Yep, that’s right, it’s my business birthday month. I’ve been in business for 2 years this July! Go me!
What about your 1st business birthday though?
Well, my first business birthday kinda just fell by the wayside and got caught up in the shitstorm that was 2020 and this one almost got lost and snuck up on me, but I’m damned if I’m not going to acknowledge it this year!
So what’s your history?
I set up Clear Skies VA in a bid to break free from the land of corporate and employment. I wanted autonomy in my work. I wanted to be available to my 3 sons and husband and have some time to do the stuff I wanted to do. (Needless to say, I was still rather naïve at this point, and no one had deemed to let me know that self-employment was a 24-hour job.)
But I digress.
I had worked as a VA way back when in 2008 for an agency – to top-up my earnings as a legal secretary and I loved it – but the timing wasn’t right to strike out on my own so didn’t pursue it.
It niggled at me all the time from then on. The idea that I could run my own business and work from home, but life threw me a few curveballs and it just never seemed to be the right time.
Finally… I did it!
In July 2019 – a mere 11 years later 👀 – while I was working a 6-month contract for the local council, I just thought ‘fuck it, I’m going to do this!’. All that cliché stuff, ‘it’s now or never’, ‘you might die tomorrow’ was whizzing through my brain and so I did it. I took the first step.
After much anguish over what to call my business, I bought my domain names on 12 July 2019. Scary. Exciting. Then I spent the next 3 months studying. Learning all there is to know about setting up as a Virtual Assistant (because I had the PA and admin thing down already) and of course, shopping for the basics.
My First Client… Yay!
In October 2019, my first client came on board. Just a small, ad-hoc project, but there it was. My first piece of work as a self-employed, business owner. What a rush! Then, in November 2019, I met my first retained client – who I’m still working with. From then on, my business has just gone from strength to strength, even thriving through Lockdown and into 2021.
I’ve learned to make bloody well sure that my clients are people I like, people I want to work with, whose values align with mine and whose work brings me joy and I’m very lucky to have found those special few.
So do you still love it?
Yes, I do, very much – I could never go back to being employed now. And yes, the work is hard – you don’t really ever switch off from your own business – but all that corporate stuff, the office politics and being answerable to someone, is gone from my life. If I want to take Fridays off, BOOM! Done. If I need to go to my son’s assemblies, BOOM! I’m there. And bye-bye office politics because it’s just me and my own never-ending stream of consciousness.
So yeah, Happy 2nd Birthday Clear Skies VA and Happy 2nd Business Birthday to me! Woop! Woop! 🥳