Today and every day, success is just a choice away for me!
The power of other peoples’ stories to inspire us is practically limitless. There are so many people out there who want to have their own business or pursue their own bliss, but they are allowing “things” to get in the way.
Today Sophie Zollman of SophieZo, LLC shares her story in her words about her transition from freelance work-at-home-mom (WAHM) to successful business owner. Sophie and I became acquainted on Twitter. I find her story compelling and inspiring and I hope you will too! May her story give you the determination to pursue your goals and know they are possible.
From Freelance WAHM to Successful Business Owner: The Story Behind SophieZo, LLC
About 10 years ago, I decided to work from home after my second child was born. I knew that daycare for two children would eat up most of the pay I would make at a regular JOB. I started with data entry from home for a local company. After we moved to another state, I found mystery shopping through a friend. It was a lot of fun but did not provide much income.
In 2004, I found a website that was called Emoonlighter.com. Today many know it as Guru.com. For those of you who have not heard of this site, it is a place to find work as a freelance artist in various fields of expertise. I signed on for customer service and administrative assistant work.
Six weeks later, I had an interview for a customer service position for an eCommerce website. It was just a day or two before Christmas. The next day he called to offer me the job. I accepted and had a very Merry Christmas that year.
This customer service position began as a part-time project. It quickly grew into a full-time position where I became his Virtual Assistant and Online Business Manager. Over a four-year period, I managed customer service, vendor relations, database management, and executive correspondence. I even handled some accounts payable and receivable.
In that time frame, I learned a lot including the fact that I was not being paid what I was worth. The VA industry had changed and grown in so many ways. After four years, I knew it was time to make a change. I decided to “retire” to become a stay-at-home mom once again. However, eight months later our financial situation would change drastically. I had to go back to work.
When that realization came to me, I was determined to do something I enjoyed that paid me what I was worth. I knew I was a great typist with a good ear. I decided to learn transcription after finding a company that was interested in training new candidates.
After a short time doing transcription, I found a new kind of clientele that required Virtual Assistants. When my transcription contract came to an end, I re-launched my VA career. At the same time, I found Twitter and Facebook. Once I found my way around those social media sites, my life changed dramatically.
About 6 months later, three established VAs asked me to partner with them for outsourcing purposes. I knew right then that I had to change from a freelance Virtual Assistant to a business owner. In October of 2009, I registered SophieZo, LLC Virtually There For You and began my new business venture.
Again, thanks to Twitter and Facebook, my new business began drawing clients regularly. I also began talking to people who needed services I did not offer. After speaking to my mentor, I decided to add a team of VAs to be able to handle more clients and offer more services than I could do myself. I launched that new team concept at the end of February 2010.
Since October of 2009, I have expanded my business, quadrupled my client base, and still have many opportunities in the works. I have hired an accountant and will be begin paying myself a regular salary. I never imagined I would be where I am today. Thanks to social media, my mentor, a little hard work and believing in myself, I am having the time of my life. I am truly blessed with a great business, a wonderful family, and the time I need to be with them and take care of myself as well. It took me a long time to get here, but I am glad I finally found my way.
Despite the economic times, more and more women are working from home. As a WAHM turned business owner, I can say that now is the time to do it. The internet has made working at home and owning a business so much easier and less expensive, too. I started my business on a shoestring budget. I took advantage of Social Media and every free teleseminar or report I could get. I learned a lot in a very short time.
The key to success in business is networking and marketing. Social Media makes that easy and very inexpensive. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube are easy to use and free. You can begin networking and marketing the minute you start your business. Building relationships online is essential to growing your business even if it is brand new. In fact, it is one of the best ways to grow a new business quickly and economically.
Starting your own business allows you to follow your passion. You can do what you like instead of doing what you have to for money. True success comes when you are doing what you love. Thanks to the internet and Social Media, dreams can and do come true for women like me every day. Won’t you join us?
Sophie Zollmann of SophieZo Virtually There For You is a Virtual Assistant committed to working with online entrepreneurs to increase their productivity and income potential. She provides virtual assistance in blog/email/social media management, WordPress website design & maintenance, 1ShoppingCart set up & maintenance, internet marketing, event planning, Real Estate support, schedule management, proofreading, article submission, social bookmarking, dictation/transcription and much more. Learn more at http://sophiezo.com