It’s amazing how many people come to me and say they want to become a Virtual Assistant. Either they’ve listened to me explain what I do, heard about the industry secondhand , or seen something on TV or the Internet about it. And then they come to me. They want to pick my brain, find out how I did it and how they can do it. As much as I love teaching others and educating the community about virtual assistance, often I find myself trying to pull these folks heads back down out of the clouds.
Virtual Assistance is not a get rich quick scheme, nor is it an ‘easy’ way to work from home. A large number of people appear to be looking for a way to leave their jobs and work from home. With the increase in publicity concerning virtual assistance, it’s suddenly become a magnet for a large portion of these individuals. The predominant question that comes first is, ” How do I become a Virtual Assistant?” My answer? “Whoa, slow down… you’re moving way too fast.” The first question should not be ‘how’ but “Do I have what it takes?”, not only to be a virtual assistant but to be a small business owner in general.
There are a whole barrage of questions to ask yourself before embarking on the voyage to business ownership. Everything from your motivation to your personal style comes into play when deciding if entrepreneurship is for you. For example, are you suited to sitting at a desk staring at a computer screen all day or are you able to handle the solitude of a home office.
Add to that financial questions, lifestyle questions and questions specific to the industry you’re looking to start your business in. In this instance, questions in reference to your ability to be a virtual assistant like how much professional administrative experience do you have, what is your ability level regarding computers, software and applications, and what type of interpersonal skills do you possess are just a tiny sampling.
Regardless of what you may see, hear or read, there is nothing easy about being a virtual assistant. That’s not to say that those of us who have chosen it as our business path don’t love it. We do. But it requires work, focus and dedication. We are both the boss and the employee. When something goes wrong there is no one else to blame. And on the flip side, when something goes right, the glory is ours alone. We all put long, odd hours into our businesses, not just with client work, but with marketing, bookkeeping and all the other ‘hats’ that a solo business person must wear.
So if you’re thinking that being a virtual assistant seems like an easy fix to your employment woes, you might want to think again. Take the time and effort to research, examine and weigh the options. If you’re looking for a ‘get rich quick’ you’ll find this isn’t the path for you. And if you truly find you have the skills and desire to become a virtual assistant, you’ll benefit from all of the soul searching and research you’ve done as you embark on your new business venture.
** Coming soon! An Introduction to Virtual Assistants for Individuals- a Guide to Starting A Virtual Assistance Business the second e-book in the Clerical Advantage Learning Series. If you’d like to be notified when this title in available sign up here for our newsletter. **