Hi everyone! I’m Chrissy Silva - aka The Coffee VA. I decided to become a VA whilst on sick leave recovering from brain surgery as a way to avoid the stressful daily London commute. So I asked my boss if I could work from home 2-3 days a week but was told support roles must always be present in the office. My role was too big to be condensed into part-time hours so I suggested recruiting for a job share and luckily he agreed. That was in late 2017 and becoming self employed was a huge learning curve in many ways - I thought it would be less stressful but actually it’s just a different kind of stress! Juggling the two jobs has been harder than I’d envisaged - in one way I was comforted by still having some steady income and enjoyinf the camaraderie of my team (plus company benefits such as private healthcare and pension!) but on the other hand I really valued the flexibility and autonomy that VA work brings. However, being an introvert means I find the hustling, networking and self promotion side rather painful and a chore. I’m not creative nor a big fan of social media so I’ve somehow managed to rely on word of mouth for the past two years. I’ve also not yet found my niche - the work that brings fulfilment. Unluckily my clients haven’t always known what they want or how to delegate which has led me to think that VA work may not be for me. So I’m now in a phase of looking for inspiration and advice from other VAs here who have cracked it and are living the dream! (And also here to help others and offer any advice re dealing with illness whilst working) Thanks for reading and hope you’re having a relaxing weekend!
Welcome to the forums.
Working from home can be stressful, but not as bad as a daily commute into London. I balance working with health issues too and it is good to have that flexibility.
I don’t really do social media. I have a work blog on my website, one speciality print ad and otherwise rely on word of mouth - which is the best way to market I find.
Learning to work with a variety of clients is tricky, teaching them how to delegate and to clarify what they want is a whole new skill set. Hopefully you’ll get some inspiration here.
I always think you are better doing some marketing which you are actually going to do and enjoy rather than pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone to do stuff which you think you should be doing - one sort of marketing always gets done consistently, the other doesn’t!
I love your VA name by the way!
Networking is something I struggle with, I haven’t always been very active on social media but I’m trying to give it another go!
The fact that you’re getting referrals is a huge pat on the back, obviously you’re doing a fantastic job! I have no doubt soon enough you’ll be able to do what all us who have two jobs long to do and hand in your resignation!
Thanks Caroline - much appreciated!
Ha - thanks! The name is unconventional but reflects my personality quite well
Good luck to you!
Thanks Wendrie - hope you’re coping well with your health and good job on your blog! (something I started but is now collecting dust - I should gain some courage to get back on it!)
Am still getting to grips with this site so will be searching for tips and inspiration where I can - thanks for the kind words!