Answers to every worry you’ll ever have

People often email me their questions and concerns about becoming a Virtual Assistant and, 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 your biggest fears and why they shouldn’t hold you back.

What if I’m not good enough?

What, to do the things you’ve been doing throughout your entire working career? If you weren’t any good then you wouldn’t have kept on being hired 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) then you wouldn’t be reading this site.

I don’t have any skills

What have you been doing all your working life? Working and using skills that’s what. In my many years of training VAs, I have never yet met one who didn’t have any skills.

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

A lot of VAs are ex Administrators or PAs who are the gofers/go-to people that everybody asks to do stuff. They’re used to being told what to do and are not used to running things. You will continue to do the same kinds of things as you did before (i.e.: using skills you’ve gained and honed over years) only now you run the show.

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 wise old Dad, the same man who I thought was going to tell me I was mad for leaving my job and that I’d end up in the poorhouse said to me

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

There are more than 10 people on planet Earth so there are plenty of people out there who will hire you – you just need to find them. And once you’ve found one, it’s much easier to find more of them because you now know what they look like.

You know who they are, what their business goals are, what challenges they face, where they hang out online, what they need doing, what publications they read, what events they go to – you know them so you can now find more of them.

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

I don’t have a network of contacts

Unless you live in Antarctica or Holloway then you know people. There is more than one way to skin a cat and you cannot use the lame excuse that you don’t have a large network of contacts to not set up your own business.

You can contact your friends, family, ex-colleagues and employers, your email address book, your LinkedIn contacts, and, dare I say it… even strangers.

Plus, using your contacts is not the only way of getting work.

What if I don’t earn enough money?

Well, that’s down to you and how hard you work to get more clients. As a VA, you’re no different from any other freelancer – we all need to get work. Either don’t leave your job until you’re at tipping point or work your arse off to get clients if you’ve been made redundant or are on maternity leave etc.

The success of your business is entirely down to you.

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. We live in a big world…

There are a lot of/no VAs in my area

The clue is in the name, doll. You’re a Virtual Assistant; it’s literally the entire point of what we do.

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

For the same reason that 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 a fact that people hire VAs, so the only potential reasons they won’t hire you is because you haven’t outlined what you can do for them, your website/LinkedIn looks crap and is full of spelling mistakes, you have no evidence that you’ve helped people just like them, you look like a criminal in your photos or they don’t know you even exist.

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 a different person than anyone else – your USP is you.

You don’t need to convince people to hire you and you’re not a used car salesman. You have skills and services that people find useful and you’re just putting that info in front of them to let them know that you exist and how to contact you if they want some help.

Also, some people (mainly women to be honest) feel they’re bragging if they say they’re good at something. But it’s not boasting – it’s a fact!

If you’re good at something, have spent years doing it and people have even paid you money for that skill then you’ve earned the right to tell people about it frankly.

If you don’t big yourself up then nobody else will. So you can sit in the corner being all modest and humble, or you can state facts on your website and LinkedIn and get hired based on those facts.

My admin skills aren’t 100% and other people are better than me

When I set up I worked in events, not admin. My admin skills aren’t brilliant and I don’t claim they are. 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. Clients value and pay good money for these qualities.

I’ve discovered that a lot of VAs think about what people might want and then they try to offer those services.

But it’s the wrong way round.

You need to decide what skills you have, what you want to do and what you like doing – and then find people that need those skills. If you do it this way around then you’ll always have work you enjoy and clients will always be confident and happy that you know what you’re doing.

Everyone’s a winner if you do it like this.

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

Then don’t offer it as a service. 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), look at the things you’re good at and that you enjoy doing. Start with what you know.

What if I fail?

What if you do? If you’ve just left your job and jumped straight into it, are lazy, don’t put yourself out there, aren’t good at what you do, haven’t researched freelancing and have no drive or ambition, then you might not succeed.

And it will be your own fault.

But what’s the worst that can happen? You might need to get a part-time job for a bit until you get enough clients or you decide that it isn’t for you and you go back to full-time work.

But not doing something you want because you might fail when the rewards are so great isn’t a reason for not doing something. That’s the advice you’d give other people so try and take the same advice for yourself.

The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure. 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 so can you.

I don’t know anything about running a business

Nor did I when I first set out and I also didn’t know how to drive a car until I learned. Millions of people run their own businesses and if they can do it then so can you.

My DIY VA course shows you how to run a business. There are also thousands of websites that show you how to work for yourself – your local council and Government will have free courses and there are thousands of other VAs in my VA Handbookers Facebook group to give you advice.

I don’t know what my niche should be, if it’s viable or whether anyone even wants my services

So go and find out. Ask around, ask on LinkedIn groups, ask in the Facebook group, email people… be resourceful and think around the problem. If you’re not resourceful then you won’t be a successful freelancer.

I’m too old/young

When you work for yourself nobody cares how old you are – they just care whether you can do the job or not.

The people around me aren’t supportive

Not having the validation, permission or support of other people is not a reason to not do what you want. It’s your life, not theirs and it’s not your problem that you’re out of their comfort zone and they know that you pursuing your dreams highlights their failure to pursue theirs.

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.

Life is short – don’t leave it too long. 

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

There’s never a perfect time to do anything. If you think you’d be a good VA then you have nothing to lose by giving it a whirl. Don’t quit your job yet, ask around to see if anyone has some admin/research/whatever work for you and then do the work, invoice them and get paid. That’s how freelancing works – quite simple really.

Now tell the extremely unhelpful and annoying voice in your head to shut up, stop overthinking it and start living life on your terms! 

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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