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Meet The VA - Sarah Durbin of Sarah Durbin Virtual Assistant

I’m Sarah, I’m predominantly an Events VA and Freelance Events Manager. My business name is just my name 😊. I help all types of businesses by either planning their events or by providing virtual business support for those usually within the Hospitality/ Events world. 

I love events and have worked in hospitality in various roles since I was 14. Starting out in Cafés and restaurants then exhibitions, corporate events before transitioning into weddings and social events. 

I spent most of my time before setting up my business managing Venues or heading up the Events Team wherever I was. I have a couple of questionable career moves in between but I always came back to Events and Business support. 

Who or what inspired you to become a VA?

I was tired of being unsupported and being micromanaged, spending hours commuting and having no real career progression opportunities. The biggest thing for me was the complete lack of flexibility. I also got told once that I would never make it as a freelancer so that spurred me on even more. 

Have you had any support starting up as a VA?

My family has been super supportive both financially and emotionally. I also connected with other VAs early on and have found a couple of really good friends, we really support each other and we often collaborate on projects which is fab. 

What has been your highlight since starting your business?

Being my own boss for sure! Work wise, the highlight has been spending a year with a local wedding venue, it was a mix of virtual support and onsite support and I loved it. 

What was your biggest challenge?

Navigating the world of being self-employed. Having to make business decisions, working out who I am in this world and who I want to be.  

What advice would you offer other new or aspiring VAs?

Go for it! Don’t listen to negative nellies! A lot of people won’t understand why you want to be a VA or what a VA even is. Don’t compare yourself to others and don’t believe everything you see others doing or saying online. 

What tools/apps/software can’t you live without?

Toggl, Google drive, WhatsApp 

What is next for you and your business?

I’m moving more towards having a steady stream of clients all year round as well as picking up extras in the summer. Being a predominantly weddings & events VA means summer is my busiest time and I have learned they don’t need me during the winter so I'm spreading my wings and diversifying.  

What is the ultimate goal for your business?

My happiness ultimately. We all deserve to have a healthy work/life balance and to enjoy what we do. I also want to have a mix of clients and tasks that keep me motivated and ‘on my toes’. 

Were there any times you wanted to give up? What kept you going?

So many times and I’m sure there’ll be more times to come. I don’t want to go back to employment, being in an office or commuting!

What three words would you use to describe yourself, and why?

Resilient, multi-tasker, passionate 

What has surprised you about becoming a VA? 

How tough it can be to manage time effectively 

What is the biggest misconception you had about being a VA before you became one?

That you have to be all things to all people! 

Is there anything you would change about your VA journey?

Yes and No. Yes because I'd save a lot of time and energy but also no because then I wouldn’t have learnt all I have. I suppose I’d change how long I have spent worrying I’m not good enough. 

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Walking Rosie (my miniature dachshund), true crime dramas/docs/books/podcasts (bit obsessed), film nights, reading, I love shopping for bargains on vinted, baking (and eating the baked goods)  

Who would you most like to meet, and why? What would you tell them? 

I’d most like to meet Cleopatra, I have loved history and archaeology ever since I can remember. I have no idea what I’d say to her though, probably ask her what it was like to live in those times and get her whole story first hand. 

What business book / podcast have you read / listened to most recently? Would you recommend it?

The Raddical Sabbatical (book) and yes 100%

This blog was prepared by Sarah Durbin in their personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this blog are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Kayleigh Johnstone or COZ PR.


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