Ashley [9:20 AM]

Ep. 97: The Highs and Lows of Growing a 7-Figure Business with Gina Horkey

Feb 17, 2020

Ep. 97: The Highs and Lows of Growing a 7-Figure Business with Gina Horkey

I’m excited to chat with my friend and former student Gina Horkey! This entrepreneur and EBA alum is here to talk about all the highs and lows of growing a successful 7-figure online business. Gina is the founder of Horkey HandBook, an online space devoted to helping people find (or become) an awesome virtual assistant. She’s also the cofounder of Become a Pinterest VA TODAY!, an online course that teaches people how to find work as a VA specializing specifically in Pinterest.

After enrolling in EBA back in 2014, Gina is now on track to hit 7 figures of revenue over the next few months. This is an amazing accomplishment, but don’t fall into the trap of thinking that her path has always been smooth. Gina’s journey has had its fair share of challenges, but she’s delightfully honest about both her wins and her lessons.

In 2014, Gina was almost a decade into her career in financial services. On paper, everything was amazing… but Gina wasn’t convinced that this was what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. She started looking into alternatives, and found that she could do freelance writing online.

Originally, Gina started Horkey HandBook to showcase writing samples and create an online portfolio. From there, she fell into doing customer service and email management for high-level entrepreneurs. Not far into this path, Gina found Ruth and EBA, and enrolled in the program in 2014. Since then, she’s learned some powerful lessons, and has fantastic perspectives on so many aspects of starting and running an online business.

As Gina points out, we can drive ourselves a little batty when we focus on achieving perfect balance. There are different seasons of our lives, and some of those involve hustling! Going against trendy advice about maintaining work-life balance, Gina basically worked two full-time jobs (her day job, and her side hustle) until she was earning enough each month to be able to quit her job in financial services.

Tune in to hear more about all of this! We’ll chat about some of the things that Gina is proudest of having accomplished in her business since she started it in 2014, as well as some of her challenges, including her struggles with alcohol. And I think you’ll love her brilliant words of wisdom for other people who are starting out as entrepreneurs!


[00:49] – This episode is brought to you by Elite Blog Academy, a program that teaches you to build a successful online business! Right now, you can get a FREE copy of Ruth’s book How to Blog for Profit (Without Selling Your Soul).
[01:51] – Ruth introduces today’s guest, her friend and former student Gina Horkey.
[04:32] – Gina talks about who she is, what she does, and how she got to doing what she’s doing today.
[07:24] – Was Gina’s quick path into adulthood and through college a personal choice, or was it forced on her by circumstances?
[09:25] – We hear more about what came next after Gina figured out that she didn’t want to be in financial services for the rest of her career.
[11:54] – An extra pressure point on Gina was that her husband was a stay-at-home dad, so the family’s financial burden was on Gina. She and Ruth then chat about the crazy hours of starting a business while working and raising a family.
[15:42] – Gina’s original goal was to make $5,000 a month to be able to quit her job.
[17:55] – Ruth shares one of the things that she loves about Gina’s story and journey.
[21:40] – How did taking Elite Blog Academy help Gina considering her business focus wasn’t actually on a blog?
[25:44] – Gina explains what a virtual assistant is for anyone unfamiliar with the term, then talks about why someone might consider taking that path.
[29:57] – We hear about Gina’s course for potential VAs, 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success.
[32:00] – A lot of people take EBA because they want to start a blog and make money off of it but don’t understand the content marketing piece, Ruth points out.
[34:53] – What are some of the things that Gina is most proud of in her business?
[36:44] – We move on to hearing about the challenges that Gina has faced and some of the lessons that she has learned.
[40:43] – When was the moment that Gina realized that she had a problem and decided to get help?
[43:47] – Gina talks about how things have changed for her, and what looks different in her business now.
[45:57] – What advice would Gina give to someone who is just getting started as an entrepreneur, and what does she know now that she wishes she had known when she started?
[47:16] – Gina’s fear archetype is the People Pleaser, she explains.
[48:44] – What is the best piece of advice that Gina has ever received, and why?
[49:54] – We hear about where to find Gina online, as well as what she’s up to with her business right now.
[53:38] – Don’t forget to take the The Do It Scared Fear Assessment for FREE! And please feel free to reach out to Ruth with questions, ideas, or suggestions by email at or on Instagram.