Here is the the thing, there are many work from home opportunities out there right now, some of them are scams, some are legit and some are MLM companies. I have no issues with MLM’s AT ALL so don’t send me angry emails- k? BUT the one they do well is make a lot of promises, about the money you will make, the life you will live, the oils that will heal you, the shakes that will slim you, the pots and pans that will make you a better cook- you have seen them all and if you are anything like me, it makes you a little bit hesitant to pull the gun and invest in them. Just like I’m sure you have seen some of my previous blog posts, sales page copy or social media posts and been weary of investing in a new VA career.
I’m here to tell you, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies and when it comes down to it, being a Virtual Assistant IS amazing and fulfilling and in my opinion, the best job in the world BUT it doesn’t come as easy as everyone makes it. It is a lot of work and at the end of the day, you are a business owner and owning a business is never easy, no matter what sales copy you have read.
Let’s chat about the 5 myths surrounding being a Virtual Assistant for a hot second:
1. We all just sit around in our pj’s and watch hallmark movies all day.
This basically sounds like my dream job so if being a VA means Hallmark movies all day, can someone please show me how to make this happen? Yes, I get to make my own schedule but truthfully, I have work to do every single day, deadlines to meet, tasks to complete, clients waiting on me, emails to answer and the list goes on. I am just as busy as the next person and don’t have time during the day to watch hallmark movies! I’m probably in my pj’s because I don’t have time to put real clothes on, not because I have so much time and I’m choosing to lay around all day.
2. Working from home is hard and draining because you are in your home looking at the dirty dishes and piles of laundry and it’s easy to get distracted and just start cleaning, turn on the tv, make day dates with friends and everything else that can distract you. It is important to draw boundaries, set a work schedule and leave the cheesy romance movies for your evenings.
3. You will instantly replace your income
Don’t listen to all the flashy claims out there, you will not replace your income in a few days or even a few weeks. Sure, it’s possible – but it’s not the exception not the norm. Don’t get discouraged if it takes you longer to replace your income or get to 5k months. Building a business is not instant and takes a long time to get it to a place where you can juggle enough clients to bring in 5k + months but you will only get there by starting so taking that first step is needed.
Being a VA is for everyone
During all my years of owning this business and running my VA agency, I can truthfully say that this career isn’t for everyone. I have hired many staff that just didn’t have the something something in them to successfully be a Virtual Assistant. There is definitely a certain type of person that can do this career and they must love owning their business. To have your own business you need to really want it and be motivated, you need to be willing to take risks and put yourself out there and for a lot of people that makes them extremely uncomfortable. If running your own business sounds like it might induce a panic attack, have no fear, you can always see if a VA agency is hiring staff which allows you to still be a VA but not do all the business running stuff like bookkeeping. To be a Virtual Assistant, you need to be organized, customer service driven, adaptable and ready for anything. When I first hired Ashley, one of our team members, she had no experience in this industry at all but Ashley came to us with a caring heart who was ready to take on anything, learn everything and she was a gem with everyone so I knew that those core traits would be so valuable to me, the rest of the team and our clients. All of the tasks that I would later have Ashley take care of were easily trainable but finding someone with a heart of gold, desire to learn and passion for making others happy was something that I could never train.
4. You can start this career with $0
I did start this career off with a very low budget BUT I was able to do that because I had owned a previous photography company so I already had two companies, a printer, desk/office space and had some basic business knowledge before launching my VA business.
You are starting a business and not a hobby and with that, there will be expenses. My advice is to first make a list of the services you want to offer than research the programs, platforms, and tools you will need to be successful at delivering those services. You may have a skill that you really want to learn and a service that is on your list of offerings but you need to invest in a course to learn how to do it. Write all your expenses and potential expenses down and keep in mind that investing in your new business will help you to make money.
5. Life will be so much easier
As I type this, I’m completely sleep-deprived, my phone is going off none stop, my house is a complete and utter disaster and I’m pretty sure I forgot to pack my kid’s lunch. My life is not easier, it just looks different than my friends who either don’t work at all or work a 9-5 job. You know how as moms, we always compare ages? “ oh, you must have it so easy with kids who are in their teens”. Ahhh ok, I guess it looks like cause I’m not dealing with dirty diapers but trust me, the tantrums and attitude is something I would trade for a diaper any day. Just like parenting, working from home isn’t easier than those who go into work, it’s just different.
All of this to say that being a Virtual Assistant is amazing and such a fulfilling career but don’t be fooled by all the marketing, it is a business not a job that requires dedication, hard work and a passion for serving others. In my course, Propel to Digital Freedom, we tried our best to take a more holistic approach and touch on topics such as balancing a social life with being a business owner, quitting your job with confidence, how to launch your VA business so that you can avoid spending weeks researching this information, how to get started with things like social media marketing and email marketing and finally how to take your business to the next level. I also offer one on one coaching for all our students to take any questions that you still may have and help you side by side.