What is a Virtual Assistant?

Recently I started my new business as a Virtual Assistant. After I closed down my momstown chapter I was torn with what direction to go but I knew I loved being an entrepreneur and have many skills to offer.   At the same time I became a single mom so growing my business was also something I knew I couldn’t waste anytime in doing.

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Once again I called upon  Shelagh Cummins for a little bit of help. She also made me realize that I was not living up to my full potential, my original offering of just social media assistance was closing the door before I had opened it.  I have an extensive background in data bases, administrative, social media, event planning, scheduling, bookkeeping, and so much more that a virtual assistant (VA) was a perfect fit for me and my background. This also allows me to continue to stay in touch with my community work and committees that are so dear to my heart.

So first thing was to send out my mini announcement and let my current clients know the new path that I was on and see if I could be assistance to them.  I was surprised as the many emails came in, “what is a virtual assistant?”   So I thought I’d put a simple explanation of what it is I can do to help you grow your business.

Think of me as your personal assistant from afar,  I could also fall under the categories of: administrative assistant, office manager, right hand and friend.  The advantage is you only hire me when you need me. I can help you for long term projects and I can help for short term.  I can help you at a moments notice to keep the ball rolling, you can book my time for down the road to ensure my availability.  Now with so many online options I can work for you if you live across the country or if you are right in my backyard.

My goal is to take the stress and unnecessary demands away from you so you can focus your time on where it matters most.  Weather it be sending out emails to your clients, planning events with you, helping you with your blog, attending live events to manage a booth, preparing reports, bookkeeping entries, blog assistance, performance bookings, website help, databases, research, customer service, even handling the dreaded Christmas card list and more…  I can help you!

Give me a call, send me an email and we can discuss where I best fit into your budget and your business requirements to help you grow your business.

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Moving forward as a single mom and entrepreneur

Sometimes life sends us on the path of least expected, It seemed like I woke up one day and I was on my own learning to provide for me and my kids while growing a new business, a scary, unexpected place I didn’t expect to be.

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Life goes on even when it feels like it has stopped.  You just get up brush yourself off and move forward.  But I was confused as to the how and what but I was working hard on trying to figure it out while dealing with the emotional scares of a failed marriage at the same time.

Then one day as I sat staring at my computer screen wondering what my next step was, people, business friends started reaching out to me. The people that reached out were unexpected but welcomed and heart felt.

One of those people was Shelagh Cummins.  I’ve known Shelagh for a few years; we first met at a training session at an annual momstown conference.  I liked Shelagh from the day I met her, she was real, honest, caring and a wealth of information.  Over the next few years I saw her at conferences like Blissdom Canada and WIBN, I also reached out to her on a few occasions when I needed some business assistance. If it was an emergency she always did what she could to connect with me, no matter her schedule, and help me see the light through the trees.

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As I was trying to figure out next steps there was the answer staring me in the face, a text from Shelagh to assist me once again. I replied with a thank-you but not much more.  Then I realized, I do need Shelagh’s help, I sent her a note and said, “yes I do need to chat with you I am feeling a little lost.” She encouraged me not to give up and stay on my path but build in a more productive way to move my business forward.  She also encouraged me to take time for me, something I am not very good at.

She knew I was struggling both emotionally and in my business and we chatted about finding the best direction for both. I am not sure if she realized it but she took a lot of fear away that day, she also helped me feel less alone as I started my new journey as a single mom trying to support and care for my two beautiful children.

My life is starting to get back on track, and although it’s a different path then I ever saw me traveling it’s a good path that has allowed me to find peace and even a few smiles along the way.  Oh I am still scared but my drive to succeed is now bigger then my fear.

I was the person that just worked and didn’t see the need nor did I think I had the  time for a business consultant, until I met Shelagh.  I realized when we work so hard in our business we often miss the writing on the wall.  I used to say, “I work in my cave.”  What I meant by that is I worked day in, day out, and I didn’t always have the answers working by myself, in my cave.  I chose the path I thought was best for me and my business but I wasn’t always taking the right one, Shelagh helps me find the right path.  In the past I didn’t want to spend what I thought were unnecessary expenses on the business. The truth is the money spent on a business consultant allows me to make more money as I have a clearer vision not only on the path I need to travel but how to get there and enjoy life as I go.

Something I also learned from Shelagh is its ok to lean on people from time to time, and sometimes those you least expect are there for you.  Embrace, don’t walk away feeling shame and embarrassment. I took that advise and recently when Leigh Mitchell from WIBN and Julie Cole of Mabel’s Labels, along with a few others, also reached out to lend a hand I accepted with thanks!  It also showed me the power of social media and women helping women.

I’ve tried to peel back that outer shell that doesn’t allow me to reach out for help and take the help where I can find it in an effort to grow personally and professionally.  I couldn’t do it without being surrounded with amazing people that continue to assist me to stay on this path and become an independent, successful business women. It has also allowed me to not feel so alone.

Be sure to check back , or follow my blog as I will continue to share the ups and downs of life as a single mom.