I began teaching myself HTML and paintshop at the age of 11, and I never stopped learning.
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 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.
But things don't often work that way.
After we were left alone with no chance to prepare, and we lost our home, I was faced with the terrifying realization that I could never raise her with everything I always intended to give her.
In fact, it was all I could do just to protect and provide for her at all.
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 with her 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, but never dreamed of building my own business.
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, which continue to add value to my skillset with routinely added new content, courses, and skill building training.
I also began work for an email management company, which not only gave me work, but also proved to be a great experience, giving me confidence, working experience, and a great perspective of new businesses.
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.
I signed on my first two clients for web design and social media, and I also discovered what I love doing the most, and am very proficient at.
Subscription based business.
- 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, 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 hobby website, and embed them so that others could use the 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 their website updates, launch their social media presence, handle a website's 1-800 support line, take and photoshop product and promotional photography, 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 in HTML I learned around 11-13 years old on Neopets in order to save a company website when a <div> tag became broken.
As they were panicking and about to call in an outsourced expert, I was able to say "Hey, I fixed it. It's all good now. The homepage is up and running."
I'll never forget the looks of bemusement.
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 work day to day (photoshop) but also save the company's website 15 years later.
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 and it provides a level of fulfillment I've never experienced before.
When you love what you do,
your work is a JOY.
These lead to my moment of Clarity .
I realized in that the most important thing in my life was riding on me and my ability to make this business a success.
No longer could I procrastinate pursuing my passion for fear of failure. No longer could I tell myself that didn't sound like something I could accomplish. Because everything I do now is for her.
So I jumped in.
I found the Horkey Handbook by Gina Horkey, and it just felt right. Everything about it screamed "this is what you've always wanted to do, now do it!"
I found Abbey Ashley's VA Bootcamp course and community several months later, and just knew I had to make that happen as well. Her course and community have proven INVALUABLE, and continue to keep growing and offering more and more lifetime value.
And that's how this all came to be. (Thank you, Gina. Thank you, Abbey!)
And thank you, for being interested enough to make it this far into my story. :)
I certainly hope we get the chance to work together someday soon.