I’m always inspired by the emails I receive about being a virtual assistant or business in general. When my mentors give me advice I take heed to it. One of them being to operate your business as though you had thousands of clients and people interacting with you.
When I first started my business I didn’t know any better. I was very excited about what I’d discovered and at that point had not invested a whole lot of money into continual learning or coaching programs. Back then you could get me on the phone, schedule a lunch, or chat online to discuss how online business works for freelancers. I don’t do that any more. I found that I was the one exhausted in the end and the other person had this good information that would just sit and not be acted upon. How did I know that? Because they’d return for more questions or I’d check-up and casually ask about it. I quickly learned you cannot care more about someone else’s dreams or gifts than they do. I committed to not doing that anymore because it only frustrated me.
I have since invested not only time but money into my education and coaching to learn more and get wisdom from those who have been where I want to go. It’s been worth every ounce of my time and money. Not only do I listen to what they say but I watch what they do and how they run their business. I cannot pick up the phone and have an impromptu coaching session. I cannot send a direct message on Facebook and expect a response. I cannot send an email with the same message I sent on Facebook and expect someone to respond because now I’ve sent multiple messages. Instead there’s a set schedule in place that is adhered to and it’s a part of a higher level coaching program. Our company follows that that same model which works great because I don’t like picking up the phone unless a call has been scheduled. I’ve found most people get straight the point when they have to type out a message as opposed to talking. Plus email is much less invasive on someone’s time.
If you’re interested in becoming a virtual assistant here’s a couple of starting questions:
Have you ever worked with a client virtually before?
What skills do you have or are interested in learning so you can provide that service to a client?
If you have never worked with a virtual client I’m going to point you in the direction of Upwork or another job board of your choice and here’s why:
If you’ve never worked with a client virtually how do you know you’re going to like what you are doing. By submitting proposals to job boards your are bidding on projects as opposed to ongoing client work. If you don’t like it, you do not have to continue bidding.
It requires discipline to work virtual from your home or where ever you may be. You have no idea what it’s like to work without boundaries or limits until you are in that situation. You could easily over work yourself or allow too much time to pass by and be in a time crunch causing yourself stress. I’ve been in both situations.
The grass is not greener on the other side unless you nurture it. There are many virtual service providers who are very causal in regards to what they do. It takes a while to see the full picture that you are running a business whether you consider it that or not. The client on the other side is taking their business seriously and when they outsource to someone they expect the same in return. Whether you are working on a project to project basis or have a full blown virtual assistant business providing services to regular clients you must nurture that business accordingly. This is not something you enter into because it sounds like a good plan or you saw someone else who was successful and decided “me too, I want to do it too.”
If you are standing on the sidelines trying to figure out if this is the right thing or you know it’s the right thing and have not taken the opportunity to work with a virtual client it’s time to do so now. A great place to start is on a job board like Upwork. In my training courses I consider it like dipping your big toe in the water to test how it is. If you have a profile on Upwork that’s collecting dust, it’s time to make a decision and do something. Either you want it or not.
Decision makers run their race.
While you’re still wondering around, asking a zillion questions, waiting to see the results of the decision makers, you’ve been out lapped several times. Decide on something and go for it. If your decision is wrong, you do get a chance to make another one.
It’s my personal desire to see you successful as a freelancer or virtual assistant, however it’s up to you what you do with the information once it’s received. No phone call, discussion over coffee, or Skype chat is going to make you take action. That’s all up to you. What will you do?