In this blog #YesWeCan talks to Stacey Chesterton who has founded her own Virtual Assistant company!
Where it began….
I started out as an office junior for a law firm when I was 17 and quickly qualified as a legal secretary. I have worked for several large companies and been part of some major public inquiries. I started SC VA Services alongside my full time role as a legal secretary and have watched my company grow over the last year.
I sort of fell into legal and PA work. At school I was easily distracted and although I got 14 GCSEs (all A* to C) A levels just didn’t seem right for me. I did my AS level and then just wanted to get out into the real world and work for a living. I was given the opportunity of a career in a law firm and jumped straight in with both feet.
Each day is different….
Each day is different which is why I love being a VA. I have my full time job where I deal with legal work (transcription and general PA duties) then as of 5pm I take control and help give my clients as much of their time back as possible.
It’s been a long slog. I’ve been working in the legal profession for 16 years and taking a jump to start my own business was a difficult one but one my friend and family encouraged as they believed in me probably more than I did myself. There have been lots of challenges along the way whilst working at one law firm I was working away all week every week for around 3 years. It certainly took its toll on me personally as well as on my relationship. Being a VA is difficult as you have to manage your time and client expectations very carefully. When I started out I was working really long hours and into the night as I thought it was expected of me and my clients were the ones who were asking for work to be done and quickly. I didn’t want to disappoint them and equally couldn’t afford to lose them.
Believing in myself….
I think the main thing was believing what others told me. They believed in me so I needed to believe in myself and my abilities. Working with difficult clients will always be challenging but I have learned that my time is my time and now have set “open” hours which means that outside of these hours I don’t feel the need to be at anyone’s beck and call. I’ve always been determined. I’m an aries – fire sign and I think I really do have fire. If I start something I’ll finish it – its not in my nature to not get it done.
The Great Wall of China changed my life!
One of my friends about 7 years ago asked me if I liked walking… before I knew it I had signed up to do a charity trek across the Great Wall of China. I would definitely say this is my biggest personal achievement as I was unfit, unhealthy, scared of flying and not great with heights! This trip literally changed my life.
My advice to others…..
Just be true to yourself. People will always try to put you into a box but you can’t be afraid to smash that box and do things your way. You know you the best and you know your capabilities.
My mum has always a huge support and always told me and my siblings that nothing is impossible. It might be hard but if you want something in life you need to work at it. Dreams can be a reality if you try hard enough.
My Mum is my inspiration….
She is the strongest kindest most amazing woman I know. She taught me to be the person I am today and if I end up being half the woman she is I will be very happy. She is so supportive but doesn’t mince her words. If you’re wrong or being a brat you’ll know about it. She has never lied to us – if we were told no she told bus why. Her integrity is second to none.
My family motivates me….
I built my business for me so I was in control, so I could say no if I wanted to and work with those that I chose to. That and building a strong future for my family are the main things.
Thank you Stacey!!! If you want to read more inspirational blogs, please click here!