Life Doesn’t Always Happen the Way We Plan
By: Sara Lingenfelter from Virtual Biz Partner
Like other entrepreneurs, I started my business so I could have a lifestyle of my choice. Sometimes, you’re just not cut out to live any other way.
I started my business in 2011 for my family. I wasn’t happy with my job and although I had plans, my son came along and all of those plans changed. I went to college to work in probation and parole, passed my test with flying colors, and was qualified for jobs in probation and parole. Taking one of those jobs meant long hours away from my husband, stepdaughters, and son. I had a strong gut feeling that there was something else.
I learned quickly and had a job that I was working from home. I still had to make a 200-mile round trip once a week, but I felt pretty lucky to be home most of the time. I was providing bookkeeping services, which was not something I received formal training in, but I picked it up quickly. While working in this job, I learned about being a Virtual Assistant.
As I dug deeper into Virtual Assistant (VA) opportunities, I liked the idea of working from home and supplementing our family’s income. I spent two years working as a VA, with my boss’s approval and was happy with the extra money. As my skill set grew, and I learned more about business in the online world, I had this growing hunger to have a real business. My VA business helped us buy a new house. When my husband lost his job before Christmas one year, we were able to pull through.
Eventually, I wanted to grow more. In 2012, I took an Online Business Manager course. It was the best investment of time and money I could have made. Becoming an Online Business Manager (OBM) pushed me to the point of quitting my job. I found clients who were a great fit and started making more income than I had in my previous job.
This was all exciting to me, but my personal life was a different story. I discovered that my husband had a prescription drug addiction. He couldn’t hold a job and was lying to me about debt. I wanted to salvage our marriage, but in the end, the marriage was not healthy and we divorced. It was difficult to get through, but I know I’m stronger now. My business is solid, and it’s supporting myself and my son.
I learned through this experience that having a work-life balance is essential. I learned so much about myself, and I have changed. I nurture my business, like nurturing a child, and it has grown. I have started having bigger goals, bigger dreams, and bigger ideas, and when I have felt stuck, that feeling didn’t last long.
Part of what I do is client work, but the other part is training other moms that want to have an online business. For me to do this, I felt I needed to be very transparent about the good and bad of being married, having a family, and starting a business. It’s not easy, and I wasn’t about to sugar coat any of this. It would be easy to tell people they’ll have this amazing business, but cruel to leave out the challenges and sacrifice involved.
In these years of running my online business, I’m happy to say that I have the lifestyle I want. I’m here for my son when he gets home from school. I don’t have to take off work for appointments. Plus, I honestly love my clients and the women that I get to train and support. Each year seems to be better than the previous, and I’m grateful that I listened to my gut. Ten years ago, I had other plans. Today, I’m pretty happy those plans didn’t work out that way.
Virtual Biz Partner
You Can find Sara at Virtual Biz Partner
Business mentor + systems guru, and CEO of Virtual Biz Partner, Sara Lingenfelter’s life changed in 2011 after a bit of soul searching. Sara realized that she wanted to work from home to have time with her son, and be in control of her future. The world of Virtual Assistance opened up a real passion for online business, systems, and technology. In no time, her business was fully booked, and she went from being a VA to becoming a Certified Online Business Manager, helping busy entrepreneurs organize, run and grow their online businesses. Sara is now dedicated to providing work-from-home opportunities to stay-at-home moms through an accessible online educational course that teaches all the much needed business skills, software basics, and connects mom’s to an online community for direct access to success strategies it takes to get started. The training empowers moms to start their journey of becoming a virtual assistant.
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