In this week’s episode of the Social Slowdown podcast, I’m talking with Gina Horkey, founder and co-owner of Horkey Handbook.

Gina used to work the corporate 9-to-5, but she’s now making a living helping people start and grow their own freelance writing and virtual assistant businesses.

In this episode, Gina gives us her recommendations for people who are trying to get their first (or next) clients without relying on social media and her advice on making connections and prospecting with potential clients.

Read the full transcript

Meg Casebolt 0:01
You’re listening to social slowdown a podcast for entrepreneurs and micro businesses looking for sustainable marketing strategies without being dependent on social media. Social media is a double edged sword. It’s a wonderful way to stay connected. But it also can feel like an addictive obligation. And it’s even more complex for businesses, your audience might be right there, but you’ve got to fight with algorithms to maybe be seen by them. So whether you want to abandon social media altogether, or you just want to take a month off, it’s possible to have a thriving business without being dependent on social media. This podcast is all about finding creative, sustainable ways to engage with your audience without needing to lip sync, send cold DMS, run ads or be available 24/7. Let’s get started.

Gina, I am so excited to have you here today. Thank you so much for coming on to social slaughter on podcast.

Gina Horkey 0:55
Yes, thanks for having me. I know that there’s some challenges, but we’re gonna make it happen. We’re just forcing our will today. Why not?

Meg Casebolt 1:02
I feel like you know, we’re recording this in very late 2021. And at this point, we’re all just like, let’s make it work. Even if it’s imperfect, otherwise, it’s just not gonna happen.

Gina Horkey 1:12
We are humans and not robots. That’s probably how she do life anyways. Right?

Meg Casebolt 1:15
Exactly. Especially humans with families. So you know, really know what, okay, you can play on everything as well as you want to, but then when daycare calls and goes, your kid has a cough, they have to go home now. It’s like, oh, but he’s fine. I know. He’s fine. I was gonna COVID Just yesterday, knowing that, that he had this cough, but it’s not, you know, whatever. So

Gina Horkey 1:36
the times we live in everybody’s very sensitive.

Meg Casebolt 1:39
Exactly. And as well, they should be. So I don’t want to get too far sidetracked on that. I would love if you could tell me a little bit about your business and how you got started.

Gina Horkey 1:52
Yeah, so horkey handbook is the name of the business. My last name is horkey. So little h h, alliteration. We actually welcomed our third child this year after taking like a break. So we have a 10 year old and eight year old and now a nine month old. And her name is Hazel. horkey. So we very much like ah, ah alliterations in our households,

Meg Casebolt 2:11
funny fan talked about that. But then we like I really like the name Cassandra for girls, but it would have been Cassie Casebolt or Casey Casebolt, then we think that that’s a little too tight.

Gina Horkey 2:23
I mean, I almost did the hat trick, right where it was h h h, but we went with hazel Mae instead because it would have it would have been too much. So back to my business. Like a lot of people that might be tuning in, I worked kind of in corporate, I worked in finance, it was in a franchise office. And technically I was already self employed. But it was run like a normal nine to five would be I was in person and an office and I had a small client base. But then I also supported the office that I worked a part of. And I made the change from like full on financial advisor and I started that business in 2005. In 2009, right after the recession had hit and the financial markets were a hot mess, as well as everybody else just in a different way than what we write

Meg Casebolt 3:13
different mess of life. Yeah. And this

Gina Horkey 3:14
opportunity came up to work closer to home and to kind of have more regular pay and different things like that. So it kind of suited where I was at at that time, because we were just thinking about starting our family. And of course working closer to home and not commuting and Minnesota and snow and construction. Those are our two like seasons and and that’s what they say here too. In Rochester, New York.

Meg Casebolt 3:36
It’s like it’s either winter or construction, you know,

Gina Horkey 3:38
so you got to be ready for that social slowdown. But yeah, so I had that opportunity. And I took that and things were going well, I just was kind of unfulfilled and unchallenged in the work at the time when I was thinking about making another change, which was in 2014. And so I was in the industry for almost a decade, it was kind of my first real career, although I’d had several jobs before that. And it worked for that time because I had interest in, you know, managing money and getting ahead financially for me and my family. And you know, working with clients definitely suited me but then there are some drawbacks as far as at that time things have progressed, just like they have an all field still had to be in person. And it’s very important where you are and where your client is and what licenses you have if you’re trying to have more of a national business and global is a whole nother story, too. So I wouldn’t have been able to Well, I suppose I would have but I didn’t work with clients all over the world. Suffice all of that to say in 2014 I wanted something different. I wanted more autonomy in my work. And so even though I was like self employed on paper, I was still having these nine to five kind of expectations. And I was thinking okay, Well, how do I first start where I’m at and maybe make this situation better? Should I try and offer to buy into the practice, and that would increase my autonomy and increase the amount of revenue that I could potentially make. And, and we actually went down that path for a little while until I got honest with myself. And I was like, I really, I don’t want to be this when I draw anymore. Yeah, but I had thought that you chose one thing, and that’s what you had to do. And then you retire, and then you die. You know, like, you find

Meg Casebolt 5:27
one thing that makes you happy, and you do it for the rest of your life. And that’s just not how it works anymore,

Gina Horkey 5:32
making you happy, right? If you change and develop into a different person over time, and so luckily, I had that kind of Eureka, or aha moment when I was like, 29. So it’s not like I kept with the status quo for another decade before I let myself face a change. But it was a really hard thing for me, because a lot of us identify with our career, right? And especially if you have some success in it. And so to completely kind of start over, it’s scary

Meg Casebolt 6:01
to start over. Yeah. And especially when you don’t know like, how long is it going to take me to make money? And like, Should I do this as a side hustle? Or should I really like kind of look, before I leap before I look, what’s the phrase, you know, yeah, making that leap before you’re ready. So that way, like you kind of light a fire under your ass that way. Like, it’s hard to know when to make that move, especially if you don’t know what the next step is going to be?

Gina Horkey 6:25
Well, here’s the thing we never will. So try to have this pretty path and plan. And, you know, that’s why a lot of us will create products like courses in order to make it easier on the people that are coming after us. But all of our journeys will look different. That’s just the truth, all of our family lives look different. And our schedules look different. And our obligations look different. And the people that we come into contact with will look slightly different. So you have to kind of enter things with that mind. I also didn’t know exactly what I was going to do next. So what I did was really just kind of turned to Google and started using that whole search engine thing to answer some of my questions around what else could I be what I grew up, because I didn’t really want to go back to school. I knew that that probably wasn’t the answer another few years, and another few 10s of 1000s of dollars and

Meg Casebolt 7:16
and you’re in the financial field, it’s like you have to pass a ton of tests and certifications, and everything’s regulated. And yeah,

Gina Horkey 7:23
it’s right. Yeah. And again, I had some certifications. And I was going down the path of becoming a certified financial planner. And as I was taking all the coursework, I was just like, Oh, I just know that I’m trying to force a square peg into a round hole here. Can I do it? Absolutely. Can I succeed at it? Absolutely. Will I feel fulfilled and content? I don’t think so. Because there’s part of the piece that I liked, which was working with clients, helping them to plan for their financial goals, a lot of that being around retirement, but it could be other things as well. And that’s the piece that I wanted to carry into the future. So Google told me Hey, freelance writing is a thing. Did you know that you can, you know, hire yourself out as a contractor and write content for websites? No, I did not know this. I had no idea that was a thing in 2014. Yeah. And it was and other people were getting paid handsomely to do it, it was very much a thing but it’s only grown since then. And don’t let anyone that’s touting AI crap scary away from it like that might help us in our processes as as writers or content creators or online educators or website owners or whatever, but I don’t think computers are ever going to replace the way that we think and speak and, and all those anyways, total side tangent. So I’m like, okay, freelance writing, I don’t have a journalism degree. I have gotten complimented on my writing always had good scores. I weighed in i My husband and I had taken a like fiction writing course the year before, just for fun. So I had some experience with, you know, that side of things, which is really different than non fiction writing for the web very. It helped me to recognize, hey, I have some skills here. Even if I don’t have any credentials, or samples or whatever, why not give it a shot? What’s the worst thing that’s going to happen? So I had a 10 month old and Braxton and Shelby are like a year and a half apart. So he was like, two and a half or whatever, at the time. And Wade had recently quit his job to become a stay at home dad. So I couldn’t just leave before I left, right. I had to test the waters, see if this thing was viable for me, but I also had a very strong like, motivation, like, nobody’s gonna change my circumstance right now. Except for me.

Meg Casebolt 9:42
Hmm, that’s really powerful. Nobody is gonna like the job is not going to materialize out of nowhere and just be the perfect dream job. So I have to make a choice if I want to pursue this corporate thing or if I want to try something, freelance or some other opportunity, but it’s my choice.

Gina Horkey 9:57
Yep. And I am a firm believer that And I’m sharing this message more now, which is also very timely for me not to get married to the how. So I knew I wanted to make a change, and it was around my career and how I created income for our family. But again, I didn’t say okay, I knew my next step was to be a freelance writer. No, I uncovered that as a possibility. And I was open to it. And so I figured it out. And then that propelled me to kind of the next step of my journey, which was offering other freelance services, specifically around like email management and customer service. And that was great, because I was able to build in some services and work with clients that was more regular. And then my pay was also more predictable as well. But yet, I was still kind of in control over when I did my work, how I did my work, all of those types of things. And so I started to brand myself as more of a virtual assistant. And, you know, that’s just a title. That’s just semantics, right? Like I offered services to clients who paid me for them, and I could work wherever I want, I set my rates, I pay my own taxes, all of those things. That’s what it means I’m self employed, and I traded my services for pay. And I think the important distinction there is it was separated to some extent from my time, so I

Meg Casebolt 11:14
don’t have to be I am working for an hour. So you are paying me $20 I wrote you this thing that is valuable, or I completed this service for you.

Gina Horkey 11:23
Yep. And I started because it can be helpful to figure out what is an hour of my time worth both from my standpoint, as well as from the clients for their budget. But and so you can start charging hourly, there’s nothing wrong with it, it’s just not going to be the most effective strategy in order to scale your income long term. So at some point, you want to uncover like, what are the service deliverables that I’m providing my client? And how can I charge based on the value of that to them, rather than the time that I spent creating them, your client doesn’t get get last? I can swear on your partner side. Yeah, they don’t care how long things take you. And that was honestly the biggest change that I wanted to make from more of that corporate setting to being kind of autonomous self employed as a contractor, as I didn’t want somebody to tell me when I was supposed to work, how long things were supposed to take me. Like, if I was more efficient, why shouldn’t I be able to either wait, make work less, or make more money as a result, right.

Meg Casebolt 12:24
So that you’re being penalized for efficiency, if you’re charging hourly,

Gina Horkey 12:28
we’re in this really interesting kind of source social climate, right, where like, everybody wants to be treated like a unique snowflake. And at the same time, we want equal rights for everyone. But those two things, they don’t really work very well together. And so I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately, and I don’t have any platform to speak from, and I don’t have any agenda push or anything like that. But just what is my like, I want people to make a livable wage. I’m totally all for that. Right. But I don’t want to be kept personally at worse the other people kept based on the expert level of their skill, their efficiency, like how they’re able to do the thing that they create value and make money from Do you know what I’m saying?

Meg Casebolt 13:13
I do. And I feel like there has been, it took me a while to disconnect myself from, well, I work 40 hours a week in order to make X amount of money. And therefore if I want to make X amount of money, I have to work 40 hours a week, but there is not no longer when you start to work for yourself, or when you start to price things yourself, it don’t longer has to be a dollars to money ratio, or dollars hours. Dollars. Exactly. You know, it doesn’t have to be well, I make $100 an hour. So if I work 40 hours I make $4,000. Like the math doesn’t always line up that way. And so if you can find ways to say, what is the value of this, or, you know, how do I know what to charge somebody so that way, it isn’t related to my time and also coming up with systems that can make you more efficient. If you’re repeating the same process over and over again, you don’t have to charge your client for the time that it spent you to create that system, but you can be faster at it. And if you choose to niche down and offer just a handful of services or work with a specific type of client, then you can also become more efficient because you don’t have to research everything every time and create everything from scratch. So by you know, niching in some way, whether that’s you know, the the exact packages that you’re creating, and then you pitch the packages to people, rather than you know, I will make sure that your emails cleaned out. You know, it doesn’t have to be I’m going to spend two hours in your inbox every day. That’s like, right. I don’t care how long you spend as long as people are getting the great service that’s worth $200 to me or whatever.

Gina Horkey 14:48
No, and I was listening to a podcast episode. I’m a big fan of Brooke Castillo right now. I don’t know if you know her. Yeah, yeah, The Life Coach School and she just has a really great way of delivering Delivering the truth in love, but like harshly, but also like you don’t hate her, I don’t love Yeah, but some people, you know, like everybody has their opinions, but she was talking about she talks a lot about value. And that’s how we earn money no matter what type of business you’re in, or if you’re an employee or anything, you have to bring value to the table. It now whether or not that’s realized and measured in that kind of corporate setting is up to you and your employer. But the fact of the matter is, knowing what your client is looking for. So she was talking about being able to save them time, time is our most precious resource, right? So it’s a huge benefit for clients, whatever your service, you’re offering them, if it helps to save them time, or give them time back to either earn more money at what they do best, or to spend with their family or haven’t forget bid like a hobby or something like that. I’ve heard I’ve heard people have hobbies, I don’t know. And then the next one would be peace of mind. Right. So that’s also pretty priceless. And the third one that she was talking about this morning was gaining time back, oh, mental energy, right? That’s the big one for me, right. So if somebody can take ownership over some part of the business where I don’t have to expend the mental energy anymore, that is worth a lot.

Meg Casebolt 16:28
And as you’re pitching yourself to potential clients, as you’re talking to people about what it is you can do, whether that’s website copy, or you know, a post on social or an individual pitch, if you say like, not needing to worry about what’s in your inbox, because somebody else is taking care of that will make space for you to think about something else. And I think that there’s so much value in that isn’t something that we talk about very often, you know, the benefit of not needing to hold everything in our brains all the time and stress about everything that we could every ball that we could be dropping, right?

Gina Horkey 16:58
That struggle is real. Right? So I think, for whatever, a few things I’d love for people to take away from our conversation are a we’re not choosing the easy path here. So I think that with online marketing, you know, sometimes there can be this view that like, everything’s easy, and you just take this course, and then your life will be so much better. And

Meg Casebolt 17:23
if your life doesn’t feel easy, then you must be doing something wrong. But here take this course, I’ll show you how to do but

Gina Horkey 17:29
no, like self employment. And entrepreneurship by far is the harder path, right? Not for the faint of heart. Yes, you’re not plugging yourself into somebody else’s system and sitting back and creating a or collecting a paycheck on a schedule, based on what you know you decide to do. Pitching however, isn’t a lot different. And I think it’s actually easier to pitch to clients than it is to find another full time job. So that is a different distinction that if you want to explore, we can do that in more detail. So there’s all like, I’m actually going to host a workshop on the first of the year. I know we’re recording this beforehand. So it won’t be available for consumption. But the whole goal is to really explore the ways that we can work because I am of the belief that people still want to work out of our economy and our population that doesn’t I understand that that exists. But I do believe that there are other people like you and like me that want to work that want to create that want to bring value to the world. Yes, we want to spend time with our kids and exercise and do these other things, too. But we still have a strong desire to bring value to the world through our work, right.

Meg Casebolt 18:40
And if I had like a fully passive business is not a thing that you can actually do. Even if I had it. Even if I had all of my expenses paid going into retirement, I would still work

Gina Horkey 18:50
I because I really like what I do. Wait. And I have had this conversation for years and for a hot minute. And I thought he was right. And I still think he’s wrong. That if he won the lottery that he would just retire and do whatever he wanted to do. And I was like, Well, I would definitely like volunteer and get involved in some kind of mission based work or whatever, like, so it’s still I don’t know it. No, I couldn’t just go

Meg Casebolt 19:14
like sit on a boat and fish, you know, like, I still want to be mentally stimulated to have these conversations. Maybe the way that I show up would be different. Yeah, maybe I would work with a different subset of clients that maybe don’t have the income to pay me the value that I am charging right now because I have to use it to pay my bills, maybe then I could just work with nonprofits or just work with specific industries or whatever that is, but I would still want to do something I would still want that stimulus. Ah,

Gina Horkey 19:41
so and what it all comes down to because there’s basically four different ways right like you can be an employee can be self employed, you can be a business owner or you can get to that passivity point, the investor side of things and get to that right there. And we’re not going to unpack it all in the next 10 minutes by any means, but I think that the general have consensus is that you got to get to that investor standpoint and stop working. And that’s your point of arrival. And we’re like happiness lives. And I would disagree and say that each one of these areas has their pros and their cons. And it’s up to you to figure out kind of what life you want to live and know that if you choose one, you can’t choose them all at the same time. Like we we want to think that we can probably write like, I don’t have to work at all, I can make a gazillion dollars a minute. And like, you know, I’m completely autonomous, and I don’t have to answer to anybody, and things just happen in the background, I never have to do anything. That’s unrealistic, because I know holistic, and some people are very happy and content, being an employee and being on a team and working towards somebody else’s vision and mission. And I want to make sure that that’s heard and understood, because like, as business owners that are creating, you know, jobs for people, like we need them, we know people like that, that want to contribute somebody else, like let somebody else take the lead on it, right. So then that’s still a good thing. And there’s people that thrive at, you know, the different benefits that they get by by showing up. And there’s different ways to go about working as an employee and still making your job work for you in the way that you want. So having some flexibility, whether it’s over where you’re working, when you’re working, the work that you are doing, having some autonomy over, the harder I work, then the more money I can make. So that’s important to know that that exists in all of those different places. And that there’s I think, we tend to say, okay, self, self employment is better, because or being an investor is better, because and it’s not about best, better, bestest,

Meg Casebolt 21:56
good, better best.

Gina Horkey 21:58
That sounds better. It’s more about again, what do I want, and which path at this time in my life is going to offer me more of the benefits?

Meg Casebolt 22:08
Yeah, and knowing that it doesn’t have to be, you know, one of these four things, it’s like, you know, I am a business owner. But I’m also in many ways, still a self employed person who needs to go out and find clients that I can then give other people work to do and pay them to do, but then I want to pay myself enough that I can be investing so that way, I don’t have to work forever, or I can make some of these choices. So it doesn’t have to be that well. Now I’m self employed. And I am going to work for myself and I am going to go find clients. And that’s it. Right? This can you can be on this continuum and be in multiple areas, and you could be

Gina Horkey 22:42
in all four at one time. Or you could be the one that works your way through. And that is the path that makes sense for you. Or maybe you work your way backwards, for whatever reason, like it’s, it’s just really interesting, but just knowing that it that there’s not one path, and it’s not one size fits all. And instead you have to get in touch with I guess what you are working towards? Maybe it’s your why maybe it’s your 510 year plan. Maybe it’s just like, What do I feel like in this season of my life to be 90 days or a year? Like we like to put timeframes and boxes around all of the things? And I’m kind of exploring that for myself right now. Do I want the boxes? Do I want the finite goals? Or do I want to just kind of, you know, enjoy more of the moments and take more of the the actions that I know will get me to a good result in the future?

Meg Casebolt 23:35
Absolutely. So if people are in this phase of, you know, I’m either in a job, but I’m thinking I might want to try freelancing or trying some self employment, or if they are self employed, but they’re feeling like I can’t make that leap to the next level, because I don’t have enough clients. What are your recommendations for getting those first or next clients, especially for people who want to spend less time on social media, which is what we’re talking about here? You know, this isn’t just like, go on Facebook and post, I think the approach that you typically take and recommend is much more proactive outreach. So can you talk about that?

Gina Horkey 24:08
Yeah, I mean, I’m a huge believer that it’s a much easier to build a business one conversation at a time. And it’s more about building relationships that themselves don’t necessarily turn into clients. But the more conversations you can have with people and authentic conversations where you can show up with you the main expectation is that, uh, hopefully, you’ll have a couple of minutes to practice talking about what you do. Mm hmm. Like if that’s all that happened, and you had a half an hour an hour meeting, and you got the opportunity to engage with somebody that you thought was interesting, maybe even a little cool, whatever your definition of cool, I guess cool, like I can hang out with you for an hour and I’ll enjoy the conversation. I don’t need to get anything from you in return. Right? Need to leave with a new client. I don’t need to leave with you paying me money for something If you’re a business owner, I’m a business owner. And we’re having a conversation that can include personal type of topics, maybe we have hobbies, like we talked about. Maybe we collaborate and talk about, you know, the pains of, of child rearing or the Pro was or whatever. And hopefully during this time, we can talk about what we’re both working on professionally. Yeah. And maybe there’s a way that we can give each other feedback or make an introduction to somebody else, or, who knows. But if you think about prospecting as just getting to know more people having more conversations, it takes a lot of the pressure off us.

Meg Casebolt 25:38
And then when you do find somebody that is a good fit for it, then you already have that existing relationship, or and if they’re not, then asking for a referral is okay, too. I know, like my final job, I was working with somebody who it wasn’t an architecture firm. So it was like a junior designer there. And his college roommate was becoming a doctor and setting up a practice. And so I was like, Okay, let’s let me talk to him about how I can help him with his marketing. You know, it didn’t have to be, you know, this guy introduces me to the scanning have to turn it into a client immediately. But then once I got to know that type of he was a naturopathic doctor, that I started going out and trying to find more naturopathic doctors, because I’d done the work to learn what the heck a naturopathic doctor was, and how to design for a website, what are the rules around what you can and can’t say? So the next time someone came across my path, I was like, oh, yeah, I know how to do this. And I could go out and find others, or ask that person for more referrals. I didn’t have to go post everywhere. And, you know, go to job boards. I mean, job boards are okay, too. But I didn’t have to feel like I was just promoting myself anywhere. I was just tapping into relationships that already existed, and then asking for introductions to other people to see what they needed.

Gina Horkey 26:51
But there wasn’t like any, you didn’t feel squeamish about that. Right? Oh, like you didn’t feel like you were selling something that wasn’t necessary. I think that’s where the problem lies is that there’s a fair amount of people that have maybe tried like an MLM or multi level marketing kind of thing, selling leggings, or kids books, or whatever the case may be. And I don’t think there’s anything bad about those businesses, or even their business models. What I think ends up being hard for some people is that they’re not getting in front of enough people that really like need the product, right? Yeah. So instead of they’re having friends host, a party and their friends are inviting other friends, and they’re making it like a social event. And then sometimes there’s like an awkward pitch, things that you don’t really need to buy, but you kind of feel guilty because you show up to the party. So then you have to spend the money. Wouldn’t want to direct in that way. And so I think that’s where like, there’s not a fit between the need and the audience and said, You need to like if you’re offering services, figure out why is that valuable? Go back to what we were talking about earlier. And then who would benefit from those services? And I know that feels like a really hard question when you’re first starting out. But one of the ways that you can find the answers just having conversation

Meg Casebolt 28:06
us, you know, and I think the word pitch has almost gotten a bad rap. Because we think about those, you know, I’m at this Tupperware party and somebody is gonna tell me that I have to buy the spatula, or I went to a timeshare and got a free lunch. And now they’re gonna pitch me for an hour and tell me about it. But a pitch doesn’t have to be a cold, you know, scripted thing. It can be Hey, and then because he told him, yeah, you know, Susie told me that you need a website, do you want to get on a conversation? You know, it doesn’t always have to be a big formal PowerPoint, whatever it can be, you know, Hey, I heard or after our conversation, I wanted to follow up with you and let you know that if you want to hire somebody to write blog posts for you, I’d love to have you know, I’d love to talk about that with you, you know, it can be informal while still being valuable.

Gina Horkey 28:56
Yeah, and you have to remember that your whole job gets to be being of service, which is cool. So when we’re talking about like retiring, or winning the lottery before, like still wanting to work and show up and add value to the world, you can get paid to add that value barrier. You just have to figure out who needs help, what kind of help that they need. And if that matches what you’re able to bring to the table and or they’re willing to train you to do that for for the very first time. That happens all the time, by the way, then that’s a match, right? And you just start with one project, or maybe one piece of it, and then you check in and say how’s this going for you?

Meg Casebolt 29:31
Yeah, and I feel like there’s like a conversation or like a presentation that’s happening out there that is, if you do this, you will replace your income and you will have 20 clients and you will be able to grow an agency and like people go big, too fast. And one of the things I like about the way that you talk about this is like start with one relationship and maybe that person can replace, you know, a quarter of what your income was from your full time job and you work An eighth of the time that you were spending at your, you know, like thinking about it as baby steps to get to where you want to be setting mini goals, figuring out who you need to talk to, and not just, what does your website look like and how many followers you have, you don’t need a website to start pitching yourself for services, you don’t need 1000 followers to get one client, you need to have the conversations with people who are willing to hire you who have needs that you can fulfill. And sometimes this isn’t even, you know, this is like hiring somebody to wrap your Christmas gifts, or, you know, get your groceries for you or something like that. And mechanic.

Gina Horkey 30:37
Yeah, you know, just all all wanting the same, you bring up some really good points, I feel like we could talk all day long about all of these things. Don’t come at this in a place of desperation. That’s what I did want to say. So I think that’s where a lot of people, they put way too much emphasis on it on succeeding, and within this period of time, otherwise, my life is over I die, right. And I think maybe that’s one of the things that worked to my advantage as I did still have my job. And I would wake up really effing early like 430 in the morning to work for a couple of hours on this new freelance business, which meant, you know, trying to figure out my craft, and then finding clients to hire me and then actually doing the work. That’s the activities that I worked on at that time in the day. And because I wasn’t married to how or when I set a goal, I love to leave my job in a year. And it happened in eight months. But I didn’t put so much pressure on it. Because I had quit my job already and desperately needed that income. Like I think that’s a recipe for disaster for a lot of people. Some people can thrive. I just wonder if it’s maybe 1% or 5%. And you know, it sounds like I just quit my job. Okay, but then if you’re desperately seeking out clients, you might attract the wrong ones, you’ll probably under charge, and then you will possibly hate what you do. Yeah, I

Meg Casebolt 32:01
freelanced for nine months before I left my job. And I put in my notice early, because I was like, I know I’m going to leave. But let me let me train the next person and let them know that’s happening. Like, so I think just acknowledge it and giving myself I will give you 12 weeks I shouldn’t have it was to have like a huge 11 You learn? Yeah, exactly. But it was like, he also gave me a deadline to work towards. And I could I could say by Memorial Day, I’m going to be exiting this job because I know who my successor is, that gave me the fire under my ass while I was still getting paid a salary.

Gina Horkey 32:41
And you know, some people can finagle where they’re working less as they’re building up their business. So I have a girlfriend, that’s a lawyer right now. And she’s built up a product based business, it’s killing it. But she, you know, she went to school for a long time, he makes a decent income as a lawyer. So it’s a big, she also supports her family and her husband’s a stay at home dad. So for her to make that change is is scary. But she also wants, you know, to be sure, as sure as we can be. So right now she ated a different type of an opportunity with the firm that she works as a part of. And so she’s only working with a certain number of cases, she’s not taking on new clients. And that’s possible in her work. And a lot of other works too. If you’re bringing a lot of value to your employer and what it is that you do if you become kind of a key person A, it’ll be super easy for you to find clients and become a key person for them. Right? Have that confidence, borrow mine that it’s totally possible arts with showing up and offering your best work, wherever you are, whatever situation you are in those four areas, you know, like put on your your best self suit and show up because how you work there is how you’re going to work for yourself more than likely to Yeah,

Meg Casebolt 33:55
and also recognizing that even if you have this long term goal of I’m going to grow a business or I’m going to have less passive income. You don’t have to figure out every step along the way to start. And if

Gina Horkey 34:04
it ended up taking twice as long, but you got the result that you wanted. Wouldn’t it still be worth

Meg Casebolt 34:08
it? Yeah, I hope so. And if it’s not, then go back.

Gina Horkey 34:13
It’s okay. tried something. Exactly.

Meg Casebolt 34:15
You You were brave enough to try something new and a lot of people aren’t. Exactly. Oh, look, Roscoe. I know that was a nice little rubbing point. So Jean, I tell people how they can find out more from you. How can anyone if you Google

Gina Horkey 34:28
virtual assistant I’m likely to come up because of being sweet skills.

Meg Casebolt 34:32
Well, you have to Google the phrase how to become a verb to become a word yes, we’re gonna bury because if we go to virtual assistant, that’s a Wikipedia because they’re trying to explain well, I think your descriptions better so.

Gina Horkey 34:46
Or you can just go to horkey And you can check us out there. We’d be happy to help you. Whatever your path looks like offering services online. great next step for people that are looking for more autonomy in their work and it might not be your endpoint though, might just be the next thing. kind of stone in your path.

Meg Casebolt 35:01
Exactly. Some people are like, I just want to do this when my kids are little and then I’ll go back into the workplace. I just want to make a couple bucks to offset this. That’s cool. You don’t always have to have that long term goal. So thank you so much for being here with me today, Gene. I really appreciate it. Yeah.

Gina Horkey 35:14
Hey, I’m glad the stars aligned. Bye.

Meg Casebolt 35:19
Thank you so much for listening to the social slowdown podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe or come on over to social and sign up for our email list so you never miss an episode. We’d also love if you could write a review to help other small business owners find the show you can head over to social slowdown comm slash review or grab that link in our show notes for easy access. We’ll be back soon with more tips to help you market your business without being beholden to social media. Talk to you then.

Please forgive any typos or grammatical errors, as this transcript was automatically recorded by

getting your first client with a pitch with gina horkey