Real Wahms of SA: Celeste Virtually Assists

Today’s Wahm is Celeste Jonkers from over at the blog Surviving Jonkersville before getting up the courage to start my own business I read up on others who took the plunge and Celeste is one of them. I really enjoy her blog and admire her organisational skills (I can be a bit of a mess) here is her story

Tell us about your family
A: We’re a music crazy, dance loving, lighthearted and mostly foolish family of five. The husband (eldest kid not born of this body), 3 kids and I. My husband keeps me grounded while my kids inspire me on so many levels. I secretly wish that I could be more like all of them all at once.   
Why did you become a work from home mom
A: Finding a job after being retrenched has and is still a nightmare. The job market is tough and instead of sitting back and waiting for a job I decided to turn all those ‘favours’ people are always asking into a job. It was more of a circumstancial thing as opposed to me wanting to do it. If someone would pay me to sit still I seriously doubt I’d ever have any money.
What was the most unexpected part of becoming a wahm
A: That people actually bought into it! I am good at what I do but I didn’t expect to ever make a cent off it.
What has been the hardest part
A: Getting clients. Many people haven’t quite warmed up to the idea of Virtual Assistants yet and don’t fully undestand the concept. Therefore it’s difficult for them to learn to trust someone with important tasks. Quite understandable really. It’s up to me to kind of ‘teach’ them to ‘let go’.  
What is the most rewarding
A: Knowing that I am making a difference. Being able to assist entrepreneurs with the nitty gritty details they don’t even think about when they start their businesses. Admin is everyone’s worst nightmare (mine too) but it’s also an integral part of staying afloat. I get to do all this and not be bothered about getting all dressed up. In fact I get to do it in my pj’s sometimes.  
What is your day like
A: Wake up at 5am to get the kids ready for school and only have my first coffee fix by 8am. Madness I tell you.  Depending on the mood my kids wake up in, I either have a workout between getting them done, otherwise it’s after 8am. Then it’s grindstone time only to collect the little one at 1pm, play mommy for a bit, work, cook, work, play mommy again, suppertime, play wife, work and play sleep. 
Tell us about your business
A: I’m a Virtual Assistant. Basically I do everything a normal assistant does in the office but from home and communicate via email and telephone. My services include bookkeeping, correspondence, ghost writing (my favourite!), copywriting and a whole lote more. I come from a financial background thus it’s one of my strengths I can offer clients but writing has always been my passion and I’m kinda good at it. (Don’t judge my writing by my blog. That’s just the conversations in my mind I share on the interwebs.) Clients have the benefit of having someone to do their work without the responsibility of having a full time employee. I use my skills, own hardware and time so there’s no extra costs involved for clients. 
Where did business idea and name come from
A: The idea was born out of desperation. It was either find something constructive to do or climb the walls out of boredom. I wasn’t born to be a stay-at-home-mom and I there’s only so much of cleaning and tidying up you can do in a day. I love helping people where I can and turned my “thank you’s” into profit. I’m somewhat “nameless” as I only go by my name with the title Virtual Assistant.
What sets you apart
A: I don’t take on too much work all at once. When I work with a business (no matter the size) I “become their employee” for the given time and give my all as if I’m on their payroll. It’s no use being money hungry and not living up to standards. I always aim to exceed expectations. It’s my business and reputation at stake after all. Having said that I also need to say that in order for me to work with anyone/business I need to know whether they themeselves take their business seriously. (You’d be surprised how many businesses don’t and those are the ones I decline to work with.) Might sound cocky but I learnt the hard way that there is nothing more difficult than trying to do your best for an entrepreneur/SME and they don’t really care about their business and just want fast cash in their pockets.
Where do you see it going
A: I guess the smart answer to that would be that my plan is to have a large admin outsourcing company of sorts, but I am too simple for that. Instead I’d like to help other people set themselves up, to empower themselves and possibly do the same thing. Especially women who really want to stay home and still contribute financially to their households. There are so many “get-rich-quick” and pyramid schemes out there and sadly many people still fall for it. Not entriely sure of specifics yet but my idea won’t be a pyramid scheme. Possibly an NGO or something. Being forced into a SAHM position and turning it into WAHM status really does change your perspective and makes you realize how many people are looking for opportunities and failing not because of lack of skills.

One thought on “Real Wahms of SA: Celeste Virtually Assists

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *