Since starting my VA business I’ve had endless support from all those around me. Family, friends and ex-colleagues all know I’m someone who sees through everything I say I’m going to do. They also know I’m a very organised, proactive tenacious person, so moving from employee to business owner was always going to be something I’d relish and put as much into as I could to make it work.
I’ve been in groups on Facebook with other VA’s and learnt and shared so much, it’s been a great part of my success being around others experiencing the same obstacles, sharing tips and keeping abreast of the industry.
I was sad to read at times how some of the members received negativity or no support from family and friends, one was once told by her husband ‘you’ll never make it work’. Supportive!
It’s like many things in life, it’s hard to empathise unless you’ve had direct experience and I hadn’t. I’m embarrassed to say I’d just read it, think ‘wow!’ and move on because I’d not received any negativity.
Until I wrote my book… How to be a Virtual Assistant
No one has said you can’t make this work, instead, I’ve been kicked out of groups, blocked by group owners, had ridiculous emojis added to my comments in groups, had the same people pop up on my Google analytics over and over again, and add themselves to my mailing list to find out what I am doing. Flattering!
Why are you so bothered?
I was initially surprised at grown adult business owners acting in that way without contacting me directly but also found it quite energising and saw it as a green light saying ‘you can do this’. Every time they did something I threw out another chapter of my book. I saw their presence as a real indication that I can do this, and am perhaps a perceived threat to their life plans.
Before I continue, I am really no threat to anyone. The world is a big place and I appeal to certain people, not everyone and nor will you as a VA. We’re not all chasing the same clients and we will never control the whole market – I’ve learnt that from huffing off from many a Monopoly game.
But, this last week I’ve had it again. Someone turning all unprofessional and unnecessary. I reflected back to last time and decided to turn it into energy again – and sold the most books in one day than I ever have and launched my VA Mentoring a month earlier than planned – because again it obviously meant ‘I can do this’!
So, this isn’t so much a learning opportunity for me personally, but one as a mentor for VA’s because I can now empathise and support you to overturn any negativity you encounter and turn it into energy to see through your plans, to be successful and to be what you want to be – not what someone else wants you to be because it suits their agenda.
Don’t get me wrong, I won’t give someone false hope either.
I have always been an upfront person – I’ll always say it as I see it, there will be no false promises from me and quite often there will be a ‘no, but…’. I’m not afraid to tell someone the truth, but will give them an alternative and an honest explanation – no need trying to knock people down because you see them or their plans as a threat to your own plans – they’re probably not.
I’m aware I am one of the bluntest people many of my friends know – I’ll never wash over anything or tell someone something I think they want to hear – where’s the point in that – you never know what someone wants to hear anyway. I developed this skill as a lecturer and used it a lot when I managed a team of administrators – we’re not all cut out to do everything we want to do immediately but there are ways around it or complete alternatives that will be as equally rewarding.
There are ways you can support people in the same industry without feeling threatened. I’m not going to promote other VA’s or like their Facebook pages, that’s ridiculous, but I can help them on their journey, which I’m doing with my 1:1 mentoring and my book – How to be a Virtual Assistant – all while still being a VA myself!
So, you may well receive some negativity, but don’t let it stop you. Ready?
If you’ve got any questions or need help moving forward after negativity then my Power Hour might be just what you need. Find out more here.