What made you decide you wanted to become a VA and when?
I decided I wanted to run my own business as a Virtual Assistant back in 2009 and attended the outstanding VA Mastery Course. I had to put this idea to one side to focus on becoming a mum but when I returned from maternity leave in 2010 knew the time was right to leave paid employment and set up EVS. I haven’t looked back! A combination of having the right tools, the right time and my first client on board made the transition all that much easier. I am a true believer that when the time is right, provided you have done your homework, the rest falls into place.
Were you concerned that there were already many VAs already out there and this would be competition?
Not at all. The VA industry is growing as more and more small businesses start up and the realization of flexible support is appreciated and needed. Having VAs out there has been a great source of support and comfort.
What gave you the confidence to give yourself that push to go ahead and do it?
The support of my husband gave me a great deal of confidence and support I needed to make the transition from employee to self-employed. I remember him saying it’s a leap of faith, take it! To this day he’s still supporting me in so many ways.
When you decided to get started what made you decide to go for some VA training?
It’s one thing to be a great PA, but you need the right tools to run your own business and be a great VA. It’s about running a business at the end of the day and I needed to understand all the pitfalls, have the right documents and explore every scenario so I knew how to protect myself and my clients.
Why did you decide on The VA Coaching and Training Company and what was your experience of the training?
I looked at all the various training courses out there and this stood out. Maggie carried out by far the most comprehensive and well organized. It was flexible too which helped a great deal. The training weekend was amazing, meeting other budding VAs and having Carmen for two days to guide us – priceless!
What have been the highlights of your business so far?
There are so many. The events I manage are by far the biggest highlights. From Award Ceremonies to Oversea Conventions. I ran some of these as an employee and when I launched EVS was asked to continue doing so freelance. The pride I have when an event has been run successfully makes it even more meaningful. Securing a new client I love this part. Not just because it boosts my income because it says that I’m a VA someone is confident they can trust to support their business and boost their own revenue. And guiding other VAs who are looking to join the industry, seeing how well they are doing and knowing that directing them to the VA Mastery Course has helped in some way.
What have been some challenges you have experienced and if you were to do things differently next time what would you do?
I had my eggs in the one basket until recently and realized that I needed to widen my industry. It’s essential to have a niche, to stand out, but adding more clients who are not directly related makes me feel more confident EVS will be around for many years to come.
What type of clients do you work with and do you specialise in a particular service?
I am a VA for predominately the Protection Insurance industry. But as stated earlier I’ve branched out further to expand my client base. My main specialism are events and it looks like Q3-4 is going to be massive! 5 events between September and March will see me busy and out of mischief!
What advice would you give to anyone just starting out especially in relation to training?
Attend the VA Mastery course – all the way! Don’t assume because you have X years of experience as a PA you can just set up and run. You will fall over way too soon. Get your back up plans sorted and know where you want to head, choose a niche and try not to do things on your own.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?
I’d like to have more associate VAs working with me so EVS can grow. So in theory I’d be running EVS rather than in it. Continuing to ‘inspect what I expect’ so I’m the face of EVS and the brand.
Who in business would you love to meet and why?
J.K Rowling. She made it happen, big time!
Which book has influenced you the most in your business?
Chariots on Fire by Gina Gardiner. This lady is amazing! Read her story and you are humbled by her grit and determination to overcome adversity and be a success.
What is your favorite quote and why?
Don’t trouble trouble till trouble troubles you. This is something my grandmother use to say to me all the time. It doesn’t mean you bury your head in the sand and wait for disaster to happen, it simply means that you shouldn’t go looking for trouble where it might not exist. As a born worrier, my grandmother knew I spent far too much time worrying about things going wrong, so when I start to panic unnecessarily, I think of her saying and it calms me down.
What do you love to do when you’re not working?
Outside of work my passion is my family. I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for my son and ‘my rock’ that is my husband. I also love the gym and quite a junkie now. A spinning class or a good boxing session always clears my head and focuses me. One of the many benefits of being a VA is that I can work my business around such passions! How brilliant is that!
And lastly – what one thing can you tell us about you that not many people know?
I’m training for a Triathlon next June. I’m very goal driven and it’s great to have something to aim for – helps to burn off the occasional glass of wine I enjoy after a hard day’s work too!.
You can visit Maggie’s Website Here: