I met Jen a fair few years ago and knew immediately she was a fire-cracker. She has a super determined personality and always strikes me as someone who knows what she wants out of life. As such I was really pleased and impressed to find out about her business, Exec Support Solutions and I am enjoying following her journey as the business grows.
Exec Support Solutions - Jennifer Williams, Organisational Wizard
Tell us a little bit about your business.
Founded in 2018 by owner and self-proclaimed ‘organisational wizard’ Jennifer Williams.
A natural and dedicated PA with over a decade of experience – Jen and her team enjoy bringing the professionalism of corporate executive support to those that don’t have a full-time requirement for a PA or who prefer to make use of it ‘virtually’!
What inspired you to set up your business?
I loved the idea of working for myself ever since first meeting a VA and thinking ‘that’s great!’. I didn’t even know what a VA (Virtual Assistant) was back then, but for all the employed PA/EA roles I had since, I knew it was my end goal.
Then when I was unfortunately made redundant from my last employed role, and on the precipice of first-time motherhood, I knew it was my ‘now or never’ moment. I enjoyed 16 months of maternity leave with my daughter and launched my business the same day she went to a childminder for the first time – it was emotional to say the least!
Since then my inspiration has been my daughter, because if she can grow up to be just a little bit inspired by me then I’ll be happy.
What gave you the final nudge/ push to go for it?
Being made redundant! I loved my job but when it’s not there anymore your hand is forced somewhat.
So, with a bit of money in the bank and a whole lot of gumption, it was the right time to really go for it – and I’m so glad I did!
I have an amazingly supportive husband who never once questioned my intentions and some cracking friends who were in on the planning, and on the 1 August 2018, Exec Support Solutions was born.
What has been your biggest challenge to date?
Can I say everything?! I’d never run a business before, let alone worn all the hats that come with it so I’m still learning every day how best to do things but I love it.
I see the whole thing as a rollercoaster ride, the sort of ride you could get off if you had to but ultimately one you love for all the highs and lows and suspense it gives you!
Something that has supported my journey thus far is the amazing network of people I’ve met and befriended. From the first time I visited a local networking meeting, I knew I would meet some pretty cool business owners, but I never realised how much value they would all add to my business. I can confidently say that I now know enough people to call upon for advice in so many areas of business that I feel like I’m part of a national enterprise.
Describe your greatest success/ the thing you are most proud of.
I started working with a first client after just three weeks in business, and after nine months I was at full capacity! I feel as proud about the highs as I do the lows because I know that each experience is new learning for me.
I’ve also been shortlisted for several business awards which always makes very proud! 2020 is the year I plan to win one 😉
What motivates you to keep forging ahead with your business?
The fact that I get to say I love what I do and not be accountable to anyone is awesome. I don’t have to sense check my LinkedIn posts with a Comms department, I don’t have to check with Marketing whether I can post on Instagram and I don’t have to seek permission to attend a networking event in office hours!
I love being my own boss and working with the awesome array of clients that I’ve built up.
When I launched my business, I told everyone I met that I was doing it to build an empire, and that remains my plan! Of course, the definition of ‘empire’ is different to everyone but ultimately I will keep doing what I do until I don’t love it anymore. Life is quite simply too short not to be spending everyday doing something you love.
Thank you so much to Jen for sharing her story with us here at Cat's Pajamas. We always feel inspired hearing about the journeys of others.
If you would like to find out more about Exec Support Solutions you can visit:
Facebook - @execsupportsolutions