Moms In Business: April Tara
Moms In A Blog proudly presents the Virtual Assistant that will give you the Advantage, April Tara.
Flexibility. I'm a single mom to three kids and between the four of us, there are a lot of appointments and events and special days and I got tired of either having to miss them or deal with the hassle of trying to get time off from work.
What is the nature of your business?
I'm a Virtual Assistant, specializing in the legal field. My VA website is at www.AdvantageVirtualAssistant.com. I also do general administrative work as well as business writing (copywriting, press releases) and blog customizations and installations.
What made you decide that particular business?
My career field, before being a WAHM, was in law. My education is in Paralegal Studies and I was a legal assistant for 5 years. The other things – writing, blogs – were things I just enjoyed doing.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Money. A lot of people are being affected by this economy and its even harder since my income is the only income for my family. It can be stressful and discouraging to not have a consistent, steady income and I've been tempted to just toss it and go back to a cubicle and a paycheck.
What has been your biggest success?
Landing a client in my desired niche which is marketing for attorneys. I have a client now, a solo attorney, who I am working with on creating brochures, web copy, and a newsletter.
What is the best way you promote your business under $10.00, $50, any cost?
Under $10 – using online networking services like Twitter and LinkedIn, forums like VANetworking.com
Worth it at any cost – doing a good job and earning referrals
How do you balance work and family?
I work while the kids are gone. I avoid working on weekends so that I can be with them.
To what do you attribute your success as a WAHM?
Support from other women, whether its my mom, my daughter, or the friends I've made online.
What impact has blogging made on your career?
A lot of the connections I've made have come through blogging, either through their blog or through mine. And I received an award for Blog of the Week through VANetworking which is a real honor coming from a group that is a major influence in the VA industry.
Can you recommend any resources for WAHMS who are just starting out, or perhaps trying to make the transition from the workplace?
Oh there are so many! In addition to the ones I mentioned earlier – Moms United in Business, Mom Masterminds, Shelancers, VANetworking – there are also some great blogs I'd recommend subscribing to. The first one that comes to mind is Sparkplugging and the next one would be Internet Marketing Sweetie.
What can you tell us about your other ventures?
I'm currently working on a few other projects. One is NAVLA (National Association of Virtual Legal Assistants) which will provide information, resources, networking, and eventually certification for VAs in the legal field. I've also started a blog for single moms who work at home or would like to, called SingleWAHMs.com. And I'll be doing some more writing on blogs that focus on two topics that are very close to me which are custody issues and mental health. Those are located at But What About The Kids.com and The Art Of Sanity.com.
Is there anything else that you want to share with the readers?
Surround yourself with positive influences and people you admire. Their success and their willingness to share how they got where they are will really help you keep your eye on the prize.
What is one thing you can't do without in your business?
Inspiration and motivation. I know that's two things but they kinda go together. I've found that when I seek inspiration, whether its the success of others or setting a goal of taking my kids on a vacation, it motivates me to work harder and better.
What one thing should be avoided at all costs?
Negativity. You have to have the confidence in yourself to succeed, even if it means faking it sometimes. Have you ever heard the saying “Fake it 'til you make it”? It works. If you tell yourself you CAN do this, you DO have what it takes then it will happen for you.
What's the biggest business killer?
Not taking yourself or your business seriously and allowing others to not take you seriously either. Being a WAHM has its share of challenges and this is one of them. There's a tendency for people to think that working at home isn't a “real job” but don't let their attitudes influence how seriously YOU take your business. Its not a hobby and its not something you should do half-heartedly.
What advice do you wish someone would've shared with you when you first started out?
I wish I would have learned sooner about the influence a positive attitude can have on your success. I was miserable and had moments where I felt like a failure and maybe this was a huge mistake. Then I realized that it wasn't fair of me to expect other people to believe in me when I didn't even believe in myself.