Moving Away From The Employee Mindset

By April 1, 2008 Uncategorized 8 Comments

Are you worried that when you start letting people know about your Virtual Assistant services, you’ll be asked to do something that you don’t know how to do? Or are you worried that you’ll be asked to do work at the weekends or return work within unreasonable deadlines? Or maybe you’re worried that no-one’s going to pay you the hourly rate that you want?

These kind of concerns are related to having an employee mindset. An employee would worry that the boss is going to ask them to ‘do stuff’ they don’t know how to do. An employee may feel obliged to work at the weekend, if asked. An employee may worry that they’re not going to get paid what they’re worth.

As a business owner, if you’re asked to do something you don’t know how to do, it’s not a problem. You explain that it’s not a service you currently offer, you let the client know what you CAN DO, and you can refer the work to another Virtual Assistant.

If you’re asked to work at the weekend, or drop everything to get work done the same day, as a business owner it’s your choice whether to do it or not. You also have the power to charge a higher rate, for weekend work or for work that needs a quick turnaround.

As a business owner, you charge what you think you’re worth, giving consideration to the market rate. You don’t allow clients to dictate what they’re going to pay you because you’re not an employee!

Becoming a business owner requires a vital shift in mindset, which won’t happen overnight, but as long as you’re aware of the mindset required, you’ll be fine.


  • Monica says:

    The mindset required to be a business owner is very important and in fact it’s the mindset you need to be successful in any kind of job you do. Even as an employee, you know what you have been hired for so if your employer becomes abusive you don’t have to bear it. Move on. There are many jobs out there.

    Think as a winner and you’ll certainly get whatever you want and deserve.

  • Deb Frawley says:

    Good post Lisa. When you first become a VA it’s very hard to stop thinking as an employee does right away, but isn’t that why alot of us become VA’s to begin with?Because we are tired of working for someone else, and having to constantly be worried about what will be asked of us and not getting paid what we are worth?

    Those are a few of my reasons. And I still work a fulltime JOB so I’m always reminded of this. Its why I continue to work so hard to get my business to the point that I can become a fulltime VA!

    And lets be honest, at first we may work harder to please clients until we are more sure of ourselves. We might find ourselves working weekends, and we may find ourselves bending over backwards to please a client. But the point is……that now we don’t have to that unless its what we want to do……

  • V.V. Janardhanan says:

    Hi Lisa,
    I subscribe to your view of “Moving Away From The Employee Mindset”. It’s not a dream that I will be a business owner. It will be transpired one day. That day may not be very far….

    Keep up your inspiration.

  • Lisa Taliga says:

    @ Monica – it certainly all ties in with the belief that you teach people how to treat you. If you have the right mindset and attitude, people will treat you differently!

    @ Deb – that’s right, we become our own boss because of those reasons. But then it is often overlooked that our mindset is still the same as before. The key is to become AWARE that the mindset and self perception has to change. That awareness then gives us the power to change! And yes, I totally agree, at the beginning we often feel we need to bend over backwards to please. That’s just human nature. At least we know that it’s a CHOICE we make, rather than having no choice at all!

    @ VV – I love to inspire. I am glad that I have inspired you to keep going and pursue your dream.

  • Claudia says:

    Dear Lisa,

    A timely reminder to someone who is still a fledgling to this business – particularly since I am just about ready to spread my wings. There is indeed a lot to learn and an important point such as this is easily overlooked. Thank you :)

  • Rita says:

    Hi Lisa

    This comes on the day that I accepted a (low demand) part-time job after having been self-employed typing a massive book for a client I met by chance. She became the springboard for me to give up my part-time work a year a quarter ago. At the same time as accepting the job I received my first response from a public advertising site with consequent first commission! Ironic, or April Fool’s?

    I will juggle both, but am very excited because I stuck my neck out with a quote for a PowerPoint Template and it was accepted, tho’ some would think it was low. It is difficult to gauge how you value your time but I am very happy with the agreement and it will set my rates for the future!

    Thank you for your advice, inspiration and energy.


  • Lisa Taliga says:

    @ Rita – your story really shows that you never know where your next client is going to come from! Well done! Once you do a great job for clients, they will refer you on, and it will snowball from there.

  • Lisa Taliga says:

    @ Claudia – another important thing is to realise that the mindset shift won’t happen automatically. We can find ourselves slipping back into thinking like an employee when we’re no longer one, and that’s fine as long as we know what we’re aiming for and don’t beat ourselves up when we slip.

    Compare it to making any change in your life, such as eating healthily. We rarely make the transition perfectly overnight. It’s all part of the journey!

    And as Dr Phil says, ‘You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge’…

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