About Me and My Path (and More)
Hello and welcome to my personal page.
This is me - Gillian Zali
I’m going to tell you a little bit about me and my own journey, how I arrived at this place, both personally and professionally.
I’ve been described as energetic, efficient, dedicated and friendly...but hopefully you will soon be in a position to make up your own mind about that. I’m an INFj personality type, but I just think of myself as an upbeat, caring person who works hard and enjoys life.
I’m an independent businesswoman and proud to say that I’m loving what I do every day. I have the freedom to do what I do best, and a big part of that is showing you the way to achieve that freedom for yourself.
I am the middle daughter of three girls, born and raised in small town England. I’m a world traveler, a single mother, and a lover of all creatures great and small. Currently we share our home with three dogs, two cats and a gently fluctuating array of smaller critters. Sadly this year we lost our small but hugely personable ornamental box turtle called Oliver - he'd been part of the household for over 18 years! All our four-legged family members are waifs and strays of one kind or another and I think that makes them extra special.
I live close to the beach in sunny Southern California. I’m an avid reader, listener and student of life. I’m interested in people of all cultures and creeds, and what makes them tick. I've been a badge-wearing Disaster Service Volunteer locally for several years, including being volunteer co-coordinator of the Torrance ADT (Animal Disaster Team), and a member of the local CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) and most recently TARA (Torrance Amateur Radio Association) groups. I have also been involved with several national animal disaster shelter and rescue organizations, including Noah's Wish. Occasionally I am asked to speak on animal disaster preparedness. I was never a girl scout, but I think you would call me well prepared.
Sometimes I wonder if I was a pioneering pilgrim in a past life. I’ve definitely ventured forth many times in my life, and even grew up near the original Mayflower Steps in Plymouth, England (shown in photo in the left sidebar).
I’ve been a support professional for over 30 years, starting at Plymouth College of Further Education where, on my mother’s recommendation (“so you’ll always have something to fall back on dear”), I undertook a 2-year Advanced Secretarial course and obtained the London Chamber of Commerce Private Secretary’s Certificate, together with a myriad of technical skill certificates.
Part of the course was a work-study program and I never looked back. My first “real” job was for a large U.K. financial company, where at 19 I became the youngest Branch Secretary in the organization. Then at the age of 21, I had an opportunity to come to the U.S. and grabbed it. Over the years I’ve worked in support positions for individuals ranging from lawyers and corporate executives, to writers, producers, directors, actors, musicians and personal managers, and I have worked extensively in fields ranging from commercial real estate to philanthropy.
Eventually I began to acknowledge a brewing dissatisfaction within myself. Not too much longer after that realization, while working a full-time job, I took on a couple of outside clients to a) give myself more individual purpose, and b) quite frankly to keep my mind engaged in a way that was a little more rewarding.
In the Summer of 2005 I survived a major traffic accident. While waiting in the doctor’s office, I read an article on Virtual Assistance and specifically AssistU. Suddenly there it was, POW, right in the kisser, all the proverbial bells went off. I knew that I needed to change my life today instead of tomorrow and here was the way to do it. After years of trying to figure out what I truly wanted to be when I grew up, I realized I was already doing it, just not the way I wanted.
My purpose reaffirmed, I undertook and graduated from the intensive 20-week AssistU training program. Now here I am, doing what I do best on my own terms, helping others to do the same… and that’s right about where you come in.
I will be happily relieving you of some of your admin burdens and gently encouraging you to take steps you may not have thought of. And the best part of it is we’ll be moving forward together.
Stepping out into the world of solopreneurism is about the most exciting and challenging thing I know. I find it energizing and believe I bring that into the mix in my virtual collaborations with clients. I hope you will step out into the virtual world and join me on the path to new success.