The Creative Life of Rosie Shilo – Virtually Yours

Welcome to another instalment of “The Creative Life”!
This interview series aims to shine a spotlight on how business owners incorporate their creativity across all aspects of their life, and give some ‘behind the scenes’ insight into how they started and plan for their business.

So this month I’d like to introduce you to Rosie Shilo of Virtually YoursShe is the owner of one of Australia’s most popular Virtual Assistant Networks, Virtually Yours, which was established in 2004 when she was 25 years old.

Inner Creative Blog - The Creative Life of Rosie Shilo. www.innercreative.com.au Image: Virtually Yours

Image: Virtually Yours

I was really impressed by Rosie’s ‘can do’, grounded and trusting attitude that she brings to her creativity and business. But now I’ll let Rosie do the rest of the talking :-).

What are the different hats you wear in life?

I am a business owner (Virtually Yours), and co-own another business with my husband although that business is his baby (Step into Life Heidelberg and Ivanhoe), while my passion is Virtually Yours. I am also a mother of 2 girls, aged 6 years  and 18 months – both with loud boisterous personalities much like me! I am a daughter, sister and friend and I am the kind of person who likes to help others.

How do you express your creativity?

I love this question because over the years this has constantly changed, and currently it is expressed through the creation of beautiful areas in my garden and home. I love to make things beautiful and/or magical and love love love colour. My favourite creative pastime is to create or build areas in my home or backyard while my kids play nearby. The pond, the creative doors (check out the tardis for one example) and the pergola are examples of the areas in the garden that I like to work on.

I also get to be creative in my business as I develop resources and products for my network members.

Inner Creative Blog - The Creative Life of Rosie Shilo. www.innercreative.com.au Image: Rosie Shilo

The garage side door tardis. Image: Rosie Shilo

Name three words that you’d use to describe your creative work.

My creative outlets are unique, colourful and very very random!
My creative work outlets are unique, colourful and supportive.

 

What three emotions do you want your clients to feel about your work?

I like my clients to feel empowered, energized and passionate.

 

How did you get started with your business?

I started my business when I was living with my Dad who was also self employed. I had a lot of business admin skills and I was working in the disability sector. I was getting frustrated with my work because I love to help people and I was finding that with constant budget cuts I was delivering more bad news than good. My Dad actually suggested I offer my admin skills to businesses like his – ones who didn’t want to employ admin staff but needed some help. I discovered I was able to do this as a Virtual Assistant, AND help other Virtual Assistants with their business. That satisfied both my entrepreneurial desire and my desire to support people.

 

Inner Creative Blog - The Creative Life of Rosie Shilo. www.innercreative.com.au Image: Virtually Yours

Presenting allows me to be creative too!  Image: VIrtually yours

 

What do you love most about your work?

My work allows me to really make a difference to women who want to work from home, have great skills and who would like to work for themselves. This in effect helps their entire family. Some of the VAs on my network have young families, or big business dreams, or have a disability, or someone in the family with a disability – and I am able to contribute in my small way to helping them achieve what they want. I find this really inspiring.

 

Does your creative pursuit influence your business or other other aspects of our life?

My personal creative outlet – the building things or areas around my home and garden – has a huge impact on every area of my life. I call these activities my “obligation free” activities and I do them for me, with no obligation to anyone else. These really help me relax and feel accomplished and in my own way, free. A happier me means a better mum, wife and business owner.

Inner Creative Blog - The Creative Life of Rosie Shilo. www.innercreative.com.au Image: Rosie Shilo

Ella enjoying the pond area Image: Rosie Shilo

 

How do you make time and space for creativity in your day (or week)?

I used to find it hard but now I just make it a priority – when I realised the impact that NOT doing my “obligation free” activities had on my health and happiness. I also realised that it was “obligation free activity” but that I had an obligation to myself to do it!

How do you balance being creative or innovative in your work in relation to delivering what the market or your clients want?

Being a business owner you need to think outside the square – so being creative and innovative is what keeps you in business. Obviously you need to have other skills too, but without these two, I think most businesses would fade out pretty quickly.

 

What inspires your creativity?

I’m not sure. I just love colour and interesting things. I love to sit with a friend and/or the kids with a cuppa and a treat, and just take it all in and plot and plan my next creation!
Inner Creative Blog - The Creative Life of Rosie Shilo. www.innercreative.com.au Image: Rosie Shilo

The dogs get to enjoy my creative zones. image: Rosie Shilo

Is there anything you do to prepare or get into the zone before you do your creative work?

Get out of any clothes I don’t want wrecked!
For being business creative, I make a coffee and try to have a clear workspace.

 

What do you do to overcome a creative rut or when you’re feeling stuck?

I pick another creative outlet. If I am not feeling business creative, I may do personal creative. There is no forcing creative – it just happens.

 

Has there been a big challenge or mistake that you’ve made in your business? What’s been your biggest learning?

My biggest learning has been around who to bring into my team as my closest collaborators. For a while I felt like I couldn’t bring anyone in, as I’d get hurt. But then I realised that I am who I am – someone who trusts others. And if this falls through, so be it. I know that at the end of the day, you have to risk it to get the biscuit! (I’ve had that weird expression in my head ever since the current round of House Rules started).

What do you think was the biggest leap of faith that you’ve made? What helped you?

There are too many to count. Starting a business and then making it a network. Getting married. Having kids. Buying a home. Buying 2 franchises with my partner. You have to just live – and to live you need to just give it a go!

On the business side of things, are you a planner or do you go with the flow? If you plan, how do you go about it?

I do a bit of both. I love a good list and planning session, but I also go with the flow!

 

What’s your big creative dream?

To make an impact on my industry and how it’s perceived and delivered.
To create a fantasy land backyard.

 

Do you have a favourite quote or saying?

“Feel the fear and do it anyway!” ~ Susan Jeffers
You have to endure the storm to see the rainbow.
 The way I see it, if you want the rainbow you gotta put up with the rain. Dolly Parton quote featured in Inner Creative blog The Creative Life of Rosie Shilo. innercreative.com.au

What would you most like to be remembered for?

For being a good mum and for helping women in business.

 

What are you working on right now?

I’m working on some resources for my members and on creating opportunities which help business owners work better with VAs.

 

Is there anything else you’d like to share or give advice to someone about living a creative life?

Give yourself time to be creative. Don’t force someone else’s version of creative into your life – find what brings you joy in all its simplicity.

 

Feel the fear and do it anyway! Susan Jeffers quote featured in Inner Creative blog The Creative Life of Rosie Shilo. innercreative.com.au

For more information about Rosie and Virtually Yours go to www.virtuallyyours.com.au
or follow her on Facebook: VirtuallyYoursVirtualAssistanceTwitter: @vyva and
LinkedIn: virtuallyyours

What’s inspired you most from Rosie’s story?
How do you make room for creativity in your life?

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