The past 12 months or so have certainly been challenging to say the least! Whilst the UK has plunged in and out of various lockdowns, we have all had our own deeply personal battles to fight.
To me, it has been a time to reflect, re-evaluate and take control. Last summer, I decided to start my Alchemy Virtual Assistant business. My main driver was to escape the drudgery and restrictions of employment. To allow myself to grow and achieve new and exciting things. To ultimately have more flexibility and fulfilment from my professional life.
But I didn’t expect to be home-schooling alongside my new virtual assistant venture!
I have a degree in business, and I spent most of my career as a primary school teacher. I worked my way up to assistant head teacher before I first became a self-employed Virtual Assistant many years ago.
Then I was lured back into ‘secure’ employment and when the pandemic really took hold in 2020, I knew it was time to move on in my professional life as employment just wasn’t working for me.
That’s when I discovered Alchemy.
As the evenings grow ever so slightly longer and the promise of spring draws ever near, as the schools reopen and as lockdown carefully starts to lift. Now felt as good a time as any for some self-reflection. So here we are, I’d love to share the four big lessons I’ve learned home-schooling and running a growing virtual assistant business as an ex assistant head teacher…
The curse of knowledge
Having been a primary school teacher with primary school aged children, you’d think that I would be in a brilliant position to completely own home-schooling. But the curse of knowledge made the near impossible task of home schooling a BIG mental burden for me. Plus, whilst I adore all of the children I’ve taught, I was less emotionally attached to them which made things a lot easier. Lockdown taught me that sometimes knowledge can be a curse and an easy path to comparison and guilt, if you don’t have your mindset in check.
It’s about managing your priorities NOT your time
We all have 24 hours in our day. Whilst the weeks have dragged, the days have flown. I’ve learned that it’s not about having the time, it’s about being razor sharp on your priorities. Having a bigger focus on my the truly urgent and impossible elements to workflow instead of trying to cram EVERYTHING in has definitely helped me keep me on track.
The true value in having a solid gold support network
Before the pandemic, I totally underestimated the value and importance of my support network. I’m fortunate to be supported by some incredible people in my personal and professional life. Both are equally as important – from my brilliant, understanding partner, my loving and supportive family and friends, my valued and growing professional network, to the unwavering and empowering Alchemy family. These people are worth their weight in gold for so many vast and varied reasons. Perhaps that’s a topic for another blog another day…
The strength and power in empathy
I’m naturally very empathetic and whilst that’s undeniably made lockdown harder for me mentally in so many ways, it’s also been a powerful tool during the pandemic. Ultimately my empathy has allowed me to really consider how my clients might be feeling. Understand what they’re facing and figure out how I can draw on my knowledge, network and skillset to best support them.
As Suzy (and one of my dear friends) have both repeatedly told me recently – situations will keep presenting themselves until we learn what we need to. That, and you’re only sent what you can handle. This past year, we have all been dealing with SO much. I guess that means we’re all badasses!
Get in touch with Eloise to learn more about what makes her team’s Virtual Assistant services for entrepreneurs and small enterprising businesses so impactful.
Or to discover more about our Virtual Assistant franchise opportunities, please get in touch with the Alchemy VA team.