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Thank you! Michelle x
One of the great things about what I do now, is that I've got over a decade of being in business for myself as a VA under my belt, and I've pretty much been through what a lot of other VAs go through when they're first starting out and growing their business.
What am I talking about here?
Well, I wasn't the most confident of people, I certainly wasn't the most popular girl in school, and I was a bit of an awkward teenager. I left home at 16, went into the big wide world to start working, and gained a lot of life experience while many of my classmates went off to college and made the most of their youth... Even in the VA world today, just like back at school, I'm pretty sure there are people who disagree with me, maybe don't like me or have an issue with me - but, oh yeah - that can happen to anyone...
I started my VA business when I was 24, I was young, travelling, not really knowing what I was going to do, and so many thoughts went through my head, like "Why would anyone pay me to do this for them?", "Why would they choose me?", "Will they think I'm too expensive?", "Will they think I'm too young?", "I have no idea how to run a business - who'll take me seriously?" - you know, those signs that you're afraid of the unknown, or about to make a fool of yourself or whatever...
Despite those fears, I kept moving forward, just knowing it would all work out. I'm 35 next month, and I've only had to have a boss for 7 years in my life, and I wouldn't change that for the world. I'm so glad I started my own business when I did.
I had an email this week from someone who is way more qualified than I am (in terms of formal qualifications), has way more skills than I had when I started out as a VA and much better circumstances to pursue their business than I had as well, but when I read her email, she still reminded me of myself in many ways...
Here's what she said:
"I am terrified of getting my first client. I feel inadequate. I really want to know how to get clients who don't expect me to be perfect and who I can learn from even if the pay is low."
And I thought to myself, what would the 'me' today, say to the 'me' all those years ago... And this was my reply to this person.
Think of it this way...
If you feel inadequate, this is something you need to work on - because nobody else can make you feel inadequate without your consent.
If clients expect you to be their version of perfect it's because you haven't managed their expectations properly, and that's a skill you need to acquire.
It all comes down to taking responsibility as best you can for the outcomes.
The more you fear, the more those fears are likely to come true - you need to shift your thought process to something along the lines of...
"I'm going to get clients who are right for me, and as long as I take responsibility and manage their expectations of me, I will likely exceed those expectations consistently and be paid well for it."
Know that your fears, your concerns, your doubts and your feelings of lacking in some way all stem directly from your mind, whether they were planted there by you or someone else, that's the only place they live - so change your frame of mind, and see the world around you change with it ;-)