There are many jobs you can choose to do from home, but not many tick all the boxes quite like a virtual assistant. If you’ve never heard the term before, a virtual assistant is someone who does regular tasks and services (such as administration) to individuals, companies or organisations, but they do it online instead of needing to go into an office. Our previous blog, What Does A Virtual Assistant Do provides a great starting point for some of the skills and tasks that are sought after in virtual assistants.

But here’s the thing, unless you can get a job in a company working from home as a virtual assistant (which is possible but rare), you will need to freelance. This means getting your own clients and treating yourself as a business, which can be a scary proposition to some. Although the upside to that is choosing the work you get to do (instead of just being handed something in a normal job), it takes work to get your business up and running with clients signed up. That’s where the VA Institute can help.

Ingrid Bayer started as a virtual assistant 10 years ago and loves it so much she now teaches others how to start and succeed in being a self employed virtual assistant. I spoke to Ingrid on the phone the other day and you can literally hear through the speaker the passion she has for helping others get started in their journey. I asked her to write something for the Work At Home Mums crowd about becoming a virtual assistant and how having a bit of support can be the big difference in succeeding in this industry.

Why I love being a Virtual Assistant (VA) – and how you could be one too!

I started this VA (Virtual Assistant) journey way back in 2008, and I now absolutely love the VA lifestyle.

I spend my days working with clients I love, providing services I’m good at (and love doing).  It’s totally win-win, and I would never, ever, EVER go back to the 9 to 5 slog of a bricks and mortar employee position.

Now… whilst I’m waxing lyrical about the joys of the VA lifestyle, I am keenly aware that it’s not for everyone. You see, you have to really embrace the entrepreneurial mindset in order to succeed.  You need to understand that in order to receive work, you must go and find it (no, it doesn’t just fall into your in-tray anymore)!  You need to be committed to your service, your outcomes, your clients, and building a business grounded in excellence that’s going to sustain you.

But the pay-off is H-U-G-E!

Travelling is something I have become slightly addicted to as I’ve gotten a little older… and now that the kids have flown the coop, we take advantage of opportunities to get away whenever we can – domestically or abroad.  I have family who live overseas, and I have occasionally dropped everything to head away on the spur of the moment… and my business didn’t skip a beat because it is all cloud-based, and my laptop is all I need to function from anywhere.

Personally, I love it… in fact, I love everything about it.  Being self-employed is a concept that has always ‘fit well’ with me.

Another startling revelation is that as a VA, the clients I work with don’t retain me because of my good looks [ha ha – I’m fishing for compliments now!], but rather they retain me because they see that my skill set and expertise meets their immediate need (what a novel idea!!).  In other words, they don’t give a ‘rat’s’ what I look like or how old I am, as long as I can do the work.

In VA land there is no such thing as age discrimination, gender or sexual discrimination… it just comes down to what you can do and how well you can do it.

But getting started as a VA can be a scary thought… in fact, how to get started is the biggest roadblock that potential VAs encounter – and that’s where the VA Institute can help you.

Most of our graduates have built a VA business whilst working full time or part time, and what we do is provide you with one-on-one training and support that has you set up and launched in six weeks or under.  We work with you and help you to implement absolutely everything you need to get started.

Because we work as VAs too, we know what the industry is REALLY like… it’s not just a concept to us – it’s reality, and we can provide you with lots of insider information and great tips to have your business really ROCK!

So if you’re interested and would like more info, head to the VA Institute.