We have all heard the phrase, “Love what you do and you won’t work a day in your life”, or something similar.
Sadly, it is not that easy to find a job you love that can pay the bills. Or is it?
Thanks to the power of the internet, you can make a living no matter what your skills or interests are. More people have found opportunities for growth and income through side hustles, including working as a virtual assistant. That’s what inspired Wen to join my 7 Day VA Business Challenge and start her VA business.
In this interview, Wen shares how she:
- discovered working as a virtual assistant was a perfect fit for her busy lifestyle as a student
- turned her current skills into VA services she can offer to clients immediately
- discovered endless possibilities she can look forward to as a self-employed virtual assistant
Here’s my interview with Wen.
Hi Wen! Tell us a bit about you and what you were doing before you decided to become a VA.
Hello! My name is Wen and I’m based in Japan. In my previous lives, I was a law school dropout, a flight attendant for 4 years, and most recently a localization project manager at Amazon for 2 years.
I was working for the past 6 years, and I’m now a full-time undergrad student. When I’m not studying or VA-ing, I enjoy quality time with loved ones, reading, and creating all kinds of art : )
Why did you decide you wanted to become a VA?
I first learned about virtual assistants on Aisha’s finance website while looking into online jobs to continue supporting myself as a student. All of the VA articles recommended Kayla as a trusted resource and I signed up for her newsletter to learn more about VAs.
Kayla showed that the flexibility of being a VA would be perfect for my new lifestyle and schedule as a full-time student. With my work experience, I am also able to offer my current skills as services immediately – without further time and resources spent on training! As a self-employed VA, there are also endless possibilities for growth based on my interests and goals.
How will being a VA help you with personal goals, personal development, your future life vision, etc.?
My personal goal right now is to build online income streams to continue supporting myself as a full-time student. Being a VA helps me start earning an income immediately while working around my university schedule, unlike traditional 9-5 or shift jobs.
Clients from different industries will bring new insights and opportunities which are otherwise unavailable. Being a VA helps my personal development as I continue learning about new possibilities and skills to assist different clients. Someday, I hope my unique combination of skill-set developed along this journey will make my business a niche of its own.
My future life vision is to become location-free as a digital nomad, enjoying my work from anywhere in the world. Being a VA can be both the journey and the destination! What I value most is the liberating freedom of working anytime, anywhere with just a laptop and internet connection.
What struggles did you face when starting your virtual assistant business?
First, I was overwhelmed and indecisive when deciding on a niche and which of my skills to offer. Do I stick with what I already know, or try something new and exciting?! How do I charge for the services? By the hour, project, or retainer rates?
More importantly, I didn’t know where and how to find clients! Where are they, how do I connect with them, and how to offer my services?
And when I did sign my first client, what was next? There’s no defined job scope, managers, or KPIs as a guide in business.
Related Post: How to Become a Virtual Assistant: The Ultimate Guide
How did the 7 Day VA Business Challenge help you move past that/those?
The Challenge focuses on only 1 task each day, accompanied by a worksheet full of info and ideas.
On top of that, Kayla shows up every day to answer our questions live and shares the recording with those who are unable to attend.
The first task helped me narrow down my interests and current skills, then intersect the two to figure out which services to offer! Further along, Kayla then suggests we try pitching to the businesses or people we are already following – something which didn’t occur to me but made so much sense.
Using her template as a reference, I added my own unique selling points to address the specific needs of each client. After my first 2 pitches to crickets, the 3rd pitch was successful and my client very gladly signed on after the trial!
The Challenge offers giveaways every single day to a lucky participant who completed the task of the day. I was very fortunate to win the Social Media Training Bundle, which was exactly what I needed to assist my new client with her Instagram management.
What was the biggest thing you learned during the challenge that you want to share with others?
I learned that clients can come from anywhere and that our first clients are most likely people we already know now.
Our future clients don’t even know we exist yet – so get out there and tell everyone what we’re doing, and remind them often!
Would you recommend the 7 Day VA Business Challenge to others who are just getting started?
Of course! This challenge is beginner-friendly, starting with manageable tasks which build up your confidence to pitching clients within 7 days. It is designed for taking action and creating results, alongside a community supporting each other.
By the end of 7 days, you are fully ready to start an exciting VA journey even with no prior experience!
*Want to try the challenge for yourself? Sign up here!
Now that you’ve participated in the 7 Day VA Business Challenge and launched your business, tell us about it! What kinds of services do you offer? What niche(s) do you work in?
I’m currently assisting my clients with:
- social media and community management
- content curation and creation
- communication and collaboration
- weekly reports and summaries
- project management on Asana
- research and search engine optimization
- emotional support and life-coaching
I’m curious and very willing to learn new skills for any task!
Recently, I received a scholarship for Google Digital Marketing and E-commerce certification, which I’m excited to complete and start offering new, enhanced services with what I learned.
My niche is women’s businesses and women entrepreneurs, as I enjoy supporting women and their dreams! I’m always inspired by self-employed women in the creative industry, who create one-of-a-kind jobs for themselves using their diverse skill-set and interests.
Are you a full-time or part-time VA? If part-time, what else are you doing for work? If full-time, how long did it take you to reach that point?
For now, I’m a part-time VA, as I would like to focus on my studies.
I’m also creating search-engine-optimized content, to grow display advertising revenue, affiliate marketing commissions, sales from digital products, and brand sponsorships. The active income from being a VA helps support me as I build these on the side.
While I haven’t decided if or when to become a full-time VA, I really appreciate the flexibility and freedom in working on this goal at my own pace should I wish to.
What are your goals for your business in the future?
My business goals are:
- continuing to learn new skills while assisting businesses and women entrepreneurs
- completing my Google Digital Marketing and E-commerce professional certification to provide enhanced services
- connecting with more self-employed women to build and empower my own like-minded community!
What is one of the biggest business lessons have you learned so far? How did you use that lesson to your advantage?
The best lesson I learned is that business IS personal – trusting and staying true to my personal values over profit.
At the start, I saw all kinds of entrepreneurs who taught business and marketing impersonally (sales funnel, conversion rate, tripwires…??) and even manipulative tactics such as creating false urgencies. These sleazy and sale-sy approaches ick-ed me out.
This made me doubt if I could ever build a successful business without sacrificing my values and integrity.
But I’m happy to have discovered Kayla and a few inspiring women entrepreneurs who are thriving on their own terms!
I want to build a joyful business just like them.
Related Post: How to Start a Virtual Assistant Business Today
Where can people find you if they want to connect?
Have questions or comments for Wen? Just drop them below! Want to be featured in your own student success story? Reach out to me here!