People working from home (Homepreneurs) are popularly referred to as Virtual Assistants (VA). There is a wide variety of tasks assigned to VAs. Most popular ones being administrative assistance, customer support executive, transcriptionist, translator, online tutor, ghost writer and many many more.
The biggest lure for wannabe virtual assistants/freelancers is the possibility of being able to work form home, and, generating an income out of it. As a practicing virtual assistant (freelance developer/homepreneur) for the past 4 yrs, I frequently encounter prospective VAs with request to guide them in establishing a VA career
I am more than happy to share resources and respond to queries. Religiously, I respond back with links on articles, forum etc. 2 out of 10 people practice due diligence and come back to me after a couple of weeks to "discuss" about the things they have learnt. I am really happy for them knowing they have grasped the crux of being a VA.
However, 8 out of 10 on the other hand, spare no time in responding with, "Please teach me how to be a VA. I am a quick learner". They view my repeated responses to access resource content, as, "washing my hands off" fearing competition.
There is no such thing as free lunch. Everything comes with a price tag. Becoming a VA is no different either. Monetary investment to launch your VA career is optional, not mandatory. However, this calls for another type of investment which no VA can deny. AN INVESTMWNT CALLED "-TIME-"
"Take care of the minutes, the hours will take care by themselves" is true to every word in a (aspiring) VA's working hours. Things could swing both ways here. Spare a few minutes to learn something new, you could be hired(for $) to implement what you have learnt. Similarly, spend a few min on aimless chit-chat /fb'ing, it could be an hour lost to regain focus towards what you were initially working on.
Most VA aspirants tend to loose the initial drive much sooner than 8 weeks of their first attempt. 10 weeks later, they just give up on the idea. 12 weeks later, they conclude that "work from home is all scam", & those who say otherwise are lying.
It has been my observation that such people approach VA opportunities in the conventional way (read as in the corporate way). If only they had taken the time to read (&comprehend) through the resource content (shared by a friend/goggling), the following could have been put to good use.
- The knack of weeding out scam job postings and the real ones.
- The art of presenting one's VA profile (yes, it is no longer
called resume or CV in the VA work environment)
- The tact of using faceless communication (there is no body language to impress your interviewer/client; first level of screening the applicants is by assessing their email-etiquette; once this level is cleared, one is called for a voice chat/teleconference/video chat based on the nature of work.
- The tools of trade for VAs (& specific ones depending on the nature of the job. Eg, graphic artist: Photoshop & flash, transcriptionist: express scribe etc)
- The warning signals for non-paying /custom sample clients, and how you can protect your work without jeopardizing a prospective (genuine) gig.
- The all important -how to handle payments, invoices, fund transfer to u r local currency, tax information et al.
Every VA aspirant should invest a huge chunk of their time to know the terrain, and how this part of the industry functions. By doing so, I do not guarantee that nothing will go wrong. Everyone will make a faux pas, and we are no exception. Even experienced VAs burn their fingers. At least, you will be prepared when such a situation arises (God forbid!!!).
So you see ······ time is a lot like money.
You need to invest a wee bit (may be you might have to stretch here and there)
···· so that, when you have projects at hand, you will have the privilege of managing it.
INVEST IN TIME BEFORE APPLYING FOR PROJECTS.
MANAGE MONEY (TIME=MONEY) WHEN THE PROJECT IS AWARDED TO YOU.