What made you decide you wanted to become a VA and when?

Angela Clarke
I’d been a full time Mum for just over 4 years and had been thinking on and off for a while that I needed some work back in my work/life balance. Last November a friend who had just started her VA business asked me to be an Associate for her. It got me thinking and I realised I really wanted to start working again but have the flexibility to do things with my children, so I decided to take the leap and set up my own business.

Were you concerned that there were already many VAs already out there and this would be competition?

Actually no. There are always lots of people out there who do the same role as you. However, everyone is very different in personality as well as his or her approach, therefore, there is always going to be someone out there who will be a good fit.

What gave you the confidence to give yourself that push to go ahead and do it?

My husband believed in me and thought it would be a good career choice for me. Also, when I make my mind up about something, it’s made up. I have a tendency to research things to death too, so whilst I knew it wouldn’t be easy, I felt forewarned and forearmed.

When you decided to get started what made you decide to go for some VA training?

Whilst I know all about how to be an executive assistant, I didn’t necessarily know how running a virtual assistant business worked. I love to learn and gain knowledge so training was a no brainer for me.

Why did you decide on The VA Coaching and Training Company and what was your experience of the training?

It came highly recommended by Charlotte who had completed VIP Accelerator – (a private VA Mastery Course) and had said how invaluable it was. I decided to attend a free webinar that Carmen MacDougall was holding and had about 3 light bulb moments in just that hour. I followed that up with a 30 minute discovery call with Carmen, again getting significant clarification so within about 30 minutes of ending that call I had signed up for the VA mastery course. The course has given me so much clarity on who I want to work with and how to market myself well, as well as given me the tools to run my own business.

What have been the highlights of your business so far?

Securing my very first client, then securing my first client in my niche market. That was an extremely proud moment for me. To see your vision come to fruition is an unexplainable feeling.

What have been some challenges you have experienced and if you were to do things differently next time what would you do?

Saying ‘no’ has been an interesting challenge. By nature, those who provide support services, are used to saying yes and usually bending over backwards to help, however, when you are running your own business you have to do what is right for you and your business which means ‘No’ comes up more often than you would like.

If I were to do things over, I would have gone out networking a lot earlier. It has been a huge part of my success and even though it was hugely nerve wracking, it’s been fantastic for me.

What type of clients do you work with and do you specialise in a particular service?

My niche market is Non Executive Directors, Executive Business Consultants and Executive Coaches. I have a corporate background so have an understanding of the culture and pressure that comes from working with a FTSE 100 company.

What advice would you give to anyone just starting out especially in relation to training?

Get training! You can never invest too much in yourself. It gives you a solid foundation with which to build your business and will also shine through when speaking to prospective clients and will give them the reassurance that you know what you are doing.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?

I would like to have a group of trusted associates on board so I can take on more clients and to have a brand that is recognised within my niche market.

Who in business would you love to meet and why?

I’m afraid I’m going to be a bit boring and predictable on this and say Richard Branson. The man is amazing. I would have loved to have had a chat with Steve Jobs too. I can imagine that would have been an extremely interesting conversation.

Which book has influenced you the most in your business?

Rework by the founders of 37signals. Any easy book to read but gives you some real ‘Ah-ha’ moments.

What is your favourite quote and why?

Anything by Oscar Wilde – I love his wit and at times, pure sarcasm.

What do you love to do when you?re not working?

Spending time with my family but music is also a huge part of my life and I try and go to gigs as much as I am able to.

And lastly – what one thing can you tell us about you that not many people know?

Most people probably don’t know I play the saxophone. It’s been so long since I picked it up and played it, most of my close family and friends have probably forgotten I play!


You can visit Angela’s website here: