I’m Jenny Smith and I run Soulfully Virtual, a name inspired by my love of all things spiritual whilst being an incredibly logical and techy person!
I call myself a tech superhero because I know that I can quickly come into a business and their systems and get them back on track and where they need to be.
Soulfully Virtual was first born back in August 2021 but whilst still working a full time corporate job it didn’t really get off the ground until March 2023 and I have been full time since then.
Who or what inspired you to become a VA?
I have been dabbling in the world of small business for well over 10 years whether that was blogging or becoming a qualified nutritionist, I have always known that my dream was to work for myself but nothing ever came off or felt quite right.
My friends who had businesses were always coming to me for help with the tech side of things as my corporate job was in IT and I realised that I could utilise not only my learnings from all the business courses I had done for my previous ventures but also all of the skills from my IT corporate background and the idea of being a Virtual Assistant was formed.
Have you had any support starting up as a VA?
I have a core group of friends that I met online during the early stages of the pandemic in 2020 who really understood my drive to leave the corporate world behind and they have been my unwavering support and cheerleaders throughout my journey so far.
I’ve also joined a few Facebook groups for VAs and that has been useful both as a support system from those in similar roles but also to find associate roles and clients.
What has been your highlight since starting your business?
The positive feedback I have had from clients when something that might seem quite a small task can actually make a huge impact not only to someone’s business but also to their life in general is hugely rewarding.
What was your biggest challenge?
I think whenever you make the decision to run your own business the biggest challenge you are likely to face is your own thoughts and doubts. Those 3am thoughts of ‘are you good enough to make this work?’ ‘Are you going to fail?’ ‘Why are you bothering?’ Etc etc so keeping a positive mindset and pushing through that imposter syndrome I think has been the biggest challenge.
What advice would you offer other new or aspiring VAs?
Don’t give up when it feels like nothing is happening, so many people out there (I was one for over 10 years) start a business but then stop when they don’t see success quick enough. The main difference between the people who make it as a successful VA and those that don’t is that they don’t give up and just keep going.
Also don’t be afraid to apply for associate work, that’s how I got my first paying jobs, but remember the Lead VAs are running a business too so you need to make sure when you contact them that you are selling clearly and concisely how you can help them and their clients.
What tools/apps/software can’t you live without?
Where do I start with this one! Number one for me is now probably a platform called FEA Create, it’s pretty much an all in one solution so my websites there, my emails, lead magnets, invoices, customers etc and it just makes life so much easier.
Next is Notion, whilst I am still a paper planner girl despite being so into my tech! Notion is amazing for just keeping track of everything especially those longer term projects or tasks both personally and professionally.
Finally I would have to say Toggl I find it such an easy tool for tracking my time and not just that the simple reports make giving my clients timesheets a total breeze and this can all be done in the free version which I love!
What is next for you and your business?
The plan is to launch some lower price point options such as one-off trainings specifically targeted at those new to business, as they often aren’t at the stage where they can afford to have that 1:1 support. However, it is also the stage where they are trying to figure out websites and email lists etc and everything can be overwhelming so I really want to create something accessible for them.
What is the ultimate goal for your business?
Ooh this is a difficult one as I don’t think I necessarily have one, I have so many ideas of other offers I want to have but I don’t think just having multiple income streams is my ultimate goal or working a certain amount of hours etc. I think if I had to pick something I would say for me to continue to feel fulfilled and inspired by the work I do in my business whether that’s my work with clients, training or something else entirely.
Were there any times you wanted to give up? What kept you going?
This is another interesting question that is a weird one for me to answer because there are many many times I have wanted to give up and times where I actually have at least for a period of time over the last 10 years of having the dream of working for myself. I did always come back to it though and here I am living the dream that I had for so long and I think that’s what has always kept me going, the deep knowing that corporate life was never going to make me feel the way that I wanted to about my life.
What business book / podcast have you read / listened to most recently? Would you recommend it?
Make money online by Lisa Johnson. This book was probably the most highlighted and written on of all the business books I have read. It is perfectly laid out and with simple step by step instructions it really is a bible for anyone considering adding an additional income stream to their business.