Do you know what one of the most frequently asked questions I get is? It is whether or not skills or previous experience are needed to start as a virtual assistant. I also get asked if I had perfect virtual assistant skills before launching my VA biz. They are valid questions! I had the same thought process when starting out. It got me thinking that I should share my own story to help any aspiring virtual assistants to take the leap.
It is common for personal assistants (PAs) to make the switch and transition to becoming virtual assistants. This wasn’t the case for me. Do you want to know how much previous experience I had? None. Zilch. Nada. That’s not to say that I didn’t have other skills. I’ve always been an organisation FREAK! I have also always thought of myself as being very entrepreneurial. It was regularly at the forefront of my mind that I wanted to start a business. You may not know that my current business is not my first try at it!
When starting my VA business, I knew that I had the drive to succeed and that I would give it my all. To be honest, if you already have this, you’ve fought half the battle. I knew that if I didn’t know any business owners or clients, I would find them. If I didn’t have a particular skill, I would learn it. If I failed, I would try again. You know what? I did and it led me here.
What I didn’t have at the time was virtual assistant experience. I knew that I was confident enough to complete the required tasks and learn as I went. So, the burning question. Do you need virtual assistant experience to start a VA business? Drumroll, please…… NO!
What are Virtual Assistant Skills?
Do you know why you don’t need “virtual assistant experience”? You’ve probably already gained experience in these skills in other jobs or areas of your life!
A lot of the tasks that a VA will start out doing are things such as email and diary management, data entry and research. You don’t need a degree in problem solving and organisation to complete these tasks. The reason a business owner hires out these tasks is not from lack of knowing how to do the tasks themselves but lack of time and desire. That is where a VA can be an amazing asset to any business owner.
In my humble opinion, I think that organisation and problem-solving skills are a lot more important than experience as a PA.
Discover What You Are Good At
You may be struggling to figure out what you would be good at and what you can offer. Take the time to look at different aspects of your life. Look at your day to day events. No one can get through a day without showcasing skills. Are you the one in the family who organises the vacations or day trips? Do you sort out your household’s finances? Some skills showcased here are:
- Organisational skills
- Bookkeeping skills
- Project management skills
These are all skills that you can offer and you DO have experience in but may not have known you had. Don’t sell yourself short. You are more than capable of making it work. You don’t need a degree, you don’t need vast experience. All you need is determination.
If you feel that you have exemplified traits in any area of your life, offer it. Bring it to the table. They all matter.
Start small. You can always build on your offerings. Some tasks such as payroll, content writing or social media may require you to upskill and do some additional training. They aren’t as straightforward as they may initially seem. If you are considering pivoting, there are some great social media coaches and SEO courses out there providing free content. Learning doesn’t necessarily have to involve investment! Be conscious of that.
If you only take one hot take from reading this blog, let it be this….
The biggest thing I see leading to failure of VAs is not lack of experience or skill set. It is a lack of motivation and determination to never give up. This is what will set you apart from so many others. If you want this, you’ll make it work.
I am so passionate about sharing my own insight into becoming a VA. I’ve been there and done that. To provide support for those with similar drive and dreams as me is really fulfilling.
What are you good at? It doesn’t have to be biz related! Let me know below.
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