Anti 9-to-5 profile: Erin Blaskie

April 11th, 2007

Erin BlaskieThe anti 9-to-5er: Erin Blaskie, Ontario, Canada

My job: I am a virtual assistant or online business manager. My business is called Business Services, ETC and I started it in 2004.

What makes my gig anti 9-to-5: As a virtual assistant, I get to work from home each and every day and avoid the near mandatory 1.5 hour commute to a decent-paying job. I am my own boss and I get to set my hours, take vacation when I want, and stay at home with my dog, Molly.

What I did in my former 9-to-5 life: Before I took the plunge to self-employment, I was working as a public relations advisor at a private college. I did that for one year. Previously, I worked for one year as an accounting clerk at a company that provided batteries and before that as an administrative assistant for eight months.

How I made the anti 9-to-5 leap: I began my virtual assistance (VA) business as a part-time business that I ran when I came home from my full-time job. I set a goal of being self-employed within one year, and within six months, I had a client offer me a contract that paid better than my current salary. Luckily for me, beginning my VA business took very little in terms of cash. I actually was able to start it immediately because I do web design and I had an office setup already.

My biggest obstacles: My biggest obstacles when I first started was finding clients. I had no clue where to find people to work for/with and it took me a few months to figure that out. I also was quite clueless when it came to pricing and I didn’t set my prices very high in the beginning.

My tips for other cubicle expats: I would say that you need to look for someone who is willing to give you that ‘start’ you may need. I had one client who offered me some security while I was setting my business up, so I definitely think you should always have some sort of safety net. Be prepared to work a lot and try to get really clear on what you want right from the beginning.

What’s that link again? Business Services, ETC

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Entry Filed under: Anti 9-to-5 profiles

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Hi, my name's Michelle Goodman and I've been freelancing since 1992. I'm author of My So-Called Freelance Life and The Anti 9-to-5 Guide. Read my full bio here.

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