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 Yours. She 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.
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 also get to be creative in my business as I develop resources and products for my network members.
The garage side door tardis. Image: Rosie Shilo
Name three words that you’d use to describe your creative work.
What three emotions do you want your clients to feel about your work?
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.
Presenting allows me to be creative too! Image: VIrtually yours
What do you love most about your work?
Does your creative pursuit influence your business or other other aspects of our life?
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?
What inspires your creativity?
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?
What do you do to overcome a creative rut or when you’re feeling stuck?
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?
What’s your big creative dream?
Do you have a favourite quote or saying?
What would you most like to be remembered for?
What are you working on right now?
Is there anything else you’d like to share or give advice to someone about living a creative life?