When setting up an online business a lot of folks want to know how long it's going to take until they start earning, say 5k or 10k a month - it's a bit like going on a diet, we want to know if we follow this diet for X number of days we'll lose X number of pounds or kilos - but often times that doesn't happen for various reasons, or it does and then those pounds come right back and you're at square one again, and it's the same with earning money from an online Virtual Assistant Business.
The formula for the answer to this contains 5 elements, and I'll explain what they are now (in no particular order).
1. YOUR EXPERIENCE
If you have no experience working online, providing services, or doing anything remotely related to virtual assistance - then this will slow your progress. It took me a whole 2 years of researching and learning (way back in 2005 when not even social media existed) to go from nothing to being able to properly start my business, however inside my courses I've taken more than 15 years of all the good stuff that my brain and experiences have absorbed and condensed it down into my training, coaching and mentorship
courses, so that will certainly speed up your progress dramatically, but you will inevitably need to gain experience and learn through doing, and this will be your decision as to how much time and effort you want to invest here.
2. YOUR CAPACITY
Finances and income are limited when you're on your own in a service business. You see clients are essentially investing their money into our time and what we're able to produce within it - there's a restriction on this, which is the amount of time you have available for them to invest in.
You can charge a premium rate if you do premium work, and that can increase your income much quicker than if you were charging - well, not a premium rate.
Another option is to hire people and build a team who you've trained well to replicate your skills, or improve or add to your services, the more time you can sell the more earning potential you have (providing you go about it the right way of course).
So premium rates and expanding teams will generally increase your income, because this increases your capacity (financially and / or hourly).
3. YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES
When I was a young single 20-something who was basically travelling and only had myself to think about, it was super easy for me to devote sometimes up to 16 hours a day to my business - that may seem like a lot, but when you tot up computer time, thinking time, visioning time, learning time, website building time, staring into space dreaming time etc... I needed it, and I loved what I was doing so much, I actually wanted to be doing that many hours, so when I eventually started putting all the pieces together it was super easy to devote time to marketing and generating business and just being present with my business as my primary focus.
But - if I had started my business now, with a large family, there's no way I could have devoted that kind of time and attention to my business (nor would I have wanted to). So this is a huge variable in the earning potential and timescales to the amount you can earn... so ask yourself, what are your circumstances?
I'm not saying earning great money is related to your family, where you live or even the time you work, but I am saying that the more healthy attention and focus you have on your business and 'want' to have on your business, the more likely you are to begin earning the kind of money you'd like to earn more quickly.
4. YOUR BELIEFS
I believe in magic and miracles, but I find it hard to believe that they come completely out of thin air - and if they do, you'd need to be fairly advanced as a human being, or highly unusual circumstances have occurred.
So let's first accept that if it's your belief that you have to work really hard to achieve awesome things, like money for example, then you have to have a certain degree of effort put forth. Try to shift that belief so that you lose the idea that you have to 'work hard' and that you have to work, but it will be enjoyable, as telling yourself it will be enjoyable could result in a quicker financial return than telling yourself it will be hard.
5. YOUR HEALTH
And the last one is your health - I'm talking about how you treat yourself.
I'd bet the person who ate well, got plenty of sleep, got their vitamins and minerals, consumes their greens (lots of them!) had generally low stress levels, laughed a lot and took some light exercise has the ability to increase their income several fold faster over the person who lived on coffee and donuts, drank like a fish, got 4 hours of sleep per 24 hours and felt stressed or worried for most of the day.
A healthy lifestyle allows creativity to cultivate. The better you treat yourself and your body, the more creative, clear, productive and focussed you'll be - and folks that's when your earning potential can really take off!
SO THE FORMULA IS THIS:
Experience + Capacity + Circumstances + Beliefs + Health = Length of time to earn X per month.
Generally speaking, the more you concentrate on improving and adapting ALL of these areas of your existence, the faster the money can roll in...
THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY WRITTEN AND PUBLISHED IN SEPTEMBER 2014 AND UPDATED IN AUGUST 2020.