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How To Branch Out And Stretch The Limits Of The Virtual Assistant Industry To Suit YOU!

Michelle Dale - Friday, November 25, 2011

I have an announcement to make at the end of this post, but first, I feel like I should tell you what’s been on my mind for some time now, with regard to the virtual assistant industry. Over time, the term “virtual assistant” has become fairly common, it’s associated with a variety of different types of online service providers, from people providing administrative, creative, technical and even consulting services online and I think it’s a really interesting development that’s going to challenge virtual assistants everywhere to branch out.

Branching out has already started to happen, groups of virtual assistants are evolving and carving themselves a niche to either define their role in the virtual assistant industry or to sometimes detach themselves from it.

We now have a wonderful collection of roles within the virtual assistant industry (in a sense, very similar to the medical industry in fact) to separate, segment and single out our type of business and who we are. This is an excellent idea, and a clear sign that we are branching out as people into roles such as…

  • Online Business Manager
  • Online Business Consultant
  • Virtual Assistance Firm
  • Administrative Consultant
  • Multi-VA Team
  • Virtual Assistant (where it all began)
  • Etc…

Stepping out of conformity.

We need a descriptive way to be able to communicate, essentially our role within the industry, but I think we should also not take those descriptions too literally. For example, I started out as a virtual assistant, and through time and experience, I branched out into consulting, which is what I primarily do now, but I didn’t want to lose the “Market” for people who needed the implementation after I had provided my consulting services, after all I loved being a VA, but I love consulting more. So I devised a business model where I would always be the primary contact or “go to” person, but I was also able to provide all of the ‘action’, as well as the ideas and expertise. This has been the most profitable and personally satisfying business model for me, it also allows for expansion, which means that it is an enterprise, a company which I can grow, develop, expand and perhaps even sell one day or pass on to my children. I have also designed it so I can take time off, and still get paid, which for me is essential when the business is the only source of income in the household, I am no longer the bottleneck, meaning, it’s a business that will continuously support my growing family while still allowing me a healthy balanced lifestyle. The point is, I have taken being a “virtual assistant” and branched out from there on my own path, shaping my business into what I needed it to be. I had to step out of the confines in order to make the business work for myself and my family.

In all honesty, no matter how many people think they may know my business model on the surface, through looking at my website, taking what I call myself as a literal description, or reading my blog – only my clients, the people I work with in my company and the people on The VA Apprentice programme have the experience to know what I truly do, and how my business model is unique to me. Because it worked so well for me, I created The VA Apprentice business programme to be able to hand down my model to other aspiring business owners looking to create a similar style of business or lifestyle, BUT, at the same time, put there own spin on it, use it to mould and adapt it to something that suits them.

Media influence from Internet marketers, bloggers, entrepreneurs and other people who have been working with VA’s and promoting virtual assistance is now forcing VA’s to branch out in order to own their own corners of the industry, and the market that presents itself to them. We need every type of virtual assistant which is out there and more so we can work together as an industry. We need innovative entrepreneurial minds to take being a virtual assistant to the next level, and not only that, to create a serious enterprising business which is right for them and their families. Don’t be fooled by the word ‘assistant’, because through assisting people my business has become several-fold more successful than many of the clients who hire me to assist them…

How can you branch out?

Branching out requires you to ask yourself questions about your own personal circumstances and what you really, truly want from your business, now this is not how you want people to perceive you, or what you think you should do that will please other people, or what the people on your group or network say you should be like — this is all about you, as an individual.

  • What do I want in life?
  • How much do I need to earn to get there?
  • What skills do I have?
  • Where do I want to take myself?
  • What type of business will make me happy?
  • Why do I care so much about what people think of me?
  • Why don’t I care more about what I need in my life?
  • Why can’t I be a successful entrepreneur?
  • Why can’t I make my virtual assistant business different and special?

Choose a realistic base model for your business.

You can use any kind of role as a base model to start your business, your base model is going to be the beginning of your creation, but it’s not the be all and end all, take that role, and make it your own, if you need to change or expand, then do it, if you want to stay small, do it, but don’t confine or restrict yourself to looking at what other people have done and then thinking that you have to follow in line, you can make your business whatever you want it to be, because you can choose to be an entrepreneur as well as a virtual assistant.

If you confine yourself to the limitations of what people tell you what a ‘role’ is and what it’s not, then you’ll never spread your wings and fly. It’s a very exciting, but challenging time to join the virtual assistant industry, and trust me, if anyone feels the need to put virtual assistants down, or publicly, negatively slander those who are a part of the industry, they are only trying to make the VA’s feel small to make themselves feel bigger, you will always get a negative reaction in any industry, you can choose to ignore or choose to listen.

“The VA Passport” is for Online Entrepreneurs, Virtual Assistants and Digital Nomads. If you are someone who doesn’t want to be boxed in, you’re creative, you’re forward thinking and you want to find your own style in this virtual assistant industry, broaden your horizons or craft your own business model, from any kind of base model, then this is right up your street.

Becoming a virtual assistant is just planting the seed for exciting and unique possibilities!

So here is my announcement.

I have spent the last year developing a beautiful foundation of websites and products to help online service providers, I have done it from scratch, I also did it with haste, and now… on the run up to Christmas, I decided that I am not happy with them – they are great don’t get me wrong, but I happen to be extremely critical of my work and I’m always striving for much more than just great. So now, I am creating something spine chillingly AWESOME and for this I need to really put my back into it… So what can we expect between now and Christmas (if someone out there in the ethos is on my side and everything goes according to plan!)

  1. The VA Passport – We are undergoing a massive redesign and renovation, and the important part I’m adding is a “massive” number of resources over the next few weeks to help online service providers have a complete resource centre for service providing, helping them learn valuable Internet skills and techniques and also very valuable methods of business development. It still will contain all the other facilities, but this time, we are going bigger, brighter, and bubblier – you’ll have to wait to see what I mean by bubblier ;)
  2. The VA Apprentice – Again, we are undergoing a massive redesign and renovation, I am also going to be including a range of training resources from TVAP to assist with each module.
  3. Surprise! – I also have a really awesome surprise for you guys launching in the New Year, it’s free, and I think you’ll really like it, time will tell.

All I can say is, I’m on some sort of mission and I am deadly serious about doing what I love and helping not just clients find the success they deserve, but the hard working folk of The VA Industry too, no matter what role you play in it, you are always welcome at my door!

Thanks so much for your patience while I roll this out over the next few weeks, to say I am EXCITED would be a massive understatement. I just hope I can pull this plan off, coffee pot is on, and so are the sweat bands and leg warmers — I’m ready for action.



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Hi I'm Michelle, an entrepreneur specialising in virtual assistance, a digital and real world nomad, and a down-to-earth mother of three.



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