When you invest in yourself, your future, your freedom, and your virtual assistant business by enrolling in The Virtual Mentoring Program, you’re making a commitment of money, of course, but also of time, energy, and heart. It seems reasonable to us that you would want to understand (as much as a person can!) what your experience with us will be like. Are were friendly? Stern? Will we “make you” do things you don’t want to do? Are we trustworthy? Do we deliver what we say we will?
Read on to learn more about what you can expect, and to hear from our graduates, whose voices are the ones you need to pay attention to when it comes to us. We can say anything, right? Their opinions are priceless.
The AssistU difference
A Core Belief in Personal Responsibility
We believe that each of us is responsible for herself and her experiences. In our own lives, we’re the only ones who can control what we do, what we say, how we say it, who we say it to, how we interpret what we see or read—in short, what choices we make and what actions we take. It’s only when we accept that responsibility that we grow up and have the ability to create lives we love. It’s also a foundational element for creating and running a successful business as a VA.
So we hold ourselves to being personally responsible, and we’ll hold you to it, too.
We will be your biggest cheerleaders, and we’ll help you in any way we can, but we won’t coddle you. You need to stand up and be an adult doing adult things.
One of the ways that shows up is in the work we assign. Some of it needs to be turned in to us—with due dates—for review. Most of it is for you to do on your own. You get to choose whether to do it all, or do none of it. And that choice will, in great measure, help you or hinder you. Still, it’s your choice.
We Focus on Foundation, Not Cliff Jumping
When you’re starting something new, we think that jumping off a cliff and trying to grow wings on the way down is more than a bit crazy. So is flying by the seat of your pants, in most cases. And jumping in the deep end to learn to swim? Even in business, that can lead to drowning. The risk of it all is, in our view, especially outrageous if you want to do something without entirely trashing your life in the process.
We are people who are on the sane and protective sides of things. If that’s you, too, chances are you’ll love us because we’ll help you create something new with a strong foundation under it so that it supports you and everything that’s important to you without traveling at a snail’s pace. We will never, ever push you off a cliff. Promise. We make no such promises about using fewer truisms.
When Anastacia created this program, she wasn’t content with giving mentees informational theory about how to start VA businesses. Instead, she wanted to create assignments that would give them reason to think, make decisions, and take action. She wanted people to be able to go through our program and launch a business on the other side of that. Theory doesn’t make that happen.
As an example, there’s an assignment to create foundation for your VA biz by doing a business plan that Anastacia reviews and gives feedback on so that you can have the best plan possible as you begin your business. See, the stats showed that more than 50% of new businesses weren’t still operating five years after they started, and she wanted each person at AssistU to have the best chance to beat those odds. Looking back, our grads tell us it’s one of the best things about The Virtual Mentoring Program, even those who weren’t keen on our requiring them to do it when they were in the program.
Built on Feminine Principles
Most companies are led by mostly-masculine principles, with the biggest being how money drives everything. But not everyone is driven by the almighty dollar. Like us. And probably you. While we believe in being very-well compensated for our work (our VAs are averaging $60/hour; most of them have high five-figure practices, and some are running six-figure practices), it’s not the thing that drives us.
Instead, we believe relationships are meant to come first, and from them, great businesses with great results. We value (and teach!) key feminine principles, such as having abundant hearts and minds, caring about others, choosing cooperation over competition, and letting love lead the way. Feminine principles are every bit as valid in business as masculine ones, and our VAs prove it in their practices every day.
An Intimate Community
We believe (actually, we know this down to our bones!) that relationships drive good businesses, and great relationships help change the world.
That’s why it’s important to us that you are immersed in a community of your peers where you can make great relationships, and never feel like you’re doing this alone. In our private community of AssistU VAs, everyone you’ll meet is a little bit ahead of you, or a bit behind you in the VA journey. That makes conversations incredibly satisfying, interesting, and a true bonus for what you’re learning from us.
And, you’ll have a special area of our community just for your cohort, because we know that when you’re new, sometimes it’s easier to be vulnerable with people who are also completely new. Our mentors gently enter the conversations there, too, so you also benefit from their experiences and perspectives. With us, you are completely autonomous, and never have to feel alone.
Our Vast Experience, Offered Up With Nothing Held Back
The virtual assistance profession began with Anastacia in 1997, and for more than 20 years, we’ve trained the best VAs. Chances are, the most successful VAs you know were trained by us, or trained by someone who was trained by us. We get this business like nobody else, and our passion is in sharing every bit of our experience, expertise, perspective, and well-earned wisdom with you so that starting and building your business will be as simple for you as it possibly can be.
How We See VAs
From our perspective, VAs are something very specific and special and that perspective informs everything we do and all that we teach. We see VAs as administrative and operations professionals who own businesses and call their own shots. Professional equals to their clients, they are not minions, and only those who understand that truth are worthy of a minute of the VA’s time. Yeah, we’re passionate about this. To hang with us, you should be, too.
To have a business that’s truly your own and fits you like a glove, you need to have high standards. We help you create them for yourself, we help you learn to live them, and we model our own for you all the time—which helps you live your own. In addition, some of our standards now make up the norm in the VA industry. We’re proud to have contributed standards such as working on retainer, not allowing unused hours to roll over, being an equal in the relationship you have with clients, and never working with a client who isn’t ideal for you.
When paired with a passionate professional mentor, you get what you’d expect: a focused guide to answer your questions and help you move through The Virtual Mentoring Program. What might surprise you is that, in addition, your mentor will get to know you, your hopes and dreams, your fears and worries, and she’ll help you gain some perspective on it all. She’ll also want to hear about your wins, your celebrations, and the times when you’re over-the-moon happy. 1:1 focused attention from someone who will also be your greatest champion? That level of support is absolutely priceless.
We've Made the Program Affordable
When people comment that our program is expensive, we ask, “Compared to what?” Maybe it’s expensive compared to continuing whatever you’re doing now—which probably has little, if any, monetary expense associated with it. But it’s not at all expensive for what it includes, and what you take with you—a whole new career that will help you better experience your life. And if you’re here looking longingly at what we offer and wishing you could have your own VA business, the investment will never be as expensive as missing out on what your heart wants you to do. In case money’s tight, we offer a payment plan. While it’s ok to stretch, we don’t want you to suffer.
Our Happiness Promise
As we’ve said, we don’t think anyone should go cliff diving on her own. In fact, if you’re feeling a little nervous about committing, and want to feel as safe as you can about this commitment, we get you, 100%. We want you to be able to experience us and the VMP with very little risk.
At the same time, you can’t say you’re not happy with something unless you give us a good try. So if you enroll, we’ll ask you to go through the first two classes and do the work, hang out with us and your cohort, talk with your mentor, and ask any questions you might have—being all in, and fully committed.
If you do that, hand in your completed work on time that shows you gave the program a genuinely good try and tell us that what we offer just isn’t for you, we’ll quickly refund your tuition, minus an administrative fee.
Truly Caring Support
Graciousness and genuine caring are two of our primary values. So in your first encounter with us, and in every one after that, we want you to know that we’re behind you and your success. Whether you’re interacting with a mentor, one of our team members, or Anastacia, we want you to feel like you’ve found a home with us, and that we will be there for you when you reach out—every single time.
What Our Grads Want You to Know About the Experience
At first I was skeptical.
Why would I pay a lot of money for the program when I could join other membership organizations for less than $50 and build my business on my own?
I did a lot of thinking and investigation on my way to making a decision, and it was during that time that I figured out something important about AssistU and their approach. It’s about heart. AssistU has it in spades, and I’d lost it in the corporate world.
I wanted what clearly permeated the entire AssistU community; a collaborative spirit and holistic approach to building a successful business without sacrificing self in the process. What they knew would take me forever to learn on my own. And I decided that their structure would support me in moving forward toward success in ways I never would alone. So I took the leap of faith, and found that AssistU, the program, and being a VA were everything I’d hoped for… and more!
I had heard about AssistU years before I was ready to enroll. A good friend had been working with an AssistU VA at the time and LOVED her so much! I was in a transition phase with my own career, and my friend suggested I speak with her VA, as she had a hunch it was a career path that I would be interested in. We spoke, and I learned all about what a VA does and how one works, and about AssistU. I knew this conversation was important, but I wasn’t ready yet. I bookmarked the AssistU website and for the next five years I would occasionally go back to it. I read everything! I clicked on every link and read about all the VA’s and what their businesses looked like. I knew that one day I would be one of them.
When I was accepted into the training, I was assigned a mentor and received all of the program materials. The program was comprehensive. Throughout the months I learned so much about running my own business. It wasn’t about how to do the work a VA does, it was about how to be a VA. How to run a sustainable business. How to set standards and boundaries. How to create a strong foundation. Not only how to create a business plan, but to actually create a business plan. Having a mentor meant there was someone to ask questions, and in addition to that Anastacia held meetings with the trainees. Not only did I feel supported but I really felt that I was cared about. I could already tell that as long as I showed up and gave my best, I would not be alone. That was huge for me.
By the time I completed the training program, I had already built my strong foundation. With this, I entered the community, and the learning has never stopped. So much goes on there! It is not just a place where you can ask questions and get or give answers. There are monthly meetings for all different types of groups. There are special training sessions. There is the Registry! What is most special about the community though is the women who are in it. I have met some amazing people – including the women whose websites I looked at time and time again while I was gearing up to enroll. I am over the moon to now be one of them.
I am beyond grateful to be an AssistU VA. It is without a doubt a top-notch professional organization.
AssistU has changed my life forever in so many great ways.
I was working as the Executive Administrative Assistant for the Vice President of the Office of Information Resources when he handed me an article from the Washington Post and said that I need to investigate AssistU and considering becoming a Virtual Assistant (VA). I immediately asked if he was trying to tell me something about my future employment and he laughed and said, “nope. I just think you’ll make a great VA.” A year later, I applied to AssistU and started my VA journey!
Anastacia Brice, owner of AssistU, has created a nurturing, safe, thriving community of VAs. I knew I was doing something good for myself as soon as I was accepted into the community. The community is the heart and soul of AssistU. The women in the community are generous, thoughtful, supportive, kind, transparent, friendly, and so much more. I have made friends for life among many of the woman within the community. There is a bond that is built as you share your highs and lows with likeminded people that isn’t easily broken. The community of VAs is my favorite part of AssistU!
While I ran a successful VA practice for 17 years, life happened and I was forced to leave my practice. I took an extended break, and I even took a corporate job. Then being confronted with another family situation that required me to have more flexibility in my work day, I decided to become a VA again.
There was no other organization I thought about connecting myself with, and I NEVER thought to do it alone. I had to reapply to AssistU and go through the training program all over again. In essence I am starting from scratch, and all the glorious things I remember about the community and the training have just amplified with desire to come back and to be a BETTER, STRONGER business woman.
I am a second time graduate of AssistU. I can say I’ve been exposed to all facets of training within the AssistU organization, I’ve experienced every level of certification (and I intend to go back to my CMVA level), and I have only gained more through new relationships and opportunities to improve.
This time around, I’m working very closely with Anastacia as my coach to help me build a stronger business foundation that will weather any storm and create a profitable outcome for me and my family.
I am so overjoyed to be an AssistU VA for the second and final time!
Knowing I wanted to create my own business was the first step.
Learning how to create the business I wanted was the next great step.
Choosing an organization that melded my spirit, attributes and authenticity with skills, tools, and a virtual business model that suited my style was empowering and life changing and worth every penny and every minute I invested.
AssistU is widely known for its high standards and commitment to training the best virtual assistants in business today. Choosing the AssistU training was clearly the right decision for me. When I tell others I trained with AssistU, I say it with great pride. As a C-level administrative professional for a large Fortune 500 company, it was a leap to leave that corporate box and become a business owner, and one that I am so glad I made. It’s gratifying (and fun) to work with amazing professionals of my choosing on a schedule and in an environment I get to create.
AssistU has a gift for helping others see that they can create their lives the way they want. They can live excitedly, responsibly, dangerously and lovingly all at once.
I was working in a support role in a corporate job and was ready for a change. I was looking for a way I could do what I love in a manner that allowed me to realize my full potential and meet my family’s needs. I found AssistU online, and the idea of providing support to small business owners in a virtual capacity hit me like a lightning bolt.
Someone in the world was telling me I could have what I always dreamed of. I could work for myself on my terms and still do what I love. AND real people were getting certified at AssistU and really doing this!
I was very attracted to Anastacia’s honesty and heart-based business model. I trusted her and AssistU from the moment I first visited the website. Though, I initially wondered if it was too good to be true, I soon learned it wasn’t. It wasn’t a façade. It didn’t turn out to be something totally different than expected. AssistU gave me everything they promised including their faith and support and MUCH MORE.
I would learn how to run a virtual business from my home, do the work I love on my terms, set my rates and earn the income level I desired, and join a heart-based, amazing community of women who offer a level of love and support I’ve never experienced anywhere else ever.
I love AssistU’s high standards and expectations for their candidates and community members. Those standards are the reason clients can trust that they are going to be working with the very best VA’s in the industry when they come to AssistU. They are also the reason why our community is so loving, strong and supportive. Our core values are aligned.
I went through the 1:1 mentoring program, which was a powerful experience that I’ll never regret. I wouldn’t have done it any other way. I appreciated having ample time to work with my trainer closely on my goals. We would discuss our weekly lessons, ask each other questions and she’d coach me through my challenge areas. We developed a great professional relationship and friendship and working with her changed my life. She prepared me well for my final exam. I felt confident and relaxes and passed with a 93% (despite the fact that I was super sick that weekend).
Since I graduated in 2011, I’ve had a full practice of business owners I love working with. Almost all of them came from the AssistU Registry! AU is a diamond and truly is the backbone of my business. I will be forever grateful.
Everything about AssistU and the program spoke to my heart. I’ve been a VA for 14 years now and today, I’m a senior citizen (in my 70s). I feel incredibly blessed to “still” have the mental and physical capacity to sustain a business and do what I love to do. I work fewer hours today than I used to; however, my flexible schedule allows me to care for my husband who has health issues and, more importantly, to care for myself.
I am forever grateful to AU and, especially, Anastacia Brice, for providing the means for me to live a purposeful life – with joy, integrity and balance.
I would also say that the training provided me the opportunity for a personal journey. I appreciated the structure of the training and the deadlines provided. However, I also appreciated that my mentor and AssistU was willing to work through a personal issue that arose during my training. Life happens. Amy, Anastacia, and the AssistU family understood that and supported me. I was able to return to the program within the allotted time, finish, and finish strong! Like I have said before, I have struggled with my self-worth for some time. It’s been a long time since I have been able to think, yet alone *say* anything positive about myself. Through this process, I had a spark of the old me. I am able to dream again and reach for a professional independence I have always dreamed of achieving. The support at AssistU provided that strong foundation to the beginning of a new future.
I truly feel that the AssistU family came into my life at a crucial point in time. I am a blessed to have this opportunity. My present and my future have been positively influenced by this program.
“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” (Proverbs 27:17)
What I have learned through my training and the ongoing support of the AssistU community is so much more than the mechanics of being a virtual assistant, though that’s certainly part of it. It’s the mindset, the thought process, of building a practice that fits you and your life. I have a confidence and self-assurance as a VA that I would never have found on my own. I have a handful of terrific clients, doing work that I love, on my own terms, in my own business, and I’ve never been happier in my career.
You’ll find a community of women who are truly supportive in a non-competitive environment. As a business owner, it’s easy to work in a vacuum but this community has enabled me to form bonds with like-minded women who are interested in personal and professional growth and who share the same values that I do. The regular community calls and online interaction also keep me current on trends that I need to know about so that I can serve my clients well. In all the years I’ve been an active member, I’ve never ceased to be amazed at not only the professionalism, knowledge and depth of sharing by the members but also the involvement of AssistU’s founder, Anastacia Brice. If you’re serious about setting yourself up for long term success as a Virtual Assistant, I highly recommend AssistU.
I’m grateful to AssistU and to Anastacia Brice for providing the training and the community for me to successfully create the life and business of my dreams.
AssistU’s practical, focused training provided me with the knowledge and skills to create a solid foundation under my business. My AssistU membership continue to provides me with learning opportunities, additional training, collaboration with like-minded Virtual Assistants, a community in which to engage, brainstorm, find support, and incredible friendships. It was not always easy. I was challenged with the marketing side of being a solopreneur. The coaching and community support available as an AssistU VA got me through a very challenging time and enveloped me as I focused on building my practice.
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“Do something today that your future self will thank you for.”