How I quit my job and started my business in 1 year

It was this time last year that I decided to start my business. I was working at my job as a bridal consultant, working every weekend, coming home completely drained and exhausted. I would wake up each day and wonder if this is what my life was going to look like forever? This is the journey of how I quit my job and started my business as a Virtual Assistant and the lessons I learned along the way.

The decision to make a change

I realized that there had to be another career path out there. My first instinct was to just start job hunting, but my psychology degree and bridal industry background were not getting me very far. I kept coming across tons of social media management jobs that were remote positions with flexible schedules and unlimited time off and all seemed way too good to be true. However, the more I looked into these types of jobs the more I realized I needed to learn how to break into this field. Since I didn’t have experience as a social media manager, I decided to be proactive and just start my own travel Instagram account. This served as both a portfolio for my social media skills and allowed me to learn how to grow and manage a business account. I was also open the possibility of becoming and travel blogger and jetting off to gorgeous destinations every week…hey, I could dream!

Once I started diving into Instagram, I quickly realized that there was WAY more to it than I thought. It was not just posting a photo and thinking of a cute caption. No,  Instagram was a full on b-u-s-i-n-e-s-s and I figured out that my basic skills were not going to cut it.

Stepping WAY outside my comfort zone led to amazing things

This was when I decided to take one of the biggest and scariest steps outside of my comfort zone. I knew I needed to up my Instagram game and knew that I needed some serious training to up-level. I came across Pangea Dreams blogging and social media retreats and instantly knew I needed to attend one. However, the next retreat was happening in….BALI. Traveling alone, halfway around the world to meet up with a group of strangers was something that was far outside of my comfort zone. I was filled with so much worry and self-doubt that I almost didn’t apply. However, the day I pulled the trigger and paid my deposit was the day my life started changing. Never underestimate the power of investing in yourself and not letting fear hold you back.

Heading to Bali

That week in Bali was life-changing. Meeting some of the biggest names in the industry and having the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of Instagram was an incredible experience. I learned all of the insider’s tips, tricks and keys for success from these incredible mentors! There were so many amazing takeaways from the retreat that I will need to write a separate blog post to cover everything (coming soon)! What I can say, is that not only did I learn the tools needed for Instagram success but I also gained so much confidence in myself and my goals that I left knowing that big things were on the horizon!

After returning home from the retreat I started implementing what I learned and watched as my Instagram started to grow. I had a new sense of confidence when reaching out to clients and within just two months of returning home from Bali I had landed my very first Virtual Assistant client. That was the moment I knew it was time to go all in- and that is when I started my business!

How I started my business

After landing my first client things just started to take off. I invested in Virtual Assistant business trainings and started to turn this side hustle into a legit business. Within just a few short months I had a fully booked roster of Virtual Assistant and Social media management clients. I was shocked at how quickly I was able to connect with clients and grow my business all using Instagram. I had created a new business account to reach out to clients and showcase my services and offerings and I was getting such an incredible response. 

At the time, I was still working heavy part time at the bridal shop and was starting to feel a bit burnt out trying to juggle both jobs. I told myself that as soon as I hit a certain financial goal in my business I would leave my job. I hit that number within 6 months of launching my business and left the bridal shop and never looked back!

Biggest take away’s from starting my business

It is crazy how much things can change in a year! I share this story because I want you to know that this is 100% possible for you if you are looking to start your Virtual Assistant business. When I started, I had zero inside connections, zero skills to start with and was filled with self-doubt. Overcoming these obstacles and reaching your goals is all within your reach, I can attest!

Here are my biggest takeaways from this first year in business. It is my sincerest hope that this helps to inspire you take action, chase your goals and never give up on living a life you truly love:

  1. If you are not happy with where you currently are, do something about it! Nothing changes if nothing changes. Staying at a job you hate is not doing you any good. Don’t waste time being miserable, there are other options out there! Start researching, creating plans and taking action to do something different!
  2. Do something that scares you and step outside of your comfort zone. As scary as it was to go to Bali, it was the catalyst for all the other incredible opportunities that came my way. Growth doesn’t happen if you don’t challenge yourself.
  3. If you want something bad enough, you will make it happen. I told myself that I wanted to work online every single day for a year. I looked for opportunities everywhere and eventually found ways to make it happen. Moral of the story, you can make it happen!
  4. Things may not go exactly as you pictured them. My path is not what I originally envisioned it would look like, but I love the way things turned out and I wouldn’t have them any other way! Embrace small wins, change and unexpected opportunities!
  5. Just go for it! Starting a business is SCARY. There are ups and downs on this crazy roller coaster ride but when you start reaching your goals, there is no better feeling. Waking up and loving what you do and being excited to start the day is worth any of the “scaries” that come along with this ride!

So, there you have it- the full story of how I started my business. I hope that this inspires you to go after your biggest dreams, even if they scare you.

Find your online community over in the VA Visionaries FB group!

If you are looking for support as you navigate the waters of starting your VA business, come join us over in my VA Visionaries Facebook group! You will find an empowering and supportive community of women chasing their wildest business dreams and crushing big goals! Come join the party!

  1. Leah says:

    Kara, first of all your email newsletter is gorgeous!!!! I love it. Second, your blog post completely inspired me and I will have to do more to get my VA gig going. Working my JOB 55 plus hours a week with only one day off and trying to create a biz, feels like an impossible mountain to climb. However, your one year success story feels doable. I’m so happy we met online!

    • Kara Cahill says:

      Hi Leah,

      Thank you so much! Glad you found your way over to this post from the newsletter and that it inspired you to take action! I know the feeling of starting the business feeling like an impossible mission to accomplish, but even just small progress each day can lead to big success over a year! I believe in you 100%, can’t wait to see you grow your biz to new heights this year! 🙂

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Kara Cahill

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