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 exactly 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?
- Are you up for having to constantly market yourself for the entire duration of your career?
- Can you manage your own time and motivate yourself day in, day out? (Because there are way too many funny cat videos on YouTube!)
- Can you afford not to have a steady, regular income?
- Are you comfortable working with multiple deadlines?
- Can you communicate with and manage difficult people?
- Are you willing to constantly keep learning and improving your skills?
- Can you follow instructions? (do this test to find out)
- Can you handle working by yourself for days at a time?
- Are you willing to invest time and money in your business?
- Can you handle rejection and not take everything personally? (You will get a LOT of this!)
- A VA is a freelance administrator – do you have any admin skills?
- Do you understand that running your own business isn’t easy money and an easy lifestyle?
- Do you have confidence in both yourself and your skills?
- Can you research things by yourself and not expect to be given all the answers?
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 freelancing might not be for you.
And it’s better to find that out now because 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.
- Read my blog post in qualities you need to become a Virtual Assistant.
- Read my blog post on 15 blunt truths about what it means to be a Virtual Assistant.
- Consider doing my DIY VA course and let me help you set up your VA business. The course covers everything from choosing your niche, identifying and landing your ideal client, setting your services and rates, marketing your business and how to manage multiple clients once you’re up and running.