I’m an entrepreneur at heart. My dreams of owning a business started a long, long time ago!
My first attempt as an entrepreneur was a bath and body business selling my handmade glycerin soaps, body lotions, and bubble bath. I mainly sold them to people I worked with because the internet was pretty new back then, and I could hardly send an email, let alone create a website.
In 2005 I started making jewelry and selling it on Etsy, in retail stores, and at craft shows. This is when I learned a lot about entrepreneurship and online business.
Then, in 2013, I created Desire to Done. At first, it was a self-improvement blog and eventually evolved into a coaching business where I helped people figure out the tech for their online businesses.
I loved coaching, but there was one big problem: finding clients! My business was growing more slowly than I’d hoped, and I was getting impatient. I so desperately wanted to quit my job as an office manager and run my biz full-time.
I wanted to work from home, and I was going to make it happen (I just needed to make enough money to justify the leap)! So, I took the skills I learned from building my businesses and started helping overwhelmed entrepreneurs with theirs as a Virtual Assistant!
STEPS I TOOK TO GO FROM A JOB TO BECOMING A FULL-TIME VIRTUAL ASSISTANT
Working a job and building a business on the side isn’t exactly easy, but I tell you what. I was determined and excited to do it.
1) I got clear on WHY I wanted to have my own business and be a VA.
Knowing my Why helped me stay focused on my goals and kept me going when things got tough.
2) I went part-time so that I could focus more on my biz.
Luckily, I had the opportunity to work part-time at my day job. It meant less money at first, but I kept my eye on the prize and knew it would be worth it. I made a strict budget, and I stuck to it.
3) I worked on my business any chance I had, which meant mornings, lunch breaks, evenings, and weekends.
I was determined to make it happen, so I dedicated any free time I had to working with clients, fine-tuning my services and skills, setting up client processes, and so on.
Time-blocking is a technique that really helped me manage my time. For example, I mapped out my daily schedule, from the time I woke up to the time I went to sleep. I knew exactly how much time I had available to work with clients, and I focused on filling that time with them! It also helped me see where I was wasting time.
4) I got my business organized.
Being organized is very important, especially when time is limited. By creating processes and systems, I could use my time more efficiently and get more done.
5) I created monthly, weekly and daily goals.
Goals kept me focused on what I needed to work on. I owe Trello BIG TIME for keeping me organized and on top of my goals and to-dos! If you don’t know what Trello is, it’s a fun project management tool where you can create boards based on topics, and within those boards, you can create lists that include the tasks you need to do. I still use Trello to this day!
6) I stayed focused on the tasks I needed to get done that day.
I knew what I was going to work on before I sat my butt down on the sofa to work. I turned off the t.v., as well as phone and computer notifications, and solely focused on my work for a good hour or so, then took a 10-15 minute break before I got back to work.
7) I invested in ebooks and courses to learn new skills and improve my business.
I didn’t have time to waste, so when I needed to learn something quickly, I usually found an ebook or course to help me. I also worked with a business coach who kept me accountable and would get me out of my comfort zone. And no, I couldn’t afford a coach at that time. I actually reached out to her and asked if I could help her with her business in exchange for coaching. She was thinking about hiring a VA and excitedly said yes!
8) I created daily rituals that supported me.
My daily morning ritual was having a cup of coffee, snuggling with my pup, and doing my “Morning Pages,” where I would write 3 pages in my journal about my goals, frustrations, and wins. This ritual alone had such an impact on my success. I don’t know how I could have done it without it! It was seriously powerful. Even though I was busy, I knew it was important to have self-care and downtime because I’m an introvert.
9) I was active in Facebook groups so I could meet other entrepreneurs.
The first course I ever invested in was B-School. It was expensive, and I had to do the payment plan, but I KNEW in my heart it would pay off. And it did. Not only did I learn how to start an online business the right way, but I received lots of referrals from other B-Schoolers.
I invested in other courses along the way and was active in those Facebook groups too. When people needed a VA, they knew who to reach out to because they knew who I was and what I did.
10) I created an amazing sales page for my service.
I already had a website, so I created a sales page explaining who I helped, how I could help them, the benefits of hiring me, my rate, and how to contact me.
11) I reached out to people I wanted to work with and asked if I could help them with their business for free.
After the free trial, I asked if they wanted to continue working with me as a paying client. It helped me gain experience and confidence in my services, got me referrals and testimonials, and I got my first paying clients!
And to my surprise, I was able to quit my job within 3 months of landing my first paying client! It was an exciting journey that I’m so glad I took.
If you’re thinking about starting a VA business while working a job, keep my tips in mind. If you stay focused on your goals, work on your business whenever you have the chance, and put yourself out there, you are on your way to running your biz full-time!
WANT TO START YOUR OWN VIRTUAL ASSISTANT BUSINESS?
Here are a few resources I recommend:
Introvert VA Club: Everything you need to get your Virtual Assistant business started! Includes the Passion to Profit Plan, my signature 10-step guide for creating your business from scratch, a library of resources, trainings, and templates, and a super supportive community to ask questions, get feedback, and share your wins.
VA Library: Sign up to receive a checklist of tools you’ll need to get your business off the ground, worksheets to help you figure out your services, and more!
List of Service Ideas: Wondering what kind of services you can create and offer to clients? Check out this huge list of ideas! Includes a cute poster you can print and hang on your wall!
My weekly newsletter: Each Wednesday, you’ll receive my newsletter full of VA tips! I always share a Q & A, a blog post, and a resource to help you with your business.