It’s almost here and I can barely believe it. Where have all those years gone? I do remember the excitement and the nervousness of branching out on my own and leaving the stability and safety of a government job back in 1993. Family and work events had been leading me to this point… where I would decide to be home full-time and develop a business so I could be home for my own children. As it turned out, it was also for my husband. There have been accidents and illnesses where he’s needed me at his side and if I’d been in a job, that would have been very difficult to do. Ultimately I have never regretted making that decision and being home for my family full time.
Yes, there have been struggles, times when I wondered where the next client (and payment) would come from, but over time I learnt to go-with-the-flow and as long as I kept networking and marketing, the work would come. The same applies today.
Over the past 20 years there have been so many changes: the introduction of the World Wide Web in 1996 where I no longer had to visit a client, but could receive and send the work via the Internet. Websites back in those days were really awful but we thought they were cool. My first website I built with MS FrontPage and consisted of just a page with some text, a clipart image and my contact details. My website today is much, much larger and considerably more complicated; it hasn’t grown overnight, but rather over the years.
I’ve learnt so many new skills and also gone through phases of the type of work I enjoy doing. In those early days it was simply typing and data entry into spreadsheets or databases. Then I did bookkeeping for awhile but the introduction of GST and BAS here in Australia soon made my interest wane. I passed those jobs on, instead, to my growing network of Virtual Assistants. That was another ‘new’ thing – a new industry birthing. Audio transcriptions became digital transcriptions and our first international client came from France in October 1997. We truly became an international service provider after that. Again, transcriptions for me, were something I enjoyed for a time, but after that referred all the jobs to my growing team of VAs. 1999 I began getting interested in web design work, after handling a major job for 6 months, with 6 members of my team, converting over 6,000 A4 pages of Word into html and uploading them to an intra database. We don’t get large jobs like that anymore but they would be very welcome if anyone out there has such a project 🙂
Today my own personal service focus is on Social Media, Web Design and Blog support for a wide range of client types : small businesses, NFPs, authors, photographers. When I’m not working I’m outside with my beloved Nikon cameras, enjoying our surroundings and sharing what I see with those who are interested. Being someone who provides web hosting, domain registrations and web design, it’s probably not a surprise that I own multiple websites relating to my own personal interests and hobbies.
If you have been in the Virtual Assistant industry only a short time, or perhaps even considering joining the industry, I’m sure you’ll also find a change in technologies and how things are done over the years, if you stick with it. The good times do outweigh the bad but you need to let enough time pass for that to happen.
I love this industry and am open to assisting any new VA who is looking to get started. Whether it be some personal mentoring, to participating in the VA Trainer 10 week program I wrote some years ago (updated annually), or becoming a member of our Virtual Assistant Network. If there is any way I can assist you in establishing your Virtual Assistant business I would love to hear from you whether it be by comment below or by direct message.