My name is Sue Canfield. When I was a young girl I knew I wanted to become the ‘world’s best secretary’. My room was at one end of the house and from my open doorway I could look down the hallway that ran the length of the house with rooms on each side. I would sit at my desk in my open doorway looking down the hall and pretend to be working as a secretary for the top floor executives of a corporation. The idea of working for several different people at once doing a variety of tasks was very exciting to me.
My dream of being the world’s best secretary to many executives at once juggling a variety of responsibilities came true in 1995 when I worked at International Office Supply. In addition to working in the accounting department (the controller was Joel, who is now my husband), I was the assistant to the Owner and President of the company and administrative assistant to the ten persons on the sales team. Everyday I did something different for several different people.
A couple of years later I started working for L&M Tire Co., dba Express Tire, in the accounting department training to take over the Accounts Payable Manager’s position when she retired. But when the Owner of the company discovered I knew shorthand, the position of Special Projects Coordinator was created and my responsibilities changed. Now in addition to handling the corporate payables and receivables and assisting the Director of Finance, my tasks included administrative support to the Owner, President, Sales Managers and sales team.
The wide variety of tasks I handled during the seven years I worked for Express Tire really prepared me for the work I now do as a virtual assistant.
After moving from southern California to northern California in 2003 and having our little girl in 2004, I did not want to work for anyone else anymore. I was working for my husband as General Manager of Spinhead Web Design, handling the accounting, preparing proposals and maintaining websites.
One day in 2005 my husband, Joel, told me of a colleague, Marcy, who needed an assistant to work from home making phone calls, preparing documents, sending emails, etc. Joel encouraged me to talk with Marcy and offer my services. So we talked, I set my rate and we got to work. At the time I had never heard of a virtual assistant.
For nearly a year after falling seriously ill in 2006 I was unable to work. However early in 2007 another colleague of Joel’s needed some work done and I added her as a client. By mid-year I heard the term virtual assistant for the first time, realized that’s what I was, set up my website and started marketing my services. From those two clients mid-2007, our client list has grown to over 30 in early 2009.
I love being able to work for so many different people doing such a variety of things.
My goal is to help small business owners and solopreneurs, especially other women entrepreneurs, to succeed in business. It’s one reason why I helped found the Northern California Association of Entreprenuers in 2007.
My hobbies include poetry, reading, planning a move to Ireland someday, and spending time with friends and family.
I look forward to helping you grow your business!
Sue L Canfield
Virtual Office Administrator