History, Change & Goals

Today’s post is a little more on the personal level.
My name is Malissa, and I live in the same small town in Northwest Ohio that I grew up in. I have a busy multi-generational household with myself, my mother, my adult son, my boyfriend and his adult son as well as our family dog. My mother is enjoying her retirement. My son works from home doing IT and computer programming. My boyfriend runs his own business and employs his son doing custom tile work.

I currently work full-time in Ophthalmology (for over 12 years) as a COA, have a small business I run in the summer months refinishing furniture, and now also run Innovatively Virtual part-time.
Before I worked in Ophthalmology I was a portrait photographer for 10+ years. I worked for a couple different companies and loved taking photos of babies. My first side gig, though not official, was taking photos for family and friends. I didn’t make much at the time but it helped to fuel the fire of solopreneurship. Since digital photography was becoming a big thing and I feared I would soon become obsolete, I started looking for a new career.

My next solopreneur venture was, oddly enough, sewing boat canvas and upholstery. This one came about mostly because my father and uncle had a small business in boat repair and they were looking to add additional services. I took a whole summer of classes and then opened up shop right behind their building. My first summer was pretty busy but I soon learned that, although I loved sewing, I really didn’t like working out in the hot sun all day and dealing with bee’s, wasps and spiders. I’m a huge arachnophobe and it’s pretty hard to avoid those when working on boats.
Although my boat canvas business didn’t last, it did nothing to kill off my entrepreneurial spirit. Over time I’ve learned that I love the running the business side, but not so much the making the product side. That is why I love VA work! I get to do the part I love, working with other business owners doing the things that help them run their business. The guts of running a business. Not to mention, who wouldn’t love to be able to work when you want from where you want?

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So why you ask, would I want to leave a 12-year medical career?
First of all, I love my job, how many people can really say that? I love learning new things, I love helping people, and I really feel like I’ve made a difference. But despite all this, I feel a little trapped. Trapped in corporate America and made to follow someone else’s rules.

I feel as if a large portion of my life is preplanned by someone else and I have to ask permission to live my life. Maybe you could call it a mid-life crisis, or maybe I’m just finally opening my eyes to what life has to offer. There is so much more to life than slogging away, day after day, where your talents and potential have reached the glass ceiling.
So what are my short-term goals?
To get a couple more clients so that I can go to part-time at my current full-time job. I also want to have an increase to my current income and a little more flexibility/leisure time.
What are my long-term goals?
To have enough clients and income streams to do VA work full time and leave my constricting 8-5 behind. I’d ultimately like to be making double, or more, than my current income. I would love to be able to travel more and spend more time with family. And most importantly, I want to shatter that glass ceiling!

 

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