A different kind of blog from me today.

How often do you stop and think about what you have, where you are and all the positive things that have happened over time? Do you stop to be thankful for the moment?

I try to add thankfulness into my day however I don’t always succeed.

Today however I went for a blood test. Thankfully I am healthy, and this is just a routine preventative measure.

I live in the most beautiful place in the land of my dreams – Israel – as you will know if you have been following me for a time. We live by the sea and on my way back from the lab, I had a view of the sea and these delightful models that are all along the promenade.

Fish on the promenade in Netanya Israel

They made me smile and stop for a couple of minutes to really appreciate where I am.

Where am I?

When I say to appreciate where I am, I don’t mean just where I am physically. I mean where I am in my life in general, what I have achieved and what is to come.

What am I Grateful for?

Well, I started off by thinking about where I live, and moved on to thinking about being married to David the most wonderful man who really looks out for me and looks after me so well. Then it was a short hop and a skip to thinking about our three wonderful grown-up kids and their spouses along with the grandchildren we have and are yet to have (at the time of writing there are two expected relatively soon).

That’s life but what about business?

I then started to reflect on my business. I have had a long career as an IT Trainer and for 22 of those years I have been self-employed.

I started out at Happy Computers where I worked for four and a half wonderful years before setting out on my own.

I started freelancing under the name Shellfish Training – one person asked me on the phone if I trained Shellfish 🦐- no really! I was answering a survey for a bank no less!

After a couple of years, I decided to rebrand and expand by working with a team of freelance associate trainers and so The Training Surgery was born.

We worked with loads of wonderful clients over the years and had loads of fun both learning and teaching new versions of Microsoft Applications.

A few years in I went through a rebrand and added IT to the name so becoming The IT Training Surgery. Made it a little bit clearer what we do.

Again, we continued to work with many organisations including The Heritage Lottery Fund who were clients right up until 2017, Moet Hennessy where we delivered an international project across Europe, CBW a firm of Chartered Accountants and many more.

Tomorrow’s VA

Tomorrow’s VA was born as I knew we were moving to Israel – that is back to Israel for me as I lived here from the age of 10 to 21 and met my husband here and to Israel for David who realised that after 38 years it was time to live my dream (and his by now).

I sold The IT Training Surgery to one of my associate trainers, so it lives on and he is doing well.

Tomorrow’s VA is all online. I deliver training for groups into organisations or to individual one to one, all using Microsoft Teams or Zoom. Then there are my online courses.  These have taken so much work and dedication to create, from outlining them to getting the right kit set up for recording and then the recording itself. But it does not stop there. Once recorded the transcripts are created and captions added to each of the tutorials. Not to mention the marketing….

When you run your own business you have to let people know what you do and how to join you.

I am so very thankful to be able to deliver the work I love from a place I love.

MSOffice Maestro

A number of people told me that they think of me as The MS Office Maestro and so that is how the brand was born. It had a logo, slogan and personality long before I used it to create the new learning site.

I decided to rerecord all my courses when Microsoft brought out new versions of the Microsoft 365 Applications in 2022.

This became MS Office Maestro as I believe everyone needs to master Microsoft Office Applications and how they all fit together.

Often, I am told after delivering a session how “I did not know about x and it is going to save me so much time!”

It gives me such a buzz when my learners master a concept and apply it to the way they work. Such fun!

The latest addition to my online life is a series of live Masterclasses. You can find them here more are being added to this list.

What am I most thankful for?

It would have to be meeting David – 41 years ago we married having met two years before that. It is safe to say that my life would not have been what it has without his love and support.  We have weathered storms with family issues, and he has always been my rock.

I am also thankful for my ability to adapt, to work with new things, spot trends and develop myself and others so that we can all achieve our best and live our best lives.

So, there you have it.  A bit of a departure from what I normally blog about.

What are you thankful for?

P.S Here are 4 ways you can work with me:

🏅Get Essential Office for The Savvy Assistant go to www.msofficemaestro.com

🏅Book me to deliver a Masterclass in house for your organisation

🏅Book me to deliver a session for your event

🏅Book a one-to-one training session with me

I find Shelley’s training easy to follow and the very best thing is that you can do it all at your own pace and revisit modules if it doesn’t quite sink in the first time round! I have learned so much from her training and continue to do so! She is responsive to my questions and I learn something new with each module. I find Iam hardly ever having to Google or YouTube information now, so it really is saving me time in my work day. Time that can be better used by learning more about the business I operate in!
Thanks Shelley!

Tracey Whitehouse – Executive Assistant

I have been following Shelley on Linkedin for several years, and always loved her hints and tips. In May of this year, I had the opportunity to recommend Shelley as one of our workshop speakers at the annual HMC Heads’ PA Conference in Sheffield.

On receiving the brief Shelley quickly produced content for two IT Microsoft Skills Workshops covering nuggets from Outlook, Word and Excel. Shelley then delivered (virtually) these two fantastic workshops to over 60 PAs at our conference.

From initial enquiry to delivery Shelley is the consummate professional and it was my pleasure to have had the opportunity to engage with her.

I would have no hesitation in recommending Shelley to any individual or group.

Michaela Fletcher – Heads PA

Shelley is THE guru on all things Microsoft.

I love Outlook, use it every day, and think I have a pretty good understanding of it. But every time I attend one of her sessions I learn a lot more. Her knowledge is remarkable. And she delivers her knowledge in a really clear, engaging way.

Thanks Shelley

Kathy Soulsby

I have just spent less than an hour at one of Shelley’s presentations and my mind is truly blown! I thought I was fairly proficient in Outlook, but I had no idea it could do so much more! So many time saving tips and shortcuts to help me – I can’t wait to get stuck in and implement them all! Thank you Shelley – I would highly recommend!

Hayley Rose – Executive Assistant -Dalcour Maclaren

Shelley joined us for the annual HMC Heads’ PAs conference in May 2023, where she delivered two hands-on practical IT skills workshops for over 60 PAs in attendance. Both sessions were warmly received by all participants, and from a personal perspective it was an absolute pleasure for me to work with Shelley both offline in the extensive prep phase ahead of the sessions, and online during the day itself – sharp in subject knowledge, flexible in content delivery and everything executed with a really affable manner and “can-do” approach throughout. I would recommend her services wholeheartedly.

Gareth Johnson – Leader GRE Education

Heads PA Conference

The session was well structured and the explanation was very clear. It was amazing how Shelley managed to squeeze so much info in just one hour and a half! Colin’s support and contributions were also very valuable, and so were “Virtual Veronica”‘s. Thank you for a most interesting and useful training session at the Miss Jones Virtual Summit!

Laura Carizzo- Royal Norwegian Embassy in Argentina

I haven’t used PowerPoint in 20 years, this has really boosted my confidence.

Lyn Parker

Course is packed with so much valuable information in a easy-to-understand and follow language, even for a complete beginner. I can respect the fact that sometimes it’s very hard for an expert to break the information down to basics. but Shelley has done it brilliantly. I was sure that I knew quite a bit but Shelley has proven me wrong even at the very beginning of the basics of PowerPoint. Lessons are short and precise which allowed me to easily transfer the new skill into practice without being overwhelmed and to carry on adding on more with each lesson. I had so many ‘Aha!’ moments and for most of them I couldn’t believe I used to pay graphic designer to do it for me, now, thanks to Shelley, I am looking forward to creating, designing, converting my presentations all by myself!

Iva Freeman – Vertex Human Capital

Shelley was very thorough and knew a lot of tip’s for using Teams, thank you 🙂

James O’Connor – Cavannah Homes

Very informative, constantly getting everyone in the meeting involved, loved every bit of it!

Dylan Teal Hopkins – Cavannah Homes
Fantastic and informative training and great to see all of the exciting functions with Microsoft Teams.
Laura Rigby – The Apprenticeship College
Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.
Leigh Dowling – Innuous

Microsoft Teams One to One Training Session

Shelley was approachable, easy to work with, and agile with answering questions to apply the session to my specific needs

Melissa Marshall – Present Your Science

A course on Outlook had been on the top of my list when Shelley asked VA’s what they wanted to learn. It was a real case of ‘so that’s how you do it’ or ‘I never knew that’. I have to say that I learnt so many great tips it has definitely improved the way I work in Outlook and my inbox is looking colourful and organised and I can’t wait to share this knowledge with my clients.

Jacqueline Leake – JLeake VA Services – Outlook

A great course with lots of examples and step by step instructions. I can now confidently create infographics and as a bonus, I learnt a lot of new PowerPoint functionality that will enhance all my PowerPoint work and save me so much time.

Jessica Bailey – Integral Resource

I really like Shelley’s courses. She has a clear and easy to follow teaching style. In ‘How to Create Fillable Forms’ I’ve learned about the functions of the Developer ribbon which will mean I’ll be able to create a bespoke Returns Form for a client who has an online shop

Freya Henderson – Virtual Office Orkney