Here's the story of how and why I established The Yorkshire Lass VA in June 2018 which I hope will inspire others to set up their own business - if I can do it, then so can you!
At the age of 17 I finished my A-levels at Skipton Girls High School and I immediately began working for a local Building Society. It began as a job to 'fill a gap year' before going off to University to become and teacher and it ended with me handing in my notice 12 years later to start my own business journey.
I knew that if I wasn’t brave enough to make changes I would still be there now in the same office day in day out.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed working there, I had a fantastic group of colleagues and I had progressed quickly and had been promoted to a team leader but the honest truth was that I didn’t love my job, I had begun to lose motivation as the years rolled on. I had so many ideas and loved the idea of being my own boss one day!
It was announced that they were making some changes to my contract (and other's in my team) and that they needed me to be more 'flexible' with my working hours, My partner was in the Royal Navy and I was on my own with my 2 year old son to look after and I knew that this just wasn't possible for me - enough was enough and I was brave enough to hand in my notice without actually knowing what I would do next!
I was clueless as to what I was going to do next but I knew I had to take control of my own life and career...It turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life.
After a short career break and giving birth to my daughter I was ready to take on a new challenge. I began job searching, I was struggling to find a career that I could really enjoy as well as providing me with the work life balance that I needed.
It was during this time that I met a family friend, Pamela Clark of All Things Sorted, who explained to me that she a was a 'Virtual Assistant', a freelance personal assistant who worked for various clients online from her home office.
I was immediately hooked on the idea! Was it really possible that I could run my own business working from home providing me with a flexible and a rewarding career?
I attended the North West VA Conference and met some wonderful business owners including Joanne Hawkins of Executive VPA and Rachel Priestley of Streamline VA Services, the VA industry is so supportive and collaborative and these ladies became my mentors. I came away inspired and a couple of weeks later I had established 'The Yorkshire Lass VA'.
I began working for other Virtual Assistants on an 'associate basis', they would outsource tasks to me if there were too busy, this enabled me to have time to learn new skills and develop my business and I can't believe how much I have learned. After time, I gained my own clients through word of mouth recommendations and business networking.
It is so rewarding to be able to use my administrative expertise and love of Social Media to support other business owners.
Now, one year on, I'm my own boss, working from home, around my family and running a rewarding and successful business doing what I love. Dreams really do come true!