This fourth feature in our Self-Employment Series is of Vashti Kanahele, a virtual assistant, who took the 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success course.
In case you missed the other three, here they are:
- My interview on how I made $32,000 as a part-time proofreader
- How Cynthia makes $22.50/hour minimum as a legal transcriptionist
- How Michelle makes $100,000/month as a full-time blogger
Let’s get started!
What is virtual assistance?
Virtual Assistance is providing a service to a client while being remote. None of my clients live in Texas. It’s a location independent career.
Why and how did you decide to pursue this career?
That’s a long story, lol. My background is in management and international development. But when I met my husband, who is in the Foreign Service, I gave up my day job to accompany him
on his assignments.
It’s a great life, but for the Trailing Spouse (that’s me) it can be hard to reinvent yourself every time you get to a new embassy. After three overseas tours, we came home and when we landed in Dallas with two small children, I knew I was done with the 9-5, but I still wanted to contribute to our income.
I searched for about six months for a career that encompassed my skill set, that I could easily and inexpensively get up and running, and could do from home. We will go overseas again soon and I’m thrilled to have my own business!
Why did you choose “30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success”?
After looking at several options, “30 DOL” was the best price point and it had great testimonials. I couldn’t hand over $500+ at that point. The curriculum for 30 DOL was value packed for the price.
How long did it take you to complete the course?
3-5 days. I spent every minute that my youngest was napping and evenings going through
How long after completing the course did you obtain your first client?
1 week. I actually had 2 clients within the first week
How much do you make a month? Do you work part time or full time?
I made $3,000 a month but made the conscious decision to scale back while my husband is away. So I’m now around $2,000. I work 20-25 hours a week, between client work and managing my business.
What are your expenses (business-related expenses)?
$100 per month
What are your duties? Can you describe a day in your life?
Right now I do 2-3 hours of work for one client, usually in the morning, social media scheduling for another and Pinterest Management and optimization for another.
I also work a ton on my new business. Depending on my client load, I get up at 6:00am, get ready for the day and then get the kids ready and off to school. I work out after dropping them off and am at my desk by 8:30-9:00.
I return emails, have a quick chat with by business partner and get to work. Because my husband is gone so much, I finish work by 2:30, so that I can spend the rest of the day with my girls.
What is your least favorite part/hardest part of being a virtual assistant?
Clients that don’t understand that Virtual Assistant doesn’t mean Personal Assistant; clients who expect you to be on call, regardless if it’s after hours or the weekend.
Setting boundaries early with your clients is an excellent way to avoid this from happening.
What is your favorite part of being a virtual assistant?
I love the flexibility it provides as a WAHM (Work-At-Home-Mom). I can take my kids to the doctor and go to school events. My husband recently deployed for 3 months and I decided to scale back on client work while he’s away. I wouldn’t be able to do that with a 9-5.
What traits do you feel are necessary to being a good, successful virtual assistant? Which ones are taught and which ones are inherent?
Good customer service is a must! The biggest complaint I hear from business owners is that VAs lack customer service. It’s such a common sense thing, but it’s lacking for sure.
I think you need to always be willing to learn new skills. My strong suit isn’t tech, but I’ve learned a bunch of different skills (WP, landing pages, ConvertKit, etc).
I feel like customer service, people skills, etc., should be inherent, but can also be taught.
Do you have any advice for someone considering this career?
If you want it, go for it!! There are so many different services you can offer as a VA, the sky’s the limit!
Any final thoughts?
I’m so thankful I found Gina’s course! It has been a game changer for me. I’ve had several friends who have also taken it and are starting their own VA businesses.
I’m Vashti, co-founder of Thrive VA Collective. I’m a Pinterest Manager and VA with over a decade of experience in management, customer service, training and development. My passion for becoming a VA was to have a location independent lifestyle, using skills I already had so that I didn’t have to reinvent myself with every family move. My goal is to help women everywhere realize that they can become a virtual assistant, while living just about anywhere. I understand how difficult it can be to believe you can have something that’s your own, because I’ve been there! But you can, because THIS is your now!