According to LinkedIn, I became a VA in May of 2016, but I actually began my journey when I registered my business domain a year ago. It was such an exciting thing, I couldn’t believe I was starting a business for myself.
Of course, there are ups and downs, learning curves and bad experiences. When I weigh that against all the good that has come from owning my own business, the good far outweighs the bad.
For the first time in my professional life, I was able to call the shots. I decided when to do what and if I chose to do it in my pjs, I could, and I did. I don’t do it much anymore, but having the option is nice. Having lunch with a friend from time to time is a real bonus for me. The best part, though, is that I love the work.
What I’ve Learned
This year, I’ve learned how to work with spreadsheets, make a slideshow, set up a mailing list opt-in on a website and create a newsletter and schedule it. I’ve learned how to track changes in a WordPerfect document, and how to convert the document to Microsoft Word. This year, I’ve figured out how to create PDFs in Canva and to send a document to my printer to create one. I’ve also figured out how to self-publish an e-book on Amazon, and run promos for it.
I managed to figure out how to set up a YouTube channel, not to mention convert a slideshow into a video (not something I recommend, the quality is terrible).
Thankfully, I’ve learned how to schedule social media posts so they display properly on a client’s platform when Buffer changes things. Again. And again. And you’ve got to be kidding me, AGAIN?
How I’ve Grown
I have grown as a person, and I think like a business owner. I’ve determined what is non-negotiable as far as terms and conditions are. I get to choose who I want to work with. Case in point, I had one potential client contact me but they refused to tell me a single thing about their business. It seemed like a sketchy situation, and I went with my gut.
I’ve had to have difficult conversations, but I’ve also been able to celebrate several victories. I’ve had people tell me they wish they could do what I’m doing. (Um, you CAN!)
My clients are strong, independent women who are focused and successful. I admire each one of them and hope they know how much I appreciate the chance to work with them.
The best part about being a virtual assistant is that it’s not just a learning opportunity for me, but also for my clients. We are learning from one another and it’s been awesome to add new skills to my knowledge base.
It Doesn’t Stop There
I’ve discovered that I don’t need to know everything to be a successful virtual assistant. I have a large, supportive team backing me up, a group of like-minded women that I’m thankful to network with every day. Without those women (and Google) I wouldn’t be here today.
Some say that being a virtual assistant is a lonely job. I suppose that’s true for some people. For myself, I’ve not been lonely once this past year. I have peace and quiet when I want it, or I can blare the music when I want to. I can Skype and interact with other VAs online. I’ve met so many new people this past year, and I’ve made so many new friends.
I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished, and it can only get better.
A special thank you to friends and family who have been so supportive this past year. But most importantly, thanks to Devin. You reminded me that there isn’t one thing I’ve attempted that I’ve failed at, and you continue to remind me of that every time I’m unsure of things. XO