Working for yourself is extremely hard work, you need a different mindset than when you were an employee and it isn’t for everyone. Because you should know what you’re letting yourself in for, let me tell you what it’s like to be a freelancer so you can make an informed decision and decide if it’s something you’d like to do.
It’s not all cafes and jimjams
As a Freelancer yes, you can take the day off from work and go to the cinema as I sometimes do, or work in your jammies all day – but you do actually need to have some work to skive off from in the first place!
You’ll also find that any ‘spare’ time is spent marketing, networking, refining your website, updating your Social Media, doing your expenses, learning new things and a gazillion other things that need doing when you work for yourself.
You’ll need to be a marketing whizz, learn to juggle client work with your own time, your income will be erratic, you’ll have to motivate yourself, you’ll sometimes be rushed off your feet and other times scared that the phone will never ring again, you’ll fall in and out of love with freelancing, there’ll be times when you’ll wonder if you’ll ever be able to take a holiday, some days you’ll be terrified you’ve made a dreadful mistake and I can guarantee that you’ll have some utter nightmare clients.
So if you can get more freedom without having to leave your job then it’s something you should look into first.
Alternatives to freelancing
- If it’s your working situation that’s the problem then your employer might let you work from home.
- If it’s your hours then they might be happy to let you job share or go part-time.
- If you hate the tasks you do or you feel undervalued or unchallenged then ask to have a review or see if you can move within the department or organisation.
- If you feel you’re not getting paid enough then negotiate a pay rise.
- If it’s your colleagues or boss then you need to address the situation and look into creating a better working relationship.
- If there are new policies at work that you don’t like then you might need time to get used to them or you may just need to get over it!
What I’m trying to say is that the answer might not be to leave your job, it might be that you just need to address your work situation instead.
Do you have what it takes to be a Virtual Assistant?
- Can you handle working on your own for days at a time?
- Are you up for having to constantly market yourself?
- Can you manage your own time and motivate yourself day in, day out?
- Can you afford not having a regular income?
- Are you comfortable working to multiple deadlines?
- Can you communicate with and manage difficult people?
- Are you willing to keep constantly learning and improving your skills?
- Can you be a one man army?
I’m not trying to deter you here – I’d love nothing more than to see you become a happy, successful freelancer but if you’ve answered no to most of the above questions then you might not be able to hack it.
And it’s better to find that out now as you’ll save a whole load of time, money and stress.
I still want to be a Virtual Assistant!
Right, then you have a lot of work to do my friend!
- Start by reading my How to Become a Virtual Assistant blog post which gives a summary of how to get started.
- Then go to the Start Here page to see a full list of all my blog posts so you can pick the ones that interest you and reflect the stage you’re at.
- Check out the types of things you might get asked to do by reading my post called 3 example VA tasks for you to try.
- Consider doing my DIY VA course which covers everything from choosing your niche, identifying your target client, setting your services and rates, sorting your LinkedIn profile and getting a steady stream of clients.