Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Steph Orosco, Founder of Scaling with Heart, located in Austin, TX, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

As a Virtual Assistant Coach & Mentor, I support clients who want to live more while making more and leave their 9-5s for good in favor of freedom, flexibility, and fulfillment. I help you start, grow, and run your VA business so you can book it out and fill your bank account while living life on your terms.

Photos by Alicia Leigh Photography

Tell us about yourself

I definitely didn't have big dreams of becoming a successful online entrepreneur. Truthfully, I spent most of my life not knowing what I wanted to do or who I wanted to be. I knew that I wanted to help people, but I never knew quite how that looked. After a few years of exploration post-high school, I got my Associate's degree in Healthcare Administration and ended up working in the mental health field, which I really loved.

But the 9-5 grind was not for me, and commuting two hours per day to and from work was taking a toll on my personal life and health. I hit a breaking point when I didn't get a promotion that I was expecting, which would've given me more flexibility and freedom in my schedule. I had been looking for legit ways to make money online for years, but this time, I was fire-lit-under-me determined to make it happen.

I found Virtual Assistant work (which essentially entails providing administrative services to clients virtually), started my business (now known as Scaling with Heart), and signed my first clients. I grew the biz extremely quickly and was able to land more clients, more than replace my 9-5 income, and give my two weeks' notice in just five short months. And while it hasn't necessarily been easy or smooth, it's been 100% worth it.

One year later, my husband, Sam, was able to ditch his day job as well, and I brought him into the business with me full-time. We grew and scaled our VA business to a six-figure OBM business and a team of eight. I couldn't believe I had found a career that allowed me to work from bed with a pup in my lap while doing work I enjoyed so much (and I still can't, honestly).

Once I saw that we were able to completely change our lives by being brave enough to jump in and try (and stick with it until we created what we want), I knew I had to teach and coach others to do the same. I now spend my days helping incredible clients build businesses that support their lives (not the other way around) and create true sustainability for themselves. I'm so lit up and inspired by the work we do together.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment is, without a doubt, deciding to start my VA business five years ago and going all-in on it. I'm thankful to that version of myself daily because she was able to push past the fear, doubts, and overwhelm, dive head first into something new, and design a life that's better than she could've even imagined. Deciding to start your business can keep you stuck and hold you back for as long as you let it, so what I support my clients to do is to think of all the other times when you did something scary or new and proved to yourself just how capable you really are, lean into your self-trust (and give yourself evidence of all the times you've been able to trust yourself before), and start to believe that there is no right time. You're never going to feel like everything is perfectly lined up. Taking a chance on yourself and jumping in before you feel ready will teach you and propel you far more than waiting ever could. What I'd invite you to play with is: when I do things BEFORE I'm ready, when I show up and decide BEFORE it feels perfect, that's actually when I create what I want.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Something that's really interesting in business is that the actions needed are typically quite simple: put a post up, email a client, hop on the call with someone. But they can often feel hard because our brains flag most new things as scary. We also have patterns, stories, and lived experiences that cause some actions to truly feel challenging or unsafe. When this happens, our brains tend to kick up a bunch of resistance, fear, and funky thoughts. THAT is typically the place you want to look at and become aware of so you can run your business with a more regulated nervous system, get out of your own way, grow your business in a way that feels aligned to you, and consistently show up for your community and clients. This is one of the things I support my clients with daily to help them create results like leaving their day jobs, making more on part-time hours, bringing in $6k+/month in recurring revenue, and booking out their businesses with waitlists.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Set and hold boundaries from the beginning. Get clear on your office hours, turnaround times, and communication channels, and make sure clients know what to expect from day one. This is such a huge piece of setting yourself up to live more while making more, and it's also super important when it comes to avoiding burnout in your business!
  2. Intentionally schedule in time that's just for you and do something fun. The whole point of building a business that gives you freedom and flexibility is to enjoy your life, take time off when you want, and prioritize yourself more. And yet when you start getting booked out with clients, it's easy to fall into the trap of feeling like you're too busy to take time off. That doesn't have to be true! You CAN (and should) take time off - you just need to have a process for doing so to make sure you can actually enjoy it.
  3. Start to release the perfectionism. With anything in life or business, you can't wait until you have it down flawlessly because you'd be waiting forever. The key is to release that need for getting it right 100% of the time and instead look at everything that's new to you as an opportunity to do it messy and imperfectly SO THAT you can learn, grow, and improve.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

If you're thinking about starting your own VA business, this livestream with one of my amazing clients will answer many of the questions you may have about getting started and gaining confidence + clarity as a VA:

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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