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Day in the Life of a Virtual Assistant: Elizabeth Birenbaum

Elizabeth Birenbaum is a Virtual Assistant specializing in admin, social media management, and graphics creation. If you had asked Elizabeth several years ago if she would ever want to work from home and run her own business, she would have said HECK NO. Her VA journey started in late 2020, as she was furloughed from her position at a local events company in California during the pandemic, when she came across an Instagram post from a friend saying she was starting a social media management business and needed help. Elizabeth immediately sent her an email telling her she was interested. Six months later, she had two clients. She said, “Signing my second client made me realize that OH SHOOT, I HAVE A BUSINESS and I better learn how to run it as such (and not as a hobby). That’s when I signed up for THE START. Since graduating from THE START, I have increased my rates three times and I now have five clients that I work with on a regular basis and two that I work with on a more on-demand basis. I work about 80 hours a month and think I am at capacity for hourly VA work!”

Here’s a sneak peek at a Day in the Life of Elizabeth Birenbaum:

One of the things that I love about having a VA business is that every day is truly different than the next. While most of the tasks that I do are the same, some days I work more heavily in one clients business and the next in another. Work with me today! Today is Thursday. This was one of my “heavier” work days and I worked for about 5 hours today.

6:40am: My first alarm goes off. I turn it off knowing that I set two more because I like to wake up slowly in the morning.

6:55am: I finally decide to get out of bed. I roll over to see that my son has made his way into my room at some point during the night. He’s still sleeping, so I try to be quiet as not to wake him and head over to the bathroom to put in my contacts, brush my teeth, and take a shower.

7:20am: I’m out of the shower and he’s still sleeping. We were out a little late last night at my SIL’s house for dinner and he went to bed late. I told him that he’d be tired in the morning if we stayed too late but “kids know best” (LOL) and he assured me it would be fine. I rub the back of my grumpy child and tell him it’s time to get up and start getting ready for school.

7:25am: I get dressed, throw my hair up in a top knot (my hair style of choice), and head to the kitchen to make him a bagel. He loves the pretzel bagels from Noah’s but doesn’t like all the salt on top (even though the salt is what makes it a pretzel bagel) so I grab a knife to knock some of it off for him. I toast it and then bring it to him on the couch. He’s watching Brain Games (his new favorite show). I drop it off with him and head back to my room to do my makeup.

7:50am: I’m finished getting ready for the day and I remind him that he has 10 minutes until he needs to get changed for school. He says “I know” (his favorite saying) and I check his school lunch calendar to confirm that it’s something he likes and I don’t need to pack him a lunch. It is, so I just fill his water bottle with water and pack him two snacks (a Z bar and some pretzels). I grab his iPad and put all of his stuff in his backpack.

8:00am: I turn off the TV and he walks to the bathroom to get changed, go potty, and brush his teeth.

8:07am: We leave for school.

8:12am: We get to school. I walk him up to the parent waiting area at the front of the school and watch him walk inside. I head back to the car. I remember that my friend had Voxered me the day before and listen to the message on the way back home.

8:22am: I’m back home and make myself some breakfast. My niece turned me on to these “Just Crack an Egg” breakfast things and so I make one of those and put it in a tortilla as a breakfast burrito. This is the extent of my cooking skills as my husband is the chef in our house. I pop my Starbucks Blonde Roast Nespresso pod in my Nespresso machine and then add some coffee creamer as my cat meows the whole time (I don’t know what it is about me pouring coffee creamer that he hates so much – sorry, I can’t drink it black, Harry!)

8:30am: I eat my breakfast and do my first client task for the day – posting Client 1’s IG content to her grid and engaging with her feed for 15 minutes. I put my plate in the sink and get ready for a Zoom meeting I have at 9am.

9:00am: Instagram Strategy call with Client 2. I am starting to take over more social media tasks for her and she’s getting me up to date on our plan.

9:53am: Zoom call is done, so I move on to the other tasks I do for Client 2 – FB group engagement, approve pending posts + welcome new members to the group. I update some Canva graphics that there were edits on and send for approval. I respond to some comments on Instagram, add some emails to an automation in Active Campaign, and make sure all of the scheduled social media posts have posted for the day.

10:50am: I check Client 3’s emails and see that payments have come in from the day before. I record the payments and send payment confirmations. Some new orders have come in as well, so I confirm that she is able to take on the orders and then send email confirmations and payment requests to the customers.

11:13am: I update some Canva graphics for Client 4 and share to Instagram stories. I see that she got back her photos from her most recent photo shoot and upload the new photos to individual blog posts so we can start drafting the posts to publish next month. I add her newest affiliate link to her Instagram bio and update the information in her Airtable sponsored posts tab.

12:37pm: I check back in to Basecamp for Client 2 and see she approved my Canva graphics from earlier so I upload and schedule them to Planoly and her Facebook Group community for later in the week.

12:49pm: I realize what time it is and step away from my desk to have lunch. There are no leftovers so I make myself a no-bread sandwich – a lettuce wrap with ham, avocado, mustard, and Everything But The Bagel Seasoning. I also steal some of the White Cheddar Cheetos that I bought my son because they I log on to Instagram for myself for the first time all day and watch some stories while I have lunch.

1:30pm: I head back to my desk and check my emails to see that I am in charge of the Instagram caption for Client 5 tomorrow. I start drafting the caption and email her for approval.

1:49pm: I check Client 3’s emails again (she just launched some holiday orders so I know inquires will be heavy today) and email the orders that came in. I check and respond to more Facebook messages.

2:15pm: I wrap up work for the time being and get my stuff ready to head out to pick up the kids.

2:30pm: I leave my house to get my son at school. I like to be early to the parking lot because I like to park and talk to the other parents before he gets out. The school also has staggered start/end time and I like to get there early enough to avoid the madhouse of the first group leaving.

2:48pm: My son gets out of school and we get in the car to go grab my younger niece at her school.

2:57pm: We arrive to my younger niece’s school and pick her up and then head to my older niece’s school to get her.

3:25pm: My older niece gets out of school. All the kids beg me to take them to Starbucks. I can’t turn down a mid-afternoon coffee so we head over there. After I go bankrupt buying four people drinks and treats, we head over to their house for me to drop them off at home with their Dad (he’s working from home today) and my son and I return home to hang out for an hour before swim lessons.

4:00pm: We get back home. He plays on his iPad and I work on some graphics for Client 4. I also sign in to TikTok for Client 2 to make sure I have the right password, check Basecamp messages, download her latest Zoom call replay and upload it to Google Drive.

4:50pm: I help my son get ready for swim lessons.

5:00pm: We head to his swim lesson for a 5:20pm start time. He’s there for 20 minutes and then we head home to meet my husband for dinner.

6:10pm: My son goes to change out of his swim suit and into his pajamas and I have a few minutes before dinner is ready so I respond to a few emails, Facebook messages, and record some payments that came in since I last checked for Client 3.

6:25pm: My son, husband, and I sit down for dinner. Tonight we’re having pesto salmon, green beans, and quinoa rice. My husband helps my son finish his math homework and they read together while I work on some stuff for my own social media.

8:00pm: My son goes to bed and my husband and I sit down to watch TV together. We rotate our shows based on which one has a new episode out but on this night we watch the newest Tournament of Champions on the Food Network and then continue watching The Dropout where we left off the night before.

10:30pm: I can feel myself falling asleep on the couch, so I get up, wash my face, take out my contacts, and call it a night. Good night!

Elizabeth solidified her biz foundations in THE START. Join our next cohort so you can get STARTED, too!

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