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 online business owners, and so much more!
Today, we’re sitting down with our student Carleigh Thrower, Founder of Paige Creative Co.! Originally from Columbia, Missouri, Carleigh gives us a glimpse into her online business journey…
Q: What type of online business do you own and what services do you offer?
I’m the Founder of Paige Creative Co.! I offer Virtual Assistant services, specializing in Pinterest management, content creation, and email marketing. I work with small businesses and entrepreneurs across the country. Most of my clients are busy women who need support marketing their business so they can focus on their zone of genius!
“I officially launched in April 2020, right in the midst of quarantine!”
When I launched, I was still working full-time. However, I knew that I wanted more for myself. Quarantine really gave me the time to focus on what I wanted to do!
Q: How did you discover the Bucketlist Bombshells?
I discovered the Bucketlist Bombshells through a Facebook Ad. I had been searching for programs on how to develop technical skills to work remotely.
Q: What inspired you to enroll in the Bucketlist Bombshells courses?
After searching through the Bucketlist Bombshells website and reading their students’ success stories, I knew that was something I wanted to aspire to! I enrolled in the Design Skills Course and the Tech Skills Course because I wanted the technical knowledge and skills in order to take on clients while still working at my full-time position.
Q: How have the courses helped you to become an online business owner?
The Design Skills Course and the Tech Skills Course really gave me the confidence to put myself out there and market my services! The technical skills that Shay and Cassie taught are laid out in a really easy-to-understand way, which helped as I navigated the course.
Having an online community where other members post questions and job opportunities was super helpful and a great resource to use when I was just starting out… and still is now!
Q: What type of job were you working in prior to running your own online business?
Prior to running Paige Creative Co., I was working in eCommerce and managing order fulfillment.
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?
After enrolling in the Bucketlist Bombshells courses, it took me about 18 months to ditch my 9-5. I started marketing my services in April 2020 and I officially quit my full-time job 10 months later in January 2021.
“I dedicated about 10-20 hours every week reaching out to potential clients or working on client work in addition to my 9-5.”
Q: What was the final push in your story to get you to ditch that 9-5 job?
My final push was that I was making a similar amount as my full-time job and only working half the time. I wanted to be able to stay home with my dog, walk her whenever I wanted, and not have a commute.
“I knew I was meant for more and that this was the kind of life I wanted.”
Q: What is your process for finding and landing clients online?
I joined a TON of Facebook groups where business owners and entrepreneurs would post requesting virtual assistance for their business. Now that I have landed clients, I get most of my work from referrals and word of mouth. It’s amazing how word spreads about your business when you do a good job! 🙂
“I landed my first client in June 2020, two months after I officially launched!”
Q: What has been your biggest setback and how did you overcome it?
My biggest setback was not being firm on my pricing from the beginning. When you’re starting out, it’s easy to set lower rates and negotiate down.
“It is so important to know your worth and pricing before booking a call with a potential client.”
If I was more firm on my pricing in the beginning, I likely wouldn’t have felt as overwhelmed. This was a gradual change for me. As I gained confidence, I was able to raise my pricing and feel confident in what I was charging clients.
Q: What’s the most challenging part about running your online business?
For me, the most challenging part about running my online business is time management. Transiting from an environment where everything is structured out for you, from lunch breaks and vacation time to when you get there and leave, it can be challenging to set boundaries with yourself so that you don’t fall behind on your client work.
I love to set daily checklists with myself, which motivates me to work more efficiently. I know the timelines I need to get everything done so if I don’t finish something that day, I will make sure to put it at the top of my to-do list for the next!
Q: Looking back on your online business journey, what is something that you’re most proud of?
I am most proud of having the courage to just do it! Leaving your full-time, secure job is crazy to some people, but I knew it was going to make my life much happier and more enjoyable.
“I am proud of myself for taking the leap, stepping up to the plate, and serving my clients well.”
Q: If you could speak to your past self, what piece of advice would you give her?
I tend to be so hard on myself and hold myself to the highest standards, but this is so unrealistic. I would love to tell the past me (and sometimes the present me) to believe in yourself and know your worth. You are worthy of great things!
“Have confidence in yourself because you are worthy and smarter than you know.”
Q: How do you stay inspired and motivated to run your online business?
I stay inspired by listening to entrepreneurial podcasts as well as sticking to a routine and planning out my day. Also, I feel a lot better about myself if I get a workout in before I start work. This helps me feel my best and gets me ready to start my day!
Q: Tell us what a “day in the life” looks like for you now that you’re running your own online business!
I wake up between 6 and 6:30am to get a workout in, whether that be running, spinning, or going to a workout class. Then, I enjoy some coffee and walk my dog Doodle. Typically, I start working around 8am and work until about 11am or 12pm. Then, I take a walk outside and then continue working until about 3 or 4pm.
I love the flexibility of being able to take a break if I need to or go to a workout class at noon if I want. It is truly the little things that I get to do throughout my day now that make me the happiest.
Q: What’s the best part about being your own boss?
While working my 9-5, I never liked having a limited, set amount of vacation days a year and that I couldn’t take certain days off. I wanted my life to come before work. Now that I’m my own boss, I like that I can control my hours to fit around whatever may be going on in my life!
“The best part about being my own boss is having the flexibility and freedom to control my own work schedule.”
Q: What do you love most about the work you do and the clients you work with?
It’s amazing to see the results of my work and how it is doing more than just taking tasks off my clients’ plates. I love when a client thanks me for the work I’ve done in helping them grow their business and achieve their goals!
Q: What is your favorite destination to work remotely from?
Since I started my business during COVID, I haven’t had the opportunity to travel while working. However, I do love just working from my house!
My dream destination for working remotely is Vietnam. I have always wanted to visit and I think it would be amazing to travel and work there! Plus, my best friend is from there. I would love to travel with her to see her family 🙂
Q: What’re your favorite business tools that you’d recommend to other girl bosses? Why do you love them?
For Pinterest Managers, Tailwind is absolutely amazing because it allows you to schedule out content according to Pinterest’s best practices.
Flodesk is a great email marketing platform and is super easy to use. It also allows you to create gorgeous emails without needing to be a design expert.
Wave is a great, easy-to-use software to invoice clients!
Q: What is one of your favorite business books that you would recommend to another girl boss and why do you love it?
I love The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. It provides practical ways to become a more thoughtful, proactive, and creative person in business and in your personal life!
Q: What’s your go-to favorite podcast that you’d recommend to other girl bosses?
I love the Goal Digger Podcast by Jenna Kutcher. Jenna gives great entrepreneurial advice and practical ways to grow your business. She also interviews so many amazing women and it is so interesting to hear their stories!
The Christy Wright Show is motivating for small business owners, especially when feeling stuck or not sure what to do next.
I listen to The Ramsey Show the most! It is great for practical advice about money and entrepreneurial finances.
Q: What is your number one piece of advice for aspiring Bucketlist Bombshells?
If you believe in yourself, the clients and money to support yourself will come. It may take some long hours and working on the weekends to get there, but trust that you have the ability to do whatever you set your mind to!