Have you ever wondered how to overcome your fear of starting a business and how to get new clients? In this episode, Camille welcomes Robyn Storms, the founder of The Type A VA, a virtual assistant business that helps small business owners and entrepreneurs streamline their current business processes to work more efficiently.
Even though someone can do it, after a while, you realize you can’t do it all. You don’t have the time. So, isn’t it great that there are people there like VAs that can come in and fill those voids and those pain points for them and help them with those areas where they just don’t have the time to put in?
Robyn shares the first steps she took in starting her own virtual assistant business after taking the 60 Days to VA course. She shares how you can be a virtual assistant with your current skillset, find your niche, and how you can market yourself to potential clients.
I think as you get into it, you realize more and more what you’re bringing to the table and value of what your time is worth as well and you don’t want that to be taken advantage of.
If you’re interested in starting a business or becoming a virtual assistant, tune into this episode and don’t miss the chance to sign up for 60 Days to VA at www.camillewalker.co/VA.
I think that fear of not doing it was bigger than the fear of going forward. If I didn’t do it, I’d never know. So, why not just go for it and see what happens?
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ROBYN STORMS [0:00]
Like I said, sometimes that creative just shows itself in, "Show me your graphics, show me an event." And I joke a lot that I'm not the Pinterest mom in a sense that I put the ideas together, but I can take all of your ideas and throw a killer party.
CAMILLE WALKER [0:22]
So, you want to make an impact. You're thinking about starting a business, sharing your voice. How do women do it that handle motherhood, family, and still chase after those dreams? We'll listen each week as we dive into the stories of women who know. This is Call Me CEO.
If you're wondering how to overcome how to get clients right now, you will love hearing from my next guest. Robyn Storms was a student of my 60 Days to VA course and she's going to be talking to us about how she overcame the fear of starting the business when she was done with the course and ready to open her mouth and start her business. Let's go.
Welcome everyone to a special episode of Call Me CEO because we are still talking to one of my previous students from 60 Days to VA. And today, we have the pleasure to speak with Robyn Storms who started her own business last year, The Type A VA and she's going to talk to us today about overcoming the fear of taking those first steps of starting your own business and, in this case, a virtual assistant business which is what you can learn from my course. Robyn, thank you so much for being here today.
Thank you, Camille, for having me. I'm excited to be here.
Yeah. It's so fun because when I'm doing the trainings, I get to see these beautiful people every week for weeks, and then I stop being able to see you. So, this is a special treat. I can't wait to hear about how your business has grown.
It's been really exciting and it's happened quickly in a way that I felt like I started off pretty slow, but then as soon as I put it out there, boom! There was business. So, that's good.
Yes. And I think that that's something where I get a lot of questions about. Is there really enough work for me? Is there really a possibility for me to be able to build a business from home? And yes, there is work everywhere. I know that that's something that everyone worries about. And so, that's what we're going to talk about specifically today for you, whether you decide to start a virtual assistant business with me or if you decide that you want to start any kind of online business or a new venture, let's talk about that fear. So, Robyn, tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, and then we'll talk about how your experience transformed your business.
Yeah. I'm married. I am a mom of three, so I have a daughter who's 10. I have two boys, 8 and 6 and a half, almost 9, I guess. So, I have three children. Before kids, I worked in the corporate world. My background is more in SEO, if you'd know what that is, search engine optimization. So, I did some agency work with that and did some internet marketing.
And then, when I started having children, I still, at the time, needed to work a little bit and also just wanted to work. So, for my first child, I was still working. They were able to let me work from home some of the time and work in the office, and then I eventually was able to go down to part-time. My husband is in the tech field as well, so for a while, we moved out to the Bay Area.
And at that time, I became an instant stay-at-home mom and that was the first time I had been a stay-at-home mom full-time and it rocked my world a little bit. It wasn't something I was entirely used to and even though I wanted to be there for my kids, I still felt this push and this pull to still have something that was mine. So, I was able to off and on work part-time for other people and work for other agencies and that was great. And I was able to bring in some extra income and made me feel again I had something that was mine.
But after a while, I was just feeling burned out from the type of work and the subjects around it were boring to me a little bit and it was just becoming mundane. And so, I quit. I had a couple of small contract jobs that I quit in January of last year and just wanted to find some time to figure out what my next step was going to be. My youngest was approaching kindergarten, so that was another thing that I felt like he's going to be in school soon. So, I still want something, I'm just not sure if what I've been doing in the past was what I still wanted to do.
So, I followed you. I've been following you for a little while on Instagram, just we're Disney kindred spirits that way and I think about how I first got onto your account and I just loved the content that you put out and we started talking about the VA business. It was something that intrigued me a little bit. I wasn't really sure right away if that was something I wanted to do, but you put out a free little business like a day training of sorts. I can't remember exactly what it was called, but you did a little free one that I signed up for and I learned a little bit more about what it was to be a VA.
And then, the more and more you kept talking about the course, I thought, "Maybe I'll just take it." And even initially, I wasn't really sure that taking the course was going to lead me down the VA path, but I had some kind of side project that I've been wanting to launch a little bit. I still haven't done that, but we'll see if I find the time. But I had an idea for this side thing that I wanted to do and I thought, "Maybe I could take this course and learn some tools and some different skills that could help me in that venture."
And then, as I started taking the course and I started realizing that there were a lot of skills I already possessed from my corporate life. I had done a lot of SEO. I had done a lot of content management for some companies. Editing is a skill I love. It's nerdy, but I'm like one of those I can see a grammatical error a mile away. I can instantly pick up on. It's probably the whole Type A in me. And so, I started realizing that I actually have a lot of skills that I could turn into a business. So, maybe, just maybe I could go this route.
I love that. Here's the thing is that so often I think people think that they need to have this earth-shattering thing that no one else can do or you have to know how to do major analytics for something or have a really unique skill set. And while you can go down the route of having a specialty like that, which you can then increase your rate for, out the gate, you already have so many skills that I think you didn't realize. Like you said, the SEO that you had. You've been in corporate. You know how to edit and you are very organized and those are all qualities and skills that many, if not all, entrepreneurs that I know are looking for help with. They all need it and a lot of times, it's just a matter of education of telling them what you offer and how it works. Is that what you found?
Yes. I would say one thing that I found interesting is that, like you said, I think there's you feel that impostor's syndrome where you think there's a million people out there who can do what I can do. So, what am I bringing to the people? What's going to make me stand out? And the other thing, this is something that I think we talked about in the course a few times where these maybe skills that these small business owners do have. It's not that they can't do them, but they don't have the time to do them.
So, that's where a VA is great is because if someone is trying to scale their business and grow it, they're suddenly finding that I'm spending all this time answering emails and invoicing and all these kinds of boring mundane things that they don't really have the effort to put into as much as they'd like or they focus more on that and can't do the creative side of things. And so, even though someone can do it, after a while, you realize you can't do it all. You don't have the time. So, isn't it great that there are people there like VAs that can come in and fill those voids and those pain points for them and help them with those areas where they just don't have the time to put in?
Yeah. And if you're listening to this episode and if you had the chance to listen to Rachel's, I'm not sure that you did, but both Rachel and Robyn have those characteristics and skills where they are very detail-oriented, very type A where their zone of genius is in that organizational space where I don't know about you for the entrepreneurs that are listening, but that is not my wheel of genius. I love big picture. I love being out in front. I love sharing and creating and envisioning. That's more my zone of genius is being out in that space.
And so, I know for myself, I have to have VAs on my team to make the most of being able to work on the business and not in the business, if that makes sense. And Robyn is now able to offer her zone of genius just like you could. If you're listening and thinking, "I do have those organizational skills. I love systems. I love editing," if that makes you excited, that is the zone of genius of a VA and there are so many ways to take it. So many unique skills. And Robyn, you're very good in SEO, where in the interview I did with Rachel, she's like, "I know nothing about SEO nor do I want to," and that's okay.
For sure. Everyone just brings what they can offer. It's funny because I do have a creative side and so sometimes speaking of the personality test, I've always been a even red yellow, on the Enneagram, I'm a 1, 7. So, it's like I very much love organization and I love things in their place and I love processes and editing and those kind of things. But I think this is why I like being the VA too is because then the 7 in me wants to have a little flexibility and have a variety of projects. And I used to consider myself more creative than I think that I am now, but I think what it comes down to my creativity comes from the detail. I'm not great at maybe creating sometimes, but I can look at an event or I can look at a flyer.
I lost your audio again. You're back now.
There we go.
That's so weird. I don't know what's happening. Okay. So, you were saying that you liked the creative and you like the structural. Here's what's really interesting about doing creative and business or more like structural system, whatever you'd want to call it, is that there are many creative VA options as well. If you like to create music, there are people who are looking for music creators. If you like to do social media, templates and putting together digital graphics or design, there are so many creative aspects to being a VA as well. And so, I like that you said that is that it is so versatile and you can change it up and fit it to your needs of what you want to do.
Exactly. I like the variety that comes with being a VA. Like I said, you can pick projects. You don’t always have the luxury of picking initially, but as things go down, I hope that's something I get to do where I can be a little more choosier or pick more creative projects to fuel that side of me as well. Like I said, sometimes that creative just shows itself in, "Show me a graphic. Show me an event." And I joke a lot that I'm not the Pinterest mom in a sense that I put the ideas together, but I can take all of your ideas and throw a killer party. I can take the things you've put together and put them together as a whole, but I may not necessarily always come up with the ideas.
Yeah. I love that. And that's why I think it's so beneficial because you can take on that role and alleviate so much stress and that is huge. It's life-changing. I think everyone needs a VA, at least one. So, I want to hear about your experience with taking the 60 Days to VA course. What did you like about it?
One, I liked initially, I was like, this is self-regulated. I can go at my own pace, but, of course, I found keeping up with it was actually more beneficial because I wanted to be involved and the Q&As that we were having and that was great. I loved having people coming. The information you offered was amazing, but it was also great to have others in the industry come and speak to us about their experiences and what maybe they've used a VA for or just in general marketing yourself and getting out there. I don't know.
It just felt like in the end too, there were so many tools and things that I still go back and reference. Sometimes, I'll still go back on because we do get to have unending access to the course once we get it. So, there's times I'll go back in and go, "What was that tool for this?" or "Let me go back. I have a discovery call coming up. Let me go over the information Camille sent about that, so I can make sure that I'm covering everything that I want to cover."
Yes, I love that. Yes, it's so good because you do have it as a resource. So, as you're learning, you don't have to know everything all at once, but it's meant to be a resource library for you as well as something you can go back to and say, "I am taking on a new client. What were those questions I need to ask or what was that contract that you had?" And I'm curious. I offered contracts available in the course, but I don't know. Depending on your personality, contracts make a situation legal and they are in place so that if something happens, you can sue them. It binds you legally to them. So, I'm curious for you. Do you like to use contracts or not?
I do use them. I feel like it's just nice to have something in writing.
Yeah. I ended up using the tool. I use HoneyBook and I think that was what you recommended. So, I've been using that to keep track of client hours and all my contracts are on there. So, they have some contracts that are already set. I did read through it and tweaked things as I needed for my own personal use, but if something was needed that way. But for the most part, yes, I like having contracts. I like having something in writing. And I feel like it makes me seem more official too versus just having, "Here's an email saying what we're going to do." This looks official. It makes me feel more legit.
Yeah. I like that. I think it's true that if you have something in writing where it's all about communication, making sure you're on the same page. And that's a really good way to keep those communication channels open. Okay. So, I want to ask you getting into the meat of overcoming the fear, after taking the course. I know that you said you got started slowly, but in reality, you've been running this business now for four months and you say that you have more than enough work which is incredible. So, let's talk about overcoming that fear and how you were able to step into that boss CEO mindset.
I think a lot of it was really just doing it. So, when the course ended, again the type A in me, the Enneagram 1, whatever, the red personality.
It's pausing your audio again. There you are. Okay. So, start back to where you said the type 1 in me.
So, yeah. The type A in me, the Enneagram 1, the red personality, I like having things in place before I move forward. It's that fear of, I don't want to fail, so I'm going to make sure I did everything I can to make sure this succeeds, even though really there's no guarantee. So, for a couple of months after the course ended, I was really just slowly going through and getting my tax things in order.
And I started posting things on Instagram, but I wasn't really announcing it out to the world. I was just slowly building up some things. And then, I finally realized that, okay, I'm just going to announce it and see what happens. I don't have everything in place, but things can evolve as they need to evolve and if I get a client, then I'll worry about some of these other things when I need to. So, I had a few like a scheduling tool in place and a few things like that and just decided to jump.
And so, one day, I just finally put it out there in Facebook and Instagram to my friends and family and say, "Hey, this is what I'm doing. I would love your support." And instantly, I had people that were commenting, "This is so great. You'll be so perfect at this. This is right up your alley." And then, friends that I've forgotten or didn't realize would need help with this that had small businesses, they were like, "Oh my gosh. I've used a VA in the past. I would love to use you in the future or I don't need someone right now, but I'll keep you in mind or I know someone who could use you. I'll send a referral."
And suddenly, I went from zero to three clients within a week. And I was all of a sudden like, "Hey, this is real. Now this is like a real thing." So, that's what I could say is don't be worried about having it all together right away. Something that I believe we talked about in class was everybody has to start somewhere. Everybody's new at something at some point in our lives.
So, I think that fear of not doing it was bigger than the fear of going forward. If I didn't do it, I'd never know. So, why not just go for it and see what happens? And what's it going to hurt if I just put it out there and maybe I only get one client for a while and maybe I have zero clients and then maybe I can work on the other things I haven't put in place yet? But I have put it out there. If the universe wants me to have this as a job, then it'll work out. And so, so far so good.
I love that. And here's what's so crazy about it is that I think that what's good about the course is that you have the mindset tools, you have the tactical tools, you have the trainings, but then when the magic happens is when you transition into that space, when you step into that role, and say, "I'm doing this. I’m here." You announce it to the world. You make it real, so to speak. That's when you allow yourself to create that abundance in your life and that goes with anything.
That could be with any goal or thing that you have. It takes that action, that movement, that stepping forward. And I love how you said, what's the worst thing that could happen? So, what if I start with one? We're all starting as beginners. So, one is a good place to start, but three in one week, that's what is so cool about being a VA is I think that there is really so much work available, especially if people know you, trust you, like you, and know you're going to be a good job, which is obvious that that was the response when you announced it to your people.
Yeah. All of my clients have either come from a referral, from someone I already knew, or one of my clients is actually a high school classmate that has a business now. And he reached out and was like, "We would love this. I'd love to work with you." And I was like, "Great." We haven't spoken that much other than Facebook occasionally before then, but suddenly, I put this out there and now we're working together and it's going great.
That's great. So, with your pricing, do you have it set where you want it to be? Was it hard to put that out there? Did you just come out with it confidently and say, "This is what it is" and it was fine?
That's been a work in progress too. I think because in my mind, I had an idea of this is what I'd like to do. There was one that I did have to negotiate a little bit. She wanted to come in a little lower. And at first, I thought, "I'm starting out. Should I just take this price because I am new?" And then, I thought, "No. I have these skills. This is something that I'm bringing to the table." So, I came back and said, "This actually is lower than I'd prefer. This is what I would like." And then, she was like, "Okay." So, she went with it. So, in that case, it worked out.
And if she hadn't, it's one of those things where you have to say, "That's my time and how valuable is my time?" I had promised myself too that if I was going to go back into working and take that time away from my family, from my kids, that I wanted it to be worth it and I didn't want it to be something I was undervaluing my time because it still is my time and I'm still bringing something to them.
So, I'm at a point now where it's been a few months and I'm questioning like, "Okay. I've got some experience now. I feel like some of these are going well enough that maybe I'm at a point where I can say, 'Hey.' Go back to them and, 'how's this going?'" This is at a point where maybe I want to up my rates a little bit. I'm still toying a bit around that. It might be too early still because I do think I went probably a little bit lower than I could, but again because it was something I was new at, I didn't want to push the boat too much. But I think as you get into it, you realize more and more what you're bringing to the table and value of what your time is worth as well and you don't want that to be taken advantage of.
Yeah. I agree. I think more often than not, we tend to underestimate what we can charge, but it also goes into play with what do you feel good about because if you're just starting out, maybe you do want to start at something. And that is really at the end of the day, it's up to you. But what is really great is that as you get busier and more confident, you can raise those prices and you're in charge of that. You get to decide at the end of the day who you bring on as a client and what your paycheck looks like in that regard. So, I think that's really cool. If there was someone listening right now who is considering starting a virtual assistant business, what advice would you give them?
I think it really comes down for me just back to the fear of it, just do it. If it's something that you feel called to do, if you're feeling this push or even just realizing that you have skills that can be valuable to somebody, just jump in. Like I mentioned, my husband works in the tech industry and he charges what I consider an astronomical amount of money, but people pay it because he has the skills that they don't have.
And that's one thing going back to the rates is that again, what's the worst that can happen? They tell you no. But you'll never know unless you ask and oftentimes, just jumping in with something and not worrying about if you have all your ducks in a row or everything where it needs to be, just start. And I feel like it's evolved. Already in the four short months that I've had clients, I feel like I'm already learning things that I want to change or how I want to evolve or maybe where I want to go from here, getting a better sense. I don't think I'm where I want to be yet as far as that niche client. I'm still trying to pare that down and make sure I'm finding and maybe attracting the kind of work that I want to attract.
I feel like a broken record saying this, but again, I really just feel like just do it. That was something that with the course I wasn't even certain it was something I was going to use for my own business. I thought I'm in a place at my life where I'd like to learn some new things and maybe this is just a stepping stone to something else and obviously it was. But try it. I feel like there's so much good information in there and whether you want to start your own business or you want to help other people's businesses or, like I said, some kind of side project, there's so much goodness in that course.
You feel like sometimes a little overwhelmed because it's like six, seven weeks of just information, information. So, I think that's why it took me a couple months too to go through it slowly and process it and really do it on my time and it worked out. But there's so much goodness in there. You gave us so many, not only just good information, but tools that we could use and documents and different things that we can tweak for our own self. And so, yeah, just a lot of good stuff.
Awesome. Yay! I'm so glad and I think it's really cool to see where you are now. To see that progression and I know six months a year from now you will be even bigger and better and doing amazingly well. It just means so much to me that you'd be willing to come on and talk about it and share your experience and how you were able to overcome your fear. I know it's going to help a lot of people.
Of course. Thank you so much for having me.
Yes. So, if you are interested, you need a VA right now, you can find her at The Type A VA and remind me how many periods there are on that on Instagram. Just to make sure.
Okay. So, that's what I thought. So, you can find Robyn on Instagram. And if you're thinking about taking the course, go ahead and find the link below. You can find more information. I can't wait to see you on the other side.
This episode is brought to you by Station Park who believes in women-led businesses that are changing the world. If you want a place to come visit to dine, shop or connect with your loved ones, Station Park is only 20 minutes away from downtown Salt Lake City and has a gorgeous outdoor dining and shopping experience that you can walk among the shops and create memories that will last forever. If you happen to be in the middle of the square, Twigs Restaurant is right there in the middle, one of my very favorites. You've got to get the pesto margarita chicken and end the night with the dipping donuts. Trust me. Tell them I sent you. It will change your life.
Thank you so much for tuning into this episode. If you are interested in joining the 60 Days to VA course, make sure to look at the link below to join now. Our group is going to be starting in just a couple of weeks. We already have people excited that have joined and I cannot wait to see you there to see you rocking your own business.
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