Lisa Beavan is my wonderful PA. Actually, she’s a ‘virtual assistant’ which is the same as a PA only she works at her place and I work at mine.
We’ve worked together for over five years now and she has been an integral part of my business. She’s pretty much the most patient and loyal person I know, which is lucky because I’m forever coming up with new ideas and new ways of doing things to streamline our business processes and Lisa just rolls with the punches.
A couple of years ago, she decided to include web design in her offering and in a short space of time, she has developed some incredible sites for creative startup clients. You’d never guess that they’re completely affordable.
Lisa’s website for The Wellbeing Corner
One of the things I love most about working with Lisa is that she’s someone who is completely true to her values. Since I’ve known her, she’s been clear that freedom is at the top of that list. In order to really live that value, she and her partner Anth, bought a camper trailer a few years back and since then they’ve embarked on the most amazing road trips with their boys, including a two month stint across the south of Australia.
She probably has no idea that she’s a role model of mine in that way. I love how clear she is about what matters most to her and her little family. Despite the fact that she’s surrounded by people doing things differently, she has an unshakable sense of clarity about what’s really important and she lives in alignment with that.
Have a read of our interview and if you’re thinking of starting your own business, make sure you get her to do your website.
Can you tell us a little bit about your business?
I have a couple of businesses. One is my virtual PA business Assist You Now which I’ve had for 12 years. I started this very part time when my oldest son was one. The business closest to my heart, however, is my web design company LMB web design. I create affordable websites for small businesses, creatives and bloggers.
What do you love about working for yourself?
Everything! Freedom and flexibility are ingrained in my needs. Not only because I have kids but because freedom is my most important value. I just couldn’t ever go back to working in an office environment, despite some of the challenges.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Aside from the tedious school lunch making? I tend to work between 9 and 5pm with a bit of sport ferrying interspersed in that and what I actually do depends on how many websites I have on the go. I have a few ongoing clients for my virtual PA business (Kate, Clare Bowditch and Cecilia Fox) so I make sure all client work is kept up to date. I often spend time in the office in the evening working on my own business – writing my newsletter, tweaking my own website.
Lisa’s website for Dr Justine Tuffley
Who are your role models?
Kelly Exeter who is the current editor of Flying Solo but at the time I started web design was heavily involved in her own company, Swish Design, she runs with her husband. Kelly was very supportive and encouraging and went above and beyond to help me when it got a little overwhelming. My partner is one to behold when he goes into problem solving mode. Where I can sometimes freeze, he’s in his element. That’s quite a talent!
What’s been the best thing you’ve done to grow your business?
Finding my niche. At the moment it’s start-ups, creatives and bloggers who have no website or people in business who have a basic site and are in desperate need of a revamp. I saw a market there and grabbed it.
How did coaching help you?
Well, where do I start? I came to Kate for coaching years ago and it’s been an ongoing coaching/client/friend relationship since – one of the most important that I’ve had. Coaching helps provide clarity and an unbiased reflection on where you’re at. I wouldn’t be where I am today, personally and professionally, without coaching.
How do you maintain a sense of balance while running your business?
Hmmm, I’m not sure I do but there are the essentials in life that mean I do have to leave the office. I’d rather work than do anything domestic so it can get a little tricky when my family, you know, want to be fed! Thankfully my partner enjoys the cooking side of things which helps enormously. Sometimes when I’m in my office at night, one or the other of my kids sits in here with me. It’s nice having them there and they’re used to me working odd hours.
Lisa’s website for Clair Scent Decor
What are you looking forward to?
Holidays. We live for our camping holidays at a different Australian destination each time. We recently went to Tasmania for five weeks and it was magic.
In terms of work, that’s an easy one. I look forward to learning something new every single day and eventually being able to custom code my own websites.
What’s one piece of advice you’d offer to someone wanting to go into their own startup?
Find a coach and a mentor. Read, read, read and keep persisting. And please don’t try and build your own website if you don’t know how, it will take up way too much of your time. Hire an expert, like me!