New Virtual Assistant - Need Encouragement

Lizzy

New Member
Wow, great thread! I am there too, being only about 4 months in, and it can definitely be overwhelming. A few things to note: for me, I am a perfectionist. I also know nothing about web design. So my initial (silly) idea was, "I'll just learn on my own how to create a website." Yeah, fiddled with that for over a month before I finally decided I needed help. Once I hired someone to do the website, that's when things took off for me. Once the website was done, I felt much more confident and then started marketing and networking. One thing that has been very helpful for me is LinkedIn. But you have to put in the effort. I took a risk and just started asking to connect to people who would be my target clients - solo attorneys and small business owners. I was leery at first, because I didn't want to be seen as "spammy," but so far EVERYONE has accepted my request. Here's the gem, though - you can't stop there. Every time someone accepts my request, I send them an email through LI just saying hi, thanks for connecting, here's a little about my business, I'm accepting clients and referrals. THAT has proved VERY useful, and I got my first couple of clients that way. I recommend doing this.

The thing of it is, you could drive yourself nuts trying to get everything "done" before you get your first client. I'm a believer in learning by doing. So I got my website up, my contract complete, and then started marketing. I think everything else will be adapted to as I go. It's working for me so far.

So a couple of take-away points - solicit help if you need it. Trying to do everything by yourself probably isn't feasible for most. And then get out there and network! Join groups, and actually participate in them. Seek out connections. Basically, get everything as "ready" as you can, to the point that if I client wanted to start tomorrow you feel confident you could do it, and then jump in! It's scary, but you have to start sometime, right??? But like others have said, chip away at it one task at a time. My point, though, is this: you'll never feel 100% ready. Get yourself to the best place you can in terms of feeling ready, then jump on in!

Best of luck to you. This forum has been invaluable, so keep coming back here and reading all you can. You WILL feel less overwhelmed eventually - promise!

~Liz
 
Thanks Georgia! That is great advice about investing in your business and marketing yourself. I have to remember that it is an investment in my business and that I will no longer be an "employee" of anyone's business but the owner. I love this forum and can't wait to take the Jumpstart class on demand. Thanks for the words of encouragement.

Tracey :)
 
Luz, your right connecting with Tess is going to be my first stop and I believe it will really help me to feel like this is a real business and not just something I'm working on with no end in site after my 9-5 job.

Liz, I am glad you discussed what was keeping you stuck and how you moved past it. I tend to lean towards the perfectionists side so I need to let that go and get things up and running. Thanks guys this is really helping me. Can't wait to get my first client.

Tracey:)
 

Brenda444

New Member
I also want to thank you, Liz, for talking about how things got going for you. I'm also a perfectionist so this was really helpful for me!
 
Tracey, I am in the exact same situation. I actually got a lot of important information from the Small Business Administration as well as Score.org. Score.org actually has mentors that can help you sort out a lot of your ideas. They also have webinars that you can take and even if you miss them they will forward the seminar to view through your email. I also looked at various VA sites and contacted some via phone and email that worked in my field of expertise and they were very helpful in giving me personal experience and ways to maneuver through.
 

chuckles

New Member
Hi Tracey,
I have felt exactly like you... but soldier on, it will get easier believe me. Just do small steps, there is no rush is there... a few extra months or extra year down the track is not going to make a difference. Do a little a day and you will get there. Slow and steady wins the race!! Good luck :)
 

FeliciaG

New Member
Hi Tracey,

I work full-time and I'm trying to launch my business, so I understand where you're coming from. On another forum, I read some advice that has been helpful to me - work at least 1-2 hours per day on your business. I work during my lunch break and for an hour or two when I get home. Last night, my brain felt like it would explode with everything I need to do and all the information I've been gathering, which has been extremely helpful, but can be overwhelming. I took out two relics from the recent past - a pen and a piece of paper (lol!) and I made a to-do-list. I know there are pre-made to do lists and they are helpful, but emptying my brain made me feel much better and able to focus. Best wishes to all of us in our businesses. Sisters, we are in this together :)
 

kmohan

New Member
Yes I agree! For some reason, writing it down helps me focus more on what I need to do. I work anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours a day on my business. I just make sure that as long as it's SOMETHING every day, I'll eventually get it up and running.
 

Tamara

New Member
I love this thread! You are all amazing women! I am also in the same boat and am trying to get ready to jump off the diving board. I have done so much research and have felt like, "what else should I know first?" I have almost all the legal stuff done, but finally went to SCORE today and scheduled an appt. on Monday for a free counseling hour to get my business plan together. I also contacted someone regarding a website. Having said all of this, I am still feeling like I'm taking tip toe steps off the high dive. I absolutely know I can do this, but I think that being overwhelmed and feeling a little afraid is normal for doing anything that is new and unfamiliar. I really wish I could go to one of the conventions to meet more VAs. I have started networking locally, but since I am also working, I tend to miss some of the great online chats and meeting opportunities. Although I haven't posted a lot on this forum, I so enjoy reading all the great posts. I hope at some point actually connect with many of you. Cheers to all of you who have already left the edge of the diving board and are officially working your business. I hope to be in the pool with all of you soon.
 
I will check out the bootstrap VA as well.

Tracey
Hi Ladies,

This is so nice to be able to jump on here and get the virtual pat on the back, hugs and words of sound encouragement. You guys bring up so many wonderful ideas on how to get started and to stay on track. The idea regarding carving out small increments of time daily to work on the business is really my favorite right now because I don't know about you guys but I feel like I am on a treadmill that just doesn't stop at all. But I have taken your advice and started to create lists and appointments to do things using google calendar. Today I scratched and clawed my way to carve out 30 minutes to work on my business so it is good to see that any amount on a consistent basis counts. I am glad you guys are here and I do feel like we are sisters in this journey. I hope to meet you guys some day soon at one of the conferences that may come up.

Keep those great tips coming. :)
Tracey
 
I am like many of you, I know I can do this, but for me it is the far of giving up the steady paycheck that is keeping me frozen.
Hi Maura,

I share your concern about leaving a steady paycheck. It is nice but as I have found out that the steady paycheck can be unsteady as I have experienced layoffs and unsavory working conditions in the past. In my view entrepreneurship is the best bet for having financial independence. With that said I am taking a few practical steps to ease my worries. I am creating a small financial cushion in the form of a business emergency fund. Next, I am working on ways to create income by doing affiliate links, creating & monetizing my blog and doing subcontract work. Once I get these pieces up and running then my fears should be put to rest and I will get unfrozen. I read somewhere that if you focus on what you want your end result to be versus focusing on what you don't want or your fears then you will reach your goals faster and with peace. Thank you for posting this because it is comforting to know that there are other ladies who are experiencing similar issues. Stay positive and I am cheering you on across the finish line.

Tracey
:)
 
Thank you Tracey, you made my morning! How are you going about getting affiliate links? I would like to explore that option in greater depth. Also are you subcontracting for other VA's?

I am trying to build a safety net as well. I have two sons in college so I'm working on having their first tuition payments set aside before I break away from my current employer. I am looking forward to working for myself and away from the daily office of negativity and gossip that I find myself swept up in.

I appreciate your reply!

Sincerely,
Maura
 
Tracey,

Excellent answer!

I've LIKED this for my records.

Janine
Thanks Janine for liking me and sending good vibes. :)

I try to fight against negativity no matter the source because many people will just not understand why you would want to take the risk to be an entrepreneur. And it's not for everyone. But honestly if an entrepreneur didn't take the risk many of us would have never had a job to pay our bills. So I applaud anyone who is seeking to get more from this experience we call life and use all the talents they have and not just a singular job skill. I listen to many motivational coaches via podcast but Dan Miller & Scott Smith are my favorite at this time. Dan's site can be found at www.48days.net and Scott site is www.motivationtomove.com.
I hope you enjoy the encouragement you find there.

Tracey
 
Thank you Tracey, you made my morning! How are you going about getting affiliate links? I would like to explore that option in greater depth. Also are you subcontracting for other VA's?

I am trying to build a safety net as well. I have two sons in college so I'm working on having their first tuition payments set aside before I break away from my current employer. I am looking forward to working for myself and away from the daily office of negativity and gossip that I find myself swept up in.

I appreciate your reply!

Sincerely,
Maura
Hi Maura,

I am so happy to hear that this quest to put a little cushion together to help scoot ourselves off to the world of entrepreneurship made your morning. :)

I am a work in progress so the process that I noted in my previous email has not been executed yet. But I am gathering information from different resources on how to do this right. From what I can see many websites that you enjoy visiting have in place an affiliate program. I am not certain but this website may have one as well but I am not sure. But the gist of it is that if I am a fan of a site I will research it to see if they have an affiliate program and see how I can get signed up to share the site with others and make some money while I am doing it. I am paying close attention to not overuse the affiliate links that are given to me because I don't want to diminish the brand of the company that I am sharing or my business brand by being seen as a spammer.

I am researching in general how to create passive income for my blog and website that I am in the process of creating my using the information I received from Laurel Stapley's website: www.gofireyourself.com. She has a free e-book that teaches you how to create passive income before you quit your job by creating a blog and monetizing it. It is a nice read and I can tell you that I am stuck a bit on the use of google's adwords to research the topic you want to use but if you like I can keep you posted on my status and results that I am getting. I may start another thread or add to the current thread regarding accountability partner so maybe we can connect there in the future. I also like www.smartpassiveincome.com. As for subcontracting I haven't ventured out yet but I am getting great information from the thread on this forum regarding subcontracting for other va's on how to position myself and be a resource for other va's first versus just being a job seeker that is searching for a job opportunity. I hope this was helpful and I look forward to hearing your feedback.

Tracey
 

Inspired

New Member
This is a great thread for a newbie like myself. There were a few steps that I overlooked and have now placed on my to do list. Thanks to all who contributed.
 
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