How AVA COO, Kiri Mohan, Practices Gratitude
How AVA COO, Kiri Mohan, Practices Gratitude
In the States, November is often viewed as the month of giving thanks and practicing gratitude. In part, due to the Thanksgiving holiday and getting closer to the end of the year has us reflecting. Practicing gratitude is important for everyone. This month’s blog series I’ve decided to have the Association of Virtual Assistants executive team share.
In eight short months, we have accomplished quite a lot! Members from around the world have come together in a like-minded community to be known as industry-leading VAs. We’ve launched a new website, a new member directory, new client members, and new certifications. All this and we’re just getting started!
However, as much fun and rewarding as it’s been it has not been without sacrifices, challenges, and disappoints. In the midst of it all, I’m so proud of my team and what they’ve done!
Let’s hear how Kiri practices gratitude while not only being the COO of the AVA, the CEO of Dependable VA, wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend.
Q. What is or do you have a formal process of making sure you stay grateful?
Every day I try to walk my dog in a nearby meadow which is the most beautiful sight for me. It’s a little magical pocket and as I walk through, I think about everything I’m thankful for. This walk is like a drink of cool water for my soul. I also try to look back and think about everything that has happened during the day and give a little prayer to God for what I’m thankful for.
Q. How do you practice gratitude?
I formally practice it through my prayers at night. My parents always prayed with me when I was younger and they would start off with, “Dear God, thank you for today. Thank you for…” and then get more specific. Old habits die hard (or never die!) so I still continue that tradition today.
Q. Are you participating in gratefulness or gratitude challenges at the moment?
No. I actually didn’t know they existed!
Q. Do you have any gratefulness or gratitude practices you share with your clients?
Occasionally I will send an email to a client where I go into how thankful I am for them. I will list why I’m grateful and how I appreciate their trust. Occasionally I may also pick something up at the store for them and send it in a package, but don’t let them know, and send a thank you card as well.
Q. It’s been very busy and I know the AVA has added to that. What’s your secret for being grateful and showing gratitude when things aren’t going well or you feel overwhelmed?
That’s a good question. A glass of wine always helps!! 😉 I have a hard time stepping out of my head, and I think it especially gets hard working from home. I tend to get caught up in the stress and no one to bounce ideas off of. I don’t have any real secrets but when I have my daughter with me at home, I do try to take a moment, stop and be grateful that I would never be able to do this without my business. I think to myself, “Wow, I’m so lucky that I can have these silly conversations, and read library books with my daughter during the day and still make money.” It’s the precious moments like that that help me from getting overwhelmed.
Q. Will you share a time when you were joyfully overwhelmed when someone showed how grateful they were for you?
I have a client in Brooklyn who has always, ALWAYS shown how grateful he is for my support. He gave me a gift card to a hotel I’ve always wanted to visit as a gift, and I was definitely joyfully overwhelmed. I was shocked and humbled and realized that even when you aren’t physically in the same office, it doesn’t mean you can’t have an excellent relationship.
Q. Is there a favorite quote, poem, or saying that always reminds you to be grateful?
I have a lot of favorite quotes! Some of my favorites are mindfulness quotes that remind you to be in the present moment. Things can change quickly and you never know when that moment will be back again. The present can be perfect and we too often are so busy that we don’t realize it. It helps me to be so thankful for the present moment.
But, an old standby is the Louisa May Alcott quote I have in my email signature that always humbles me and reminds me to not take life so seriously and to be thankful for each day:
“Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life will become a beautiful success.” –Louisa May Alcott
It also reminds me to be grateful for the business I set up where I can be with my daughter during some days, do fun events with her, and not be tied to a corporate office like I used to be. Even when I’m so stressed with client work, I know that I’d still take that over what I used to have.
Q. Looking back at 2019 I’m sure there are many things you’re grateful for, but does anything stand out as particularly unexpected?
I would say gaining more confidence in not only my personal life but also with my business boundaries. It’s hard, as an ex-corporate EA to get out of the mindset that I need to respond to things right away. I made decisions this year that affected my family and my business and realized that I’m grateful to have support all around me. Not only in my online VA community, but also in my immediate and extended family. I can’t go into details, but 2018 was a rough year for me, and 2019 was a backlash from that. I’m grateful for it, however, because it taught me more about myself than I would have learned if I had not broken out of my comfort zone.
Q. Looking towards 2020 what are you already grateful for?
I’m excited to see where the AVA is going. We have worked hard on setting the foundation and I think we are now set up for a lot of success and hopefully, word-of-mouth will begin to spread between VAs. I am grateful for a blank slate in terms of vacations! Usually, there is already something on the horizon by now – family reunions, weddings, friends in town, etc. I don’t have any vacations planned which means I can choose one that will fit our family best – that’s always exciting.
Q. The AVA and its members are very grateful for you! What gratitude would you like to give back?
I’d like to give a big thank you to all our VA and client members. They believe in us as a team and help us grow and expand. With their faith, we can continue to get larger and provide more and more benefits that will benefit our career and profession.
Want to learn more about Kiri Mohan? Join our community at AVA today: