Q: What in the world is a virtual assistant? A: A virtual assistant is essentially a contract worker that provides services digitally. Virtual assistants offer services from general administrative support to social media to web design and more. They’re someone who is there to help and be in your corner when you need a reliable, helping hand.
Q: How will we actually work together virtually? A: There are so many amazing software and task management systems out there that make my work (and yours) entirely visible. I love to use Zoom for video calls and Slack for anything you might need a quick answer to. Project management systems like Asana and Trello can tell you what’s on my plate at a glance and what’s on yours. We’re not just confined to email anymore! One of my values is transparency and integrity. I never want you to feel like you’re in the dark about where my time is spent!
Q: What if I’ve never hired a virtual assistant before? I’m overwhelmed but don’t even know where to start. First things first, this is totally normal! A lot of people know they need help and keep hearing about virtual assistants and how they need to hire one. When we first start working together we’ll hop on a call and do a quick assessment of your business and how you’re spending your time. From there we analyze what we can take off your plate and put on to mine (it’s more than you’d think at first!) and leave the call with a system in place to get started!
Q: What time zone are you in and what are your office hours? I’m currently located in the Pacific Time Zone in the beautiful state of Oregon. My general office hours are 9:00a-5:00p, Monday-Friday.
Q: Why do you only work on monthly retainers? Why not charge hourly like other VA’s? The biggest reason is that it’s a predictable expense for my clients! Just like me, I know you’re on a budget and are conscious about how you spend your hard earned dollars. This also takes away the hassle of tracking hours and constantly invoicing you for more hours when they’re needed. Retainers make this so you don’t even think twice about it or worry about running out of hours.
Q: What’s your background and who have you worked with? I initially jumped into the VA world because when I left college, I knew I wanted to help people and that I loved the internet. I stumbled upon virtual assistance while on Pinterest one day, while looking for at home jobs. It immediately looked like the perfect fit, seeing as my husband and I also only had one car at the time (and still do)! I wanted to incorporate my newly acquired Bible college degree too, so I googled Christian virtual assistant. The company BELAY popped up and it was the perfect fit. I took a leap and applied and within a month was hired and serving my first two clients. I was the youngest VA they had ever hired and I’m so thankful they took a chance on me when they did! In addition to that I had worked as a business assistant to an interior designer, an administrative assistant for a church plant and an executive assistant for an entrepreneur. Now I focus solely on serving freelancers, solopreneurs and digital entrepreneurs.
Q: What’s your deal with planners? A few years ago, I found myself really confused, directionless and just generally bummed about life. I had many things to be grateful for, but something felt so off.
I always felt so busy and like I never had time to do or invest in the things I wanted to accomplish and spend time with the people I loved. I was going a million miles an hour, but in no particular direction.
That all changed when I picked up my first planner and committed to using it.
You see, I have always been more of a “Type A” personality. I still remember so clearly the first planner I got in 5th grade. It had a horribly bright, orange, clipart Tiger cover on it, thick paper, and was held together with small, silver coiled binding. I treasured that thing. I loved writing in it. I loved seeing what was coming up next. I loved feeling productive and like I was “ahead” of my homework. Since 5th grade, I’ve had multiple planners and desktop organizers, but none had been life changing like my first Erin Condren planner was, after I had hit rock bottom.
I don’t remember how I stumbled upon Erin Condren planners or the colorful, wild, but amazing planner community, but I was hooked. You can be organized and make it bright and whimsical too? Sign. Me. Up. I have always been drawn to organization, but feared becoming a crazy, stuffy, obsessive type person. I had a limited mindset that I wasn’t creative. Now that I live my life with more intention than ever, I’ve found that these things just aren’t true. Sure, intention, creativity, and organization come more naturally to some personality types. But I truly believe with all my heart that anyone and everyone can be organized and should have a planner. Sometimes it takes hitting rock bottom to see that it’s time for a change (like it did for me) and that it’s time to live with intentionality.
My dream is to help as many people as I can find the right tools to live their life with intentionality. Some people say they get a kick out of running their hands along the binding of books as they walk through bookstores, I want that – but with planners!
Q: Why blog about planners? A while ago, my husband and I visited a store that claimed to have planners and paper in stock. We excitedly went in and on their shelves, they had 2 planners. I left the store so frustrated. Didn’t they know there were more than 2 planners out there that could help people?! I started dreaming of this site and finally decided to just do it and put it out there.
I also have a weird obsession with planners that’s not normal. . . I realized this when I was in a friends wedding, and in the bridesmaid bio she mentioned how obsessed I was with them. It kind of hit me then.
My planner became my happy place. I can’t imagine life NOT having a planner now and NOT having my trusty sidekick always with me. That’s what I hope and want for you!
Q: What do you currently use for a planner?
In 2017 and 2018 I was obsessed with my Hobonichi! In 2019 I made the leap to a Whitney English Day Designer due to the need for more space for time blocking and I adore it.
Yesterday we were at Kohl’s in line to pay for my shirt (I needed a yellow shirt for tonight’s @oregonwbb game cause it’s a #Yellowout and my girls are going to crush it and found one for $11 👌🏼) Anywho. . . •
There was a well dressed woman in front of us checking out who was visibly frustrated. She had quite a few pieces she was buying and the amount kept getting higher and higher and higher. . . When she tried to run her card it got declined as credit. The cashier informed her she’d need to run it as debit to use that card. •
I saw her body tense up and my stomach was in knots for her. Clearly, not being able to put it on credit was a major inconvenience for her. (And boy, did she let the cashier know this 🙄.) So she hesitantly and slowly swiped it as debit and then breathed a sigh of relief when the transaction was approved.
I have no idea her career, her income, her living situation, etc. But I so badly wanted to quietly tell her that there’s a better way. That America sells us the lie that excess will equate to happiness. That budgeting is not misery it’s a map. That managing your money and getting your financial act together is an empowering, freeing, and amazing way to practice self care that everyone preaches about. That sticking your head in the sand just creates 10x the anxiety compared to sitting down and getting real with yourself about your debt. That debt ruins lives, limits options and kills dreams and people who tell you you need debt to live are often broke, anxious, confused and a mess. •
But I didn’t. I watched her grab her child’s hand and walk out of the store with her giant bag, knowing full well that if I hadn’t gained the knowledge I have, researched, asked questions, cried many tears of shame, decided to confront the trauma and unhealthy patterns I had. . . That that woman could have very well been me.