In this student spotlight series, we are highlighting some of our wonderful Virtual Assistant community members to share their journeys. All the ups, downs and surprises on the way to building their dream business. Giving you a realistic insight into where this career path can take you and how it can impact multiple areas of your life!
Today we’re interviewing Ioana Conchintoiu.
Hey Ioana! Who are you and what do you do? (aka what’s your elevator pitch)
It depends on the elevator and the building. 🙂 Is it a high-speed elevator, the ones they use in super tall skyscrapers where your ears get clogged because the elevator is really, really fast? 😀
Hey, I’m Ioana. I believe in the impact of having the right person work on the right task. You need help, I can do it.
Tell us more about yourself and where you are in the world these days…
I’m from Bucharest (Romania), I’m 36, and though I’m nomadic, now I’m writing this from my second home, Prague (Czech Republic). I’ll spend the following three months in Costa Rica.
Why did you decide to become a VA and what did your journey to becoming one look like?
For the past 20 years, my life has been centered around the concept of movement. In 2019, my gargantuan dream of living around the world had me researching ways of working remotely – so I needed a job that paid both for my flights AND my excessive desire of never-ending ice-cream opportunities. 😀
I found DNK in May 2019. It took me eight months to learn and build up the courage to take the leap and quit my job. I am still learning, but the best education now is learning by doing.
Later, I realized that I became a VA because deep down inside I craved building something of my own, where I would have both the right to decide and the obligation to excel.
What lifestyle changes have you encountered since becoming a VA? How would you compare your life now to your life BVA (before virtual assistance)?
I work remotely, so I got to fulfill my dream of traveling: last year, I worked from the deep jungle in Thailand and from surfing towns in Spain. I also discovered the absolute necessity of developing new healthy habits and routines, as self-discipline = freedom.
Oh and, since now I live from my backpack, I realized once again that no, we don’t need much to have a pretty decent life.
What does a “normal” day (or week if a day is too varied) look like for you?
It depends on the weather and the location.
Here in wintery Europe (and in the context of the pandemic) I’m indoors on most days, which translates to super long working days. Still, I work Monday – Friday and only exceptionally on weekends.
So on a workday, I wake up and refresh, and around 9 am I get my coffee and turn on the Wi-Fi. I check my to-do list, plan out my day and work until around lunchtime, when I take a break to have brunch with my partner [fellow nomad entrepreneur]. Then we continue working until one of us gets hungry again and starts preparing dinner.
On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I work around my weekly personal and professional Zoom calls.
I spend the evenings walking or chilling [or sometimes working], and around 10 pm I turn off the Wi-Fi and head to sleep with my Kindle and a tea. 🙂
Back in Thailand and Spain, we used to take a 2-3h break in the afternoon to take a walk, swim and watch the sunset.
What do you wish you had known when you were first starting out?
I wish I had fewer limiting beliefs. I wish I had known that it’s perfectly alright not to master a skill right from the beginning, especially since I started almost from scratch – in my previous life, I used to sell Employee Benefits insurance.
Otherwise, regrets, I had a few, but then again, too few to mention. 😉
What 3 things would you not be able to live without as a VA and why? (Assuming you have a computer and internet connection)
My paper planner, my wireless mouse [I have the same since 2009, yay Logitech] and my wireless headphones.
What has been your biggest fail/learning experience since you started this journey? Why do you think it happened?
My biggest learning experience is a mismanaged client relationship from the beginning. On my end, I failed to set the right expectations and boundaries in place, and I ended up frustrated [and unpaid]. If you’re reading this, dear former client, know that we’re good. 🙂
What has been your best surprise in the past few months?
I generally take every chance I get at networking, improving visibility, and nurturing relationships, as with my past career in Sales I earned a ton using these invaluable skills. So when I was invited to speak in a mastermind about what a VA is and how can a VA support entrepreneurs, I accepted without hesitation.
Within this mastermind, I found a group of high-quality people and a few of them even became my clients. Recently, I joined this mastermind group myself and I already reap the benefits of its hive mind.
If you had an extra $2000 dollars of income per month what would you do with it/how would your life change?
I would save it and in celebration of the 3-year anniversary of my business, I would pay for a luxury cruise in Antarctica. 😀
What would you like to learn next and what’s your future plan?
Currently, I’m working with a business mentor and I’m learning as much as I can about habits, high performance, leadership and growth mindset. My main business goal for 2021 is to further grow my business, hire a team, and pivot into an OBM agency.