VA Spotlight: Lacey Stark
Here at The Virtual Savvy, we get emails literally every single day from people looking to start their VA biz. When they hear that you can work from home and be your own boss, they have only one question,
“How do I get started!?”.
That is the exact reason why we started these VA Spotlights. We wanted to offer an inside look into how our students have started their VA business.
This month we’ll be interviewing Lacey Stark. She has been a part of the VA Bootcamp since December and her business has absolutely exploded since that time!
She is one of our students who was looking to up-level her already existing business, and she has done just that!
That’s what we like to do here – talk to real people, just like you- who started their virtual assistant businesses from scratch.
We are asking the tough questions, and digging in to find out what made these VA’s businesses successful.
Let’s get into it!
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Lacey is a Virtual Assistant who focuses on all things techie and design. She lives in Utah and has been in the VA world since 2014!
We sat down with Lacey and asked her all the deets about how she started her VA biz! Here is what she had to say:
How did you find out about the virtual assistance world?
By accident actually! I came across a job listing for a writer that was a work from home gig. I did that job for a year and a half and have been working in the industry ever since.
That is so awesome! So that’s what really helped you take the leap to start your own business?
I had one other work from home job after that first writing gig, and after working with them for a while they ended up restructuring and brought in a family member to do the job I was doing. They still love me though!
But after that, I knew I could never go back to a 9-5 job. I decided now is the time to just go ahead and do it, it’s now or never. I had nothing ready, nothing together, no website. I just got on Facebook and started networking. Within 3 days I had my first client, and she’s still with me today!
BOOM. That is so awesome! I am convinced every person can get their first client without a website.
Let me ask, what has been the most challenging part of being a business owner?
I would say staying motivated to do stuff throughout the day when you’re home. And having kids!
Sometimes it’s like, I don’t know if I’m being a horrible parent because my son is trying to talk to me and I’m like, “K, I’m trying to finish this.”
That’s the biggest thing, balancing my kids with work.
I totally get that. Mom guilt can be real. At the end of the day, we know we are doing something we LOVE which our kids need to see. Finding that balance to know when to shut the computer is key.
Same here. That’s the hardest thing – deciding when I need to be a parent, and when I should be a business owner.
So let me ask this, what has been the most rewarding part of being a business owner?
My clients are amazing!
I love getting to work with people I want to work with. And also, showing my kids that you can create your own job or your own future. Because I did work a corporate job when they were little, and they went to daycare.
And it’s nice to be like, “you can do whatever you want, you just have to work hard for it.” And they’re seeing that and understanding that they can do that themselves if they really want to.
My 7 year old wants to be a Youtuber now!
I love this! We’re not just telling our kids, “Go after your dreams…” we’re showing them it can be done!
So how do you make sure you are only working with clients that you really love working for?
Usually, I found that if I’m just myself, the right kind of clients want to hire me. I’m seriously not very professional on the calls – I’m just ME!
I notice a change in them just by being transparent and open. They start to become more relaxed with me. The interview is more for me than for them. Do I think they are a good fit for me?
I know if I feel comfortable with them, and they seem more like a friend than a boss – it would be someone I want to work with.
What do you do to find new clients?
All of my clients are actually referrals. I get emails daily in my inbox with referrals.
What I did to get to that point is building connections with high-end coaches in Facebook groups. I focused on building a connection and a friendship first – and told them what I did when they asked.
Creating real connections without having an agenda in mind is so important, especially when you’re first starting out.
Talk to me about how do you structure your day. What does your day-to-day life look like?
I try to wake up at 4:30-5:00 in the morning. I do my own thing and make sure I’m taken care of first before everyone else. I eat; I have my coffee; I get ready for the day; I get done what I need to do around the house, or just relax and read with my coffee.
Then I get my boys up and we’re off to school. When I get home I usually take about an hour to gather myself after getting the boys out the door. Whether that’s going through emails or jumping on Facebook and answering some messages. Then I start working around 9am.
Every night I take all of my projects that I have on my to-do list and I’ll put them on my calendar at certain times. Because I am really bad and will procrastinate… So I try to keep it structured throughout the day.
My boys get out of school at around 3:30, so I go grab them, come home, and then they know that I’ll work for a couple of hours when they get home. Sometimes I don’t though because I like to spend time with them before they go to bed – so we might just watch cartoons or play games for a couple of hours.
I’ll jump back on the computer after they go to bed for a little while if I need to. Then, I try to get to bed by 10…. But that doesn’t always happen.
I love how you take so much time for YOU in your day. Seriously, so important.
So, what is a big win you’ve recently had in your business?
Well, most recently – when I made a logo for The Virtual Savvy and you bragged about it! I thought that was awesome. I love stuff like that. I love when my clients brag about me.
I think the biggest win for me is every morning, when I pull back home from taking my boys to school, I sit in my car for a minute and just think, “I am so grateful that I get to do this!.” I’m a single mom, most single moms don’t get to take their kids to school, and then come home and do their own thing. And it just happens that I get to do that, that’s my biggest win!
That’s what I was thinking as well! You’re doing this by yourself and that is amazing. My mom was a single mom. Single moms rock!
Tell me, what kind of plans do you have for your business?
I want to work my way into an online business manager and get some subcontractors.Maybe someday I’ll make a VA Boutique that is a matchmaking service for VAs!
I would also love to be able to help young moms be able to work from home and have more time for their kids.
Love the ideas!
What advice would you give to other VAs or other moms starting out in this journey?
Don’t wait for everything to be perfect. that’ s what took me so long. If I hadn’t lost my job and refused to go back to work, I wouldn’t have jumped in. I wanted everything to be perfect.
Just jump in and learn as you go! That’s what’s great about clients – they are willing to work with you.
It took a year for me to figure out what works for me, and my first client is still with me.
Jump in and you’ll figure it out as you go – because things change too! If you start one way, it could be totally different from what’s going to work in the end. But you won’t know until you just do it!
Ready to take the plunge and start your own virtual assistant business?
It’s my goal to help others change their lives and use their skill by starting their own virtual assistant business.
If you’re ready to start getting serious about your business, download the VA Biz Planning Checklist and Starter Kit!
Abbey Ashley is the Founder of The Virtual Savvy. She helps aspiring virtual assistants launch and grow their own at-home business from scratch. She's since gone on to grow a multi-six figure business and retire her husband ALL from her at-home business. It's now her passion to help others start their own VA business so they can taste the freedom and flexibility of entrepreneurship as well.
This free one-hour training combines thousands of hours of research, years of experience in growing a virtual assistant business!
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