It’s hard to believe that pretty soon I will be celebrating my four-year business birthday as a Virtual Assistant. I’m still often asked, “What is a Virtual Assistant?” After I explain it (typically in the most unglamorous manner) the next question that follows is, “How did you get into that?”

This story is for you if you’ve been thinking about starting your own business, especially as a Virtual Assistant.

It’s a story I enjoy telling and I normally start it with, “Once upon a time….” (I still love fairy tales)

Once upon a time….I went to London to visit a friend. I had been there the previous year and had done most of the tourist stuff. On this second visit I was also on-call with my job back in the US so I was somewhat leery to venture out if they needed me (nothing like being on vacation but not really being on vacation). So I decided I was going to spend most of my time sleeping, reading and watching movies (yes, I flew 8 hours to another country to do something I could have done at home!)

While there I purchased a romance novel by a British author. In that novel the main character was a Virtual Assistant. I had never heard of it before and made a mental note to check it out when I got back to the US. I wasn’t quite sure if it was real or made up for the purposes of the story.

Nearly four years later I’m still a bit amazed that I started a business based on something I read about in a romance novel.

There are so many things I love about being a virtual assistant. Here are just five of them:

  1. My work is not location dependent – as long as I have an internet connection (and printer) I can work from anywhere. It’s what made moving to Florida possible.
  2. I am making my dream of owning a business come true doing things I love to do. And, in the process, helping other small business owners build their business by handling things they either don’t know how to do or have the desire to do.
  3. While I keep traditional office hours as much as possible I do have the flexibility to take my son to doctor’s appointments, etc. without the need to ask someone else for permission.
  4. My business allows me to work with people anywhere (in my PJs if that’s what I want). I’m not restricted to my geographical area.
  5. I am responsible for me. I never enjoyed being a manager and used to always ask my boss to just let me be a “worker bee”. Being responsible for the outcome of someone else’s work isn’t something I am comfortable with.

The first year was wickedly difficult and I’ve made a number of “silly mistakes” that maybe I would not  have made if I had a mentor or business coach. But I’m here, I’ve made it. It’s more than I ever thought was possible.  I owe many other people for my success, especially those who sent referrals my way.

If you’ve been thinking about starting a Virtual Assistant business – do it! I started mine when the economy was collapsing and so many people told me I was crazy and it would never work. You can make it work! It may not be easy but if you can get up every day and work without someone else prodding you, you have what you are going to need to put in the hours. Couple your motivation with integrity and you will soon enjoy the word of mouth referrals from  happy clients.

If you are a virtual assistant who still has room in your business for more clients I’d love to help you out. I’m at full capacity with my business yet I still get a good number of leads from my website and word of mouth referrals.  I could simply tell these people I’m not taking any new clients and throw them back to Google. But I have an inherent nature to help others. I want to help them find a virtual assistant and I want to help you grow your business.

All you have to do in order to be considered for leads from me is to sign up here. I will never spam you and your information will never be sold. This list is strictly so I can handle requests faster and more efficiently.


Image by Photographer: Renata Osinska via PhotoXpress