I realize the title of this post sounds like one of those terrible scammy ads for some work at home job you’d never actually consider because it doesn’t sound one bit legit.
That’s why I don’t share it often, or often enough.
But it’s really true and I SHOULD be sharing my story with you!
I was a single mom, living in my parent’s basement apartment while I got back on my feet, working an afternoon shift at an automotive paint factory. I had already attempted a few businesses by that time but I was far from figuring out how to run a business, create positive cash flow and be a leader.
It was 2006. I spent a LOT of time reading, watching, learning and trying to figure out just what the heck it was that I could do online to build a life.
In browsing a mom in business forum I found a friend’s post who was talking about being a Virtual Assistant. Up until that point, I hadn’t paid much attention to the work as it wasn’t my “passion”. But I did see it as a means to an end and I thought that I’d certainly LOVE to trade hours for dollars doing something I really loved (working online) than spend it doing something I hated.
I finally had a plan!
I determined that I’d work to build up the same income from my new Virtual Assistance business as was making at the factory, about $3000 per month.
In my first few months of business I did something that people thought was a little crazy. I offered, inside the busy mom forum, 10 hours of Virtual Assistance for $50.
You gotta understand I was desperate to quit my job and to me I was HAPPY to get paid that $5/hr to learn how to work with my clients. And you know what? I’d do it again if I was in the same situation. That offer gained me about a dozen clients overnight! Not only that, I gained friends I’m still with friends with to this day over eleven years later. One of those clients are now my coach, even.
Sometimes people talk about “defining moments” in business.
Those moments that solidify what you must do to make your life change.
I have two of those moments:
Defining Moment #1: The Christmas Concert
My son’s first ever Christmas concert was coming up and I was scheduled to work as I did every evening. I went to my boss for the night off and he said the only way was if my co-worker would take my shift.
I can tell you I was so pissed at that moment. Really? My presence at one big milestone moment in my child’s life was left to a grumpy coworker?
The good news is she took my shift and the better news is I was self-employed by the next concert and didn’t have to ask a single soul for permission to attend this a Christmas concert again…ten years going strong and another entering school in September.
Defining Moment #2: Scraping Out the Gunky Oven
So in my job, every six months the factory shut down for a major cleaning. It was not my regular job and it really wasn’t in my job description.
It was a terrible job. Gunky, dirty, dangerous. A co-worker even told me a story about her being in the ovens one time when they were turned ON… thank goodness they didn’t turn on the heat but the paint carts did start running and these are tunnels. She had to duck UNDER the track inside a little hatch as the carts ran by the track. Scary!
So there I was, sitting in the ovens, scraping dirt off the inside and just crying. I hated the job. I felt TRAPPED. Even though I had a plan to quit my job I was having massive fears about whether or not I could pull it off. But in this moment I SWORE to myself that I would never have to clean those gross ovens again.
And so it was.
Within nine months of starting my VA business, I quit my job.
I’d love to tell you the path from decision to quitting was easy, but I’m not gonna because it wasn’t. I wanted SO BAD, so bad to quit that I got home from my afternoon shift and did client work. I usually finished work at 11pm, which put me home to do work for about midnight. Sometimes I’d have overtime so I’d get to start working about 1 or 2AM.
There I was, home from a factory and I’d sit down at my computer and do the work. Most nights I got no more than five hours sleep, sometimes less. YES, I was a walking zombie for about nine months. I would wake up in the morning when my son got up, flip on the TV and be half-present until I had to go to work again. I paid the price and he paid the price because I definitely wasn’t the best mom I could be in those nine months.
BUT I had a plan! I had a mission! I had an end goal that I truly believed would be a SO MUCH BETTER life for my son than the one where his single mom works her ass off for minimum wage and can never really afford the things he needed to thrive in the world. And I was RIGHT.
He is now fifteen and I’ve been able to be there for him every step of the way, to be present, to be an involved mom and for me I know I needed to pick one or the other. I picked a business with the freedom and flexibility to be present by starting a business on my terms.
I’d love to tell you it was all sunshine and roses from there, but it wasn’t.
I’d love to tell you that the hard part is quitting, but it isn’t.
I’d love to tell you that everyone who quits never returns to a job, but I can’t.
When I quit my job I had a lot of clients. If memory serves me I had about twenty people at various levels of services who needed a piece of my time.
Time…. it’s a pretty valuable comodity and I was selling mine for just $15/hour.
Can you guess what happened next?
I became overworked, underpaid, stressed out and ready to quit! Matter of fact I kinda did quit and I went looking for a job. But my heart wasn’t in that and I didn’t look that hard.
Instead, I made a switch. I dropped most of my clients, raised my hourly rates and I started looking out for ways to LEVERAGE my time.
The first training program I created was a course on how to create graphics in Gimp, a popular software for graphics design. That was 2008. I remember watching my shopping cart as sales flowed in and being amazed at the payments worth three hours of my VA time pop into my paypal, with no extra work from me required!
Then in 2010 I started a WordPress group coaching program that was a big hit. I sold out my courses time after time, I made spin-off courses and ended up earning over one hundred thousand dollars from just my WordPress trainings, alone.
Yes… creating courses was one of the smartest business moves I made. If you think it might be fore you, the course creation model, then STAY TUNED because I have something coming up you’re going to LOVE.
But in the meantime, join my club! You’ll be super glad you did when the course comes out (hint, hint you’ll save 50% on ALL MY TRAINING as a member of the club).
I’ve got a yearly membership you can sign up for. One payment and you’re done for an entire year. Now’s a great time to sign up for that so I can support you through the entire year of 2018. Our first challenge of the year is the Boost Your BRAND Challenge.
I’m so excited for this one because the more you can get your brand message in front of people, the more they are going to understand your business and be excited to buy from you.
I know you’ve been thinking about it, now’s the time to JUMP!
Click here to join the Laptop Lifestyle Business Club!
p.s. If you’re ready for a one-on-one coach then I want to remind you of my yearly coaching option as well! I’m looking for the right fit person so we’ll have to chat first. I’ve got an affordable payment plan (with a deposit up front) or you can do a one-time payment. You’ll get all my coaching programs (worth $497 each) and a whole year of the Laptop Lifestyle Business Club. Hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s talk!