Anti 9-to-5 profile: Stacy Brice

September 3rd, 2007

Stacy BriceThe anti 9-to-5er: Stacy Brice, Baltimore, MD

My job: Chief Visionary Officer for AssistU, the virtual training company I founded; coach; and writer.

What makes my gig anti 9-to-5: I’ve created a company that’s bigger than I am. While still at the center of it, I smartly created the infrastructure in such a way that business continues whether or not I’m around and available. I work when and where I want, on what I want, and with whom I want. It’s important that I have the time and space to be able to do the visioning work that I love so much and do so well. I take the last quarter of the year off — every year, and use the time to recharge my proverbial batteries.

I actually never thought I’d do anything other than be someone’s employee. And then I was fired (wrongfully). I was so angry and disheartened. I decided I never again wanted to be in a position where someone had that kind of power over me. I wanted to create my own security. So I sat down and decided to do my own thing, in my own way, and on my own terms. I made travel plans and did virtual administrative work for my travel clients. Ultimately, I decided to create a company to train virtual assistants. Now we train, coach, support, and certify them, and refer them to people who want to work with them. Along the way, I also became a professional business coach, and a writer.

What I did in my former 9-to-5 life: I was a corporate travel consultant for ten years.

How I made the anti 9-to-5 leap: Being fired was the leap. I wasn’t prepared, but ended up just fine. Because what I chose to do was pretty much what I had been doing, I didn’t have much of a start-up cost — just a better desk and chair than I’d had before. Ever since then, anything I’ve wanted to add to my business only happened when I had the funds and the infrastructure to support it.

My tips for other cubicle expats: Don’t reinvent the wheel. Get industry-specific training. Settle for peer coaching and mentoring from people who are successful only if you absolutely can’t afford training. Don’t listen to a bunch of people — it will only confuse you. Have incredibly high standards (and realize that your standards can always be higher). Create a niche — not a specialty. Raise your fees regularly. Be attractive. Embrace abundance. Do what you love. Focus your attention on your own work and don’t worry about what others are doing. Become the best virtual assistant you can possibly be. Realize that you can do things your way and be successful on your own terms.

What’s that link again?,,

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Who I am

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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