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  • Writer's pictureKelly

My $10k Year and My $10k Month... Lessons Learned from Both!

Updated: Dec 6, 2020

I started my Virtual Assistance business in 2008, fresh out of college and with not a whole lot of clue about what I was really going to do to find clients who wanted to pay me to be their VA when I had zero experience {and when not a lot of people even knew what a VA was}.

It was a hard first year in business and took me 6 months to get my first paying client. There were lots of tearful phone calls to my mom and the crying was only interrupted long enough to ask to borrow my rent money, again.

My business made just a little over $10,000 that first year.

And I was miserable.

Fast forward 8 years later, and in 2016 my business revenue had been increasing significantly each year.

And 2016 was the year that I had my first month where I earned $10k in just one month.

And I was miserable.

If you would have told 2008 Kelly that she’d be making $10k a month in 8 years, I would have thought that was the most incredible thing ever. So it’s ironic that when I started to make great money that I was still so unhappy.

But here’s why I was miserable when I was only making $10k a year:

I did not have the business I truly wanted.

And here’s why I was miserable when I started making $10k a month:

I did not have the business I truly wanted.

In both scenarios, I was so caught up in making lots of money that I lost sight of what my real goal is in my Virtual Assistance business, which is this:

I want to create a life and business I love.

A business where I not only make great money, but a business that supports me in living the kind of life outside of work that I really desire.

And when it all boils down to it, being happy in your life and business really doesn’t have a lot to do with how much money you are making.

Because as I know from firsthand experience, you can be unhappy with no money in the bank just as much as you can be unhappy with lots of money in the bank.

So what lessons did I learn and what did I do to turn the ship around and find happiness in my work as a Virtual Assistant?

I got clear on what I wanted my business to look like and I started doing the work necessary to create a business – and life – I really loved!

For me, this included working with a business coach, letting go of doing consulting work that I really didn’t enjoy even though it was profitable, and creating additional offerings in my VA business that will help me to make more money without working all the time to do so.

If you’re like 2008 Kelly and not making very much money in your business yet, here’s two lessons I learned and changes I made to start earning more that I hope encourage you in your business.

1. Get serious about making your business profitable.

One of the reasons I didn’t make a lot of money my first year is that I was very passive about finding clients. So if you don’t have the amount of clients you want right now, get active about finding them. Network on social media. Join a local business group. Make sure your LinkedIn account is up to date and that you are consistently marketing yourself online. Blog for you business so you can showcase your expertise. Get visible so your perfect clients can find you.

2. Work on your tech skills!

People will pay VAs great money to have you help them with their tech needs. So I encourage you to find a tech tool that you *love* and become the go-to-expert with that tool. For me, I became Ontraport Certified and that was a total game changer in my business. You might consider becoming an expert in Active Campaign or social media {Instagram is so hot right now in the online world!}.  Find what you are passionate about doing and become the expert in that! It will pay off in the long run.

If you’re like 2016 Kelly and you’re making great money in your VA business but are miserable and working all the darn time, here’s two lessons I learned and changes I implemented that you can make to start changing things in your own business so that you can be happy and profitable.

1. Get serious about making big changes in your business.

Get clear on your boundaries in your business and stop letting others overstep them. Stop working with clients who cause you immense stress – make a plan to drop them within the next 30 days. Set business hours and stick to them so that you aren’t working all hours of the day and night. Increase your retainer rate so you can charge more but work less hours. It might not be the easiest thing in the world to implement these changes, but it’s going to be worth it so that you can show up to work and love your business.

2. Consider adding an additional revenue stream to your business.

If you think you have to work super long hours in order to make great money in your VA business, think again.  I've always enjoyed working in long term collaborative partnerships with my clients, but when I started to make changes to my business in order to be happier in my VA business, I needed to find an additional revenue stream that would allow me to make more money without taking on new long term clients... So I started offering VIP Implementation Days, which is when a client receives 1 Day of VA Support {8 full hours of my time} where I spend my time focused only on completing their tasks or project so we can knock out their mile-long to do list. After the VIP Day, they either become a long-term client if I have space or just purchase future VIP days as needed. If adding an additional income stream to your business sounds ideal to you, you can learn how to create your own VIP Implementation Days here. There are also a ton of other ways to create additional revenue streams in your business – do your research and get to implementing!

Here at The Empowered VA Blog, my biggest desire is to encourage my fellow VAs to do the work needed to create the VA business of your dreams. And I know sometimes it’s hard and people don’t always understand the VA thing and what you are creating. But I get it, I’ve been there and I know it can be hard to reach your business goals. But KEEP GOING.

Profitable and happy Virtual Assistant businesses. That’s what I want for each of us.



PS: I'd love to know... Did you find this blog helpful or encouraging? Please share in a comment below... I want to connect with you!

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