Esther Inman is the CEO and founder of Virtual Assistant Internship and the host of Help Me Work Online. Over the years, Esther has helped thousands of women from all walks of life across the world work online as virtual assistants, creating virtual careers that they just love. Esther has been a guest on Her Life by Design and featured on Future Sharks, Career Shifters and Growth Lab, among other outlets.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 449
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See Tom's Stuff – https://linktr.ee/antionandassociates[03:27] Tom's introduction to Esther Inman [05:27] Getting a Virtual Assistant in the U.S. [12:36] Working from home can help your mental health [15:24] Opportunity cost being lost [19:47] Not just takes a village, but sponsored a village [22:55] Virtual Assistant program [25:38] Sponsor message [27:44] A typical day for Esther
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Episode 449 – Esther Inman
Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.
Hey everybody, it's Tom here with Episode four hundred forty nine of screw the Commute podcast. I'm here with Esther Inman. Now. I have seen her coined online as the online work queen. And and I got to tell you, she pretty much owns the become a virtual assistant space. I mean, just page after page after page of her helping. I think it was four hundred and twenty million ladies so far or 4000, I'm not sure. But we'll bring her on in a minute. All right. I hope you didn't miss Episode 448, making money with buyer's guides. I've made millions of dollars doing this, and it's just only a tiny fraction of my business. But you can really do this. It's very easy to get started with that, either for affiliate commissions or selling your own stuff. So check that out. And any time you want to go to a back episode, just put screwthecommute.com slash and then the episode number that was 448. Now, if you'd like me to send you big checks, well, our affiliate program is always in full swing. I love send the big checks to people for referring my stuff.
I get I can't even remember how to do returns because I go overboard making great quality stuff so you can make big commissions anywhere from eight dollars and fifty cents to over five thousand for one referral. So check that out. Just email me if you want details on that. Now grab a copy of our Automation eBook. This ebook are the techniques I've used to handle up to one hundred and fifty thousand subscribers and sixty thousand customers and saved me from getting carpal tunnel. I got tell that. And just one of the tips in the book is we actually estimated it has saved me seven and a half million keystrokes and allowed me to ethically steal customers from people who are too slow to get back to them because they don't have a virtual assistant. Probably, I don't know. So we'll find out about that in a minute. Grab that book at screwthecommute.com/automatefree. And while you're at it, pick up a copy of our podcast app at screwthecommute.com/app.
All right. Now I usually tell you all about my school, but right now I want to tell you about something that's way more important than my school. And that's the pilot program I'm doing in my school to help people with physical disabilities. We have a big Go Find Me program rolling out later this week. And we've got three wonderful candidates that I don't know got dealt a hand that makes it a little tougher on them to do to get through life than I've been blessed with. So I really want you to check that out. Watch for that Go Fund Me campaign also on Facebook at our site. I've given you the bios of these people and what they're facing and what it's going to mean to their life. So if you could just stop by and give them some words of encouragement, that would be great, too.
All right. Let's get to the main event. Esther Inman is the CEO and founder of Virtual Assistant Internship and the host of Help Me Work Online. Over the years, Esther has helped thousands of women from all walks of life across the world work online as virtual assistants, creating virtual careers that they just love. Esther has been a guest on Her Life by Design and featured on Future Sharks, Career Shifters and Growth Lab, among other outlets. She's got a wild Instagram account at Esther_Inman and Esther, are you ready to screw? The commute?
Oh, hell yeah,
Yeah. So glad you could be on the show. I know that people are going to be thrilled to see how you help people be able to get get to the money fast. Right. So tell them what you're doing.
Yeah, so I started about seven years ago, I was a disgruntled corporate worker, like I'm sure a lot of people can relate to, and I quit my job. I was so unhappy I didn't know what I was going to do, but I knew I wanted to work from home and I knew that people were doing it. I had a son. My husband was active duty military. So I had to figure out something that was more flexible and easy to take with me anywhere, but still paid well. And that's how I got into virtual assisting. I started as a virtual assistant. I expanded into an agency and I had so many people asking me, well, how are you earning money from home? Oh, while I'm doing this, this and this. Well, how do you know how to do that? I don't know how to do that. And there was no training for them. There was no way for them to learn how to do the skills that I was doing and earning great money from home. So I started training people myself, started with a little group, and now it has expanded to over forty seven hundred students that are in my programs that we have been able to help transition into the online workspace.
That is beautiful. Now, the first obvious question that a lot of people are going to have on their mind for you is, OK, so that's awesome. But you know, I could just go to the Philippines and pay like 12 cents an hour. So why should I get a virtual assistant in the U.S.?
Yeah, so and those virtual systems that are in the Philippines or in Indonesia are great. They're lovely people. But a lot of times the tasks that I would teach people, for example, that I do teach people, it's just not things that you can have them do. So, for example, having somebody write your email newsletter, write your blog post with good SEO, make content for all the millions of things you need to do for content marketing, help you plan a launch and execute a launch. They're just more advanced than what the Filipino or wherever Vas can really do. And even though the Filipino always say that English is their first language, I find that the content I've gotten from them before has been full of typos and lots of problems. And furthermore, it's the opposite time zone. So there's a lot of hiccups that can happen there. And so that is why there's an entire nation industry of military spouses, moms, people who want to be able to travel or are expats living different places that want to be able to earn a good income from home.
You know, and what can a business expect to pay for a virtual assistant? What's the kind of range?
Yeah, so of course, it's going to be all over the board. But for my students who have invested into skills training and have built a portfolio and have probably done some work samples before as well, just to show you that they really do know how to do these things already, the minimum is going to be fifteen to twenty US dollars per hour and then it quickly goes up to the twenty to thirty mark as you start getting a little better at the different kinds of skills that somebody is doing in that you're paying them to do. And this is kind of the coolest part about it is that you can get to like the 30 to 60 per hour within, I would say one to two years, because in this industry, you know, the more skills that you learn, the higher and more money you can charge and you can learn those skills on the job. You're getting paid to learn how to make more money. Or you can just take another online class or you like. There's so many different ways. And then all of a sudden you can turn around, say, hey, actually I'm doing really advanced graphic design work now. I'm worth sixty bucks an hour. Cool. So you can advance really, really quickly in this industry, which is another reason I love it. Yeah.
And I was going to ask you about that. So, you know, I've been through, you know, enormous numbers of people of all skill levels in my day. And but some people are just naturally better at other things. So like you just said, somebody might be just killer at graphics, but, you know, not as organized, maybe as somebody else. And somebody is, like, totally organized but couldn't put together a piece of graphic if you held a gun to their head. So do people lead with parts of their resume that they're best that are or or what?
Yeah. So, for example, my program and there's lots of different skills you can learn just to use my as an example, we really focus on content creation and content repurposing because it's like every business owners, you know, constantly at their back door knocking like, oh, you have to produce another blog. Oh you got to post three times on Instagram. Oh. And I got to do real. There's always something they're supposed to be doing. So we teach how a virtual assistant can find their voice, the client or business owners voice make a blog post with all the graphics for it, do it for Pinterest, get a Pinterest strategy going up and running. Do it also turn things into posts for Instagram, how to edit a podcast to the show, notes for a podcast, all the assets for a podcast and video editing and getting onto the different platforms. So we've tried to like so that a business owner can just say, cool, I did this one podcast interview or I did a Facebook live with somebody or I just sent you a fifteen minute voice memo and you as the virtual assistant can turn it into all these different pieces of content. But with that being said, and to answer your question, of course we have. Students or people that find that actually I just really love writing and I just want to offer writing, then we have others that say, actually, I hated the writing and I only want to do podcasting and video editing, let's say.
And so what I really encourage people to do is become a multi potential might be open to all the different kinds of things that people are asking for online so that you have as much as you can offer because you'll be more attractive and they'll be more job opportunities that you can apply for because you know how to do so much. And that is often you're often the first or second hire for somebody. So they love that. You can do so many different things. Now, it's OK that your phase two is who I am finding. I'm enjoying writing more or video editing more, whatever I'm actually going to say. I'm a virtual assistant who specializes in X, Y, Z, and then maybe your phase three is actually I only want to do video editing. So I'm just I'm a video editor now, so it's kind of the the journey that we see people take. But I think that if people come in with this preconceived notion that, oh, I hate writing, I don't want to do any writing, then they're going to be closed off to what you actually might really enjoy a blog writing about different topics that interest you. And it might be really fun. So don't be completely closed off to that idea just because you had a bad experience in high school writing class, you know.
Now, how many clients can someone legitimately handle?
Yeah, it really depends on everybody's workload, so for me, I my first client was 30 hours a week, it dropped down to 20, but it didn't matter because I had a flood of people who wanted to hire me. This is the this is a cool thing about this industry. If you're a good Vuh, you get referred like crazy, right? So the first one or two might be, you know, just as challenging as getting another job or any other job, a traditional way. But then you're just like a hot commodity. So especially, like I said, if you're a multi potential, who can do lots of different things. So my first I never said no to work. I was like, I'll just keep saying yes. So I maxed out. I want to say I was working like 40 to 60 hours a week when I finally started to hire people to work for me and started transitioning into an agency. But then I have some people who only want to work five to 10 hours a week. I have other people who only work 20 hours a week and they make like six figures because they have figured out how to make these epic podcast packages. And so they don't have to work that much anymore. And they're still delivering quality stuff. So everybody can kind of do it how they want it to mix with how their lifestyle is so busy. Moms, they don't wanna work a lot, but they want to do it around their kid's schedule and they don't want to have to put them into daycare. OK, well, now you're in a phase two and your kids school age, they're like, oh, cool, now I can actually work more so you can pick up more work. So it's just kind of like that.
Let's say, from a business owners standpoint, which I've been in business for nearly forty four years, and it really cracking down on what is a contractor and what isn't a contractor and have the business owner. We want you to have multiple clients because. Yeah, because if they deem us or you as an employee. Yeah. You're not going to pay all these back taxes. We are, you know, as the business owner. So so we actually want people to have multiple clients and advertise himself and everything. So now I was reading one of your blog posts that says working from home can help your mental health. Yes, it depends on your home life. But tell us more about that, because, you know, that's all I've ever done in my whole life. And I don't think it worked for me that good because people say I'm crazy.
Well, I would say that we have a lot of students that come to us from all different kinds of backgrounds and things that you never thought of, of why people wanted to be able to work from home. So we think, oh, we want to have flexibility and to be able to travel like that's the, you know, attractive things that we see online. But really, you have people who have health conditions, whether it's mental or physical, and that's why they need something flexible. And from home, you have people who are caregiving for a child with mental issues or an older parent who has Alzheimer's made a student like that. I've had one of my students whose fiancee was dealing with cancer. And so those things don't work well with the traditional job, with traditional set hours, even the work from home jobs that still are. You better be at your desk from 9:00 to 5:00 because you're answering phones or you're in meetings or whatever those types of jobs are. So the mental health piece of it, we do have a lot of students that have mental health issues and just need something. That's when they're having a down day. They can take it slow or work from that day or take the morning off and go do something that's going to fill them up before they have to sit down to do some work.
And some people just have issues with leaving their home. That's a mental health thing right there. So there's a lot of things. And then I think for me as somebody, me and my husband both have some mental health stuff that we deal with, that we battle with being able to get enough sleep, be outside, have my dogs around me, not have to get so dressed up and be worried about what people are thinking about me. Now, I have to be interacting with people so much all day that's so draining. Those are small things, but they really do add up into making your life so much more fulfilling. And not to mention you have more time because you're not commuting or spending time in meetings that you don't need to be in. So you get to pursue other things that fill you up and make you feel good. And so it really does help in a lot of different ways. But of course, people who work from home do need to have boundaries because sometimes you can just end up working yourself to death.
Yeah, and that's true. And then, of course, the name of this podcast is Screw the Commute. There's a lot of stress that goes along. I mean, I haven't had the displeasure of dealing with it, but but there's a lot of stress and expense with insurance and gasoline, especially now going out of sight and and the time involved. And you got to get up earlier. You got boy. So so this could be perfect for people now. Now, from the business side, again, I've heard you talk about opportunity cost being lost. Tell us more about that. For businesses that say, no, I'm to do it all myself.
Oh, gosh, I have so much I can say on the
Beat, let me know when you
Actually do an entire live cause that I will do for people sometimes about mindset set things that you have to get over when you go to start hiring. There's a lot to unpack there. And everybody has different issues that come up for them. But if the one that's coming up for you is, oh, I don't need to hire anybody, I can do it all myself, then you have a couple of things. One is sometimes it's a perfectionist part of your personality or part of your imposter syndrome. That's coming up of thinking. If I don't do it, it's not going to be perfect and I have to do it. So I must be perfect. It can also be that we believe we have tied the amount of time that we spend on things and our productivity to our value. And so we don't have value in not doing things all the time. This is like the entrepreneur's curse. So it's hard for us to say I'm actually just going to work part time and make money and I'm going to have other people do other stuff for me and they're going to make OK money. And that's I'm going to enjoy my life. Like that concept is very strange, particularly to Western Americans. But I think also entrepreneurs struggle with it even more like we don't see value in sitting on the porch with our dogs and hanging out. And what that does for us, we only see value in I'm doing my work, my business or my job. This is what I am here to do on the earth. And so there's some of that that's involved in that, too. But then there's also, of course, the the cost, right.
It's like, well, why am I paying this person to do all of this? I don't have budget for that. Like, I need to be doing everything myself. And there are definitely phases in our business journey where there are hussle phases and there are times when we do, you know, we really don't have any budget. It's a complete startup. And I'm doing it all myself for now. But you have to the words there is for now. What is your plan to get out of that? For now, because we cannot stay in Hustle Grind forever. It has to have an ending. Otherwise, you've just done to yourself the amount of stress that you had when you were working in corporate. So you can't be stuck in that cycle forever. That is how people die young. OK, right. And then also there is so many things that you could be doing that will further your business to make more money. But you're not because your answering customer service email still. What about partnerships you could be making? What about networking that you could be doing? What about launching a new product and creating a new product or program that you should be doing? Only the things that you can do that's going to move your business ahead is what you should be focusing on and having other people do all the other supporting tasks. That's how you move ahead, not doing the same ten things over and over again and hoping that maybe someone will see this post today and then that's going to be the day. So, yeah, there's a lot to unpack there.
Well, I of tend to think that it's good to do it yourself for a while and I'll tell you why I get so sick. You know, I speak all over the place and I get these people on stage. It says, you know, delegate everything, only do what you're good at. And I'm thinking to myself, hey, if what you're good at is making you broke, maybe you should rethink that a little bit. But the problem is, is that you're if you have an experience, then I'm not talking about everything like programming or something, just really super skilled. But if if you don't understand what needs done, you're a sitting duck to be basically robbed by people that know that you don't know what you're doing. So they can jack the price up out of sight and the and the and I can't remember where I heard this, but this is one of my favorite sayings when you're trying to to to get outside services, it's really brilliant. It's like when you're going for the bid, you say this job should be easy for somebody that knows what they're doing. And they're the reason that's good because it implies that, you know what is involved and then they're less likely to try to rob you. So, yeah. So that's a that's a good one now. Now I. I know everybody on here has heard the saying it takes a village. But you kind of took that to another level and actually sponsored a film. So tell us about that.
Yeah, that's actually a really cool story. And no one's ever asked me about that
Special feature you ask. You're actually special.
So my CFO, my name is Morgan and her husband.
That's Chief financial officer for fans out there.
They live in South Africa and she's an American but has grown up there. And they found all of these people that were living in rural villages outside of the main cities that just didn't have basic things. They don't have basic food, access to water, just basic stuff. And so they started a nonprofit called Rural Reach. And basically they set it all up themselves is incredible. You can sponsor a child and it gives them a monthly food hamper for them and their family. It covers their school costs, make sure they have clothes to wear to school, materials for school, the whole thing. And it was I don't remember how much it was per month. And so what we did was we looked at our income and how much of a percentage can we give each month and how many students would that sponsor? And so we ended up sponsoring almost an entire village of kids. And I'm always looking to add more. But they because of coalbed, they actually had to stop expanding the program. So we're still supporting the ones we've supported. But they couldn't go to new villages to keep expanding it. So we haven't been able to add any more to our list. But yes, we sponsor all these beautiful boys and girls in South Africa in a very rural village and keeping them fed and in school every month, which was even more important during the pandemic, because even the very little work that they were able to get before they couldn't get then. And this, you know, in other countries, we don't we aren't aware of this. But like in other countries, if something like a pandemic happens, it's not as if, oh, great, we'll just photocopy all of the school work and give it all to the students like, no, they don't have that kind of stuff. Oh, we'll just put everybody online and give them laptops like that. But that's not how it works there. So so it was very important during especially the last kind of year and a half.
Well, you're doing angel work and we definitely applaud you for that and your change in life. That's that's what I'm trying to do with this program I'm doing. And I know that we were given the strength to do it. And exactly, you know, it's kind of a I don't know what you would call sin if you're not using it for good. So. So, yeah. Good on you
And good on them for starting your lot. What's the need and good on them for seeing the need for that and starting it. And I love that I get to support them in doing that and that I know these people personally, I know the children personally. It just feels really good. It's not all lost like admin costs for these big.
Yeah, yeah. I hate that. And I'm wondering why I said good on. And then you said it. Neither one of us or Australian.
I lived in Bali though so I have Australian. So that's my excuse. Okay.
So tell everybody about your virtual assistant program.
Yeah. So if you go to virtualassistantinternship.com, you'll find the link where you can hire a visa. So if you're looking to hire one of our students and we'll talk about these skills, what kinds of things they can do and it's a free job form or you can click be a visa or the ninety DBA program is what it's called. And I help take students forty seven hundred now from zero to hero in ninety days or less. And what makes my program unique is I teach all of those content repurposing skills that I talked about as well as just how to work with clients. Well, in terms of your like email communication, how to manage their inbox, how to work with their project management systems, those kinds of things that are just basic skills that most people don't have coming out of in person environments,
I would like to be able to make money before the the 90 days are up. Yes.
Yes. A lot of our students never finished the course. I don't know. A lot of our students do. The whole course, they never end up wanting to apply for a job. Right. They just like everybody learning is different. But our whole thing is because people get kind of overwhelmed, as in three to five hours per week, you can be done in the ninety days. And the thing that sets our program apart is it's not just skills training, because I don't want to just give people another certificate that they can put on the wall that's useless, you know. So it also includes portfolio building exercises throughout. And we have a community where you can get feedback on the items that you're creating. So such as a blog post such as Pins for Pinterest. And then we also have an add on. If you want to add a mentor, you'll get a mentor assigned to you that will review your assignments one on one and give you feedback one on one. And then kind of the other piece of it that we wanted to do is we include a job board, so we have 40 to 60 jobs per month that come in just for students to my job form. I do networking on behalf of my students and then I have they are such raving fans of our students because our students are so well prepared that they then refer our higher form to other group. So we have tons of jobs coming in every single day that are just for students, we're not scraping them from other remote job boards or anything like that. And so I really want to make sure that our students have the skills they had the experience to show in a portfolio, and then they also had access to jobs.
Wow, that's amazing. And the birth certificates aren't always worthless because you could be a certificate maker and that could be true. So do you happen to know if you have any people with physical disabilities in your program? I have space for two more people in my scholarship program.
I'm pretty sure that we definitely do. I just wouldn't know their names on my head.
All right. No, I wouldn't want you to say I'm allowed on here anyway. But but wow, what a what an awesome program. So we'll tell you more about that in a minute. We got to take a brief sponsor break. When we come back, we'll ask Esther. Well, we're going to ask her how how she got her name, because that's not really a modern name for a young woman. So we'll see about that and see what a typical day looks like for her since she runs this agency. So, folks, I normally tell you about my high end mentor program, but now I'm going to kick that out because I'm just so wildly crazy about this opportunity. I'm trying to make for people with physical disabilities so they can do what Esther is doing. They could do hers and mine and get a full scholarship to mind with this Go Fund Me program we're doing. But just amazing what you can do if you put your mind for it. I think I have in a couple of days, I got one hundred and fifty people personally that I contacted that are going to jump on this. When you do when you do a crowdfunding campaign, you want to get as many people right at the beginning, which creates what we call momentum. And I kind of know this from the nightclub days.
You know, if somebody comes and sees an empty nightclub, they say it's that let's go somewhere else. So we got about 150 people ready on day one to jump on this. And and we and everybody that's helping are going to change these lives forever, which I'm sure Esther has done for loads of those 700 women and counting. So that's that's my story. And I'm sticking to it. So please watch for the announcement of that later this week. And you jump on any time, but the sooner the better, because that really helps out the campaign. What we want to try to do is get to the top of the education section on Go Fund Me, where potentially hundreds of thousands of other people that never heard of me or my school or anybody can see it and think this is a great program and that's how it really takes off. And if we can overfunded, I can bring in more and more people to to be in the program. So so that's what I'm doing. And please watch for the campaign when it rolls.
Let's get back to the main event we got. Esther Inman here apparently is an old soul because she's a young woman with a name. Esther, where'd you get that? Is it your grandmother's middle name or something?
No, you definitely don't hear it very often, right? She was somebody in their 30s.
Yeah. So I'm saying.
So unless you grew up going to church a lot, then you wouldn't know. And by church, I mean like more Christian church, you wouldn't know that there's an entire book of the Bible called Esther. And it's actually a pretty bad ass story. It's only two there's only two books of the Bible named after a woman women. And Esther is one of them. And she is this like beautiful queen, which isn't the part I was named after. She's just really badass and stands up for her people and saves the Jewish people from being slaughtered by being brave enough to go and talk to the king. Even when you're not really supposed to go and do that, you can be killed if you would go to talk to the king back then. So it was a very cool story. And that's my parents named me after.
Well, it very seldom hear books of the Bible and bad ass in the same sect in the same sentence
You do for me.
But I did know that that that was in the Bible, but I didn't know all the story behind it.
So, yeah, I had a lot of people then think I'm Jewish, I'm not Jewish. Old Testament. I'm not
Either. Yeah. Because I mean, any time I get near a church, I have to wear a lightning rod. Be careful. So so tell us what a typical day looks like for you.
Yeah, so I closed my agency a couple of years ago, about four or three years ago now, just because I was having such an influx of students interested in my virtual assistant program and it was just taking up so much time. So I ended up taking my team that was working for me for the agency and shifting them to working for me for my own programs, which was really scary. But I did it and. So now I don't work as a virtual assistant anymore, I don't work as an agency anymore, I really work on supporting my team and I do a podcast. I do my podcast a lot. I'm making videos a lot. I do PR appearances and different PR stuff. And then I just kind of help manage the team admin pieces of it. So for me, though, I really only want to work. My life goal is to determine what success means to me and my family. And so I only want to work Monday through Thursday from 10:00 a.m. until three p.m. and then I take a nap and then sometimes and then I usually only do that for about two months on. And then I'll take one month off, sometimes two months off. So I work in sprints and I do a lot during those hours that I'm working, but I have separated. The amount of hours that I work is equates to my value and my productivity, and that's what makes me the CEO. I don't do that anymore. I cram all my work into the 10 a.m. until three p.m. If it doesn't fit that it gets moved to the next week or Monday through Thursday.
Do you have any kind of morning routine like people talk about? Like when you get up a certain time and meditate or whatever
Things people have gone through different phases where I've done that. One of my favorites has been when I do morning pages, which is three pages of just free flow writing, what's on your mind really connecting your brain to the pen. And it really just helps you to have less anxiety because all the little things I've got a grocery shopping like I do this for the dogs, I got it all gets out on the paper. And so then when you go to work, you're like in work mode and you can really hyperfocus. I don't have a ton of other morning routines. I do eat breakfast that's important to me. And I do spend some time with my dogs cuddling in bed before I get up. Yeah, I should do more little things. I do some stretching because I'm pregnant right now, so I definitely do some stretching before I get to sit at my desk all day. And then I think what's more important to me is how I set up my day. Like I make sure I have breaks throughout the day and I go outside and I get fresh air and I have sunshine on my body. I make sure that I live in Asheville, North Carolina, in the west end up in the mountains. I make sure that I have breaks to eat. Food like those to me are more important parts of my routine that I've set up that's taken me years to get there. I used to just like work as soon as my eyes woke up until the moment that I dropped. And I don't do that anymore.
You know something I forgot to ask that I want to cover because people are always interested in this is are you were in the corporate world with the dreaded job, right? Yes. Yes. So how did you make the transition to working for yourself? Did you save up money? Did you quit cold turkey? How did you do that? Because a lot of people sitting in cubicles are wondering that right this moment. Yeah.
And everybody's life is different. So you have to really figure out what's going to work for you. But for me, I was very depressed. I was crying every night. I was trying. My husband was like he was active duty Marine Corps and they work them to like death. So he was either gone for twelve hours a day or he was working nights where he was deployed. So we just never saw him. So it was just me with like a three year old. And it was very, very difficult to try to hold down a traditional job. And they were not flexible back then about working from home. I only had two weeks of vacation per year and my son got sick way more than that. It was horrible to try to do all of that myself. So to me, it was not, oh, let me just hold on until we can save some money and then I'll quit. It was like I'm so depressed I can't do this anymore. And my husband was very supportive, so I just quit cold turkey. But I'm a hustler. So, like, I picked up babysitting and I would do like this little decamps that I could bring my son with me. I pulled him from daycare, which was twelve hundred dollars a month.
It was one of my entire paychecks. So I really only needed to make up twelve hundred dollars. And then I was going to be at about the same I was making before, I think our Eira that we had been putting in for that the year, a couple of years that I had been working, that we cashed that in because I was like, who cares? I need I need this money now. And it only took me three months, though, to get the first job. The other thing we did was we just cut expenses. I mentioned daycare, but we cut a lot of expenses so that we could try to live under just my husband's income just to help ease that transition. So we ate at home really cheap groceries. We didn't do a lot of fun stuff. We only drove one of the cars like we really tried to cut way, way down. And then I picked up little odd jobs here and there to kind of help keep us afloat. It wasn't the best season, but it was fine. We made it. We survived. When the net is taken out from underneath you, it's amazing what you do to keep your head above water.
You were crying every day, right?
Exactly. Yes. So it's amazing. I get so much clarity about things I can do and opportunities and moving ahead. When you're have more space,
Man, I'm going to have to pick up some odd jobs because I cry every day to.
Or go to therapy.
Well, tell them about how they find details on the virtual assistant program.
Yeah, so you can always follow me on Instagram. Esther_Inman. I'm really active on their positive stories every day I post all our resources on there. You can also just do me just say, like, hey, I heard one scream. It can be podcast. I love to talk to people, but also my website, VirtualAssistantInternship.com. You can check out the links to we have more than just 90 Davay on there. We also have remote resume, like if you're running a remote job, we have a free virtual summit that talks about 15 different online jobs that you can check out. And then we also have the hire forms for if you're wanting to hire a VA, you check all that stuff on there. I'd really try to be a remote work resource in all different ways. It's just that virtual testing to me is the best option because it's so flexible and because it pays so well and because you can grow so quickly. But I do have lots of resources about all different kinds of online stuff. And even if you're wanting to, like, build a particular type of business, being a virtual assistant is such a great way to help you make that transition.
You can quit your job sooner because you're already able to make money from home part time and it'll give you way more space to be able to do your other stuff that you're wanting to build. And so a lot of my students will do that, like, oh, I'm a blogger and I really want to be a travel blogger. Right. But this is helping me to take those steps. And then you also can work for business owners that are in niches that you're interested in working in. So if you want to be life coach, then you get to work with life coaches and you get to learn so much about the industry. And that's how I did it. I was a virtual and then I started working, just building online courses. And that's how I learned how to build and run my own online course. So it's a really nice, easy entry into being able to work from home on your own time doing stuff that you're more interested and passionate about. So virtualassistantinternship.com,
We'll have that in the show notes. We also want to thank her husband for his service. And of course, her service as being a military spouse is no easy job. It's probably the most terrible idea we we have. Our school has a deal with the Department of Defense for the military spouse education program. So we know what you're doing. And and what we're doing is great because it doesn't matter where you get deployed, you can still keep keep money coming in because I don't see I live in Norfolk, Virginia area, Virginia Beach. And, you know, the military spouses always get screwed over because everybody knows they're going to be moving. So they never get great jobs and and then they got to go somewhere else and take a crappy job. So you I want to ask their teachers and I teach you will not have to be stuck in that position if you are in the military or if you need to be profitable. And I just interview these people are digital nomads. They live 90 days in different countries. Every 90 days they move because the visa runs out and they're just having a blast doing it.
So, yeah, we did that for three years was great.
Yeah. Yeah. So so thanks so much for coming on, Esther.
Thank you so much for having me. I look forward to connecting with some of your listeners.
Awesome. And she's a badass from the Bible. I told you she was angelic. All right. Everybody will catch you on the next episode. See ya later.
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