In talking with the aspiring VAs we mentor, we often hear their worries that they don’t know “how” to do this or that, Often it comes up as they start to explore the services they want to offer in their VA practices, and they scare themselves by looking around at what more experienced VAs know how to do that they don’t.
I get it. I do. And if you’re there, let me promise you that every single person you’re looking at was once pretty much where you find yourself today—longingly looking at more experienced VAs and wondering how in the world she’d ever get there. Rest easy in knowing that they’re living proof that you can learn how.
I’ll also promise you that every single “how” you need will be yours as you work in your practice and invest in yourself and your business. I’ve been trying to find a magic tea you could drink that would instantly give you everything you need after just one cup, but until I do, you’ll have to learn as you grow, alongside the rest of us.
Assuming that you come to our profession out of some sort of administrative or operational work background, the good news is that you actually already have quite a lot of “hows.” You certainly have enough to begin your practice so you can get more “hows” with practical experience.
So right now, take one last long look at the experienced VAs you admire. Jot down all the services they offer that you don’t yet have the “hows” for. Then, put that list aside, and take a long look at yourself and all that you know how to do. Make that list. That’s your starting place, in terms of what services you have to offer your ideal clients.
Much more important than amassing all the “hows” is who you are as a VA.
In order to see success, you need to show up as the VA you want to be.
Who is that person? That’s what you should focus on, and the question you need to ask yourself.
Here are a few things that person really needs to be:
- confident in the business she’s created and knowing that her foundation is rock solid
- confident in her skill level with what she currently offers to her clients
- caring deeply about the client and the client’s success
- wanting to be of service
- having a great work ethic
- Willing, and having a can-do attitude, or better, an attitude that says, “It never occurs to me that there are things I cannot do.”
I bet you have those—maybe some more than others. And yes; some of that grows with experiences, too, but remember, this isn’t your first rodeo. You’ve been in the work world. You have experiences. And while it’s absolutely true that this virtual world of ours runs differently than the in-person work world, all of the things you learned there translate, in one way or another, to this new business of yours. Harness the power of what you know to help you show up as the VA you want to be.
What you can’t do is play scared. VAs—new and experienced—dive head first into things they don’t know how to do every single day. Not knowing how isn’t a viable excuse to keep you from seeing the success you likely want. Remember—you’ll learn how.
But to start where you are right now? You need to stand up, claim your brilliance and uniqueness and offer them confidently to those you work with.
If you, like many people, feel a little lost about how to get that mojo going, here’s a two-part exercise. Part one is for now, and part two is for you to do every morning.
Exercise, Part 1:
Look around. From where you’re sitting can you see a doorway? How about an archway? What you want to look for is a physical structure that sits between the room you’re in and the next room. If you can’t see one from where you are, move so that you can.
There’s a threshold there, marking the place where one space ends and the other begins. And likely, in your mind, where you’re sure you don’t know “how” to do things, or at least enough things to be successful, it feels like a giant leap from where you are to where you want to be. But in reality, like moving from one room to the next, it’s one mental step across your own imaginary threshold to being an amazing VA and blowing your clients’ socks off.
Now, thinking about your amazing self and how you want to show up for your clients, write those things down. Use the list up above as a starting place if you need one.
When you have your list, put asterisks next to the things that are already true of you; be honest, but gracious with yourself as you evaluate where those asterisks belong.
Also, decide where you’ll keep your list so that it’s always handy.
Exercise, Part 2:
Every morning, before you begin your work, review this list, and the list of things you already know how to do, paying closest attention to the things you know how to do and the things that are already true of who you are. Recognize that while there’s room for growth, there are many ways that you’re pretty terrific and can make contributions to clients today. Let the reality of who you are and what’s already within you soak into your bones as you review the lists. Feel the awesome. And when you’ve got the feeling, mentally imagine your threshold and step across it.
From that place, begin your day.
And if you notice, sometime later, that you’ve lost that feeling or mojo, repeat the daily exercise. Repeat it as often as you need to; it’s better to repeat it 100 times each day than spend two minutes fearful and worried about any little thing.
The key is to always work from the place where you see and feel how great you are, in the present.
Is there room for growth? All you need to do is look at the list you made while looking at the more experienced VAs to know that there is. But recognize that in the same way that they had to grow into who they are, they are growing now into who they are becoming. And you will, too, when you reach the place you so idolize right now. Learning and becoming only end when you die. So between now and then you’ve a lot of it to do. Still, being fully you and offering that specific goodness to your clients and colleagues is the thing that will lead you to success.
I hope you’ll let me know how it goes. J