I Felt Corporate Boredom
What started as a vivid idea about 10 years ago, finally became a reality towards the end of 2016. I’ve always been one of those people who get bored quite easily; as long as I can learn something new, I’m happy and content. As soon as I realise my days are becoming mundane and routine - that’s when I usually start looking for more work, and thereby increasing my workload - and this is usually easier said than done when working in a corporate environment.
The other alternative was leaving the comfort of the familiar to try and find new employment. This is a completely different ballgame than what it was 5 years ago, and it keeps changing at a fast pace year after year. I thought, "What do you do after you’ve applied for position after position, you get invited to a couple of interviews, never to hear anything from the prospective company again? You have years of experience in your field, but you’re stuck in your job with no room to grow. You have the choice to stay and wait and see what’s going to happen or do something about it; after all, you are at any point in your life because of a choice or decision you made."
Seeking A Challenge
After months of going for interviews, a couple ‘we’re sorry to inform you…” letters, it was time to relook at a 10-year-old idea to see whether it would be a feasible option. I spent every opportunity I had to investigate the possibility of converting my 27 years’ experience as a Personal Assistant to that of a Virtual Assistant. Everyone I spoke to was very positive about the prospect, which became a huge motivating factor in taking the final decision. Since starting my own business I haven’t looked back one single day; I'm learning that with hard work, perseverance and by continuing to believe in yourself, you can achieve anything.
Every client’s business requirements are different, so while I’m learning how to manage each client I’m constantly learning about the business principles and other important aspects of running and managing a business in their particular industry. This keeps things exciting!
Having worked in a variety of industries and reporting to managers at different levels, experiencing how they treated their employees / direct reports, as well as the different management styles, I have the opportunity to do it right from the start; by being an inspiring leader and having a great working relationship with any future employees. I’m attending a lot of networking events and use those opportunities to promote awareness for Virtual Assistants, as well as my VA business. I’ve had to learn to step out of my comfort zone and approach total strangers in my pursuit to learn about their businesses; as with all newly learnt experiences it gets easier and you become more comfortable fulfilling those functions. Now, I spend a lot of time doing marketing and creating brand awareness on Social Media platforms, especially LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
Learning And Growing
While I am only at the beginning of this business journey, I’m taking the very important baby steps to lay the correct foundation for future growth. My aim is to have at least 5 VAs associated with or directly working for my business by the time we celebrate our 1st anniversary on the 1st of October 2017. We are committed to training other VAs and empowering young women with the necessary skills and support to start their own businesses.
One of the most satisfactory aspects of being an entrepreneur is connecting with other entrepreneurs, especially female entrepreneurs, who have been on the journey for far longer than I have been and learning from them, as well as the possibility of seeing where this business can go and grow.
In closing, a word of advice to others looking to start their Virtual Assistant journey - Believe and trust in yourself and your business, remain positive, set goals and continue to work hard to achieve them. Never be afraid to make that call or connection - you never know where it might lead (after all, what's the worst that can happen...?). Always aspire to deliver service of excellence.
Learn more about Martie and her business here!