My Journey

Why I Chose To Be My Own Boss

I can never be like these awesome women…can I?

I first stumbled across the term virtual assistant (or VA) back in 2010 (ish).  I remember reading various articles on the web and thinking how much I would love to be able to do what these amazing women do! To be in control of their schedule, to choose who they work with, to run a successful business helping their clients and still fit in all their family commitments. In my naive 20-year-old eyes they were superwomen who I could never actually emulate. All I could do was dream.

(Note: Since 2010 we now have many awesome male VA’s who have joined the community!)

From 2009 – 2015 I worked as an Accounts Assistant in local accountancy offices. I trained with the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) and achieved my Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Accounting. I was only one exam away from completing Level 4 Professional Diploma in Accounting when we found out we were expecting our daughter, Ellie.

Becoming a parent changed everything

As it does when you become a parent, our lives changed drastically. I knew I wouldn’t be able to return to my previous job once my maternity leave ended. It made no financial sense for me to go back with the cost of childcare. In complete honesty, I didn’t want to be away from her for long stretches of time either.

Sound familiar to any other parents out there?

So from 2015 – 2018 I was mostly a stay at home mum. I did the odd day here and there for a friend in her business when I could work it around my husband’s crazy shift pattern.  In April 2016 we also welcomed our son, Tommy. I knew I had to find a way to run my own business that allowed me to work from home and the hours that fit around my family commitments.

Making the mindset shift

In the 7 years since I first became aware of the virtual assistant community, I had always kept an eye on what was going on in the industry. I kept thinking that maybe, just maybe, one day I might be confident enough and skilled enough that I could do what all those other people did. 

Yes, it really did take me that long to stop and look at myself objectively enough to realise that I had spent years acquiring all the skills and experience I needed to do this for myself!

That dreaded imposter syndrome had kept me in the same mindset for all that time. That little voice in the back of my mind telling me I wasn’t anywhere near ready for this, that I was so out of my league, that I would fail if I tried because no client would want to work with me. None of it is true!

I decided it was now or never. In 2019 I set up Aura VA and took the plunge! I’m in control and I can grow my business, earn what I want and be there for my family – and the bonus is that I’m helping clients achieve the same.

Making this decision was my biggest hurdle.  2019 is going to be my year!

Who’s with me?

Alannah x

 

If you are interested in working with me then you can find my contact details here

(P.s. If you are a newbie or aspiring VA reading this and feeling exactly how I was, send me an email or come chat to me on social media. I’ve been there and I’m here for you. The VA community is so supportive. It’s one of the things I love so much about it!)

Credit: Photo by Arno Smit on Unsplash

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