The Virtual Assistant Journey: How To Manage The Struggle + The Juggle Without Burning Out

The Virtual Assistant journey isn’t an easy one. For many, it’s hard to start their business, juggle their family and business, and maybe even a job. They’re struggling to get clients or understand marketing and sales. And they’re getting really discouraged when it comes to building a Virtual Assistant business.

#1 – It Takes Time

I know there’s a lot of stuff out there floating around on the Internet that talks about, hey, you know what, you can start your VA business from your pajamas, using only your phone, in just 30 days! Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Well, I hate to break it to you, but it is.

First of all, you need more than a phone to be successful. You can certainly do it in your pajamas, but you really need more than 30 days or a weekend to set up a successful business. Sure, you could set up a business on a weekend, but will it be successful? Why waste time and energy? If you’re going to build a business, why not do it right? Why not make it so it’s successful in the long run?

Instead of throwing something together with spit and band-aids over the weekend and then having to go back and duct tape any holes, spend time building a solid foundation that will support the business and lifestyle you crave. You really want to make sure that you understand and are clear on what it takes to be successful.

#2 – We All Started At Zero

I also want you to know that every one of us, everybody you see on the Internet, no matter what type of service they’re offering or what business they’re in, started at ZERO. We all started with NO experience. A lot of us started with ZERO business experience. I was an employee my entire life, so I didn’t have any idea how to run a business.

Many of us don’t have a college education. We don’t have any business skills or the skills you need to run a business. Maybe we have skills from being professionals, but we don’t know how to use those skills in a business capacity. We don’t have experience as Virtual Assistants. I’d never been a VA before. This is all new to most of us when we’re starting out. And then, we have to learn how to juggle everything that’s happening.

#3 – Managing It All

I had a full-time job with an infant at home. I had to figure out how to juggle my life, my family, and my job in order to build my business. It took time – I had to learn how to create a schedule that worked for me. So my point is, you need to realize this is not a get-rich-quick scheme.

It takes time to build a successful business. It’s hard work. It really is. But, think of it this way, you’re going to put the most time and effort into that first year of building your business because you want to build a solid foundation for your business to grow and flourish. You need to put in the time and effort. It’s not easy to do.

#4 – Focus On Your Why

In order to get through the tough times ahead in your Virtual Assistant journey – you really have to focus on WHY you’re doing this. What’s the reason behind you building a VA business, or whatever type of business you’re building? For me, if you’ve read any of my blogs, watched my videos, or listened to my podcast, you know that FREEDOM is my word. Freedom in every sense of the word.

Even 10 years ago, freedom was what I was trying to achieve – to get out of my soul-sucking job. I wanted my freedom! It’s still my word today! It’s my WHY. Because you are going to have a bad day, a bad month, a bad week. And, if you learn how to focus on the dream and not the drama, it’s going to help you succeed.

This is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s not who can build their business the fastest. It’s not a competition. I could build a business in two hours, but that doesn’t mean it will be successful. There’s a lot of growth that goes into building a business, a lot of self-growth.

Because you are the business, if you have self-limiting beliefs, you’re going to bump up against them and you’re going to have to fix them. Self-limiting beliefs will STOP you in your tracks. It is going to take time for you to figure out what services you want to offer.

#5 – Who Do You Want To Help?

In other words: Who is your dream client? What do they look like? All this stuff takes time. If you don’t do the work – you’re going to have a tough road. Some people fly right through this and they know right from the beginning, they’re the exception, not the rule.

It took me a long time and a lot of iterations to really figure out what it was that I wanted to be when I grew up. Who I wanted to help, how I wanted to help them. This information is key to being successful and it can take time to figure it all out.

Realize your business is not static. It doesn’t stay the same. It’s going to grow and change as you grow and change. Lean into it! I think the biggest thing is you need to realize that we all started our Virtual Assistant journey at ground zero, we started with no clients, no experience. You can learn what you need to be successful.

#6 – Be Realistic

Take care of yourself. Because you are your business. Be kind, be realistic in the Virtual Assistant journey that you’re on. Understand it takes time. Regardless of all the noise, you see out there on social media, you can’t buy into it because you don’t know what their backstory is. They may be telling you it took them 30 days, but it may have taken them 30 months. That’s a sales pitch. That’s a marketing ploy.

There are people that can do that, but they’re the exception, not the rule. It took me 18 months – 18 months to be able to build a successful and sustainable business to where I could leave my soul-sucking job. It was NOT an overnight or weekend thing.

The best thing I can tell you if you’re like me if you’re a recovering perfectionist and an over-thinker, is focus on Imperfect Action. Do something every day to move closer to your dream. Focus on the dream, not the drama.

Realize you’re going to make mistakes. It’s how you respond to the mistakes that really makes the difference. Do you get up, dust yourself off, and go on? Because you should, mistakes are not death in a business. It means you’re trying.

You’re going to bump up against obstacles. How do you handle that? Some obstacles you can go around or under or over, some you have to go through. Don’t give up. You need to understand it’s going to be bumpy. It’s going to be ugly. You’re going to have bad days, bad months. How do you deal with it?

You have to know WHY you want to do this and understand that it’s all part of the Virtual Assistant journey. Nobody has it easy, regardless of what they may tell you, because they probably had plenty of bumps along the road. So remember, take care of yourself, be realistic.

#7 – Get A Plan Together

How are you going to do this? Most of us, when we started, had no idea how we were going to build a business. I know I didn’t. I kind of formulated a plan over time. That’s why I came up with my Business Launch BluePrint, which goes through step by step, what you need to do to build a VA business on your own schedule. It’s basically a long to-do list.

You can also have a look at my Ultimate VA Success Guide: How To Start A VA Business if you want to read more about building a successful and sustainable VA business.

What are you going to do next? I’d love to know! All comments and questions are welcome.

Thanks for listening and reading – Susan

PS: Ready to embark on the journey of building a freedom-based business? Join me in Techie Biz in a Box, your comprehensive guide to leveraging systems, automation, and tech. Discover how to streamline your processes and reclaim precious time for the things you love. 

Susan Mershon
My most popular VA resources

My Most Popular VA Resources

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  1. Shari Smith

    What a great post! I’m going to get my action plan out and get back to work! I CAN do this!

    • Susan Mershon

      Thank you Shari – glad it helped you get motivated and back to work – you CAN do this my friend! Come back and read it if you get discouraged!

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