I believe our life and work experiences, values, education, and relationships shape who we are. Just like beach glass, after the toss and tumble of life, we aren’t left in the tide quite how we entered the water, and no two of us are alike. My unique past shaped and polished who I am and made me a perfect fit for my ideal clients. To learn a little bit more about who I am and how I got this way, read more below.
me – at work
who i am work image
I get things done. Period.
There’s no hesitation or procrastination, and I will sometimes leap before you look. I am organized and have a ‘super-power’ of taking BIG things and breaking them down into smaller, understandable, digestible bits. I am naturally good at documentation and discovering the detailed steps we need to take to get from point A to point Z (and anticipating what might happen at each stage between them from the B-Y).
I have a gentle, kind heart for service and love helping others. I also have standards that I will not compromise to make someone happy. I am never instantly available and I work to ensure that you have what you need in your business to not need me in that way. I believe in interdependence and my client’s owning their work and results while I support them in providing their best to those they serve. I work best with people who are not needy or dependent and I absolutely don’t work well with micromanagers.
I am not quiet. I have a full of life, contagious laugh. I am good at saying the true thing, with love, and owning my responsibilities with honor. I love, crave, thrive in structure and try to architect structure wherever I go.
I am not a beginner-level business owner nor am I a beginner-level VA. I understand entrepreneurship (read more in charting my course below) and I have learned the lessons that come with venturing out on my own – a few times. I’ve faced the fear and uncertainty. I have embraced the need to leave the comfort zone and spread my wings and fly. I know it takes persistence and determination to get past go, let alone past year 1, 3, and 5. This is my career, my life’s work, and I am madly and passionately IN LOVE with what I do.
Professionally, you will find me on LinkedIn but will not find my business on social media. While many businesses find success on social media, I did not realize a return on my investment outside of LinkedIn.
who i am – personal image
Faith is my foundation. My identity is in Christ. He is my source, my provider, and my role model for love. I am His heir, His daughter, and I am fully known by Him, and always reaching toward grace. Anything I am able to do in my life and in this world is because of Him.
I’ve been called a nurturer… a skilled facilitator, an exemplary planner, real, compassionate, tirelessly detailed, an entertainer, an over-sharer (about me not about you), a people-person, and a family stone. Family traditions like birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays are sacred. I am fond of long-term, true-blue variety friendships, am loving and affectionate, and I want to be loved in return.
I am a first child of two first-born children, an Army brat, and I have lived in Georgia, Texas, Michigan, Kentucky, Illinois, and Virginia so far. I have taken one or two personality tests and have a page where you can learn more about my personality and energy type.
Travel is a vital part of my life. I mean, why be a virtual entrepreneur and be stuck in one place? There are too many things to see out there in this big, blue world, and I want to experience as much as I can while I am here. I have taken all of the beach photos used on my website during my travels, and as you can likely guess, the beach is the home of my heart.
I have one ‘child’ – a seventy-five pound English Cream Golden Retriever named Finlay who loves the water almost as much as I do and almost as much as he loves sticks. He’s a gentle, giving soul and my side-kick throughout my workday, occasionally plopping his head on my lap during team meetings to say hello to the people who keep him in an office until he can swim again.
I am an American patriot. I have served on the board of Post 147, Northville’s American Legion Auxiliary as Secretary. As an Auxiliary member, I work to assist and aid the men and women who have served our country in the US Armed Forces. Both of my grandfathers served in WW2 as pilots: my paternal grandfather flew a B-24 and my maternal grandfather, a B-17. My father was a general’s aid in the US Army during Vietnam, and my brother has been active duty in the US Navy since 1999, becoming a pilot in 2004. He has deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan and on countless training missions across the country (and outside our borders). He flies an F-18C Super-Hornet in an adversary squadron (think: Jester in Top Gun) and is an adversary trainer at TOPGUN in Fallon, NV. I am proud of my military family and seek to support all our men and women as they serve, often in harm’s way, to protect our freedoms as Americans.
Charting my course image
In junior high I made these barrettes by braiding ribbons through them. The ribbon ends hung down 3-4 inches and had beads at the bottom. I sold them for $2 plus the cost of supplies. Or people just brought me the ribbons, beads, and barrettes and paid me the two bucks. I made hundreds of them in 6th and 7th grade.
Then, in 8th grade, I painted clear plastic boxes with names and balloons. Or flowers. Those sold, too. Boxes for everyone! I got my first real job as soon as it was permitted at 13 and by my senior year of high school, I was in the work/study program attending high school in the morning then going to work at lunchtime and working the afternoon at the largest area mom-and-pop dress store as the night manager.
I got my first ‘real job’ (via a special work permit) at 13 and by my senior year of high school, before I even had my driver’s license, I was in the work/study program attending high school in the morning then going to work. I left school at lunchtime and worked the afternoon until closing as the manager at the largest mom-and-pop dress shop in our area.
During my sophomore year of college, while still working full-time and going to school, the semester project assignment in my business administration class was to create an entire fictional business plan. I did, and got an A on the plan.
Months later, in 1990, I opened that bridal shop with my mom and it remained successfully open until she retired in 2014. The business got an A in life, too, from the thousands of customers who had their dreams dressed by the work we did. Every month or so someone posts on Facebook on their anniversary a photo and a thank you to us for helping them feel so special on their most special day… an amazing reminder of the legacy that simple school project business plan created.
While we ran that business together, I opened a side business, using my creative skills to design and sell items wholesale. I created over 200 wedding headpieces and veils and designed and sold four of my very own wedding gown designs.
At some point burn-out happened. I got tired of the crazy hours, crazy brides, long weekend, late nights, and stress. Itchy to do something that was truly my very own (entrepreneurs get this) and week-day only, I ventured out to become a personal chef at the age of 30. I am a great cook. Thinking “I got this” I skipped the business plan and support and went out solo, no support other than a certification. No marketing plan. No definite course of action.
That business failed. It hurt. Bad. Fear arrived.
I went to work at a corporate job for another entrepreneur. It was a good fit because I got scared to be on my own, but the business allowed me the freedom to operate much like an entrepreneur. I still had a voice. My ideas, processes, and procedures were welcomed and rewarded, and up I climbed. I was successful in my role there for 8 years before the fear fell away and the itch returned. I wanted to do this on my own terms – manage projects, lead teams, support growth, see dreams fulfilled… and I tried to figure out how to be an operations administrator
I found myself wanting to things on my own terms – manage projects, lead teams, support growth, see dreams fulfilled… and I tried to figure out how to be an operations administrator for more than one business at a time. I started working with 2 clients at night and on weekends while working my corporate job. Then those clients wanted more from me and I had to make a choice – the safety of the corporate cage, or the freedom (and risk) of being on my own again.
What if I failed again?
Learning from my personal-chef-mistake of trying to do it all alone, I knew this time had to be different. I needed a plan. I needed help. I found AssistU and trained to be a Virtual Assistant. I created joined the AssistU community of VA. I got a coach. I invested in relationships with women who were already “doing it”. I committed to a path of learning, growth, and investing in myself.
And, here I am now, two certifications, a list of community awards, and a lot of hard work later – a Certified Master Virtual Assistant with a thriving practice of clients I adore doing work I love. And, from the school of 35+ years of entrepreneurial hard knocks since those silly barrettes, I don’t just DO this work I GET this work. It’s a part of me to my core.
- 2016 AssistU VA of the Year
- 2015 Community Member of the Year
- 2014 & 2013 AssistU VA of the Year
- 2014 Staff Member of the Year (as a mentor in the AssistU Virtual Mentoring Program)