Today is International Virtual Assistant Day and it is also 5 months to the day that I launched Emma Mulcahy Virtual Administration! It is not every day that I take time out to sit and reflect on not only how much I have achieved in those short few months, but how much I have grown. So today seems like the perfect opportunity to do just that and to share tips on personal growth for y'all.
Chris, CEO and Thunder of Lightning Travel Recruitment and one of my amazing clients since I started this venture, once referred to me as “Day 1 Emma, who suddenly became Emma 2.0” and whenever I am having a wobble, I read the post it note stuck to my laptop as a reminder of just how far I have come (post it notes - #adminlife).
As a new business owner, I was petrified of absolutely every aspect of running a business. There was the technical / legal side of things. Building a website, registering as self-employed, browsing different types of insurance – it was all a minefield to me. But there was also the emotional side, which involved a lot of comparison and even more imposter syndrome. I questioned myself. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
But I knew what I wanted, and I certainly was not going to get it by closing the lid of my laptop and running away from the fear. I had saved up for the last 2 years in a corporate role that drained the life out of me, often being introduced as “Just the Admin” and feeling like I was the unseen glue holding an office together.
Here I had the opportunity to do something on my own terms, answering to only myself and living life as I wanted. Why would I run from that? I am so glad I persevered because I could not love my job anymore.
So, how did I go from “Day 1 Emma to Emma 2.0”?
1. By realising that I was not alone! Everyone has doubts about what they are doing when they launch a business and believing that I was the only one with those thoughts was just silly and self-sabotaging! It is also how I built up an amazing community around me and met so many other Vas doing their thing. We all support each other and are all about #collaboarationovercompetition.
2. I stopped worrying so much about what other people thought. Chris’ word for 2021 is “Unapologetic” and I love that (so much so, I have stolen it. Sorry Chris!) I’m very lucky to have an amazing support system of family, friends and clients and their opinions are what count.
3. By accepting that I can be decisive and not fear change. There is no point in overthinking ideas.That’s the beauty of them – if you have had an idea and you think its good enough to do something with do not dwell on the what ifs. Even if it doesn’t go to plan, make some tweaks. The what ifs of not knowing because you haven’t tried will be far worse.
4. I stayed in my own lane and switched off from the “trends” of VA life. Although I had plans to be aVA for 2 years before I felt financially stable to make a go of it, when I did make the leap into Self-Employed Admin life, it seemed like every other person did too. The VA industry became saturated throughout the pandemic which is of no surprise. With low set up costs and the ability to work from anywhere, what’s not to love? After a couple of months of posting the same Instagram content and using the same tone of voice as every other VA I connected with, something was not sitting well with me. That something was me not being myself. On my first Instagram story I apologised for my accent. Why would I do that?! I changed up my branding and let my personality shine through and guess what? I had more client enquiries than ever and not long after I became fully booked.
These are just a few lessons I have learned along the way and I am not naïve to the fact that there will be many more to come! What is different now? I embrace the lessons, I don’t run from them. If you are holding yourself back from an opportunity or afraid of turning a dream into reality, my advice would be to go for it.
Be unapologetically you!