All views and opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and are not endorsed by or reflective of SUCCESS. As a reader-supported publication, we may receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.
Above All Admin, an Ontario, Canada-based company offering virtual assistant (VA) coaching services and business mobilization solutions, has revealed its approach to mobilizing business operations and equipping freelancers to achieve better work-life balance.
The company, founded by Tovey Blake in 2015, began as Blake’s freelance venture, writing resumés and providing other clerical services in order to support her daughter. As a young mother, Blake says she had to work long hours at multiple jobs just to make ends meet. According to her, she previously had no concept of remote work, until one of her supervisors told her about it. Upon trying it out, she realized how much freedom she was able to gain from it, allowing her to spend more time with her family.
Over the years, working as a freelance virtual assistant (VA), Blake learned the ins and outs of operating in a business environment, and she transitioned what would become Above All Admin into consulting for businesses and coaching people how to start their own business as a VA.
With more than 20 years of experience in business management, Blake offers a variety of solutions for micro, small and medium-sized businesses to accelerate their success. These include operations management, project management, human resources consulting, business strategy and business process automation.
Launched in 2019, the Make It Happen VA coaching course comes in two formats. The first one is self-directed, where learners can go through the modules at their own pace. It includes prerecorded lectures from Blake and various exercises to evaluate their skills. The modules can be purchased as a package or individually, making it convenient for people juggling both work and family responsibilities. The second format is an eight-week program, with a time investment of approximately 10 hours per week. It includes weekly one-on-one video conferences with Blake, where she goes through the assignments with the learner and they discuss any challenges and successes encountered.
Make It Happen equips learners with the practical skills to become a VA and operate a successful freelance VA business. It also shows them the mindset they need to succeed in the field. Blake says the first module of the course is about helping learners find their “why,” and it teaches them the fundamentals of what it is to be a freelancer, specifically in the virtual assistant industry.
Make It Happen uses an online learning platform, with personalized login credentials that grant 24/7 access to all program modules and assignment exercises. Above All Admin has also created a supportive online community of freelance VAs, allowing them to learn from each other, provide encouragement during trials and celebrate successes.
According to Blake, while Make It Happen is open to everyone, the learners have been overwhelmingly women. She believes this is because there are fewer economic opportunities available to women, especially women of color, immigrants and mothers like herself balancing both work and family life.
“I believe that becoming a virtual assistant can be an equalizer, giving people—especially women—an avenue to earn while giving them the opportunity to build a life around the people they love. Being a VA allowed me to spend more time with my mother before she passed, which would not have been possible for me with a regular office job.”
Blake adds: “I came up with the Make It Happen course so people don’t have to learn things the hard way. When I started as a VA, there were very few resources at my disposal, and I made some missteps that could’ve been avoided had there been someone to guide me. I want to share what I’ve learned over the years with everybody and give them a great start to what will hopefully be a great career for them as a VA, whether they wish to remain long-term or use it as a stepping stone to further heights.”