When it comes to successfully running your Virtual Assistant (VA) business, being an awesome Virtual Assistant isn’t enough. A VA can be excellent at their job, have a positive mindset, the necessary skill set required to do the job well and a desire to be there for her clients. But that in itself doesn’t guarantee that same VA will have a successful VA business.
To have a successful VA business, a VA also needs to have the mindset of a business owner.
So how are the two different?
The mindset of a good VA
If a VA wants to be great at their job, they need to have confidence in themselves and their abilities. This isn’t about being a go-getting person with an outgoing personality – it’s about believing you can do an excellent job for your clients and trusting you have the right skills to provide an excellent service for them.
A good VA needs to be positive and calm. Someone willing to see past any disorder and challenge, and bring order to it while also reassuring the client that it isn’t an issue for them to worry about.
When it comes to having the mindset of a good VA, you need to be someone who sees solutions for your clients and is willing to also work to them into fruition. Your focus is on providing the highest level of service to your clients, and you’re happy being in the background, making your clients and their businesses look great.
The mindset of a good VA business owner
Many of the skills you use to help your clients will also be needed to help your own business. It’s the same with your mindset – certain elements are also required to run a business. However, there are also some key differences too.
One of the most significant mindset shifts is being able to take a step away from your clients and their needs so that you can see your business.
That same positive attitude will come into play here, as you need to look at where you currently at and see where you want to be. You then need to stay calm, when you inevitably see that you’re not yet where you want to be! And that’s OK – it’s healthy.
The second significant mindset shift is stepping forward and being seen as a business owner.
Be a business owner first, a VA second
As a business owner, your role is to give yourself space and time needed to grow your business. You can be the best VA in the world, but unless you dedicate regular time to doing what’s required to grow your business – your business will fail.
Working for yourself is hard. Not only do you need to keep motivating yourself and driving yourself forward, but you also need to step forward and be seen as a business owner. This involves learning a new way of being. Rather than being the VA in the background, you need to step forward and been seen as the VA business owner. You need to learn how to market your own business, spend time networking and acquiring new clients, while also being visible on and offline.
All of these things take time. You need to have a plan in place to regularly implement what’s needed, to grow your business. You need to have a business mindset, where you put your business needs above those of your clients. This means blocking off spaces in your calendar for growing your business, learning new skills and devising (and implementing!) your marketing and social media strategies and plans.
And not everyone wants to learn those things, nor do they have the drive and passion to want to do them.
You always have a choice
It’s then, where you come to a crossroads – do you want to be a business owner, or not?
A business owner has a passion for wanting to run their own business, and they have a deep desire to succeed at it. An awesome VA has a passion for helping others, and they have a deep desire to be good at it. You can do both, but you need to be able to make the mindset shift needed, to work these separate roles at different times in your business.
If the thought of running your own VA business is something you want but fills you with dread – you need to explore what’s behind that. Is it that you don’t want to be a business owner, or is it merely a fear that you may not have what it takes?
For some, the choice between starting your own business or staying in an employment role is a simple one. The security of being in paid employment is what they need to thrive, or the freedom offered from having their own business is a calling that won’t go away. For others, though, it’s far from simple – but it is still a choice that’s in your control.
No matter what camp you’re in, you need to consider the options and research them thoroughly, before making any decisions. You then need to make sure you have the right mindset to back up that choice. And for anyone looking to start their own VA business, you need to ensure you have the mindset of a VA business owner, as well as the relevant skill set of a VA.
Guest Blog from Amanda Johnson of VACT Limited. Amanda is a Virtual Assistant Coach, Trainer and Mentor and specialises in supporting both new and experienced Virtual Assistants to launch, create and grow their own successful business. An ambassador for women in business; generally, Amanda is passionate about helping PAs and EAs to leap an employed role to a self-employed role as a Virtual Assistant (VA) with ease. Having launched her own successful VA business on retirement from the Royal Navy in 2012, she went on to start VA coaching in 2014 and now runs VACT Limited, the company voted Best VA Training in the UK for the past three years. Amanda is wife to Andrew, another veteran and entrepreneur, mum to James and Jacob.
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