I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit. But, of course, with that also came many failures. It has taken me at least five years to get to where I am now.
Escaping The Corporate Scene
My path hasn’t been a straight one. Several things helped my career fall into place. I had always worked in an office environment, and this was fine, I enjoyed the work. But I wanted more from my working life, I wanted to show people that I could be a success at something that was my own. I started this journey by going back to full-time education. I have always had a creative streak and decided to take an art and design course which then led me onto a degree in Graphic Design.
Studying in your 30s is not an easy thing to do, especially when you also have children. I worked various part-time jobs to supplement my income through school - bar work, pizza delivery, etc. It was all for the greater good as far as I was concerned.
After completing my degree, I knew that employment options for someone my age were limited, as I had a family and could not afford to just take an internship to get started. This also made gaining work in a design studio equally difficult. So I was left with a choice - freelancing, or not using my qualification and going back to the office.
I decided on the latter, as I was determined that my plan to improve my working life would come to fruition. This was by no means easy, as to be successful in freelance means also being a good marketer. You need to get your name out there.
Then, A Breakthrough
The career breakthrough for me came when I diversified my business and pooled all of my skills together instead of focusing on just the design skill set. I started to market myself as a virtual assistant. Most VA's offer administrative services, but because I also had the skills as a designer and digital marketer, I became a desirable commodity in the virtual assistant world.
Since becoming a virtual assistant my business has grown rapidly and is still doing so. My work is incredibly varied, I can be designing a logo in the morning and doing an email marketing task in the afternoon. The next day can be entirely different. I can take holiday when I want, as long as I arrange cover or a contingency plan for my clients, and best of all I don’t have a long commute to the city to worry about!
Right Place, Right Time
There were many times when I almost gave up on my dream of building a successful self-employed career. And If I had followed the path of working as a virtual assistant at an earlier point it would probably have been a lot different. Many businesses are now focusing on getting the most from their workforce in the most cost-effective way.. Telecommuting is growing fast, and I believe that for anyone working in this industry, this is the right time to be in the business!
Keep up with Amanda's entrepreneurial journey by visiting her website!