Can you believe it, Kellie Simpson Virtual Assistant is already 6 months old and I must say, I’m absolutely loving it.  I’d be lying if I said it had all been a bed of roses but there have definitely been more highs than lows.

A reflection on my first six months in business

On reflection, it’s been a slow but good start.  I don’t have as many clients as I’d envisaged but the few I do have are great and I love working with them.

Having a bit of extra time allows me to immerse myself in the land of learning, training and self-development. This is a really important part of setting up any business and I’ve embraced it all and want to learn as much as I can to be in a strong position to support my clients. 

One of the reasons for setting up on my own was to have more freedom and to spend more time at home. 

No, I lied, the main reason really is that we’re getting a puppy next month which I’m super excited about.  We’ve only waited the last 10 years so it’s a huge deal for us, especially as we don’t have children of our own, plus I get some company at home.

The Highs

One of the main highlights so far has been the number of different people I have met.  It’s really surprised me how many amazing people have taken their talents, experiences and skills and decided to set up on their own, just like I have.  

It’s great to be part of a network of so many incredible business owners all bringing different talents to the table.

Networking was always a daunting prospect for me (and I wrote a blog about my journey here). However, it’s enabled me to meet other local business owners, build relationships, grow my confidence whilst learn from experts. 

It was through networking I met another Wiltshire based Virtual Assistant. We hit it off straight away and she has become a friend and a client (I do all her graphics work) and I love that we are able to support each other, it’s not about competition it’s about collaboration for me.

Photo of Kellie Simpson and Emma Boatman.
Me and Emma Boatman

Building knowledge to become better at what you do is such an important part of building a business and I’ve learnt so much since leaving my job in October last year. Just imagine how much more I will have learnt by this time next year.

The Lows

I think you’d be surprised to meet anyone who hasn’t experienced a low at some point during their business journey.

Luckily, being such a positive person I haven’t experienced too many low points but there have been occasions where I’ve found myself scrolling through job sites to see what PA roles are about. 

The temptation to go back to work to earn a full time wage is there but I soon draw my focus back and into my business and remember why I left the corporate world in the first place!

I’ll admit there has been occasions where I’ve sat and worried whether I’ll ever have enough clients and be earning what I did in my corporate job.

As they say “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and I know it will come eventually. I need to bring myself back down to earth sometimes and realise that having a successful business doesn’t happen overnight. 

As my husband says to me all the time “stop being so hard on yourself”.  He’s always right and so supportive and I couldn’t have done any of this without him.

The Inner Critic

We all have that little voice inside our head that tells us we’re not good enough and on the odd occasion I even start to doubt that I’m capable of being a good Virtual Assistant.  

Picture of a book - Playing it Big, a practical guide for brilliant women like you.  By Tara Mohr.
Playing it Big by Tara Mohr.

After reading a great book “Playing Big by Tara Mohr” I’ve learnt to deal with the inner critic and constantly tell myself:

“I’m an amazing Virtual Assistant and I will successfully attract my ideal clients and that we’ll love working together.

My business is going to be profitable and I’m going to build a reputation as the go to Virtual Assistant for Legal Support.”

That’s a little affirmation I tell myself every morning – another tip I’ve picked up along the way and I’d really recommend it as we need to keep telling ourselves that we are amazing at what we do and to believe in our abilities to succeed. 

I’ve also learnt not to compare myself to others as we’re all on our own journey.

And the next three months?

I’ve set some goals to achieve in the next three months and I’m making progress towards these every day.  Small steps lead to big things.

I’ve also realised that niching is what it’s all about in order to attract your ideal client and thus, working with professionals in the legal sector is my bag. 

Having worked in the law industry for over 17 years it makes total sense to stay in that field and offer my expertise and help to the people I understand. 

Everyone tells you to do this in the beginning but you just want to help everyone, it’s only now I realise that having a niche does keep you directed and focused so if you don’t have one, work out what it is you really enjoy doing and who you enjoy working for.

My biggest takeaways?

When I first set up my business I started filling out a business journal and it’s really helped me to get my emotions, frustrations, wins, good days and bad days onto the paper.  Looking back and reflecting on what I’ve achieved so far makes me determined to continue and grow.

Investing in yourself early on is also important. I’m a member of Catherine Gladwyn’s Private Member’s Club which has been invaluable. Being virtual and at home on your own can often get quite lonely so having a team of other VA’s is like having your own set of work colleagues. Everyone is so supportive and I really enjoy the camaraderie.

I’ve learnt that it takes a lot of discipline and motivation to develop and succeed but if you’ve got the drive, there’s nothing to stop you! 

By taking small steps every day, I’m growing and developing and working towards my goals.

I’m excited to see where I’ll be in another 6 months.