Our Virtual Assistant Spotlight Series focuses on members of Meadows Resources Virtual Assistant Team and how they came to decide a career in virtual administration was the best fit for them. Below we speak with Eryn Stanmore:
When did you decide you wanted to be a virtual assistant and what made you consider the change?
I thought about becoming a virtual assistant for a while. I took a leap after having been fed up with Corporate America. Not getting things such as a raise or appreciation for my work, nothing was aligning at my job.
I already had a handful of clients I was working on freelance work on the side. The transition was fluid and I knew it would give me more freedom. I am a single mom with small kids and want to be with them but also need to work. I realized I am doing better on the side and Corporate America’s demands were high so I took a leap.
Now I can be right here and can be attentive to my children. I can make my schedule and do my own time management. If I have free time at night and want to spend time with my kids, I can just work later. I am in complete control of my life, which is why the change was needed.
Did your career background and experience fit into the general realm of virtual assistant work or was this a complete change in career?
It’s the same experience. I do virtual accounting and bookkeeping, but also have a Bachelor and Masters degree in Accounting and that was the work I did in Corporate America. I was able to get my client base up with people my age who are setting up businesses left and right. They don’t know if they need an Accountant or bookkeeper, but when they realize they do, then they come to me.
It all definitely aligned because I have been doing the same thing for years, but now it’s more exciting because I am doing different work for different clients instead of the same work for one client.
What were your first thoughts when researching the scope of work of a virtual assistant?
It was intimidating at first. You can jump and say “I have a handful of clients,” but how do you get more clients? My worries were “Can I replace my income and exceed my income and have even more freedom?” At first, it was nerve-wracking, but then I got that burst of adrenaline and was on Upwork and finding clients looking for my scope of work. I make sure every day to look for new work and clients. It is never the same thing every day which makes it exciting. The biggest challenge is staying organized and focused.
What ultimately made you decide this was the right career choice for you?
I got my reassurance with the stars aligning. I left my job and went “Okay here goes nothing,” and the stars aligned. I started taking steps like making my business legitimate and making a website. Things kept moving forward and it was just a reassurance.
I thought that this is what I should be doing. I’ve noticed my conversations go from “How was work today,” to “Hows business going?” I like those conversations. People are believing in me and want to know I am doing well.
What steps did you need to take to become a virtual assistant?
The big elephant in the room was having enough savings lined up. Step number two was getting everything else aligned to start a business. I had a laptop and other resources but needed a full desktop. I needed software, training, and although I had years working in accounting experience, I needed to get certified.
I networked, got certified, and researched my market on how to price and prepare for client work. This was all a new process and I knew I had to go out and find a system to keep me or client’s organized. Those steps are still on-going, but getting started it was the usual getting things legal and making myself legitimate.
How did Meadows Resources help with the entire process of becoming trained in virtual administration?
When I talked to Lindsey about the opportunity she had and that there was a sector to market virtual people, I was beyond happy. I didn’t know it existed and just speaking with her and opening up the possbility, that just blew my mind. I was just so excited even for the opportunity for this to grow. She gave me feedback, info, and we piggybacked off each other. She sees the need and know the background I have and where to place me with clients.
What advice would you give to anyone on the fence about switching their career or simply becoming a virtual assistant out of college?
You need skills to be successful in being virtual. You are working by yourself, but working for someone too, whether it’s a project or ongoing. You have to learn to be respectful of peoples times, for me I was taught that when it came to Corporate America.
I say jump because if you are thinking about it then you are already half way there. you need thegumption, will power, and need to be a researcher because you dont have a supervisor. I think for the most part it’s just you and you need to be a problem-solver. Clients can be difficult, but it’s important to understand they are learning too.
How could someone that is considering switching benefit from Meadows Resources?
I think just to have the resource like Meadows Resources is important. To know someone is out there to help market you, and not only helps you but their business as well. Linking up with Meadows Resources is one of the better choices I’ve made. It takes the burden off of new assignments and clients. Lindsey (Meadows Resources) will filter through clients and mesh the two together, so kind of the middle-man so that there is a perfect fit between VA and customer.
From working for small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, Eryn has represented her extensive knowledge of accounting and financial analysis in business in both the public and private sectors of Corporate America for over 10 years. She’s earned her way through tedious accounting projects as a junior accountant to senior accountant/mid-management roles while working with a well-rounded portfolio of clients in a variety of industries. This portfolio includes small to mid-size businesses, state agencies, franchises, entrepreneurs, and a multitude of personal finance clients. Eryn began her virtual accounting service career after recognizing the need to connect passionate business owners and knowledgeable accountants. Eryn earned her Master of Science in Accounting from Keller Graduate School of Management, and her Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Stephen F. Austin State University.