Leslie and I connected on LinkedIn while I was searching for virtual assistants in the British Columbia area. We were house sitting in BC in August. Though I didn't get the chance to meet Leslie in person, I hope that changes in the future as we hope to get back to BC, perhaps next August again.
When did you start your business?
I have been working freelance on various projects since 2000, on a part-time basis. I officially registered my business and began seriously providing Virtual Assistant services in 2006.
Why did you choose to become a Virtual Assistant?
I have over 20 years of corporate experience in positions such as Executive Assistant, Administrative Assistant, Purchasing (Junior Buyer), Accounting, and Customer Service. Tired of the ‘rat race’, working long hours and nothing to show for it, I decided to use my existing skills to ‘work for myself’, and have thoroughly enjoyed the experience! It is SO gratifying.
What advice would you give new and aspiring VAs?
I believe researching the industry and planning are key elements for new and aspiring VAs to consider. I found a business plan extremely helpful in giving my new business direction, as well as knowing where my business would fit in in the current and future markets. I always recommend a book to new and aspiring VAs that was extremely useful to me in starting my own business, ‘The 2-Second Commute’. As well, knowing one’s personality traits is important – I consider dedication, commitment and self-discipline to be valuable qualities to portray.
What resources have helped you in your business?
Numerous resources have helped me in starting, maintaining and growing my business. Firstly, VA associations and networking forums have been extremely supportive. Many forums (like CVAN) offer teleseminars and webinars of varying topics associated with running a VA business, as well as knowledge databases. Secondly, through these forums and my own research, I have come across many free and lower cost business applications that I use in my work. This may be very cost effective for someone who is just starting out and has a limited budget and working capital.
Share something about yourself.
I live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world, Vancouver Island. Connecting with nature is relaxing and inspiring. So, I love walking/hiking trails, swimming and biking. On the intellectual front, I enjoy reading, both fiction and non-fiction. I also thrive on constant learning and education, so I upgrade my skills with information from both books and the internet.
Leslie's Contact Information:
Leslie Adams, Adams Virtual Assistance
Blog: www.adamsvirtualassistance.blogspot.com (as of Sept.1, 2010)
Facebook: Facebook profile page
LinkedIn: LinkedIn Profile Page