Ever wondered what it takes to ditch the cubicle and become a full-time girl boss? Our Student Spotlight Series interviews our students who have made the transition from 9-5 to remote CEOs!
From what inspired them to start their own business, their favorite podcasts, go-to morning routine, advice to aspiring girl bosses, and so much more!
Today, we’re sitting down with our student Savannah Hickey, Founder of VASAV Digital! Originally from Orange County, California, Savannah gives us a glimpse into her girl boss journey…
Q: What type of online business do you own and what services do you offer?
I’m the Founder of VASAV Digital, a remote social media agency based out of Austin, Texas. We help clients build a strong online community through growth strategies and relieve our clients from workday burnout through streamlined and automated workflows.
Our goal is to bring our clients clarity and peace of mind when it comes to their social media through tools, strategy sessions, and content management. We officially launched as an LLC in October of 2019.
Q: How did you discover the Bucketlist Bombshells and what inspired you to enroll in the Bucketlist Bombshells Academy?
I discovered the Bucketlist Bombshells through an advertisement on Facebook. After watching the promo video and reading the reviews, I was hooked. I longed to craft a career around the life I dreamt of, and the Bucketlist Bombshells catered to JUST that!
Not only did I want this for myself, but I also saw how others wanted this same dream and were making it a reality through taking the Bucketlist Bombshells courses. I thought if they can do it, so can I.
“I didn’t think twice about signing up!”
Q: How have the courses helped you to become an online business owner?
The Bucketlist Bombshells Academy helped guide me to the work I do now. In the beginning, I thought I would lean towards the more creative side, such as web design or branding. However, as I continued through the courses, I discovered my personal strengths and passions were dedicated to social media! I am so glad I purchased all of the courses because not only was I able to hone in on my strengths but I also learned a little bit about everything!
When I hired on my web and branding designer, fellow Bucketlist Bombshell student Lucia O’Grady of Serena Design Co., I could speak the language and understand what she needed from me in order to do her best work for my social media business.
The Bucketlist Bombshells Academy not only taught me how to run social media, but it also gave me the tools to run a business remotely, nurture my audience, and create an excellent client experience!
Q: What type of job were you working in prior to running your own online business?
Prior to running VASAV Digital, I was serving as a cocktail waitress and working as an administrative assistant for a matchmaking business.
Q: How long did it take you to ditch your 9-5, and how much time did you dedicate in order to make it happen?
I started VASAV Digital in January of 2019 but didn’t officially launch my LLC until October of 2019. While learning how to juggle work and challenge my self-discipline, it took me about a year to ditch my other two part-time jobs!
“I had to learn how to say no to things that were no longer serving myself or my goals.”
Q: What was the final push in your story to get you to ditch that 9-5 job?
Honestly, COVID-19’s quarantine was just the thing I needed in order to focus all my attention on my business. The fear of taking that leap of faith was now my only option due to losing my job because of the pandemic. At this point, I had no excuse to not put my head down and get to work.
I am very aware of the tragedy it brought so many but am thankful that I found my blessing through this mayhem. I am so grateful I was able to harness my passion during this time and get a step closer to my dream. This year has been a bittersweet journey for VASAV Digital.
Q: How long was it until you landed your first client online?
It took me between one to two months to land my first client while discovering which freelance websites worked for me and what didn’t. I know many people who have landed plenty of clients through websites like Upwork – but this was never the case for me.
“I discovered that Facebook groups and my own personal connections were MY secret sauce for landing clients and growing my business!”
Q: What is your process for finding and landing clients online?
Like I previously mentioned, I have found major success through personal connections and Facebook groups. I made a point to take about 10-15 minutes every day to engage in all the freelance groups I belonged to, such as the Bucketlist Bombshell student groups and community, Create & Cultivate, and Freelancing Females.
Not only are these groups great for landing clients, but they are also amazing for building connections, asking questions, and learning from fellow entrepreneurs who are on the same journey. Personally, I didn’t have a lot of people surrounding me who were doing what I was doing as a freelancer, so Facebook groups brought me the community I needed!
Q: What has been your biggest setback, and how did you overcome it?
There were quite a few setbacks and many of them were learning to break old habits — such as procrastination, negative mindsets, self-discipline, and learning to say no to friends and family.
Saying no was probably my biggest challenge because I don’t like to feel like I am letting other people down. However, I learned that you will ‘starve’ if you continue to pour from an empty cup.
The thing is, it was a lot of readjusting on my part. Many people might think, “Ehh entrepreneurship isn’t for me because of [insert negative habits here].”
“I’m here to tell you that it is not impossible to kick your bad habits to the curb and create a new life for yourself and your future.”
Q: What’s the most challenging part about running your online business?
The most challenging part about running an online business is that if something doesn’t get done – it’s because of me. If I don’t hit my sales goals, emails aren’t getting sent, or my bookkeeping hasn’t been done – this is ALL on me.
The weight can be very heavy and overwhelming. Through this overwhelm, I have learned how to create a schedule, stay focused, and create boundaries with myself, my clients and my loved ones.
“When you’re in the thick of it, you either sink or swim. If you want to survive, you better swim… and swim hard!”
Q: Looking back on your online business journey, what is something that you’re most proud of?
I am most proud of my resilience that has helped me to bounce back from mistakes I’ve made and the obstacles that life has thrown my way. Through it all, I have pushed through even when I didn’t want to at the time.
Q: If you could speak to your past self, what piece of advice would you give her?
I would tell myself that mindset is EVERYTHING. You will manifest everything you want out of life through a healthy mindset! Learn how to kick self-doubt to the curb.
I would also tell myself that there are going to be bad days and to listen to your body.
“If your body is telling you to rest, take a step back and rest!”
Q: How do you stay inspired and motivated to run your online business?
I stay inspired and motivated by reminding myself of the kind of future I want. I like to journal daily and remind myself of all of my gratitudes. Writing my gratitudes down helps me realize what I have to be grateful for, which in turn, reminds me that my struggles aren’t all-consuming.
My clients are also a huge inspiration. They teach me how to consistently work hard and that if I continue to work towards my goals, I will reach them!
Q: Tell us what a “day in the life” looks like for you now that you’re running your own online business!
My schedule isn’t always exactly the same. Most days, I get up around 6 am and do my morning meditation and stretches in before anything else. I also spend about 30 minutes to an hour walking and feeding my fur baby Louis [Lou-ee]. If running my own business means more time with my dog, that’s almost enough of a reason in itself! 😉
Diving into work, I usually begin my day with emails and about 20 minutes of market and industry research. Depending on the day, I focus my time on admin or client work with 15 minute breaks in-between tasks to keep my mental health at a high. I am not perfect at this – it is a daily practice.
“My set working hours help me clearly communicate my availability to my clients as well as my family and friends!”
Q: What’s the best part about being your own boss?
The best part about being my own boss is the freedom and empowerment it brings into my mind and spirit! It has allowed me to learn more about myself and what I am capable of.
Q: What do you love most about the work you do and the clients you work with?
I love that my work feels very collaborative between my clients and I. It doesn’t feel like your typical work situation where you are working for someone or vise versa. We both have so many strengths to bring to the table and we are able to learn from each other on a daily basis.
“Working with many clients brings so many different perspectives – which never gets boring or dull!”
Q: What is your favorite destination to work remotely from?
During quarantine, I’ve had a lot of coffee table work time at home. But if and when life gets back into the normal groove, I LOVE working from a coffee shop or library.
Q: What’s your favorite business tool that you’d recommend to other girl bosses? Why do you love it?
Dubsado is by far my favorite business tool and is a total lifesaver! It has saved me so much time and money.
Dubsado has allowed me to streamline my client on-boarding process and helps me create a better experience for both my client and myself. I love that I can create a personal portal for a client giving them access to all of our shared documents. It even allows them to view their contracts and pay their invoices in one place.
There are many reasons why Dubsado has been my favorite tool, but the client portals and on-boarding process are by far my favorite!
Q: What is one of your favorite business books that you would recommend to another girl boss and why do you love it?
I’m currently reading Why She Buys by Bridget Brennan! It’s a great book about the psychology of consumers and how gender plays a part in developing marketing strategies, design, and brand messaging.
Q: What’s your go-to favorite podcast that you’d recommend to other girl bosses?
- The Shine Online Podcast: Natasha Samuel is a fellow Instagram strategist that offers easy implementation tips. She also brings on other empowered female entrepreneurs who offer great entrepreneurial advice.
- The Hustle Sanely Podcast: Jess Massey focuses on mindset and development tools to help you step into your ultimate boss shoes with a healthy mind and balanced work life.
- Socialette Podcast: Steph Taylor gives powerful marketing advice in bite-sized tips.
Q: What is your number one piece of advice for aspiring Bucketlist Bombshells?
I heard this advice from a fellow Bucketlist Bombshells student back in 2018 and it has stuck with me ever since: