I am one who definitely believes that our past experiences and relationships help build us to the people we are today. They shape our moral and ethical beliefs (personal and professional), our outlook on life, and help us determine what our dreams and goals are. We all have different backgrounds, some more colorful than others, but in the end I think we all just want to be loved, feel like we belong somewhere, and feel like we have a sense of purpose.
My story starts in Texas, in a small town called Palestine (and it is pronounced Pal-uh-steen, if you ever go visit, *not* Pal-uh-styne like the country). While we were big enough to hold the county courthouse, we were still small enough to know just about everybody at the high school football game. And yes, football was king in Texas. Even as a youngster, I liked being with and helping people. I grew up in a Methodist church, and went on several mission trips around the state or town. In high school, I was a member of the dance team, National Honor Society, and several other clubs.
Small town living is great, but it was time to move on once I graduated high school. I couldn’t bear to leave The South and all our genteelness, so I went to the University of South Carolina and became a Fighting Gamecock. My original dream was to become a dolphin trainer, so I graduated with a degree in Marine Science and minored in Psychology. After college, I did an internship at Dolphin Research Center in the Florida Keys. It was after this internship I realized that I was meant to do something else, so I moved back to Columbia, SC to pursue a new dream.
While in college, during my internship, and after I moved back to Columbia I worked at several different hotels and a resort, which gave me tons of people and customer service skills. These skills came in handy as I started the next chapter of my life as a dog trainer, then owner/manager of the Columbia franchise of Dog Training In Your Home. I started as a trainer with the company the end of the summer of 2004, and bought the franchise the following year. It was one of the best decisions I had made at the time. I was able to still use my training skills for the dogs, I met so many wonderful people in our clients, I managed my own business and hours, and I was able to have employees as well. Some of my fondest memories are from the people I met who needed dog training! During these years, I reconnected with my college crush and we ended up getting married in 2008.
Meeting and working with the clients in my dog training business showed me how much I enjoyed helping people get results and meet their goals, which set me up on the path for Virtual Assistance. In 2012 my life changed again in a big way when my husband and I had our son. Once he started getting more active and going to daycare, I realized how much I was actually missing being in the dog training business. While it was true I could set my own hours, the most productive ones were from 4:00-8:00 weeknights, and Saturday mornings because we were going to clients when *they* were home, and most people had 9-5 jobs so they needed evening or weekend hours. As a mother, this bothered me – I would take my son to daycare one morning, and not see him until the next morning when I got him up for breakfast. So i 2013, I started researching stay-at-home job options and found Virtual Assistance through AssistU. It seemed like a perfect fit! I graduated from AssistU in 2014 – and the rest, as they say, is history!
God, family, friendships are three very important relationships to me. I would not be where I am today without believing God had a plan for my life, and the encouragement of my friends and my family (both biological and in-laws!) along the way. I thrive on supportive relationships; I know how important they were and are to me, so I strive to offer that in my work with my clients as well. I am an active member of my church and my church choir, and being strong in my faith has helped me become the strong individual I am today.
Some other fun things that interest me:
South Carolina Football and Baseball (we are a proud community!), chocolate and peanut butter (I mean, who doesn’t?), snow skiing, crafting – I *love* crafting, singing in my church choir, travel, trying new restaurants, zoos/aquariums (especially seeing them now through my son’s eyes!), puzzles, games, and I am SCUBA certified.