You can learn a lot from people who are doing what you want to do. That’s why I created the Behind the Scenes of a Virtual Assistant Business series. I hope these interviews inspire you to create your own successful VA business!
I met Lauryn when she became a member of the Introvert VA Club. She’s been an important part of the community and is always there to make us laugh and lend a supportive hand. She shared her amazing graphics in the club and I was smitten! I knew I needed her to design my logo and members’ badge.
Below is the beautiful logo she designed:
It’s been so fun to watch Lauryn grow as a VA, so I just HAD to interview her to learn more about why she became a VA and get her tips and secrets for running a successful VA business as an introvert. Take it away, Lauryn!
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MY INTERVIEW WITH LAURYN PEARCE OF ECLECTIVITY CONSULTING:
Q: What made you decide to become a virtual assistant?
It’s a familiar story. I was working a soul-sucking job that made me completely miserable and wanted an out. The idea of going to just another job with more of the same only made me feel worse. I felt trapped in a never-ending loop of jobs that made me hate my days and was desperate for something else. I’d freelanced before a few years back and decided to jump on the internet to see what was out there now.
I had never even thought about being a VA. I didn’t even know being a VA was a thing. Pinterest lead me to a handful of blogs that didn’t sound like prettily packaged scams and suddenly the world opened up to me. You mean I can use both my admin and management skills as well as my art and design skills to help people? Sign me up!
Q: We’d love to hear more about your niche. What do you specialize in?
I’m a bit of a jack of all trades really and when it came to thinking about my niche I was just…stumped. I truly love helping people, especially those new to entrepreneurship or making the change from the daily grind in a workplace to working for themselves. Giving someone something that brings to life an idea they had, that makes their passion for their project grow is what I specialise in. If in order to do that, they need my art skills or my organisational skills or my research skills then that’s what I use.
Design by Lauryn Pearce of Eclectivity Consulting
Q: How did you decide on your niche?
I’ve had a few people in my life who’ve decided to go from working for someone else to working for themselves. I found I was the one they went to when they wanted to turn their idea into a reality. Doing research for them on the best web hosting for their budget, creating branding and websites or helping them set up their Client Management Systems – I’d do one thing and they’d ask if I could help with something else.
I was a mentor and a cheerleader and an assistant and taking on all these different roles to help them bring their passion to life just fit. It’s taken being a VA full time for me to realise that’s how I can best help my clients. Instead of trying to limit myself, I just embraced my jack of all trades nature and let that become my niche.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about being a VA?
Working from home is pretty fantastic, I’m not going to lie! As I’m answering these interview questions, I’m curled up on the couch with my iPad after having a bit of a sleep in and I don’t have to rush out the door, deal with traffic and then slog through the day. I thought, at the start, that would be the best thing about being a VA for sure.
What I’ve discovered, however, is that it’s only a small part. The moment someone emails back with delight at their new logo or how much that piece of research helped someone nail a piece of copy they struggled with has become my most favourite thing. Seeing that I am making their dreams and passions a reality a little piece at a time with the skills I have is just A+. I love it!
Q: What do you struggle with as a VA?
Confidence for sure. Being a VA relies a lot on your own ability to self-motivate and to push out there and get work for yourself. That takes a level of confidence that I struggle with. Fake it until you make it has kind of become my go-to saying otherwise I think I’d not get closer towards any kind of success.
There are times when I feel like I’m a madwoman for even thinking I could run my own business – especially now that I’ve quit my full time, very secure job to do this full time with only one permanent client. It’s sometimes downright terrifying to rely so completely on yourself.
Q: What’s your advice for someone who wants to be a VA?
Really, really think about why you’re doing it and who you’re doing it for. It’s so easy to think about how nice it would be to work from home or to not have to answer to anyone. But the reality of being a VA is that it is hard work. You need a lot of passion to carry you through the tougher parts of working for yourself. It’s incredibly rewarding and I absolutely love it but it’s important to know the full picture of something before you jump in.
And find a solid support group! It can be very isolating without one and I can’t say how many times having my support network (both in real life and on the internet) has helped me keep going with my goal to make this VA life work for me.
Q: What tools or programs could you not live without?
My iPad Pro is basically attached to me a lot of the week. I do all my design work on it in Procreate (raster) and Affinity Designer (vector) and the Introvert VA Club logo and member badge were created solely on it. I use Google Suite for pretty much all of my documents, spreadsheets and the like, and ClickUp to keep all my projects and deadlines in order.
My notebook and all my coloured pens are also something I couldn’t live without. As much as I work digitally on almost everything, I order my thought processes so much better on paper. Besides, coloured pens are wonderful and I am totally a stationery addict, I freely admit!
Q: What’s your favorite trick for staying healthy as a VA?
Try to keep a regular schedule. Taking a ‘weekend’ even if that weekend is a Wednesday and Thursday instead of a Saturday and Sunday one week or a Sunday and Monday on another. You need a chance to do things other than your business otherwise burnout is a very real thing.
I’m guilty of working and working until my brain and body simply can’t handle it anymore and it’s actually far more detrimental to the success of your business than all that extra time put into it at the cost of your own personal time. You shouldn’t wait until you need to recharge before you take a break.
If you keep a regular schedule, make sure breaks are accounted for, you’ll feel less like you’re slacking off and not working hard enough when you take them.
Q: When and how did you discover you were an introvert?
Funnily enough, my dad is a youth worker and counsellor who’s done a lot of study on childhood development and psychology and the like. My mum was always worried about how often I enjoyed being in my own company and thought I might need to get some help to be more social. It was dad who first taught me (and her) about what an introvert was and how it was far from a bad thing. It was nice to grow up having that part of myself validated instead of seen as a problem. I’m very lucky in that case.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on the weekends?
I love to write with my fiancé or work on my own artwork. I’m an avid gamer, both the electronic and tabletop kind, and me and my housemates spend a lot of time playing board games or PS4 or going to our regular D&D campaign. I watch a lot of movies and read a lot of books too. I am, in fact, a giant geek and shamelessly so.
Q: Where can we find you?
Thanks, Lauryn! I love her ideas about embracing your true nature as a VA and turning it into your biggest strength!
For more information on how to start your own VA business, check out the Introvert VA Club for tutorials, templates, support, and more!