We had the good fortune of connecting with Melanie Ammerman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Melanie, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
The role of risk taking in my life has been tied to pursing my interests and truly making the time and effort to find a path I was happy with. I had many different interests and if I wanted to explore them in order to build the life that felt right to me, I had to first become okay with the fact that I was not going to follow a “conventional” lifestyle. I allowed myself the freedom to explore what the world had to offer other than what was right in front of me. It was very difficult at times – leaving family, friends, the places I knew, etc. But in the end, it was well worth it because I now live without the regret I might have if I didn’t allow myself that. I would have had a lot more “what ifs” in my mind that wouldn’t have sit well with me. I went through a lot of struggles and confusing times, but in the end, those risks I took led me to the person I am and the path I’ve gone that I’m happy with today.
What should our readers know about your business?
My business is called VaVa Virtual Assistants, which exists to empower growth-oriented small business owners and entrepreneurs to live the lives they want by doing the work they love. We offer administrative and marketing support to eliminate the daily time wasters so they can get back to the things and people they love. We are a boutique agency that is very client-centered as we focus on becoming that strategic partner for our clients to help their businesses grow and thrive. We have a team of all U.S.-based assistants that are all professionals in their field with many years of experience. Clients each get paired with a dedicated assistant to become their right-hand person on the daily, which is a match made by the intricate onboarding process conducted by our stellar Account Success Managers and Recruiter and Team Manager. VaVa is coming up on its 10th birthday this year and it has taken us many years to build the proven structure and offerings it has today. It started with just Lauren and me for several years, and we slowly started to grow our team to offer a wider range of services at a higher skill level. We then added account managers to make sure quality assurance was in place, and we now have a dedicated recruiter that ensures we are equipped to handle any client that comes our way. It was tough to know what to do or how to do it as Lauren and I were learning as we were building everything out. We are so proud of what it is today and how we can really help business owners and entrepreneurs do what they love and grow the company they’ve always wanted. If you take what Lauren and I did with VaVa as a lesson, it would show that if you invest in the right people and positions, it can take your business further than you ever thought it would go. It’s hard to part with money, especially when it’s so hard-earned through the company you dedicate so much to, but if you flip the mindset that it’s an investment versus an expense, it really opens up your mind to more opportunities for your business. The first year we added to our team, our company doubled in revenue, which was such a game-changing return on investment. If you start slow and take your time, it will pay off to get yourself the support you really need to build a growing and lasting business.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I really love anything outdoors that also involves some kind of physical workout. Living in the Atlanta area now, and Los Angeles previously, hiking is a main activity I do almost every day. It helps that I have my awesome pup to go along with me! So, I would take my friend to one of the nearby hikes with great scenery first – Sweetwater Creek, Kennesaw Mountain, Stone Mountain, etc. I also love to go out to dinner with my loved ones – great food and great conversation can’t be beat. A few of my favorites in Atlanta are Bread and Butterfly (for brunch) and Forza Storico (for dinner). I also really like Piedmont Park for a relaxing day outside, or a stroll along the Beltline or Silver Comet Trail.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I am so fortunate to have many supportive and great people in my life, but the one that stands out the most as far as setting my current path in life in motion is my wonderful friend, Lindsay Audette. She really helped me see that life could be explored and lived how I wanted and not determined by what others told me or expected of me. She showed me through the courage she had to follow her dreams, which was such an inspiration to me and almost the “go ahead” I needed to pursue my dreams as well. She was so supportive of everything I did and was close to my side for so much of it. She was even the catalyst that helped my business partner, Lauren, and I create the successful company we have today. Lindsay always believed in me and wanted the best for me and my life. I am constantly grateful to have met her and so thankful I still have her so close to me in my life today.