Amanda Johnson, Managing Director and VA Coach & Trainer at VACT Ltd

Helping PAs and EAs to become Virtual Assistants

I was in the Royal Navy for 23 years – rising through the ranks to become a proud, dedicated Lieutenant Commander. During my military career, I mastered the art of logistics – having been responsible at one time for the welfare of 3,500 servicepeople located across 10 countries.

Life was good for me and my husband Andrew, who was also in the armed forces, but in 2008 our lives were changed forever… Following a struggle to get pregnant for some time – and after being accepted for IVF treatment – I fell pregnant naturally with twins. They were born at 25 weeks and died aged eight hours; our world was rocked.

We soldiered on literally and metaphorically and, in 2010, we brought our first son James into the world. We still enjoyed our jobs and felt blessed to have James, but what had happened two years earlier was the catalyst for both of us that life’s too short; we wanted to leave our military careers behind.

In 2012, I took voluntary redundancy and was determined to set up my own business as a Virtual Assistant – launching Your Executive Secretary that year. Drawing upon my previous experience as a Logistics Officer, I supported SMEs with business admin and enjoyed being my own boss, as well as the freedom and flexibility I’d created for myself. By 2014 I had another son, Jacob, and was a runner-up ‘VA of the Year’ at the UK VA Awards for my achievements with Your Executive Secretary. That same year, I’d become a licensed trainer at VACT Ltd – and six months after registering with them, I’d bought the company!

Running two businesses and being a full-time mum was great until I realised I needed some sleep, so I sold Your Executive Secretary in 2017 to focus purely on VACT. Today, I’m delighted to say I’m an industry leader – running a company that has won ‘Best VA Training Provider’ at the UK VA Awards for the past three years.

I firmly believe that the secret to my entrepreneurial success is that I’ve always been true to my core values. My military background has moulded me to act with honesty, integrity and to always value my own worth.