I started my business 4 years ago after being made redundant while pregnant with my second child. I was helping my friend with her business and she suggested that I go for it and set up as a Virtual Assistant. I had thought about this previously and had written a business plan, but I’d parked it due to the exciting opportunities within the job I was doing at the time.
As I had worked on business support projects for over 10 years, I knew that access to mentoring, support and networks would be extremely valuable for me as a start-up business.
Being able to go to networking events is important, because as a sole worker I crave the social aspect and benefit from talking to others who also run their own businesses and understand the challenges. However, their scheduled times (breakfast meetings, early evenings), my husband working in Leeds and having 2 young children, meant that attending often wasn’t feasible.
I came across Assist over 2 years ago and have found it to be a supportive community of women. I have attended their networking events in person and online, a social media masterclass and an afternoon session of working ‘on’ my business. This was alongside other ladies who had challenges in their businesses. The opportunity to share and talk them through was very helpful. I also joined the 8-week AssistHER course, not sure what to expect but knew that the topics covered were interesting and would push me out of my comfort zone.
Each week there is a guest speaker and I always come away inspired by their story and life experiences or ways to deal with certain things. I can feel my confidence increasing in my own ability as a result of being surrounded by this tribe of women. As a mum, wife, business owner life is busy but making this time each week to focus on my own personal development is great. I’m truly grateful that I’ve had this opportunity.
Each week we get some ‘homework/accountability’ to help us focus on the topic. I love it and find that it can help make subtle changes to how I work, as well as boosting my confidence and making me focus on the positives more. I think the biggest eye opener is that at some point we all have faced the same thoughts and issues and it’s not just me.
One of the great advantages of the Assist events are the times that they are on. Running them during the day or evening fits around me being ‘mum’.
Whatever life throws my way I can handle it thanks to this course, the Assist tribe, and the positive changes I am making.
Charlotte Marshall is Girl Friday Virtual Assistant. You can find more details about the business admin and PA services she offers at http://girlfriday.me.uk