You don’t have to explain yourself if you feel uncomfortable. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
When investing in training, you want it to apply to multiple clients. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
If something doesn’t feel right, don’t feel obligated to do it. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
Some very interesting things happened this week in regards to working from home opportunities and also a project on Upwork, and just made me realize that maybe I should share on the podcast some things to be aware of. I think the biggest thing is to know if it sounds too good to be true, it is.
If it makes you uncomfortable, go with your gut. Go with what you’re feeling. A lot of times, you know, for me, I’m a Christian and the Holy Spirit lets me know if something is off, if something is not right, and we have a choice to either go with it or not.
If something doesn’t feel right to you, don’t feel obligated to do it. Do what is best for you.
There are all kinds of work from home opportunities and you may have heard this before in regards to – I think you’ll see like years ago when we go on Monster.com looking for jobs or even in the paper looking for jobs when they would say you had to pay to do this or that, that was like a warning sign. If you have to pay to get a job, then it’s not a job. It’s really a business or a contract position that they’re not telling you about.
This first situation, I personally have not had any – I don’t have any experience or first-hand knowledge. I won’t mention company names. I’ll just give you the scenario. Maybe you can figure it out.
What it is, it’s a work from home opportunity. They do let you know up front that it is a contractor position. They tell you, you can pick your own hours, but then they let you know that you are responsible for paying for your background check and you’re responsible for paying for the training. Depending on which company’s project you want to do, whether it’s the cable company, security, roadside assistance or whatever, you pay for that particular training.
Now, here’s the thing. When you own your virtual assistant business, yes, you do pay training. But guess what? That’s across the board. It’s something that is a skill that is not exclusive to one client project. If you learn how to do email newsletters or how to transcribe or code or do graphics or edit, different things like that, those are things that can be applied to different clients. It’s not exclusive to that one client.
In this work from home opportunity, it was not starting your own virtual assistant business. You’re a contractor with a particular company. But what they were saying is that you were required to pay for training so that you could work on this one particular project exclusive to them. If you decide a few months down the road this is not my deal, I’m going to go to something else, you can’t take that training, that knowledge, that information. You can’t take it with you to another client or something else, and so to me that’s a huge red flag because when you’re investing in your training, you want something that will be able to be applied to different people, not in this one particular thing.
Then, I did some digging because it just sounded fishy to me. Someone was asking me about it and I’m like, hmm, I don’t think so. I did some digging around to discover that there’s a main company and they don’t – like you can’t just apply to work as a contractor with this main company. You have to be one of their “certified” companies or contractor companies or however it works, and then that certified contractor company finds all the people that do the work from home actual work stuff, which is like customer service and different things like that.
That was fine, but the thing is this middle company didn’t say anything about the main company, which was a problem. Then, some feedback I found online is that some people said you go through the training for the classes and there was no guarantee that you would get the hours that you wanted or any hours at all based on the training you got.
For example, if you got training on roadside assistance, there was no guarantee that there were hours available to work roadside assistance, and they still had the class open for training. Imagine you pay $200 for a class. You think you’re going to be doing some contractor work, but there are no hours to go with that, and that’s the promise at the beginning. Oh, you get to select your hours, dah, dah, dah. Sounds really fishy, especially to me.
I’ve been in my own virtual assistant business for over nine years and not one time have I had to pay for training exclusive to one particular client. Any training I’ve paid for applied to, you know, could go to any of my clients if they needed that particular service. It was for me personally.
So, you know, be vigilant in your searching to make sure that something like that is legit or you feel comfortable with it, because there were mixed reviews. Some people said “yes.” Some people said “no.” I didn’t like that you have to pay for training, pay for your background check, and there were no work hours on the other end of that, so, no.
The other thing, I got a recent question on my Facebook page from Tammy. Something that she pretty much had already, you know, answered and handled it. Sounded like she handled it very well. But I wanted to share it with you here on the podcast because you may run into this scenario where what happened was somebody on Upwork wanted her to – they were going to send her a check for her to buy a laptop and I think some software and, gosh, something, oh, man something with the check. She didn’t feel right about it. She was not sure about it.
If I can pull it up really quick on my Facebook page. Let me see here. Trying to pull it up really, really quick because I think that if somebody brand new ran into this scenario, they may think it was okay. The alarm bells might not go off right away. I’m going to read to you exactly what she said. “I’m on an online interview with an Upwork client right now, but I have a strange feeling.”
You get a strange feeling, go with that. It could be a strange feeling through email, a text, a Skype call, whatever. Go with it. There’s reasons why you instinctively get these alarm bells. Like I said, for me, I call that the Holy Spirit. It’s like a shout like, ah, no, no, warning, warning, you know, like that.
Okay, she says, “They want me to immediately deposit a check via my bank’s mobile app to order software for a laptop they’re sending to me. I just feel like I’m jumping through hoops, and the check doesn’t even have the company name on it. It’s from a different company. Help!”
When a client is purchasing software for you to do what they want you to do for you, nine times out of ten the client registers for the software themselves and they give you access to it, either they give you their login or they create a login just for you so you can use it. You don’t deal with the billing or anything of that nature regarding the software. You just get access to it.
Let’s say if a client wanted to get you a laptop. If this is a brand-new client you’ve never worked with, I would be uncomfortable with that. If it’s someone you’ve built a relationship over time, if they’re going to send you something, then they’re, again, the financial aspect of it you don’t even see. You’re going to get the end result, the software, the equipment, not having to deal with a check and pay for it and all that. No, no, no, no. Red flag.
I mentioned in last week’s episode about being in direct sales as well as having my virtual assistant business, and there’s this common scam that goes around where people will email and claim they’re going to order, but they don’t have a credit card so they’re going to send you a check and then you’re supposed to deposit that check.
Well, here’s the scam. You deposit that check and they want you to send – it’ll be a check that’s more than the amount that they’re ordering. Say, they’re ordering $100. They’re going to send you a $600 check and you send back the difference. Well, by the time that check is in your account and processed days later, it may bounce. But guess what? You’ve already sent the extra money and that’s where the scam comes in, or maybe they just want to get access to your information.
Beware: if it gives you a strange feeling, if it makes you feel uncomfortable, don’t go with it.
Don’t feel like you have to explain yourself. You don’t owe anyone an explanation because you’re feeling uncomfortable. You don’t owe anyone an explanation. You just let them know, “I’m going to pass on this.” I wouldn’t even dive into telling them that you’re not feeling good about it. Just, “I’m going to pass on this. Thanks so much,” and move on.
Now, I, in a nutshell, responded back to Tammy and gave her that information. But also if this comes up on Upwork, report that client to Upwork. There should be a button where you can report them. If there’s a place there to explain the situation, you can explain it to Upwork. But I would definitely report them because who knows what they’re up to.
It didn’t sound right to me based on my experience and working with clients for all this time and the way things work. I’ve had clients send me, back in the day, a disc with software on it. Now, we just, you know, go to the website and login. I’ve gotten a laptop and things like that. But these are with people that I’ve developed a relationship over the years, not somebody brand new. Somebody brand new on Upwork, no, that’s usually not the case.
Anyway, this episode is more like a warning for you to just be aware what’s out there.
Everybody that’s on the Internet is not good. I’m reminded of that every day because it’s easy to forget. It’s easy to be in this bubble where everybody is nice and cool and, you know, looking out for you and all that stuff. But, no, that is not the case. Beware: we get those warnings within us for a reason.
Now, a little follow up from last week’s episode, Making the Decision to Win. If you have not listened to that episode, I’m going to encourage you to do so. It’s all about deciding to win in your virtual assistant business and I used the example of direct sales.
Well, the follow up to that is just to share with you what I did in regards to my direct sales business. I made the decision to win. I felt like I was winning with my virtual assistant business, in my personal life, in my marriage, but this one area was a sticking point because of things that I just wasn’t doing. I was not getting outside of my comfort zone.
So I did just that, and as a result, I won. I have a new team member and I won a watch, which I didn’t even know was an incentive because I missed the email or whatever. But I won a watch as a part of the August incentive. I’m really excited about that. If you’re curious to know what it looks like, I put it on my Facebook page. I got a picture of it. Don’t have it yet because it’s still August, right.
But anyway, I wanted to share with you because one of the things I said in that episode is that when we decide to win, we start to see opportunities. It’s like they appear. They pop up. Anyway, I’m not going to go back through that whole episode. I want you to listen to that episode again.
I encourage you to make the decision to win, and also be smart as you’re seeking clients for your virtual assistant business.
Thanks so much for listening and for watching today’s episode. I’ll see you next time.
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!