Amanda Johnson, the owner of Vact.com, lifts the lid on 7 Virtual Assistant (VA) myths and offers advice on how to get a VA career going.
‘There are many Virtual Assistant (VA) myths out there, designed to prevent you from making your VA business dreams a reality. If you’re looking to become a VA and start your own VA business, here are the 7 VA myths along with the reality behind them.
Virtual Assistants are all stay-at-home mums
This VA myth is all about stereotyping the VA! The VA industry doesn’t just comprise of stay-at-home mums! VAs come from a diverse background of skills and niches, as well as ages and personalities. Yes, some are stay-at-home mums – however, there are also young single women, people taking on a second career and those choosing a new direction after redundancy or retirement.
To make a great Virtual Assistant you need an amazing skillset
You do need to have skills that reflect what you’re offering, especially if you’re specialising in that skill. However, many VAs also build a network of associate VAs. This is where they collaborate with other VAs, who can bring in additional skills, the original VA doesn’t have. This enables them to offer their clients access to a wider range of skills, without the need to learn that skill themselves.
The business experience you’ve gained in the past can go a long way to building your own unique range of skills. For example, you may have several years of management or call centre experience – both can stand you in good stead, as a VA. Another important area is that of life experience – never underestimate how important life experience, common sense and resourcefulness are, in the VA role!
Becoming a Virtual Assistant means you’re an employee
If you’re currently trying to get away from being an employee and you’re looking to strike out on your own, this is one of those VA myths that’s designed to keep you stuck. It’s designed to keep your dreams of being your own business owner from becoming your reality, by implying that nothing will change – you’ll ways be an employee.
Unlike employees, VAs work with their clients to achieve a common goal. The VA is responsible for his/her own business too. They can choose who they work with, what they will and will not do, along with what they will charge for that service. If you dislike working with a client, you can choose to end that relationship too, something employees have no choice in.
Anyone can become a Virtual Assistant
Not everyone is suited to the VA role. A VA needs to be proactive if they want their business to thrive. They’re invested in the success of their client’s business, often acting as a business partner or associate. Those who aren’t organised and patient, don’t make great VAs. And it goes without saying, you need to be a resourceful problem solver and an action taker if you want to be an awesome VA.
Virtual Assistants focus only on administrative work
VAs don’t just carry out the diary and call management. There are many specialist VAs out there – providing everything from graphic design to blog writing, launch management to video editing. In fact, focusing on one area to specialise in will do wonders for your VA business!
The Virtual Assistant market is totally saturated
There may be a lot of VAs out there, but there’s also a lot of businesses! The VA market isn’t saturated. As for those other VAs being your competition – please don’t see them that way. The VA industry is the most collaborative industry I know. Other VAs may specialise in different niches to you or even work with different sized companies. Then there are the different physical locations they may work or focus on. And finally, they may just become a great asset to your VA business – if you looked at expanding your Associate base!
All VAs need to be Entrepreneurs
This one IS true. If you want your VA business to succeed, you need to become both a VA and a business owner. Running your own VA business does mean you need to see it both as a business and your career. This means setting aside time, not just for your client work, but for your own development and that of your business growth too.
When it comes to making the decision to start your own VA business, these VA myths may initially stop you. However, when you look at the facts behind those myths, you’ll see that most are based on fear. Fear of the unknown and a fear of change. If you want to become a VA in 2018, make the decision to make it happen, regardless of the fear mongers out there. If you want it to become your reality, step through your own fears and make it happen!
About Amanda Johnson and VACT
Hi, I am Amanda Johnson of VACT Limited, I’m a Virtual Assistant Coach, Trainer and Mentor offering a variety of courses and workshops, both free and paid to help both aspiring, new and experienced Virtual Assistants to launch, create and grow their own successful VA business
I am a military veteran, having served 23 years in the Royal Navy, married to Andrew (who is also a military veteran). Andrew now runs his own business but also mum to 2 gorgeous little boys (James and Jacob) who run me ragged but teach me a lot of business lessons. My life is a juggling act!
VACT Limited was named as “The Best VA Training Provider in both 2016 and 2017” in the PA Assist Members Voice Awards. I am passionate about “Creating Exceptional VA’s, so all of the VACT training courses and mentoring options, are designed to support and fit around you, your current work commitments, your individual circumstances including family commitments and your budget.
“I am at my happiest when I am inspiring, challenging and supporting others” (and there might be a bit of xxx kicking in there too!). But I am well known for my honest and direct approach to helping others.
Want to know more about becoming a VA – then please feel free to contact me by email at Amanda@vact.co.uk or visit our VACT website‘
You can also connect Amanda via VACT’s social spaces:
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