This week I would like to introduce you to Becky Adams of Your Productive PA. Some of you will know Becky already as she is part of the VACT team – she not only supports me in managing VACT but also acts as a Community Manger in one of the Facebook communities that I run.  Becky and I both come from a Royal Navy background, and so we often think alike (and have a similar sense of humour or approach to business). So now I am going to hand over to Becky and let her tell you about herself in more detail…

Headshot Becky Adams Your Productive PAHi, I’m Becky and I started my VA Business, Your Productive PA in March 2019. I served in the Royal Navy for 8 years and many of my clients are military veterans. This wasn’t intentional but has worked out favourably as we already have an understanding of how each other work and can be open and direct with our language from the off which is invaluable. I absolutely love being a VA and running my own business has given me so much confidence. Business is booming and growing and I am so grateful to have fabulous clients and be part of such a wonderful, collaborative VA community.

What or who inspired you to become a Virtual Assistant?

When our little boy turned 3 I knew that I wanted to get back to doing what I love, which is being a PA/EA, but I also knew that I wanted to work for myself on my terms, to enable me to have the flexibility of working around school holidays etc. I turned to trusty Google to see about becoming a freelance PA and this is when I discovered that Virtual Assistant is a thing! Immediately I knew what this is the path I wanted to take.

How did you go about establishing your business?

Initially, I naively thought that all I needed was a business name and laptop and hey presto I’d be sorted. I quickly realised that this was not the case. Not for me anyway. There was so much to learn, not only about tools etc that I would need but about setting up a business in general. It was a wake-up call. I started researching a few VA training providers and then Amanda was mentioned to me on a post on LinkedIn. I connected with her and liked her immediately. Amanda was very generous with her advice and I decided right away that I wanted to train with VACT and signed up for the VA Mastery Course.

Did you have any savings or financial support in order to start your business?

No, not at all. I was working part-time while studying the course and then started to pick-up associate work. The associate work proved invaluable. It provided me with the opportunity to learn the tools I would need for my own business and this instilled me with so much confidence. It also provided me with the opportunity to forge relationships and friendships with established VAs.

Was there ever a point when you thought it wouldn’t work out?

Of course. I questioned myself and my abilities on a regular basis. In fact, sometimes I still do, although I’m happy to report that it happens much less frequently. I genuinely believe that it comes with the territory. You just have to have a word with yourself, get a grip and have the tenacity to crack on.

What support did you have around you to set up your VA business (family and friends, Coach or Mentor)?

My husband was supportive of me and my dream (although I sometimes wonder if he thought it would ever happen or not) 😊

If you could go back and change one thing that you did when starting out, what would that be?

I wouldn’t change one thing. Sounds corny but there is never a “right time” for anything in life. (In my opinion and experience). My mantra is – only look back to see how far you have come.

What is your best advice for someone who is just starting out or someone who is considering becoming a Virtual Assistant?

If you are thinking about becoming a Virtual Assistant, please do so because you have a genuine passion for the role. Do your research. There is so much info readily available on Google, make sure that you research everything that being a VA and running your own business entails. If you have decided to do a training course, please research the accredited VA trainers and reach out to them to ensure that you choose one that suits you and matches your values etc. Be part of a VA group. Regularly interact and get yourself an accountability buddy, it really helps. Please don’t choose to be a Virtual Assistant because you think it is an easy way of making a lot of money. It is hard work but you reap what you sow. If you have a genuine passion for it and are not afraid of hard work, I have no doubt you will be a success.

How would you describe the good, the bad and ugly of being a Virtual Assistant?

The Good – oh so many good things to mention. The flexibility is the most important. I have the flexibility to work whenever and wherever I choose. (99% of the time I am in my home office although I keep telling myself I will get out to the local business centres at some point). My husband is in the military and travels frequently. When he is away I am able to change my working pattern to ensure that I meet my family needs (school runs, after-school activities, dog-walking etc) and client needs. I get to choose who I work with. I am part of a fantastic, collaborative community. There is never a dull moment. Working with different clients from different industries and different needs means I am always learning and growing. The bad – oooh, I don’t think there is a bad. Some might say that they suffer from loneliness, however, I do the school run and often walk the dog with friends so, therefore, I get regular interaction. I’m also so busy that I genuinely do not have time to feel lonely. There are very few times when I have had a wobble and questioned my abilities, but I have a wonderful mentor and circle of VA friends who keep me on the straight and narrow and give me a reality check when needed.

What is the best business book you’ve read and how did it impact you and your business?

I absolutely love the Go-Giver books by Bob Burg and David Mann. Simple yet effective. As soon as I read the books I knew they resonated with me. For a bit of motivation, I thoroughly recommend Just F*ckin Do It by Noor Hibbert.

How do you stay on top of your own professional development?

I am part of Amanda’s VA Membership group and also have 1:1 mentoring which helps me stay on track. I also attend her Get Sh** Done Days which are a great way to ensure I focus on my business as opposed to just the business needs of my clients.

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

When I’m not working I enjoy family time and anything that involves being outdoors. I love to read and always have my head stuck in a book. I love attending fitness classes at my local DL gym. I find that by keeping active it definitely helps with mindset and motivation.

Tell us one thing you can tell us about you that not many people know?

When I was in the Royal Navy I appeared in a TV series called Shipmates. We had a cameraman on board with us when we deployed on a 6-month Middle East deployment which involved us taking part in the humanitarian disaster relief in Sri Lanka following the devastating Tsunami in December 2014.

What does the future hold for your business?

It’s an exciting time here at Your Productive PA. I was recently awarded Runner-Up Best UK VA Newcomer at the VA awards which has given me further confidence. I have started to grow my team to assist with existing clients and potential and future clients which will enable us to support more people who desperately need it. I will continue to build and grow and look forward to more passionate VAs joining my team.

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