1 – Tell us a bit about yourself
I’ve had a fascination with words and their structure since childhood. When playmates would be drawing and doodling, I would be writing notes or poems or lyrics. And maybe drawing volcanos over and over again, with lava flowing and the under-earth magma, all red and hot and everything!!!
But I digress. I love adventures into newness because I am so unrelentingly curious. Rabbit holes, and jumping there into, is a life mission. Sometimes I do jump straight out again, but often (like when I studied everything I possibly could about the World Rally Championship before interviewing Colin McRae’s Welsh co-driver Nicky Grist ) I remain captivated for life. With bells on! (Formula One? What’s that all about then?)
When I finished Uni, my sister was dating a music promoter and an advance copy of the album, Portishead Live, landed in my hands. Five minutes later, I had decided to be a music journalist so offered a written review to Buzz Magazine in Cardiff. Expanding to incorporate music, art, opera, and current affairs, with artist management, PR, TV and media, and gig promotion, this is how I spent my following 18 years.
2 – How and when did you get started?
I was a latecomer to business, but one day the bells in my head would not stop ringing and I knew it was time. I told a girlfriend “I am going to start a business. I don’t know what yet, but it will happen.” That was in March 2015.
A month later I was learning everything I could about being a Virtual Assistant. This new plan led me to set up camp at Welsh ICE Caerphilly, where I could watch and learn how business works. By mid-2016, I was working with my first client who I am proud to say, is still a regular monthly client today.
VA-ing is a great profession, and I have worked with some wonderful people, but as soon as the twin topics of writing and editing would come up in conversation, my work tasks would be veered in that direction and away from keeping office. I’d chosen to work as a VA because that sector is always in demand, but since being discovered (so to speak), writing and editing have led me to some of my best adventures, with new ones regularly striding out to meet me with jolly waves of gusto.
3 – What has been your most satisfying moment so far?
That’s a difficult one to answer because I get that high-five moment pretty often after delivering something of quality to a client, which has then gone on to bring them great applause. I can’t help myself but I tend to become emotionally invested in the businesses of my clients. This is because I really want them to do well and succeed, and I will always do whatever I can to make my work excellent for them.
Working on a video script for a company that I can’t name due to an NDA was pretty thrilling last year, especially when you consider they are one of the few truly humongous online businesses we use every day. Yes, that was mega exciting.
Also, knowing a book that I carefully edited has gone on to win numerous prizes has been a thrill and seeing an advert on TV that I had scripted felt pretty amazing too. I could go on now the engine is revving, but basically, my most satisfying moments are when I speak with thrilled and satisfied clients, which I am proud to say happens often.
4 – What motivates/drives you?
I am driven by conundrum solving for my clients. I really want to help them find their solutions and make things happen for them. (Does this sound too corny Kev?)
I also like to learn new things to expand my skillset. That is really exciting.
5 – What advice would you give yourself at the start of your career?
Jane, you really should have started your solo business career earlier!
But what can you do with advice like that? We all take those big steps when we are ready. It’s all fine, really.
Whatever stage of life’s journey you are on, enjoy every moment. And as I heard Jim Quik say (to paraphrase) “If there are obstacles in the road, don’t say ‘Why is this happening to me?’ Say rather, ‘Why is this happening FOR me?'”
It’s all one big adventure in the end!
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