I began teaching myself HTML and paintshop at the age of 11, and I never stopped learning.
Fast forward a few years.
I was a stay at home mom at the age of 28. I hadn't worked in several years, and I was caring for a beautiful little baby girl of just a year old. I had dreams and aspirations for her, how I'd raise her, and the life I wanted her to have.
I've been a computer techy all my life.
I was a customer in subscription box circles for years; A part of member fan groups, and caught up in the "subscription box addiction." From this, I was very familiar with all of the questions and concerns from the customer perspective, as well as the subscription model.
But things don't always work out that way.
After having been suddenly left alone with no chance to prepare, and we lost our home, I was faced with the terrifying realization that I couldn't raise her with everything I always intended to give her. In fact, as she underwent anxiety attacks, I realized I couldn't leave her side.
I knew in that moment that if she were to ever have a semblance of what I always wanted for her, and if I were to stay by her side and raise her while also providing for her, this was the only way. I HAD to make it happen.
I had to start my own business. But so much more than that. I had to make it a success.
No room for failure.
I had experience working in technical and website departments, as well as providing freelance work. I began my business as a general VA (virtual assistant.)
I immediately purchased and began Gina Horkey's flagship course, "30 days to Virtual Assistant Success." After this, I went on to Abbey Ashley's "VA Bootcamp" and "The Savvy Tech" courses.
I also began work with an email management company, which not only provided me with clients from so many fields and niches, but also proved to be a great experience, giving me the confidence, working experience, and a perspective of new businesses which I carried with me.
This is when things got really interesting in my work. I was assigned a client from the subscription industry.
He was a one-man show, with in-house fulfillment. Just over 3,000 monthly subscribers, and a job as a teacher to boot. Our onboarding was so smooth, and the systems he taught me were very intuitive to learn. It was after this onboarding that I realized.
I had the knowledge about this industry for years, from the customer's standpoint. My orientation went seamlessly, and I picked up the systems very quickly. It was then I realized I'd found my niche - What I wanted to specialize in.
I rebranded my business, and pivoted. With each client, I am able to add to the experience and knowledge I provide to each. I have my ear to the ground in subscription circles, learning of upcoming events, promotions, or changes to common platforms, and am able to bring this to each of my clients.
My daughter Clara was (and continues to be) my drive and focus. She depends on me to make this successful and provide a life for her. Every day I look at her, I have a renewed sense of purpose.
Therefore, I dedicated my business in her honor. The very name of my business embodies that passion and determination. For me, it's a reminder of that moment of clarity when I realized it all depended on me and my ability to make this a success.
- My beginnings -
Let's back up. What actually got me started in this line of work? How did I come to learn what it is I enjoy doing, and how did I begin building experiences that would bring me here?
That'll take me way back.
At the age of 11, I was big into a gaming site called Neopets. And one thing you could do with it was host your own virtual shop front. It allowed you to customize it with themes, by utilizing HTML.
As a child, I began to teach myself how to replace images in themes, edit the sizes and text boxes, and eventually began using paintshop pro to put together my own designs. I then hosted the HTML on my own website, and embed them so that others could use these templates as well. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
OVER THE COMING YEARS, I FELL IN LOVE WITH PHOTOGRAPHY AND EDITING. ESPECIALLY RESTORATIONS.
But this love applied to most all things Photoshop related, and this ended up also playing a huge role in my business life in the years to come.
I went on to build websites for small businesses, manage website updates, launch and manage their social media presence, handle a company's 1-800 website support line, photograph products, use photoshop to create stock images, and create magazine adverts.
Technical work has always felt more my style. When you find something you love doing, it keeps you engaged.
I knew when I was younger that I loved doing this, but I never could have dreamed that I'd utilize the very skills I learned around 11-13 years old from Neopets in order to save a company website when a <div> code tag was broken.
As the CEOs were panicking, phone in hand to call in an expert repair technician, I was able to say "Hey, I fixed it. The homepage is up and running."
It still blows my mind that Neopets birthed my love for many of these things, and that it allowed me to not only provide that day-to-day work (photoshop) but also save a company website 15 years later.
It's such a silly story.
I love it.
I learned to
follow my PASSION
and what I do best.
I, like many others, didn't know virtual assistance existed.
But I came to know and learn an entirely new form of providing business support that benefits everyone.
And after finding where to specialize, for the first time in my life, I can say I absolutely love what I do, my work has become my passion, and it provides a level of fulfillment I've never experienced before.