Hey, thanks for joining me on my very first podcast episode. I am so nervous. It’s something I have thought about doing for a very long time, but imposter syndrome, right? And didn’t really think anybody would want to listen to this Southern girl chat on the interwebs. Um, but I’m gonna do it anyways. I am passionate about getting the word out on the importance of business operations and just wanted to start this podcast. So I’m going to take this first opportunity to just kind of introduce myself, let you get to know me a little bit more and kind of just practice doing a podcast episode. So, a little bit about myself.
My name is Shelley. I have two daughters. The youngest just graduated from high school, and I will be empty nesting this fall. They are both going to be going to the college that I graduated from. So that’s super exciting. And my mom graduated from there. So keeping the tradition going, I was very surprised. But other than that, I have a husband who is retired military.
Before that. Before he retired, we traveled around a lot. And so I was a stay at home mom, and I loved it until he retired. And I needed to get a job. So I went back to work in the lab. I was a medical technologist, so I worked in hospital labs. And if I was lucky, I could get a job in a doctor’s office lab. Lucky, because that means no weekends or holidays or late nights, but those are very hard to find.
And so I found myself working in hospitals again. And my kids were middle school and elementary school, and I really missed them. I really wanted to be home with them and was working those weird shifts and holidays and weekends, and I just really didn’t like it. And I was able to get lucky and find a job in a private lab, which meant normal working hours, which was amazing. But I still tended to work late. I had long days and still just missed being there for my kids when they got out of school. And that would allow them to not have to ride the school bus. They could do after school activities and not have to worry about getting a ride or going to after school care.
And so I dabbled here and there and trying to get a side hustle going for different things, mostly MLMs. None of them ever worked. And then in 2018, I discovered the wonderful world of virtual assistants and started growing that side hustle. I was like, Wait a minute. You can work online by just, like, writing a blog post or what else did I do? I said I was a good copywriter, which is hilarious. I tried to get in as a proofreader. I did many social media, just all those things. I was like, yeah, I guess that’s what I’m good at.
Wrong. But the west was great about being a VA and online work, you can kind of try different things and see what you’re good at and then kind of go in that direction. So within ten months or so, I was able to quit. I got to the point where I was working in the lab. I’d get up early, I had to be at the lab at six in the morning. I would get up at four and work for an hour or so before I had to go into the lab VA work. And then when I came home, I would work until 10:00 at night on VA work. So I was exhausted and I told my husband, I said, something’s got to give.
Either I totally give up the dream and just work in the lab and be happy, or take a chance. And so he supported me and I took a chance. And within ten months I was able to quit and really grow my VA business pretty quickly. And so that was an exciting time. It was before COVID and it was super easy to get clients. The climate is different these days, and we’ll talk about that later, but it was easy. I just went in Facebook groups and offered my assistance to people and they hopped on it. And so I slowly over time, discovered that no, I’m not a copywriter, I can write for myself.
But writing in someone else’s voice is a completely different beast and not something that I was good at and discovered I really hate social media. So that was out. And then I thought, oh, I could just be a designer. No, not good at that. But then I did discover I’m really good at tech. I’m really good at online business tech, and I thought it just came that easily to everyone. I didn’t know that it was a strength until working with a few clients, and they just were like, wow, how’d you figure that out? And so I kind of started leaning towards tech VA work and then discovered I really like operations and systems and processes. It makes sense to me.
It kind of goes with that lab brain. I like to look at something and figure out how to make it more efficient through automations or cutting out the middleman or whatever. And so I slowly moved into that direction and recently, last year found myself in just desiring a little bit more than implementation work and discovered Natalie Gingrich at the Ops Authority, and she offers a certification in Director of Operations. And so that’s what I did. I enrolled in that online program. I graduated in April as a certified Director of Operations. I also during that time signed up for a Certified Funnel Pro course, just because I love funnels and I love online learning, and so I was going through that program as well. So I’m also a certified funnel pro.
And if you’re not sure what a funnel is, I know when I talk to my family, they’re just like, what a funnel cake? We’ve all been through a funnel, I’m sure. And it’s like when you go to purchase something and it’ll say, wait, don’t you want this for a limited time offer? You can get this for $5. And then if you say, okay, and then they just continue to offer you things, or if you say no, then it’ll show you something a little cheaper or something. It’ll just a few more offers. Those are funnels. And that is the way a lot of people make evergreen passive income, by creating these funnels. And the whole psychology behind it is fascinating to me. And then actually building the funnels, the tech part, love that.
So why not? So anyway, I’m a certified funnel pro as well, but my main gig is the doo. I love it. It allows me to offer project management, team management, hiring, onboarding reporting, looking at KPIs, overseeing the financial reports, and being a strategic partner to a CEO and a small business. I do strategic mapping, where I go into a business, ask them a bunch of questions, do some hard thinking, and come back to them with an entire annual plan of projects broken down into quarters. And it’s all based on their mission, vision, values, their priorities. It’s extremely customized and quite amazing. And we’ll be talking more about that as well in upcoming episodes. So that is a little bit about me.
And this podcast is just going to be about business ops unleashed. We’ll be discussing project management, operations, hiring, onboarding team management, KPIs, and all of the things. And I hope to have a lot of podcasts guests on here to also bring their expertise in. And, yeah, I think it’s going to be a lot of fun, and I hope to see you around.
For tips and updates follow me on Insta @shelly__criswell