When I was 17, I left college and thought “well, what on earth do I want to do?” – this meant that although many of my friends were off to university, I felt I didn’t want to fall into a subject matter that I didn’t love enough to want to spend the rest of my life doing. I was luckily given the role of office manager / labourer / marketing manager at my Dad’s roofing business, while my Mum, who was originally doing this, took on a new role in a networking organisation. It was fantastic! I loved being able to help my Dad with his admin, meaning he could do what he was great at – the roofing. I was also given the opportunity to go to a networking group for his business, attending each week on a Tuesday morning, to meet local business owners and professionals to talk business, exchange potential referrals and boost my own confidence for speaking in front of a room full of my peers.
After a few of years of doing this, I had a midnight epiphany –
Perhaps they didn’t have the need for a full time PA/office manager, but needed assistance creating quotations, getting meetings and clients booked in, and all that jazz? This midnight epiphany resulted in me scribbling down what I would now call a business plan! I came up with the name Amethyst PA (as my birthstone had I not been 2 months premature would have been this jewel, which is thought to have stress-relieving properties, something a Virtual Assistant is known for!).
Another lucky streak – my Dad gave me the last 6 months of his networking membership to allow for me to tell those members in the room that I had been networking with for 3 years, what I could offer them, and after the first time I did this, I got my first client! The rest, as they say, is history.
But what did that mean for me? I was able to continue to help my Dad’s company, and utilise the skills I had learned from running his office, creating marketing campaigns to help him utilise social media and offline networking, as well as customer service skills I had learned from answering countless calls, and pool this all into services I could offer business owners to help them.
The past 6 years have been one hell of a learning curve, as someone who has never been officially trained as a PA, I have had ups and downs (haven’t we all?) and have been able to learn from the people I work with to help me create services that I truly love to offer. I personally love to use words to create a story and share a message, as well as helping clients run regular events so they don’t have to have the stress of running them, creating them, and the all-important chasing of people to book in!
I truly love being able to help clients who just feel overwhelmed with all the stuff they have to manage as a business owner, and knowing that I have become a real part of their team. I personally feel the emotions, passions and drive for their businesses as if they were my own, and this I think is the key element of being a great VA, particularly for business owners who are often feeling as if they are on this journey alone, when they don’t have to be.
If I can share one thing with whoever is reading this, if you are running or thinking of running a Virtual Assistant business, is to really hone in on what you love to offer people, discover your niche and go to them. If this is something you want to do for the rest of your working days, or even if it’s only for a few years, you need to know what you are doing is what you will truly love to do, as that will shine through to the clients you help along the way, and never let anyone stop you being yourself!