Who is Kiera Lacy? That is a loaded question that I could probably write a book about but I will try to keep is semi-short!
I am an Online Business Manager (OBM) with a passion for supporting and helping entrepreneurs build their business. I have worked in a variety of industries from banking to real estate and non-profits to project management. Over the past 10 years, I have grown from a basic administrative assistant to an OBM specializing in business development support and team management.
I was born in Oceanside California and raised in Amador County California along the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. Growing up in a county with only one stop sign and miles of farmland gave me the childhood every parent dreams of. I raised and showed Nubian goats and pigs in 4-H and FFA. As most country kids do I dreamed of moving to the city and running my own business but then…. life happened. I fell in love with my husband to be! We started dating my senior year in high school and then moved to Chico to start our “adult” lives. We soon moved to Sacramento CA where I worked for a bank as a services representative, the position grew into me training tellers and staff on the new software and managing the teller line. Though I loved working there and was on track to be a branch manager we decided to buy a house and move back to our mountain hometown of Volcano CA.
After settling into our new home I was offered a position as an office assistant with a local title company where I learned the process of real estate closing and working with the county offices. After 6 months I was given an agent position where I was responsible for tracking transactions. Because of budget cuts, I was laid off but fortunately, I was then offered a part-time independent contractor position as an office manager for a real estate company located in Jackson, CA. I managed the website, updated MLS, created marketing brochures, tracked transactions, worked with agents on client relations and assisted with onboarding new RE agents. Because I was still in the mindset of needing an employee position I decided to take a full-time position with a child care non-profit as an executive assistant. I supported all the coordinators with any needs such as organizing child care events, creating reports, attending conferences and contacting providers or clients. I maintained all office organization from petty cash, lending library database, calendars, supplies and files. I was then promoted to Resources and Referral Coordinator. I worked with other coordinators to make sure our child care providers had resources they needed and were up to date on training. I worked with parents to assess their eligibility for support, advocated with the state to keep or increase our funding, created funding reports and work with other agencies to improve our services to the county. At the time of the promotion I also had our first child in October changing my life forever!
Because we had started our family we started to consider moving out of state to an area that was close to how our childhood was, in the country and in a county with no stop lights! My husband and his parents started taking trips to Montana looking all over the western side in the mountains to find a perfect location for our little family. After the 2nd trip they stumbled along the beautiful Clark Fork River to Sanders County.
We ended up buying a 20-acre plot with a house that was ready to move into so within 2 months we went from “just looking” to moving 1,001 miles. We didn’t know anyone or even what we were going to do but we took a leap of faith and haven’t regretted it once. I became a stay at home mom and we started a farm where I milked cow, made cheese & bread every day while my ol’man raised pigs, chickens, ducks, geese and grow a garden. We went from living a life of working for other people to working for ourselves…. it is a hard way to live but we learned more about life in those first years in MT than we ever would have in CA.
After 3 years of being a farmer, I got pregnant with our second little one, that is when I got hit with the reality that I wasn’t really happy with what I was doing. Yes, I do love my animal and don’t think I will ever be animal free but there was an itch to work again. On the other hand, I did NOT want to leave my boys, I like that I could be at home with them… so what to do? I started googling… seeing if there was a way to use my skills to work from home. EUREKA! Virtual Assistant.
I started working as a virtual assistant for friends and family or on referral. I was building databases and marketing material for realtors, creating websites for small businesses and whatever else came along. Then I got my first position as a VA team manager working for a company out of Texas. That is when I started to really enjoy what I did. I like training and helping new VA’s learn skills, partner them with clients and manage the client/VA relationships. I also LOVED supporting a CEO with all the business development that is required to grow and maintain a business. I interviewed, onboard and trained new VA’s. Created procedures, assisted in marketing plans and implementation, research on services and software testing. I worked with that company for 10 months. Unfortunately, I also learned what not to do when building a business, you have to be proactive in taking care of your VA’s and clients. I ended up terminating my contract with this company due to nonpayment for hours worked. While I was contemplating leaving this company I was also talking with another company and was hired as a Services Manager for Eunice Clarke, Executive Advantage Virtual Online. Working with this CEO has been great, she has taught me more than she probably realizes and has given me confidence in myself.
Since becoming a VA I have learned more than I thought possible about managing a business, growing a team, marketing to your ideal clients and building the foundation for a successful business and so…. an OBM was born! I now specialize in managing all the aspects of a business from Social Media and Client Relations to Team Management and Technical Support.
I believe in not only helping build the business but also taking care of the client because I know how lonely being an entrepreneur can be. Choosing to grow your own business can be overwhelming and stressful with a lot of twists and turns in the road. So many times I wanted to talk to someone about what was happening but no one around me was going through the same thing. I have been fortunate enough to have found support from other entrepreneurs that has given me comfort and courage to keep reaching for my dreams of having a successful business.