Warning: This is not a rags-to-riches story. This is not a story about an entrepreneur who rocketed to six figures in a matter of months. You will not learn how to make millions of dollars from reading this blog post. Though you may learn how to get started on the journey towards your dream life. This is a story about an unemployed single mom who wanted more time with her family while still paying the bills.
Back in early 2015, I was unexpectedly fired from my job as a project manager at a marketing firm. I was devastated, hurt, and panicked. After all, I had a son to take care of and my boyfriend and I were just about to put an offer down on a house that day!
I cried the entire way home. I couldn’t even call the realtor, I had to text her, because I was so upset. I spent the next few days filing for unemployment, crying over bowls of ice cream, and trying to figure out what to do.
Little did I know, this was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. I even wrote a blog post about it.
You see, for years, I had been trying to figure out a way to make money without having to leave my child in daycare and sit at a desk all day. I even had a failed yoga studio and a retired Etsy shop under my belt. But for the past 2 years, I had been so busy at my miserable job, that I didn’t have any time to continue dreaming and hustling and figuring out what I wanted to do. So I kept coming in, every morning, going through the motions, and collecting my paycheck. I wasn’t happy or fulfilled.
But now! Now I had the time! Sweet, sweet, wonderful time!
But what was I going to do with it? I didn’t have enough money to fund a new business venture and pay the bills.
I lamented to one of my Facebook groups and I met a wonderful woman who offered me a free coaching session. It was a great session! Not only did she think that I grossly undervalued myself, my skills, and the things I had to offer, but she had a pretty good idea of where I should start.
She encouraged me to become a virtual assistant. This was something that I already had the skills for, didn’t need additional education or certifications for, and I could start immediately. Maybe it wasn’t my dream job, but it was a great starting point.
So I did.
I became a virtual assistant who offered my clients help in marketing. That’s right, in a matter of moments I became “recently fired project manager” to “virtual assistant.” It was that easy.
I had learned so much from my previous job, that I had a ton of skills that I could utilize to help other women grow their businesses.
I built a free website on Weebly and started spending my days networking in Facebook groups full of women who were running their own businesses ie: women who might need my services.
I answered questions, I plastered my website URL in every appropriate post, and I offered free advice. In short, I became very active (aka visible) in these groups. And suddenly, I started getting requests for consultations.
My first consultation ended in an offer for a bartering of services. It was hard for me to say “no,” especially to my first potential client, but I truly needed money more than anything at this point and needed to reserve my time for people who were willing to pay me cash for my services.
But my second meeting was amazing! I landed my first gig in under a month of starting out! And it was a good one, as of the writing of this blog post, I’m still a virtual assistant for that client, even though my business has evolved.
Eventually, I landed another and another and another.
It was great! I loved my job. I loved my clients.
As time went on, I realized how much fun I had designing websites and writing copy. Now that I had a bit of income, I invested in a few classes to further my knowledge in those departments.
The next January, was my “leap” month. This would be the first time that I was relying solely on my business to pay my bills. I was terrified. What if I couldn’t do it? The thought of going back to work 9-5 made me literally nauseated. I would have panic attacks just thinking about working for someone else again.
The end of January came and I had doubled my income from December. The end of February came and I had doubled my income yet again! The end of March came and, again, my bills were paid. April was a little rough, as was May (due to taking time off for a long awaited surgery). But I was still bringing income in. By the end of May, not only had all my bills been paid, but I had saved half of my goal for the year and invested even more in my business! It was absolutely amazing!
Additionally, I was showing signs of comfortable growth. It was never my goal to become a millionaire. Yes, I welcome abundance, but I’m very happy with being able to pay my bills, spend time with my family, and put some money away for a cushion/vacations/retirement. Maybe someday, I’ll want to grow bigger, but for now, this is great! Just this morning, I volunteered at my son’s school’s book fair. Yesterday, I volunteered in his classroom. This afternoon, my boyfriend and I bought some iced lattes and sat by the river in the middle of the afternoon to watch the freighters go by. Earlier this month, I was able to take 2 weeks to recover from a very intense surgery and not worry about money.
This is the life. This is amazing. And I made this happen with no capital.
Don’t let your lack of funds hold you back. You don’t always have to start where you want to end up. You don’t even have to know where you want to end up. Just start and change when you aren’t happy. Change when you want more or less. Take breaks and do things that are good for you and that feed your soul. This is your life and your biz, you can do what you want with it. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.