#SelfStarterStories: From being an Administrator to becoming a self-employed Assistant
This week's #selfstarterstory features Vicky Smith, a Freelance Assistant.
#PickYourselfUK caught up with Vicky to learn more about her entrepreneurial journey.
What was your last job?: Receptionist/Administrator
When did you choose to PICK YOURSELF instead of waiting to be chosen by someone else?: Then when my daughter was born I suddenly gained a burning desire to face my career head-on. It was a maternal need to provide well for my family and to give this little girl a role model, she became my catalyst. I was going to stop waiting and start changing my situation.
What was the most challenging part of starting a business?: My mindset. I have always felt as if my career choice is not recognised in its own right. That it’s seen as a stepping stone. Time and time again I encountered the perception that being an assistant or receptionist is easy, that no skill is involved because after all, all you do is sit around all day drinking coffee and filing your nails!
Finally, I realised that I needed to work on my own confidence. If I changed my mindset, others would follow. I’m not a jack of all trades; I’ve had to think on my feet over the years and build a skillset to provide my employers with solutions.
This career isn’t a stepping stone; I could use it to move into a more challenging, proactive role. I would take what I was good at and provide my services to small business owners in a freelance capacity.
What is your favourite business book and why?: I've just ordered a load, so I have a reading list as long as my arm! But one book that gets me in the right mindset to start the day with focus is The Miracle Morning by Hal El Rod. I also use my Dailygreatness Business Journal each day to ensure I am taking steps to help me move forward.
Do you do everything yourself? What do you outsource?: Yes. I'm the person people outsource to!!
How do you market your business?: Mainly networking (including network/support groups such as CheltenhamMaman MumBoss Club and Girl Tribe Gang), Facebook and Instagram.
When you first launched, how did you get your first paying customers?: I offered a few contacts some free administration assistance in return for testimonials. A couple of these then went on to continue to provide me with paid work.
Nominate one person/friend who believed in you from the start, and what would you like to say to them today?: Kate Starkey of CheltenhamMaman. She's just bloomin' ace! If you're a Mum and run a business then she's the lady to have by your side.
What would you say to someone who is toying with the idea to start a business but haven't yet?: Speak to people. Friends, family, strangers..... It's scary to voice your dreams, to begin with, but once you start putting those ideas out there you'll be surprised how much support you actually have and how good your ideas are.
If you could have dinner with one entrepreneur, who would it be and why?: Serena Williams. She has so much strength, both physically and mentally.
To stay up to date with Vicky's entrepreneurial journey, please find her on Facebook below:
Vicky Smith has qualified for the #PickYourselfUK Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year award 2018. If you'd like to enter yourself or nominate a small business entrepreneur for this award, please submit your story below.