The first thing I can tell you about myself is that I have a tendency not to be able to sit still. This comes from having a fabulously busy life, which is fine, because I may have inherited the ‘uber-organised’ gene, if there were such a thing!
I am married with 3 great young children (seven, seven and ten).
Where do I live?
I live in Milton Keynes. I was born in Liverpool but call Milton Keynes home, having lived here for 39 years. I have seen huge business and residential growth, and Milton Keynes has long been considered a great overspill of London, as many Corporate Head Offices operate from here now.
I used to commute to London.
Milton Keynes is about 30 minutes north of London, which made for a great decade of commuting. I became accustomed to a commute and long hours from a young age, working as a Personal Assistant in the Rail Industry. I have 20-25 years as a Personal Assistant experience to reflect back on. I enjoyed this period of my life immensely.
Business and homelife.
Only in the last year, have I founded Virtual Office Box, to create services that can not only offer great support to my Clients, but sit alongside my commitments as a Mum. My office hours are 09:00 – 15:00 but you will see from my testimonials and interview with Jo Munro, that I have a strong work ethic, so can accommodate occasional out of hours support subject to my terms of business of course.
What are my favourite services?
Digital transcription; especially long pieces of audio, is one of my firm favourites. I find them extremely fascinating to listen to. I have recently transcribed Grievance Hearings for a large corporate client, and confidential Court Reports for a Clinical Psychologist. You can read more about digital transcription here and why it’s useful to any business.
I really do enjoy a challenge, so my consultation will make suggestions on how I can make a client more productive, efficient and organised. It really is a part of my DNA and why I became a PA!
Do I take time out?
Maybe not enough, but because I sit at my monitor for so much of the day, I have to be sure to exercise. I have been running for the last year and have managed Race for Life 5k and 10k, but I really find it hard to pull myself away from working in my business.
I put time aside for my own business due diligence.
When I’m not busy supporting my Clients, I am busy with my own business due diligence. This could be, working on my social media marketing strategy, further training to broaden my services; and of course, GDPR which has taken so much of our attention recently. I have learned enough to be able to edit my own website without breaking it, and tailoring my business to suit the needs of prospective clients.
I’m also trying to learn to Blog – I have some way to go but hope they are useful!
Do I worry?
I try not to, I have learned not to be a natural worrier – I’m more a fixer. If there’s a problem, I sort it – that’s what I do. But if there is one thing I am still adjusting to – it’s offering my services, remotely. For 25 years I was always in the presence of my Client or Director – so it takes some adjustment. That said, many of my Clients are new to business and finding their way in the freelance world, so we share knowledge and work as a team, but ultimately my objective is to accommodate the Client and their systems.
Invite me to your Networking event!
I do wish to Network more. I haven’t done this nearly enough as I have worked hard to refine my business. It is madness, as I really enjoy meeting people.
With Milton Keynes being such a hub of business activity, I know there are prospective Clients that really could use an extra pair of hands, but there are some great connections to be made, that could help support my own business. Get in touch if you would like to invite me to your event. Say hello
Come and say hi, at firstname.lastname@example.org and read more about my story here: My interview with Jo Munro – The VA Handbook
Insurance Broker, http://www.southwestbroking.co.uk
Global Vice President, Ocean Customer Solutions at DB Schenker
I would highly recommend Shirley, she is extremely professional and provides a reliable service.
Shirley went out of her way to help when faced with my own tight deadline, and I would definitely use her services again.
Paul O’Leary MRICS
Director, Manor Surveyors Limited
Ramsbothams Florists, Bletchley
Managing Director, Carlton Park Property Management
"A fantastic organiser (particularly of seemingly impossible fundraising events!) and a great person to have on board.
I couldn't recommend Shirley high enough".