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 WAHM > Work at Home Mom Business Success Stories > Mel S.

Mel S. of Essential Office Support -  Internet Based Mom

Helping home-based business owners take control of their administrative tasks is Melody Spier's goal with her business, Essential Office Support. Mel recognized that while typically home-based businesses start out as one-man/woman shows, soon there is less and less time to work on business-building projects, because, the administrative tasks start to consume much of the work day.

Projects will get pushed aside or work hours start getting longer and longer, even overflowing into the weekend and then there is less time for family and fun. And even though these business owners may need assistance, they might not have the budget for, or even the need for, a full-time assistant. They also might not want to bring someone into their home. This is where her business fills their need.

"As a virtual administrative assistant, I can work a few hours a month to a few hours a day, whatever the business owner needs. I offer a wide range of services to help them build and manage their online business. Everything from updating websites and helping with product development to managing customer service, whatever the customer needs, I try to accommodate them."


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Mel got started in this business by accident. In fact, she didn’t even know that there was such a thing as a “Virtual Administrative Assistant” until well after she was offering her services.

Several years ago, she decided that she was tired of seeing colleagues more than family.

So she quit her office manager job and started working as a customer service rep for a shop-at-home TV network.


This led to a few other at-home jobs, but, they were unpredictable, didn’t pay very well and still put a lot of demands on Mel's time.

With her background in office management, she decided to toss that into the mix and offer administrative services to help supplement my income. It didn’t take long for her to realize that with the administrative tasks, she could make more money, in less time and have more control of her schedule. About the same time, her friend started talking about becoming a “virtual assistant”. Her friend told her that she should start a VA business since she was already offering the services.

"Up to this point, I didn’t know such a title existed. Once I did a bit of research, I realized that she was right; I had in fact been offering these services without the title or official business name. So I dropped the other jobs and opened my virtual business doors."

Mel is proud of still being at home after six years and earning a good income.  She thinks that being able to watch her kids grow up is awesome!  When she thinks back to when she first quit her job, she remembers wondering if she could really earn a living from home.  Now, as she pats herself on the back, she can say, "Yes! I did it!  It's my business, built from the ground up and I did it all by myself!"

The biggest struggle for Mel has been learning when to say “No” and sticking to a schedule. She says that she is a workaholic.  "I love being busy and feeling productive so the more work I accept, the busier I get, and the happier I am.  However, the point to working from home is to have more time with my family and to enjoy watching my kids grow up; therefore I had to teach myself to say no when my schedule was full… and not just to say no but to also walk away when my day was done, even if it meant leaving unfinished work on my desk.  Saying no and walking away was really hard for me at first but I’m glad I did it. My son moved away from home this week. He’s officially starting his new life as an adult and I’m thankful for all the extra time we’ve been able to spend together these past six years".  

Mel's advice is to decide on a schedule that works for you and your family. She says you don’t have to work 9am-5pm. "Try one schedule for a few months and if it doesn’t work, try something else. Eventually, you’ll find one that works well for you.  Determine how many hours you need to work each day and only work that many. Don’t sit at your computer eight hours if you can complete the work in four. You’ll become less productive and may develop burn-out if you do.  Learn when you’re most productive. This might be 5am – 8am or perhaps 9pm – midnight. Try to do the majority of your work during this time"  

She also suggests finding a mentor. "Choose someone who has the same type of business as you and has been in business for a while. Look for someone who has knowledge in areas in which you want to learn. Read what they have to say, follow their example and ask questions. The more you can learn from these people, the fewer mistakes you will make."  

Mel and her friend, Kit Singleton recently launched a program that teaches people how to start and operate a successful Virtual Assistance business. They share information, business forms, tips they’ve learned over the years and a whole lot more. If someone is interested in becoming a Virtual Assistant, they are welcome to join the ladies at  


> Visit Mel online at

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