In Dream Chaser Interviews

Janet Barclay

Do you dream of quitting your job and starting your own business? Today’s dream chaser, Janet Barclay, did just that. The result? She loves being self-employed and can’t ever imagine going back! Read on to hear how Janet followed her dreams…

Q: Tell us about yourself.
JB: My name is Janet Barclay, and I’ve been a self-employed virtual assistant on a full-time basis for nearly five years now. My dream is to build my business, Organized Assistant, to the point where I can work only on projects that really excite me.

Within the past few months I’ve realized that the secret to achieving that is to really target my marketing efforts, so I’m currently in the process of re-branding myself as THE virtual assistant to successful professional organizers, with a special emphasis on creating and maintaining their Web sites, blogs, and social networking profiles.

Q: Describe a gray time in your life. How did you overcome it?
JB:
My first real job was wonderful; I did my best and was rewarded with frequent raises and promotions. After I left that company to work closer to home, I discovered how rare that situation was and I struggled with boredom and bureaucracy in various positions with different employers for the next several years.

I finally found a job that gave me the autonomy I enjoyed and allowed me to make the best use of my talents, and that lasted for just over five years until the program was shut down (more bureaucracy, of course). My employer offered me another position, but it was completely different and I wasn’t at all happy. At that point I’d been running my business part-time for a couple of years, so I decided to take the plunge, quitting my job to work full-time in my business.

Q: What challenges and fears have stood between you and your dreams? How did you overcome them? 
JB: Leaving the safety net of a regular income was pretty scary, and I probably wouldn’t have taken that risk if I hadn’t been so unhappy in my job. My husband and I were in a fairly good position financially, having sold our house and paid off all our debts the year before, so it felt like the time was right. One of my clients was a business coach, and I asked her to help me grow my business to replace my lost income from my job, in exchange for my services.

Q: What inspires you to keep pushing forward when the going gets tough?
JB:
I look back at what I’ve achieved already, and that helps me remember that I do have what it takes to succeed. After working on my own for several years, the thought of returning to a regular job is very unappealing, so I’m determined to stick it out! I actually feel that in today’s economy, where job security is non-existent, I’m better off than my employed friends, even if they are bringing in a higher income right now.

Q: If you could give one piece of advice to someone else who is struggling to move beyond the gray and follow a dream, what would it be?
JB: Believe in yourself!

To learn more about Janet Barclay you can check out her blog (www.janetbarclay.com), visit her company’s Web site (www.organizedassistant.com) and follow her on Twitter (@JanetBarclay).

Are you actively pursuing or living a dream? If so, I’d love to hear from you! Please e-mail me at: Erika (dot) Liodice (at sign) hotmail (dot) com

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Showing 9 comments
  • Janet Barclay
    Reply

    Erika, thanks so much for the opportunity to be featured on your blog. The interview opened my eyes to how far I’ve come and confirmed that this is where I want to be.

  • Moreen Torpy
    Reply

    You’re so right, Janet. Working at something that brings satisfaction and challenges is part of the reward. The money is important too, but feeling fulfilled is also.

    Congrats on all you’ve achieved!

    • Janet Barclay
      Reply

      Thanks Moreen! One of the joys of having my own business is getting to meet lots of interesting people – like you!

  • Kathy Stinson
    Reply

    This is really inspiring, Janet. As someone else who has followed dreams – and occasionally gets discouraged because financial security can be so elusive even when one makes a great success of one’s pursuits – I am grateful for the reminder of how lucky I am, nonetheless, to be living the life that I am. Thanks for the great interview, Erika and Janet.

    • Janet Barclay
      Reply

      Kathy, we really are lucky! To me the freedom to choose the work we take on, and where and when we do it, more than offsets the lack of financial security. (Of course it helps that there’s always enough of said work that security isn’t much of an issue!)

  • Small Business
    Reply

    This is really inspiring, Janet. As someone else who has followed dreams – and occasionally gets discouraged because financial security can be so elusive even when one makes a great success of one’s pursuits – I am grateful for the reminder of how lucky I am, nonetheless, to be living the life that I am. Thanks for the great interview, Erika and Janet.

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