Mom Entrepreneur: Stepfanie Bishop
Business: Advantage Virtual Assistance
Stephanie Bishop operates a Virtual Assistant business, helping business and professionals find more free time and gain more clients. Her job is to make sure that her clients use their time appropriately and efficiently. While partnering with them and their business, she can help them succeed and reach the goals they have set for themselves. Stephanie offers a wide range of services from administrative support and maintenance, to marketing, and social networking. By offering her services virtually, she can work with clients worldwide and offer professional support even for individuals who work at home or in a small office.
What inspired you to start your business?
My main reason for starting my business was to be able to make sure I saw my daughter grow up, and that I was the main factor in how she was raised. After she was born, it was my personal decision that I didn’t want to work all day and be separated from her while someone else got to share those precious moments with her. My second reason was the fact that by being a virtual assistant, I was able to not only run my own business, but have a part, a “helping hand” in all sorts of different businesses.
How long have you been in business?
I “officially” started my virtual assistance business this year, in 2009, but I have been helping professionals virtually for about a year.
What did you do in your past work life?
Believe it or not, I worked many odd jobs. From working in a photography studio to owning a residential cleaning service, I pretty much did it all.
Describe your ideal workday.
My ideal workday involves waking up an hour earlier than my daughter to try and get e-mails sent/answered, update schedules, and check statuses. Then I wake up my daughter and we spend the morning together. When it’s her playtime, I get back to work on the computer until she needs me again. Usually after that we go out of the house to get some fresh air, ballet classes, or whatever is planned for the day. Then during dinner or after she goes to bed, I get back to work. I usually get a good 6 – 8 hour work day, but I’m the one who calls the shots.
What have been some of your major successes?
My biggest success was actually taking the leap into running my businesses. I was extremely proud of myself, and developed the confidence to go with it. I also think that one of my major successes was that when I first got my couple of clients, I realized that I could do this! I knew that I was in control of my situation, and that gave me the confidence to make anything happen!
What have been some of your major challenges?
I guess some of my major challenges are really finding a balance. Working at home, taking care of your family, and running a business are 3 things that are really hard to balance.
On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
What motivates me is the fact that I am working for myself, and that I have a pretty awesome boss! 🙂 When a day is getting hard, I tell myself that I am the only one standing in my way, and that I can overcome anything.
Do you have a motivational quote?
My motivational quote is actually from the Bible: “God never gives you more than you can handle.” Whenever I fill like I am losing it or that things aren’t going my way, I know that I can find my way through it.
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
My balancing secret is setting limits for myself. It took me awhile, but I soon realized that I can’t do it all. No one can do it all. So dedicate time to actually focus on something, but when that time is up, just move on to the next project.
If there was one piece of advice you could give to your children about running a successful business, what would it be?
You CAN do it. If you have confidence in yourself, and treat your clients or customers with same kindness and respect you want, then you will surely succeed.
Do you have a favorite business tool and/or resource?
My favorite business tool is my Mac. I love all the features and don’t know how I would run my business without it!
What is next for your business?
My next steps are to gain a couple more clients and to soon start building my team.
Your two cents sales pitch?
Everyone can benefit from a Virtual Assistant! Make the decision to free up your time to concentrate on the things you really love doing!
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