I’m lucky because I seem to have been born with loads of confidence. It never occurs to me that I won’t be able to do something – I might wonder how I’m going to do it, but I never think that I can’t. However, I know that most people aren’t freaks like me and need a bit of a push to get out of their comfort zones. So hold still while I give you a good hard shove!
I’d like to tell you a story
Back before I became a Virtual Assistant, I was moaning to a friend that my life was in a bit of a rut and that I felt my (enormous) talents were being wasted. Life was passing me by and I wasn’t living the type of life I wanted – not that I even knew what kind of life that was – I just knew I wasn’t fulfilled and that I wanted to be more.
My friend then told me about a book by Jack Canfield called The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.
Initially I was a bit “yeah really, a self-help book, whoop-di-doo”. I’m not a self-help kinda gal and I assumed the book was going to be rather la-la with all sorts of cosmic nonsense. And it kind of was in a way… yet I completely credit it as being the sole reason I set up my business.
The book has actually got a bit of an American “you can do it, whoooo!” slant, but at the same time he gives you techniques and advice that make you take a long look at your situation, work out what you want, focus on it, aim for it, and then get it.
And it works.
I often refer back to this book to keep me on track and help me get what I want. There are certain statements that still really resonate with me and I’d like to share them with you so you can get the kick up the arse you need to stop faffing around and start your own VA business.
Take 100% responsibility for your life – stop the excuses, stop the victim stories and shut up with all the reasons why you can’t and why you haven’t.
99% of all failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses – give up your excuses, stop the self-limiting thoughts and stop thinking that external factors are preventing you from doing what you want when really it’s just you.
You have control over three things in your life – the thoughts you think, the images you visualise, and the actions you take. How you use these three things determines everything you experience. If you don’t like what you’re producing and experiencing then change your responses, your negative thoughts, what you read, who you spend time with, and what you do.
If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got – if you want something different then you’re going to have to do something different. This was a big one for me and I also realised it was far better to be the instigator of change than to always be reacting to it.
Stop settling for less than you want – not being clear about what you want and making other people’s needs and desires more important than your own is simply a habit. If you keep settling for less then you’ll never get what you want.
You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with – if you’re surrounded by people who never get off their rears and do anything new then neither will you. Make sure you’re surrounded by motivated, positive and encouraging people (even if they’re just online) and limit the negative, toxic people who are going nowhere.
Believe it’s possible – don’t waste your life believing you can’t or you never will.
Deal with considerations, fears and roadblocks – considerations are all the reasons you give yourself why you shouldn’t attempt a goal, so deal with them and move past them. Fears are feelings of potential failure and are just a normal part of the process. Roadblocks are simply real-world external obstacles – they’ll always exist and you have to work around them. None of these three things should prevent you from doing anything you want to do.
You have to be willing to feel the fear – people who always avoid feelings of anxiety or fear run the risk of never getting what they want in life. Most of the good stuff requires taking a risk even if it doesn’t work out. If you never try then you’ll never know.
The universe rewards action – when you take action you trigger all sorts of things that lead you towards your goal. People start to help you, you start to learn new things, you develop new skills, and things start to become clearer and nearer. So if your ship doesn’t come in then swim out to meet it.
Don’t be afraid to ask – people are often afraid to ask for something because they’re scared they’ll get a no or they might feel stupid – but by not asking they’re actually rejecting themselves straight away. Don’t assume you’re going to get a no (even if you do, you’ll be in the same position as when you started). The book gives you a lot of further advice on who to ask for assistance, work, advice, information, training or support and how to get it.
Ready, fire, aim! most people spend so long aiming that they never fire. Just fire, see what happens then readjust your aim. Constant firing and readjusting is a much quicker way to hit a target.
Practice the rule of five – if you swing an axe five times each day at a huge tree then one day it will fall down. Often a task feels too big but if you do five things (I did three when I set up) every day that bring you nearer your goal then you’ll reach it.
Quit waiting – stop waiting for perfection, permission, reassurance, your kids to grow older, an absence of risk, more self-confidence yada yada – just get on with it! Life is short, don’t sleepwalk through it.
These were the things in the book that personally resonated with me and helped me pull my finger out and change my life for the better. Pretty much as soon as I started reading it I seemed to open myself up to new opportunities and things started to happen. I’m not sure why they did but he said they would and they did.
Actually, getting started as a VA is kind of the easy bit!
As a VA you’re going to come across loads of things you don’t know how to do, but a great VA will think around the problem, find out how, and then will know for next time. As Woody Allen said “80% of success is just showing up” so if you never become a Virtual Assistant then you’ll never get the chance to be a good one!
If you don’t believe in yourself and your business then you can’t expect anyone else to. Getting set up is just the beginning and there’s never a perfect time to launch so you might as well just do it now!