Today I spoke with the Tiara-wearing Founder of Virtual Expert Training, Kathy Goughenour. Kathy is an experienced and savvy business coach who focuses on training professional women to be Virtual Experts—the next-level Virtual Assistant. Kathy has 25 years of marketing experience in the corporate world before she resigned and started working as a Virtual Assistant herself. Today, we talk all about how niching down and how making business decisions based on values and goals brings you so much closer to success.
Let’s jump into Kathy’s story and find out how she got out of the corporate world, why she put on a tiara, how she had fun while multiplying her income, and how she truly found success.
[00:01 – 06:55] Opening Segment
As the Founder of Virtual Expert training, Kathy spends her days doing whatever she wants to do. This is why she really loves being an entrepreneur and considers leaving the corporate world as one of the best decisions she’s ever made. Kathy founded Virtual Expert training with a mission on mind: she wants to help women (and a few lucky men) build their own online businesses as what she calls Virtual Experts. Virtual Experts are named such because they do so much more than a typical VA would do. They actually partner with the people they work for. They treat their business partner’s business as their own. And they also proactively help them look for areas where they can save or earn more money.
However, Kathy hasn’t always been an entrepreneur. In fact, there was a time in her life when she thought that her job and the retirement package offered by the company she used to work for was everything. In today’s episode, Kathy tells us how she was able to change her mindset from employee of 20 years to successful entrepreneur and how she built her empire of Virtual Experts after she quit her job at 40.
[06:56 – 11:57] The turning point
Before she is the super successful entrepreneur that she is today, Kathy first worked in the corporate world as a marketing manager. When she stopped getting promoted, she asked her boss why. Their answer would surprise you—they said it’s because Kathy laughs and smile too much.
Kathy found this reason unacceptable. In addition, she wants to have fun and always be happy and does not really enjoy rules and regulations. So shortly after that meeting with her boss, she handed her resignation letter. Because of what her boss told her again—that resigning is the biggest mistake she’s ever going to do in her life and she’s never going to make that kind of money—Kathy become even more determined in the new path that she chose.
Thankfully, Kathy was able to double her income just three years after resigning from her company. Now, twenty years later, she has even multiplied her income by a hundred! The major takeaways she wants to share with us from this experience? Our past experiences make us unique. When we pivot or change careers, we don’t really start over, we’re just adding new experiences. Second, don’t sacrifice what you value most just because someone told you to change. For Kathy, she values having fun the most and we’re happy that she did not stop laughing and smiling too much just because her former boss told her to change.
[11:58 to 19:00] Finding your Niche
Since having fun is one of the things that Kathy values the most, she also has a valuable advice for us for when we need to accomplish things for our business that don’t feel fun for us. “If I don’t like to do something, I hire it done,” Kathy says.
Another thing she did to be able to choose work that really feels fun for her is to niche down. This strategy has truly worked wonderfully for her. The narrower she niched down, the easier it also became for her to become an expert.
Previously working as a Virtual Assistant, she also shares with us how she was able to niche down as a Real Estate VA. This, then in turn helped to in a way choose her clients to be only those she really wants to work with.
Later on, Kathy also used her experience working as a VA to train Virtual Experts and also choose the people she’s going to train. Because she’s gotten so good in her chosen field, Kathy can choose to only work with people who meets her criteria: diverse, inclusive, anti-racist people who loves supporting others.
[19:01 – 31:30] Setting Goals and Having Fun
Some people make major business decisions based on their goals. Some people make their decisions based on their values. As for Kathy? She makes sure she always considers both her goals and values when she has to make decisions.
Kathy tells us what she did that one time when she almost did not hit a goal. She was hosting an event then. Unfortunately, she noticed that they were not hitting their sales goal for the event as fast as she wanted to. She therefore made changes to their approach and was finally able to reach their goal. Most importantly? Kathy was also able to still incorporate fun in their event by gamifying everything and giving away prizes. “I never give up,” Kathy says.
To help us reach our goals faster, Kathy also has some golden pieces of advice to give. First, she tells us to take consistent action every day. Think of what you can do to help you get your goals faster every single day.
Second, when we set our goals, Kathy tells us to really embrace what we’re going to do and enjoy that to the fullest. This includes even our rest days. Even during the days when we just want to rest, Kathy tells us to not wobble, be really present in what we’re doing and just really enjoy it. By doing this, we’ll surely be more productive and get amazing results for each goal that we set.
[31:31 – 37:43] The FOCUS FIVE Segment
The FOCUS FIVE are five questions I ask every guest on my show. Keep on listening to find out what book Kathy gifts most often; who would he talk to if he can get an hour of any person living or dead, from the past or the present, and why; that one thing he believes but most people will disagree with; his morning routine; and lastly, where are the best places we can connect with him online. (See the links below for Kathy’s social media links!)
“I am an Entrepreneur, and I spend my days doing whatever I wanna do, basically. And I love it!” – Kathy Goughenour
“As an Entrepreneur, I want people who treat my business as their own. Who cares if we save money, who cares if we make more money.” – Kathy Goughenour
“There is no inappropriate time for fun.” – Kathy Goughenour
Resources mentioned in the episode:
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