This week I am excited to introduce our Wednesday Wisdom VA – Jodye Laxton – Beyond Admin. I am delighted to share more information about Jodye and share her story of how she became a Virtual Assistant and launched her VA business.
Hi, I’m Jodye Laxton the founder and CEO of Beyond Admin. Beyond Admin offers project management and procurement services to the engineering sectors alongside general business and administrative support. I take the time to really understand what your business needs in order to take the next steps in growth and can help you to establish processes that will scale up as your business does. I strive to make you feel as supported as you would be if you had a small team around you and I do this by building strong foundations with my clients. Embedded in my business ethics are professionalism, integrity and transparency providing you with a highly skilled administrator who has your businesses best interests at heart.
What or who inspired you to become a Virtual Assistant?
My family are a huge inspiration to me. I have a 5-year-old son and a 4-year-old daughter. My daughter has an autism diagnosis and can find adapting to changes really challenging which led me to consider other options to paid employment. By establishing my own business, I have been able to ensure that I utilise my skills by doing a job that I’m passionate about but that also fits around my home commitments and family life.
How did you go about establishing your business?
After a month or so of deliberating, I started researching what business opportunities there were available to someone with my skillsets. I found VACT on Facebook and started researching VA’s which was a term I had never even heard of before. After a conversation with Amanda about how the VA Mastery Course could help me establish my own strong foundations, I took the plunge. This really was a turning point for me, not only did it solidify my thought process but also helped to fast track the process of establishing my business.
Did you have any savings or financial support in order to start your business?
I had no financial support or savings to rely on when I launched my business. It was definitely a risk but I lived by the “speculate to accumulate” motto. Handing over the money for the mastery course was nerve-racking as it was money that we just couldn’t afford but I knew that the best way to fast track my success was to invest in my own professional development. I was delighted to see the return on investment in my first quarter.
Was there ever a point when you thought it wouldn’t work out?
Absolutely, the first few months were challenging. I didn’t expect anything to happen overnight but as time went on with no clients, I began to doubt my abilities. I’d spent a long time out of work whilst raising my family and questioned whether I still had the skills to do what I claimed. Once I had my first client, my confidence grew significantly and I realised that self-doubt could be a motivator.
What support did you have around you to set up your VA business (family and friends, Coach or Mentor)?
I am very fortunate to have such an amazing network of people around me who fully support my business. My husband has been an incredible support to me and is my biggest cheerleader when I have moments of self-doubt. I have an amazing friendship group who shout about what I do to anyone who will listen. Also, I chose Amanda as my business mentor as she had years of experience working as a VA and I loved her no-nonsense approach. Because of that support, I am now an active member of a thriving online community of virtual assistants who believe in collaboration over competition. I have worked closely with a number of these VA’s in supporting each other through business and have utilised their skills when clients have needed services that I don’t offer.
If you could go back and change one thing that you did when starting out, what would that be?
I’d have done it sooner. Establishing my own business has been challenging but so rewarding. Being able to determine how and when I like to work has been so incredible for me. I’m able to do a job that I love and be at home with my family when they need me, you can’t put a price on that.
What is your best advice for someone who is just starting out or someone who is considering becoming a Virtual Assistant?
Invest in your business. Finding a mentor who you like and who can offer you the support you need not only to build your business but also to scale your business is invaluable.
Make sure you have everything in place such as legal documents, insurance, professional registrations. If you present yourself as a professional, you will be treated as such.
Most of all I’d say don’t doubt yourself, go for it!
What is the best business book you’ve read and how did it impact you and your business?
The best book I have read to date is The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann. I have always been drawn to supportive roles because of my love of seeing other people succeed. This book focuses on the unexpected returns of putting other people first and adding value to everything you do. Great principles not just for business but for life in general.
What do you love to do when you’re not working?
I just love being with my family and spending time with my children. We really enjoy going for long walks with our 4 dogs and are very lucky to live near several national trust areas where you can walk for miles without seeing anyone.
Tell us one thing you can tell us about you that not many people know?
I’m involved with a charity called Jumpspace in Stockport who are a specialist centre offering rebound therapy, trampolining and sensory play to children and young people with disabilities. They are the only dedicated rebound therapy centre in the North West and I became involved with them after struggling to find services which could support my daughter in an appropriate way. I am delighted to say that they have recently asked me to join them as a trustee.
Learn more and connect with Jodye:
Website URL: http://www.beyondadmin.co.uk
LinkedIn URL: linkedin.com/in/jodye-laxton-712ba9183