In May 2017 I took on my first piece of Virtual Assistant work. I knew I could do the work, I had over a decade’s experience in admin roles; a doctorate’s worth of transferrable skills; and I’m a very adaptable kind of person. If I need to know about something, I’ll find a way to make sure I do. But I worried about all the things you expect to when starting a new business. Would I get enough clients? Would they be happy with my work? Would I find work I enjoyed? How would it all play out with an 8-month-old alongside me?
One of the best and scariest things I did in the early stages of my business planning was to sign up for some group business coaching. It gave me support when I needed to find bravery; information on what to do when; and accountability when it was super scary to put myself out there. I did Ruth Kudzi’s “Accelerate Your Success” programme, although I don’t think it was called that at the time. It was utterly terrifying to invest in myself at that point. I’d had one one-off client, and no idea how to move forward from there. So spending that money was… difficult. I had absolutely no idea if I’d ever make it back! As I say, I have absolutely no regrets, and I do wonder if I’d be where I am now if I hadn’t done that.
In general, when people ask me about being a VA, I tell them it is the best thing I ever did in my career. Which is true. It’s also only part of the story.
Any job has its highs and lows, and being a Virtual Assistant has them too. Highs include each time I sign a new client. The people I’ve got to know, and new skills I’ve learned. Building up and seeing what was an idea become an actual business. Lows included the unpredictability of work and income, especially in the early days. The days when my little one was poorly and I had to juggle everything. And I don’t think many people are super excited about their tax returns, and my first one was definitely a steep learning curve. FYI, the HMRC Twitter help is fantastic!
So, it is absolutely a month of celebration! On the blog over the rest of May I’ll be talking about the most unexpected things I’ve learned in the last two years; the challenges of working with a small person at home with you; and my plans for the future.
And yes, I did mention a special offer. Any one off projects booked in during May will get a discount of £2 an hour (i.e. £23 an hour), or 5% off a package rate (e.g. mailing list setup). This will apply even if the work is to take place after May is over. And the good news for my current clients with whom I have an ongoing arrangement, I will honour the £2 an hour discount for charges incurred throughout May.
So, if you are looking for some help, let’s have a chat! And in any case, I’ll see you here on the blog again next week!