during the time of day when we have our best energy (Lauren does her best work in the morning whereas Melanie does her best work during midday and afternoon).

We also create time blocks for projects on our calendars as well as have certain days of the week blocked solely for projects and solely for calls.

Q: How do you find work-life balance?
A: Sticking within our call blocks, scheduling personal time, getting outdoors or doing things we enjoy outside of work, going on workcations, blocking days off (and also making the team blocks time off as well), ending work on time.

Q: What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve received so far?
Lauren’s A: Find someone that’s in your similar industry doing just as well or better than you and shadow them. Learn as much as you can from them.

Melanie’s A: Take each mistake or stumble as an opportunity for growth.

Q: What’s your favorite software or app that helps with your workflow?
Lauren’s A: Monday.com for project management with my own VA.

Melanie’s A: Google Calendar to keep my day organized and stay on top of things.

Q: What’s a book or podcast you’d recommend to a colleague?

Lauren’s A: How to Never Lose a Customer Again by Joey Coleman.

Melanie’s A: Simple Number, Straight Talk, Big Profits! by Greg Crabtree.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time outside of work?

Lauren’s A: I love to take on challenges and help business owners find the right solution for the obstacles they come across. In my free time, you can find me hiking with my chocolate lab, Bubba, doing yoga, traveling, or walking to Atlanta Beltline.

Melanie’s A: I enjoy being outdoors in nature with my pup, Kishi, traveling to explore new places and to see loved ones, supporting causes for animals and the environment, and relaxing at home with my dog and cat.

🕑 Check out this complete guide to time blocking.

📧 Get tips on how to find a mentor with cold emails.


Here’s What Employees Actually Want


Bonusly's Whitepaper on What Employees Want

It’s been quite a wild ride for HR teams over the last few years.

To understand what employees want most from employers, Bonusly put together this study.

One trend they’ve uncovered is that employees want more appreciation from employers — 63% of workers have described feeling unappreciated by their employer on a daily basis.

Here’s what this free white paper includes:

  • 📊 Survey results from 2,000 U.S. workers.
  • 💚 How employees want to be recognized.
  • 🤑 Where compensation, benefits, career growth opportunities, and wellness stipends fit into the larger picture.
  • ✅ Takeaways for HR leaders and people managers.

Get the free whitepaper


Find People Who Believe in You


Create a place that people want to work for and find people who believe in you — both team members and clients.

As a small business owner, it’s usually fairly clear whether or not someone has bought into your idea. When you find those people, scoop them up!

Over the years, we would tend to hire people based on emotion, but more often than not, they were using us as more of a pass-through job and not a long-term one. We would hire someone who, on the surface, seemed like they could do the job; however, when we got down to the nitty gritty, they didn’t have both the skills and the personality that our clients were needing. And, with regard to clients, like most new entrepreneurs, we would bring on any and every client that walked in the door and could afford us.

What we came to realize is that we needed to get clear on the direction, mission, vision, and values of our company in order to bring on team members and clients that matched that vision.

With that in mind, we created a detailed and proven hiring and vetting process for the team, and also ironed out the discovery call process for clients. These changes made a noticeable difference in the people and the types of clients that join VaVa, and also had a positive impact on our retention.

This is a huge contributing factor to our company growth overall, allowing us to grow by over 60% year after year, and by almost 100% in the last 2 years!


Our awesome partners help keep our content free 🥰


TeamOut is an online platform where you can easily book a team retreat so you can build stronger relationships with your work fam.

Weve offers over 100 games you can play with your team to build stronger workplace culture.

The Impact Job is a free weekly newsletter that mixes social impact news and jobs in a fun way. Like a 7/11 slurpee. Laughs guaranteed.

The Daily Upside helps you rethink your financial news diet and gives you crisp, unbiased business insights each morning for free.


Latest Listings


🔖 Catch up on all the Woman Wednesday issues here.

🥰 Spread gratitude in the workplace. See how.

🏪 The Assist Store: Check out our Candidate Rating Card and browse our Etsy Store.

🚨 Job Openings
👉 We’ve launched our Private Facebook Group! Join today.
P.S. Follow us on Instagram & TikTok for additional tips.


Know any go-getters? Send them our way.


Do you have a mentor, colleague, family member or friend who inspires you on a regular basis?

Give them some much deserved kudos and shout them out to our growing TA community.

Nominate someone here

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