What you need to know:
- Braidley Ayuma is the managing director and founder of Dreams Freelancing Services, a virtual assistance business that offers administration tasks, social media management, and personal support to clients overseas
Braidley Ayuma is the managing director and founder of Dreams Freelancing Services, a virtual assistance business that offers administration tasks, social media management, and personal support to clients overseas. Ayuma is also a virtual assistant and business coach, with special focus on training women entrepreneurs in virtual assistance
I have managed to juggle between working and raising my son very effectively as a virtual assistant. I have also build up a tribe of women with whom we share business targets and referrals. It’s important for women to understand that other women are not your competition but your plug. I could have more on my plate and my clients could use a referral, or you could send over a client if they are not a good fit for you. We really go wrong by assuming that being in the same line of business makes us enemies.
I didn’t learn VA on campus. I studied a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture. I quit the profession after tarmacking, dropping my CV at every firm that I knew dealt with my line of career, and applying to every other job post without any reply. I started looking for other ways I could make a living and chanced upon virtual assistance. This doesn’t mean your school papers don’t hold value. They do. But you don’t have to be rigid in pushing for one type of career if it isn’t working. So network as much as you can.
Do your due diligence well before making an investment. An insurance company messed me up because they could not do a simple deduction from my bank. This got me afraid over how they’d manage my investment. I couldn’t trust them with my son’s future. This caused me to walk out of the insurance policy, and because they refused to give me any refunds, I ended up losing the money I had already invested. Before you invest in a policy, differentiate between an agent and an old investor. An agent will say anything to get you to invest. But a previous investor will be more likely to tell you the truth about their experience with company XYZ.
When doing business engagements, it is important to have a clear contract in place that holds each party accountable. Failing to do this was a major mistake when I was starting my business. I trusted a stranger without a contract to lay out the terms of us working together. I worked without pay for three months, not knowing that I was being duped. By the time I realised, it was too late to hold the person accountable legally. I have also realised that even in the presence of a contract, you still need to be on the lookout for red flags. If you notice a red flag, pause your services until you are paid.
I am still learning how to be a disciplined saver. Among the steps I have taken is having a financial planner. I have also been attending her classes to get a better understanding of how personal finance works. I also run a lot of Chamas and I have a goal for each one of them. Beyond this, I use a locked savings account with the bank that limits withdrawals. This has been effective in taming access to cash. Previously, I used my phone to save money. This didn't work because I had easy access.
If I were to start all over again, I wouldn't try to be Jack of all trades. I would stay in my lane. My VA business started doing great only after I dropped all other small businesses and focused on it. You can't walk alone, and if you do, then your vision is small. I have a great support system in my husband, friends, and my parents. In business and in life, you need family, friends, and where it applies, a spouse who cheers you on instead of dragging you down.
For feedback write to the editor on [email protected]