This week, I’m very excited to introduce you to Jacqi, a work-at-home mom of 2 kids, a successful Virtual Assistant, and a 90 Day VA Star Student.
Back in 2012, Jacqi was a CFO of a multi-million dollar business. When the company was sold and the new owners already had her position covered, Jacqi was left without a job.
It was at this point that she realized then that she didn’t want to be an employee anymore. She wanted to be in charge of her schedule and her income. And most importantly: she wanted freedom.
Find out how Jacqi made the transition into working online as a Virtual Assistant while remaining home with her kids and her top tips for other aspiring online workers!
Meet Jacqi, the Work-At-Home Mom
Jacqi lives with her husband and two kids in North Carolina. She has a 17-year-old special needs daughter and a son currently in college.
In 2012, Jacqi lost her CFO job when the multi-million dollar business she worked at was sold and her job was eliminated in the process.
This big change led her to the realization that going back to work in the corporate world was not what she wanted. She was tired of office drama, of being underpaid and not appreciated for the work she did.
Plus, with a special needs daughter, Jacqi needed a more flexible working environment to ensure she could be there for her children.
At the time, her husband was the primary caretaker of their daughter, but this shifted when she was laid off. Her husband had a more steady job, so he became the breadwinner for a while.
How Jacqi Started Her Work Online Journey
This was around the time that Jacqi came across 90 Day VA, Esther’s signature program to help women work online. At first she was skeptical, but after some short-term consulting positions she decided something had to change.
She had a very valuable skillset from being a CFO, but she didn’t know how to translate this to the online world.
After watching the free masterclass on how to work from anywhere as a virtual assistant and seeing the value Esther was bringing, she decided to take the plunge. The free class made her realize that a VA isn’t just a personal assistant, but that there are lots of different kinds of VAs with very different skillsets.
Jacqi ended up joining the course and became a 90 Day VA star student!
She mentions that the tools she learned about in the course were incredibly helpful in her own journey, but what most helped her in the course was the mindset change it brought. She realized she didn’t HAVE to be somewhere in person to work or consult.
There was a place for her skills online, but she needed to learn how to position and market herself better.
Landing Her First Job as a Virtual Assistant
After going through about 40% of the 90 Day VA course, Jacqi applied for a members-only job posting in the Members Club of the course and landed the job. This was after only about 6 weeks!
She’s now working with an accounting company that specializes in small wineries. Her tasks range from accounting and admin to website maintenance and more. Jacqi calls it a Jill-of-all-trade position, which she loves doing!
One of the reasons why Jacqi is so successful working online is because she is a hard worker and she figures things out on her own. A big part of being a virtual assistant is just figuring tasks and programs without disturbing your client. Being proactive and a problem solver are great qualities if you want to work online!
Whenever Jacqi didn’t have expertise in a task her client needed, she’d ask fellow 90 Day VA members if they were specializing in that and would recommend someone from the course to her client for a quick job.
She says that sometimes it just makes more sense to hire someone who can do it in 1 hour when it would take her 3+ hours to learn.
Is Working as a Virtual Assistant Everything Jacqi Hoped it to Be?
Now that Jacqi has found a major client, is it everything she expected and wanted it to be?
She currently works around 22 to 25 hours a week for her wine client. She also has a barter agreement with her daughter’s school, where she updates their website in exchange for her daughter’s tuition.
She mentions that she could add another client at the moment, but that she wants to cap her weekly hours at 30 max to deliver the best work she can and to keep time for her family.
She can plan her work around life, which means that sometimes she has to work late, but she gets to take her daughter to medical and therapy appointments, so it’s all worth it!
And her income?
Jacqi shares that she has taken a pay cut from her CFO days, but that’s she’s still growing. She started with her first client at $25/hour, but if she takes on another client right now, she’d raise that to $30 or $35/hour. Remember that: this is just 5 months after signing up for the course!
She also mentions she is still improving her skills and taking classes to learn new things. Growing and learning will allow her to raise her rates even more in the future.
She says she doesn’t mind the pay cut, because her stress levels have virtually disappeared, and that’s worth a lot to her as well.
Some advice from Jacqi and 90 Day VA: You should raise your rates every 6 to 12 months. It’s normal in a job to get regular raises, so make sure you give those to yourself as well now that you’re in charge!
Jacqi’s Biggest Tips for New Virtual Assistants
1. Make Yourself Valuable
Another great tip Jacqi wants to give you, is to make yourself an asset to your client. Anticipate their needs, learn new skills and add value to your client’s business to the point they can’t live without you.
She says: “once you’re valuable, it’s not an issue of costing more.” Your client will pay you more to stay because you’re bringing so much to their business. Find what they really need and appreciate and you’ll go a long way with a client.
2. Invest in Yourself
Jacqi has learned a lot from the course and from working online. One thing she wants other moms to know is that you need to invest in yourself to see results.
Taking a course like 90 Day VA is a big investment, but Jacqi started to see the value of what she learned quite quickly. She landed a client within 6 weeks and started to see money coming in.
She invested in herself and the return she got was tenfold. She says: “I tell people now, my only regret is I didn’t take the plunge sooner”.
3. Freedom and Flexibility
Jacqi’s favorite thing about working online is the flexibility she now has. When she was still working in corporate, she couldn’t take time off whenever needed to take care of her daughter. Now, that’s not a problem anymore.
She knows her schedule with two meetings a week and can plan everything else around those. It has relieved a great deal of stress to not have to worry about her schedule, a boss, office politics, etc.
It gives so much freedom to work whenever you want or can, whether that’s before your kids get up, after they go to bed or when they’re at school. Jacqi is very happy she can actually put her family first.
You can pick the jobs that fit your lifestyle and the amount of flexibility you need in your life, which is amazing!
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Say No
Last, Jacqi wants to emphasize that you shouldn’t be afraid to say no.
She had a potential client she knew personally that wanted to pay a lower rate. She didn’t take the job, because the client wouldn’t pay her $25/h starting rate.
Don’t lower your standards just to land a client. Stick to your schedule and your rate. Set boundaries and stay firm.
If you don’t, you’ll be unhappy doing that job because you’re feeling undervalued or overworked. And isn’t the point of working online to have a better work-life balance?
- Make yourself valuable: Anticipate your client’s needs and go above and beyond so they never want to lose you. Your clients will love you.
- Invest in yourself: Keep learning and growing. You’ll only move up if you invest time and money in your own education, so take that leap and start working for yourself!
- Use that new earned flexibility and build your new life the way YOU want it! You can now plan your new career around important life events you want to attend instead of the other way around.
- Learn to say NO! Stick to your rates, your schedule, your values. Don’t change just because you want to land a client. You’ll regret it later.
Thank you so much, Jacqi, for sharing your journey and knowledge with us today! We’re very excited to see where your online career takes you! If you’d like to watch my full interview with Jacqi, you can find it here!
Jacqi’s story shows that it doesn’t matter what background you come from. You can change your life up and start to live your dream life, if you’re just willing to take that chance on yourself.
Jacqi’s transformation all started with 90 Day VA. The skills training in 90 Day VA allowed her to build a thriving online career as a virtual assistant. It also gave her the guidance and mindset change that she needed to really make this new career work.
90 Day VA will teach you those practical skills, but also helps you get to where you want to go. Plus, you get a great community of students with the course that is very supportive.
The good news is that we’re currently open for enrollment until the 31st of October! If her story inspired you to take the leap yourself, then you can check out everything that is included in 90 Day VA and how to sign up here!
Former CFO and mom Jacqi turned her life around after being made redundant at her CFO job. She became a star 90 Day VA student and is a successful and thriving virtual assistant now. Her story is a true inspiration to all those wanting to live their dream lives. If you’d like to get learn more about Jacqi or get in touch with her, you can check out her Instagram!