If you provide a service that is not your natural thing, switch it up. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
Do you want a job or a business? Being a virtual assistant is not a job. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
Jump out there and don’t let your fears get in the way. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
Hi and welcome to The Business of Being a Virtual Assistant. I’m your host, Tiffany parson, and this is episode number 110. Thank you so much for listening or watching.
If this is your very first time, you just stumbled upon the podcast or this video – maybe you were searching virtual assistant, getting started as a virtual assistant. I’m so glad that you found this podcast. Keep listening. This is going to help you out tremendously, at least I hope so. I think so. Anyway, let’s see.
We’re going to talk about being honest with yourself about your virtual assistant business.
My theme for this week has just been coming clean. I wrote a podcast under my personal blog about coming clean. I also posted on my Facebook page. I’ll tag the blog post in the show notes so you can, you know, check out what that is. But that is still ringing in my head, so I thought I’d continue with that in today’s podcast.
If this is your first time listening, we’re going to talk about being honest in becoming a virtual assistant or in your current virtual assistant business, wherever you are. Now, the way this podcast works, I just let it flow. I don’t pull out any editing. I love to make it feel like you’re sitting right in front of me, and hopefully you feel the same way.
Let me ask you this question. Why do you want to be a virtual assistant or why are you a virtual assistant?
Many of us have gotten into this industry for different reasons. Some of us may have fell into it. Some of us wanted to work from home. We wanted flexibility. We wanted to be able to command our own dollar amount, wanted to be able to do something fun, wanted to work in an environment where we are appreciated, work from home, extra money, all those different things.
Why did you become a virtual assistant or why do you want to? The reason why this is so important is because when things don’t work out how you expect them to, this is what we draw from. This is what we remember.
A few days ago I was talking to this lady in the hair salon and she was asking me, “Hey, so how is business going and stuff?” I started, you know, talking to her about what’s going on, and she was talking about something, you know, different, not realizing that I also have a virtual assistant business, which was cool because I think we had talked about something else before. You know, and you guys, if you’ve been listening for a while, you know I also direct sales.
Anyway, I was sharing with her about being a virtual assistant and how long I’ve been working from home. It’s been over nine years now. She was very intrigued and she was like, “Wow, you know, a lot of people just wouldn’t do that. They wouldn’t leave Corporate America and the security of their job and things like that.” Well, it’s always funny when people tell me that because I think there’s no way I would go back. It’s still fresh on my mind what it was like. I told her, I said, you know, “Yeah, I started in 2008 doing this and it’s been rolling ever since.”
You know, every business has its highs and lows. When there’s a low, when you really, really want to be a virtual assistant, you really want to serve, you really want to provide to clients, you want to be able to make money, have that flexibility, be anywhere in the world and work, you don’t need anybody to push you along. You don’t need anybody to convince you, “Hey, girl, you need to get you some more clients.” You don’t need anyone to help you do that because you know why you’re here.
When she was talking about how, you know, courageous it was and stuff, you don’t think about the courage of it but I guess it does take courage to be different from the norm and what most people do. Most people, you know, go find a job and with the whole healthcare situation, you know, there’s a scare about that. Some people are holding onto their job because of healthcare.
I had a whole other conversation with some ladies at the gym about healthcare and how expensive it is and stuff. It all started because I was telling her, you know, that I work from home and what I do and she was like, “Oh, you’re a nerd. You’re a techie,” and I just embrace it. “Yes, that’s me. I love it.”
But then the whole thing with healthcare. Well, do not let that keep you from your dream of owning your own business from home.
If it is being a full-time virtual assistant, you know, having your own virtual assistant business, wonderful. If it’s something else, maybe you’re just being a virtual assistant part-time to get you to something else, then that’s fine too. But don’t let something like healthcare or what other people say get in the way of you fulfilling your dream. That’s why, you know, you always hear, “What is your why? What is your why?” Because that’s what we draw from.
I want you to be really honest with yourself. Hopefully, it’s not because someone else thought it would be a good idea for you, or because you heard somebody say they make six figures as a VA and so you want to do it too. Hopefully, it’s because of something deep down inside of you that has you really excited about being a virtual assistant because then you will stick and stay.
Things switch up. You provide different services at different times, working with different types of people. I love it because you’re not stuck in a rut. When you feel like that, you can totally switch things up and switch gears and do something else within your VA business, and you could also subcontract and you become like a project manager and have VAs that actually do the work and you interact with the client and oversee the project.
Now, I’m going to look this way because I’ve got notes and I want to make sure – I also want to make sure my audio is recording. But I need to peek at another question.
Okay, what does it mean to you to be a virtual assistant? Like not what the service means, but what does it mean to you personally?
Here’s my example. For me, being a virtual assistant means ownership, freedom, time, flexibility, creativity, independence, a certain lifestyle. That is what being a virtual assistant means to me. What does it mean to you?
In other words, I have people that find either my website or the podcast for the very first time. Shout out to everybody that has found me for the very first time. This is your first time listening to the podcast, or maybe you found my eBook and you wrote me back and let me know you got it and you’re just at the starting point.
I’m going to ask you this. If you don’t do it, if you don’t start, what does your professional life look like if you don’t do it? What does it look like?
For me, with all the things that I named about what it means to be a virtual assistant, if I hadn’t of started, it means I’m no longer independent. It means I don’t have freedom. It means I’m still begging for time off for vacation. It means I’m still, you know, following the dress code. It means I might have two weeks’ vacation, but I have to ask permission to take the time that I thought was mine off.
It means someone else controls how much I make. Not that they control how much I’m worth or how, you know, valuable I am. I know how valuable I am. I know how much I’m worth. But your job attaches a dollar amount to that. So if you don’t start your virtual assistant business, or for me if I didn’t start my virtual assistant business, it means someone is still putting that dollar amount on me. I can’t, you know, go in there and be like, “Oh, I’m going to, you know, my rate has changed. It’s now this.” No, they tell you.
When I was working in corporate, it was an annual raise, and an annual bonus, maybe. Maybe, depending on how well the company did, how well you did, and whether your manager liked you, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Right? You know, especially if you’re still in corporate, you know how it works.
If you don’t start, what does that mean to your professional life? That should be more important than being afraid to write a proposal, letting people know that you are a virtual assistant, letting people know that you provide a certain service, even if it’s just verbally letting them know, putting it out there.
You know my favorite site to go to where people are already looking for you – Upwork.com. I’ve got a whole 21 Day Guide to help you along the way what to do from day 1 all the way to day 21 to get you where you want to be to get, you know, the start going.
I’m asking you today to just be honest with yourself why you’re a virtual assistant or why you want to be one. What does it mean to you to be one?
If you don’t do it, if you don’t start or if you give it up, if you give up – maybe you’ve tried and you’re at the point where, “You know what, Tiffany? I tried. It’s not working. I give up.” Well, what does that mean if you do that?
It’s amazing how many business owners are asking, “Where do you find a virtual assistant? How do you find one? How do you find a good one? Do you know of one?” This and that. They’re looking for us. Guess where the coaches are telling them to go? Upwork.com.
I would love if they would say, “Can you contact Tiffany Parson? She has a whole audience of virtual assistants.” But even if they did, I’ve had some that have come to me – if you’ve been on the list for a while, a listener for a while, you know I’ve had people come to me looking for virtual assistants. I put it out there. I send the email out there for you all to get in contact with them.
I think I heard back from just a couple over the years, not whole lot. The only thing I don’t know in that situation is how did it turn out? Did somebody get the job? Did it work out? Did they do a good job? I really can’t vouch for anybody unless I’ve really, you know, worked with them directly. Whole point of that is to let you know that they’re looking for you.
You don’t have to learn how to code or do anything that seems big right now. Start with what you already know from your current job.
For example, I have a client, I do their client care. What is that? It’s like customer support. People email their questions. “How do you find this?” “Where do you go for that?” “I have an issue with billing,” this and that. I answer their question.
Not bad, from the house, right? If the whole dress code thing is your issue, being flexible, time, freedom, deciding when you work, where you work, all those things are important to you. Anyway, I’m not here to convince you. I just want you to be honest about why you want to be a virtual assistant.
Years ago, I don’t know if this is still the case, but people were hopping into the industry just because they thought it would be easy. I’m going to tell you right now no business is easy. No business is easy. There’s going to be an area that’s easy for you.
Hopefully, the actual servicing part is, what you’re offering as a service is not the challenging part. You know, there are new things that come. You may have to learn a new tool, a new skill or whatever. But hopefully you are not picking something hard to provide as a service because you think you can make more money that way. If it’s not your natural thing, switch. Please switch. Switch it up.
You know, I like Excel spreadsheets and playing with numbers and working with numbers, but I’m not offering bookkeeping services. No, no, no, no. I have to remind myself to do my own. I even, you know, oh, I’m going to do it like this. Especially around, you know, tax time when you’re like, okay, I got to get it all done, and every year I’m like I’m going to do it earlier. I’m going to do it earlier. Like right now, I’m thinking about tax time for the 2017 tax filing in 2018. I’m thinking about that right now because I want to be early, want to have it all done.
I send my accountant like a Word document and list everything out. I don’t send them a box of receipts. I go through my own stuff and organize and categorize and send them the whole list and all this stuff. They don’t get my spreadsheets that I work in. They get it finalized in a nice word document list item by item. They love me [laughs] because, you know, for all I know all they’re doing is entering in the numbers I put into the form, and that’s fine.
I’ll pay them whatever it costs to get it done because I don’t want to keep up with tax laws and all this stuff, right. They’re good at that. That’s the easy part of them. That would be the hard part for me. Anyway, I don’t want to go down the road of talking about taxes, but it’s getting – we’re in the fall now so I’m starting to think about it.
All right, oh, last question. Do you want a job or a business?
If you want a job, that’s cool. There are virtual assistant jobs out there. But if you want a business – and the title of this podcast is The Business of Being a Virtual Assistant, and I wanted to stress it. I wanted that to be the title because, oh, one thing I want to just scream from the rooftops about being a virtual assistant is that it’s not a job. I don’t want to hear, you know, you won’t hear me saying, “Your virtual assistant career,” because those are words that go with corporate world.
Business owners – career, job, resume don’t go with business owners. It just doesn’t.
If you’ve been a listener for a while, you know I have this thing about resumes. “Oh, send your resume.” Oh, oh, oh, it just gets under my skin when people want a virtual assistant’s resume. I’m a business owner. Did you ask your doctor for a resume? Did you ask your accountant for a resume? Did you ask your hairstylist for a resume? No. What did you ask them? You may have asked for testimonials, for examples or “Let me see your website,” or “What do you know? or “How can you help me?”
Examples of your work, not a problem. But a resume, I mean, what would that look like? Do I list out all of my clients I’ve ever worked with, or you know, is it just one main line, Virtual Hired Hand, 2008 to current, and all of my services? What does a virtual assistant resume look like? That just wouldn’t work.
Anyway, that’s my person opinion. You don’t have to think that. You may have other ideas or other thoughts, but that is my personal opinion about it. When people say, “Virtual assistant resume,” I cringe. Maybe they don’t know, and I’ve talked to a few people that have asked about a resume, and just they didn’t know. But we, as a business owner, you help them know.
Now, I don’t know if today was like a rant or this whole thing about being honest, coming clean. I don’t know. Anyway, feeling really, really good today, and I hope you are too.
I’m going to link up the blog post that I mentioned. I’m going to link that up. If you’re not following me on social media, I’d love to hear from you. Come over, hang out. I’m on Facebook every single day. I’m going to tell you a little secret about Facebook. I am there every day because I have to be for my client work, so I have to be on Facebook. You know, when you comment on my page, I see it because I’m there on Facebook. I’m managing groups and so I see Facebook all day every day. Anyway, I want to hear from you. Let me know how things are going.
Again, shout out to my first-time listeners, shout out to my regular listeners. You guys are awesome, and the reason why I show up episode after episode is because you let me know that you’re listening, and so I know if I’m helping at least one person get started in their virtual assistant business, if I’m giving encouragement to one virtual assistant business owner, if I’m doing that every single week, then I know I am accomplishing the goal of this podcast.
Don’t let your fears get in the way. Jump out there. Let’s just make it happen for you. Get your freedom. Get your financial situation under control. If this is extra money or full-time money, whatever the case may be, it’s your world. You make it happen the way you want it to.
Thanks again for listening. You have a great day.
Thanks so much for tuning in. If you like what you heard, stay tuned. We’ll be back. Tell me what’s going on with you. Come on over the Facebook page: facebook.com/tiffanyparsonbiz, or if you prefer a little shorter message, come on over to Twitter: @tiffanydparson.
See you next time!