My Journey to Becoming an Online Business Manager
I’ve worn a lot of hats over the course of my life. After earning my BA in Business of Art & Design, I became a bit of a shape-shifter, including professional organizer, teacher, short-film producer, marketing-agency account manager, and event promoter.
In 2018, I took the big leap and started my own business as a professional organizer. This pushed me beyond my comfort zone, requiring me to begin thinking like an entrepreneur. But once I dove in, I fell in love. Running a business combined my passions, my skills, and my education from every other job I’d ever performed.
As you know, as a business owner I had to constantly learn new things. This meant investing in training, hiring support, and networking. I found mentors, a business coach, and other women who were on the same journey.
Building a Business Also Meant...
Perfecting my systems
Honing my marketing skills
Developing a strong social media presence
Becoming proficient at customer service skills
Learning to network and connect with other business owners
Most importantly - being ORGANIZED in how I ran my business
I DIY’ed what I could and learned to spend money to hire out what I couldn’t. I figured out where I needed boundaries and how to enforce them.
As a Professional Organizer, supporting my clients’ business organization was a task I was called to do often. So I added Virtual Assistant services to my business. Virtual assistant jobs have always come to me easily ever since I was in college. As an organized person, there was always an opportunity to help support friends, neighbors, family members online.
One of my first Virtual Assistant clients was my business coach. About two weeks into working together she sat me down and said “Devin, you are not a virtual assistant. You are an Online Business Manager.”
Online Business Manager? I had never heard of such a thing. I started my research and was blown away. She was right! For years I had actually been an “Online Business Manager in disguise.”
What’s the difference? Well, that's a whole different story.
So I took her advice. I created more space in my schedule for Online Business Management Services.
However, I had a hard time letting go of my professional organizing work. I loved organizing and I had put my blood, sweat, and tears into
that part of the business. I was genuinely proud of my success in an industry that is difficult for many to break into. I couldn’t let that go, but I also was having a difficult time balancing all of the things. I was so busy I couldn't step back to think about it.
And then, one fateful day in 2020, I got a series of emails. All of my networking events had been canceled. It was no longer safe to enter my organizing clients' homes. The Virus-That-Must-Not-Be-Named hit us all like a ton of bricks. Besides the general panic that we all collectively felt, I have to admit another feeling I felt - like a ton of bricks had also been lifted off of me. I am tearing up now just thinking about it. My schedule was free to focus on developing my Online Business Management services.
I immediately planned an emergency meeting with my business coach. In one day I completely pivoted my business. I changed all of my social media, made a new website, and sent out a newsletter making the announcement. I was a full-time Online Business Manager, baby! I also had a full roster of clients within a month.
A year later, it was time to take the next step. I applied to the Online Business Management certification course and was accepted!
I am now proud to say that I am officially a Certified Online Business Manager.
I am beyond grateful for the journey that led me here as well as the people, opportunities, and luck that allowed it. I love the way businesses work. I love finding the holes and obstacles and patching them up. I love elevating businesses to the next level. I love my kick-ass clients that teach me new things every day.