Welcome to the VA Handbook!
My name is Joanne Munro and I live in Brighton on the south coast of the UK. I set up my own Virtual Assistant business in 2008 within a week of discovering what one was, chucked in my job in June 2009 to see if I would sink or swim, and now I have an extremely satisfying career and can work from anywhere in the world.
And I created this site so I could help other people do the same.
We spend over half our lives at work and I firmly believe that if you don’t love what you do, aren’t valued, appreciated, paid well, and professionally fulfilled, then it’s a life half lived.
So my goal is to try and educate, support, encourage (and sometimes cajole) you into finding out whether freelance life is for you.
Because there are no longer any rules about how you work and live your life.
As long as you can pay your rent and eat, there’s no reason you can’t do what you want, when you want, where you want and for whomever you want. Millions of people live like this and there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t as well.
You just need to know where to start.
So, if you’re thinking of becoming a Virtual Assistant, I will help you set up our business. And if you’re already a VA, I will do my utmost to make you a better one.
What you’ll find in this site
I want to tell you what you need to do to become a Virtual Assistant and then how to work better once you’re up and running so you can expand and adapt as your business grows. As mentioned, I focus heavily on how to run a successful business and not just how to set up.
Integrity and honesty
I sometimes recommend products and services that I know you’ll find useful – but these are always things that I use myself or wholeheartedly endorse. I promise to always tell you when something is an affiliate link and everything I recommend will be 100% useful to you. Some things are more important than money and my reputation is definitely one of them.
More than just business advice
Working as a VA and being a business owner are two very different things. A VA needs to be detail-orientated to help organise clients, but they also need to have bigger picture skills in order to make their own decisions and steer their business in the right direction.
The first one will come naturally (you’re an admin machine, this is why you’re drawn towards the profession) but the second one probably won’t which is why a lot of my content focuses on how to be a good business owner and not just how to become a VA.
Because you need both to be successful.
And what you won’t
Excuse my French, but I really want to cut through the plethora of nonsense out there and deliver useful information so you can have a successful business and a happy work life. I want to give you clear facts so you can just get on with it.
Unicorns and fairies
It’s not my style to write in a cutesy kinda way. I’m definitely a bit direct and I’m not everyone’s cup of tea – and that’s okay. I just prefer to say what I think and not waste time tarting up a blog post so people will like me. I’m assuming you’re equally if not busier than I am and just want clear and simple information.
I also don’t believe in manifesting success from thin air or asking the Universe to do the heavy lifting. I just don’t believe in that woo-woo kinda stuff. I believe in hard work and making your own success.
What to do now
1. Join my VA Handbookers Facebook group
This is a wonderfully friendly and helpful international community of over 17,000 like-minded people all sharing their freelance journey and it should definitely be your first port of call. Click to join.
2. Sign up for some free courses
Whatever stage your business is at, I’ve got you covered. Whether you need help mustering up the confidence to get going, just want to know how to set up your business, are struggling with marketing, or simply want to grow your existing VA business, there’s a free mini-course to match.
3. Get on my mailing list
I’m not someone who emails you constantly (SO annoying!) but I do send out a monthly “Coffee Break” roundup newsletter with loads of useful info. It takes me days to write and I think it’s pretty good actually (brag). If you download my Free guide on what tools you need (and don’t need) to set up your VA business, you’ll automatically be added to my list and will receive the newsletter.
4. Read some blog posts
There’s a lot of information on my site and I want it to be really easy for you to find what you need. The best way to do this is to go to the Post Index page and click on the article you want to read.
Thank you for reading. The most exciting journey of your life starts right here!
Disclaimer – Although my website is called the VA Handbook, I’m not actually the person who wrote the book of the same name. The domain name was free and summed up what I wanted the site to be about so I took it!