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Ep. 153: How this remote worker used her current skills to become a virtual assistant with Felly Day

In this episode, I speak with Felly Day who is a full-time virtual assistant and owner of Felly Day VA. 

She works with online entrepreneurs and coaches by taking over content creation and email marketing so they focus on their zone of genius. 

Felly is passionate about remote work and travels the world while working from her laptop. Her main goal is to inspire others to live their dream life too. 

Listen on to find out how Felly is able to help entrepreneurs as a virtual assistant.


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This episode is sponsored by Hover.com.

As a content creator, there are always a ton of tasks on my to-do list. And when I first started my business, the first thing on that list is finding the right name for my brand. I used to think that having a cool name is the most important thing, but then I realized that making it SEO friendly and the domain name being available is so much more crucial.

That is why I am really excited to be sponsored by Hover.com. Hover is an easy and intuitive domain name registrar that is so easy to use! With Hover, you go to the site, search for your name and then add to your cart. That’s it! No muss, no fuss or annoying up-sells. So, if you want to make your life easy, allow Hover to help you build your brand online and get that perfect domain name ASAP. Make sure to visit hover.com/theoffbeatlife to get 10% off all new purchases and for more details!


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Transcription :

Debbie:

Hey everyone. Thank you so much for being here. I’m super excited to be with Felly. Hey Felly, how are you?

Felly: 

I’m good. How are you this morning? 

Debbie:

I am wonderful. So before we get to all of your amazing journeys, can you tell us a little bit more about you and why you live an offbeat life? 

Felly:

Okay. So, my name is Felly. I’m originally from Vancouver, Canada and I’m living in Puerto, Escondido, Mexico. I’ve been solo traveling, off and on, for about 7 years and I now work full-time as a virtual assistant.

Debbie:

That’s a big range. You started living normally like most of us usually do with a nine-to-five coming from school. How did you end up transitioning from the everyday normal to now pretty much working remotely living anywhere you want and being a virtual assistant?

Felly:

 I actually didn’t do the schooling, nine-to-five route. I did hospitality, seasonal job, jumped around trying to travel like work for 6 months, travel for 6 months type lifestyle. And then in 2018, I hit a brick wall of going back to Canada because my Visa was up in Australia and I was like, “I’m done! Happy to go back to Canada.” 

And from there, I started looking into working online and in Summer 2019 I officially started my virtual assistant business and made the transition pretty quickly from my part-time job to full-time VA.

Debbie:

I love the fact that you really started off offbeat already. You didn’t want to do your nine-to-five where most people are kind of driven into and you just started traveling right away. What made you actually start your own business? Why was virtual assistance the path that you decided to be in?

Felly:

I would say a mix of I’m really stubborn like doing things my own way. So there’s a lot of remote customer service where you’re like an employee but working remotely. I really wanted to set my own hours and I had admin skills from working in hotels and I always love social media. 

So I’ve had a lot of knowledge around Facebook and Instagram and when I was looking at things you can do online as it seems like a pretty good set for me.

Debbie:

And there’s a lot of different skills that you can actually take that you already have to be a virtual assistant. And there’s a lot of misconception with that especially for somebody who doesn’t know what this is all about. Can you tell them a little bit more about it and how anyone can really do this? Because there are so many misconceptions.

Felly:

Yeah, definitely. People hear ‘virtual assistant’ and I usually say that it’s like an admin system but remotely but it’s really not all a virtual assistant can do. Basically any job that comes with running a business, it just depends on what that person wants to outsource.

I’ve done transcription, data entry, email management, email marketing, setting up sales funnels, running social media, writing all of the content, and blog posts as well. So, it depends on what you feel like.

Debbie:

And what do you find are the most skills that people already have, existing skills that they have, that they can really take with them to become a virtual assistant.? 

Felly:

It depends on the person. Like for me, content writing came really easily ’cause I always enjoy writing in school. Obviously, there’s a difference when it comes to copywriting and SEO but for regular social media captions, like content writing, is something that I find a lot of people can offer right away. And then email management or even social media management.

If you’re just like someone who engages on Instagram or responds to DMs for businesses, we’re doing them for ourselves already. So it’s pretty easy to offer for someone else. 

Debbie:

It’s funny to think that these are already so many things that we do for ourselves that are easily transferable to remote working, especially as a virtual assistant. When you first started this did you do anything to prepare for it? Did you take any courses that really helped you to go into it? I mean, I think a lot of us are most afraid of either we’re not cut out for it or we don’t have the skills and also where to even get the client. 

Felly:

Yeah, I did actually take a course. I don’t know if you know Taylor Lane. She runs Remote Like Me, but she has a course all about finding and applying for remote work. That’s really comprehensive ’cause it breaks down different kinds of remote work you can be doing and then how to do your research and do your follow-up and like right the application that will stand out. 

But I read and downloaded a million freebies as well. Like how to find your first client, how hashtags can grow Instagram because you always think numbers are so important. So many little things here and there that then you just compiled over time in your brain.

Debbie:

I think we all fall into that same category of wanting to do everything and wanting to prepare everything but information overload can also stop us from doing anything. So definitely the action and doing something is so important to do as well. 

Felly:

Oh, 100%. Action is the part that’s gonna make things happen, right? 

Debbie:

Yeah. If you didn’t do that you wouldn’t be where you are right now and wouldn’t be doing this remotely. So yeah, you got to do it guys. I know information and overloading yourself is easy to do but taking action is even more crucial even if you don’t have as much information, that’s how you really learn.

Felly:

Yeah, I agree. I feel like there’s a lot of trial and error when you’re starting out like you just have to try things and then you can figure out if you actually like it, want to keep doing it. 

Debbie:

Now, when you were starting out and you finally took the steps to start applying and really figuring out what types of work was really working out for you. Did you have a “what now?” moment? Because you were still transitioning even though you do live an offbeat life, there are still a lot of changes that you were making with your life. 

Felly:

Oh, definitely. I feel like I had two different “what now?”. The one was more of my personal life and one was more business. When I started to gain clients, I hit a “what now?” of, “What happens once you have your clients and you’re booked out?” Like, “Then, what? Do you keep doing what you’re doing? Do you scale to an agency? Do you become more needed to raise your prices?” And that was big, I would say, 2 months floating around being like, “What am I doing? What’s coming next?” 

But then, I had another “what now?” moment. I’ve been living with a couple and they broke up so my rent was going to double. And it was like, “Do I want to pay double for the rent to live in this country that I don’t even like? Yeah, my house is nice, but I didn’t like living there, or do I take this as the opportunity it is and find my one-way ticket?” 

Debbie:

So when you have all of these questions running through your head. How do you decide what to do? Especially when you are living in a different country, you don’t know anybody and there’s just a lot of things that are unsure about what’s happening. 

Felly:

I’m the type of person who believes in sleeping on decisions. Whenever I feel really overwhelmed with something, I just tell myself to stop thinking about it and think about it tomorrow. I also have a business coach who I run everything past and she’s been pretty good at advice.

And sometimes when people give you advice, you realize what you actually want. If they tell you something you’re like, “Absolutely not. I know what I want.”

Debbie:

Well, you also don’t want to make rash decisions and I think when we’re desperate, angry, or uncomfortable, we do tend to make rash decisions. And, like you said, sleeping on it if you do have the time to do that is always helpful because you get to clear your head of everything. You get to calm yourself down and I think that always works because then you’re not really level-headed when you’re forced to make a decision at that moment at that time. 

Felly:

Yeah. I try not to be impulsive but I definitely have been in my life.

Debbie:

And you learn as you go. You probably made enough mistakes in order to formulate what’s right and wrong. And it’s really interesting because when you’re traveling and you’re living in a new country, there are so many new decisions that you have to make daily. So you kind of get good at it, right? 

Felly:

I would like to think that I got good at making decisions. I’m happy with what I’ve ended up.

Debbie:

At least you adapt to changes a lot better than what you normally would be able to adapt to if you are just staying in one place for the rest of your life. For a lot of people, actually, that’s good, for people like us it’s like, “Oh my gosh, I can’t do this.”

Felly:

I know. That’s where I was when I had my second “what now?”. I was comfortable but being comfortable is kind of uncomfortable for me. I just like the craving for change. 

Debbie:

And I think a lot of people will think about that and be like, “Oh my gosh. I don’t know how she does it. She’s constantly changing.” And then for people like you, Felly, you’re like, “I’m the total opposite. Every time I see something that’s stagnant and there’s no change – I go crazy.” 

Felly:

A virgin lifestyle is my worst nightmare.

Debbie:

Let’s go back to when you were first starting and you were trying to look for a client. How did you actually land your first client and keep continuing to land them and made sure that you were doing a great job so that you continuously had income and business?

Felly:

I got my first client from Craigslist and it’s a bit random. She posted an ad on Craigslist and it was exactly what I was looking for. It was managing Facebook groups and email inboxes. But then from there, my second client had been a guest speaker in a group course that I had taken. And I think our energies just really vibed well.

So, then, I was following her on social media maybe two months later, she posted that she was looking for a VA and I emailed her like that – within the hour. And we basically got in a call and she was like, “I am hiring you. I have called other people but I’m hiring you.” And then, she referred me to her friend who referred to her friends and it’s just been a lot of referrals now.

Debbie:

I love the fact that you really went out there and looked for opportunities for yourself. And I think there’s some of us who think that it just comes to you, it takes a lot of hard work to be able to get that first client. And then after that, it just comes easier because you already did the work. 

And it’s funny that you say Craigslist ’cause I also love Craigslist. I have found jobs there. I found my Apartments there and they’ve all gone well. I know it has a bad reputation and it still looks like it’s when the internet started. 

Felly:

Yeah. They never updated it.

Debbie:

But it works! Why change something that works perfectly fine?

Felly:

Very true, though. The platform is completely outdated. I’ve lived in areas where no one uses Craigslist but in Vancouver, it’s quite popular. 

Debbie:

Yeah, it’s still extremely popular. It’s so funny because we think that nobody uses that anymore but if you go there every single day, they’re still people putting jobs on there. So just go and see what happens- you never know.

 And there’s a lot of different platforms now that are more popular like Upwork, Fiverr, and all those places but I always find, I think, Craigslist because it’s more local in your area that you could look into. I mean, you can find out more specifically if it’s the right thing for you.

I also find better jobs there sometimes as well. 

Felly:

Yeah. I honestly haven’t really looked much since my business took off especially ‘cause I’m not in Vancouver anymore. But when I was there, there were actually a lot of jobs on it. You can just type in like “ virtual” or “remote” and you can find things that they’re looking for like not in person and place.

Debbie:

Yeah. And I’ve found assistants as well over there. So you can find someone like Felly who’s extremely experienced who is looking and really wants to be employed on Craigslist as well. 

So aside from Craigslist, what would be your top flat platforms to go and look for work as a virtual assistant or as a remote worker? 

Felly:

So, I’ve done a lot of networking through Instagram. I can’t say I’d cracked the code on finding the jobs, but two of my clients came because they post on their stories that they were looking or they’re feeling overwhelmed and I reached out. 

But Facebook groups are really where I spend a decent amount of time just dropping my links and not working again ’cause people do constantly post jobs in Facebook groups. 

Debbie:

Do you have specific Facebook groups that you have found to be the most helpful for you?

Felly:

As a virtual assistant, there is Virtual Assistants Hobbies. For online entrepreneurs, I really like Society Gal and The Social Bungalow both of those are really interactive and I find the people in the groups are there to help or some groups. You can just tell people are there for themselves.

Debbie:

Well, when you first go in you could already tell what kind of group it is. So it’s very easy to decipher which ones would be right for you. 

Felly:

Exactly.

Debbie:

As someone who is constantly online, you often need resources to help you whether with yourself or with your clients. What are some of the best resources that you have found to help your clients or yourself even to start a website to make your tasks easier? 

Felly:

I would say number one is definitely to have a project management system. I use Asana, I think all my clients also use Asana which has been great for me. But it’s how I communicate with my team and then how I communicate with all the clients that I work for. Also, having an email management system or marketing management system.

I’ve worked with so many at this point but I’ve just switched to Flodesk which is beautiful compared to the rest of them. 

Debbie:

Yeah. I’ve also just transferred into Flodesk as well and they’re pretty amazing. I love that company and they’re still in their very early stages. If you want to go to them they have a really good deal for all of you. For me, as a content creator as well, definitely Flodesk has been a lot of help.

And even now, as we are in lockdown, when the things that have been going through my head, and I know a lot of people too, are starting new blogs, starting new projects. I have so much on my to-do list and when I first started my business and even now, the first thing on my mind is really trying to find the right name for my brand and I can’t tell you how many names I have right now for new concepts that I have that’s just over the wall. 

I used to think that having a cool name is the most important thing but then I realized that making it SEO-friendly and the domain name being available is so much more crucial. And that really helps with the amount of traffic that goes on to your site. That’s why I’m really excited to be sponsored by Hover.com.h

Hover is an easy and intuitive domain name registration that’s so easy to use. With Hover, you go to the site, search for your name, and then add to your cart. That’s it, guys. No muss, no fuss, or annoying upsell. 

So if you want to make your life easy, allow Hover to help you build your brand online and get the perfect domain name ASAP. Because I’m pretty sure you’re going to have a lot of competition right now. People want to start their own brands, their own website. So make sure to visit hover.com/theoffbeatlife to get 10% off all new purchases and for more details.

I don’t know about you, Felly, but during this COVID craziness, it’s been really so many ideas in my head about new things and sometimes I really have to stop myself. But I do still buy the domain names just in case I decide to do it later on.

Felly:

I love that you’re ready for when your ideas take off because I feel like I just sit on them. 

Debbie:

You know, the funny thing is, the first thing that I usually do is like I had that idea and always, for some reason, the thing that pops up in my head is like, “What’s the name that I want to call it?” And then I start writing it down and I always try to buy the domain names first because I’m like, “They’re usually not that expensive. Maybe, later on, I can even sell them too. Hey, you’ll never know.” 

Felly:

I wish I was like that ’cause I started writing  a course and then I kept saying, “I can’t think of the name, I can’t think of the name…” And I kind of got attached to a name and then when I Googled it to see if it was claimed or came up as anything. Its the name of a book and I’m like “Well, now I’m back with no names.”

Debbie:

You also have to see like sometimes you can tweak the names a little bit and maybe have the words here and there. That’s the thing. Like I always look to see if the domain name is not taken. If it’s not, I’m like “Well, it’s fair game. They didn’t take it.”

Felly:

Is it trademarked or someone just called it something that’s in the past? Then, I can still use it without legal complications, right?

Debbie:

Exactly. If it’s trademarked or copyrighted or whatever, – its fair game, it’s all good. 

Felly:

I might need to go to the trade market so they don’t do it after when they see it.

Debbie:

Absolutely. It’s so crazy because you don’t think about that in the beginning and then you start realizing that there are so many different aspects of the business, like, “Oh my gosh. It’s nuts!”

Felly:

Yeah. It’s where I’m at.

Debbie:

So, tell us a little bit about where you’re living now because you, really, are stuck in this place, per se, for at least maybe a few more months. So what is it like? You’re not in Canada, can you tell us more where you’re living and how has that been during this time?

Felly:

I feel really spoiled where I’m living. And I was saying to a friend before: I almost feel kind of guilty ’cause I know so many people around the world are locked in their house. But I am in the south of Mexico, in Puerto Escondido, which is in Oaxaca State. And it’s like this small Beach Town that’s super popular for surfers but not a lot of people who haven’t been to Mexico have heard of it.

The town basically quarantined. Things started shutting down, my favorite nightclub shut down mid-March; bars and clubs shut down in mid-March. And then, restaurants slowly, one-by-one, all transitioned to delivery, and hotels stopped accepting people.

In the first week of April, they close the beaches. So they closed them pretty quickly considering that we still have no cases and I know that the roads also have roadblocks on them. I mean, I know that people are also paying to get through the roadblocks, but for the most part, there’s no one coming in or out and we have no cases.

So, life hasn’t changed the whole lot other than I cant go to the beach. Restaurants come to you and I have a small group of friends and we still go hang out and go swimming in the pool at the hostel. I live in an apartment across from the hostel so I have my own space where I get to have my quiet time but still be social without going crazy.  

It’s definitely weird ’cause I feel like my COVID time is not at all the same as other people’s. 

Debbie:

Yeah. Well, it’s good to know that there are still certain areas where you can still live kind of normal. I mean, it’s not as it used to be, obviously, but it’s a small price to pay. So, you definitely chose the right area to do this. 

When you are looking for areas to live in for, maybe. a longer period of time, how do you decide to choose that place? 

Felly:

I flew to Mexico because I wanted to go to Guatemala which is a bit roundabout but I really wanted to go and live in Antigua. There’s just something about Antigua, Guatemala that’s been like calling me for the last year, but I didn’t want to go straight there. I wanted to backpack for a bit before settling in.

When friends were like, “When are you going to be there? When can we meet you? Let’s make plans to do something or maybe go to Belize for a week or something.” And I kept saying, “Well, I’m going to be in Mexico beginning of February. I’ll be in Guatemala by April, but I’m going to visit this town called Puerto Escondido and I might fall in love and I might not make it to Guatemala.”

And then, here I am – I got to Puerto. By the second week here. I was like, “I’m not leaving.” And then the border closed, I was like, “Is there anywhere to stay because I’m staying?”

Debbie:

Do you see yourself staying there even after COVID is happening or do you think you’re going to have a cheap fee and start going somewhere else? 

Felly:

I do want to keep traveling. September, I think, is when the rainy season starts here and that’s never a fun time – I’d rather skip that. My business in Mexico is until August. I wouldn’t be against staying in Mexico until August but I also would be really happy to be able to continue going down Central America as I intended.

Debbie:

Well, there’s still so much more to see so I’m pretty sure you’re going to be able to do that. Hopefully, sooner rather than later. And what about your business? Has it really been impacted at all? I mean, a lot of people are working remotely now or they are forced to work remotely or they lost their jobs now; trying to find remote work. What about you?

I mean, this is really what you have been doing anyways, has it impacted you?

Felly:

I had one client who I think we’re parting ways with at the end of this month because I did the content writing for her. She was a virtual assistant, so I was her subcontractor and the people that I did the content writing for all of them were like brick-and-mortar stores so they’ve all closed. So, she just doesn’t have work for me anymore. But all of my other clients are online entrepreneurs. I mean she was as well as it’s just who she works for.

All of them up their hours, So, my business if anything, has grown because of this. Because they all have more time now to focus on their businesses. Some of them had part-time jobs or full-time jobs and now they have all the time they want and they are growing. 

Debbie:

It’s amazing how someone like you, Felly, is able to thrive during this time. And there’s a lot of other remote workers out there who are thriving as well. So that’s always great to know and this is why this is amazing to me; when people tell us that what we do is unsustainable and then look at what happens – it’s actually more sustainable.

Felly:

Yeah. I get to set what I do and that’s where it came out on top when all of this happened and no one had control over not being able to go to work anymore.  And just not being able to do half of the things that were day-to-day normal.

Debbie:

So, let’s fast forward to 40-50 years from now and you’re looking back at your life. What legacy would you like to leave? And what do you want to be remembered for? 

Felly:

I hope that people look at me and see that you can live your life on your own terms and how you want to live it. I’m certainly doing that. I’m in Mexico during a global pandemic not speaking Spanish. 

You can be happy if you want to. Everything you need is within you and I want people to see that I lived my life to the fullest and they can too.

Debbie:

And you’re doing it even though we’re in the midst of COVID. 

Felly:

I’m so into my life, I’m very happy.

Debbie:

Are you currently working on anything that is really exciting for you?

Felly:

Actually, I’m building a course. It’s just going to be a mini-course of 5-day email course for new service providers and setting their mindset when they’re starting out.

Debbie:

Perfect. Now, if our listeners want to know more about you, where can they find you? 

Felly:

Instagram would be the best. Just @fellyday on Instagram or my website, which is also FellyDay.com. 

Debbie:

Perfect. Thank you so much for speaking with us. I really appreciate all of it. 

Felly:

Thank you for having me.

GET THE EXTENDED INTERVIEW WITH FELLY WHERE SHE SHARES HOW TO LEARN ATTRACTION MARKETING TO GET CLIENTS TO COME TO YOU

 


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Show Credits:

Audio Engineer: Ben Smith


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