I’m sure most business owners would agree that starting your own company isn’t something to undertake lightly. Having the confidence and attitude to take the knocks along with the successes is key. But for Margo Parkes, taking the plunge into business ownership with the help of My VA Business was the confidence boosting solution she needed, following time away from work.
“Ironically, I failed typing at school, and really wasn’t keen on working switchboards,” says Margo, “but somehow I fell into working in Administration.”
More recently, she spent 5 years working for a Charity Hospice in her local area.
“I began as PA to the Director of Fundraising and then to the CEO. The job was great, but very fast paced as I worked a lot with the board of Trustees – which also meant lots of meetings!”
Margo herself admits that her action packed work schedule left her worn out. And when new staff came in and her role transferred to PA to the Director of Finance, she started to feel differently about the job she had always loved. The changes at work triggered a bout of depression in Margo, which saw her take some time away from work to clear her head. During this time off, she realised that going back to her role at the charity really wasn’t for her and she started to look at the job market with the idea of finding something new.
“Quite randomly, a friend of mine mentioned being a VA, but I didn’t really know what that meant, other than being able to do the work I knew from my own home office” says Margo. Intrigued she popped ‘VA’ into Google and came across Sarah and My VA Business.
Sarah’s VA in a Box package was an interesting discovery and she decided to find out more by signing up to a webinar. “The webinar really interested me and straight away I booked a call with Sarah. From that call I was hooked, and with Noel and Sarah’s help I secured myself a loan and bought my VA in a Box package, as well as some equipment for my home office.”
Margo is the first to admit that thanks to her depression she wasn’t in a great place mentally when she originally set up her business, and self-doubt did set in. “But deep down, I knew this way of working would be great and fit so well with me.”
“Having recently worked through my depression, I found the Boost Your Confidence program extremely helpful. And Noel and Sarah were always amazingly supportive – explaining the business side of things, but also understanding my personal issues too. And my husband has always remained so supportive – even despite some tough times financially.”
“The My VA Business package never felt daunting. It was really easy to follow and I love how I can refer back to it as and when I need to, even now.”
A year or so on and Margo truly loves being a VA. “It has certainly boosted my confidence; the change in me is amazing. I’m doing things I never thought I’d do – like a couple of weeks ago I was helping a client by driving a forklift!”
Margo has chosen to take on further training, brushing up on her bookkeeping skills and writing Minutes. Many of her client tasks require her to use a new piece of software or learn a new system, which she really enjoys doing because, as she says, “It keeps the mind active!”
When asked about her plans for the future, Margo says she’s quite happy where she is. “I don’t need to be ‘king of the world’, I’m quite happy working the way I do and I have some lovely clients who keep me very busy. I also love the flexibility, I can work as and when I want to and I can even go and work in the garden when the sun’s out!”
If you’ve been inspired by Margo and her story and would like to find out more about starting your own VA business – click here to book a call.
Interview courtesy of Sam Evans.