If you’re a VA, OBM or remote working business support professional, I’m certain that you’ve met at least one person who has heard what you do and said ‘I could do that!’.
Sometimes it’s a little soul-destroying, as those of us who are flying the VA flag understand that though it sounds amazing (and sometimes can be) that it is actually incredibly hard work and occasionally makes you want to pack it all in and move to the woods to whittle spoons.
But in a field as diverse as ours, with skilled professionals offering everything from diary management to customer service to marketing automation and transcription services, is there a space for everyone? Well – yes AND no.
Yes, everyone has their own zone of genius: some of us are amazing at organising diaries and inboxes and travel whereas others are terrified at the sight of their own unruly inbox; some are great at coding languages whereas others might have extensive PR experience; I really believe that everyone has their own unique skillset and in the age of the freelancer it is possible for more people than ever to embrace their career goals independently and launch their own businesses. However, not everyone is suited to self-employed life.
Some people can’t manage anyone, let alone themselves, and rely on others to help them manage their time and priority list; some people need the relative financial stability of a permanent employed role (particularly if they like things like paid sick and holidays, pension contributions, etc.), whereas others may just hate the lack of community and camaraderie of a bustling office when they start having to have ‘water-cooler’ type chats with the cat (or a house plant).
Being a VA requires extensive knowledge of the services that you offer as well as practical and proven skills in that particular field. You also need to understand your financial and legal obligations and to ensure that both you and your customers are adequately protected by having appropriate insurance and contracts in place…
I’m certain that most of these points will go over the head of that one friend or family member who is adamant that they could be a VA, but if they don’t, why not welcome them into the VIP VA community?
There is more than enough room in our growing community for another skilled, experienced and responsible freelancer, and it’s always nice having someone that you can talk to about shared business experiences if you’ve had a challenging working week!