Our Guest

Paula Edwards

Hosts

Shelley Fishel

Jo Brianti

Show Notes

Today we’re in conversation with Paula Edwards, small business operations expert, mentor and founder of Advance Virtual Assistants. Paula started her business in 2016 armed with many years of valuable experience working in management roles across the country. 

Paula’s fascinating story of life as a military wife is the backdrop to her success as an online business owner and in this episode, we chart her impressive progression from VA to Online Business Manager and more recently, Director of Operations roles for her growing client base. 

Paula also shares her tips for new VA’s with us – how getting the right mindset is key to success in the early stages of setting up your business; how showing good leadership to your clients will help you establish trust from the start and how this trust can be built upon by delivering on your promises, being honest about your suitability and staying true to your core values. 

Our Guest - Paula Edwards

Paula Edwards is the founder of Advance Virtual Assistants (AVA). She is the Director of Operations and a VA Mentor and Trainer with a growing team of VA Associates supporting the clients at AVA. Paula has held administrative, compliance, project management and managerial roles across a variety of industries in the public, private and charitable sectors.

During her career, she has gained a vast array of skills and experience in both large corporations and smaller family-run businesses. All of which has contributed to the success of AVA, following its inception in 2017. Since its launch, AVA has assisted businesses in the introduction of robust strategy covering the seven strategic pillars and the ongoing support from both her and her team has facilitated success and has engendered a holistic approach to business.

Paula passionately believes in empowering women in business. She created the Advance Virtual Assistants Academy (AVAA) to provide training and mentoring to aspiring VAs. Through the AVAA, Paula encourages VAs to pursue their preferred work-life balance and an income and a growth mindset to fast-track their careers in business. The AVAA facilitates a Facebook group to provide free support, advice and a safe online collaborative space to share knowledge to aid professional development.

Paula’s WHY has always been her value FREEDOM; an optimal work-life balance between her family and her business. Her favourite way to spend time outside of the business is to have all five of her family together, under one roof. Additionally, Paula is a self-confessed (slightly) mad dog person who adores the family’s two miniature, long-haired dachshunds, Boris and Henry!

You will learn

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The session was well structured and the explanation was very clear. It was amazing how Shelley managed to squeeze so much info in just one hour and a half! Colin’s support and contributions were also very valuable, and so were “Virtual Veronica”‘s. Thank you for a most interesting and useful training session at the Miss Jones Virtual Summit!

Laura Carizzo- Royal Norwegian Embassy in Argentina

I haven’t used PowerPoint in 20 years, this has really boosted my confidence.

Lyn Parker

Course is packed with so much valuable information in a easy-to-understand and follow language, even for a complete beginner. I can respect the fact that sometimes it’s very hard for an expert to break the information down to basics. but Shelley has done it brilliantly. I was sure that I knew quite a bit but Shelley has proven me wrong even at the very beginning of the basics of PowerPoint. Lessons are short and precise which allowed me to easily transfer the new skill into practice without being overwhelmed and to carry on adding on more with each lesson. I had so many ‘Aha!’ moments and for most of them I couldn’t believe I used to pay graphic designer to do it for me, now, thanks to Shelley, I am looking forward to creating, designing, converting my presentations all by myself!

Iva Freeman – Vertex Human Capital

Shelley was very thorough and knew a lot of tip’s for using Teams, thank you 🙂

James O’Connor – Cavannah Homes

Very informative, constantly getting everyone in the meeting involved, loved every bit of it!

Dylan Teal Hopkins – Cavannah Homes
Fantastic and informative training and great to see all of the exciting functions with Microsoft Teams.
Laura Rigby – The Apprenticeship College
Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.
Leigh Dowling – Innuous

Microsoft Teams One to One Training Session

Shelley was approachable, easy to work with, and agile with answering questions to apply the session to my specific needs

Melissa Marshall – Present Your Science

A course on Outlook had been on the top of my list when Shelley asked VA’s what they wanted to learn.

It was a real case of ‘so that’s how you do it’ or ‘I never knew that’. I have to say that I learnt so many great tips it has definitely improved the way I work in Outlook and my inbox is looking colourful and organised and I can’t wait to share this knowledge with my clients.

Jacqueline Leake – JLeake VA Services – Outlook

A great course with lots of examples and step by step instructions. I can now confidently create infographics and as a bonus, I learnt a lot of new PowerPoint functionality that will enhance all my PowerPoint work and save me so much time.

Jessica Bailey – Integral Resource

I really like Shelley’s courses. She has a clear and easy to follow teaching style. In ‘How to Create Fillable Forms’ I’ve learned about the functions of the Developer ribbon which will mean I’ll be able to create a bespoke Returns Form for a client who has an online shop

Freya Henderson – Virtual Office Orkney

Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.

Sarah Clements – Inuous

Absolutely superb course, easy to follow and to refer back whilst putting it all into practice! I was unaware of the extent you can customise a presentation and it’s just made me want to know more – what’s next Shelley?

Denise Williams

I thought I had a pretty good grasp of Outlook until I did this course! In her videos, Shelley is clear and concise, and the language she uses is straightforward and jargon-free. Each module is broken down into manageable chunks, which helps keep your attention and means the course is easy to fit in around other commitments. I’ve created email templates and implemented rules that are already saving me time, and as all the other things I’ve learnt start to become second nature, the positive impact on my efficiency is fast becoming clear. This course has been incredibly beneficial and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to strengthen their skills and boost productivity.

Pip Doleman VA

I thought I knew Powerpoint really well, but I wanted to specifically learn how to use Powerpoint to create better infographics, easily and quickly. Shelley explains everything in a very logical and clear way, so I understood everything the first time I heard it. The most useful thing I learnt was that Powerpoint can do so much more than I thought it could. By also using the short cuts that Shelley showed me I am much quicker than I have ever been and I thought I was already quick!

Susan Marot

Shelley Fishel of Tomorrow’s VA has a wealth of experience in Microsoft Office. I met her in person 2 years ago at the PA Show in London. I also saw her in action in a fab workshop and knew she was the whizz that everyone had told me she was. I have since bought a lifetime access to her HUB and all the courses in there are a MUST if you are a VA on a mission. The courses will give you confidence in all the Office 365 components and will catapult you to dizzy heights

Alex Hughes