This blog is a transcript of my interview with Natalie Naaman for her YouTube series called “Through an Entrepreneurial Eye” in 2020 when I had recently started my business. After downloading it was already over 3500 words (before any editing or writing a reflection) so thought I best start by cutting that down ha.
*On editing, I decided to have two blogs. The interview with Nat in one (there are too many golden nuggets to delete) and a reflection from then to now in the next so keep your eyes peeled*
If you would like to get to know more about me (rather than putting the big speech) you can find out more on this blog here. Back when I did the interview in 2020 I worked part time as a nursery administrator and also obviously run my business as a virtual assistant.
Soak it in and pull out your golden nuggets.
Thank you for joining me Lucy. I love your accent, I’ve heard it so many times but when you talk it’s a mixture of New Zealand and England. I love it. So, tell us a little bit more about you and about the virtual assistant work, tell us everything..
A virtual assistant can literally be anything you’ve got people that niche in different areas, my area of expertise is administration so the back end running of your business and also export but my mission is to support as many people with the tasks that they just don’t like doing or they take too much time from the income producing activity and to help them grow their business especially (not singling out) but especially moms in business. I really want to support other moms to be able to grow business and lead the life that they want to for their family.
Totally, I think as well like you said there’s so many things which people who have their own businesses do, even if you don’t have your own business. Especially moms like you said, I’ve got quite a lot of friends who are new moms and a lot of them entrepreneurs as well so I’m sure they’ll be interested in hearing more. What would you say makes your business stand out from the rest?
I think the passion to support other moms is definitely something, I will work with anyone, I’m not going to specify people but that is a big driver for me. Also having the ability to do people’s export, the other virtual assistants I’ve come across no one seems to niche in that area and it’s generally general administration, accounts and marketing and social media whereas I obviously have that experience and that’s definitely a role I want to go down as well.
Thank you so much for sharing that so is becoming an entrepreneur something that you’ve always wanted to do or did you kind of fall into it? How did it all come about?
A bit of both I think. I think it’s always been something in the back of my mind, I would like to build something for myself or with my husband, you know build a business with him but I’ve always been kind of like how am I going to do it, what am I going to do?
Then I’ve dabbled in network marketing and things which I do enjoy doing as well but what really cemented this was, at the start of this year I did a coaching, mindset course with Lucy and it really made me think about where we want to be and what we want to do. It just made me think about how I can utilize the knowledge that I’ve already got into my own business and that’s when I started looking into virtual assistants.
Amazing, I think sometimes you just get a feeling don’t you like at some point in your journey whether you’re doing something else or it’s something you’ve thought about previously.
You just get that moment where you’re like hang on a minute this is what I actually would really really like to do and you have to run with it. I think so many people don’t run with it and then they look back like however many years later and think “if only I did that”.
100% that’s what I thought, so I just ran with it, got in too deep that I couldn’t be like oh I’m getting scared, I made sure I got myself set up enough that there was no point turning back.
That’s the best, what would you say has been your biggest challenge?
At the moment with working as well as having a business and having a child, its just finding that sort of balance and the way to fit it all in so that I’m not constantly working and not spending time with my family, just making sure there’s that balance but I think I’m definitely finding the way to do that but also the fact that I literally started right before lockdown.
I registered my business and got it going and then lockdown began, for a few days I was like ‘oh my god what am I going do, this is going to stop me from getting anywhere’ but then I just thought about what I could do. I focused on networking and meeting new people, it just had to be virtual that’s the difference.
I think as well lockdown has emphasised how much can be done virtually. Do you have a set routine in terms of you and your daughter, like do you have set times which you work or is it kind of like as and when you can get stuff in?
At the moment, it’s probably slightly hit and miss, but on a Sunday evening especially I’ll open my diary block in where I’ve got meetings or any training or work or anything that has a set time or even activities that my daughter does, I set those in and then everything else that I need to do I try and figure out where it’s best to fit them in and it doesn’t always go to plan every day.
I think it will eventually become that I will do things before she wakes up and then generally after she’s gone to bed. Once she’s at school in September I’ll be able to have a more sort of structured day I think.
Yeah definitely, have like your set hours that you know she’s not with you. What has been your most favourite thing about being an entrepreneur?
I like working for myself and having the flexibility and being able to decide when I want to work, what hours I want to work, who I want to work with and what I want to do. You can really know what you enjoy doing and that’s what you offer so it’s just having that flexibility to do it how you want to do it.
Yeah, flexibility is the way forward, I think when you think about entrepreneurship you think freedom. There definitely is that freedom but the flexibility for me anyway, is way more. The freedom comes later down the line but initially it’s the flexibility isn’t it because that in itself is freedom in a way anyway. It makes such a difference just being able to decide whether you want to do something and when.
100 percent, that’s my biggest driver I think.
What advice would you give to somebody who is thinking about potentially starting their own business or maybe they have just started their own business, do you have any advice you would give them?
JUST DO IT! Run with it, like I was saying before run with it until it’s too late & really theres no point turning back. I think also like you said, you don’t want to let it become something that as time goes on you keep thinking ‘Should I have done it? Should I have done it five years ago? Should I have started it?’ and then when you get to the stage where you don’t want to be working, you don’t want to have that regret thinking what would my life be like now.
I think you’re better to just do it, if it doesn’t work it doesn’t work but if you don’t try you really never know and then you don’t have anything to regret then.
Yeah I always say ‘I’d always rather say oh well than what if’. That’s like my worst fear, looking back on my life and thinking ‘if only I did that, if only I tried’
That’s definitely something I’m focusing on now, don’t let opportunities pass you by. Just take them, if they don’t work you gave it a go.
Exactly, it’s never the right time, it will never be the right time. You can always find an excuse. There will always be a reason not to do it, always, even if you feel like right I’m ready. You might wake up one day and be like ‘oh well actually this has come up so I can’t do that today’.
Yeah right, there is always going to be something that you can use as an excuse to not do it.
I say get over it and just do it ha! So what are your top three books? I know you like to read a lot like I do.
I think definitely The Success Principles by Jack Canfield. It’s good for business but it’s also good for just life and I think the vision exercise in that book is amazing, it really makes you focus on the long term in every aspect of your life doesn’t it. I would also say Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis, she is a Queen, all of her books are brilliant but especially for women, to stop thinking what other people think of you, just think about yourself basically!
Also The Magic by Rhonda Byrne to get you in that state of gratitude, getting yourself in that positive mindset will affect everything. It will have a snowball effect and affect everything but also I’m reading at the moment (which I’ve read it before) The Chimp Paradox, (Yes!!) understanding how your mind works, like some of the things I’m like that just makes total sense but you wouldn’t necessarily think about it without someone’s saying XYZ.
The Chimp Paradox was the first ever personal development book I read.