Meet Abigail Langridge

Abigail Langridge Poppins PA

So Who am I?

I’m a girl with a dream….cliche, ‘tis true!

I remember as clear as day, sitting at my desk in my office near Liverpool street, longing for there to be more than where I was sat right then. Everything was white. The walls, the desks, nothing had any character. It was soulless or maybe that’s how I felt after having my third child. I had always worked part time since having children as my husband worked shifts and we hadn’t much of a support network to help with the children.

After I had gone back, I had changed. Within hours of giving birth I sat on the maternity ward staring out the window knowing that I was leaving my job.

The research began. I didn’t know what I was going to do but I was convinced that I needed to unleash whatever it was itching to get out. I came across the term ‘VA’ – didn’t know what it was or what it entailed but it had spiked my interest. Within a very short time, I had a website made (from a dear friend’s hubby!) and I thought ‘wow, that’s it! I’m free!’. Well, if only I knew.

The networking began…I hadn’t ever networked before, my brain (or someone who had taken over my brain) was shouting ‘what on earth are you doing?’. I kept going.

I picked up QC’s and some other self-employed solicitors, it was going well…..until I realised that I now ran a business.

When I left my corporate role I had assumed that I would work alongside others in the same industry. I found this out as I wasn’t happy. The work I was doing I didn’t particularly like and I was procrastinating. Three huge red flags (she says nearly 6 years later!).

I pivoted into Property, I had always had an interest in Property and it sits very well next to the legal world. Again, a few red flags came up over the time I worked with people in the property world. Procrastination hadn’t gone away, I wasn’t enjoying the work and it still felt like ‘work’.

I knew I hadn’t found what I had left London for.

I was not to be defeated!

I spent ages looking at job sites, I wasn’t looking for another employed role although the thought had crossed my mind! I was researching into other industries and looking for something that may have been ‘it’.

I kept seeing the term ‘Private PA’.

The job descriptions looked amazing, really appealed to me, I was getting excited…….I felt like I was getting somewhere.

There was one particular one, a part time one, not too far from where I lived.

I remember the interview vividly. The house was adorable, in the quaint countryside. I wanted this job. It was exactly what I wanted AND knew with all my being that it was what I had been searching for. My gut instinct was on fire.

Yes, I got the role.

This was the role that determined today’s niche in my business. I thrived liked never before. Working alongside a wonderful elderly lady running her private estate. Managing her staff, supporting her to recruit others. I opened the post, (when I went on holiday, no post was opened at all – and I was gone a month!). I loved the responsibility and reliance the family had on me to support the client. She was truly wonderful.

We used to sit together around 4pm going through that day’s post, discussing next steps and she used to confide in me.

When there were meetings with her tax consultants or solicitors, she always requested for me to be there as she trusted me. I used to translate it all back into basics, so she could understand what they were saying, industry jargon just went over her head (and mine sometimes!) Well, she was in her early 80’s after all but she was incredible in many ways.

Sadly, she had a nasty fall and died a few months later. I had visited her in hospital and supported the family for as long as I could. I worked with her for a couple of years.

Her son and daughter left me amazing testimonials (read them here).

So in her honour and in thanks to her for giving me such a wonderful experience, I set about creating my niche. I now knew that I shouldn’t be working with anyone!

I did a LOT of ground work.

I started to network again now I had a far clearer outlook on who I wanted to work with, rather than what work I could get!

I started to meet some really lovely people, people I could relate to and people I knew were aligned with the ground work I had done.

One evening one of these lovely people, rang me. She said she had a friend who was run ragged. She had a very demanding role and was severely struggling to keep all the plates spinning.

This lady who was referred to me is still a client today.

It’s true what they say, success is a journey – not a destination.

Looking back, I can feel frustrated but we don’t know what we don’t know! I didn’t know anyone else running a business, or who to ask or what to do. But what I did know was that I had to keep going as the only alternative was an employed role like the one I came from, and I knew that was one place I was not returning!

I’m sure if you run your own business, I am almost positive that you can resonate with me. I would love to hear from you, tell me about your journey, click here to email me – has it all been plain sailing? I would guess not!

If you would like to find out more about what you can outsource to a lifestyle va, here is my free guide on exactly that!

Free Guide