Hi, I'm Ingrid Bayer. I live and work from my home-based office in regional Australia in a small coastal town called Taree. I've worked remotely (or virtually) since 2008, and I absolutely love the lifestyle and freedom I've been able to achieve.
I am the CEO and Founder of VA Institute, and I help Executive Assistants, Personal Assistants and Admin Professionals build and launch successful and profitable Virtual Assistant businesses.
I am self-employed (and loving it)!
My remote work journey is probably echoed by many others. My background is business administration - something I have always enjoyed. I had a fairly traditional employee background in the admin field. I worked in a variety of industries, but I was particularly happy as a legal secretary. After moving to a regional area in NSW, Australia, with a young family, I felt really fortunate to find a role with a large law firm. Unfortunately, that role turned into a nightmare due to workplace bullying.
The experience was debilitating, and I knew I had to get out. I spent hours on the internet searching for other options, and literally stumbled upon Virtual Assistant work which I thought could be a solution. So, in 2008, I registered my own small business and began building my side-hustle after hours and on weekends. Within 3 months I had enough income coming into my business to facilitate the move from full time employee to full time VA - and I've never looked back!
Here's a link to my story: https://www.vainstitute.com.au/post/how-becoming-a-va-saved-my-life
For me it was all about choice... I was able to choose who I worked for, how I worked, where I worked from and when I worked. I could travel and work, and I could be there for my growing family.
I've honestly never missed working in a traditional ''bricks and mortar" office setting. I love being self-employed, and would never go back.
Lots of cities around Australia - my laptop is my office, so I can work anywhere. My husband and I love camping holidays, and I have often worked from campsites while holidaying. We have travelled also, and I have worked from Los Angeles, Dubai, Barcelona and Germany... the hours are a pain, but I manage!
I am a homebody, and I absolutely love working from home. We have set up an amazing office space at the back of our large, rambling home which opens out into our back yard which has abundant bird life, chickens laying eggs, and our much loved cats who are never far away!
We eventually would like to pack up our camper trailer and travel around Australia, so that would be my ultimate remote working experience - so watch this space because it will happen eventually!
Communication tools are vital to remote working success. I love Zoom for meetings and training. We also have a fabulous CRM now that the whole team uses very effectively, and this means we can easily see what's happening with various projects at any given time.
monday.com is our CRM - love it! Zoom for remote face to face meetings and training
I use the services of a qualified bookkeeper now (although in the early days of my business, I did it all).
Set yourself up properly from the get-go... that way people will view you as a professional, and you will be in a better position to succeed.
Ingrid's Website: https://www.vainstitute.com.au/
Ingrid's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ingridbayer/
Ingrid's Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vainstituteaustralia/
Ingrid's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vainstitute.australia/
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