“Well, that does sound like me.” That was my response when my online colleague Melodee Claassen of Business Remedies, LLC told me about the press release that Woman’s World magazine had put out online. They were looking to interview work-at-home moms who created a business on a small budget in the hopes of showing other women the possibilities out there.
Showing other women that they can do this too is something I strive for each and every day at New VA Advice. So I thought it wouldn’t hurt to contact the editor listed on the press release. There was a phone number and an email listed for contact. My first thought was to draft an email explaining what I do and why. Then, something inside of me said, “You have to call this woman. She’ll never know how passionate you are about what you do unless you talk to her.”
As nervous as I was, I picked up the phone and made the call at that very moment. I didn’t want to chicken out! The editor working on the story happened to be at her desk and answered the phone. I explained why I was calling and she said, “I have some time. Go ahead. Tell me your story.”
I somehow condensed everything that’s happened to me in the last four years–from being laid off while seven months pregnant to starting my own VA transcription business to creating New VA Advice so that I could help other women do the same—into a 30-minute phone call. Phew! She said that my story was exactly what they were looking for.
We scheduled time for another longer phone interview and she asked me to send her some pictures of me sitting at my desk in my home office. After hanging up, I totally freaked and jumped around like a little kid on Christmas morning. Then I told my family, close friends and my awesome JV partner Loretta Oliver. This was really happening! There would be mention of me and my business in Woman’s World magazine! All I could think about was the number of potential women who might read this, feel inspired and realize that they could do this, too! I started getting excited for them, even though I didn’t know them yet.
A couple of days later, I got a call from the Photo Editor at Woman’s World. She said that my pictures I sent in weren’t the best quality due to the lighting. I asked if she’d like me to take some shots somewhere else. Perhaps outside? She stopped me and said, “No, we talked about it and we’d really like you to come to New York City for a photo shoot. We were hoping you’d agree since you wouldn’t have to travel too far.” My jaw dropped. If we had been having that conversation in a room full of people, I would have looked over my shoulder and said, “Are you talking to me or someone standing behind me?”
She said that I was more than welcome to bring my hubby along. She gave me some tentative dates and the next thing I thought was that I had client work due and, who would take care of my son while I went traipsing off to NYC for the day? That’s when my husband said to me, “Say yes and we’ll figure out everything else. You deserve this. How often do you get a call to be in a magazine photo shoot?” Yeah, he’s pretty cool and super supportive.
After listening to his voice of reason, we worked it all out. I talked to a client about rescheduling some work I had due for that week and they were quite excited for me and happily agreed to reschedule our work. My clients are pretty awesome. My parents and sister stepped in and offered to take care of our little guy so that hubby and I could head off to New York.
Now that the article is officially out, I’m able to share some behind-the-scenes pics from the day of my photo shoot! Let me just tell you. Every woman deserves a day like this at least once in her life. Each person there made me feel so special and beautiful. When I first walked into the beautiful loft studio, I was a little intimidated. I mean, I’m no model! But everyone immediately made me feel comfortable with smiles, hugs and an invitation to sit down to a huge breakfast spread. Here are some shots of the studio in Manhattan’s Fashion District.
After some coffee and breakfast, I was ushered into hair and makeup where I met the awesome makeup artist and hair stylist. These women were true professionals who have worked with the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Sarah Jessica Parker, Bruce Springsteen and Tori Amos! And there I was, sitting under the lights with these women working on me! We had some great conversation amongst the hair extensions and false eyelashes.
Then I was brought into another room to start the photo shoot. I met the photographer who has worked with the likes of Harrison Ford, Anthony Edwards and the Jonas Brothers. The assistants were all wonderful and the woman who brought it all together, the Beauty Director, was on top of her game! She’d call out for something to be done and someone would jump in and make it happen. An item in the background was off center? Taken care of. Stray hair near my eye? Fixed. More powder needed on my nose? Powdered. But she orchestrated all of this with a smile on her face and kindness in her voice.
They allowed my husband to sit in on the action and even take pictures with his phone. They were nothing but accommodating and personable, making me feel like the most important person in the room during that photo shoot. It’s definitely an experience that I’ll never forget.
Why did I tell you this story in such detail? First, it’s because many of you asked me to spill the beans with all of the details of how I found out about this opportunity and what it was like. Second, because I want you to know what’s possible for you, my dear friend.
What do you want your life to be like? Do you want to live it on your own terms, create a career for yourself that you are passionate about and make time for your family? I think you can do it.
I did it. But not on my own. I have people like my husband, family and friends who support me. I have mentors, connections and a coach. I’ve built these relationships over time out of sincerity. I would not have known about the opportunity if Melodee hadn’t told me about the press release. I initially met her online through networking, getting out there and making my presence known in the industry.
You see, I didn’t get this far using some secret tool I bought online that made me thousands of dollars overnight. I did it through passion, determination and putting in the hard work it takes to build a business. And if you’ve felt moved or inspired at all by my story, you just might be ready to do it, too. Ready to make a move? Call me and we’ll chat!