NEWS - Confessions of a Male Virtual Assistant...
Posted on 29th July 2019 at 15:03
Today marks one whole year since I left the safety of my corporate job to join Alchemy Virtual Assistance full time.
It’s been quite a ride... we’ve enjoyed some amazing triumphs and overcome some terrifying challenges.
As we celebrate my first ‘proper’ year at Alchemy Virtual Assistance, it felt like the right time to confess to a few things that I’ve found difficult (and surprising) over the past year...
“How do you work with your wife?”
I get asked this a lot. Way more than Suzy gets questioned about how she finds working with her husband. I often wonder why this is the case? Is it a jovial poke at the stereotypical ‘working to provide for his family ‘husband’ and the ‘stay at home wife', or is it a deeper disbelief about how a woman could be so wildly successful in business? This is a topic I’m always open to exploring and discussing further. Perhaps it’s a post for another day...
Ultimately, when you adore someone enough to commit to spending the rest of your life with them, why would you want to work with them too?
To be honest, Suzy and I are rarely in the office together and when we are, we certainly don’t waste time with office ‘small talk’…
‘How was your evening?’
‘What are you having for dinner?”
‘How is the dog?’ etc..
When we talk business we talk business.
When we play we play.
It’s not JUST a girls job!
Being a guy in a female dominated industry is certainly interesting. I frequently get met with shock, disbelief and confusion about my gender and choice of profession....
“You’re a Virtual Assistant? But you're a man?”
Yes, I have been asked that and yes, the vast majority (if not all?) Virtual Assistants are women. But is it so hard to believe that a man posses the traits, skills and ethos of a successful Virtual Assistant?
I don’t think so. What does my gender have to do with how I apply myself, how organised, skilled and proactive I am etc.
I recognise that I’ve never been a Personal Assistant and I have very little experience supporting Board Level Executives like Suzy. But, I do have an incredible mentor and teacher in her. She not only has the experience as an employed corporate Executive Assistant, self employed Virtual Assistant and a tenacious business owner. She also has the skill to eloquently and efficiently share her wisdom, techniques, strategies and experience in a practical, easy to understand and apply kind of way.
FREEDOM, FLEXIBILITY AND FULFILMENT
Suzy bangs on about freedom, flexibility and fulfilment a lot. They are the three main things she wanted from her professional life and that drove her to start Alchemy Virtual Assistance. I am so proud of my wife. The passion, creativity, resilience, empathy and sheer determination she applies to everything that she does continuously inspires me.
She’s relentless in an incredibly warm and kind way.
Back in 2017 when Suzy came to me in floods tears one evening, telling me how her business no longer gave her these three precious things that she so desperately was seeking. We’re fortunate, Alchemy Virtual Assistance grew organically and fast! Faster than I could have predicted and day in day out, Suzy was delicately balancing it all as well as being an excellent wife and mother to our young son. She was overwhelmed, the balance was all wrong and she felt that it was time for her to give up and go back to employment. I comforted her (and whilst I support her decisions 100%) I told her that I’d struggle to stand by and watch her walk away from everything that she had achieved in such a short amount of time.
She flippantly responded with, “Well, are you going to help me then?”
So I did...
That day I realised that I wanted freedom, flexibility and fulfilment from my work too! I wanted to spend as much time with my son as I could. I wanted to be there when he was sick, pick him up from nursery and take him to the park, be there to support my wife when the overwhelming weight of responsibility she felt for her business was getting too much.
She’s an all or nothing kind of woman so the overwhelm does seep in from time to time and I often remind her how lucky she is to have a business partner who understands this and can ground her when she’s spiralling around into crazy! 😉 Yes, I wanted freedom, flexibility and fulfilment but I also wanted to work from home in my pyjamas and play xbox on my lunch break!
And so, my Virtual Assistant journey began...
If you’re curious about life as a Virtual Assistant or if you’d like to explore working with one – please get in touch.
All the best,
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