Virtual Assistant
Female Friday Feature


Founder of TAVASA, VA and Transcriber

I met Gaynor when I started out as a Virtual Assistant and joined her group TAVASA.

Through her guidance and the constant flow of information exchanged on the group with other Virtual Assistants I managed to find my feet in the VA world.  

Here is her story…

Her website:

My Story is a good one

I’d always known I wanted to be an entrepreneur and had the idea for Typewrite Transcription in 2000 already. The internet wasn’t quite up to what I needed, but by 2005 I was ready to quit my corporate job and give it a go. The internet had caught up then too and we got ADSL and later fibre. It hasn’t been an easy ride all the way but I’m proud to say we are doing well 15 years later.

It seemed like a good way to go as I had an N5 Secretarial Diploma and some years’ experience. I also had two small children and so I needed to be office/home-based.

I was driving home from work one day and thinking out a name, I wanted it to say exactly what I did so the name Typewrite Transcription and Typing Services CC was born.

Quite a lot! Not many people believed in me, I had two small children, and the loss of a regular salary and regular hours was not always easy. We had a lot of electricity outages at the time and with international clients, that’s hard to justify. There were also very few other VAs or transcribers in South Africa at the time. However, we managed with the help of my husband who has always been supportive, and the business grew from strength to strength. I had and still have a never say die attitude.  I also did know Alison Fourie, who had been a VA longer than me and we communicated via Messenger all the time and created the first support forum for VAs in the country, TAVASA.

Versatility, loyalty, commitment and a good work ethic.

This is one area where I struggle. I’ve always been a people pleaser, and taking time for myself and my family has been hard. Being self-employed to me meant less time with my sons than it would have if I’d been working set hours. I’m working on it now as part of my personal growth and I think it boils down to discipline and boundaries, which are all part of a mentally healthy person.

Most difficulties with clients come down to communication. So 90% of the time you work on the communication and you will be okay. Understand clearly what their expectations are and set your timelines and limits. However, if there’s a truly difficult one, it can be time to ask yourself how much you really need it. One of the advantages of having your own business is that all your eggs aren’t in one basket. So you can choose what you want to do.

No. It’s my choice to do this and something I want to do and has allowed me a lot of freedoms and personal and business achievement and validation.

Social media, online, vehicle marketing, blogging, via word of mouth. I’ve even done some print advertising. I would say the website is the most successful. It’s been around a long time. Also, the Facebook, Linked In, Twitter and Instagram channels.

There are things you can do to keep yourself on point. Like work with a programme like Clickup that, used properly, allows you to manage your day and keep yourself focused. Try to meet your commitments and try not to OVER commit

I would have built a better support team. Make sure everyone advising you and talking to you are actually doing it for your benefit and not their own. I was a little naïve when younger. Set boundaries. Other than that I’m happy with how I did it.

Turning around after a few years and realising that in spite of being told at the start that I’d never make it, that I’d survived.

Alison Fourie of AMF Typing

I’d fix Eskom, I’d remove abuses from the world so that everyone is psychologically healthy, and I’d work from a farm.

I did write an eBook about my journey and how to work as a transcriber in South Africa. It’s called Working From Home as a Transcriptionist in South Africa. 

You got this. What you put in is what you get out.

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