Up until 2013, I had never heard of a ‘virtual assistant’. I was working as a personal assistant to a very influential Washington DC powerhouse of a woman. Imagine the Devil wears Prada, minus the hair. It was kind of exhausting - but I loved it! Every day was different, challenging, a bit chaotic, and full of caffeine. Then I met the love of my life.
Being the wife of a Marine definitely has its challenges. Career being #1. Unless your job is extremely portable, the options are a bit limited. Especially when you go from Washington DC to Jacksonville, North Carolina.
In August 2013, I applied to work for the original Zirtual. There was a lengthy application process (easier than the DC job) but I made it and started working with clients 2 weeks later. Oddly enough, the example used in training as a ‘challenging’ client, ended up being the very first one I was chosen to work with, but I digress.
He loved me in case you were wondering. I eventually moved up to a management position that still allowed me to work with clients and I couldn’t have been happier.
Then the ball dropped.
On August 10, 2015 I woke up to an email that my company was bankrupt and would be closing. Don’t feel sorry for me yet.
At the time I was 3 months pregnant and my husband had deployed less than 2 weeks earlier. If you’re wondering if there were tears, the answer is yes! Not only was I responsible for taking care of my clients - I had a team that I had to help pick up the pieces as well. Over the course of the following few days, we all spoke with our clients and decided that we would branch out in our own individual businesses, taking our clients with us.
I never actually had the dream of being a business owner. I wanted a job that I enjoyed and would be able to provide for my family - and take care of my student loans. When all of my clients wanted to work with me outside of Zirtual, I knew that was a great opportunity and it has been an extraordinary experience.
Fast forward 15 months later.
We have a very active 9-month-old and my business is doing well. We also had a PCS to Hawaii in there too. Military spouses know how much of a challenge that can be without a baby and business!
Over the past 6 months, people began to ask me exactly what I do and how they can work from home too. All of them have been military spouses. I wish I had a huge company and I would hire every single spouse - but alas, I do not. Before I found my niche as a virtual assistant, I fell for a lot of work from home scams and wasted my time on jobs that wouldn’t make me enough for a Starbucks coffee.
I didn’t want that for anyone - let alone my fellow spouses. In response to the inquiries, I created a free remote jobs page for military spouses to use as a resource, MilSpouseJobs.com Each day, I post jobs that will transition well from duty station to duty station. There is never a fee to pay and all of the jobs are 100% legitimate.
If someone had told me I would be where I am today, I never would have believed them. It’s amazing how fate can step in shake things up when we try to plan every detail. And us VA’s can definitely do some planning...
Learn more about Michelle and her company here!
- Paying It Forward: How Becoming A VA Has Shaped My Mission - December 7, 2016