Louise Cummins is the Owner of The Passionate PA Bristol, helping businesses implement structure and increase day-to-day efficiency. Louise talks to The Industry Leaders about why she hopes the perception of the PA can change and why human connection is still needed in an increasingly automated world.
How did you end up sitting where you are today?
Over the last 15 years, I have held senior PA roles to a Director Nursing and a Head Teacher, gaining vast experience across the public and private sector and being able to turn my hand to most things with very little briefing.
I have a real passion for business and enjoy working with ambitious leaders of smaller companies who are on a mission to grow quickly and efficiently.
So why become a Passionate PA? Simple ... now is my time to shine. With two teenage boys growing up fast, I wanted to create a business that utilised my vast skill set and experience. I landed my first client within a week of setting up and haven't looked back since!
What kind of work does your role involve?
I work in partnership with entrepreneurs, business owners and thought leaders to create momentum and results in their businesses. I help clients implement better communication processes and structuring other systems and processes they use to enhance efficiency.
No two days are the same. As well as managing the overwhelm of day-to-day processes, my love of organisation allows me to oversee projects and business operations as well as handing some of the tech required in today's fast-moving digital world.
Working within my clients' businesses allows them to continue doing what they do best, whether adding and launching a new product or service or simply improving client experience.
What gets you excited about your industry?
When I see a client moving from overwhelm to achieving great results within their business, it makes me so happy, especially to know I have contributed to that success!
Over the past 12 months, more and more companies have taken their businesses online, and I love implementing systems that make tasks simple and yet professional.
Automation is great; however, there still needs to be some human connection - getting this balance right is tricky but so exciting when it all comes together.
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?
"Believe you can, and you're halfway there".
What, or who inspires you?
Oh, there are several... My fellow Passionate PA's inspire me every day. Learning from other members of the team has been invaluable to me and my business. My business coach, Niki Matyjasik, holds me accountable within my business and pushes me 'out of my comfort zone to achieve my goals.
How do you keep up to speed with what's happening in your industry?
Social media, listening to clients, webinars and regular networking.
What was the most challenging project or situation you've overcome?
For me, it was only being in business for a matter of months when Covid-19 hit. I was suddenly faced with the challenge of clients putting their businesses on hold and not knowing where my own business was going or if it was even going to survive.
Not one to give up, I worked closely with my clients, working through their challenges and getting their businesses online and moving forward as quickly as possible.
Positivity and consistency really have paid off as my business continues to go from strength to strength.
You finish work today and step outside the office to find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?
Wouldn't that be amazing... I would firstly pay off the remainder of my mortgage and then have a long holiday on a private island with my closest family and friends (when allowed, of course).
It would also allow me to help The Alzheimer's Society, who we were so grateful to last year when my dad was very ill.
How do you switch off after a day at work?
I love to cook! I also love walking our adorable dogs Mimi and Zsazsi, before settling down with a glass of wine or two to watch a good box set on Netflix.
If you had one wish for the future of your industry, what would it be?
For the perception of a PA to reflect reality. That is, the PA is an implementor of essential systems and processes - this is an invaluable part of a business. We are so much more than administration and organisation or a 'receptionist'.
We are pivotal to growth and provide solutions to several business hurdles.
What book or podcast should everyone know about?
'Get Rich, Lucky Bitch' by Denise Duffield Thomas has really helped me with my money mindset - I totally recommend it.
How should people connect with you?
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