“So what do you do as a job?”
Since becoming a full-time V.A. in January this year I haven’t quite worked out a satisfactory reply to that question.
So what do I do?
Data entry, creating websites, researching CRMs, testing software, social media management, event planning, project planning, everything planning. Well, I do it all. Interesting tasks, boring tasks, quick tasks, never-ending tasks. My home has become a hub of activity managing ‘things’ for other people.
I work in the kitchen, in the office (spare bedroom), sometimes in the living room and I am hoping to work in the garden come spring. My commute is now a couple of strides in my slippers rather than a boring 40 minute, each way drive. If I wanted to I could even work in my pyjamas – or naked!
So why did I want to become a V.A.?
Wanting to work for myself for a few years I found myself becoming increasingly disillusioned with the world of commerce. Having worked for everyone from major internationals to small contractors in both Administration, Technical Support and Personal Assistant roles the time was right for me to take on a new challenge. So, I put a plan together to make it happen. I went on a few courses, found my first clients and then reduced my employed hours accordingly. I set-up a home office and saved a pot of ‘emergency money’ to ensure that bills could be covered in time of little, or no (hopefully not) work.
So finally, with great excitement and also great nervousness – confidence went up-anddown like a roller coaster track – I finished my employment at the end of 2016. I hibernated for a two week Christmas holiday and re-emerged sparkly new in January 2017 as a selfemployed V.A.
I thought I was ready. Being organised I had ticked things off my list; website – tick, Facebook – tick, twitter – tick, bank account – tick, registered with the Inland Revenue – tick, secure data storage -tick, clients – tick. Tick, tick, tick and tick. Good to go! I had not, however, arranged insurance, signed-up with the ICO, actually really finished the website (I really must complete the SEO stuff), no business cards ordered yet and many other things of which I had not even thought. So, rather than calmly starting my new business I spent a mad few weeks arranging all of the other things I should have done before whilst also trying to actually complete some paid work.
So both January and February have been really busy for me (so much that I am writing this on a Saturday morning having already worked for two hours today to catch-up on tasks).
However, that’s fine. I can now manage my time and work when I need to. I am now the only person responsible for the quality of my work and I am fully in-charge of my career.
It is up to me, you see? Failure, or success is now all up to me. I have to find clients, advertise, chase payments, ensure I pay the correct tax and complete all of the other tasks it takes to run a small business. I am now responsible for EVERYTHING. Perhaps it should feel scary, but in reality it feels great.
Being self-employed has given me freedom. Freedom to wear what I like (or nothing at all!), work when I want to (or not) and to be able to select the projects on which I want to work. I am my own boss.
I feel really proud of having taken the leap so fingers (and perhaps toes also) crossed that I can make it work. So I hope all new V.A.s (and established ones too) are enjoying running their own businesses and are feeling proud for also having taken the leap.
P.S. Don’t worry, I don’t work in the nude. It is far too cold in rural Yorkshire, plus the cat would faint from shock.