When I started my virtual assistant business, I knew the day would come when the headshot I had my daughter take in the backyard would not cut it. Thank goodness though for my Sara Belle. One day early on, I needed a headshot lickety split as a client who hired me requested one for their website. Sara Belle raced outside with me as I threw on a shirt that I thought was the perfect cross between business and me (all the while sporting running shorts). And in five minutes, a headshot was created. Five more minutes with a $4.99 photoshopping app on the phone and I was ready to hit ‘send.’ It was not great. I looked a tad puffier from the ad hoc touch ups, and I am still not sure what happened to the blurry trees in the background. But it would have to do…
In the beginning of this adventure, I left the ‘fluff’ like a headshot to the side and focused on the work and my mission to help small businesses. I wanted to get the word out about what I was doing and do great work for my new clients, so that I could build from there. I did not (and still do not) have a fancy website or all the greatest gadgets. And clearly, I did not have a professional headshot in the beginning. My first purchases for my business were pieces of equipment (laptop) and training that I needed and I knew would benefit my clients. However, fast forward nearly 18 months and I am in the position to add some ‘fluff.’
So one very, very cold (30 degrees on the Battery in Charleston with wind whipping) day in January, I became a model for the morning. I posed and had my hair brushed to this side and that. Hands were placed on my hips and off. My head was tilted in weird angles that made me feel goofy. But all the while I had visions of clients being dazzled in my head. I told the wonderful photographer, Ellyn Darling, just make me look skinny and younger. Realizing that the poor woman is not a magician, I do think she captured me and who I am. I now have a nice face for my business. Moral of the story, when starting a small business, there is a lot of temptation to buy into fancy equipment, websites, photos etc. But the reality is your business is your work. And if you work hard, you will some day get to be a model even if just for the morning.
It has been a big year for me. A year ago I started this awesome journey of being a virtual assistant and starting my own business. In the past year, I have grown from one client to nearly nine and growing!!! I have networked locally, virtually and even started a website of my very own. Yes, it is a work in progress and not as refined as I would like. But there is room to grow and improve–a journey!
Through this career, I have afforded myself flexibility to work around my kids’ schedules, be at their events and help them with their homework. Along with this flexibility, I have rediscovered the competitive, hard-working ethic that propelled me through college and graduate school. I love my clients. I want to work hard for them, do my best and see their business grow. This drive became a little buried over the past few years as I focused more on settling our family and making sure the kids and my husband’s needs were met. I still need to do that, but there is more in my life driving me.
The one thing, however, that I have let go is my fitness routine. I have never been a workout queen of any sort or one to run a marathon. But I have always maintained some sort of workout regime just, so I can honestly answer the doctor each year at my physical. Lately though, my pants have been a little tighter and I feel out of shape. I always said that I don’t need a scale, but rather my pants will tell me when I am out of shape. Well, they are screaming at me!!! WORKOUT, JENNY!!!!!!
So I have hired myself as a virtual assistant to maintain my workout goals. I am going to do the Couch to 5K program and get back into fighting shape. Okay, I really just want to drive down the road without feeling my stomach on my pants button. Can I get an amen! I am going to use the app to guide me in my routines and integrate the workouts into my work schedule. That darn exercise will be on my daily To-Do list, and goodness knows I cannot stand an unmarked To-Do item. I do not plan on posting my progress on my business Facebook or website, but rather hope I can integrate this into my work routine better than I have been. So wish me luck…I have a feeling I might be my most challenging client!
Many times the term virtual assistant is abbreviated to VA. A VA usually works from their own home or a personal work space. They provide professional support to small business or solo entrepreneurs. They handle administrative, technical or creative tasks:
- Client correspondence
- Social Media
- Newsletters and website maintenance
7 REASONS YOU SHOULD HIRE A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT