Becoming self employed is a huge leap of faith. It has now been 9 months since I jumped ship from the Corporate World to start a Virtual Assistant business. It has been a massive learning curve and at times a "what have I done moment" has crossed my mind. However, I have learnt so much and made so many friends and acquaintances along the way. I have the support of a great network of people who are willing to give advice and help if you need it.
The return to work issue
I spent last week abroad on holiday with the family. My side of the business was left in the capable hands of my business partner and upon returning one thing happened I did not expect. Holiday blues hit, but not that dread of walking back into a stuffy office to a job I hated.
Instead, the day was filled with another instalment of the brilliant networking group We Mean Biz in Clifton. Leaving the meeting and walking home in the sunshine I felt uplifted and ready to tackle the next phase of running the business. Our business. The one we started to escape the city and the rat race. The holiday blues quickly left and I spent the evening emailing and contacting people on Linkedin. Working after 5 was a thing I would never have contemplated doing in the Corporate World. Being self employed means at times you have to, but you are doing it for you and no-one else.
One thing can make your day
Then this morning something happened which gave me an enormous sense of self worth and gratification. I received a call from Mediatube Limited. They happened to have an electrician working at their home. The electrician explained that a competitor was the talk of another local networking group due to them having the finger on the pulse with social media. They had no idea how this electrician was finding time to do this and complete a days work.
It turned out that Mediatube Limited knew I was doing the social media work for this competitor and passed on my details. As a result I was called this morning by the electrician wanting me to help them with their social media. It made me feel proud that although I have not seen until now how what I am doing is impacting people, it clearly is. It has made me more determined to succeed. I maybe this small fish in a big pond but people have noticed my efforts.
So, why does my job matter?
The power of outsourcing is clear to see here. Small businesses cannot do it all themselves. Sometimes they need to explore other avenues so they are free to do what they do best. Leaving things that they do not like or do not have time for will not help their business grow.
After all, I wouldn't have a clue how to re-wire a house so why would an electrician know about or have time for social media? The value and worth of a virtual assistant is fairly alien to some businesses. Perceptions are changing and once I explain to a business what I can do to help them, you can see the light bulb switching on in their heads.
Being self employed is tough. But think about why you started out in the first place. There maybe one reason or several. Take the rough with the smooth and when things work out the feeling is incredible.