Entrepreneurial Mindset

I spend a lot of time in various Facebook groups and the one thing I have noticed more than anything is Virtual Assistants, especially, tend to still think like employees. Coming from being an employee for many years, it did take me some time to change my mindset and to look at things as a self -employed entrepreneur.

When working as an employee you spend your days being told to come into work at a certain time, to take lunches and breaks at a certain time, to go home at a certain time, and when you are allowed to take a vacation. Better hope you are not low man on the totem pole! You are told what work you will perform, and of course how much you are going to be paid. If you are employed in a service based industry, you also have little control, if any, about what clients you will serve.

When I made the switch to being self-employed it took some time to truly experience my newly found freedom. To be honest I felt guilty taking a walk at lunchtime or taking some time off during the day with the option to do work later on in the evening. Since I work from home, initially, it felt very strange to be able to take time to tidy the house or throw in a load of laundry. It took nearly two years to feel comfortable with being able to do these things without any guilt.  But what a freeing experience it was to finally realize I could take a morning off to go for coffee with a friend, to take the day off and go to a field trip with my daughter’s class. After all, these are the reasons I became self-employed. I wanted more freedom and control of my life, and finally, I was able to experience the joy that brought me.

Part of being self-employed is getting to the realization that you are a business owner. You call the shots.

You are now in control of those things that were controlled for you as an employee. You now set your own schedule, who you work for, when and where, and how much you will charge for your services.

The two things I see most often in various Facebook groups is that Virtual Assistants, with an employee mindset, are being asked for their resumes from potential clients. This can be tough I understand because when you were looking for work as a potential employee, you needed to provide a resume. But let me ask you when you hire a service professional, let’s say the guy who services your vehicle, do you ask him for his resume? In a word – no. You are going to him for services, and he is providing them based on his expertise.

Resumes are something you should never feel obligated to provide to ANY potential client. They are hiring your services, not you. They are not going to be telling you when to work, or when to take breaks. They are not going to be remitting your taxes for you either. So they are not in need of your resume. They do, of course, have the right to know about your services as they relate to quality. That being said you can send samples of your work, and share testimonials.

The other thing I notice far too often is new Virtual Assistants allowing clients to question their rates. This again stems from the employee mindset. They are allowing clients to dictate their rates much like an employer would dictate their wages. They have put an hourly rate up on their site, rather than placing packages on their site which is where a lot of the problem stems from.

Stop!

First, you are the boss. You set the rates you will charge – period. Clients may ask what is included or how long a service may take (in order to know when their work will be done), but you decide how much you are charging them.

When you keep putting an hourly rate for packages – you are still thinking like an employee being paid by the hour and you will never get ahead and profit. There are only so many hours in the day – do you want to be working all of them to make what you need and desire to make? NO!

Again, I will use an example. If you go to get your car detailed and you want to get “Package A” which includes washing, vacuuming, and waxing, do you ask what the hourly rate is? No, you get the package price for those items and you pay that price. It is the same with you as  Virtual Entrepreneur (VA, or Social Media Manager or…) You decide what you want to make, how much time you wish to spend working and then create packages based on that.

You can only work so many hours, and over time you will master those items you include in the package for a client and get faster at the tasks. So, if a task used to take you an hour, but now only takes you 45 minutes – do you want to be getting paid less to do the task? No. You want to keep earning the same. Take that 15 minutes and move on to another client’s work.

If you have moved out of that 9-5 grind and moved into entrepreneurship, you are no longer someone’s employee, and you need to change your mindset. This is the only way you are going to succeed and the only way you will start to earn what you are worth as the expert in your field.

If you are looking to learn more about this, consider the Work Anywhere Virtual Entrepreneur (W.A.V.E) course, and become part of the W.A.V.E community on Facebook.

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