Meet Cerian, a marketing VA in Spain
Another interview, another global entrepreneur who decided to start their online business while living abroad.
Today let me introduce you to Cerian, a Welsh marketing virtual assistant who left her home country a few ago to start a new life in the sun.
Hi Cerian, Thank you very much for joining us for the Global Entrepreneur Interview Series.
Please introduce yourself and tell us where you’re from.
My name is Cerian and I’m from North Wales in the UK.
Where are you currently located?
Gijón, Spain (Basque Country)
Tell us a little bit about you and what made you start travelling in the first place?
After living in London for ten years and working as a PA (Personal Assistant) for various multi-national companies, my then-husband and I decided we wanted to get out of the rat race and live abroad.
We’d been on holiday and done a road trip around Spain, including visiting a friend I worked with who had recently made the move herself. We decided at the time that San Sebastián in the Basque Country was the best place for us, so we spent the next 18 months learning Spanish, saving money and planning for the move.
Once we arrived, I did a CELTA course to become an English teacher and spent three years doing that, two of which I did as a freelancer as the ultimate dream for me had always been to work for myself.
I made lots of friends, improved my Spanish, and had a much more active social life than I ever did living in London!
Tell us 3 things you love about your new lifestyle and what do you miss from your home country.
Although the north of Spain can be quite rainy, it does feel like Summer last a lot longer so that’s a big plus point! I love the more relaxed way of life and the cheaper living costs. Life just feels less stressful here.
The things I miss about the UK are mostly related to food – in Spain, it’s difficult to get decent international food – Chinese, Indian etc. I also really miss fish and chips! And a good pub with a cosy fireplace!
Tell us about your current business – how did that come about?
In January 2020 I decided to go back to my PA roots and set up my business as a VA (Virtual Assistant) – https://cerian-online.com/
My ex-husband and I were about to get divorced and I needed to make more money, and since there’s a limit to what you can earn teaching English, I knew I had to do something different.
Of course, then Covid happened! I spent the lockdown working on my business, and it took a good year to get it to a place where I was making decent money so it was a hard slog. But I’m pleased to say my business is growing and I now specialise as a Social Media and Copywriting VA.
As a foreigner, was it easy to settle down in your current location and start your own business?
There are always challenges especially when you’re moving somewhere with a foreign language. Despite doing Spanish classes before moving to Spain, I arrived and felt like I’d learnt nothing! You really have to be a bit fearless and throw yourself into scary situations in order to immerse yourself, but it’s definitely worth it.
Being a business owner in Spain is notoriously difficult – it’s not really set up to support this kind of work. For example, social security fees are high (€280 per month, no matter how little you make!), and this puts a lot of people off starting their own business. But the payoff of working for myself is worth it. I also have an accountant to help with all the admin of setting up – even if you speak good Spanish, it can be very confusing so it’s just easier to outsource!
What advice would you give to anyone willing to set up their own business while living in Spain?
Lots of people may say it’s difficult to do (I heard this a lot from people in Spain due to the reasons I mentioned above), but there’s always a way around it and nothing’s impossible. So I’d say it’s 100% worth it and just finding a way to do it.
I love the fact that I still have a taste of working with clients in the UK, a bit like my old life as a PA, but that I’m here living in Spain in a much more relaxed environment. I feel like I get the best of both worlds, which is perfect!
If you’ve read this article and feel that you could do with some extra help for your business, whether it’s getting more organised with your social media activities, needing help with customer service or managing your online communities, reach out to Cerian.
Go and check her website as she has a list of all her services and tasks she can help you with. https://cerian-online.com/
Thank you, Cerian, for sharing the story of how you started your own business helping UK solopreneurs and small businesses while living in Spain.
Want to read more online business success stories? Make sure to check out the other interviews here.
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