This week it is my absolute pleasure to introduce you to Barbara Moorer of High Touch Virtual Solutions.
I have known Barbara for a number of years now, in this blog she talks about Carmen MacDougall (previous owner of this business) and at the time she started on her VA journey, I was actually Carmen’s Virtual Assistant and so I remember chatting with her as she progressed through her course and coaching calls with Carmen. So it has always been a pleasure to watch her journey and to see the exciting news she shares in the closing paragraphs.
Hi, I am Barbara and the owner of High Touch Virtual Solutions. I live in London with my husband David. Our marriage took place 23 years ago. We have a couple of children and grandchildren. From a personal perspective, I am a spiritual person and love travelling. I also enjoy arranging formal galas and flower arrangements. Last year, being a Virtual Assistant allowed me to spend 4 months abroad in the Grenadines. No other job could have afforded me the opportunity to do that. In fact, last year, I was out of the UK more than I was in it.
I worked in the corporate world for well over 30 years. My background is banking. I loved my work and it afforded me the opportunity to travel to Brazil, Hong Kong, China and Dubai for work purposes. I started my Virtual Assistant business whilst I was working full time.
So why did I become a Virtual Assistant?
I wanted to have a better work-life balance. I was sure there was a pathway which would still enable me to continue to do the things that I love. I can do this achieving my main goal of productive and satisfying work life. I had an introduction to the concept of a virtual assistant in 2011. A friend in St Kitts, West Indies mentioned it was what she was doing. Virtual Assistant work was not well known at that time. I must confess I could not understand how this worked. Once I did, I knew this was the right road for me. It made so much sense and as a result in 2011 I knew I wanted to be a VA.
Was I worried about Competition?
No, I was not worried about competition. There are many options to being your own boss as a virtual assistant. At the end of the day, I am unique in my own right. I bring my own personality and experiences; people buy into that. Besides the obvious skills and experience, people attract people. We are all different.
What gave me the final push?
Visiting the Office Show in 2013 gave me that final push. I met the owner of then VA Coaching & Training Company (now known as VACT Limited) and attended one of the sessions there. I was very moved by what I discovered during the session. It was inspirational. I read the leaflets and researched the website from the VACT. I made the final decision to go ahead and do it. For me, training was crucial to jump-starting me. I decided to start in November 2013. The leaflets I received from the Office Show promoted the VA Mastery Course. I had already started to do my own research. I was confident I could set up the business. The outcomes from the VA Mastery Course sounded quite appealing. I did hesitate as it was quite a hefty monetary investment. When I considered the outcomes and what I would receive, I decided to go for it. Completing a course at the same time as building the business appealed to me. I made up my mind – I was doing this!
My thoughts on Training
I decided to use The Virtual Assistant and Coaching Training Company. I had a lengthy conversation with Carmen MacDougall at the time at the Office Show. Carmen was the owner of VACT at the time. This encouraged me to do due diligence and then follow up with registration. From my own experience, I recommend that potential VAs complete the VA Mastery Course. There is a lot of information you pick up about managing a business. The good thing is that you build your business whilst you are completing the Course. The content is excellent and there are plenty of resources for you to take advantage of. This was without any doubt, for me, the most worthwhile investment in my journey to becoming a VA.
The journey itself has been quite amazing. I met some very knowledgeable Virtual Assistants. They graduated from the VA Mastery Course within a short timeframe. They were also still working full-time. It is so nice now to be able to enjoy the fruitage of my hard work five-plus years later. I also have an amazing associate team to support me. The biggest challenges have been working full time whilst building my business. I also had to deal with family trials including the loss of my mother in 2014. Networking was definitely a challenge for the reasons mentioned above. My advice to a new VA is to get some form of VA training. VACT is well-positioned to do that. Invest in a business coach, it is a worthwhile investment if you want to get your business off to a perfect start.
A book which inspired me
As an aside, I found this book quite helpful. “Mind Maps for Business” by Tony Buzan. The concept of mind mapping got my creative juices going when I was stuck for ideas in moving my business along. It helped me a lot with brainstorming. “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got” – Henry Ford
We all have dreams that we want to accomplish but sometimes we just keep putting it off for various reasons – “would I make enough money” or “will I find customers who want to work with me?”. The thing is if you do not do anything to move forward you will always stay at the same point. You must allow yourself to dare, be brave, to move forward, otherwise, you will not know what you are capable of. Think of the worst thing that can happen. You would be back where you started, doing exactly what you have always done. This experience has motivated me to write an ebook.
“How to Transition from Full-Time Employee to Being your Own Boss” is the name of the book. This ebook details the exact journey I took to achieve my success. If you would like to get a copy of my ebook, you can get access to a copy here. Are you struggling to get your mojo going to move forward in being your own boss? This ebook might be what you need to kickstart your next step.
Learn more about Barbara or connect with her on Social Media:
She was originally featured on the VACT blog back in 2014 and you can read that here…