My Kitchen Reno

Happy Groundhog Day!

I decided THIS would be the day to unveil my shiny new kitchen which is GORGEOUS beyond a ‘shadow’ of a doubt.  (See what I did there?)

It’s not because I’m becoming a home decor blogger or because I want to brag or show off.  It’s because doing a full kitchen reno is a LOT like building a Virtual Assistance business.


Let me explain…

198When you start your business…it’s a lot like having an ugly kitchen with brown honey-oak cabinets and yellow walls.  You have a VISION of how things could be. (With a kitchen that Vision might be clean white beautiful-ness with shiny stone countertops)  Your VISION for your Virtual Assistance Business might be a thriving practice filled with high-caliber clients and earning some decent money.

So how do you get from the starting point to that Vision?

One step at a time.


2015-11-18 18.15.07We started off by painting, or as I like to call it: ‘Fail Number 1‘.  I made a super-gutsy choice of vibrant (aka: blindingly bright) green.  I knew it was risky, but I thought I could live with a BOLD design choice.  I couldn’t.  At the chance of risking my marriage, I bravely asked my hubby to re-do it in something more neutral and we begrudgingly gave up another weekend to standing on ladders and breathing in paint fumes.

Some ideas you have will be total failures. 


2015-11-28 17.30.26Painting honey-oak cabinets white.  Being a Virtual Assistant is great during home renovations because you can whip downstairs to throw on a coat of cabinet paint in between tasks, which is exactly what I did for about a month.  Was it easy?  Hell – to – the – NO.  These cabinets took SIX COATS of paint per side.  (You read that right…12 coats). Never, ever again.  Ever.

Some tasks will take you much longer than expected


2016-01-31 12.41.04Choosing a counter top.  Ask me ANYTHING about granite, marble, quartz or quartzite and I’m your girl.  If this whole V.A. gig doesn’t work out I swear I can get a job at a stone yard.  Hours of research, approximately 20 trips to various yards and stone fabricators, a day-trip to Montreal and chats with dozens of people in the ‘stone counter top industry’ led us to picking our FIRST slab.  We put a hold on it.  Happy.  Only to be told days later that a mixup at the yard had led to my beautiful counter top being sold to someone else.   Back to square one.  We settled on a beautiful marble slab…paid our deposit and had it sent to the fabricator’s to be honed.  Only to be told days later that the slab had been ruined during the honing process.  Back to square one.  FINALLY we settled on a beautiful white quartzite.  Waited patiently through the Christmas holidays and gleefully watched that baby be installed.  Cried tears of joy at how beautiful it was in the end!

Some things won’t go as you hope…you may have to switch to Plan B…or Plan C!


2016-01-29 12.38.41Faucet.  After counter tops…it was time to install the ‘jewel’…a sparkly bridge faucet I ordered months before we even started the whole renovation process.  I was in love with her.  I couldn’t wait to see her looming over that counter top in all her glory.  The plumber had a different story for me:  He slapped my wrist for ordering the faucet from a different country which meant no parts and no warranty here.  And to top it all off?  The faucet didn’t fit.  Let me shout that:  THE FAUCET DIDN’T FIT!  I watched in horror as my (wonderful) husband got down on the floor and drilled right underneath my brand new 1-day old counter tops.  And despite all of my cringing…he DID IT!  We got that freaking faucet to fit.  We were headed for the finish line.

There will be days when you cry…keep going.


2016-01-29 12.39.17Backsplash time!   Can I just say the backsplash installation went incredibly well with the boys from Byers Carpentry getting it up put up in record time with zero problems or errors? Perfection.

There will be days when things go even better than expected!

So why am I even talking about this again?

Because it reminds me SO very much of the way things unfolded when I was building my Virtual Assistance Business.  It’s not going to be a smooth ride. Some ideas you have will be total failures.  Keep going!  Some tasks will take you much longer than you expect. Keep going!  Some things won’t go as you hope, and you will have to switch to Plan B…or even Plan C.  Keep going! There will be days you cry.  Keep going! There will also be days things go better than you ever expected…

In the end?  You will get to where you wanted to go.  You will build a Virtual Assistance business that you can be proud of.  Not in a straight path…there will be LOTS of ups and downs along the way.  It doesn’t matter.  Someday you will have the V.A. Business you always wanted and be absolutely in love with it.

Kitchen Before and After




About the Author

Hi - I'm Lisa McDonell, a Virtual Assistant who shows other women how to launch and grow their own online business, make money from home and have a fun and supportive Virtual Assistant Lifestyle.

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