My decision to be an entrepreneur wasn’t something that happened overnight, but more like a culmination of experiences that happened over the course of many years. They were like small whipsers in my ear that got louder and louder until I finally started to listen.
I didn’t start off as an entrepreneur
Growing up I learned at an early age the importance of a college education and it became something ingrained in me. It was just something I knew I would do once I graduated high school. It’s something I’m very grateful for and it was also before the internet (I know I just dated myself here). I remember the first time I experienced the world wide web. I was at the college library and the concept was so foreign to me I couldn’t even understand it!
My point is, the world was a lot bigger back then. If you were an entrepreneur, that usually meant you owned a brick and mortar. Now, if you’re an entrepreneur, the world is your oyster! The internet means you can now own a business virtually. Introverts rejoice!
The thought of being a business owner was not something I EVER entertained because until recently (in my eyes) it meant owning a brick and mortar and that wasn’t something I was interested in.
So, I went to college for a degree in Medical Technology. The reasoning behind this degree was that it was in the medical field, so there would be plenty of job opportunities and I wanted to help people, but from behind the scenes.
I got a laboratory job right out of college and worked until I had my first child. I never really liked it so when we realized I could stay home with my daughter I jumped at the idea.
The career I went to school for
I was a SAHM for about 10 years and during that time I dabbled in some MLM’s here and there but was never successful. I also started a blog back when they were still relatively new but I didn’t know enough about marketing to monetize it (I didn’t even know you could!).
So when it was time for me to go back to work, I did what I thought was my only option; to go back to a hospital lab setting. Man, I hated it. I cried every day and felt trapped in a career I didn’t think I’d ever be able to escape.
I eventually lucked into a job working for a private toxicology lab. I was there for about 6 years and made a lot great friendships, but still never felt like that was my calling.
Every now and then during those 6 years I would try to start a side gig. I created a dropshipping business that tanked. I tried to start a proofreading business but that was HARD. I started a few blogs here and there.
Every time I failed, I would just tell myself I must be doomed to work in a career I hated. I had to go on anti-depressants, I gained a ton of weight, and I missed out on some important years with my kids (because I was ALWAYS working).
What changed for me
One night while scouring the internet for a solution to my problems, again, I came across a blog post about virtual assistance. I attacked it like I do with anything I want to learn more about. I bought books, I subscribed to blogs, I joined Facebook groups, and I looked into online courses.
At first I thought a VA was like an at-home secretary for executives and I didn’t want any part of that. Then I realized there are a gazillion different types of virtual assistants. There are definitely those executive VA’s, but there are also VA’s that write, ones that do social media, or customer service, or schedulers. Basically anything you can do online can be done by a virtual assistant.
I dove all in, trying to find some side gigs to see if it would be somehting I’d like to pursue more. I took jobs at a ridiculously low rate just to get experience. I traded work for testimonials. I worked before going to my lab job in the morning and then worked when I got home until it was time to go to bed. If I wasn’t working I was either looking for work or learning more about it.
When I first started out I took jobs that I thought I’d be really good at. Like blog writing, newsletter writing, and social media. I loved writing, so I thought I’d be really good at it. Turns out, I have a ridiculously hard time writing in someone else’s voice. And I HATED it!
But I didn’t let that slow me down. I just kept looking for other things to do. The awesome thing about being an entrepreneur is you take the skills you already have and use those. You don’t have to go back to school to get a formal education. No one is asking for a resume or what degree I have or what certifications I have. My knowledge that I already possess is my superpower. And if I don’t have that knowledge yet, I can find it on Google or YouTube!
I finally found some steady work that I actually liked, working for clients that I actually liked. When I find clients that have businesses I’d like to stand behind, that’s when I know they’re right for me. I got better at what I did and started learning the ropes a bit.
Finally realizing my dream
After about a year of doing this, I realized I couldn’t keep working at the lab and as a virtual assistant. I was burning the candle at both ends and feeling burned out. I was going to have to choose. I was so exhausted and my family missed me (and I missed them).
Quitting my “steady” 9 to 5 was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done and also one of the best things I’ve ever done. I say “steady” because that’s an illusion that I’m sure a lot of us learned during the pandemic this year. Just because you work for a company outside the home does not mean you’re secure.
The benefits of being your own boss are so freaking awesome! I get to choose my hours, who I work with (notice I didn’t say for), the type of work I do, and most importantly I get to be there for my kids. I also know all my hard work will directly impact me and my family and the clients I choose to work for. Not some big shot I’ve never met before barking orders down the management line.
I’ve become a very successful entrepreneur and I’m so proud to say that! And I’m dying to show you how I did it. Helping others realize their dreams of working for themselves is what I feel my purpose is.