We are celebrating Gemma McMillan’s first VA business anniversary. 

Gemma McMillan joined the Alchemy Virtual Assistant franchise family in the winter of 2020 ahead of her VA franchise Hub launching in early 2021. 
Whilst Gemma held a secure employed role, the impact of the pandemic shifted her focus and thinking. She felt the pull to seriously start exploring a more meaningful and fulfilling career that would allow her to work from home flexibly around her life. 
Gemma has had a phenomenal first year. Far exceeding her personal targets, gracefully challenging her own self limiting beliefs and facing a very steep and daunting learning curve with a lot of passion, determination and all with a massive smile on her face. 
Gemma’s Virtual Assistant adventure is in so many ways only just beginning, and we wanted to honour and celebrate her first year in business here on our blog… 
Written by: Gemma McMillian 
Virtual PA Services Northampton
It’s my first business birthday! Woo hoo! As I sit here enjoying the cake and fizz Suzy and Paul sent me to mark the occasion, it seems like the perfect time to pause and reflect on the last year. 
Whilst starting a business in any capacity carries a lot risks. In choosing to start my business with Alchemy, I‘ve found great comfort and support… way beyond the obvious. Sure, all the Alchemy ways I’ve been trained in and adopted are perfected and proven. But it’s a lot more than that. I am certain things would have been hugely different if I’d gone it alone. 
The complete support of the Alchemy Virtual Assistant family has been invaluable to me! 
Annual GOV.uk statistics show that between 500,000 – 700,000 new startup businesses are launched in the UK every year and an estimated 20% of those don’t survive year one…. But my business has and I’m so excited about year two and beyond! 
Smashing through self doubt! 
When I was first thinking about starting my virtual assistant business, I had a LOT of doubts! When got real with myself, the majority of my worries and fears were about my abilities. You know… 
“Can I really do this?" 
“Do I know enough?" 
“Do I actually learn things as fast as I think I do?" 
"Am I good enough?" 
Well, it turns out the answer is yes! 
Yes, I really can do this. I am! 
And, what's more…? 
A massive part of the joy I gain from my virtual assistant business is definitely the people and not just my Alchemy VA family. I have the honour of supporting some really amazing global entrepreneurs, small businesses and charities who I am very proud to call my clients. I can’t tell you enough how good it is to be surrounded by likeminded, positive, supportive and inspirational people every day! 
Virtual Assistant Services Northamptonshire
A love of learning! 
I think I’ve learned more in the last twelve months than I did in my whole career before. It's true what they say, every day IS a school day. And not just when it comes to learning a new system, technique or procedure. I’ve learned so much about myself and others too. 
One of the things I’ve always struggled with is saying and hearing ‘no’. I’ve always taken knockbacks personally and badly, even when I'd done nothing wrong or to cause them. 
But as my Alchemy VA franchise business has grown, so has my knowledge, resilience and CONFIDENCE! 
Life and business will always have set backs but it's like water off a duck’s back to me now. Well, most of the time. I am still human after all. 
Comparison and courage... 
It's funny, I used to spend so much time comparing myself and thinking that I wasn't as good as a lot of people, not as capable, especially in the business world. 
Having found the courage to start facing my fears and being open enough to engage in meaningful and honest professional conversations, I now realise that so many others feel the same! 
There will always be people who doubt you, don’t believe in you. Don’t want you to succeed.  
Don’t let that person be you! 
I guess what I'm saying is, if I could go back to the very start of my virtual assistant business adventure I would tell myself that every time I hear that self-doubter voice pipe up in my head…. I would tell it to get lost! Because you never know what you're truly capable of until you try. 
With love, 
To get to know Gemma and learn more about her Virtual Assistant services for entrepreneurs and small enterprising businesses you can get in touch with her directly via Gemma.McMillan@Alchemyva.co.uk or 01604 422915. 
To discover more about Virtual Assistant franchise opportunities with Alchemy VA, please get in touch. 
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