Although you may really want to set up your own VA business, stepping into the unknown can be quite scary. Because I know that going freelance 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:
What’s the best thing about being a VA?
“The best thing is the ability to call the shots and actually get paid your worth. It takes time to get your head around this as most of us are used to being an employee and I for one still had that mindset when I initially started and made all the silly mistakes like taking on clients that were not right for me as I wanted the work.
Now I am much more selective about who I work with, I have put myself through a health & safety qualification and I have at long last got the dog I always wanted but couldn’t have due to working away and long hours. It isn’t easy and I still have off days / weeks when things can go quiet, but it is all about quality of life for me.
Take the leap, the worst that can happen is you may need to temp for a short time! But if you do the work, do the research and go out there and promote your business you can soon have a much better life. It takes courage and self-discipline but it is worth it.”
“This changes all the time for me but right now the best thing about being a freelancer is the pride that comes with running a successful business. It’s not always rosy and I very rarely switch off, but when I do and I stand back and look at what I’ve achieved this year I burst with pride. Is it worth stepping out of your comfort zone for? Well if you don’t try it, you’ll never know…”
“So here is my story. I have wanted to become a VA for a few years but financially I couldn’t take the plunge fully plus I lacked in confidence and didn’t believe I could do it.
Be my own boss and lose the crutch of a business and their expertise? Never!
I launched a few years ago and had the odd client trickle through but nothing consistent, but in April 2016 everything changed. I got more interest and landed a couple of ongoing clients which was very exciting. I decided to leave a children’s Nursery Assistant role in June which I was really unhappy in and was working for a serviced office back in an industry I was familiar with.
After only a week I landed a few more clients from the networking group, suddenly I was working the day job and working on the business in the evening and feeling exhausted getting migraines but was ecstatic at the same time. I got up one sunny morning and decided enough is enough I have to leave and concentrate full time on the business. So there and then I contacted my boss and handed my notice in, giving two weeks notice which I was contracted to do.
The next day reality kicked in and I had so many questions floating around my head “have I done the right thing?” “What if I lose the clients I left my permanent role for?” “Will I succeed?” Among other things and I realised the crutch that I had got used to was gone and I was going it alone!!
Actually after a further 24 hours these feelings subsided and I started realising the benefits of being freelance like; I dictate my own hours, I get paid well for doing what I love, flexibility with the kids, no illnesses, no office politics and many more reasons.
Now 6 months on I wouldn’t change being my own boss for anything. Like today my daughter is ill and I can contact my client where I am meant to be working onsite for and explain that I will be working from home, thus still getting paid. In any permanent role I could not work from home so would have not got paid!!
I strongly believe we can do anything we put our minds to and take that leap of faith and we will succeed if we believe in ourselves.”
“I love the flexibility and that no one else gets to make decisions about the direction of my business or the projects I take on. I also love being based at home and using the hours I’ve gained back for better things than commuting.
Would I change it? Not in a million years!”
“The flexibility can be great for sure, but you have to exercise it with care otherwise you won’t get anything done. You do need to hold yourself accountable and make sure you have a to-do list and minimal distractions.
Working from home is fantastic though and something I should have done a long time ago. It’s terrifying at first but well worth it!”
“It is definitely the best thing I have ever done and if it wasn’t for the DIY course I don’t think I would have ever had the confidence so thank you Joanne Munro for that.
The best thing about being freelance is I am in control of my own destiny for once and following my own dream instead of helping to build someone else’s. I fit my hours in around my four kids which has been a godsend as we are such a busy family. It’s hard at times and scary as hell in the beginning but all so worth it!”
“It’s still very early days for me at the moment, but I’m definitely loving not having to get up at 6am and leave the house in the cold and the dark for a 1 1/4 hour commute into London! I’m also loving the fact that I’m learning so much about all sorts of things from websites to newsletters and am using my brain so much more than I ever did in the job I’d been in for 11 years!”
“The thing that I like the most at the moment is the appreciation! It is SO much more rewarding than big corporations where your work just truly doesn’t matter that much. It gives me a good feeling of working together, finding the best strategies and learning about someone else’s vision for their own dreams, and then helping them achieve that.
I’m working on setting my goals for 2017 at the moment and want to quit my day job by the end of 2017 at the latest – I know I can do it. Having a couple of small clients right now gives me so much confidence in myself that I grow more positive about it every day.
If I can do it, so can you. It is absolutely worth it, because you’re not only helping yourself grow, but others as well.”
I can show you motivational videos and interviews all day long and you can hear a billion VAs tell you how great working for yourself is and why it will be the best thing you’ll ever do.
But you know what?
It all means nothing unless you are willing to say “I’m going to do this. This is for me and I’m going to start now – not tomorrow or next week – now. I’m going to do this for me and I’m damned well going to make a success of it.”
If becoming a Virtual Assistant is something you definitely want to do, time is ticking my darling and you really do need to make a start.