If I had a quarter for every time I have heard this question in the approximately 1.5 years since I launched my Virtual Assistant business, I could buy my apartment complex.
When people feel stuck, and aren’t sure if they are doing what they were put on this Earth to do, that’s the first question most coaches or motivational speakers will ask. “What is your passion? That’s what you should be doing!” OK, fine. But what if you don’t know what your passion is? You must be nuts, you might be thinking. Everybody knows what they’re passionate about. Not necessarily. When I was in high school, I thought I wanted to be an accountant.
I will now pause a few moments while you fall over laughing at the idea of me being an accountant.
(An accountant? This guy? Really?)
(That’s funny; I don’t care who you are, that’s funny right there!)
Moving forward, I will tell you that a single week of Intermediate Accounting I purged any accountant dreams right out of me. I tried Finance as a major instead. I was OK, but I never could complete the Science requirement in the general credits a student is required to accumulate. So I never graduated. But I got a temp job as an admin on a huge project for one of Bank of America’s predecessor companies. I took to the job; I was skilled enough to complete the tasks and I found it relatively enjoyable. A few years later, when I found myself in another admin role at Duke Energy, I made the decision to make the administrative professional career my official career. I stayed at Duke until I started the VA business.
So in the span of a little more than 3 decades, I went from aspiring accountant to admin assistant to career-oriented administrative professional to Virtual Assistant business owner. Some pretty significant change in environments. Even within the VA world, there is a wide range of activities available. You can be a general VA, handling a wide variety of tasks for a business or fellow entrepreneur. You can also choose a specialty or niche, such as specializing in social media marketing, or being a VA for real estate agents or a VA for coaches. I’ve been a general VA up to this point, and that has been fine by me. As I continue on this VA path, I’m starting to get a clearer picture of the kind of work I was put here to do.
A lot of people are familiar with sites where you can get some startup work like freelancer.com and Upwork. There has been good and bad for me on these sites. I found the second client I ever landed on Upwork, and he turned out to be an identity thief. Which I found out after I was out several thousand dollars. On the flip side, the client that has produced the most revenue for me so far is also one I found on Upwork.
I have also had some success getting projects at freelancer. A common issue with these sites is they are very heavy in international clients who are in absolutely no mood to pay what would be considered a good wage in the USA. It’s not just the VAs in the Philippines that are willing to work for $5 per hour because they have no overhead – the people hiring content writers will offer a set dollar amount for projects, and if you look at that amount and factor in how long it takes you to complete it, you’re often working for as little as $3 per hour.
Despite the ridiculously low wages, I really took to the work. I can do some technical writing, but I’m best at writing where I can incorporate some fun into it. I have a good sense of humor (although it’s probably not as legendary as I think it is), and if you’re looking for one of those anal-retentive types when it comes to spelling & grammar, I’m your man – especially if you suspect there is someone in the solar system that occasionally misuses an apostrophe. I’m all over that – or, to quote an old basketball coach from this part of the country, “I’m all over that like a hobo on a ham biscuit.”
One of my recent projects on freelancer was a client that wanted 30 articles that were fun, eye-catching, and sensational (yes, “click-bait” – the client actually used that term in the project description). I had a lot of fun with it and put all kinds of crazy stuff out there on the interwebs. It has helped me see that writing is something I really enjoy. It also confirms what a former Duke Energy colleague of mine said a couple of years ago. After seeing me write a lengthy comment on an article on the company intranet, she emailed me and said, “I hope you’re going to do some lengthy writing in your career, like a book or something. You have the knack for it.”
Things are coming into focus. Content writing appears to be my strength, and I can use it to solve a problem for entrepreneurs and small businesses. They need to sell their products and services to generate revenue. I can blog, write newsletters, put articles on their websites, send engaging emails to the people on their email list (stuff that is so interesting they would never consider hitting that “unsubscribe” button), plus alert their social media audience to new content.
So now I can get a little more specific with the commercial that runs at the end of most blog posts. If you need a content writer, Contact us to see how we can partner to make great things happen for your business.