From PA to PR: My journey to self fulfilment and actualisation
The day I decided to quit my full-time job as an Executive Assistant, I had a vague idea of what I was going to do next. Although, I was not 100% sure of what exactly I wanted to do; I knew I wanted to help people on their road to success. I have always been passionate about helping others, which often led to me to not taking care of myself. After 15 years in a career, I thought I loved; deep down inside I knew that being a secretary is not really what I wanted. Now don’t get me wrong, I loved what I did for a living, which in hindsight was 80% administration and 20% daydreaming of having my own media company.
After being diagnosed with anxiety in 2016, I had to make a choice. A choice which lead me to start a one-man operation of virtual assistance full-time in 2017. I was so focused on continuing to help others with administrative duties and playing the PA, I forgot to take a step back to reflect on what it is that I really wanted. Being multi-passionate left me close to burnout in November 2017, and that 20% of daydreaming consumed me.
I thought I was losing my mind; I just started and launched my own business, Sihaam Fakier VA and had created a team of VA’s who became my associates and confidants, but I was just not feeling it. Then it hit me like a brick, this is not who I want to be; this was not the reason I left the corporate world - I want to be an Entrepreneur. Yes, all of a sudden, my daydreaming became my goal, my childhood dream of working at a media company and doing public relations became my vision.
Now, this was all good, but due to Sihaam Fakier VA growing, I unofficially rebranded to Virtually OnTrend in October 2018. Bear in mind that I had a launch party in February 2017, which was an epic fail, but a good lesson learned. I thought that if I renamed my company, clients will be keener to sign up since not everyone is familiar with the term Virtual Assistant (VA). So, I didn’t change the core business of my company, I simply just renamed it.
December 2018 came, and again it hit me like a brick, by then I was already close to burnout as I was trying too hard to please everyone by being the Assistant everyone counted on and not realizing that this is not who I wanted to be, but that soon changed towards the end of December 2018, when I finally realized my one true passion is PR, Events, and Media.
This was the one career choice that could not materialize earlier in my career but was within my reach now. Throughout my corporate career, I was responsible for the companies’ brand, advertising, events, media, etc and I loved it - always wishing I could do it full time, and now I have the opportunity to make that daydream, that goal, a reality. I mean, I studied Public Relations for the purpose of self-enrichment as I was not working for a PR firm at the time, and really enjoyed the course. Off cause while figuring out exactly the direction I wanted to go, Imposter Syndrome creeped in and had me thinking that I was not good enough, that I will not make it, who am I kidding, etc. etc., Exacerbated I took one look in the mirror and said, “I am good enough, I love what I do, I am passionate, I am a hustler, I can do anything I put my mind to”.
And so, in the beginning of February 2019, I decided that Virtually OnTrend, will now be trading as a PR, Events & Brand Management company. One can only imagine the excitement I am experiencing right now; I have so many ideas and goals that I have no concern or worry of what the future will bring, but I know now that your niche will find you when the time is right.
So, to all the new Entrepreneurs, it is ok to be multi-passionate, it is ok to be a jack of all trades, it’s ok to change your mind and direction. One day you will know where you are going it will hit you like a brick! I had so many people telling me that to rebrand after one year, and to change the company’s core business, will be career suicide. Well, I can tell you now that it is not, only you can make the change you truly believe is the right one, and trust me, you will know, and you will succeed in all that you do.