In a world where everyone with a computer is a entrepreneur/ graphic designing / photographer/ virtual assistant/ coach of some kind / mlm or e-commerce specialist… I am an aspiring Virtual Assistant, Certified Life Coach and Cyber Security/ Information Security geek.
How did I get to this point in my life and where am I going from here.
Let’s start at the beginning.. as a 17 year old I thought I knew everything like most teens and stupidly dropped out of high school a few months before graduating with honors. I spent the next few years working in nursing homes and homes for the mentally impaired learning I knew nothing that really mattered. I gave birth to some really amazing kids during that time that deserved a mom who could provide for them so I needed to get busy!
I had learned so much working in these facilities about compassion and emotional intelligence. You’ll never never be so loved as you are walking into a assisted living home, but I knew I wanted more. So I decided to work for my step dad in his appliance shop, this was the start of really building my career even though I had no clue it was anything more than a job.
I learned how to do minor work on appliances and how to really treat a customer. I learned that while your customers are everything in a service business they are not always right, but if you take the time to really listen them you can fix any issue that arises. I learned how the schedule and take good notes. I wasn’t done learning and I still needed more, personally and professionally.. so I got divorced moved, got remarried..(not that quickly but that’s not the point of this post anyway.. ) So I needed to find a new job.
I went to work at a golf course running a pro shop. I loved my customers and I really liked being the person who was depended on. I learned basic bookkeeping and management skills while my kids were playing in the next room. As the kids got older I knew I needed to go get that diploma I had thrown away years before. So I took my GED and got my diploma (humble brag.. scored in the top 98% of test takers that year). I really craved more knowledge then and there was nothing holding me back.
I had 3 kids in school at this point and 2 jobs so time management was a must in my life but we made it work. I was home for dinner and homework then I jumped on a computer to teach myself software and IT problem solving, then tucked the kids into bed. It’s at this stage that I landed a great job for an oilfield company. I was doing accounts payable and receivable, all while soaking up any knowledge could get. I learned HR rules and how to “manage up”. I became the satellite office manger and personal assistant to the company’s owner. Being a personal assistant will teach you about loyalty and confidentiality if nothing else and I loved every minute of it! The oil field construction was slowing in my area and I was a single mom to teenagers (yep divorced again) so I had a choice to move or find another employer, and it was time to grow. By this point I was pretty proficient in all things computer. I was self taught and very proud of it so I went looking for a job to match my skills.
I found it in another oil field office in the hiring department. I learned resumes and how to read people in interview situations. (Ironically as an introvert I suck at being interviewed). When our department decided to go electronic I was the test office because I had the ability to self teach the program, I then built our training manual. Our office handled 18 locations and took a retention rate of 33% to 70% we were good at what we did. The company decided we were so good at it that the changed all of the hiring department to match our model. Putting people into the right positions and helping people grow was amazing and I was devastated when the floor fell out of the oil field service industry and I was laid off.
I had found the love of my life and acquired 5 more amazing children (yes that makes 8) and had a grand baby on the way by this point. Maybe I should have slowed down but I wasn’t ready! I mean most of the kids were leaving home or just about to so why should I not invest more time into my career.
I found a great leader who needed an Executive /Personal Assistant (Office Ninja / Domestic Goddess is a better description) who could keep his scattered life in order and who wasn’t afraid to learn and build a department with him. My type “A” personality was just what he needed and his need of me was just what I needed. We had a mutual respect for each other. We could be in the same office or country’s apart and everything just worked so smoothly. At this point I was very well versed in IT problem solving (I’m a geek in a professional disguise) and new software was a no brainer for me so why not branch into Information Security, I love helping people and keeping them safe so it was a natural move for me. I talked to everyone trying to figure out a path and started taking classes for certifications. Then my company bought a company and laid me off due to a leadership change.
So here I am.. kids are grown.. husband is amazing and I love our life.. and I honestly have no desire to go into an office anymore.
I’ve been building these skills for years why shouldn’t I put them to use and have the life I want? It shouldn’t be that hard right? Virtual Assistants are a common thing and it is a thriving industry. My skills are real and proven but because there are so many claiming to be virtual assistants it’s hard to even market myself. I belong to groups on Facebook that have followings of 1000’s and over half of those are claiming to be VA’s (most just trying to sell you a training program) while I am over here beating my head against the wall trying to get my name in the ring of entrepreneurs who want to build something real.
If your ready to have a partner who has spent years developing skills, with a proven record of success in team / program building, who understands the importance of your time— click the link below for a free consultation.