Even when you're prepared, you may not be.
My last day at the bank was August 31, 2012. The first few weeks after I left the bank were spent working around the house doing things I hadn't been able to really do in more than six years. You know, those things like hanging curtains that had been bought five years before, cleaning out the closets, and other household chores that were put off because I was just too darn tired after a long commute and working all day. I think my house was finally clean for the first time in years! It felt really good to be home.
In all the cleaning, rearranging, sorting, and hauling to the local charity, I began to get an idea of how I was going to start my Virtual Assistance business. Yes, I had been going through a mentoring program for most of the last year but I still wasn't completely prepared when it came down to it. I still needed a place to work in my home, and I needed some software in order to get started. I also needed to file legal paperwork and find the local networking groups. First things first.
We have an office in our home. It's rather small and not one that my husband really wanted to share, after all, he is the major bread winner. I certainly understood. His work, when at home, requires him to have a quiet place while he's talking with people around the world. Neither of us wanted to have our work scattered throughout the house. Neither of us wanted to share a desk either and at times that wouldn't be possible. So throughout my nesting process, I put my thinking cap on and decided I could make my own desk and work space in the closet of our office. It isn't high-end, but I'm happy with it.
I do have a chair but if I had left it in the picture, you wouldn't be able to see my desk. Remember, this is the closet. It works for me, at least for the time being.
I took time to polish up my resume just a little more, change my status on all of the social media outlets, and bought that software I needed. And just when I was settling into a routine that was a bit more that of a homemaker, a former co-worker, and friend, called one afternoon. She had a referral for me! I was elated! And, it was for the kind of work that I really enjoy doing. Was I interested? Well, yes!
The potential client called shortly thereafter and interviewed me over the phone. We came to an agreement on my rate and I was on my way! I was given the task of taking their existing forms and re-creating them in an interactive .pdf format. I love this work. It is challenging and tedious, requiring a lot of attention. It felt so good to be
Early in December I received a message via LinkedIn from someone I was acquainted with before. Was I serious about this VA business? Yes, of course I was. He came on board shortly thereafter and again, I love this kind of work. For this client, I never know what I will be doing from one moment to the next. I may be arranging travel, updating his CV, or checking his LinkedIn messages. I've renewed licenses, made calls on his behalf to schedule appointments and interviews, researching the contact information for top executives he wanted to reach out to and much, much more. I was making progress on being a Virtual Assistant and both of my clients were local! What next?
I finally found a local networking group in February. I am
to have found this group! It is called WOAMTEC - Women on a mission to earn commission. They're about family, faith, and career in that order. It was evident from the beginning this would take time and effort. It takes building relationships in order for those relationships to come to fruition. (I'll tell you more about WOAMTEC in another post.) I got lucky pretty much right off the bat with a referral from a member. She had a friend who was a local school teacher, an author, radio host, and soon to retire and in need of some help. Was this someone I could assist? Well of course! And, so I gained another client.
The first six months were slow, but I had gained three clients and I felt I was on my way. I am a Virtual Assistant!
To learn more about WOAMTEC, visit