I'd been working online as a solo VA for just over 2 years, and now and then I'd crossed paths with someone that was trying to start a multi-VA team business of some description. The idea didn't sound all that enticing for me. It seemed people were often running into various hurdles in the process, and sometimes risking their reputation as a quality service provider by taking on more work than they could handle and then not quite knowing where to go from there.
Then one day while trying to figure out the "how can I make my income not dependent on one person's whim?" riddle, I stumbled onto Michelle Dale's website. Aah what a revelation! I knew there must be a 'right' way to do this VA business thing, and here was proof that someone had actually figured it out! And not only that, they were openly sharing each and every detail for others to model through a structured Roadmap learning program (complete with brilliant graphic design!). My whole perception of what it means to build a multi-VA team changed immediately, just by discovering Michelle Dale's example that day.
So... I registered for the VA Shoestring program first, and during the last 2 months of pregnancy (I had an un-negotiable deadline) I worked my VA 'job' during the day, and worked on my new business website at night, following the VA Shoestring program step-by-step. Man, was I inspired. I was in love with Michelle's unique blend of detail, systems, personality, good design and quality. I knew if I created a business modelling her example, I would enjoy working in it for a long time to come.
It was a good thing I'd started taking action on the VA Shoestring program when I did. Two weeks after my son was born, I found out that I no longer had my regular full time VA work to return to. You know how it goes... sometimes the bridge is burned for you, and in retrospect you realize it was the best thing that could have happened. A little nerve-wracking though when you have 3 children and you're living on the opposite side of the world from your home country. I had no fall-back option to pick up the job classifieds and begin looking for a corporate office job.
I remembered Michelle's marketing strategy tutorials from the VA Shoestring and VA Passport. I watched those over and over. Absolutely game changing. Those marketing strategies allowed me to replace my previous full time income in less than 2 weeks. I still had to stabilize that income... but it was there. Job done.
Next step - start to build a solid business. I was inspired by the VA Rockstar concept so I started with that, and then later moved on to the VA Apprentice. Michelle is so strong on systems, but she's also amazingly insightful on mindset, intuition, communication and entrepreneurship generally. The tools I learned in VA Rockstar were the 'secret sauce' I was looking for - the specific strategies that I feel set Michelle's business and lifestyle apart - the things that I was wanting to emulate. I'm so grateful that I can always leverage her experiences to bypass the potential hurdles each step of the way.
If I had to sum up how Michelle Dale's programs have helped me, I would say this:
* the VA Shoestring recovered my income when I had to start again from scratch,
* the VA Passport and VA Apprentice gave me all the systems I needed to implement to build a solid team and client base, and
* the VA Rockstar rounded out the rough edges and solved all those little mysteries I'd had in my mind about how to really make it work for the long term.
Michelle inspired me to get back the entrepreneurial buzz in what I'd previously perceived as simply a cool work-at-home job. My vision is bigger than ever before, I have energy, and I love that my kids see me excited about life and are growing up with a positive perception of what it means to work.