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85 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A+, plus extra credit
Since graduating from college, I have been an elementary school educator. It is what I have always wanted to do and I loved going in every day.

Last winter I was struck by a car while shoveling out my car and the resulting disability has made it impossible to return to my beloved classroom. I went through rehab. I went through a period of depression. And then a...
Published on May 22, 2006 by Ingrid

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars OK
This book was ok. I expected more sample letters, business cards templates and an actual plan or timeline as a guide. Also focuses more on military housseholds. It does provide good reasoning for businesses to use VA's and lists all the possible businesses that might utilize a virtual assistant.
Published on February 18, 2010 by Mickster


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85 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A+, plus extra credit, May 22, 2006
By 
Ingrid (Minneapolis, MN USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The 2-Second Commute: Join the Exploding Ranks of Freelance Virtual Assistants (Paperback)
Since graduating from college, I have been an elementary school educator. It is what I have always wanted to do and I loved going in every day.

Last winter I was struck by a car while shoveling out my car and the resulting disability has made it impossible to return to my beloved classroom. I went through rehab. I went through a period of depression. And then a period of anger. And finally, a period when I realized that nothing would give me back the life I had and it was up to me to create a new one that I could love equally as well.

My therapist recommended The 2-Second Commute and suggested I consider starting a business in my home. One that would enable me to work in manner that would accommodate my new physical needs. Grudgingly, I purchased the book thinking, "I am a teacher. What kind of business can I start?"

Firstly, let me just say that authors Durst and Haaren lifted my soul, my spirits, and my sense of self-worth. No easy feat given the state I was in when I read the book.

As an educator, I truly appreciated their organization and understanding of the importance of not skipping any steps lest you create a situation you'll regret later. The exercises and self-assessments were wonderful measurement tools, and truly helped me see my value outside of the classroom.

I now have a bustling home-based business that fits my life. I am editing children's books, writing educational articles, and doing online tutoring. I never realized these things were possible until I read this book.

Thank you for the invaluable role you've played in helping me create my own euphoria!
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars VA Reference Bible, November 20, 2005
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The 2-Second Commute: Join the Exploding Ranks of Freelance Virtual Assistants (Paperback)
If you want to become a VA start your research with this book.

It is very informative, packed with details to assist you in every step of the process.

Not only does it cover all the topics you'll need to get started - from explaining what a VA does/is to setting up your business and your office - but it also gives you self-assessments that are valuable in and of themselves.

There is also a chapter that helps you to develop a 'Service Menu' for you business and this chapter is also quite valuable. Not sure what services you should provide? Work through this chapter and you'll know exactly what services are best suited for you.

And finally there is the VA Toolbox:Resources & Information section in the back of the book. Here it points you to many other places you can go to further your research.

I very complete and comprehensive book that all beginning VA's should have on their bookshelves.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book that made me ready!, July 23, 2005
This review is from: The 2-Second Commute: Join the Exploding Ranks of Freelance Virtual Assistants (Paperback)
I have not posted a review to Amazon before but wanted to do one for this book. I just finished reading it today and I am so excited at everything I have learned.

I have read a couple of other books on being a virtual assistant, but they have not given me enough information to feel prepared to go out on my own. Don't get me wrong, they were ok for basic information, but this made me do some hard core self assessments that taught me a lot about myself.

Thanks to the 2 second commute, I now know what services I will offer, how much I will charge for them, who my niche markets are and, most importantly, HOW I will market to them effectively.

I have already started to write my strategic marketing plan and, if I do say so myself, I think it's going to be a killer!

I cannot say enough good about it and would recommend it to everyone who wants to be a "VA".

Watch me go! :-)
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trade your time, knowledge, and advice for $ by working as a virtual assistant; or online teacher, coach, or consultant., March 23, 2009
This review is from: The 2-Second Commute: Join the Exploding Ranks of Freelance Virtual Assistants (Paperback)
I loved this book. I spotted it while purusing the shelves in the business section at Barnes and Noble the other day. When I opened it up and skimmed the Table of Contents I found starting an online virtual assistance company requires the same skills and talents as starting an online coaching, teaching, or consulting practice. Even though at the time of my writing this review there are already 69 reviews posted for this book, I am writing this review because none of the reviews point out that this is wonderful book for anybody who wants to offer a service via the Internet. Sure, you can offer your services as a virtual assistant. But the advice offered in this book applies equally to people who offer their services through a Web site and email and provide coaching, teaching, and/or consulting pointers and advice. And providing these other services online will probably take just as much time as providing virtual assistance services, but pay a whole lot more.

I found this book to be well outlined and well written. It will definitely be a worthwhile tome to add to your library as you investigate and research the business plan you need to write in order to start your freelance operation regarding services you plan to sell online. So read this book with an open mind and do NOT limit you thoughts to just becoming a virtual assistant. There are all kinds of opportunities today to work from home in your PJs providing so many different kinds of services via the Internet. Forget about commuting. Forget about getting dressed up or maintaining a healthy wardrobe. Just worry about being expert at something and selling your time, knowledge and advice. 5 stars!

Other books I highly recommend you consider reading along with this book include:

>>Riches in Niches (EasyRead Large Bold Edition): How to Make It BIG in a Small Market
>>Start Your Own Information Marketing Business (Start Your Own...)
>>Entrepreneur Magazine's Start Your Own e-Learning Business (The Startup Series)
>>Start Your Own Coaching Business (Start Your Own...)
>>Four Steps To Building A Profitable Coaching Practice: A Complete Marketing Resource Guide for Coaches
>>Web Business Success: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Web Sites That Work
>>The Web-Savvy Writer: Book Promotion with a High-Tech Twist, Second Edition
>>Coaching Millions: Help More People, Make More Money, Live Your Ultimate Lifestyle
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Key I Have Been Seeking, January 28, 2006
By 
This review is from: The 2-Second Commute: Join the Exploding Ranks of Freelance Virtual Assistants (Paperback)
For years, I have been trying to find work I can do from home so I can focus on my family. I have wasted thousands of dollars on opportunities that seemed real, but turned out to be cons or misrepresentations.

I am blessed with a patient husband who has, in spite of my failed attempts to generate income at home, been very supportive. He understands how important it is for me to be here for our children, but also knows that I also feel an need to work in a way that feeds my mind and brings some additional income into our home.

This book arrived in my mailbox in September, on the very same day our eldest child started kindergarten. I read it while our 3-year old slept, and while he played, and even packed it in my bag when we went to the park. Three days later I had finished reading it, and three days after that I had read it for the second time.

Armed with a new confidence instilled in my by the book, I created my Strategic Marketing Plan, bought my domain, ordered my free business cards at the recommended site, and sent emails off to friends, family, and previous employers. Within three weeks of having received the book, I had my first client! A previous employer who knew the quality of my work signed on with me on October 12, 2005.

Today, January 28, 2006, I have four regular clients. I am working between 20-25 hours a week - during nap time, evenings, and quiet periods - and billing an average of $3,100 per month.

My son's teacher told me last week that when she asked the children what their parents do for work, he replied, "Daddy works in an office and Mommy is the president."

Life is great!

M. Santiago
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The one I've been looking for!, July 23, 2005
This review is from: The 2-Second Commute: Join the Exploding Ranks of Freelance Virtual Assistants (Paperback)
Several months ago, I came to Amazon looking for a book that would help me understand the VA business and help me get my own off the drawing board and into practice. I found another one that looked pretty good on the surface, but was disappointed to find it was not much more than a showcase for a handful of VAs and some information I had already found on the web.

I pre-ordered The 2-Second Commute and when it arrived I was so happy to find everything I had been looking for between the covers. I knew as soon as I saw the endorsements from John Tesh and Dan Pink that it had to be good, but the proof came when I sat down and started reading.

The content is practical and delivered in a way that is focused on reality, but is also sprinkled with humor. The author's seem to have a long history in the industry and have spent their energies on providing the reader with information rather than providing a forum for people who are already VAs.

I shared the Spouse with a mouse section with my husband and teenage daughter and we found the exercises very revealing... things we will use in the business and in our personal lives as well.

The section on setting fees was so well done! At last I have a fee survey to refer to AND a "formula" that has helped me set fees that will help ensure I am not under-valuing my services.

I would suggest that every VA run out and get a copy of this book. My is already littered with post-its marking the pages I have found most useful.

My hat's off to the authors. It is clear that they know what the new VA needs and they've provided it all here.

Jacquelyn Tedeschi
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you for this wonderful book, July 23, 2005
By 
This review is from: The 2-Second Commute: Join the Exploding Ranks of Freelance Virtual Assistants (Paperback)
As a homeschooling, Christian family we made the difficult decision to have me stay at home with our three children so that they would have the benefit of our morals and standards. Unfortunately, this also meant that we have not had the benefit of my paycheck.

When I heard about virtual assisting I thought this could be the answer to my prayers. Perhaps I could be home with our kids and still have enough money to pay the bills and save for college.

I tried to get into training with Chris Durst and Staffcentrix, but I am not a military spouse so I could not attend.

With this book I feel like I have just attended their training and I am so very grateful to them for having shared their knowledge and wisdom with me through it. I am more excited than I have been in a very long time. Even the children are getting involved in the set up of this new business. There are so many wonderful and unexpected lessons in this for them. A nice side benefit for the whole family and way to enhance the homeschooling experience.

My husband and I have learned so much about each other through the spouse with a mouse conent. Already, we are applying their values gaps analysis to other areas of our life and having the children to the same.

No stone has gone unturned. Chris and Mike, whom I feel I have come to know through this book, have not only helped me find the confidence to venture out as a VA, they have helped our family become stronger, my self-confidence return, and have proven yet again that the Lord provides solutions if we only remember to seek them.

Blessings,

Liz
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a book, a catapult, July 27, 2005
By 
This review is from: The 2-Second Commute: Join the Exploding Ranks of Freelance Virtual Assistants (Paperback)
I have been hearing about Chris Durst and Michael Haaren from a friend who attended one of their training programs at the Department of State and she encouraged me to buy the book since I could not go to one of their sessions in person.

All of the things she told me about their expertise and approachable personalities came through in their book. Though I did not attend training, I have learned so much from the book already and, in many ways, feel I have come to know the writers as well.

With them "holding my hand" through this book, I really think I am ready to plunge in and start my business. I loved the strategic marketing plan. A refreshing change from old stlye business plans which I have found to be an obstacle rather than a help.

Durst and Haaren have not written a book, they've built a catapult designed to propel readers toward success!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best, July 26, 2005
This review is from: The 2-Second Commute: Join the Exploding Ranks of Freelance Virtual Assistants (Paperback)
I recently decided to take my skills home and become a VA and I've bought every book on the topic. This is the one I have marked up from beginning to end. I filled a whole legal pad with notes and ideas that came to me as I read the book and I am so excited to finally have the final pieces of the puzzle in place.

Other reviewers have named their favorite sections, but I don't think I can put my finger on any one section. I found the whole book well-written and useful, but the series of self-assessments in chapter 4 that helps you figure out what services to offer were awesome. I have more to offer than I had even realized.

I am buying a second copy for my sister now and figured I'd leave a review at the same time!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, July 25, 2005
This review is from: The 2-Second Commute: Join the Exploding Ranks of Freelance Virtual Assistants (Paperback)
I loved the practical way the information was delivered without making it feel canned. I read the book once to absorb it and then again to execute.

I have a great sense of direction now and feel that I can really succeed as a virtual assistant. I had the skills already, but could not seem to get enough details to make me feel comfortable in getting started.

The information on niche marketing and the methods of selecting and understanding your audience was so useful. And the marketing stuff is just wonderful!
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The 2-Second Commute: Join the Exploding Ranks of Freelance Virtual Assistants
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