Running a small business is not for the faint at heart. Who can agree with me that running a small business is like being on a never-ending rollercoaster ride? One minute you’re cruising at a level pace, the next you’re at the highest of highs and then all of a sudden something happens and you feel like you are falling fast. Please tell me that it’s not just me that feels that way. Now, I know some times are better than others and it’s great when we get to a point where we are cruising at that level pace for a long time but even if your business is doing great you know that at any time things could change and even the little hiccups sometimes feel like you are crashing to the bottom. The thing is though, we stick with it, right? There has to be a reason behind the long hours, the stress, the decisions, the learning curve, the growing pains, and all the other craziness that small business owners endure. If it was just all about the money, it wouldn’t be worth it – we could go work for someone else and make a decent living, right? So, what is it? What’s your biz story? What is your why?
I thought it would be fun to share my “why” as well as a few other awesome small business owners that have an amazing “why” as well. If you missed my story, check it out here and also be sure to check out Trena’s story here. Today, I’m super excited to introduce Tracy, owner of Rock Solid Virtual Assistants, to you as she shares her story.
Feel free to comment here or share your story on social media as well, and tag us and use the hashtag #whatsyourbizstory
What motivated you to start your business?
“I realized how well this job fit for me and my family. The fact that I could work, be there for my kids and husband, and take my mom to appointments when she needed me to was amazing. The flexibility was what I needed. After that, God began showing me that if this was working so well for me, imagine the blessing it could be for other people! That is when this business shifted from me doing the assisting to helping other assistants connect with clients.”
How does your business look different today than when it first started?
“It looks totally different! I started my business as a virtual assistant. After being referred client after client I hit my max amount of hours per week I could work. It was at that point I thought, ‘I could help others work from home and do this like I am.’ That is when I started bringing other assistants into my business and connecting them with clients. Now I am no longer an assistant, I have a team of 4 helping me run Rock Solid, and oversee about 40 assistants working with 65 different clients.”
What is the hardest part of running your small business?
“We talk about it all the time – balance. I am a go hard or go home person, so my instinct is to put my everything into this business. It can be hard to shift from work mode to home mode. But I am learning. I am not perfect, but I am intentional in reminding myself when work hours are done. I find myself saying, ‘No, Tracy this can wait until tomorrow. Nothing is on fire. Enjoy home time right now.’”
What motivates you to keep your business going even when it gets tough?
“The people. We are VERY passionate about what we do. We feel honored to work with the most amazing business owners and we truly love our assistants. We get up each day and work to help our clients have more time and freedom in their lives. We also strive to give our assistants the ability to do the work they are gifted to do. There is no greater privilege than to make a difference in other people’s lives.”
What is one piece of advice you’d give a new business owner?
“Do the hard work. I have created this ‘Shake Later!’ theory that has proven instrumental to life in many areas. We all face challenges! Even on the best day, something will pop up and make me want to run away to my comfort zone. That doesn’t do anyone any good and in reality, causes harm more often than not.”
“So here’s the gist of my theory: Look that thing right in the eyes, square your shoulders, say a prayer — and tackle it! Yes, it might be scary and yes, it’s most likely very intimidating, but you’ve not gotten this far in life and in business by running away. Have the hard conversations. Make the tough decisions. Do the hard thing! There will be time for shaking later! Once you’ve taken the proverbial bull by the horns and shown it you’re not a runner, you can then escape to a private place and shake and cry and vent and process everything. There will always be time to shake later!! But in the midst of the big things, the hard things, the intimidating things, I dare you to step up to the plate and take a swing! Don’t ever let fear paralyze you! Don’t let it stop you from giving to the world the amazing gifts and talents you have to bring!”
If you would like to learn more about Tracy and what she does, check out her cute website here!