My Story

My entrepreneurial  journey began in 2003, long before social media of any kind, Skype, Dropbox or any of these really nice products that make working online so much easy now.  And my story looks a lot like this….

startup-success

 

In 2003 my husband went on military tour of duty in Afghanistan and Haiti.  During this time I was working full time as a Front office Manger at a large chain hotel, with my 3 year old daughter and was pregnant.  I delivered  our second child 11 days after he returned from his tours of duty. As a military wife with a husband on tour you learn to become VERY independent but I also had to rely on a lot of people for support.  I had no family in the the province but lots of friends.  But asking friends for support can only go for so long.

When he returned we went on a trip to see our family and friends.  It was at this time I discovered the Virtual Assistant industry.  ( Changed my life ) I had asked another military wife with 5 children how she was doing it all?? I was confused and amazed.  It was at that time she told me about the virtual industry.  I had my Business Information & Technology training and knew this was perfect for me.  I knew I had to work but the reality of my husbands work schedule made it very difficult.  This was a great solution.. BUT i had no idea what I was getting myself into!  That is for sure! LOL!

I was the first registered Virtual Assistant in the province of New Brunswick and with that came some HUGE challenges. I was a first time entrepreneur with ZERO support and a dream!  Sound familiar? I did find some associations to help but most of them where just starting out too. It literally took me 18 months before I found my first full time contract with a company in NY.  I became an active member of the “Women in Business” group and networked like crazy, but mainly spent most of my time educating people on the virtual industry. You must understand in 2003 most businesses still didn’t have email or websites so this industry was not something they knew they needed.  But as a new startup, it was exactly where I needed to be!

Well, one of my networking events paid off… huge!  I worked a trade show giving out business cards and gave one to a lady from Moncton NB.  I had no idea who she was but she definitely changed my life.  She took my business card back with her and placed it into her desk. THEN… Dan Martell finished reading a book about the Virtual Industry and talked to her one day about virtual assistants and how he so wished he had one. She then took out my businesses card and handed it to him… so simple! It is at that point, my life in the startup world began!

After talking with Dan on the phone I knew he was someone I had to meet so I traveled 2 hours for a coffee meeting and never looked back!  During this meeting in 2004 Dan introduced me to Twitter and at that time there was only 23 people in our area on it.  I had no idea what I was doing but Dan saw the future and was so excited about it.

With all this new excitement, launching a startup and raising my girls, my husband grew sick.  And by 2006 had a complete mental breakdown caused from his military tours of duty.  His was diagnosed with severe PTSD and landed in a mental hospital for while.  The only people I trusted to tell at the time were my parents. 

My business over the next few years had some real highs and some REAL lows depending on how I managed everything.  I tried to have the support I needed to build my business but the level of stress was so high it caused me to have some physical medical issues.  All of which I hid from my clients.  At the time, I didn’t want anyone to know what I was going through.

I have worked with Dan on many projects over the years.  I know at times he became very frustrated with my lack of real progress.  That is why when I decided to be open about my story he was one of the first I told in person.  It was at that time he totally understood and things have been great!  With the support of Dan Martell I was introduced to Laura Fitton.  A women with a vision about a new startup; oneforty.com!  I worked with her from the idea, to setup, through her personal struggles, to the eventual sale of her startup to Hubspot.

After many years of working through my husband’s illness we decided we where just friends and the best thing for our family was to divorce. It was at that time my stress level changed, my business changed and my life became better.   I am a true believer that balancing your business, your personal life and your health will make your life better. 

I am what some would call the “Rebel” of my family.  I am the only entrepreneur and the first to divorce.  I know what it is like to struggle for years and work hard to find my entrepreneurial path. It’s not easy and like me.. can take many years.  I have had the pleasure of working with some of the BEST in the business and learning to work through startup struggles right along side of them.

After many years of working as a Virtual Assistant I discovered I was working more as a Project Manager not an assistant.  It was at that time I decided to make a change and balance my work life to help startups find their way by supporting them as a project manager.

Lynne Conrad

Startup Project Manager!