I found Gwendolyn on Twitter and reached out to her immediately! I was drawn to her because her personality really shined through her tweets. We chatted on the phone and she is just a doll! She is one of the sweetest, kindest women I have met and feel so blessed to call her a friend now! I am so looking forward to collaborating with her and if you are in the market for a virtual assistant, Gwendolyn is your gal!
Make sure and connect with her today on twitter here!
How did you get your start?
Three years ago I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus and had to come off my corporate job. It was a life changing experience. I spent the first few months in the bed, unable to do much of anything other than sleep due to the fatigue and pain. During my recovery, I knew that working a traditional job would be difficult considering my limitations and so I began to really think about what I could do to help not only my family but to also fulfill my own purpose despite this disease.
It was during that time that I began to think about ways to generate revenue. Initially, I started doing consulting for individuals who were interested in launching nonprofit organizations or entrepreneurial businesses. It was great, but it wasn’t fulfilling for me. I realized I’m good at that because business is truly a first love of mine, but I’m great at being an executive assistant. So, I tested the waters with virtual assisting and boom; my business began to take off! So, I closed down the consulting portion of my business and made it 100% focused on being an online business manager providing virtual assistant services.
How did you get the background and skills necessary to run this type of business?
I was an executive assistant for a major healthcare provider for nearly two decades. I had the opportunity to work in healthcare administration, organizational development, operations, and as a workforce analyst in the call center supporting senior level executives. So, I have led teams on numerous projects and was able to learn how to manage every aspect of a business.
I then went on to further my educational career by obtaining a Bachelors in Business Administration with a specialty in Business Information Systems and a Master of Art in Organizational Leadership.
How do you define success as a business owner?
Freedom, money, and my client’s success. One of the major reasons for wanting to be a business owner was so that I did not have to choose between my health and my work. I never wanted to have to apologize for being unable to perform on a particular day (Lupus is so unpredictable) and I didn’t want anyone to make me feel bad because of it. This to me gives me the freedom to be able to manage my health and my business without disappointment myself or my clients. With regard to money, one of the first things they teach you in business is that if you don’t make any money, then you just have a glorified hobby, not a business and that’s what I didn’t want.
And one of the most important elements is my client’s success. If I’m making money, then I believe it should be a result of solving someone else’s problem; we should both win.
If you were to design the perfect team of 4 people to help you run this company, what characteristics would those four people have?
This is a question I think about often as I’m hoping to begin expanding in 2016. The team that I work with must have integrity, a strong why for wanting to be in this business with me, persistence, and a genuine love to see client’s succeed.
Whom do you seek advice from for your business?
I pray about my business a lot so definitely God. My mother is also a big part of my business, I call her my advisor because she has so much wisdom. I also work with other experts when needed; for example I hired a marketing coach because that was an area I needed to grow in and I’ve taken a lot of classes to help increase my skills and value in this business. And finally, I’m learning to trust my instinct – I’ve regretted it when I didn’t listen.