At Canadian Virtual Gurus, our greatest resource is our team of highly skilled virtual assistants!
This month we shine the spotlight on virtual assistant Chantal Bertrand.
Chantal originally hails from Ottawa, Ontario and has extensive (over 20 years!) IT experience. She studied network administration in British Columbia where she quickly became a DOS and mainframe guru.
Her career in IT began with teaching workers at a steel company how to use a computer. Within two years Chantal had developed a successful training plan that was implemented across all the divisions and helped launch the opening of a second office.
After some time in IT, Chantal decided to take a break and honor her creative side. She created her own business plan and launched a pre owned furniture store. Fun fact: The store “Sunshine” was named after a nickname given to Chantal by her husband. Check out Chantal’s current online store here.
Below, Chantal shares her thoughts about what it’s like to be a virtual assistant:
Q: How did you become interested in virtual work?
The commute was slowly draining me. I commuted for 10 years and sometimes it took me almost 3 hours to get to work. That’s almost a full day of productive work I could have been doing or spending time with my family. I lost so much precious time. When my father-in-law became ill, I decided something had to change. Google came to the rescue, and that’s where my virtual career started.
Q: What’s the best thing about working at Virtual Gurus?
The whole team is amazing and we continue to grow with amazing talent. Bobbie and David are truly creating a family. I’ve learned so much already since I’ve been here and continue to do so daily.
There are so many resources at your disposal, and the support you get for growing your own business is amazing.
Q: What are some of the challenges and benefits of being a Virtual Guru?
With anything in life there are challenges. But for me, the benefits outweigh the challenges as a Virtual Guru. You get to re-invent yourself, work at your own pace, learn so much and save tons of money commuting. I save over $1200 a year working from home. That’s a lot more chocolate for me. 🙂
Family time is the best benefit of all. My father-in-law fell ill 3 years ago and I was away from home working so many hours that I missed out on so much. Without being a Virtual Guru, I would not have been able to be with him during his last moments.
One thing that could get challenging is the loneliness. You need to make sure you talk to someone everyday in person or on the phone. You get so comfortable being behind a screen that you forget to socialize and make time for yourself.
Q: What are three fun things we should know about you?
- I’m geographically impaired. I can usually get somewhere, but then I can’t get back without a GPS. And please don’t tell me to “go north” unless there is a sign that says north, lol!
- I secretly love Elvis Presley… and I’m not that old!
- I secretly blog in my head. Yes, that’s right, everyday I blog while I’m doing something: dishes, shower, you name it! I’m blogging but I never write it down on paper. (I’m secretly blogging about secretly blogging as we speak…lol).
Q: What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a Virtual Guru?
Join as many social media groups as possible. You will learn so much!
Make sure you are ready not just physically (office, lighting, chair, invoicing, meals), but mentally. Remember it takes 21 days for us to get used to something. Get dressed everyday as if you’re going out of the house to work. You’ll see it makes a world of difference.
Most importantly, have faith in yourself. At times it may be challenging, but just look ahead and continue to believe in who you are and you will be amazed at your success. Best of all, be prepared to feel amazing.
Being your own boss will give you the best feeling of accomplishment.
Join Our Team!
Learn how to you can become a virtual assistant and work with great people like Chantal.
Head to our Insider Page and sign up today!