Let's start mine at the beginning. I'm originally from England, born there in 1981.
I got my first job when I was 14 (I’d been searching since I was 13, but people seemed less inclined to hire a 13 year old) I started working part time as a waitress in a hotel, I really enjoyed it, actually, I really enjoyed earning money, I liked the feeling of picking up my cash at the end of the weekend, I liked deciding what to do with it, it gave me a taste of what the world could offer me.
I Made A Few Discoveries...
After being denied a grant to college (which I now find to be a blessing, not wanting to sound all controversial, but I really have little faith in the traditional education system), I decided to leave school and home when I was 16 and I ended up working what seemed like every job under the sun, these included continuing hotel work, housekeeping, waitressing, working in a hospital cleaning the instruments after surgical operations, (passed my driving test at 17) then when I came of age at 18, I worked in various bars, progressed into retail (shops), then back to receptionist work in a hotel, then onto the wonderful world of “office work” - that’s when I think I really discovered the kind of environment I liked to work in, clean, air conditioned, great desks, coffee machines and business lunches…
But… It wasn't until I started working in finance (banking and mortgages) for the most part, that I saw real potential - even though I was an employee, at 18 I discovered that there might have been an entrepreneur inside me. I knew I had come of age to apply for a mortgage and I started buying property, back then it was the days of home decorating programmes like “changing rooms” which inspired me, and I read the bank’s house repossession lists with excitement to see what bargains might be available, and because I wanted to be the first to have access to those lists, and the best mortgage deals, I stayed working in finance - I bought and sold 5 properties in the UK before the age of 23 and whilst I was doing well, dream job, dream home, dream car - I started to realise that those weren’t really my dreams at the time, they were, I guess ‘societies’ - so I sat down one day in February 2005 and thought about what “I” really wanted. (Deep, I know…)
I Dared Myself To Do It...
What followed was a life changing experience, I decided that I wanted to expand my horizons, see the world, and not have to work for ‘The Man” any longer. I had no idea how I was going to fund it, (yes I had property but I also had mortgages, I was living essentially on borrowed money) what I would do for work, or how it was all going to happen, but the next day, with some dutch courage and in my usual (typical Taurean) very stubborn, “I’m doing this thing” attitude, I walked into work and handed in my notice, I then went to the estate agent and put my house on the market, and I then went to the travel agent and booked a one way ticket to Egypt for exactly 3 months later - the day before my 24th birthday, and afterwards I told my family the news - I was going to start my new life before I turned 24.
And Hell Yeah, I Did It...
When I arrived in Egypt, with nothing but faith in myself, the universe and technology (that took the form of my notebook laptop) I sat in a hotel on the famous River Nile, with wi-fi, and I opened up Google. I knew the laptop was to be my tool to generate an income, I just didn’t know how yet.
I started researching ways to make money online, found many of them rather cheesy, or distasteful (ahem…), or unbelievable, and a majority ‘scammy’ - I started selling Egyptian rugs on eBay to bring in a bit of income, but I knew that wasn’t going to “cut the mustard” so to speak, then I came across something called a “Virtual Assistant” and the rest, as they say is history.
I spent 2 years in Egypt, and during this time I self-taught myself Dreamweaver and Photoshop, tried and tested multiple online systems and researched/worked the night away with my falafel and Egyptian mint tea to keep me going, I built myself a website and Virtual Miss Friday
was born - I started working as an online freelance Virtual Assistant, knowing that the only way I could find any clients who were going to pay me for it online, a) because I was in Egypt, and b) because the whole point of this expedition around the world was so that I didn’t have to rely on any one person, at any one time, in any one place. I was going to create a business that could function and operate only online, which didn’t require any other equipment than a computer, didn’t require me to physically meet anyone, and could be run from anywhere with an internet connection. That might seem very common now, but back in 2005, it was considered quite ambitious.
How It Turned Out...
After 4 months or so of actively putting what I’d taught myself into practise, gaining my first clients, I progressed on to begin hiring sub-contractors (other VA’s and independent professionals who had skills I wanted to offer in the company), I expanded and developed a team worldwide and created a 6 figure IBC (International Business Corporation) all while also meeting my husband, having 3 children and living in 6 countries. I now work as an online business consultant and manager, virtual assistant and teacher to clients from all walks of life, all around the world. (And yep, it’s still all virtual!)
I’m currently spending time in hot climates enjoying life, and servicing clients and learning new cutting-edge ways to develop Virtual Miss Friday everyday.
I’m ambitious, down-to-earth, practical. I know that anyone can get what they want out of life with the right mindset, energy, commitment and know-how. I'm a strong believer that when we work with our minds through self-development - and not just our hands, we can achieve remarkable results.