UK VA Conference 13th October 2023 – Resilience in Business!

Last Thursday I travelled down to sunny Bournemouth in preparation for the UK VA Conference, a journey of 200 miles no less!  It was my first time attending and although I knew some of the lovely VA’s that were attending, I was still unsure what to expect.

Thursday evening a group of us had dinner at the Hotel Collingwood which was fantastic and then we headed into the bar for informal drinks with lots of other VA’s which was a great icebreaker and very enjoyable.

Friday morning, I woke up early as I’m used to being out walking Kensi my Springer by 6.20am and had planned to have a walk along the beach but sadly it was throwing it down with rain and blowing a gale, so I decided against it and returned to my room.  By 9.15am plenty of others had gathered in the reception for the journey to The Hilton where the conference was being held.  Here we were greeted warmly by the lovely Laura Taylor who was assisting Amanda Johnson with the event.  Event badges on we headed to the coffee station for refreshments ahead of a busy day.

This year’s conference had a theme of resilience as business owners we need to be resilient and its tough out there currently!

 The day started with two sessions from the amazing Jane Thomas of Premier life skills looking into our resilience core and our motivational mind maps.  The sessions focused on how to become more resilient, looking at what our strengths are and how we can work on the negatives we have, to be able to overcome difficulties and change what we do in order to survive – it was certainly an eye opener and something that I will keep referring back to.

Then we had the dynamic duo of Alan and Emily Braithwaite who are the Yellow Tuxedo they certainly injected some energy into the room!  Their session was all about how to stand out from the crowd in the online world that we as virtual assistants live in.  They talked about creating a strong foundation, the importance of a good website and being visible and showing yourself and your personality.

This was followed by Lauren Molone who is a mindset coach and is passionate about supporting business owners with their money mindset and helping them overcome the blocks.  She encouraged us to think about what beliefs we have that are holding us back, and how to challenge these and to set big goals.  We talked about how to change our mindset and make changes that will drive our business forward to take us closer to our goals and dreams.

The final speaker of the day was Ryan Ramsey a former Royal Navy submarine commander, who spoke about the resilience he’d had to have when being deployed on missions, how he overcame difficulties, kept his team alive, focused and believing they could win in the face of adversity – his session had everyone in the room on the edge of their seats wondering what was coming next!

The whole conference was certainly powerful and left me with lots to think about, how I want to take my business forward whilst ensuring a sustainable future for myself and family in terms of health, wealth, and resilience to ensure a long-term future for The Canine VA.

The conference also provided me with a great opportunity to network with other VA’s, gain insights and share experiences and above all make friends!

Gala awards dinner

In the evening I attended the gala awards dinner where I am proud to say I was a finalist in the Solo VA – UK VA Awards 2023 category  along with 6 other amazing business owners🎉  Sadly I didn’t win but I am a proud runner up and I am absolutely over the moon and couldn’t be prouder of my achievement in the 20months of being a fulltime business owner – achieving this recognition for my hard work and dedication that I put into making my business a success is so fantastic. 

While winning would have been a wonderful outcome I am so honoured that they selected me, and my business from all the applicants they had, I know the standards were high so it’s such a great achievement and recognition for me and there is always 2024 😊

I would like to give a big thanks to Amanda Johnson of VACT for all the hard work she put into the conference to make it such a success.

UK VA Awards


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