After years and years of being employed by someone else I’m now no longer an employee. I’m now a freelancer full time and I’m realising it does come with its own pressures.
I have to make sure that there is money coming in every month to provide for my family, to keep the house, to run a car. Whereas before, being an employee, you always have that security of knowing every month you will get a pay packet and it will be on the same time same day every month. Whereas now being a freelancer, you invoice your clients and hope they pay you on time.
It’s a weird feeling. I’m now in complete control over how much I earn, when I earn it, but at the same time it’s out of my hands. Obviously, you work hard to gain clients and to build relationships and reputation, however in a blink of an eye it can also be taken away from you.
It’s something that you need to nurture and grow.
I started my business around 6 years ago now and it was accidental. I was helping my friend with her wedding hair and makeup business, and she was just getting too busy to do the admin side of things – to do the paperwork or the emails or making sure that bookings are up to date in the calendar.
Fortunately we’ve stayed together over the years and I’ve seen her business just grow into this phenomenal agency! It’s amazing to see the hard work that she’s putting in, the blood, sweat, and tears, the nights that she’s put in to make this business grow and I’ve been alongside her through that.
It’s quite funny because at the beginning of your virtual assistant career you want to just do everything. I’ve gone from being a virtual assistant for small business owners to a virtual assistant helping wedding suppliers to a virtual assistant for businesswomen!
Over the years you realise you must hone your niche; you have to realise what it is that you want to offer and what it is that makes you happy and to work every day. You need to really understand what it is that you want to do and what it is you want to offer. You become a virtual assistant because you want that freedom of having no restraints of working 9:00 to 5:00 Monday to Friday, you want that freedom of being to say “OK well Monday I’m going to work 10 til 2, on Tuesday I’m going to work 10 till 3” you know you make the choices when you want to work who you want to work for what you want to offer.
In the beginning I thought I needed to be a person who wears a lot of hats, I thought I needed to be able to offer every single service that was out there – but I can’t. I can’t do that.
Over the years I’ve realised what my skills are, and I’ve realised what I do like to do. For example, typing up transcripts. This is a very labour-intensive task, but it’s not something that I would turn down because I find it quite interesting. I like to learn about other people and typing up transcripts is interesting to find out the topics they are talking about and you realise that maybe you’ve got an interest in the topics that they covered.
Another thing that I realised I like doing is online research. I find this interesting because there’s so much information on the worldwide web, you must be really be careful about how you search for things what words you use and what is what is a fact. It opens my eyes to new topics and new subjects that I didn’t necessarily know very much about before, or something I just I didn’t have a clue existed.
There is always that uncertainty in the back of your mind. Am I doing the right thing? Is this all a little bit too risk? I’ve managed to keep this going for over 5 years now, starting this year with one client and 9 months later building that up to 3, so I’m hoping I’m doing something right here!
That gave me the ability to be able to quit my job to become my own boss.
Hard work really does pay off.