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Why I Quit my over 70K/year Job to Start a Virtual Assistant Business

I was living a life I worked really hard for. I literally was in school for 11 years AFTER graduating high school. I worked in clinical research with an amazing group of people in a field that was challenging and intellectually stimulating. Until one day it hit me: this will be my life for the next 30 years. I will come in to my desk (whether it’s in this office of another one) every day at 9 am and leave at 5pm. I will go home, have dinner, go to yoga, maybe meet up with a friend. I will have two days to get my chores done and get in a fun activity or two. I will travel for 2 weeks a year.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

It gives me chills just to read that first paragraph. Now, don’t get me wrong, most people are happy in that lifestyle and I support them 100%. I wish I was one of them because life would be so much easier. But, I am not, and I can’t make myself fit into that mold if I want to be authentic to who I really am.

Who am I? 

It’s interesting to me that I didn’t really put much thought into that question until recently. I didn’t consider that there were alternative paths that would allow me to live the lifestyle that I craved deep down in my bones because I was SO focused on being successful in the path I was currently on. What is that lifestyle that I realized I needed?

One word. FREEDOM.

I love working, but I want to do it on my terms. I want to work on a Sunday night in bed or I want to work from another country while I am traveling or maybe I want to spend part of the year living abroad and still be able to work. Maybe I want to take a random weekday off and work on Saturday instead. I just want to have the freedom to decide how to structure my life in a way that fulfills me.

Okay – so I now knew what lifestyle I wanted, but how can I make money while in bed or traveling to Bali? I listened to SO MANY PODCASTS. I googled all the things. I watched all of YouTube. I came up with 15 different ideas of what I could do. Should I be a coach since I have a master’s in clinical psychology? Should I sell things on Amazon? Is there such a thing as a virtual nurse (yes, I am also a nurse…I told you I was in school for a long time!)? I had no clue. I even did a live coaching session on a podcast. You can hear in that podcast that I wasn’t enthused about this whole VA thing!

What changed?

Here’s where I get real. This whole VA thing seemed like the clearest path to freedom and I was tired of researching and just wanted to make a move. Thank goodness I did (but I’ll get to that later)!  Why was it a clear path? Because it was behind-the-scenes, supporting other businesses doing things that I felt like I could easily learn if I didn’t know how to do it already. I felt like I had the ability to do the things that virtual assistants do. And the key thing that pushed me over the edge…

I started a Virtual Assistant Business!

I KNEW that I could build my business with the support of a mentor and a community to serve as a resource. This gave me the confidence to try this whole VA thing out and a place to turn to with my 10 million questions!

Andrea Elibero wellness virtual assistant

I will fast forward to today and save the part of my journey where I built my business and quit my 9-5 for another blog post or else your eyes will glaze over and this will turn into a novel. I quit my job after 6 months and made more money in my first month working on my VA business than I did at my pretty decently paying 9-5. I niched down to working with soulpreneurs because that’s my passion and, despite my uncertainty when I started, I am happy to report that


It’s not all roses and unicorns. I am building my business and I work a lot. But I know I made the right choice because:

      1. I love learning new things. I work with entrepreneurs in all different businesses and learn so much from them. I also am constantly learning about new systems, new skills, etc. There is so much room to grow and it keeps me constantly interested because it’s ever-changing.
      2. I make my schedule. Right now I am writing from a coffee shop. Sometimes I work from my bed with my dogs cuddled next to me. Yesterday, I took a mid-day break and walked my pup to my favorite gelato shop. I am taking a weekday off in a couple of weeks and I didn’t have to ask permission.
      3. I don’t experience the Sunday scaries. You know that feeling on Sunday evenings when you start to dread that Monday is coming? I don’t have that!
      4. I love helping others. That’s why I was thinking of becoming a coach (who knows, maybe I’ll incorporate coaching into my business in the future!). I am so fulfilled by helping my clients and seeing them succeed that I couldn’t be happier in my choice to become a VA!
      5. I have FREEDOM. In September I am going to Bali for 3 weeks. I can book whatever trips I want (I still have to balance working, but also a topic for another post) and travel for however long I want.

All of this is to say that it’s possible. You don’t have to feel stuck if you’re not fulfilled living a traditional lifestyle. It’s totally possible to carve out the right path for you. Now, go listen to all the podcasts, google all the things, watch all of YouTube, and ask me! I am happy to share any information I can to help you in your quest for freedom.

If you want to follow along with my journey, want to learn some business tips, or see some cute dog videos, let’s be internet friends!