One of the questions people ask me most is how I got started as an entrepreneur.
Before we dive into that, here are a few bullets on my backstory:
↠ My university education is in Chemistry
↠ During university I worked as a nanny and science tutor
↠ After university, I fell into a full time job working in the commercial real estate industry
↠ Worked in that 9-5 for about two years
What do those things have in common? They all have absolutely no relation to the entrepreneurial realm.
The main reason I am where I am is because the 9-5 lifestyle did not match the vision I had for my life. There was a major lack of freedom, fluidity, growth and balance. I simply thought, as many of you may have – this can’t be it.
I didn’t want to wait for someone else to give me a raise, try to be okay with my two weeks of vacation per year, say yes to things I actually wanted to say no to and probably end up hitting some glass ceiling.
I wanted to wake up every morning excited that my alarm went off, be stoked to tackle the day, advance my career when I saw fit, go to the gym at whatever hour I felt like, work from wherever I wanted to and not have to schedule my life around what was convenient for someone else.
Then started the researching (mainly on my lunch breaks each day) and I landed on freelancing.
HOW I GOT STARTED FREELANCING
Circling back to the fact that my degree was in the sciences, my main concern was that I didn’t have the skills to freelance.
Introducing the courses that changed everything for me, created by my (amazing) friends Shay + Cassie (aka. The Bucketlist Bombshells), the BB Courses.
Instead of spending hours researching how to get started and learning all the skills I needed – these courses have everything you need to start your business neatly wrapped up and served to you on a silver platter.
Through these courses I learned all the skills potential clients were currently hiring for. Along with how to create a website to showcase my services, how to time track, invoice, set up a client workflow, figure out my rate, structure my services and quite literally, everything in between.
If you want to know more about my experience with the BB Courses, you can check out my interview with them here. (This interview was when I got back from Bali, almost a year and a half ago!)
After I was setup, I promptly quit my job and literally jumped on a plane two days later. I then lived in Bali for two months while I searched for my first clients and got my business rolling for this fresh start.
This was hands down one of the BEST decisions I’ve ever made. I was in a beautiful place, feeling inspired as heck, surrounded by digital nomads who all worked online and had nobody in my ear telling me I was crazy.
Within two weeks of landing in Bali, I had my first client. From there, I would take on any freelancing job I managed to land and figured it out along the way. It was terrifying, exhilarating and I learned more during this stage of my business than you could imagine.
I did everything under the umbrella of Virtual Assistance.
(Here’s a definition if you’re unfamiliar: A virtual assistant is generally self-employed and provides professional administrative, technical, or creative assistance to clients remotely.)
I started taking on clients for projects that included tasks such as managing social media profiles, helping them map out and implement the launch of a new product, website alterations, managing their calendars and correspondence with clients, helping to manage a podcast, writing blog posts and more.
Once I had practice dealing with a variety of clients, was comfortable taking charge, comfortable on Skype, and generally comfortable with the whole concept of working remotely – I began to narrow down my services to the things I actually liked doing.
One service that proved lucrative (and super fun) was Pinterest Management for Businesses. Yes, that’s a thing.
I would essentially audit a Pinterest profile and conduct a one hour Skype session explaining how exactly Pinterest works and how we can use it to increase sales/leads within their business. I would then charge at an hourly rate to implement the changes going forward. (Full disclosure if you want to look into this – it’s not all pinning, as fun as that would be. The main focus is making their profile SEO friendly, which includes things such as keyword research, nailing down their exact audience, creation of pin templates, setting up automation to outsmart the Pinterest algorithm and more.)
But my main passion was along the lines of being an Online Business Manager. If you know me at all, you know I’m a neat freak to the MAX. I’m all about the systems, the organization, project management and making everything as simple and seamless as possible. I especially love working on bigger picture projects with teams where I’m having a real and measurable impact on their business. I then focused on narrowing down my client base to those who required this type of work within their business and I’ve been so lucky to work on so many amazing teams!
WHAT I’M CURRENTLY DOING
I’m currently working as a remote contractor with an out-of-this-world wonderful 12 person team. My role within the company includes everything I love doing outlined above. I manage the roll out of weekly deliverables such as blog posts and podcasts, as well as working with the team to plan bigger picture pieces such as product launches, affiliate work and Facebook Ads. My role is so diverse and I seldom do the same thing each day, which is one of the reasons I love it so much. I also get paid to be organized, which for me personally, is the best thing I could think of.
I also started this blog as a passion project on the side. It’s a place for me to be creative, try new things and meet new people (helloooo whoever is reading this!).
WHY I’LL NEVER GO BACK TO A TRADITIONAL 9-5
A few things in my life that have changed for the better because of the decision to go out on my own:
↠ I get sick maybe once per year. At my 9-5 and even in university, I used to get sick pretty often. It was easy for me to get run down and burnt out. Now having pretty much total control over my time, I simply break if I need a break, I workout at whatever time of the day feels best, I sleep in if I feel I need to…what a concept, right.
↠ I can work from coffee shops, a different continent or my bed – doesn’t matter. For example, I’m writing this post while I’m in Vegas. Mainly because I wanted to hangout and work somewhere warm for a few weeks, just because I felt like it.
↠ The autonomy over my time and the freedom to structure my days around what feels best for me, is simply invaluable.
IF YOU’RE INTERESTED IN TAKING THE NEXT STEPS
Here’s everything I mentioned in this post, along with a few additional resources:
My business, Salt House Media.
BB Courses (They currently offer three and I’ve taken them all. The Work Online + Travel the World Course, The Tech Skills Course + The Design Skills Course.)
My interview with the Bucketlist Bombshells.
My free list of must-haves for entrepreneurs, click here to grab it.
Me! Leave a comment below with any questions and I’ll be happy to answer them.
Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve. – J.K. Rowling