We love our VAs and do what we can to help the world learn more about them. This week in the VA Spotlight:
Get to Know Jude Rush!
I’m Jude Rush, and I’ve been a virtual assistant since 2003.
I live now in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but I grew up in Southern California, back when there were still orange groves in Orange County. I never really thought much about “what I wanted to be” when I grew up, and up until a few years ago, I still didn’t know. I majored in communications in college because I thought my love of music would make me a good radio DJ, until I got in front of the microphone and realized that I was too scared to even speak into it! I eventually graduated from USC and continued my career odyssey, which had started in high school as an assistant manager at KFC. I worked my way through college as a manicurist and a bookkeeper, was a flight attendant for United Airlines, handled the marketing and operations for my husband’s fledgling architectural firm, and wrote computer code for a telecommunications company, along with other assorted jobs in between. It wasn’t that I wasn’t good at any of them… I really was. I simply enjoy new challenges and I’m a sponge – I love to learn.
When the telecom company was going bust and started laying people off, I knew that it was time to find another career. I don’t remember how I found out about virtual assistance, but in 2003, I decided that it seemed like a great fit for my skill set and hung out my VA shingle. I looked around for something to help me make sure I got off to a good start and an internet search landed me at AssistU’s website. What I read there convinced me immediately that this was the place for me and I filled out the application for the training program. I never submitted it. Instead, I started down the path alone.
My first client was a friend who had launched a small consulting firm and needed help with the “back office”. I was impressed by the potential I saw in her business and we both knew that for her to be successful, she would have to have full-time support. I decided to become her employee and right-hand woman, and put my plans for Virtuosity mostly on the back burner, keeping a few clients and working nights and weekends on their projects. I learned quickly that I thrived on building the framework to keep things running smoothly, and devoting myself passionately to attaining our shared goals for the company. As is so often the case in a small business, I wore a lot of hats, handling all of the financial details, technology implementation, human resources management, and administrative and marketing support. I loved it, and over the next 9 years, it grew from the two of us to a staff of 10, doing everything virtually! I was still in Denver and the company was based just outside San Francisco, so I became very adept at navigating the challenges of working remotely.
During all those years, I continued to work with one or two VA clients on the side. When the time came to move on to a new adventure, it was clear to me that re-dedicating myself to my VA practice was the next logical step. The timing was finally right for me to revisit AssistU, and I’m thrilled and honored to be part of the terrific community of VAs who are graduates of the AssistU training program.
As a VA and Virtual Operations Manager, I work with entrepreneurs in a variety of businesses, concentrating especially on handling their technology operations. I really get into marketing automation, developing streamlined systems and processes to save time and leverage the capabilities of the many applications online businesses require. All the diversity of my past experiences in the corporate world serves me and my clients very well now. I’ve never been happier and I appreciate the flexibility that my practice provides me. I can arrange my schedule to fit in visits to and from my daughters in Colorado and Vermont, and I work from my home office, the coffee shop down the street or my backyard on a sunny afternoon. I get to play with technology all day and partner with people I genuinely like and enjoy supporting, providing them with peace of mind, knowing someone’s got their backs . It’s a beautiful thing.
For more information about Jude, please visit her at JudeRushVA.com and be sure to listen to the interview she did for the recent Interview With a VA series!
Jude Rush—Interview With a VA (19 mins)
“Be so good they can’t ignore you.”
– Steve Martin