This month marks Brava Virtual’s 3rd business birthday. Three whole years! I’m not quite sure where that time has gone but reaching this milestone has made me reflective – and a bit soppy, to be honest. Read on at your own risk 😉
Where it all began
We all have them, don’t we? Those pivotal times in our lives that shake us to our very core. For me, that time was 2017. I lost one of my great loves when my dad passed away and, along with the grief, I was left with a deep longing to do more with my life. To take a chance. To be a bit bold.
At the time I was spending roughly three hours a day travelling on a packed train to and from a job that didn’t light me up. I knew that I wanted more, I just didn’t know what that “more” was. I was so ready for change though, that I signed up for a Start Your Own Business programme with the Local Enterprise Office – without any real business idea! I just knew with absolute certainty that I wanted to be the captain of my own ship and that I got a deep sense of fulfilment from helping people succeed.
While doing the Start Your Own Business programme, I came across the concept of online business support services and it was one of those light bulb moments. It felt like a perfect fit for my skill set and my introverted nature. I immediately began researching and, a couple of months later, Brava Virtual was born. The excitement of it all! (Disclaimer: It wasn’t as easy as that. I’m looking back through heavily rose-tinted glasses.)
Those first few steps
Starting a new business is really tough and starting a new business alongside a full time job is even tougher. That first year or so in business required a lot of very early mornings, very late nights and a very understanding partner! Having said that, I was always so grateful to have the security of an income while I found my feet and bootstrapped the business. I gladly invested my time and energy because I had an unwavering belief that I had something very valuable to offer – even if I was a bit shy about promoting it.
It takes a village…
Fortunately, I’ve been surrounded by the best of people on my business journey. The family and friends who never once questioned my ability to make it work. Those initial clients who put their trust in me without the comfort of social proof. That virtual business buddy who patiently guided me through my early days in the online space. The mentors who made my journey more straightforward by always being so generous with their time, knowledge and advice. The cheerleaders. Oh the cheerleaders! As someone who is pretty low key (a personality trait inherited from my dad!), I am blessed to work with clients who happily recommend my services to others and give me really kind testimonials.
On the subject of clients, I can honestly say that I couldn’t have asked for a better bunch of people to work with. Each of my clients’ businesses are unique in their own way, but they do have a few common traits – they are brilliant, they are authentic and they make a very real impact on the people they work with. For me, there is so much joy and satisfaction in working with them to bring calm, organised structure to their business operations. But it goes deeper than that. Each relationship is a partnership where the client feels really supported on their business journey. Because experience has taught me that that is where the magic truly happens.
A journey of growth
There has been a fundamental shift since I started my own business. Brava Virtual has evolved into a full-time, dedicated service. I can now stand in my back garden in the mornings and listen to the commuter train pass in the distance, grateful that I’m no longer on it. In order for that to happen though, I had to go on my own personal journey of growth. I got (somewhat) comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. I took a giant leap of faith. I found my voice. I became open to new opportunities. I surrounded myself with likeminded people who are on a similar path. People who go through life in a constant cycle of learning, stretching and growing. They inspire me every day to do the same and I’m excited to see what the future brings for all of us.
If you’ve indulged me enough by reading this far, thank you. I don’t write very often, but when I do, it’s usually about something close to my heart. I’ll close by saying a great big thank you to each and every person who has supported me and my small business over the past three years. You helped to shape what it is today and what it will be tomorrow. I couldn’t do it without you.