Have you recently discovered the term Virtual Assistant and realised that this may just be something that you could do? This could be your way out of whatever situation you’re in right now? Superb, but hold your horses for just one moment and read this article, so I can give you a few important pointers on your business vision, before you set off on your mission to create your new business.
The first thing I want to make really clear to you (and I don’t know if these days this is an obvious thing to say, but I will say it anyways in case it helps to protect you) is that there is no “get rich quick” technique and anyone that is trying to sell you one is lying to you. Becoming a Virtual Assistant is like building up any other business or side-hustle – it’s hard work. So if hard work is not for you, I’m afraid that I’m not sure being an entrepreneur is for you. It seems as simple as create a website, decide on your prices and watch the clients roll in, but realistically this is not how it’s going to go.
Ok, so with that said, let’s move on to the importance of a business vision, which is what I’m sharing today. I find this is an aspect that is often brushed over when people talk about starting your VA business, but I feel it’s hugely important.
Why do I need a vision for my life and business?
As I said above, building a business is more like a roller-coaster on most days. You will have days where everything is going swimmingly well and then you have other days where you want to pack it all in. Sorry BTW if I’m putting a damper on what you’ve read and researched so far, I don’t mean to, I just want to be 100% honest with you. This is, has been and will always be my policy around here. So what keeps you going on the days where you want to just pack up your stuff and go back to work? Simple, it’s your why.
On this note I’d recommend you order a copy of the book “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek*. The book is all about why some people and companies are more successful than others and guess what? It all comes down to WHY they do what they do – and this is why you need you be clear on this as well. If you are starting a business for the purpose of making yourself rich whatever it takes, you’re going to struggle. Equally you’re also going to struggle, if you have no idea why you’re putting yourself through the stresses.
What made me start my business?
I started my business in early 2016 after becoming a little disillusioned with my career of 8 years. I qualified in the Early Years and worked my way up from being a Nursery Nurse to being the manager of a daycare setting. However I was left feeling like what I was doing didn’t matter and was mostly pointless. It wasn’t about the children, it wasn’t about helping the families it was about following rules for the government’s sake and signing an awful lot of useless papers. I was the guardian of the paperwork.
I had gotten a taste for the business side of things, but I didn’t have any control on really moving the business forward as I wasn’t the directors, and they didn’t seem all that interested in me wanting to help. I felt like I could do SO much more and I’m just being stifled.
In addition to that we knew that we would want to start our own family soon. But we were worried about the financial implications and organisation. To cut a long story short I really decided that I want to create a better and more solid financial foundation for my family while also allowing us to have more time together.
The last aspect is the kind of lifestyle I’d like to live is not combinable with the traditional job. We have family in Germany and South Africa and we never see them, we don’t have enough money to afford to see them regularly and not enough holiday days to spend more than 2 1/2 weeks a year actually travelling. That’s not enough, particularly not once there would be a baby. We do want our baby to know it’s grandparents.
So, before I’d even decided on what I would be doing, I began thinking about what life could be like an what the ideal life looked like for me. My motivating factors are:
- wanting to have a family and not have to pinch pennies everywhere
- wanting to be able to travel to spend more time with loved ones
- being able to spend somewhere we can have a more outdoorsy lifestyle (Sorry London weather, but you suck!)
- being able to spend quality time with my child as and when I like
- being able to afford childcare when we want to use it
and many more.
I don’t have a desire to be fancy and rich and whatever, I just want to be comfortable with what we have and have time for the things that matter – myself and my friends and family. I want my life to be rich in experiences but money is what pays for it, so it’s necessary. Shame.
So, here are 3 techniques I used to visualise my life (and I promise they are not too woo, but really do work):
3 Strategies to help you paint your Vision
- The Dream Day
The Dream day is a a very simple, yet powerful exercise. I like to be somewhere comfortable (usually I like to lie in bed!) and I am picturing my ideal day from the second I open my eyes. I like to really feel what is going on. What does the bed feel like, what can you hear, what can you smell? Then I picture the day. What do I do after getting up, where am I, what feelings do I get etc. and do this for an entire day. You don’t need to do this in one go if you’re good at holding on to these thoughts and feelings and pick up where you left off then do it in multiple sessions. Afterwards I like to write down the key points. What was really important to you? What makes this day your dream day?
- Looking at the why
I then spend some more time thinking deeper about the why. Why is being with the people I love important to me? Why is working from home important for you? Why? And then as each answer comes up as yourself again: “Why, does this matter?” Once you have repeated this a few times you may even come up with some answers you didn’t expect.
- Create a vision board
As a reminder of the things I visualised, I then created a vision board. I used Pinterest, but you can also cut out images and stick them on an actual pin board. I have a pin board but didn’t have anywhere to cut the images out from (what happened to all the free catalogues etc. we used to all have at home??) so Pinterest was the quicker option. I will do my next review on an actual board though, so may have to buy some relevant magazines.
I know many people will say that this is a waste of time exercise to do and that it’s more important you get your pricing right etc. and while I agree with them, having a clear vision actually leads perfectly into the next aspect of starting up your business: Your Pricing and packages. How can you know what you need to charge, when you don’t know how much money you want?
Well, but more on this another day!
I felt inspired to record a video to dive a little deeper into this, so here goes:
- If you’re looking for like-minded people that are looking to build up their own VA business (or further develop the ones they already have) then stop by in my Free Facebook Group and request to join. I provide lots of advice and resources over there too.
- If you’re interested in Goal Setting and Planning for your business, then register for my free Workshop here.
- Looking for more support and a like-minded group of entrepreneurs to bounce ideas off with? Read all about my Mastermind Group here.