So you’re thinking of taking the plunge and becoming a Virtual Assistant.
Handing in your notice to your 9-5 or setting up a side hustle to test the waters are exciting steps towards achieving the CAREER FREEDOM you’ve been looking for. Being a successful Virtual Assistant is a great career choice for lots of reasons – there’s much greater:
But it also comes with its challenges and certain people are more suited to those challenges than others. So before you take the plunge I wanted to look into WHAT IT TAKES TO become a successful virtual assistant.
I spoke to experienced VA, Natalie Fairbairn, to find out her thoughts on what skills and attributes you need to succeed.
What 3 traits are essential for anyone who wants to become a successful Virtual Assistant?
When you first start out you want to say YOU CAN DO ANYTHING to win business but this can land you in hot water if you can’t complete the work you’ve promised. Be honest and tell potential clients if you can’t do what they’re asking for and recommend a VA who can, if you know someone who fits the bill.
Organisation is key to make sure you make the best of the time you have available, so you can complete all of your jobs on time.
This leads me on to discipline – PROCRASTINATION IS A VA’S NEMESIS! You have to have the right frame of mind to switch off the housework head and switch on your work head.
Were you a PA or EA earlier in your Career? What were the biggest challenges in moving from being an employee to becoming a successful virtual assistant?
I came from a service background and always worked in roles where I support people so the transition to becoming a successful Virtual Assistant was pretty smooth. Becoming a freelancer can be challenging if you’re used to someone else setting targets for you, and having a manager there to KEEP YOU ON TRACK.
As a VA you have to be the boss, HR, PR, Marketing, IT and make the coffee so it does take some getting used to. But it’s also extremely rewarding to have that variety.
What's the biggest lesson you've learnt about yourself since becoming a Virtual Assistant?
I’ve found that I’m great at thinking outside the box and I love to find new products and services to offer my clients.
I’ve always enjoyed a challenge and work better under pressure, so if I have a project to complete which is slightly OUTSIDE OF MY COMFORT ZONE, I take great pleasure in tackling it head on and completing it with a smile!
Could any PA easily make the switch from PA to VA? Or do successful Virtual Assistants have an extra special something?
If you’re a NATURAL HELPER AND LOVE TO ORGANISE yourself and others then you can definitely make the switch to being a Virtual Assistant. As a PA you have to have these qualities so it’s a relatively easy switch to VA but you need to have the self-discipline to complete the tasks set by your clients and make sure you agree clear deadlines so that there’s no confusion over what’s expected.
It’s an exciting but nerve-wracking decision to make, switching from the relative security of a 9-5 to the uncertainty of a new way of working. But as Natalie Fairbairn has said, many of the qualities a successful Virtual Assistant needs are qualities you already have as a PA or EA so, if you’re willing to embrace new challenges and be disciplined about the way you work, there’s no reason why you can’t become a Superstar VA!
Special thanks to Natalie for giving her valuable insight into what it takes to become a successful virtual assistant. She can be found on her Facebook page – FCF VA Services.
Make sure you come back for our next blog where I’ll be talking about ways for new virtual assistants to find their first clients.
If you enjoyed the blog, make sure to download our FREE PDF GUIDE - Fearless Marketing for Virtual Assistants
If you want to learn more about how to build a Virtual Assistant business around your family here are some of my favourite LEARNING RESOURCES!