We had the good fortune of connecting with Janae McEwen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Janae, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
The start of ASK BlueJae sort of happened by chance. I was helping an organization set up its non-profit programming and it was mentioned that people would be willing to pay for the type of help I was providing. Then a few years later I did some research and found the virtual assistant market. I began to see how I could make this work as a business of my own. So, in August of 2016, I launched my business. I picked a business name, built a website, and started marketing my business. Within 30 days I had secured my first retainer client.
Initially, my business was started to help business owners with the behind-the-scenes work of their respective businesses. The concept was based on owners having work they were unable to complete on their own, but were unable to hire full-time employees. So, having a virtual assistant allowed for the work to be done and the owners to continue to run their businesses.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
ASK BlueJae was launched to help small business owners, entrepreneurs and organizations handle the daily tasks they were not able to complete for one reason or another. ASK BlueJae prides itself on being able to offer our clients simple and streamlined solutions with the objective that no task is too big or too small. ASK BlueJae doesn’t just provide a service, we provide an experience. We make sure our clients are not just completing tasks and projects, but also growing and reaching new heights in their business journey.
Having the ability to help is more then providing them with what to do, but more about showing them how to do it. My client’s success is more about them being able to take what I have shown them and applying it directly to strengthen and grow their own businesses.
Business wise I’m in a good space. I have retainer clients that I just love and adore. I’ve built lasting relationships with my clients and they refer me to others that they believe I can be of service to as well. So, as long as clients are satisfied, we will continue to provide them with excellent services.
Helping others is not an easy task, it comes with it’s fair share of challenges for sure. I just learn to not let one set back stop me from pushing forward. If the results do not come out how we want them the first time, we treat that as a learning experience. Realign the plan, adjust the parameters and try it again. We definitely won’t get the same results twice. Every opportunity to make it a learning experience is necessary.
Along this journey I have learned the hard way that it is alright to say No! Not every person and circumstance is for me. I can say no when the situation is not ideal for me and does not align with my vision for how I want my business to move forward. Having the ability to see where my success comes from, makes it easy to know that every opportunity is not for me. I am perfectly alright with that now. It took some time to realize that, but now there is no turning back.
ASK BlueJae will continue to be a resource for business owners and organizations to make sure their respective businesses and organizations exceed their goals and expectiations. Greatness is within all of us, let ‘s not settle for mediocracy. We will continue to excel.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
It would definitely have to be in the summer, so we can enjoy all the outdoor activities in Chicago. We will start with brunch at Wishbone’s then a day at the Art the Museum to check out the latest exhibits. While downtown Chicago there is always room to do some shopping on Michigan Avenue. Just spending the day outside enjoying the weather and the sites is an awesome day. Some other places we would visit would be Jazzin’ at the Shedd, Navy Pier, Lucky Strike Bowling, and take part in a fun Escape Room experience. For other great places for drinks and dinner, we can go to the Grand Lux, Ron of Japan, Heaven on Seven, and Lalo’s. Some other places to do some serious shopping would be in Oakbrook and Schaumburg
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Without even thinking about it, my mother and my daughter are my greatest motivations for getting up and trying to put my best efforts forward on a daily basis. My mother has always been a constant support, usually without even being asked. She is definitely someone I have to thank for continuing to show up for me day in and day out. I love her dearly, especially for who she is for my family. My mother loves unconditionally and gives that same love to my daughter. My daughter may be young, but she pushes me like nobody else can. I see the life she deserves and I will not stop until she has it. She is loving and to this day is my greatest joy. I couldn’t imagine life without her. My success is due to her.