We're already halfway through the year, so like usual, I take time to reflect on how things are going in life. I think about the goals I set in the new year, where I was this time last year, and how things may have changed over the past few years - and I started to think about my journey so far as a Virtual Assistant.
Last year I made a decision to start my own Virtual Assistant business. At the time, I was working as a Home-based Educator (for the past 10 months) and started my Virtual Assistant journey by writing blogs part-time. But to be fair - the idea to be self-employed had already been brewing for over 2 years.
The biggest triggers had occurred over the past 2.5years - where my employment was or was going to be affected for reasons and events outside of my control. I was fortunate enough to find other employment before I had to face any major impacts (x3 redundances)- but it definitely set the wheels in motion to start working for myself.
Today my youngest is sick - which meant today's priority wasn't to work. It was him. Giving him the attention and cuddles he needs, monitoring symptoms and making sure he rests well. It also meant being tired because I was woken multiple times in the night to tend to him.
On other days my children will have school events such as Cross country, teachers-only days, school holidays, and school trips. To see them smile when I say "I'll be there to watch you" or "What shall we do these school holidays", instead of saying "You're going here in the holidays", "Such and such will look after you", or "Sorry I can't come to watch" - is one of the biggest reminders to myself that I've made the right decision.
My priority is my tamariki and it's amazing to be able to put them first and not ask for permission or apologise for being a mother.
Control my own schedule
When I worked as an employee, my children would be at kindy and before and after school care from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm. It would be a rush in the mornings to get out of the door, then rushing home to quickly do dinner, bath and bed. I felt like I never saw them and that I was always racing against the clock.
Working for myself means working to my own schedule and making sure my work fits around my family, instead of juggling my family around work.
I choose what days and hours I work. Typically this is Mon-Thurs between 9 am-4 pm. BUT I can alter this if I need to. If I want to start my day at the gym - I might start work at 10:30 am. If my children have extracurricular activities, I might finish at 2:45 pm. When I wake up in a creative rut - I can walk away to find inspiration instead of fighting against my creative flow instead of with it. And I can take time off when my children need me to. So yes school holidays, long weekends, teacher-only days.
I create my own schedule to balance work, family, health and life.
Creating my own security.
There is nothing worse than having no control over your employment. This is exactly how I felt with the last 3 jobs I had where I could have faced 3 straight redundancies. These weren't small companies either. These were nationwide businesses, and the roles I held were regional roles in Marketing and Recruitment.
Luckily I'm the type to take action before I'm impacted and found other employment before I had to face these redundancies.
Now - I monitor my workload, set my own prices, and understand all of my financial components within the business. It's hard work - but it's satisfying knowing I'm making this work for myself and my family and I'm responsible for it.
Value and back myself.
Have you ever felt like you performed well and met all your targets? But the better you performed, the more responsibility you were given without the compensation? Ever felt unsupported by management despite knowing how hard you were working and having the evidence to prove it?
Me too - I've felt that for sure. Professionally and monetary-wise. I would work countless hours, weekends and after-hours. Getting recognition can be hard. sometimes.
Now I set my own rates because I understand how long it takes for me to complete tasks. I set boundaries and my clients are completely understanding because they understand my non-negotiables and values when it comes to work-life balance.
It's an amazing feeling knowing people understand, respect you and still value you.
Get paid to do what I love.
I get to choose what I offer, how I offer it, and who I work with. Because of that, work never feels hard, I never dread it, and I have so much fun with it daily.
I'm constantly learning what I want to learn and trying what I want to try. Every day is new and exciting.
I'm focusing on what I like to do and what I'm good at, which leads to better results for my clients because the more I do it, the more expertise and value I can offer.
Confucius said "Choose a job you love, and you'll never work a day in your life" - he was right!
Working for yourself isn't easy. It takes discipline, hard work and drive, But don't let fear of failure hold you back. Connect with and surround yourself with like-minded individuals, get support to create a business plan and understand your Financial Projections and Cash Flows, and bring your idea to life today.
Are you ready to be your own boss? Or thinking about becoming a Virtual Assistant?? If you said YES - Get in touch with me today for support to figure out your next steps.