A Magazine about the Hudson Valley’s local economy, published by Hudson Valley Current.

Local Liz’s Field Notes

By Liz Harrington

Sonia is home grown Hudson Valley talent.  She works as a virtual assistant, helping her clients overcome, overwhelm and develop efficient and organized processes. Recently, Sonia shared that one of her own biggest business challenges – is how to earn more Currents.   

She decided to start her own business for flexibility and freedom.  In order to reach her ideal client, she needed to hone her messaging and vision.  Her early struggle was knowing what she needed, but not having the funds to invest in herself.  Sonia was also meeting ideal clients, but many were reluctant to hire her since they also struggled putting funds aside to reinvest in themselves.  

This ugly eddy of not having the access to capital to utilize our local talent, leaves our entrepreneurs overwhelmed because it’s difficult to maintain the healthy work/life balance while doing everything possible to launch and keep it going. To escape the whirlpool of false starts, Sonia looked toward Hudson Valley’s USD complementary currency as a way to try and break free of the no clients/no growth whirlpool and decided to start taking Currents for her services.

Initially Sonia was afraid of not being able to pay the bills if any of her cash flow potential was compromised.  So for her first purchases, she tapped into her line of Current credit and spent it on 2 must haves for first time entrepreneurs coffee and financial and business coaching – all must haves in order to create a successful operation.  Without clients, she went deep into what she could offer of value and began teaching private Spanish lessons to earn Currents back. Soon, she was able to hire financial and business strategy consultants to help refine her approach and for those perfect customers she used our local currency as a bridge to capital which helped them make the leap and reap the benefits of her working with them.    

The amount of her dollars vs Current income is 70/30 now.  But starting out, it was being open to taking Currents that helped her expand her customer base and then through word of mouth, developed much deeper connections within the community.

So what does Sonia spend Currents on?  She pays herself, something very challenging for new business owners, and shares the wealth with her family in the form of gifts for her very hard working entrepreneurial parents.  She is also able to treat her nephews to experiences they would not be able to typically afford, like summer camps and horseback riding lessons.

By taking Currents as an entry point, Sonia was able to build value in her business and generate greater overall income.  The joy she gets from treating her hard working family – even at this early stage of her business – is the primary driver for her to take on more work for Currents.  

  1. How are you building your business?  
  2. What are your talents and how can they be valued to grow our local living economy?  

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