Sharon is another virtual assistant in Canada that I connected with first on LinkedIn.
When did you start your business?
I actually registered my business name in December 2009. I spent the next few months working on my website, doing research via online forums, getting business cards, designing letterhead and putting client info together. During that time I was still working part-time as an Office Manager. I actually left my job and launched my business full-time in June.
Why did you choose to become a Virtual Assistant?
I chose to be a VA primarily because of the flexibility of working from home (I have two young children). I was growing very tired of having to stay at the office until 5 p.m., even though I had no work to do, when I should have been home with a sick child. This way, I can supplement my husband's income, do what I enjoy, yet still be a mom.
What advice would you give new and aspiring VAs?
I would tell any new VA –do your homework! Research – there are a lot of experience VA's out there who have been so helpful and generous with their knowledge. Also, take some business or marketing courses or seminars – they can be invaluable.
What resources have helped you in your business?
I have used online forums, particularly virtualassistantforums.com and VANetworking.com, quite extensively. Connecting with other V's, sharing ideas, learning from others. I have also joined our local Chamber of Commerce, and found it to be a great way to connect and network with local businesses. I have purchased a few books that are specifically written by and for Virtual Assistants, including Sue Canfield's The Commonsense Virtual Assistant and Elayne Whitfield-Parr's How to Build a Successful Virtual Assistant Business.
Share something about yourself such as a hobby.
Someday, when I have more spare time (hah!), I'd love to get back into some of my hobbies, including scrapbooking, and introduce my kids to the joys of canoeing. Meanwhile, I try to keep fit by walking my dog and bicycling.
Additional comments you’d like to share.
Since I decided to launch my own business, my self-esteem has increased and I feel more confident in my abilities and skills. I never thought I'd be able to stand up in front of a roomful of strangers and talk about myself!
Sharon's Contact Information: