How To Overcome Nervousness When Starting Your Virtual Assistant Business

By October 3, 2007 Uncategorized 7 Comments

I received this question from a lady who is nervous about starting her Virtual Assistant business:

“I am 50 years old and and have been working as an administrator for over 25 years now with 15 years of banking experience as well. I love to work and I just do not care for the corporate world. I just want to do my job and be left alone while I do it. I am not comfortable working for myself, but it seems the way to go. My main problem is that I am nervous. I want to jump into this one minute but the next minute, I stop because I do not know where to start, or how to get out there.”

It really sounds like you have great experience to build on for your Virtual Assistant business. You have 25 years of administrative experience, including 15 years of banking experience. What an excellent base to start with.

You also sound comfortable about working on your own, which is also another great thing. I spend most of my days working alone, and to be successful at this, you need to be comfortable with that. If you’re the kind of person who would miss the office gossip and water cooler chat, then don’t work from home. However, this doesn’t apply to you, as it sounds as if you may thrive working for yourself.

Now, about your nervousness. This is a very common thing for most people who are starting out. I was also nervous, and wondered if I would ever get any clients, what I would do ONCE I got clients – i.e. what if I made mistakes and messed up the work, what if I didn’t get paid, what if I gave up my ‘secure’ job and then couldn’t make it work etc etc etc.

Then once I did start marketing my business the nervousness continued. I went to networking events to promote my business. I was scared of talking to people I didn’t know. Sometimes I had to stand up in front of groups of people i.e. public speaking, which was even worse.

I also put ads in the local paper and tried lots of other things to market my business. What if I made a mistake with my marketing and wasted time and money?! Would it be at all worth it?

I also remember when the phone rang for the first time with my very first client. Boy, was I nervous!

But I went ahead and did it anyway. I learned to get comfortable with feeling fear – if that’s at all possible. I wanted to work from home as a Virtual Assistant so badly, that I was prepared to do anything (almost!) to achieve it.

Sometimes I felt like giving up. Like you, sometimes I made a start and then ran out of steam. But I pressed on, and did what I could, when I could.

You must take baby steps. Just tiny steps at a time to increase your confidence.

Don’t give up your full-time job yet, if you have one. Draw up a plan of small things to achieve on your evenings and weekends. You won’t get there overnight, but if you keep at it, you will.

Sometimes it may seem that everything is taking so long to happen, but in the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t really that long at all before I was able to work from home full-time.

I wish you all the very best of luck!

Lisa

7 Comments

  • teresa gonzalez says:

    i would really like to get started doing word processing and data entry from home but i am nervous too and really have no idea where to start and how to do pricing. I wish I could find a guide to help me out. I wish you the best of luck and don’t give up. You took that step and I believe you’ll make it now….God Bless You..

  • Mia says:

    I am right were the 2 bloggers are. I am also 50 years old and tired of all the excess smoke and mirrors of the corporate world. I see so much time and money wasted and I know I can do a much better job with a lot less stress by working from home. I have more than 25 years of administrative experience and love to write.

    I am also nervous and need to know where to get that first client and how to price my services. I am expert at data entry, word processing, and I even have some web support experience. I would love to use these skills in my home based business.

    Lisa, could you write about how you price your business and give us a little bit of information about how much money can be made being a virtual assistant? I know its a personal question, but I need to know if I can replace my entire corporate income working from home.

    Thanks for your insight.

    – Mia, Nervous but soon to be a VA

  • Lisa Taliga says:

    Hi Mia

    I wrote an article about setting your rates which you will find useful:

    http://www.virtualpabusiness.com/articles/how-to-charge-the-right-rate.html

    And yes, you certainly can replace your full-time income working from home as a Virtual Assistant. I have done it and many others have as well. Not overnight, but gradually! It’s really worth working towards though.

    Good luck
    Lisa

  • Jayne says:

    Hi Lisa,

    What do you suggest as the main programmes required in order to set up as a VA. In particular, what would you suggest as the email source?

    Currently I have a hotmail account however feel that this may not be perceived as the professional approach within the business world. I realise that setting up your own website would be the best thing and have spent hours looking at the costs of hosting etc and the time I will need to spend learning how to use Front Page.

    Obviously if I invested some money I could purchase a ‘ready made’ website with a dedicated email area.

    Can you please advise and provide possible suggestions??

    Thank you for your support and advice.

    Jayne

  • Hi Lisa (and all of the other potential VAs!)

    I already work for myself as a writer/copywriter, editor and designer (including web sites), but I’m always looking for strategic alliances and other ways to generate (and convert) leads. Here’s my question: Do you believe becoming a virtual assistant would be beneficial to me?

    As a point of note, I do have business administration experience in that I was a transcriptionist and word processing operator before becoming conversant in the desktop publishing, graphic design and web site development arena. However, now I concentrate on internet technology (web site development, email branding, etc.) and copywriting.

    I appreciate your time and look forward to hearing your thoughts.

    Regards

    Renée Barber
    http://www.risingstardesigns.com.au
    ‘big solutions for small businesses’

  • Lisa Taliga says:

    Hi Jayne

    At a minimum you’d need Microsoft Office. You also need to get your own domain name so you can have a business email address. You’re right, using Hotmail is not recommended.

    Re: building a website quickly and easily, have a look at this 10 day free trial offer:
    http://www.virtualpabusiness.com/likes/easywebsitebuilder.html

    I haven’t used it myself because I took the long road and coded my own site. But if I had my time again I’d check this one out because I trust Alice Seba, who developed this solution.

    Good luck
    Lisa

  • Lisa Taliga says:

    Hi Renee

    You’re already a Virtual Assistant, in that some VAs offer copywriting, editing and designing services. Certainly, you can take advantage of the increasing awareness of Virtual Assistance and brand yourself as one as another string to your bow!

    I hope that answers your question?

    Lisa

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