Many people believe that if you love your work and are passionate about it, you can’t make a good living. Maybe you can’t even pay all the bills.
We’ve all heard of the “starving artist”, right?
That lead many people to believe that work security and building a financially secure life was more important than following your dreams.
But that narrative is and has been shifting. Now, many people are finding side hustles or even building full-time businesses that make them money while also allowing them to follow their passion. That’s exactly what my $10K VA student Aileene decided to do as well.
In this interview, Aileene discusses what she was doing for work before she decided to become a virtual assistant. She also talks about the biggest hurdles she’s had to face, and why she’s so confident that being a VA will work for her and her lifestyle.
Here’s my interview with Aileene.
Tell us a bit about you and what you were doing before you decided to become a VA.
Hi! I’m Aileene. I currently reside in Houston, Texas with my 3-year-old corgi. I’m a food fanatic, I’ve definitely caught the travel bug, and I have a passion for helping people.
I currently work for a cut-throat IV Infusion Company. For those who don’t know what that is, we specialize in working with patients who need medications through an intravenous line (IV for short). It’s a very demanding job (talk about soul-sucking). I do the usual 8-5 plus overtime. Some nights I work late or I take work home to finish over the weekend.
I work about 5 to 6 days a week, just depending on what quarter of the year we are in and how many hands we need on deck. It’s a draining job, I will say. It’s made me forget about having a work-life balance, and because the work is so demanding, I’m shocked when I actually get some time off from work.
Why did you decide you wanted to become a VA?
I decided to work on becoming a VA because I see so many men and women who’ve done it and now they get to live a life that they created. They build a life worth living, and overall they seem happier.
Of course, I didn’t buy into all of that in the beginning. Call me a skeptic, but in a world where scammers, frauds, and liars exist, I thought it was too good to be true.
It was a crazy thought that there were so many individuals who actually made a living doing something that they love. I did the research, got input from friends and family, and talked to a few entrepreneurs about the world of virtual assistants. From there, it was set in stone. I had to completely change my life and reinvent myself.
How will being a VA help you with personal goals, personal development, your future life vision, etc.?
I think the one major goal about building and growing a successful VA business is that I can take control of my life and start living the life that I want. There’s a world out there that I’m dying to explore, but working for corporate America makes it challenging to want to explore.
Another goal is better money management. I have a taste for financial freedom. For me, I work hard, and in return, I want to see that my work is not going unnoticed. I want to stop living paycheck to paycheck. I’d rather thrive in money and not be scared of money.
Another goal of mine is to own a few businesses where I build them from the ground up and see that they do well and are successful. I’m working towards a master’s degree, and once I accomplish my degree, the future is that much clearer for me. I want to open a private practice and still be thriving in my VA business. Overall, my goals are to completely reinvent myself and manifest a life that I want to be living in.
What struggles did you face when starting your virtual assistant business?
My biggest struggle (and I will be completely honest here) is finances. I can budget and put money away, but when you work at a job where it just seems the pay is “unlivable”, it is a struggle to purchase things to get me closer to my business goals.
Yes, I do know that in order to grow a business, you must invest in it to allow it to grow and thrive. So of course, I saved up and put as much as I possibly could into investing in my business.
How did $10K VA help you move past that/those?
When I was doing my research about the VA world, that’s when I ran into Kayla’s $10K VA course. Like I said earlier, I am a bit of a skeptic, but I did read about her stories and struggles, and it sure did sound similar to my situation.
I saw videos she posted about other students who took her courses, signed up for her free webinar, and then I bought the course. Honestly, I wish I could’ve stumbled upon her website and courses sooner.
When I was going through each module, I made sure to not overthink it and just go through the course, write my notes, and gage an idea of what business I want to build. Her modules are easy to navigate, the templates are readily available for downloads, and if ever I forget something or feel stuck, I go back to the modules and do a quick refresher.
What was the biggest thing you learned in the course that you want to share with others?
The biggest thing overall that spoke to me the most and reassured my uncertainties was that it was ok to not have an exact business plan already in place. I’m glad to know that I can just start now and learn as I go.
It almost feels as if Kayla is right there telling you and pushing you to just go for it, dive in, and start TODAY! That alone just gave me the boost of confidence I needed to start my business and get things moving along.
That made me feel more at ease. Before that, I was nervous. I thought that it was important to have a complete business plan and portfolio in place before pitching any clients. But now I know that as I grow with my business, I will pick up and learn the skills necessary to attract those higher-paying clients who I really want to work with.
Would you recommend $10K VA to others who are just getting started?
Absolutely! I want everyone who is also feeling the way I was feeling to know that they can grab the life they want. One way to do that is to invest in yourself and this course.
It’ll only a disappointment to you if you don’t put in the work. A business will not grow if you don’t attend to it.
Things don’t magically fall from the sky and the next day you have a booming business. But if you put in the work, you will see results.
Now that you’ve taken $10K VA and launched your business, tell us about it! What kinds of services do you offer? What niche(s) do you work in?
As of right now, I’m pitching to new clients who I do want to work with. One good exercise that was repeated throughout the course was writing down your niche, or the people that you would happily work for in a heartbeat. Now I’m working on contacting those people and building relationships with them.
As of now, the services that I offer are mostly general administrative tasks. But I’m learning the world of Pinterest marketing, social media management, email marketing, and CRM software. I want to step out of the general administrative tasks and dive into more specialized skills so that I have more to offer to my clients.
The niches I want to work for are podcasts, mental health, mindfulness and self-love, relationship blogs, and travel blogs/podcasts. Until I can narrow down my niche more, this is just what I have currently because it’s based on my passions, my expertise, and learning what is in market demand.
Are you a full-time or part-time VA? If part-time, what else are you doing for work? If full-time, how long did it take you to reach that point?
I am currently a part-time VA. I’m still working in my full-time position, but the goal is to transition from my full-time corporate job and shift my focus on growing and upscaling my VA business.
What are your goals for your business in the future?
I would love to scale and up-level my business. What I hope to see for myself in the future is working for clients in my niche that I’ve built strong relationships with, spreading the word about virtual assisting, and someday I’m hoping to coach a few of my own newbie entrepreneurs.
I love helping people, so I want to help others by showing them that something that seems too good to be true is possible and attainable. I want to alleviate their fears of starting a business and I want to show them that you just have to believe in yourself and results will follow.
What is one of the biggest business lessons have you learned so far? How did you use that lesson to your advantage?
I learned is to not be afraid. You have to put your best foot forward, show the world what you’re capable of, and success will follow. If you can get over that fear, you’re halfway there. If you’re still unsure, take that business class, learn that new skill, build relationships with those who are successful. What’s the worst that could happen? They say “no”? That’s ok. Move on! There’s still more people out there to learn from, get support from, and grow with.
Where can people find you if they want to connect?
You connect with me on my social media via Facebook. I’d love to chat with y’all!
Have questions or comments for Aileene? Just drop them below! Want to be featured in your own student success story? Reach out to me here!