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 Petra Boucher!
Hailing from London in the UK, my name is Petra Boucher. I am and have been for the last 16 years the one and only AssistU VA based in London in the UK!
Being a city girl, through and through, I live no more than three miles from where I was born in the suburbs of London.
I remember as a teenager being highly into fashion, and I used to plan with my friends the fashion design business we would start. Although I loved to make clothes and was a keen knitter (yes even at 18 years old), I knew that my skills lay in supporting the business.
I was proudly chosen to be the Business Manager of our endeavour. But of course we all had to get through college first right?! Our business never materialised but knowing that my calling was to help businesses develop and grow never went away.
Throughout my life I had an innate need to help the local businesses I patronised to get more customers, build their visible presence, grow their offerings, etc. Wherever I saw a hole, a possibility or a need, I always wanted to share my knowledge with that business owner and help them implement it. I could be annoying with my “know it all attitude” and persistent ideas… but more often than not I was able to make some difference and if nothing else encourage them to look at different ways of expanding their business.
One day I had an experience of going to a training course a few hundred miles away with a partner of one of my local businesses and was dumbstruck when I saw them using the same intake form I had created for her over a year ago. I knew then that I had to find a way to help businesses like this always.
The “how” left me a bit overwhelmed… but, being an early adopter of online technology, I started a VA business in 1999. I thought I was unique, I thought I was the only person in the whole world who thought up this kind of job. When I contacted the Yellow Pages to advertise my business they had no idea who and what I was and no idea where to put me, so I got stuck in the secretarial offerings. I knew this was not correct, but I also did not know where else I could go if no-one had heard of virtual assistance. Suffice to say it was an horrendous experience; six months later I closed up shop and went to work for an investment bank.
Roll forward another 4 years, and I was at it again. I was itching to get out and restart this business I had dreamt up. I was still helping any local business that I patronised, but I wanted to do more. I wanted to go bigger. One night whilst at work I found AssistU online (that is a secret between me and you right?). A training company that said they would teach me how to build a viable, successfully virtual assistance business. Woah was this not my idea? Ha, ha, obviously not!
On the the AssistU website, Anastacia Brice clearly states that her offering was not for everyone. It was only for those who wanted to be the best they can be. She also recommended that prospective virtual assistants check out the other companies who offered training. I was hooked. I remember that, back then, the AssistU website was a warm honey colour, and it felt like a bright ray of sunshine to me. Not only did I want to train with AssistU, but I also wanted to train with Anastacia personally. So I pulled all the free credit on my credit cards, filled out the application form that night…the deadline for applications was within the next 24 hours…and applied to AssistU. As you can tell I was accepted, and I never looked back.
I have been working full-time as a virtual assistant since 2003. Through virtual assistance I am able to support you regardless of your location to build and grow your business. I can do the nitty gritty work to get things moving, and keep them moving. I sit in your corner and prop you up when needed or run by your side when we are on a roll. It is my incredible joy, and my calling to help you build the business that works for you, both professionally and personally. My goal at all times is to help you propel your business. My vision statement has always been “your success, is my success”, and is at the core value of my business. To be the best I can be for you, I invest in developing my skills each year, and have achieved the level of Certified Professional Virtual Assistant with AssistU and have to re-certify every two years where I am required to show that I invest consistently in my education, equipment and business.
I encourage you to pop along to my website and find out more about me and how I can help you. Let’s get acquainted!
For more information about Petra, please visit her at PetraBoucher.com
Petra Boucher—Interview With a VA (14 mins)
“Be so good they can’t ignore you.”
– Steve Martin