One of the questions I’m asked most often is how I became a content writer and virtual assistant. So, I thought I’d share a little bit more of my backstory (side note: if I say “back story”, do I sound more like a superhero or not?). Anyway… focus, Kristina. I don’t share this to brag or tell you it’s the only way to do things. I share this because I want to inspire other women to take the leap of faith that so many of us want to take. And, I just hope that it reminds other business owners that they’re not alone if things feel a bit bumpy right now. So here’s my story:
This business was born out of a dream. When we found out that I was pregnant in the spring of 2017 with David, we both began to brainstorm how I might be able to be home for our kid. At the time, I was working as a research assistant in a military treatment facility, running my photography business on the side, and had been a virtual assistant and content writer for about 10 months. I was also performing 5 nights a week in a show at a local theatre. Suffice to say, I was busy. And getting super pregnant. I knew that if I went back to work, I’d be basically paying for childcare and not actually contributing to the household anymore. That was a huge factor for me to want to stay home and work.
Ryan and I walked a lot while I was pregnant. I’m not sure if it really helped anything, but it made us feel better. Almost every time we went out for a walk, we talked about what was going to happen when I gave birth. We kept coming back to the idea of me quitting and working full-time at home with the business. What scared me the most is that I was just getting my feet under me as a virtual assistant and content writer. I wasn’t worrying about 401Ks or really paying myself much. I was just trying to get started. That was a far leap from going full-time.
But we ran numbers. A lot. My budget spreadsheets got a bit crazy in those days. As the winter wore on, I began taking more inquiries and discovery calls. And I realized there was a demand for what I was doing. Other business owners wanted help managing their businesses. They wanted help writing optimized blog content and emails. We finally hit a point where we thought: “this is possible.”
Preparing for Baby (and the business)
So what did I do for the rest of my pregnancy? I hustled like crazy until David was born. Those few months were tiring but I’m so thankful looking back. I brought on new clients. As the winter came, I was getting emails and calls left and right – and thankfully many of them understood I would be taking maternity leave and waited for me. They WAITED. For ME. Someone they’d never worked with before. Nothing will ever mean more than that to me. When my maternity leave from my 9-5 was up, I quit my job and began full-time business ownership with a 7 week old on my hip. It was hard. Those early days were really tiring and I wasn’t sure I was going to make it.
David wasn’t a baby who slept consistently. And he had no nap time until about 7 months old. Not to mention, I was back at the theatre, breastfeeding, and we learned he had several dietary issues. Looking back, I can’t believe what we managed to pull off in those first months. But we made it. He sat with me at my desk more often than not. And sat in my lap for many calls, many days writing copy, and showed up on more Zoom calls than I can count. I am so lucky that every single client I had understood – even if they didn’t have kids themselves – and appreciated what I was doing. Even if it was at 2am.
Here we are, almost four years later. David is now a toddler who attends preschool three mornings a week. I’m running my business, increasing my income each month, working to provide resources for other business owners, and supporting small businesses internationally. I have two (almost three!) contractors on my team now. I’m not going at it alone anymore and it feels amazing. Over the last year, I’ve actually niched down my services even more really focusing on being a content writer more than anything else. And, despite the pandemic, I lucked out – more clients realized they needed me and now we have a waitlist. I never ever dreamed that would be our story four years later.
I feel so lucky to have made it this far. And I guess all I’m trying to say is: DREAM BIG. And never settle for anything less than what you want with your whole heart. Everything is possible when you put your heart (and your back) into it. Being a mother didn’t impede me from chasing these dreams. In fact, it made me stronger. Whatever your story is, just START. That’s the hardest part. I’m here cheering you on.