In Part 1, Stay-at-home mum Melissa, discussed her values and goals with a career counsellor. In Part 2, she began studying and discovered that she loved learning and the course she'd selected, but faced some unexpected obstacles including unemployment. In Part 3, Melissa has thought about her transferable skills and now puts it all together!
Melissa begins her own business
Melissa begins her own business
“I used my research skills to find more about being a personal concierge and found iCALM which was really helpful. And so now I’m a personal concierge and my business is called Allow Me To Assist." www.allowmetoassist.com.au
Finding the right name
"It took weeks to get a business name I was happy with. I wanted the name to tell the story and wanted a logo that fitted. It had to be easy to read, appeal to older people and not be ambiguous. I’d never had thoughts of having my own business, but it’s the door that opened and I love what I do, even though it’s not what I’d planned."
The importance of trust
"One of the important things is to meet people and make genuine connections. I usually set up a personal meeting first and that’s my client’s opportunity to check me out and get a sense of my trustworthiness.
My clients need to feel ok with me, to see if I’ll fit in with what they need. People might need me to fill a gap when life has got overwhelming, they might ask me to do their banking, shopping, take their car for a service or feed the cat! They need to be able to trust me with their credit card or car, so building trust is a large part of what I do."
What I do
"I’m getting known now, and have some really good client testimonials which is great. Some of my regulars call me their fairy godmother, because I’ve helped out during family emergencies.
Not everyone has access to extended family to call on when things get too much for them, and they need to be cloned to be in two places at once. I have your back, and can get you out of time related trouble.
I’ve got my weekly and fortnightly regulars; I take some elderly people out for mid week morning tea and specialty shopping, or even to medical appointments because their children are working in the city. Others call on me occasionally when something major is happening, like a 40th birthday party, when I help with the organising, invitations and decorations.
I also do packing support, debriefing, making coffees and supplying food when someone has just shifted. I’ve reminded businessmen that important family events are coming up, and am always very discreet! Tact, diplomacy, and confidentiality are important.
Some people are intimidated by doing things online – I’ve shopped and sold things on eBay, I’ve booked a cruise, and even sold a car. It’s extremely varied!”
What a journey! From a stay-at-home mum wondering what to do with her life, to studying, to running her own business, Melissa has been challenged, overcome unexpected obstacles and found a rewarding work-life balance which complements her personality and supports her personal and family values. And for her to say “I couldn’t have done it without you, Sue” is a very humbling thought.