Answers to every worry you’ll ever have

People often email me their questions and concerns about becoming a Virtual Assistant, and while I suspect I’ve heard pretty much every mindset stumbling block under the sun, I still haven’t found one single good reason why someone shouldn’t set up their own business. Here are your biggest fears and how to overcome them.

What if I’m not good enough?

Good enough for what? To do the things you’ve been doing throughout your entire working life, doll?

If you weren’t good at your job, people would not keep hiring you. And if you thought you weren’t good enough to help people out with their admin (or whatever it is you’re good at and want to offer), you wouldn’t be here researching how to be a Virtual Assistant on my website.

You’re not being asked to build the Large Hadron Collider here. You’re just offering the things you already know how to do – but on a freelance basis.

I don’t have any skills

Again, what have you been doing since you entered employment? Working and gaining skills, that’s what.

I have been training Virtual Assistants since 2014, and I have yet to meet one who didn’t have any skills.

You have loads of skills. You just don’t realise that they’re valuable or that people will pay for them because they come so easily to you.

It’s just a change in mindset, that’s all.

What if I don’t get enough clients?

When I first started out, I said the very same thing to my Dad. My Dad was born in 1940, so he is from a completely different generation.

I actually thought he would say I was mad for leaving my job and that I’d end up in the poor house. But he actually said:

“Well there’s enough people in the world to hire you.”

There are more than 10 people on the planet which means there are plenty of people out there who will hire you – you just need to find them.

I always recommend you start out by offering what you know to those you know.

If you target people in your existing (or previous) industry, you know their business goals, challenges, where they hang out online, what they need doing, the publications they read, and the events they attend.

You know everything about them, and you have skills they will find valuable.

Plus, I have a step-by-step guide telling you exactly how to get clients = no excuse.

There are so many Virtual Assistants out there already

So? I bet there are a ton of coffee shops, hairdressers, plumbers, web developers, architects, dog walkers, and copywriters (insert every job title and service-based business in existence) in your area, too.

You only think there are tons of Virtual Assistants because you’re hanging around a lot of them. Most people still have no idea what a VA even is!

There are a lot of/no VAs in my area

The clue is in the name, doll. Being able to work remotely (virtually, if you will) is literally the point of us.

Why would anyone pay me to do something they can do themselves?

For the same reason people hire cleaners or eat in restaurants. You could clean your house or cook your own dinner – but sometimes you don’t want to, haven’t got time to, or can’t be arsed.

It’s hard for us to imagine that people don’t like admin, but spoiler alert: most business owners actually hate it.

I know, right? Weird.

It makes sense for business owners to hire someone who charges less than they do an hour to do tasks they don’t want to do, don’t know how to do, don’t like doing or simply to free them to get on with what they do best.

It makes sense even if the VA doesn’t charge less than they do. My Accountant and business coach charge more than I do per hour but I hire them because their knowledge is valuable to me.

Reasons for working for yourself

There are already VAs offering the same services as me – I won’t stand out

People do business with people, and you’ll stand out because you’re different than any other VA.

Your USP is you.

Many Virtual Assistants offer the same services, but every VA is different.

You all have different skills, knowledge, career histories, experience, and personalities. If every VA were the same, people would just hire the cheapest one, and it would be a race to the bottom.

But they don’t. They hire the VA who is the best fit for their business.

Also, many VAs are unreliable, undedicated, do not communicate well with clients, and don’t know how to market their business.

So, if you do the opposite, you’re guaranteed to be fine!

My admin skills aren’t 100% – other VAs are better than me

Before I became a Virtual Assistant, I worked in hospitality, customer service and events. My admin skills are pretty basic, actually, which is why I don’t offer them as services.

You offer what you know to those you know. Over time, you will naturally pick up more experience and skills, which you can then offer as well.

You don’t need to be the best at what you do; you just need to have the time to help, communicate well, be reliable and do the work.

You could be the best typist on the planet, but if you are unreliable, mess your clients about and don’t communicate with them, then your typing skills count for nothing because clients value reliable support over skill.

I don’t know anything about new technology or social media

Then don’t offer it. I don’t know how to wire a house, so it’s not on my service page.

Offer the tasks you do know how to do (look at what you do at work every day), and look at the things you’re good at and that you enjoy doing. Start with what you know.

Also, every VA and their dog seems to offer social media services nowadays, and, tbh, many of them are not good at it. They just offer it because they think they should.

You would prefer to hire someone who knows what they are doing, so offer what you know and what you’re good at.

Download my free guide on overcoming Impostor Syndrome and receive an email every day for five days full of tips, exercises and first-hand experiences to help you gain more confidence and do “all the things” without feeling like a fraud.

What if I fail?

Well, I guess that is always a possibility.

In my experience, Virtual Assistants have “failed” for many reasons and all of them were preventable.

  1. They didn’t take their business seriously (The most common reason. It’s a profession, not a “side hustle”)
  2. They didn’t charge enough.
  3. They didn’t market their business and relied on referrals or people coming to them.
  4. They let their clients down by being poor communicators or dropping the ball too many times.

Notice that all of these reasons were preventable or the fault of the VA.

I think the greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure, but not doing something you want to because you MIGHT fail when the rewards are so great isn’t a reason not to do it.

It’s not my job to make you decide to become a Virtual Assistant or to convince you that it’s what you should do, but I can tell you 100% that the rewards are great.

Billions of people work for themselves, and if they can do it, then you can too.

I don’t know anything about running a business

Nor did I when I first started out. I also didn’t know how to drive a car until I learned.

My flagship DIY VA course shows you how to set up and run a Virtual Assistant business. There are also thousands of websites that explain how to work for yourself.

Your local council and Government have free business courses and there are thousands of other VAs in my VA Handbookers Facebook group to give support and advice.

I’m too old

When you work for yourself, nobody cares how old you are; they just care whether you can do the job they’re hiring you for.

In fact, business owners actually pay a lot of money for experience.

I know many Virtual Assistants who are well over 50 or even 60 so stop trying to find a reason why it won’t work, doll!

The people around me aren’t supportive

Not having other people’s validation, permission, or support is not a good enough reason not to live the life you want.

It’s your life, not theirs. It’s not your problem that you’re out of their comfort zone, and your pursuing your dreams only highlights their failure to pursue theirs.

I have a post on the things you can say to naysayers to blow their doubts out of the water.

I don’t have any confidence

You’re having doubts because you’ve never done this before – because it’s the unknown, and the unknown is always scary.

But you’re here reading this, aren’t you? There must be a part of you that knows you can do this. You just need to prepare as much as you can, take a deep breath and do it.

I’ll do it one day – when the time is right

People who have children often say that there’s never a perfect time to have them. And I think it’s the same when it comes to setting up a business.

Many of my trainees say they needed (or wanted) to wait until their kids went to school, and yet others have started their businesses while looking after infant twin babies!

Everyone’s circumstances are different. Only you know what your life looks like from the inside, so it isn’t for me to tell you when the right time is.

My only advice is not to find excuses to set up your business when the real reason is that you’re scared. Because that isn’t a good enough reason.

Let me know if I’ve missed a worry in the comments section, and I will tell you why it’s nonsense and add it to the list.

Ready to set up your VA business?

You don’t need to worry about a thing because my DIY VA course covers everything you need to set up a bulletproof Virtual Assistant business.

From services and niches to branding, pricing and finding work. You get lifetime access and I guide you through the entire process. You can even pay n instalments.



Kelly Morrison

Great post! My big block is that maybe I’m too close to retirement for all this. I know that it’s just another way of saying “it’s not the right time” but I have to reconcile with whether I’m crazy to want to do this full time! The draw of the freedom to write my own ticket has pulled at me for a few years now. Any advice you can offer?

Joanne Munro

Thank you! You’ve never too old to do something new (you don’t have to stop doing stuff just because you reach a certain age) and you don’t have to be a VA full-time either. You can design your own working life!

Many VAs work part-time as a VA and in their other ‘regular’ job, some work p/t in general, some run 2 businesses. It’s entirely up to you! I suggest you read Rachel Brown’s interview as she is an older VA (there are many out there) and also join the Facebook community.


Ah this is the boost I needed. I am bookmarking this page for whenever I need it. I am making the leap after dithering for 10 years. Thank you!

Fernanda Pinho

Hi Jo, I’ve just recently set up my business and came up with your website, courses and tips which have been great. I do have lots of admin experience as I’ve been working as an executive assistant for the past seven years but events is my thing. You mentioned that’s how you started and I’m wondering how to do it being a fully virtual assistant? Thank you.

Joanne Munro

Hi Fernanda, you can specialise in specific niches and events can be one of them. You can read more about my VA journey here which will explain more. Event work is just work and so you schedule the time in your calendar as you would with any task. I hope that helps!

Rebecca Hanley

Hi I’m my own worst enemy, i know you said you worked in events previously but I’ve literally no office experience at all I’ve worked in retail my whole life since I left school at 16. I’d love to now work from home and become a VA but I have no niche skill I can think of other than my customer service skills. I have signed up to some online courses in office administration and accounts but what else can I do to prepare myself and equip myself? I just cant seem to get past my utter lack of experience but desperately want to get out of retail and have a much better work life balance

Joanne Munro

Hi Rebecca, I would suggest that you ask this question in the VA Handbookers Facebook group. A VA is a freelance administrator so you do need some admin experience. It may be that the courses provide you with the skills and experience you need or you may want to look at another area to work in. My blog post on 15 blunt truths about what it’s like to work as a VA might help you decide. You’re starting off the right way though so keep reading and learning and understand exactly what it means to be a VA and a business owner.


There’s almost no worry a Valium can’t fix… kidding! Thanks for another amazing post.


Thank you for your thoughts and insights, you are right there is no perfect time for anything, the only concern is when to start. Few years ago I groped in the net on what is passive income, what is virtual assistant, what is freelance and how to earn online. In fact I attended a seminar live on how to be become a VA, it was doable but didn’t sink in at that time because I worked full time even until now. And with your posts, as i was reading them from blog to blog my excitement and dreams re surface. But i have no regret so far on those years of reading and reading because i ended up investing long term in stock market (Phil Stock Exchange). But i will not stop learning on how to be a VA because my dream is to be one someday and continue serving people. Thank you.

Jannyfer Chua

Hi Jo,

thank you for this wonderful post. Answering all those fears and insecurities, you have definitely helped many others, including myself, take this further. I’ve read so many forums and posts about worries, but unlike those, yours truly spoke to me.

Thank you.

Sharon Lewis

Love this Jo – and sooo true ! I am in the setting up stage and each day one or more of these thoughts pop into my brain. I just sweep it away and keep going…

Emily Woodhouse

I am very interested in this field! My main concern currently is, how do you start off and start building your services when you’re currently in full time work? I would only be able to carry out VA services in evenings or weekends to start with. Would I just need to bite the bullet and get a part time job and work hard at setting up as a VA? Thanks 🙂


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