Although you may really want to set up your own Virtual Assistant business, I’m sure you’ll agree that stepping into the unknown can be really scary. Because I think that being a freelancer is marvellous and will change your life in so many fantastic ways, I asked members of my VA Handbookers Facebook group what the best thing about being a Virtual Assistant was. This is what they said:
Posts Categorized Motivational stuff
As you know, the UK is currently going through a period of economic and political uncertainty. This post is not about blame or discussing whether we had this forced upon us or not (I voted remain and I’m sure your Facebook streams are full of anger and confusion already) it’s about moving forward and ensuring you’re in a strong position with a positive future whatever happens.
I’m always banging on about how life is way too short to not follow your dreams. It’s a big thing of mine and I’m sure you’ve heard me say a billion times how important it is not to sleepwalk through life and not do anything with it. But just in case you want to know what happens to people who do take action and who do take practical steps towards getting what they want, this post is for you.
Today I’m going to share a MASSIVE blunder that I made with my main client earlier this year just so you can see that it doesn’t matter if you make a mistake, it’s how you respond and deal with it that matters to the client. And this was a HUGE mistake!
Back when I used to offer personal training, I mentioned to my boyfriend at the time that a couple of trainees had confidence issues and, although I’d given them every practical step they needed to become a VA, I didn’t have any more knowledge to impart and wasn’t sure how best to move them forward. First (and rightly) he said that I wasn’t a counsellor and then he told me if I had asked them to do a SWOT analysis.
I think it’s really important to see what it’s actually like to be a VA so I’ve set up some video interviews with new VAs for you. I want to show potential VAs what life is actually like when you work for yourself, to see that ‘regular’ people can do it and to inspire you to make the leap yourselves. I also want to give existing VAs an insight into how other freelancers work, what tasks they do, who their clients are, how they manage them, how they get them and how much they charge them.
Although the types of tasks you’ll be given will obviously vary depending on what your services are and what your clients do for a living, I thought it might be a good idea to provide three different examples so you can get a basic idea of what to expect. These are not unusual tasks and cover the main areas of research, data entry, collation and attention to detail.
I love a good business book but I’m reeeeally choosy about what I buy. Because I don’t want you to waste a whole load of time, money and effort picking through various reviews and descriptions, I thought I’d give you a list of the ones I like the most. I own every one of these books and know they will help your career and get you where you want to go.
I’ve been a freelancer for a while now, people are constantly emailing me their questions and worries about becoming a Virtual Assistant, and my trainees also admit their fears about working for themselves. But although I reckon I’ve now heard pretty much every mindset stumbling block under the sun, I’ve still not found one reason why someone shouldn’t set up their own business. Here are the main worries I hear and why they shouldn’t hold you back.
On Wednesday 10th June 2009 I left my job to become a full time freelancer. I wish I could say that I screamed “UP YOURS LOSERS!!” as I waved to my previous employers (without using all my fingers) whilst sprinting for the door with the contents of the stationery cupboard, but I didn’t. Instead I quietly walked out of the gates into the unknown.
Many of you are still in the research stage and finding out whether this whole VA thing is something you want to do, but if you definitely know you want to be a Virtual Assistant and are still in the process of setting up and getting ready to launch whilst in full-time work, there are many things you can do to get ready. Here are just some of them:
Most freelancers will tell you that working for yourself is brilliant and will bring you freedom like you won’t believe. But what they often won’t tell you is that it’s also often confusing, scary, frustrating and stressful. Existing freelancers will hopefully read this article, laugh and nod their heads with recognition – and new freelancers will get an insight into what’s coming!
I know that setting up your own Virtual Assistant business seems like hard work so I’m very sorry to tell you that it’s actually the easy part. Being a successful VA isn’t simply helping someone with their admin or supporting their business, it’s knowing how to manage people. And, from listening to feedback from my clients and new enquiries, a lot of VAs are woefully lacking in the right skills.
I’m one of those annoying freaks who has loads of confidence. I just bowl in there and get on with stuff and it never occurs to me that I won’t be able to do something. I might wonder how but it doesn’t ever enter my head that I can’t. I fully appreciate this is weird and unusual behaviour and that most people need a bit of a push to get out of their comfort zones. So, because I think being a VA is amazing and will make you incredibly happy, today I’m going to give you a really hard shove.
A while back I was talking to a woman who was thinking about becoming a Virtual Assistant. She’d contacted me for advice because she was unsure of her options and wanted to know what being a VA was like. She said: “I’m quite confused as to what to do at the moment. Full time work is a safe option but the hours are too long for me now and I’m trying to run a part-time business too. I need help to figure out the best route and direction for me.”