Side Hustle Blog Series: Raahkee Stratton

I take my hat off to side hustlers.  Not only are they working a full-time job, but they're running a business on the side.  Pretty impressive!  In this edition of the Side Hustle Blog series, we're going to get to know Raakhee Stratton.  

Hey, Raakhee!  Welcome to the Side Hustle Blog series.  Please tell us a little bit about yourself.  Tell us about your business niche.

I launched my business in April 2016 while working full time as an Executive Assistant for a publishing house in London. I offer my services to mainly authors who either publish traditionally or self-publish. I went full-time freelance on 20th January 2017.

That's an interesting niche.  What has been the most challenging aspect of building your business?

It’s only been a month so I would say it’s finding suitable networking events. Networking is something I have never had to do before so I am out of my comfort zone.

Networking can be difficult.  How do you handle it?

I have started attending casual networking events instead of formal ones.

Raakhee, what’s a typical day schedule for you? How many hours a week do you work?

I seem to work more hours than I used to but I knew this would be the case at the beginning. I go through my emails in the morning and start researching authors. I spend quite a bit of time reading their work before I contact them.

How do you manage your projects?

With a background as an Executive Assistant, I find multitasking comes quite naturally to me.

Did you have to let go of anything when you started your business?  

It’s still quite new so nothing comes to mind yet.

I'm wishing you all the best in your new business.  I bet this is quite an exciting time.  What have you used to grow your business, either tools or professionals?

Because I have a background in publishing, I still have quite a few contacts there. They have given me tips on who to approach. Having knowledge about the self-publishing process helps too.

It's great that you have those contacts.  When do you know you need a break from your business?

When I end up reading the same sentence five times. I go out for a walk.

I can totally relate to that one.  Have you had any setbacks as a side hustler?

When I was working on my business in the evening and weekends I found that I wasn’t spending time with my family. My husband understood but it wasn’t fair on him or my daughter.

That's always tough.  What advice would you give to individuals just starting out?

Get as much information as you can from friends who own their own business and get organised. For me, managing my social media was key so scheduling it all for the following week was a massive help.

Have you adjusted your schedule at all?

My daughter’s schedule remains the same. The only difference is that now I can collect her from nursery and be around to put her to bed.

Raakhee, what are your top three tips you can give that has helped during your business journey?

Be organised

Know who to speak to for advice

Sometimes it’s ok to have the afternoon off.

Great advice.  Finding clients can be hard when you're just starting out.  How have you found clients?

I was very active in Facebook groups with other Virtual Assistants, that is how I got my first client.

Awesome!  Facebook groups are a great way to find clients.  What was your strategy to charge what you deserve in your business?

I spoke to other VAs and got advice from them. I looked at how much I need to keep my bills cover and worked from there.

How were you able to get your spouse on board with your vision?

My husband is very supportive.

How do you manage your time and to-do lists?  

I love Hootsuite. I use it to schedule all my social media. I also use Dropbox a lot.

I use HootSuite and Dropbox also.  So, what’s next for your business?  Are you working towards going full-time?  Anything else you’d like to share?

I’ve only been full-time for a month. My plan is to attend more networking events. From the events I have been to, I immediately realised how powerful networking is.

 

Thank you so much, Raakhee.  If you want to learn more about Raakhee, check out her website:

RS Virtual Assistant

I'd love to feature other side hustlers so reach out and contact me.

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Regina Lewis

Regina's passion is helping a new generation of virtual assistants launch their new business or take their business to the next level.  When she's not working at the local ministry, blogging or tinkering with Squarespace, she enjoys spending time with her family, watching "Downton Abbey" to the point that it irritates her boys and people-watching from her front porch.