Despite being the shortest month, February can feel REEEEEEEALLY long if you work as a virtual assistant business owner. The dark evenings and the wet and cold weather can make even the jolliest person feel a little morose. It’s when you’re feeling tired, cold and potentially a little unwell that work can seem like a chore and even the jobs that usually excite you seem tedious and boring…
But February isn’t just another month – it’s the month of love! And though February is now becoming a distant memory, I definitely think there’s just about enough time left to send your business a (very) belated and metaphysical bunch of flowers, chocolates and one of those enormous cards, because though it might seem like a chore, your business is amazing! Need a little convincing? If you work as a virtual assistant, here are my 5 top reasons to love your VA business:
1.) You are the Captain of your ship: Not meaning to gloat, but my boss is pretty amazing. If I need to book a medical appointment, or am feeling unwell, I can easily re-arrange my working day; I can flexibly work around my family, and can decide whether I actually want to do things like networking if I’m not really feeling in the mood for intensive interaction. Of course, my boss also has incredibly high standards and expects the very best quality of work to be delivered in a timely fashion… Now where’s my ‘World’s Best Boss’ mug?
2.) You – and not the Rail companies – are in charge of your commute: If you’ve worked as an employee before you became self-employed, it’s likely that you are familiar with the horror of commuting! Whether it was fighting for car-parking spaces or battling through the school run traffic, standing at a bus stop in sideways hail, or being pressed up against the armpits of strangers on the rush hour train or tube – a commute is never a particularly enjoyable experience. At least when you own and run your own business, you are in charge of the commute, and can therefore choose to travel to work in an office space of your choosing, whether that is at the dining room table or at a swanky co-working space.
3.) Having the flexibility of a Ninja: This follows on from the ‘World’s Best Boss’ point! Fancy going out for a coffee at 11am, or visiting the gym mid-afternoon before it gets busy post-5pm? You can. It might take a little bit of re-arranging your to-do list and scheduled calls, but if you really want to or need to fit something in to your working week that just wouldn’t be feasible if you were in an employed role, you can.
4.) Being able to say ‘No’: Hate spreadsheets? You don’t have to open Excel again unless you want to! Obviously, some tasks and clients may have preferences when it comes to software and request that you take steps to fit in with their pre-existing working habits to ensure that they can work as productively and efficiently as possible, supported by you. However, if you feel physically sick/angry/anxious* (*delete as applicable) even thinking about the software, you have the opportunity to say ‘I’m afraid that I don’t do that, you may need to consider working with another VA if that is a necessary part of the role’ and swan off into the sunset. Yes, I know that the reality of VA life means that you may not want to say that but the option is always there. Your Business. Your Rules.
5.) Being able to consider life as a ‘Digital Nomad’: We’ve all seen those exciting and enigmatic individuals on social media, trekking across the Kalahari or climbing in the foothills of the Himalayas, accompanied by phone, camera and laptop and working ‘on the move’. There are obviously a few issues with this – internet connection being a major issue, as well as GDPR on the horizon, plus insurance, etc. – but even if the furthest you get to a nomadic ‘location independent’ business is sitting in the garden in the summer with your laptop in a canvas IKEA box (THE VA ‘hack’ of 2017), you are one step closer to Digital Nomad ideal than your employed colleagues. We all know they think we spend all our time out for lunch and sunbathing anyway, so why not post the obligatory legs-laptop with screensaver-ice cream-gorgeous weather photo this summer to your social media page? #LivingTheDream (No-one needs to know that you’ll probably return indoors after a total of 15 minutes outside once the sheer number of wasps flying at your brightly coloured screen becomes unbearable).
Even if work is a little challenging for you at the moment, why not sit and write down your 5 favourite things about working for yourself? It’s so easy to forget the positives sometimes, so take action today and fall back in love with your amazing VA business again. Balloons, chocolates and flowers are optional.