Jamila Souffrant 0:00
You're listening to the Journey To Launch Podcast: From Side Hustle To Million Dollar VA, An Agency Business With Tasha Booth.
T-minus 10 seconds. Welcome to the Journey To Launch Podcast with your host, Jamila Souffrant. As a money expert who walks her talk, she helps brave Journeyers like you get out of debt, save, invest and build real wealth. Join her on the Journey To Launch to financial freedom in five, four, three, two, one.
Jamila Souffrant 0:39
Hey, Hey, Hey, Journeyers. Welcome to the Journey To Launch Podcast. Back with another interview for you. Now, today on the podcast, I have Tasha Booth. Tasha is an agency owner, coach and podcaster. She is the founder and CEO of The Launch Guild, a full service launch support agency, working with established coaches, and course creators. And she has a team of over 20 members strong. She is doing her thing. You'll hear in the episode, so I won't spoil it too much, but I met Tasha really early in my journey, when starting Journey To Launch. It was literally a blog at the moment. I don't even think I had the podcast yet when I first met Tasha. And she was also in the personal finance space. She was blogging about paying off debt. And then she became a VA to help give her money as a side hustle to pay off her debt. Now she is blossomed into an agency owner. So we'll talk about what that means, where she now has a seven- figure business. So I just think the come up story for Tasha is amazing and how she teaches people to do what she did. Whether you just want to stay a VA and earn money doing that, or to build upon that and have your own agency, where you have other VAs working for you. It's a really fascinating story, so I really can't wait for you to hear it.
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If you want the episode show notes for this episode, go to journeytolaunch.com, or click the description of wherever you're listening to this episode. In the show notes, you'll get the transcribed version of the conversation, the links that we mentioned, and so much more. Also, whether you are An OG Journeyer or are brand new to the podcast, I've created a FREE Jumpstart Guide to help you on your financial freedom journey. It includes the top episodes to listen to, stages to go through to reach financial freedom, resources, and so much more. You can go to journeytolaunch.com/jumpstart to get your guide right now. Okay, let's hop into the episode.
Hey, Journeyers! Okay, so I have someone on the podcasts that I'm really excited to have on, because Tasha, well, I'll just give up your name, Tasha Booth of The Launch Guild. I've known you online since I started Journey To Launch, like, at the very beginning. And I've seen you blossom into this force of a businesswoman. Who-- is your company at seven-figures yet?
Tasha Booth 4:28
We are at seven figures. It's crazy!
Jamila Souffrant 4:31
At seven-figures. I feel like there's so many ways we can take this conversation. But, welcome to the podcast, Tasha Booth!
Tasha Booth 4:37
Thank you for having me! I love the fact that, like, our journeys started around the same time and, like, we've been parallel, kind of, following each other along the way. It's been great!
Jamila Souffrant 4:46
Yeah! So, I want to take it back there, because one of the reasons why this was so interesting for me to profile and show Tasha's story is because you started in, sort of, the personal finance space, right?
Tasha Booth 4:57
Yeah. Yeah. So my first websitewas called The Frugal Fit Girl. And it was all about frugal, healthy living. And I was, I was, like, sharing my own debt free journey, or, like, getting towards debt free and everything, and yeah, that's, that's kind of how this all started.
Jamila Souffrant 5:13
Right and then I remember you started to make transitions and at that point, I had just started Journey To Launch, like, it was a blog, and then I haven't just started the podcast a year later, but you were blogging at this, and I think actually got introduced to you through my sister, Shaina. I think you guys were in something together, right? Then, I saw that you were going to become a VA and you started doing Virtual Assistant work. So it was like you were switching a bit and, just to bring us to where we are now, so that we can see, like, why this is such an amazing story. Is, you became a VA, then you created an agency, right, for VAs. So, like, you employed and then other VAs and then taught people how to be VAs. And now you have like your own, what do you call what your thing is?
Tasha Booth 5:53
Yeah. So I always tell people that we have, kind of, two sides of the business. So we have the agency still. And we do full-service launch support. So we no longer do, like, ongoing VA stuff. We always work with launches for coaches and course creators. And then the other side of my business, which I just call the Tasha Booth side, is I have one certification for launch managers, and then also a 12 month program for those who are building agency model businesses. So that's all of it.
Jamila Souffrant 6:20
And then how much is your business now earning in revenue?
Tasha Booth 6:23
Yeah. So this is our first seven-figure year. So we're projected to make seven-figures this year. Last year, we hit our first million dollar, like, for the last three years. So total in our business since it first started. So, yeah.
Jamila Souffrant 6:37
Right! And this, that's amazing! And there's so many places-- I love that you transitioned and you pivoted. Like you started in the personal finance space with a blog, realized your gifts and strengths and decided to pivot again. And then, like, kept just building upon and now having, like, a million dollar business. So I think this will be inspiring for a lot of people listening to this story.
Tasha Booth 6:59
Yeah. And I think I've always been good at, like, seeing the need, and being able to fill the need. Like create something that fills the need, you know? And so, when I started my hobby blog, The Frugal Fit Girl way back when, like, I thought that the need for my audience was that, like, they wanted to see this journey, but they really wanted to see, like, how I was doing it. And so, the way that I decided to, you know, pay off some credit card and student loan debt, was to have my side hustle be virtual assistance. And then once that kind of started hitting and you know, turning into something bigger, that was the thing that people were asking me, like, "How did you do that?"
Jamila Souffrant 7:34
Yeah. And so, tell me about making the transition. It sounds like you just followed the natural steps. Like, initially, it was literally just as a side hustle to pay off your debt.
Tasha Booth 7:44
I, kind of, really just jumped into it, like, on a weekend, because, you know, as, as bloggers, I'm sure you had the same experience of where you just have to learn a lot of, like, programs and processes, and all of these things. And I was in a lot of Facebook groups with other bloggers who were clueless about using MailChimp, or, you know, Squarespace, or any of those things. And they were looking for VAs. So I was, like, "Why don't, I, you know, try this." And it just grew, really, really, really quickly, which is, kind of, why and how I decided to make that transition, because it was like, "Oh, this, this is the thing that's working for me." So it was an easy transition.
Jamila Souffrant 8:27
And it's so smart, because I find that, like, if you were to stay in the personal finance space, because here's the thing: I feel like there's, like, different people within this space, like personal finance. Like you can either share your own, just, story to getting out of debt and investing and then kind of create content around that. Or you can teach people, kind of, like, you know, about budgeting and investing, right? Like that. Or, you can, like, have like a business component to it. Where, like you said, like, you're talking about a side hustle. But then that side hustle becomes something you can leverage. That, to me is actually more, I don't want to say valuable, but it's more marketable than sometimes the personal finance space. So talk about that a little bit.
Tasha Booth 7:45
How are you doing that part? So how did you know that VA was the thing you should, like, lead into? How did you get started in that field?
Yeah and I think that that is exactly what happened for me, because of the fact that, like, yes, people wanted to know, like, "Oh, while you're doing it," but they also wanted to know, like, "How exactly are you doing it?" And so, there was just a subsection of people that, like, as I started sharing my story, they started, like, asking me more and more questions, which is the reason why my podcast is called "How She Did That," because that was the question, you know? So yeah, it was just a matter of being a couple steps ahead of the community that I was growing and building and then seeing what's possible. And I think the other thing that has been really cool to see is that a lot of times in the VA space, when I first came into the VA space, I saw a lot of people who are like, "Oh $5,000, like, that's, that's the limit." That's, kind of, like, the pinnacle of what you can make each month as a VA. And now, I'm showing people that, that's not true. That, like, you know, you can do whatever you decide to do, you just have to be willing to put in the work for it also.
Jamila Souffrant 10:04
Right. Now we should give a timeline. How long ago was it that you started to be a VA?
Tasha Booth 10:10
So I started my business in late 2016. 2018 was my full, first full time year.
Jamila Souffrant 10:16
Right, and you started to hire people?
Tasha Booth 10:18
Yeah, so I started hiring around, I think, early 2018. Didn't really think that it was gonna be an agency at first, like, I didn't really understand that agency model, but once I saw the, like, how I could free up my time, and still build something bigger than me. That was when I was, like, agency all the way in.
Jamila Souffrant 10:38
So explain what the agency model is and then how you actually-- because I want to understand for someone who is, one, they might just be at the step of their thinking about being a virtual assistant to pay down debt, or like you did, like as a side hustle. But then we can talk to what makes you switch to agency model and what that means.
Tasha Booth 10:55
Yeah, so in in our agency model, I don't do any of the work for clients anymore. I actually don't talk to most of our clients on a like day-to-day basis kind of thing. So I have an entire team. So my team is 30 people at this point now. Five of them are full time, I think we have three part time, and the rest of them are contractors. And basically what we do is we have, kind of, teams that are pods, that work with our clients. So we have, like, a project manager, who is the primary point of contact for our clients. And then we have, like, a whole team that's doing, like, the work and the design and tech and all that stuff for their launches. But it really becomes a model where the time isn't dependent on me. And the amount that we can grow isn't dependent on my schedule, because if we want to grow larger, or if we want to increase the number of clients that we're working with, we just hire more people, basically. So that's been really great for me, because I think one of the things that was kind of a disconnect between a lot of times what people say in terms of how you can, like, grow your agency and what actually happens, is that the time freedom isn't always really there, because you have people depending on you. So at this point, I can go on vacation, I can, like, today, I'm talking to you, and then I have a free day for the rest of the day. And like that's amazing.
Jamila Souffrant 12:07
Yes, yes. I'm glad you mentioned that, because, you know, there's a point in which you're trading your time for money, which isb like, you know, when you're doing kind of the service-baed work, and it's fine, like, if it's like a finite amount of time, and you have, like, maybe,just a goal you want to hit. But I find that some people kind of sell that dream of oh, it's like, you can free up your time and like not at that stage... unless you have the ability to hire people. And I want to talk about making those transitions, because I feel like, there has to be some mental leaps. Like, I'm sure there are a VAs that you started out with, that could be doing what you're doing, but there's something blocking them from that. Maybe they just don't have the desire. That's, that's fine, too. But literally, like, there's like a mindset thing, or just something they need to think through. And I want to help someone who may be stuck there right now who can get to this level.
Tasha Booth 12:55
Yeah. And, and I tell people that all the time that. Like, my secret sauce, you know, what makes me special, is the fact that I was consistent. That I kept going when other people stopped, and that I worked when other people quit, you know, and that's hard to hear. But at the same time, I think that it makes it accessible for anybody, because it's just a matter of, like, keep going, and you can and will get there if you keep going. I think the other thing is you hit the nail on the head with the mindset piece. Because anytime you have a new level level, there's new gremlins coming up in terms of, "Is this possible?" Like, how can I sustain-- like that's, that's my big one that I still work on. Like, "How can I sustain this? Is a sustainable?" And I think it's a matter of surrounding yourself with people who are doing it. I always like to say I like to be the small or medium fish in a bigger pond, instead of the big fish, because then there are people around me that I'm like, ", wow. Like that's possible?" Like, you know, I got excited the first time I had a six-figure month, but I'm around people who have, like, seven-figure months. And I'm like, "Wow! Seven-figure months are possible? Okay!" If I, if I see other people doing it, then I know that it's possible for me.
Jamila Souffrant 14:08
Yeah. That's such a good point about surrounding yourself with people doing this. And I think too, what I realized about you, when I saw you growing, was you also were paying for programs and to be in spaces. And I think that could be a little scary, because if you're coming-- I, I'm just saying when I first came into the personal finance space, I felt it was more about constriction and, like, not spending money. And that honestly, what has helped me grow, has been spending money. Investing in myself in trainings, and I think for you it's been similar, right?
Tasha Booth 14:37
Absolutely. Yeah. And I tell people all the time that, like, I invested in my first coach three months into my business, and that was a huge leap for me, because I wasn't making a ton of money then and that coach wasn't that expensive. But then when I went full time, I was probably making about $8,000 a month in my business, when I went full time and I invested in a coach that was $15,000 a year. So, $1,500 a month, or I guess, $18,000, I don't do math. Whatever it is. It was $1,500 a month, which was a big chunk of my income, especially because it was still growing. And I didn't know, like, if I was gonna always have $8,000 months. If it was gonna go down, up, you know? But I know that when I invest and, kind of, put that money down, I am all in and I'm willing and ready to do the work. And, and I liken it to always, like, having a guide that you're hiking with, basically, and has done that hike multiple times. And why would you want to do it alone if you can have a guide that's, like, been there, done that and knows the pitfalls and can support you in, like, not hitting those pitfalls?
Right, right. Of course, like, you have to do your research. And make sure you're getting the right person. I would say that, you know, not every-- I've taken multiple programs or have coaches and they don't all, like, pan out to be something I continue to work with. And-- or I wouldn't say it's a loss, but it's a lesson. Like, sometimes you're going to lose money. I'm putting that in quotation marks, you know? Like, and that's part of the game.
Unknown Speaker 16:02
Yeah, absolutely. And there's been, you know, some coaches that have been better than others for me and everything. But some of my coaches, and some of my mentors, like, have been a part of my journey for, going on three to four years now. And the fact that, like, they can continue to grow with me and support me and, like, both where I was, and also where I'm headed, is absolutely amazing. So I'm a huge proponent for coaching. And I know that, like, when I invest money, I make more money,
Jamila Souffrant 16:29
Same, same. Okay, so let's talk, we'll go back to the VA space, like, and then we can move on to, kind of, like, what you're doing now, because for anyone who's interested in getting started, like, they literally, maybe they have some tech savviness. Maybe they don't, but they're like, "I just want to make extra money." How does one start when it comes to becoming a virtual assistant? And by the way, VA means virtual assistant. I don't think we said that.
Unknown Speaker 16:51
Yeah, I know, I was confused. The first time I heard the word VA too, because my husband's Air Force. So I was like, "What?" Yeah, totally different thing. Yeah. So I think it's a matter of looking at your current skill set. I really believe that anybody has a marketable skill that they can start with. And so, a lot of times my example is inbox management. Like, there are things that that you probably do, as you know, an organized person, that you take for granted that other people do well, and they don't do it well. And inbox managment is one of those examples. So many people struggle with keeping their inbox clean, replying to things on time, those sorts of things. And so if you're great at that, that's a marketable skill set that you can start with. And then as you are starting with that, supporting people with that, you're learning new skills, you're working towards improving the skills that you have. But don't think that just because you didn't come out of an admin background, or you didn't start off as an executive assistant, you can't, you know, like, become a virtual assistant. So I think it's a matter of starting where you're at. And then, like, opening your mouth and talking about your business. Like, so many times people are so quiet about their businesses, and I'm like, who's gonna hire you if nobody knows that you exist, you know?
Jamila Souffrant 18:03
Well, that's the next question. So someone says, "You know what, I'm gonna start with this." And, by the way, it's funny, like, I feel like most, like, people, like myself are doing this. Like, we need more help. Like, we need someone who's reliable. And I have a great, like, team now. It's, they're all contractors and my assistant, Johana, she, like, has her own virtual assistant, like, company too, right? And so I just find that there's so much room and necessity for people who do this work. And if you find yourself, like, wow, because, I'm a mess. My inbox is a mess. Like, I can't my DMs, like if you're writing me via DM on Instagram, like, I'm sorry to you, I get overwhelmed when I see it. Sometimes I don't respond, but I try to respond when I can, right? And it feels like for someone to come in and help manage that. Like, that's clutch. Yeah, totally. So someone's like, "All right. All right, Jamila, Tasha, like, I think I could do this." Where do they start? Like, they're not in the online world at all. Like, how do they get their first client?
Tasha Booth 19:01
Yeah. So you get your first client by putting a post out there,. basically. Like have conversations with people that are close to you, with your friends and your family. And I'm sure that even if they are none of those people are the right fit people for you. They probably know somebody who is an entrepreneur, or who has a brick and mortar business and needs some kind of virtual support in some way. So I think it's just about talking about it and, and having conversations. I know that I told, like, everyone everywhere that I was starting as a virtual assistant. And I think that the ability to really market yourself and not in a sleazy marketing way, but just in a confidence and conversation way, is going to be gold for you.
Jamila Souffrant 19:41
Right. And it can be as easy as putting a Facebook post to your friend group, right? Like, you don't have to have a business page. Like, "Hey, I'm looking to do some of this. If you need help or know someone that needs help, let me know."
Unknown Speaker 19:50
Exactly. Yeah. And that was as easy as it was for me. And then I got into some Facebook groups, specifically for entrepreneurs and everything, which also helped, because I just had conversations with them and that sort of thing. And that's how I grew it. It wasn't it wasn't hard.
Jamila Souffrant 20:06
What? Okay, so what about prices? Like what is someone? What should someone charge if they're first starting out? And I know that the range can be wide. So can we talk about that? What that range is and, kind of, what you see as the average?
Unknown Speaker 20:17
Yeah. It definitely depends on skill set, I usually suggest to any of my VA students that they start at $20 an hour, because you have to remember that you are paying yourself, you're paying your own overhead, for your own systems that you're setting up, you're paying your taxes, and you're putting a little bit away and everything too for a rainy day in terms of your business. So we want to make sure that it makes enough sense that there's a profit margin there. But $20 an hour is usually a good place to start.
Jamila Souffrant 20:43
Yeah. And then, like you said, based on your technical experience. I know, some VAs that charge, like, $40/$50.
Unknown Speaker 20:50
Oh, yeah, absolutely. Like, yeah, absolutely. $40/$50, especially if, like, you've got amazing tech skills and everything, you can definitely charge way more than that. And then we, you know, after you've been a VA for a while, a lot of people think about becoming like, launch managers, for example. Or really specializing, or online business managers, or project managers in the online space. Those can go all the way up to like I've seen $110/$120 an hour. So yeah, the sky's kind of the limit then.
Jamila Souffrant 21:18
Yeah, well, let's talk about just the different levels, because I think it's, kind of, cool to, kind of, see how you can transition. So okay, you could become a VA, charge per hour to start at $20. Then if, you know, get, you know, some skill sets together, and you can charge a little bit more, and the next step can go in a different route. You can hire VAs to work for you that then, that way you can take on more accounts, right? And that's kind of what you did.
Tasha Booth 21:43
Right, exactly, yeah.
Jamila Souffrant 21:44
Then there's, like, this other level where, like, we're talking about OBM, which is a Operations Business Manager?
Tasha Booth 21:50
Online Business Manager.
Jamila Souffrant 21:51
Online Business Manager and then, Launch Manager. Let's talk about the difference between those two things.
Tasha Booth 21:55
Yeah. So, an Online Business Manager, if you think about it, similarly to like a manager in an office, right? And so. we have the people that are implementing that. Are doing most of the tasks. And then we have the manager who is managing both the team and, kind of, the overall projects in the business. So that person is doing more higher level skill set things. So lots of, like, metrics, documentation, process documentation, as well as team management and everything. So that the business owner isn't overwhelmed. I know that for my business, once I got to about four to five people in my agency, all of a sudden, yes, I was being pulled out of day-to-day implementation. But now I had five people messaging me all day long, asking me questions, or, like, needing my feedback, or permissions, or whatever the case may be. And so that's when we, kind of, brought in Jayla Ray, who's now my Director Of Operations, but she, kind of, started in that OBM role, right? That was managing the team more so than I needed to be. So that's, kind of, the next level for that. So then after that, we have Project Manager or Launch Manager rather. And Launch Managers are more specific in that they are amazing technicians in understanding all parts of launches. So they are supporting a team for a client's launch, whether it be, like, a course launcher, program launch, or something like that. And they fully understand, like, all the deliverables, everything that needs to be done, when it needs to be done. So they're really skilled and trained, specifically around launches.
Jamila Souffrant 23:22
Thank you for just giving us, like, these descriptions of each of those things.
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It sounds like it's best to first, have some experience, like, with the VA side and just, like, assisting in an agency, before you kind of move up the ladder, but there's money to be made in business like this, right?
Absolutely. And, and yeah, I'm glad you said that, like, you should probably start with, like, the doing with the VA implementation pieces. Because some people come to me and they're like, "Well, I just want to skip all that. And I want to become either an OBM," or, "I just want to skip all that and I want to start an agency," And I'm like, "You don't have the data or understanding of, like, what it takes or what's needed to be able to create great systems in your business on that level." So even if it's a matter of being a VA for three months, or six months,or a year to, kind of, get your feet wet and fully understand all the processes, I think that, that's going to be so helpful for people.
Yeah, that's such a good point. Like, first understand, from the, you know, like they say, like, if you're a restaurant owner, you do every, every task within the restaurant first, like, so you understand what it takes.
Tasha Booth 25:51
Jamila Souffrant 25:52
When you first started Frugal Fit Girl, I mean, you couldn't have imagined this is where you'd be a few years later, right?
Tasha Booth 25:58
No idea, no clue. And that's another mindset thing. Like, the big thing for me was realizing that there were other things out there, you know? And I think when I first started, I had absolutely zero clue of what was possible. And I was just trying to make like, $1,000 a month, basically. And to think, like, the huge jumps that I've made. First of all, I'd never-- would have been possible without my business, like, never would have been possible. But also, like, how I've personally grown and how I've personally grown as a person, but also as a leader.
Jamila Souffrant 26:30
Yeah. Again, I just think about the person listening today, and they're just like, "Oh, I have a blog that I, kind of, want to start, but I don't know." And I'm just like, and the same thing when I talk about financial independence, where-- just start. I know, first of all, you don't know where you'll end, you may have a goal, but it may change, and that's fine. But literally starting that thing, it doesn't have to be the thing you do all the time. It's, like, literally could be the stepping stone, if you follow your curiosity and the breadcrumbs of life, that leads you to the next thing that's meant for you.
Tasha Booth 26:57
Yeah, and I think also, it's completely that curiosity. It's saying like, "Oh, like, how would this, like, how do I feel about trying this new thing," you know? People say that, like, money is fast. I don't know if you've ever heard that. But, like, in terms of just, like, making decisions quickly, and being able to trust yourself to make good decisions, and also trust yourself when it doesn't feel good. And, like, you don't feel like doing it, you know? In terms of, like, long term. And I think that that's been one of the things that I do really well, in terms of just being like, "Oh, there's an opportunity here. Let me try it. And if I hate it, I don't do it anymore."
Jamila Souffrant 27:30
Yes, yes. And, like, that pivot. That, like, fail fast also. Like, I'm going to try and fail. And if I fail, that doesn't mean that it's, I'm failing, it just means it's didn't work out. And I can move on to figure something else out.
Tasha Booth 27:44
Jamila Souffrant 27:45
And it also feels like, on your journey, like, other than, like, the mental shifts, like, I feel like part of it, too, was just, like, learning to delegate and trust, right? I think that's, like, a big thing. And being, like, a business owner, as you're growing, it's like, okay, you have to trust that you're going to hire people, or you're going to trust the people that you're hiring to execute the work, and then let go, because they may not do it the way you do it, right? So talk through that.
Tasha Booth 28:08
Oh, that is absolutely the hardest part. And I don't know if you know your enneagram type, but I'm in enneagram, three, and enneagram threes are achievers. And we are people that, like, just say, "Oh, I'll just do it myself," like all the time, you know? So delegating is really, really hard. And to this day, because I, like, started off, kind of, as a tech VA, and I've always loved tech. And so giving that up to my team is sometimes still really hard. And I've had to train myself to stop and be like, "No, if you continue doing this, like, or if you say yes to doing this yourself, you are teaching your team that they don't need to worry about it," you know? That they don't need to think about that, that they don't need to do that. And I, like, don't get to do the other things that I should be doing as the CEO of the business at this point, you know? So I think it's just a matter of me having to slow myself down and take that beat of, like, is this actually something that I need to be doing? Also, when it comes to hiring, it's just a matter of hiring slowly and taking your time in the hiring process. So that by the time that person is actually on your team, you know, and you, like, already have a really good fit feel of if they're a good fit, and you've hired them because they're a good fit. And I like to lead from a place of trust. So by the time somebody is on my team, I'm like, I 100% trust you until you give me reasons not to, which hopefully never comes, you know? And with that, then then I've been able to say, "Okay, you're here because you're excellent at what you do. Like, go be great at what you do. Let me know when you need help, but go be great at what you do."
Jamila Souffrant 29:41
Yeah. I think that's, I mean, it's such a good point to talk about, because I do feel like that's what holds, like, even as I see, like, business owners and entrepreneurs, like, grow and then meet so many people and you can see, like, why people stay stagnant and why people, like, start to grow. It's, like, that ability to delegate or hire people and I feel like I'm at that stage where it's just, like, what is the next level look like for me? Do I want to reach this level where I have a lot of people? Maybe I like being a company of one with some just dedicated contractors? I don't know, right? But like, thinking through that, and being honest about why I don't want those things are important. Like, do I not want them? Because I just like a simple life and I'm chill, I'm chillin, I'm good, I don't, you know, need the extra? Or am I just scared to have to go through those motions?
Tasha Booth 30:25
Yeah, exactly. And I'm always honest with people when they're thinking about agencies, and I'm like, "You know what, if you don't enjoy, like, if you don't want to be a leader, you can't be an agency owner, you know? If you don't like people, you can't be an agency owner." And that doesn't mean you have to be an extrovert, like, you can be an introvert and still, like people and want to curate, kind of, this, this small or large, whatever you decide, group of people that you're working with. But there are some things that, like, you just have to be really honest with yourself in, because I've seen people who started agency model businesses, and they're miserable, because it's not the business for them, you know? Or even as a VA, they start the VA business because they've heard that, like, it's a easy and great way to make money. And then they're like, "Actually, I hate all of this," you know? So really make sure that, like, as you're building the business, even if it's just short term to make some extra money, that you're really creating something that you're going to enjoy.
Jamila Souffrant 31:15
Yeah, such good, such good advice. Now, I want to talk a little bit about your financial freedom independence journey, because when you first started your blog, it was about paying off debt, right?
Tasha Booth 31:24
Jamila Souffrant 31:25
So can we walk through, kind of, like what you paid off and where you are now in terms of the spectrum of financial freedom and independence?
Tasha Booth 31:32
Yeah. So, I think, when I first, first got serious about I still had two student loans. I left college with $60,000 in student loans. So I still had two student loans. I had a mountain of credit card debt. I think like $40,000 of credit card debt. It was a lot. And yeah, and I was just, kind of, finally tired of, like, carrying it around and feeling like it was a weight and that I could never get ahead to, like, start building wealth, you know? And so, last year was a huge, huge pivotal year. We paid all of it off last year.
Jamila Souffrant 32:04
The student loans and credit cards?
Tasha Booth 32:06
Student loan and credit card.
Jamila Souffrant 32:07
Tasha Booth 32:09
Thank you. And all while, like, buying our dream house as well, which was, like, that was one of the big things. Um, so as I mentioned earlier, my husband's Air Force, and he retires in two years. And so we knew that we were moving back from Tucson, to Albuquerque, New Mexico. And we decided that this was where we we wanted to, like, settle down after he retired and everything. So we decided to, like, buy the house that we wanted, and everything. So it's been really fun being able to finally, like, get ahead of things and feel like I'm, you know, I have paid down the debt and everything. But I'm also enjoying what I'm making and stuff, you know? So, so that's been great.
Jamila Souffrant 32:45
Yeah, well, I love that. So in my-- So I have, like, five Journeyer stages, like, to get to complete financial independence, where you don't have to work ever again, if you don't want to, because your investments pay for your lifestyle. So from what you just described, you're definitely past-- so I have, like, the Cadet Stage, which is, like, you're paying off debt, but since you paid off your debt, you'd be in the next stage, which is the Aviator Stage of building security-- but you may be further past that. So I want to talk a little bit about, while you were paying off debt or now, what you're doing with your money? Since you just said, like, your business making a million-- and to be clear, your business made a million, not you. Because, it's, like, people who are not, like, business owners who, like, they forget that there's a distinction. What does it look like for you now as your, you paid off debt, you're in your dream home? What does the investing side and getting into financial independence look like for you?
Tasha Booth 33:36
Yeah. So, this year has been so much fun, because it's the first year that I've really startd investing in things. So I like hiding money from myself, because if I don't, I will spend it. So I do a lot of, like, the little things, like Qapital and Stash and Acorns, like, I do all of those things. But I also just started doing, like, an actual investment account. So I invest a couple $1,000 a month into, like, the actual investment account.
Jamila Souffrant 34:01
Like taxable investments?
Tasha Booth 34:02
Yeah, taxable investments and everything. As well as being able to max out my IRA, like, last year, and this year, were the first times that I was like, "Oh, I should probably, like, actually start doing that," you know? The other thing that we are doing is currently saving to buy our first investment property next year. So that's fun and exciting. I know.
Jamila Souffrant 34:23
Yeah. Well, do you have a pre tax retirement account? Like a solo one with your company that you're doing?
Tasha Booth 34:28
Yeah, that was the other thing. So we just started-- once I got to, I think three team members, I was like, "Let's set up a 401k," you know? So we've got that going as well too.
Jamila Souffrant 34:37
Nice. Congrats. And so what do you see, like, going forward? Because I find that my vision for when I said, "Oh, this is what my finances will look like when I'm-- when Journey To Launch makes this," It's like yeah.. but kinda like you, I want to make sure this is sustainable and, like, so I'm not gonna, like, just, you know, do all the things. Like I have to like, kind of, space it out. But for you, what does it look like going forward, because you just said your husband is going to retire in two years, right? And if you're anything like me, so my husband, he's a teacher, so he's off in the summers. So I don't like working that hard in summers, because I'm like, "You're not gonna just, like, chill, and I'm just like working hard, like we're gonna chill together." So are you foreseeing that you need to find ways to step away more from your business in a couple of years so that you have more flexibility? Or do you love your business so much that it's like, either way, I'm fine. Like, it doesn't feel like work? What does that look like for you over the next couple of years?
Tasha Booth 35:28
Yeah. I think this year, I've, I've created a lot more flexibility. And it's to the point of where I feel like I can move a little bit more in and out of it. Like I said, like, some, some days, I have, you know, only a couple things to do. Other days are kind of packed with like, especially on the Tasha Booth side, on the coaching and course side, there's a lot more, like, making sure I'm checking in with, like, my clients and everything on the, on the coaching side. When Scott retires, he's going to be probably going back for law school to become a mediator. And so he wants to do mediation, but he wants something where, you know, we love to travel. And so he wants something where he can, like, pick up with me, because that's a big thing now of like, "Oh, I see these flights, and you can't go, because you don't have the time off." So we're, we, we, definitely want to travel, but also, we'll both then have jobs, where we can take our jobs with us and, kind of, travel along the way as well.
Jamila Souffrant 36:19
Yeah, yeah. So would you say that, like, not working, like, the idea of financial independence and retire early is, like, not something that you're working towards?
Tasha Booth 36:27
Not really, because, yeah, so it's mostly just the two of us, because my stepdaughters-- his daughters-- live with their mom in Chicago. So when I think about not working, I'm like, "What would I do? Like, with my days? Like, what would I do with my time?" And so that's never been something that has been hugely important to me in terms of, like, not working at all. I think even if I wasn't like working to earn a paycheck, I would be volunteering six hours a day or something like that.
Jamila Souffrant 36:53
Right? Well, I mean, I also feel like, you've also reached a point where you created a business, where it gives you flexibility and space to still do the things you want. Like, that is the goal. Like, I feel like some people, like, you know, technically, I'm sure if you wanted to chill, or you had something else going on, you probably could step away even longer, because you probably have systems and backup and money to help with that. And I think that is, kind of, like, the space, I think, we all want to get to. It's not like necessary, never doing anything again. It's just, like, we have the option not to do it again.
Tasha Booth 37:21
Right. Exactly, exactly.
Jamila Souffrant 37:23
Alright, so, in terms of just, like you talked a bit about you have a Tasha Booth side of your business. So we're, kind of, talking more about your agency side. Can you talk a little bit more about how you now leverage who you are now into, like, this other way of earning money?
Tasha Booth 37:37
Yeah, absolutely. So I think it came out just, once again, of a need, you know? So just like in the VA space, I saw a need and I filled it. Once people started asking consistently, like, how I was doing it, I started creating opportunities for them to learn from me. And that side. So this year, our goal was to, kind of, level out the agency side and the Tasha Booth side. Last year, so 2020, the agency side was about 75% of the income in the Tasha Booth side was about 25%. And we were really intentional about this year, about leveling it out, so it was more 50/50, because that is, really, the the more scalable side as we're thinking in terms of like 2,3,5, $10 million business.
Jamila Souffrant 38:19
The Tasha Booth side. And what do you do? What are your services or offerings over there?
Unknown Speaker 38:23
Yeah, so a launch management certification, so Launch Manager Certification, and then, the 12 month agency program for agency model businesses. So-- and within those I have, like, coaches, like, accountability coaches and everything that are supporting, you know, me in helping our clients in that part too.
Jamila Souffrant 38:42
So in the Tasha Booth side, you teach other people how to do what you've done in terms of helping people launch, like, online entrepreneurs, or entrepreneurs launch products and services and manage that launch?
Tasha Booth 38:52
Yes, but I'm teaching, like, VAs to become Launch Managers so that they can help their clients launch. Exactly.
Jamila Souffrant 38:58
Yeah, that's so, that's so great, because, like, I'm thinking, like, you may have someone on your team right now. They're a VA, they're good, but you're, like, "You know what, I want to train you. I want you to get trained to do this thing," or the VA say, "Will you pay for this certification, and I can help you do these things."
Tasha Booth 39:11
Exactly. And, and that's what we've had. We've had a couple, you know, clients who have bought the certification or, you know, enrolled their VA into this, because they're like, "We launch quarterly. Like we need support all the time. And our VA is good, and she's, like, doing what she knows, but we know that, like, she could be great and our launches could be so much more fluid and so much easier if, like, she was really amazing at what she did and had some training around it.
Jamila Souffrant 39:36
Yes, I love, love that. Okay, so a couple more questions before we wrap up, but one is, what advice would you give-- or would you give to someone right now listening and they're like, "You know what, I want to earn extra money or want to level up." I'm maybe, I'm a VA already, and they want to make more money. What's that one advice or a couple pieces of advice you would give them?
Tasha Booth 39:53
Yeah, I would say commit to being excellent. Like, that's the first thing. Like, whatever you decide to do, just commit to being excellent and that will shine through. Unfortunately, a lot of times, especially in the VA space, or just online business space, there are people that are just, kind of, being okay to get by. And so when you show up in excellence, like, people will take notice, you know, and appreciate that and you'll, you'll get well known pretty quickly for that. So that's, that's the first thing and then just keep growing and learning, is the second thing. And I think my last piece of advice would be seek out people that are doing what you want to do, or that are accomplishing, like, where you want to head and be around their circle, you know? Because you already know, like, what's behind you, you don't know what's, what's ahead of you. And so really getting that, you know, that perspective, from from a different place is going to be key.
Jamila Souffrant 40:46
Love it. Now tell everyone where they can find out more about you and all your businesses.
Tasha Booth 40:51
Yeah, absolutely. So we've got two websites. So, thelaunchguild.com is one of them. Hanging out on Instagram a lot, so @thelaunchguild. And then, tashabooth.com is the other one. I'm on Instagram all the time over there @thetashabooth.
Jamila Souffrant 41:04
And you have a podcast. Let's talk about that just a little bit.
Unknown Speaker 41:07
I do have a podcast. It's called, "How She Did That." So, it's weekly and it's business and tech tips for virtual support pros. So VAs, Launch Managers, Online Business Managers and Project Managers.
Jamila Souffrant 41:19
First of all, it's so funny, because you're, you're saying that your life is, like, so chill. You're not in it that much. And then, like, you just listed all these things, these businesses. And I'm just, like, I'm overwhelmed. But apparently, you have the systems in place and people in place to help you run that.
Tasha Booth 41:32
I have an amazing team and they just, yeah, they do all the things for me.
Jamila Souffrant 41:38
Love it. Thank you so much, Tasha for this, this was really great!
Unknown Speaker 41:41
Thanks for having me!
Jamila Souffrant 41:46
Okay! I hope you enjoyed that conversation with Tasha. Let me know if something in particular stood out for you. Again, I feel like I love seeing the evolution of someone. Sometimes you start out doing one thing, you know, you say, "Well, I'm going to, maybe, lean into this side hustle, or do this as a hobby. And maybe I'm good at this thing," right? And you just never know where it can lead you, because I know a lot of people think, "Oh, being a VA, you know, like, I want to do more than that. I want to make more money than probably what a VA makes, a virtual assistant." And to see what Tasha has been able to grow and do with her business and life, and where she's taking her finances as a result of leveraging her skills is so inspiring. So if you're listening to this, and you are inspired, let me know. Shout me out, because I love seeing your thoughts on the episode. Take a screenshot of you listening, share this on your social media. I'm on Instagram @journeytolaunch. You can even tag Tasha, so you can see that you're appreciated her sharing her story. Her name, Tasha's name on Instagram, is Tasha Booth. So, it's thetashabooth. And let me know what you thought, what was your favorite part? And also, of course, share this with someone in your family or friend who needs to see that this is possible.
Don't forget, you can get the episode show notes for this episode by going to journeytolaunch.com, or click the description of wherever you're listening to this and you can still grab your Jumpstart Guide for free to help you on your journey to financial freedom by going to journeytolaunch.com/jumpstart. If you want to support me and the podcast and love the free content and information that you get here, here are four ways that you can support me in the show: One, make sure you're subscribed to the podcast wherever you listen, whether that's Apple Podcasts, that purple app on your phone, your Android device, YouTube, Spotify, wherever it is that you happen to listen, just subscribe so you are not missing an episode. And if you're happening to listen to this and Apple Podcasts, rate, review and subscribe there. I appreciate and read every single review. Number two, follow me on my social media accounts. I'm @journeytolaunch on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And I love, love, love, interacting with Journeyers there. Three, support and check out the sponsors of this show. If you hear something that interests you. Sponsors are the main ways we keep the podcast lights on here. So, show them some love for supporting your girl. Four, and last but not least, share this episode this podcast with a friend or family member or co worker, so that we can spread the message of Journey to Launch. Alright, that's it until next week. Keep on journeying Journeyers.
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