I’m back! I haven’t blogged in a number of months, but the time has come. I was writing quite regularly but something (I can’t even remember what), threw me off my schedule… and before I knew it I had stopped.
When I was writing before, it was a personal blog that I slowly tried to shift more to business but at the time I wasn’t confident about posting business related information, or tips and tricks because I really felt I was still in the development stage of my own new career.
Back then, I would wonder when I would turn the corner from feeling, almost, like a fake or a fraud. Do you know that feeling? Have you ever thought to yourself, “who am I to tell people that I am a business owner?”? I didn’t always see myself as a ‘Solopreneur’.
The key for me was not giving up on my dream. That truly kept me going… When I would let my mind wander, I would find self-doubt. Had I made a mistake… giving up a pretty good job that I had had for over 10 years? I’m lucky… I’ve always been the kind of person who is hopeful and that self-doubt never lasts very long. I kept my eye on the prize by reminding myself EXACTLY why I wanted this career.
Now, here I am, a year and half since the launch of JenSheaVA and I recently realized that things really are moving in the right direction and in fact, I have organically found my niches.
I’ve always known that what ever I do, I really wanted to be able to be creative and help people. After a couple of recent conversations with another VA and friend, I realized I that I am doing both.
My business really is taking off… people are finding me!!!
I am feeling blessed. I’ve met some wonderful people since starting this journey in the Virtual World. Women who were starting around the same time as me… women (and men) who so very generously shared their time and knowledge and others who became clients… and I feel confident in calling all these people, friends.
I will only look back now with a huge smile on my face, and look forward to all the exciting things to come.
2014 has already become my year!
Looking back at 2013, I realize it really was a year of transition.
I’d been planning to become a VA since 2010. I took an 8 week course through Your VA Mentor, which was full of great information and tips to get my business started. I was also working full time though. So, I took the slow road to becoming a VA. I continued to work as a lot of things were happening in my personal life, and in 2011 I left a job that I had had for a number of years, to take a one-year position covering a maternity leave. It was a big step, and although I kept thinking I should be scared (or at least have my head checked), I never looked back. I knew I could never just quit my regular job to start my business because I didn’t really make enough money to ‘save’ a nest egg. With the Mat Leave position, I could.
That brought me to the end of the summer of 2012, when I really got going. Like most VA’s it took me some time to figure out what my niche was going to be. I knew already what I enjoyed doing, but could I market myself with those credentials? Then of course, there are the inevitable moments of self-doubt and concern. But, I am really proud of myself… I persevered.
Certainly there was the occasional self-questioning. Should I go back to work? I made pretty good money but when I decided to take on this new life, I had to give up my apartment in one of my favourite parts of Ottawa, to move into a teeny-tiny room (with my cat) in my sister’s apartment. That lasted a few months then went to stay with a friend (in her lovely large house).
I stuck through it and gradually things came together, as they say. I am doing what I love, and meeting fantastic people along the way. I don’t miss working in an office… I have made so many wonderful like-minded friends, from around the world. Some have become colleagues others clients. How lucky am I?
One word, I found myself saying a lot last year, was “Awesome”… It’s true – so much seemed new and exciting and awesome!
I’m pretty excited about this year… for me, the year of determination.
I finally finished my News Release. Here it is:
February 18, 2013
Jen Shea VA
My Job is a Virtual Reality.
Small business owners, could you be spending more time generating new business? Are admin or social media tasks filling up your networking and sales time?
An enterprising Ottawa, (Ontario) area woman has recently launched a business perfect for the technological age: Virtual Administrative Consultant ~ more commonly known as a Virtual Assistant.
Jen Shea recently started her business, after working in office administration for more than 20 years.
“Just like a traditional personal assistant, I handle a wide variety of tasks using today’s technology. The only thing I can’t do is get your coffee. My tag line is ‘Your Virtual Collaborator’. I want to work with people who are building and growing their businesses and I feel very strongly about developing a relationship based on trust and compatibility.”
“I specialize in creating & maintaining websites using WordPress, and also in desktop publishing, client services and social media set up, and other time-saving administrative tasks.”
With software programs such as Skype, email, e-fax and secure file sharing sites (for example Dropbox) almost anything can be done virtually.
Small business owners can hire a ‘VA’ to keep costs down. A VA is a self-employed contractor, not an employee, so you don’t have the expense of overhead costs such as office space, equipment and computers, etc. The most appealing part of outsourcing to a VA is that the client is only billed for the actual time spent working on that particular task or project.
“We are always furthering our skills and perfecting our techniques so that we can deliver superior work. My clients do not pay me when I go on a personal appointment, take a holiday, or get sick. Virtual Assistants are only paid for time actually worked”, offers Ms. Shea.
“You would be amazed at how much it costs to hire a full-time, or even a part time, employee.”
Ms Shea explains that some clients hire her to do one-time projects and others work with her on a retainer basis. You can hire her to work a couple of hours a day, a few hours a week, or several hours a month.
“Every client is unique and so are their needs. After our initial discussion, a plan is put in place and a contract is signed. Adjustments can easily be made along the way.”
Ms. Shea also works with a team of other VAs with specialties of their own and this enables her to offer a ‘Total Client Experience’. The client doesn’t have to spend precious time looking for different VAs because she can do that for you. “I only work with VAs who share my work ethics and whatever your need is, I have an expert who can make it happen”, she explains.
Contact Jen at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a free consultation. You can also visit her website at http://www.JenSheaVA.com for details on services, packages and rates.
This is the story of how I got ‘here’.
Not long after I met Tracey, I asked her what she does… You know, part of the usual conversation when you getting to know someone new. She told me, a VA. http://www.traceydaviero.com/
Tracey has been a Virtual Assistant for more than 15 years. She was a VA before the term was ‘coined’.
Like most people, I didn’t have a clue what she was talking about, but with a short explanation I was intrigued. Tracey knew that I had many years of Administrative and Management experience and suggested that a career as a VA would be a great fit for me. She treated me to a coffee and she told me all about her business. I was hooked.
At the time, it really didn’t fit into my life. I was married and we lived in a rural area with no cable TV (we did have satellite, let alone a reasonable internet service. Eventually we did get internet but it was pretty slow and expensive.
I liked my job, but didn’t love my job, so I did keep the whole VA ‘thing’ in mind. One day, one of the girls in my office told another girl that she had heard about the VA business and it just so happened that I had also mentioned it to her not long before. Well, the two of us connected and I told her about my friend Tracey. I suggested that she meet her.
Talk about timing… We went for dinner with Tracey and asked a hundred questions (maybe more) and as always, she generously answered all our questions. Then, she told us that she was starting a new business called, Your VA Mentor, and in fact she was planning to launch her first ‘course’, shortly. I couldn’t wait for it to start. Tracey’s course can be found at Your VA Mentor – http://www.yourvamentor.com/
At the time I took the course I was still working full time, and although I started learning about creating a website and learning about all the different software that VA’s use, I still wasn’t able to make the jump. Almost a year went by and then suddenly an opportunity showed itself to me. I was offered a one-year contract (covering a maternity leave), which made it a little easier to leave the job and company I had been working for, for over 11 years.
Fast forward to the last few months, and that contracted ended and my new Virtual Career is on it’s way.
Thank you so much Tracey, for everything! You are a mentor and a good friend.
You can also find Tracey on Facebook.