As you’re reading my ‘about me’ page I guess I should tell you a bit more about me. I was born in Stoke-on-Trent in the Midlands where I lived until the age of 7. My parents decided to emigrate to Johannesburg, South Africa as my dad wanted a better life for his family. This is where I fell in love with wildlife and most holidays were spent in one game reserve or another.
After a few (not going to say how many) failed marriages (I’m rubbish at choosing a partner), I finally met my soul mate and we got married in March this year. My other passion is my dog. I have a soppy, food motivated hound who I love dearly, we love our walks and she loves the treats.
I’ve always loved learning and languages came quite easy for me so I always came top of the class when it came to learning the ‘Queens English’ and this is where I discovered my passion for writing and my dream was to become a famous writer. I always had my head in one book or another.
I started my career as a receptionist for a small family run bathroom company. My boss was super strict and not easy to relate to (I was only 19 though and had no idea about life). I found out later though she saw me as the daughter she never had. We ended up best of friends. She encouraged me to go to college and do a secretarial course for which I’ll be forever grateful to her. I passed with distinction. Sadly, my lifelong mentor and friend passed away and the company was taken over, so it was time for me to move on.
I applied for and was offered a job as secretary to a newly appointed director. I grabbed it with both hands. It wasn’t long before I was answering calls to clients, helping, and assisting them with their queries and generally just being nice. Then the Sales Director approached me because her clients kept telling her I was great at getting things organised and done. She offered me a company car (which landed up being a beat-up old Ford Escort with no power steering) and a job as Events Manager. Wow, this was the best job ever. All I had to do was wine and dine clients and arrange client functions. It was great and everyone was happy. My boss included as it was generating far more business for the company. Yay. My salary wasn’t great though.
I have always loved make-up and good nutrition so when I was approached by a company that told me I could work for them part-time and earn some extra cash, I did. Within 3 months, I left my secretarial job and became the top Sales Manager working with a team of 20 people and doubled my full-time salary! I was living the dream. I was meeting up with top performers, having lunch with the CEOs. I bought my dream car and wore expensive clothes.
Then things got rather bad in South Africa, especially for women, and my biggest fear was having my car highjacked and at worst, shot and killed. I kid you not, this was a reality. I even learned self-protection, not that it would have helped as I’m only 5ft1! So, after being mugged 5 times, yes 5 times, it was time to leave South Africa. Believe me, I was one of the lucky ones with only being mugged at knifepoint!
I moved back to the UK in 1994 and got a job as an Executive PA. During this time, I’ve worked in Pensions, Finance, and the Food Industry (where I was asked to deal with customers, as I’m so good at it). I’d been at my last company for over 14 years when I heard about Virtual Assistant work. I didn’t feel valued where I was as I was just a number in the big corporate world of finance and did until 2018 when I opened up my own business. I had no clients and it was a massive risk.
I wanted to make a difference and feel I was of assistance and liked the idea of helping businesses who couldn’t grow any further as they were wasting valuable time trying to get their back-office work done. So many business owners fall into the trap of ‘going it all alone’ and don’t realise, when they worked for a company there were people to do all the various tasks and think they can take on what they are passionate about and do ALL the back office stuff too. Any manager will tell you, once they’ve had a PA, they don’t know how they ever did without one! It is usually a good PA who runs the office while the manager does all the important stuff like go to meetings, meet clients, and build their client base. How on earth do small business owners think they can do the job of so many and survive is beyond me.
If you’re looking for someone honest, organised, flexible, enthusiastic, a fantastic communicator, and not afraid of change, then look no further.