VA Feature Friday: Barbara Moorer of High Touch Virtual Solutions
What made you decide you wanted to become a VA and when?
Basically, I wanted to have a better work life balance but, also, I wanted to find a pathway which would still enable me to continue to do the things that I love. When I was first introduced to the concept of a virtual assistant in 2011, I must confess I could not get my head around how this would work but once I did, I knew this was the right road for me. It just made so much sense and so in 2011 I knew I wanted to be a VA.
Were you concerned that there were already many VAs already out there and this would be competition?
Of course not. The amazing thing about the virtual assistant industry is that there are so many avenues you can take to offer a virtual service. At the end of the day, you are unique in your own right with your own personality and experiences, people buy into that. In addition to the obvious skills and experience, people are attracted to people and we are all different.
What gave you the confidence to give yourself that push to go ahead and do it?
I think visiting the Office Show in 2013 gave me that final push. I was introduced to the VA Coaching & Training Company (VACT) at that time and attended one of the sessions there. I was very moved by what I got from the session which was very inspiring and, after reading the leaflets and researching the website from the VACT, I made that final decision to go ahead and do it.
When you decided to get started what made you decide to go for some VA training?
I decided to start in November 2013.The leaflets I got from the Office Show promoted the VA Mastery Course. Although I had already started to do my own research and I was fairly confident I could set up the business, the outcomes from the VA Mastery Course sound quite appealing. I did hesitate as it was quite a hefty monetary investment but when I considered the outcomes and what I would gain I decided to go for it. The concept of completing a course and at the same time actually building the business using the course modules and resources appealed to me and I decided to go for it.
Why did you decide on The VA Coaching and Training Company and what was your experience of the training?
As I mentioned before, I made that choice based on the promotion at the Office Show. In addition, I had a lengthy conversation with Carmen MacDougall at the time at the Office Show as well and this encouraged me to do due diligence and then follow up with registration. With regard to the training, I would strongly recommend that any new VA complete the VA Mastery Course or similar course before embarking on a career as a VA. There is so much information you pick up about managing a business and the good thing is that you build your business whilst you are completing the course. The content is excellent and there is an abundance of resources for you to take advantage of. I believe this was the most worthwhile investment in my journey to become a VA.
What have been the highlights of your business so far?
I think the journey itself has been quite amazing; I have met some very knowledgeable Virtual Assistants and graduating from the VA Mastery Course within a short timeframe and still working full-time. I am also over the moon at having just launched my website.
What have been some challenges you have experienced and if you were to do things differently next time what would you do?
I think the biggest challenges have been working full time whilst building my business and dealing with family trials including the loss of my mother a few months ago. I also find networking a challenge for the reasons mentioned above. If I had to do it differently, I would probably prefer to quit full time work and concentrate on building the business.
What type of clients do you work with and do you specialise in a particular service?
The clients I prefer to work with are HR Professionals particularly freelance trainers, executive coaches and business consultants. My specialist service is project managing learning events. I love working with any intervention that relates to people development.
What advice would you give to anyone just starting out especially in relation to training?
Get some form of VA training and invest in a business coach, it is a worthwhile investment if you want to get your business off to a perfect start.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?
In 5 years’ time, I would like to see myself as Techie VA with a team of Associate Virtual Associates to support my business.
Who in business would you love to meet and why?
Actually I won’t mind meeting Susan Mershon from the Techie Mentor. I really get inspired by her webinars and I find her so knowledgeable. I would like to move towards being a Techie Virtual Assistant so meeting her would be a treat. I am also inspired by the fact that she also built her business working full time and she was able to successfully achieve that despite having a young child to take care.
Which book has influenced you the most in your business?
Actually it was a book introduced to me on the VA Mastery Course and was recommended reading, ‘Mind Maps for Business’ by Tony Buzan. The concept of mind mapping really got my creative juices going when I was stuck for ideas in moving my business along. It helped me a lot with brainstorming.
What is your favorite quote and why?
It is a quote by Henry Ford actually – ‘If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got’. We all have dreams that we want to accomplish but sometimes we just keep putting it off for various reasons ‘would I make enough money’ or ‘will I find customers who want to work with me’?. The thing is if you do not do anything to move forward you will always stay at the same point. You got to allow yourself to dare, be brave, to move forward otherwise you will not know what you are capable of. If you think of the worst thing that can happen is really you would be just back where you started, doing exactly what you have always done.
What do you love to do when you’re not working?
Chill out at home. I love being at home and just relaxing basically because my life is so busy and I am always on the go. I look forward to going home.
And lastly – what one thing can you tell us about you that not many people know?
Hmm that is a difficult one to be honest. One thing I can think of is that I do flower arranging and I specialize in preparing arrangements for functions. It is just a hobby though.
Read one of Barbara’s recent blog posts:?