Whois Rowena Fernando the Virtual Assistant

Hey there!

My name is Rowena Fernando, and I am a Virtual Assistant, Social Media Manager and Business Support Provider and am thrilled to meet you.

What is a Virtual Assistant? A question I get asked often – but more about that a bit later.

Who Is Rowena Fernando?

I thought I would give an introduction of myself to you and tell you a bit about how I came to be here.

Last December of 2019, I left the city of London to follow my dream – to get away from city life and to live much more in nature. I’m now am based in the beautiful South Devon region with my partner Radek in a house we finally got to buy.  I set up in business as a Virtual Assistant from a room in our former flat, where I started building and growing my business.

 I was born and raised in London. I took the typical path from school to college and university and then lo and behold; I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. It always felt like such pressure to decide who I wanted to be, before knowing who I wholeheartedly wanted to become.

 I have always been interested in the arts, music, photography and design – I absolutely love it. It was all that I wanted to do, was be creative.  But I was very timid back then and found my pursuit of finding that joy totally daunting.

 After my A-levels, I went on to do an Art Foundation course which eventually led to doing a degree in Jewellery Design and Silversmithing. I wanted to have a creative career, but at the time, I didn’t know how I wanted that to look like in my life. It took several years to figure it all out.

 After Uni, I took a year out and backpacked across Eastern Europe in 2004 for six months. We travelled to wherever the notion took us. That trip was amazing! It opened my eyes to so many beautiful places, incredible people and to have that kind of freedom at such a young age was honestly such a fantastic life experience.

 I took an extended journey, diving into the luxury beauty industry in Mayfair salons in London. I went down a front-facing, customer service and administrative path. It was an incredibly fast-paced environment but one which I thrived in! However, with each new opportunity as the years passed, I began to realise that there was a low ceiling potential for progression. Once I had worked up to a particular level – that was it, opportunities petered out, or they just weren’t there.

 I love design topics on many levels and for a time considered carving out a career that way. I was studying around my full-time job to complete a diploma in Interior Design which helped me get my foot in the door in the industry with a high-end bathroom showroom in Waterloo.

 After a couple of years there, I made a move into what would be my last employed job as Office Manager and Sales Support for a contract furniture dealership – although I didn’t know it at the time.  I loved my job there. I was there for five years, and each day was different. The team were terrific, and so was the industry as a whole. I’ll always have a warm affection for my team members, the company and the fantastic pieces of furniture and fabrics we used to work with – they were just beautiful. This role satisfied my creative desires, matched with my administrative skills.

But then something happened, things took a dramatic turn.

It sounds bizarre, but the skin on my face went crazy and broke out into a horrible rash. It also made me feel so self-aware. It became a mission – almost even an obsession – to figure out why this was happening to me.

I started delving into my diet and my lifestyle and wondered if whether it could it even be the air in the office. I continued with this quest to find answers for over three years. I realised that it was something that I took for granted all those years – my health and wellbeing.

At the same time of this happening, blogging became the thing that everyone was mad about. It became a massive hobby of mine, and I started really getting into it. The world had changed since I was in school – suddenly there were all these fantastic tools and tech at our fingertips.  I discovered WordPress and loved it. Taking photographs of the products I was testing on myself & my skin and making it all look nice compositionally was something I thoroughly enjoyed.

It awakened a growing desire and passion for something more in life, a yearning for something else, a better balance in life.  It also encompassed the things I enjoyed and was getting quite good at.

I realised then that my artistic flair could be enhanced with all the software available that I enjoyed using and because I was passionate about it, I’d often talk about it to others. Then people started asking me if I would help them with their websites and other tools … then the rest of my story began.

While I kept learning more and more about building websites and playing around with all sorts of different software, the desire to escape to greener climes – to flee to the country – was growing even stronger all the time. I longed to find a good business idea so I could change my path completely! My partner Radi and I even thought we might give it all up and escape to France and become farmers (after turning our London garden into a vegetable patch!). We fantasised about how we could escape together and what we could do – we came up with some pretty radical ideas.  Our friends thought we were losing the plot!

Then really randomly, I saw something about becoming a Virtual Assistant. I’d never heard of this term before, let alone that there was a whole industry of VAs out there. After doing the research and looking into it further, it became more and more appealing – something I thought I could do. Something I could get started on right away.

I had the skills and self-motivation to commit, and it ticked all the boxes because; a). I wanted to escape the city but didn’t how I could financially do it, and b). It required very little initial investment which was a huge win, making the whole prospect a viable option.

You know, the best bit about being an employee, especially with the company I was with, I always loved helping my bosses and my team.  When we smashed goals – we smashed them together.  I loved being able to help someone find a solution to the challenge they faced.  I loved helping my boss with tech and joy sucking stuff, especially during hectic times. But something had to change for me personally – I had to change my lifestyle.

I began trying to set myself up as a VA and slowly started to build up a client base.  But doing a full-time job and working in the evenings was taking its toll on me.  It was time to make that transition into a full-time business owner. I started to do more research.

I stumbled upon a woman called Amanda Johnson. Amanda is an award-winning VA trainer and coach, who has a fantastic VA Mastery course (Virtual Assistant Coaching & Training) which walks you through all of the many steps of setting up and running your own business as a VA.  I started her course in 2019, and as a result, the process has pushed me into the positive mindset to set up and create a business that I have always craved but didn’t fully realise it!

Who is Rowena Fernando Virtual Assistant

The stars were starting to align.

Last summer my partner and I went for a trip for a nature getaway weekend, and that is where we rediscovered South Devon. I have always loved the South West, but hadn’t been for years and had never been to Torquay before. I’d almost forgotten how majestic the landscape is with its cliffs and stunning scenery. We took little hikes everywhere, took in the greenery, breathed in the sea air and fell in love with the place. That weekend, we realised that we’d found where we wanted to be. The rest is history!

More about Rowena

I am the creator of RFVA (Rowena Fernando Virtual Assistant). A Virtual Business Support Service for small, self-started business owners.

If you are one of those people, struggling to keep on top of your social media, or all the bits of your business that take up far too much of your time, I can help you gain back hours to your days so that you can focus on the most significant bits.  The bits of your business that need YOU.

Here’s a question to ask yourself and a tip to help you: 

In the last three days, which specific tasks took up your valuable time and prevented you from being productive?  Just identify three tasks – and then you have your answer to where you may need to consider outsourcing.

I am fully equipped and insured to support you and your business. To help you with the technology you need.  To show you how to do things that save you time. To help you market your business the right way with social media and managing your content. To handle the bits that you don’t need to think about.

I have a wealth of experience and a passion for learning at my fingertips and, I am here to help you get started.

To see how I can help further, or to have a free, initial face to face conversation, head over here to schedule in a chat, or check out my services page here.

If you’re still a bit stuck and don’t know what types of tasks you could benefit from handing over, I have created an inspiration list that may help spark ideas that you can download here.

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