Looking back to 2012, I had no idea that closing the book on my job as a personal assistant would lead to where I am today.
I returned to work after having a baby and despite loving my job, personal circumstances meant making a decision that was by no means easy. Becoming a stay at home mum was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I had to venture out.
I started working as a registered childminder and the craft blog I had been running prompted me to set up craft groups and organise craft events. Even after having a second baby, I wasn’t happy unless I was doing something outside of being Mummy. This started a new journey that I didn’t yet know I was on.
Under the guidance of a business mentor I started to plan a craft based social enterprise, but as fate would have it, my husband received a job offer and we had to relocate. Unsure of the market for what I was working on, I stopped. I went back to craft blogging as a hobby and found myself at a crossroads. I wanted to earn an income but going back to work wasn’t right for us as a family, especially with childcare.
Then, I found a quote from Dr. Seuss that changed my thinking:
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go” – Dr Suess
With the ‘brains in my head’ I understood that I had to decide what I wanted in life and I needed to make a plan to achieve it.
With only my own feet in my shoes, only I could understand what I needed and wanted and only I could have the confidence to achieve it.
I realized, only I could make a decision, only I could take action!
I knew what I knew.
- That I enjoy helping others.
- I’m passionate about customer experience.
- I have experience in the world of business and basic marketing knowledge.
- I have developed admin skills, great organisation, diplomacy and a thick skin.
- I love to learn and develop personally.
- I’m driven and work well under pressure.
- I know the ins and outs of being self employed.
- I’m not afraid of hard work.
Before we relocated I’d had a conversation with another friend who ran craft workshops. I was showing her the basics of Twitter when she said ‘gosh you could help so many people with this.’ A lightbulb went off. At this point, I had already helped someone with some admin work as a favour, had given an acquaintance an idea for the next step in her business and I had assisted someone in setting up a blog to promote their crafts... Deep down I already knew what I wanted to do. It had been suggested to me so many times!
I became inspired. If others could make a living out of doing this, why couldn’t I? Why was I any less capable?
The answer was simple. I wasn’t. I was more than capable. I just had to put a plan together to make it achievable in my own way. I also had to recognize and maintain the motivations for the lifestyle I was about to enter into. I launched as a VA in 2015.
The motivation exists partially financially, of course, but mainly I want to work in a flexible way that allows me to be there for my family, under my own control, doing what I enjoy with people I like working with. I want a healthy work/life balance.
Now, I live everyday by another Dr. Seuss quote:
“You're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So... get on your way!”
Learn more about Annie's Company here!