I was feeding my youngest in Chessington World of Adventures and looking through a parenting forum. It was about 6 months from my return to work and like many other mothers do, I was having that wobble…."I can’t possibly go back to work, my babies need me at home!" But sadly my bank manager isn’t that understanding and the mortgage needs paying.
I saw a post on the forum from another mother with the same dilemma and someone had mentioned Pink Spaghetti Virtual PA’s. I didn’t even know what a VPA was so I looked Pink Spaghetti up and loved what they did. I had been a working Mum, the pull between work and home is intense sometimes and there’s a real frustration around not being able to do it all! I loved the solution they offered – an extra pair of hands to give you that 25th hour in the day. It was such a simple idea, but for small businesses who don’t have the finance or the inclination to hire a full or part-time member of staff, paying for someone by the hour as and when it’s needed, is a great solution!
Wait, Why Not Me?
I started to think about whether I could be the VPA offering that help to small businesses. I worked in Market Research and had been with the same company for 9 years, and in the industry for 15 years. I was ready for a change and needed one too - with school hours looming as my eldest was due to start school in September, I needed a job where I could get in after the school drop off, and leave early to collect her. Where in the world would I find a job with that much flexibility?!
I couldn’t put the VPA idea down. It would be a huge change – was I ready? Did I want to give up my career? Joining the team meant buying into a franchise, did I want to own my own business? Could I afford the initial outlay? I’m not a risk taker, and walking away from my career felt risky.
But my gut said it was the right move...
For me, for family life. I am that person that has a to-do list on the go 24/7. I love to organise people. I enjoy creating processes and procedures for new ways of doings things. My filing system at home means I can lay my hands on paperwork from 5 years ago at the click of my husband’s fingers. I had the right transferrable skills.
I couldn’t think of a good reason not to do it - so I signed on the dotted line and my husband and I toasted to my new company!
I LOVE being a VPA, the feedback I get from clients is motivating – when I’m told they couldn’t have managed ‘that’ crunch without me, they hate book-keeping and are grateful I took it on, they love their new Facebook and Twitter pages that I’ve re-branded, they wouldn’t have had time to do that research that I did on their behalf, they couldn’t have re-organised their home office the way I did. That feedback coupled with being at home when the girls are in from school and nursery, is priceless.
I found the perfect compromise being a VPA - I get all the support I need, I got fabulous training which gave me a start I couldn’t have had if I’d done it alone. I have the tools needed to do a good job, and lots of inspiration in the form of other franchisees. What an exciting career I have ahead!
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