How Bitter Disappointment Led To A Brand New LifeFeb 14, 2023
Like a lot of people who decide to become a Virtual Expert ®, virtual assistant, or freelancer, Julie Trombley came to the most important decision in her life after a bitter disappointment. The tipping point for Julie came in 2019, but the signs were there long before this.
Why This Matters for You
Every day, intelligent, caring, and talented people reach a point in their professional lives when the anxiety of leaving a terrible but safe JOB is overridden by the conviction that life is too short to spend it being miserable.
Thanks, But No Thanks
It’s true what your grandmother may have told you. “Sometimes bad news is a blessing in disguise.” Here’s how Julie lived this old homily in real-time.
“For about 26 years, I worked in the Realtor®️ Association world,” she recalled in a recent interview. “I worked for two local associations and then 19 years at the state association.
“In those roles, I did all things TECH, from loading listings into the MLS to managing Association Management Systems (AMS) and supporting various departments with their tech needs. At the state association, for the first 14 years, I was a telecommuter. (I was working remotely before working remotely was cool!). Then I was asked to take a position to help create a program for Realtors®️ and Real Estate Agents to track their ‘Continuing Education Credits,’ as that was something the State was no longer going to do. This meant no more telecommuting. Ugh!
“I had to go into the office every day, and I hated it! Getting a new CEO didn’t help. People who had been there for 20, 25, 30+ years were leaving or let go. I was passed over for a promotion for a ‘yes woman.’ Ironically, this was for the best because I wasn’t about to be a ‘yes woman’!
“In mid–2019, I went to a personal development conference with a friend. Prior to leaving for the conference, I had applied for a job with an AMS that I was absolutely confident I was going to get. I got the ‘thanks but no thanks’ email while I was at that conference. While I was surrounded by 7,000 women who were laughing, celebrating, being motivated, I sat in my seat and sobbed. I was 52, I was miserable at my job, I had been taken to the hospital by my manager because of chest pains that ended up being stress-related, not heart-related. This AMS job was going to be my ticket out of the hell I was living. My ticket was canceled.”
Was this bitter disappointment one of those “blessings in disguise?” Julie didn’t hesitate in her answer. “Yes,” she said. “It was.”
It’s Epiphany Time
Julie Trombley has an enthusiasm that is limitless. She is a resilient woman who has never met a challenge she couldn’t out-think and/or out-work!
“When I got home,” she said. “Still thrilled by the experience of the conference—minus my self-pity party—I got on the online forum for event attendees and shared what had happened while I was there. I shared how devastated I was and that I didn’t know what to do.
“Someone asked if I had ever thought of starting my own business. I hadn’t, and yet that was the question that made me start to search online for my way out.
“I found the Virtual Expert program, had an amazing call with Eva, a representative of the company, and, as they say, the rest was history! Six months after starting the program, I quit my job on March 13, 2020. Of course, this means that when the world was shutting down for COVID and everyone in my office was going remote, I was giving my 2 weeks’ notice! Is that irony or synchronicity? Who knows, and who cares? I haven’t looked back since!”
Tackle Your To Do
All that technology experience and natural ability have served Julie well. Her new company is appropriately called “Tackle Your To Do.”
“I am a customer relationship manager (CRM) expert who is Ontraport Certified. CRM is the combination of practices, strategies, and technologies that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle. I help coaches rise above running the tech in their businesses so they can get back to coaching.
“I offer a variety of ways to support coaches who utilize the Ontraport CRM platform. From just getting started, to launching a course or membership site, to auditing the system, and providing monthly support. I offer support for every level of business a coach may be in.
“When I first launched my business, I was offering random tech support. This meant that if I didn’t know a system, I was learning on the fly. I’ve worked with tech most of my adult career life and love trying to figure things out like that.
You’re Never Alone
The Virtual Expert program offers hard-earned insights from experts about running a virtual business. Julie explains, “When you start the VE program, Kathy tells you that you don’t need to learn new systems or anything like that, and I hadn’t; I was taking my love of tech and job/life skills and running my business with that. So, when she suggested Ontraport, I took it upon myself to get certified with the platform, as I could see the benefits and potential of this certification.
“Eva was my first coach at Virtual Experts, and she was great at keeping me on track answering my questions, keeping me accountable through the training, and just being there for me. She is my sister from another mister!
“After my coaching with her was over, I was worried about what I was going to do next. How was I going to do this without a coach? Then Kathy suggested a new ‘Mastermind’ level called ‘Sapphires’. This level was perfect for those of us who had just finished our coaching and were looking for additional support.
“I started working with my new coach, Jennifer Tamborski, who was perfect for me as she understood my tech brain and helped guide me in so many ways. And, to this day, I will tell you that if it wasn’t for her pushing me off the ledge to network, I wouldn’t be networking like crazy as I do now. I’m currently in three virtual and one in-person networking groups.
“Once I finished my year in Sapphires, I was given the opportunity to advance to the next level of ‘Diamonds Mastermind’ or skip a level and join the newly created ‘Rubies.’ After a lot of thought and knowing I’d still get to coach with Jennifer, I decided to join Rubies. And I’m now in my second year of Rubies Mastermind.
“The accountability you get with the ‘masterminds’ helps you to get the things done you say you are going to get done. It also helps to get such amazing advice from these coaches who have been where you are and can guide you through some of the ups and downs of owning your own business because they’ve been there.
How Long Did It Take to Succeed?
“Oh, it took some time,” Julie said. “And it is still taking me some time. I got certified with Ontraport in November of 2020, and it was probably another 6-7 months before I felt confident enough to narrow my niche down to just Ontraport Support. While my income has increased from year to year, it has been a slow climb. But I also know I am building a foundation for my business for which I will be able to build and grow on.
“There are times I am working longer/harder than I was as an employee. However, in my eyes, as I’m building and growing my business, I’d rather work this hard for myself than some corporate CEO and a business who doesn’t appreciate the effort I’m making. My income has increased each year, and 2022 I was close to making what I did when I left corporate.”
What to Focus on First
Julie Trombley is smart, funny, and relentless in her pursuit of her dreams. She is amazing, but it is important to note that she is like many other hardworking, savvy people who have had it with being just another, under-appreciated employee. In her short time as a full-time entrepreneur, she has learned a few important lessons that she shares with other virtual experts, virtual assistants, and freelancers.
“I have learned a couple of important things about myself,” she said. “First, I must avoid unproductive distractions — ‘the next shiny object syndrome’— and feeling like I must sign up for ALL THE THINGS and learn everything at once.
“I also wish I had ‘niched down’ sooner (i.e., become a certified Ontraport expert), had more faith in myself sooner, and started networking sooner. Niching down and networking have both been huge keys to helping grow my business this past year, and I have the team at Virtual Expert to thank for this advice.”
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