“If you want it bad enough, willing to take the harsh criticism and failures, keep working until you find the right problem and solution. The eventual reward is totally worth it.”
— Melissa Smith, The Personal Virtual Assistant, www.thepva.com
Melissa Smith was happy and content working as an executive assistant for 15 years. Unfortunately, tragedy struck and Melissa’s husband passed away. All of sudden, Melissa found herself in a very difficult situation. Not only did she have to endure the emotional tragedy of losing her husband, she had to take care of her family. Clearly, to take good care of her family, she had to become financially sound. Melissa says, “I loved being an executive assistant very much, but it was no longer serving the needs of my family.” She further adds, “I became an entrepreneur two years after my husband passed away. I knew I needed more control over my life and becoming a business owner was the only way I saw to make it work.”
Getting Over Her Fears
Melissa shares how the initial uncertainties made her anxious. “Not having any idea what I was doing scared me. The alternative terrified me, spending my nights and weekends working dead-end jobs to make ends meet,” she says. At times, overwhelmed, she felt like she needed a man to support her. In spite of all her fears, Melissa knew she had to take a plunge at being a business owner. That was the only way she could take good care of her family. She says, “When I first decided to go out on my own, it wasn’t as much for me as for my family. For my family, there is nothing I wouldn’t do.” The well-being of her family was her prime motivation to tread the uncomfortable and challenging path.
With no knowledge of how to run a business and no business plan, she started out as a virtual assistant. She quickly realized the huge demand for personal virtual assistants and established her company The PVA. In her own words, “It was the scariest thing I ever did and that single act caused a chain reaction of both great struggle and great success.”
It wasn’t easy. Without any experience whatsoever of being a business owner, Melissa spent days and nights finding her footing. But all the hardships and struggle paved way for great rewards. In the process, she also overcame her fear of flying and has become a globetrotter. In 2017, she became location independent, running her company from 16 countries in 12 months! She also had the opportunities to work with her dream clients. In addition, she authored two books.
She asserts, “I could have never imagined how much my life would change.” And her advice to others, “Be prepared to endure pain and suffering to the extremes. But then the rewards will far exceed than what you can imagine.”