How to go from PA to VA in 3 months

People often ask me how long it takes to become a Virtual Assistant and my answer is usually “it depends”. But now I have a definitive answer: if you set aside time every day to get on and focus on the things you need to do in the right order then it should take you no more than three months tops. And this is exactly how you do it:

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How I survive winter without frostbite, fractures or an extortionate heating bill

Winter can be a hard time for freelancers. If you work from home your heating bills are enormous, you freeze your butt off for three months and you’re constantly scared you’re going to slip on ice, break your wrist and put yourself out of business. Staying warm and in one piece used to be a worry for me and, although a lot of what I’m about to write may sound obvious, if you’re not used to working from home, it might not be that obvious at all.

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VA interview with Nicolle French

This is a Virtual Assistant case study and interview with Nicolle French who is the owner of Nicolle French Communications;  Based in London, Nicolle works full time from home and worked on bespoke ad-hoc client projects for several years  before transitioning full time last year. This is the story of how she became a Virtual Assistant.

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What my workspaces look like

Many people have told me that they thought they needed to get an office or have a ‘proper’ desk set up before they could be a freelancer so I want to show you that this is complete and utter nonsense! Virtual Assistants can work from anywhere they like and you shouldn’t let the lack of an office prevent you from setting up your own business.

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Replay of the interview and Q&A session with my favourite client

On 11th January I held a live Google Hangouts on Air interview and Q&A session with my favourite client Luan Wise. We did the interview so potential VAs could find out how we work together, what tasks she asks me to do, how I manage her  expectations, what she looks for in a VA and then ask us questions about anything they liked.

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Replay of my first live Q&A session

On the 2nd December I held my first public Google Hangouts on Air Q&A session. I do regular private discussions with my DIY VA course trainees, but they’re in the call with me, we can all see each other and it’s very fun and cosy. This was the first time I was doing it as a broadcast – which meant I was just talking to myself!

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How I keep my financial records

As a freelancer you are legally required to keep accurate financial records and expenses going back over the last six years. My trainees often ask me how they should record both their own financial records as well as their client invoices, so I thought I’d show you the system I use myself.

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Business books that have helped my career

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.

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Should you take out insurance?

People often ask me whether they should take out business insurance and, although I usually direct them to various online articles (because well, that’s why Google exists!) I thought I should cover it on the site. Most other Sole Traders I know don’t have any insurance, but here’s a summary of the different types so you can make the decision for yourself.

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How to work better once you get clients

When my VA trainees are about to be signed off and released into the world of freelancing, we often discuss what it’s like to work for yourself, pitfalls and ways they can better manage their time once they’re working with multiple clients. I’ve learned a few time-management tricks over the years, but I also have some advice on how to make the most of freelance life in general.

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