Here at Horkey HandBook we’re huge believers in celebrating our students – especially when they’ve got an awesome story to share!
In this post we’ll be tagging along with beginner VA Trish Huber over the course of six months as she builds her business.
In case you missed it, we recently followed along with three go-getter virtual assistants in various stages of their businesses for six months in our Student Income Report Series. We enjoyed sharing these ladies’ stories so much that we decided to compile the series into case studies so that you can catch all the action in one place!
We love sharing Trisha’s story because she gives us a great glimpse into the nuts and bolts of getting a VA business off the ground – successfully we might add!
Trisha’s story is also an awesome reminder that building your own business can happen literally anywhere in the world, and on your terms!
Let’s hear about Trisha’s adventures over the course of the first six months of her business… Ready?
Building a Business in Sunny Costa Rica
When we first met Trisha she was still working her way through 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Sucess (now known as VA Foundations and included in The #FullyBookedVA System) and in the very beginning stages of her business. One of the many reasons Trisha has been so fun to follow along with has been her commitment to herself and her business, no matter what.
Following a divorce, going back to school in her forties and after holding down several jobs, Trisha was ready to make a commitment to making her dreams a reality – on her terms.
She had recently moved to Costa Rica with her new hubby and was ready to make a new start. Because of local law, Trisha would need to work online and thought it would be no thing to find a legitimate online job.
She spent months searching for online work and, as you can imagine, had some not-so-great experiences along the way.
“After months of trials and tribulations (and some seriously whack-job options!), I was fed up. Many jobs completely wasted my time and efforts and left me back at ground zero.”
Then Trisha found 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success…
“I decided, enough of the crazy – time to start my own business!… I was so happy to find this course, an actual step-by-step guide to building my own business, in the field I wanted… I just felt something click, I was sure this was the course for me.”
And, to top it all off, Trisha had found a legitimate way to support the dream life abroad she’s building with her new husband.
“The best part is that I’m building my very own business where I get to work abroad doing something I can be proud of, be my own boss, travel while working, set my own schedule and secure my financial stability. Yes, please!…
“It feels simply amazing to live in another country and be able to build a business that supports our dream life.”
During the time that we followed along with Trisha, we saw her systematically put the building blocks of her business in place, set goals to get to the next step and come up with solid plans to make it all happen.
While everyone’s approach is different – that’s the beauty of building your own business! – Trisha kicked things off right away by marketing herself even before she’d finished the course.
“The first step I took was to create a business name and secure a website domain so that I could have a brandable business and a professional way for potential clients to contact me.”
Her goals right out of the gate were to:
- Finish the course
- Build and publish her website
- Narrow down the services she’d be offering
- Send out her first pitches
- Find that first client or two!
Trisha shared with us early on that she was facing a couple of challenges. The first was a fear of pitching, and the second was a tendency to over-analyze and obsess over details – so much so that it could keep her from moving forward if she didn’t keep it in check.
Sound familiar? 😉
These challenges definitely didn’t hold Trisha back though!
During the second month of her business, Trisha let us know right away that she was serious about this whole VA thing.
In fact, she:
Finished the course…
“I’ve completed 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success! I’ve been reading, rereading and applying as I go, and it’s been so helpful to have all the what, when and how broken down – definitely critical for a type A personality like me!”
Finished her website…
“While this was a bit terrifying to do, it was also really exciting. My goal was to create something professional but engaging, and I definitely loved the creative process. And bonus – I learned a ton that I know will help me in the months to come and managed to somehow keep my sanity, win-win!”
Figured out what services she’d offer…
“I’ve settled on Pinterest management, email management and general admin tasks – I’m totally confident that these services are in high demand and that I can actually do them.”
“You never know when a new connection could lead to a client. I think when you take the time to really listen to people, they become more invested in what you have to say…
“Getting over that hurdle of putting yourself out there to people (in a non-annoying manner of course!) boosts your confidence and most importantly, starts a conversation that could bring potential business.”
Optimized her LinkedIn profile for her new VA business…
And started pitching…
“The most difficult thing I did this past month was to get myself out there and pitch. I just have a fear of portraying myself as unqualified or worse, unintelligent. Good news though – I am gaining momentum and confidence with each pitch!”
Goals – You’ve Gotta Have ‘Em!
With so much action-taking going on, we were stoked to see that not only did Trisha have clear income goals to focus her efforts, but that she also made actionable plans to get there.
Trisha’s short-term financial goal was $2,000 per month, and her long-term goal is $5,000 per month. She was also able to look ahead at what she’d like for her business…
“One year from now I aspire to:
- Maintain a monthly client list of between 5-7 clients.
- Be financially stable as a result of creating this business.
- Have a business that will continue to empower my journey.”
Trisha’s action plan involved upping her pitching game – including pitching more frequently and incorporating video pitching – to land those first clients. Her plan also included spending time learning about the services she’d be providing.
That’s a solid way to focus your efforts when you’re just starting out!
Trisha also put her social media profiles to work. She created a Facebook business page, invited friends to like it, and kept up her networking efforts on LinkedIn.
“I’m continuing to post on LinkedIn and have joined several groups there. Joining groups is such a great way to network and learn from other entrepreneurs…
“I’ve also been creating some fun posts to advertise my services. These will ideally do two things – help generate interest in my services and showcase the creative skills I have that could be applied to a potential client’s business. I also love being creative and enjoy designing them!”
The Results Are In
So how did all that goal setting and action taking go for Trisha?
By the end of our time tagging along with her she had landed her first couple of clients and had sent out an invoice for… almost $2,000!
“I was starting to get that feeling in the pit of my stomach – disappointment, maybe I won’t succeed…. I didn’t give up, though. I stayed the course and have been closely following Gina’s advice to network and keep on pitching.”
As she was starting out with her new clients, Trisha experienced one of the many very cool aspects of VA work:
“I’m enjoying the learning process with my new clients so much! I’ve been doing email management for both of them and have established a completely new set of skills. I love that about this work – learn while you earn…
“In 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success, Gina talks about one of the main benefits of VA work being that you are getting paid to learn new skills and obtain new knowledge. This is so true – you are never too old to learn and grow. With each new skill I learn, it will be a new service I can offer to potential clients. A win-win!”
Get out There and Make It Happen
During our journey with Trisha she made major strides in a short amount of time. Not only did she set up the marketing infrastructure of her business with a website and her social media profiles, but she kept on learning through the whole process.
“I’ve been able to successfully set up my business, make a return on my investment in the course and I’m armed with a wealth of knowledge that will help my business flourish. I still refer back to the course weekly, and I feel like I have this incredible resource to help me keep moving forward with my goals…
“My advice for anyone considering jumping in and starting a VA business? Don’t wait to get started, get out there and make it happen. If I can do it, you can too.”
We’re looking forward to seeing what’s ahead for Trisha. Based on her track record of setting goals and making them happen we’re confident that her story is just beginning!
Ready to kick off your virtual assistant journey like Trisha did? Get started here!
Trisha Bess is a crafty, nature-loving, adventurous American living abroad in Grecia, Costa Rica with her adorable hubby and two dogs. She is currently building a premium VA business. Her background includes small business ownership, medical information technology, working as an internet analyst and quality rater and over three decades of excellent customer service experience.