With the Virtual Assistant and Remote Working world taking us by STORM, and by STORM I mean a HURRICANE 🙂 it seems to be the route that many ladies want to take! Which is great … don’t get me wrong, but there are some truths that you need to know before venturing out on your own VA journey.
MYTH #1 ~ BECOMING A VA MAKES YOU A FREELANCER
Ok so after having done this myself for 8 years, I can safely say that becoming a Virtual Assistant is by no means a holiday! In my coaching world, I am always coaching and teaching my ladies (locally and internationally) that being a VA does not make you a freelancer. The reason I say this is: seeing yourself as a freelancer, automatically puts your mindset into that freelancer mentality. By “freelancer” mentality I mean having to struggle all the time going online and fighting 2.5 million other VA’s for “per hour/per project” jobs that are short-term. The danger of this mentality is that you don’t see yourself as a serious business owner and yes even the CEO of your own company and will no doubt be grappling for work. For more on why I hate the term “freelancer” read that blog here!
MYTH #2 ~ BEING A VA IS A HOLIDAY
Many ladies are under the impression that ditching the 9-5 to start your own VA business will involve Netflix and chill at home 🙂 but the truth is, it is the exact opposite. Yes, you do client work and even better, you skip the traffic and fetch kids from school and take care of personal errands during the day which is SUPER! However, lots of work is required within your VA business in order to be successful. Besides the fact that you do client work, you need to get your name out there. And I don’t mean just for Instagram followers, but I mean REALLY get your brand out there so that you can truly start scaling your VA business and setting yourself apart from the competition. Which is totally doable! But will require time, dedication and effort in your business. And yes while it is not a holiday, being your own boss, calling the shots in your own life and making the serious money you never made before makes ALL the hard work worth it E-V-E-R-Y S-I-N-G-L-E DAY!
MYTH#3 ~ FINDING LONG-TERM QUALITY CLIENTS ARE DIFFICULT
I think this is the #1 myth I would like to bust today! Finding clients is NOT difficult at all. What is difficult is making sure you have set your business up the right way, leaving no bits and pieces out in terms of groundwork. Anybody who knows me is probably tired of me talking about groundwork, but let me tell you if you have set every aspect of your business up, finding clients is a dream. What is required to find these clients is the key factor! What it requires is time, dedication and an absolute drive to not give up… EVER! Clients are everywhere (especially now) waiting for QUALITY virtual assistants to find them. You need to KNOW the market, you need to know WHY your clients are looking for VA’s, you need to know HOW you will solve their problems and once you understand who your potential client is, you will bag clients like there is no tomorrow. But again it all begins with the groundwork, ok I will stop now 🙂
MYTH #4 ~ VA’s DON’T MAKE A LOT OF MONEY
Ok, so this is a big one! There is a stigma out there that VA’s just get by on tiny amounts and barely make it through and that most likely they would need to go back to the corporate world to make good money again. But trust me! Once you have set your business up the correct way and you know what you are doing, you can easily make 5-6 figures (like I did) a month incomes. Granted I made MANY MANY mistakes over my VA journey, most of you already know this. I learnt some VERY BIG lessons the hard way in some of the decisions I made, however, I did get myself to the 5-6 figure per month mark and I could’ve got there a hell of a lot quicker if I had known what I know today. So yes, you are more than capable to be the CEO of your own Virtual empire, with the right help!
MYTH #5 ~ YOU NEED A LOT OF MONEY TO START
So if you have read my story, you will know that when I started my VA business I had LESS than enough moola to start my business. I had to find the best way to do pretty much everything for free. Including, systems, marketing, websites and so much more. I did not have savings to contribute to the business, I did not have family money to use for my business. The only things that I really had were my experience and my absolute drive to make this work no matter what and I guess it did because here I am 8 years later 🙂 So if I can do it, you can too!
MYTH #6 ~ YOU NEED A DEGREE OR SOME SPECIAL SUPER-POWER TO BE A VA
I think many people are of the belief that business owners have to have a degree or some special something that they do not possess, but again I am here to dispel this myth. Here is just a list of 100 entrepreneurs who were “degree-less” and made it right to the top. I will just add my name to the list because all I had was a simple Matric (and even that was a miracle to me back then, because, at that age, education was important to me, but other things were much more a priority at that age (smile)). Of course, later on in my journey, I chose to take up a BBA degree by choice, but by all means, I had no after-school education to speak of when I started my VA business.
MYTH #7 ~ YOU NEED TO LEAVE YOUR 9-5 FIRST TO START YOUR VA BUSINESS
Many ladies are under the assumption that in order to be a success in their own business, they should leave their current jobs to pursue this full-time VA business, but the truth is… if you are one of millions who require a secure income, you cannot up and leave your 9-5 immediately with no plan or direction to speak of. Personally and in all my businesses, I believe luck loves preparation. Therefore the smartest thing you can do is to start setting up your VA business while you keep your full-time job so that by the time your business is all but ready to launch you have a business in place and can then determine what will be the most comfortable way to leave your 9-5. It is ALWAYS ALWAYS about planning.
MYTH #8 ~ THERE’S TOO MANY VA’S OUT THERE FOR YOU TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Yes, there are millions of women out there who are either wanting to start their VA businesses or have already established themselves. The truth is though that what the market REALLY needs is QUALITY, STAND-OUT Virtual Assistants! That minimises the numbers down a bit. If you are someone who has an absolute passion for excellence and put your clients first, you will NEVER have a lack of clients. Try not to focus on the competition however, just focus on your own lane and how you can be and do better and then the competition will no longer matter!
MYTH #9 ~ IT’S CHEAPER AND EASIER TO DO IT ON YOUR OWN
Again, back in the day the one thing I wished upon a wish that I had, was a MENTOR. Someone who could tell me what to expect, someone who could hold my hand through it all and tell me that things would be ok in the rough patches. My journey took a different path however and that path is using my experience and mistakes to take other ladies through the process step by step myself and show ladies what not to do in their businesses. Your journey however does not need to be as long and troublesome as mine, because if you find someone who knows the VA industry (someone who has ACTUALLY been a VA), who genuinely supports you through the process, explains what groundwork you need, and is there to answer ALL your questions, DO NOT let this person go. In life, a mentor is what we all need to help us through our journeys. I myself have an entrepreneurial mentor who takes me to another level. Someone who understands business, growth and profitability. This is an expense I will not forego, as this person has transformed the way I do business (FOREVER!). So my biggest suggestion is that you find a mentor, but not just a mentor, but THE mentor who will shape your journey and lead you to success and if you don’t know anyone like this, you know where to come to (hint hint) 🙂
MYTH #10 ~ THINKING YOU WILL FAIL
Let’s be honest, all of us have a “Mrs Negativity” that plays on our minds and thoughts every day and sadly “Mrs Negativity” normally comes from those around us, but most of the time from our very own minds. And it’s OK to feel scared, it’s OK to be insecure and feel that you might not even know where to begin on this journey, HOWEVER, do not let this paralyze you! Allow your fears to propel you into your purpose! Cos girllll it’s a BIG one!
So now that these myths are finally dispelled and we can move on from them. Starting your own Virtual empire might just be ONE of the most EXCITING decisions you ever make! A decision so liberating that you create your own journey and YOU get to decide what your future looks like and lady it’s B-R-I-G-H-T!
XoXo Mel (The VA Coach)