Today marks two years since Ellie and I launched Virtalent. What a journey!
From the highs to the lows, life as an “entrepreneur” is certainly challenging, but I would not change it for the world. Of course, hitting these types of milestones are a cause for celebration, but I can’t help but feel reflective.
It is commonly accepted that most companies fail in their first two years. I also completely understand that this is not through a lack of trying. The failure rate portrayed in the media ranges from 50% to as much as 90% but, regardless of the actual numbers, we can all agree that the reality of running a business can be a tough one. It has been a very difficult personal journey at times and I am certain there will be even more challenges ahead, yet I also know I am incredibly proud of how we are still here and how we have gone past simply “surviving”. Virtalent is now growing faster than ever. What started as a chat over a few beers in Birmingham has blossomed into a rapidly-growing business and a calling I absolutely love waking up to.
Not every moment has been enjoyable and I really hope that the world of business becomes more honest about this reality in years to come, but I have honestly learned more about myself in the past two years than I have done in the twenty-odd years before that. Not just from the blood, sweat and tears in the process of building the company, but also from working with such talented colleagues and supporting so many inspiring people in their day-to-day work. It might be the hangover from yesterday’s celebrations, but I really do have an overwhelming feeling of pride, gratitude and excitement about the business we have built, launched, marketed and now are beginning to scale up to disrupt the Virtual Assistant industry for the better.
Although it is terribly un-British to say so, we really have grown from strength to strength, and continue to do so. No we aren’t the next Uber and no we haven’t sold chunks of our company to angel investors (what a good decision that was!), but we have been featured in national newspapers, work with some of the largest companies in the UK as well as a number of very determined “solopreneurs” striking out alone and, more than anything, I enjoy what I do so much. Our clients continue to inspire me. Personal trainers coaching British Olympic athletes, award-winning restauranteurs, consultants working through the night to deliver on their proposals and the new parents juggling demanding businesses with their new arrival. It may sound cheesy, but it is a privilege to support them all.
I am proud of the team we have built at Virtalent in a matters of months. Our Virtual Assistants take more initiative and add more value to their clients than we could reasonably ask. Most are quite young, but I hope they would not mind me saying that they are all incredibly smart, ambitious and wise beyond their years. I am also incredibly fortunate to work alongside a truly inspiring Co-Founder in Ellie, who balances my lofty aspirations with her determination and resourcefulness. Together we make a great team.
I look forward to the next two years with great anticipation, excitement and curiosity. At the same time as continuing to grow our current service offering, we are looking to launch a few new projects which we hope will also expand into another company like Virtalent has become or at the very least add more value to our growing client base. Watch this space!