Let me use the words of a colleague and long-term VA, Nina Feldman, who resides in the US. She was referring to IVAA’s VA Convention but her words also very much relate to any Virtual Assistant event that will be beneficial to the growth of your business. Make no mistake about that! Read on…
“I have no ulterior motives for promoting the convention other than the joy I have seeing the smiling faces of other VAs there—newbies and old hands–and the chance I get to share with, and learn from, that many more of you.
But honestly, you can’t afford NOT to go. It’s not just the speakers and the topics covered, but we get so many opportunities to learn from each other while we’re there–meals, roundtable discussions, question-and-answer periods, happy hour, slumber parties, standing in line for the shuttle… It’s like having a business consultation for days at a time with everyone in your field who could inspire and help you. I didn’t start out knowing how valuable the convention would be for me.
In fact, a couple of years after I started my home-based business, there was an ABSSI* convention in San Francisco, only a half-hour subway ride from my home, but I was still too chicken to spend the money to attend—even without having to pay for any hotel or travel costs (*ABSSI = Association of Business Support Services, an organization that existed throughout the ’80s and ’90s that was a lot like IVAA). But once I finally decided to attend a convention, I wished I’d begged, borrowed, or stolen the money to go in previous years (well, at least put it on my credit card), because each year I come away with *so* much good, time- and money- saving advice that by the time I get back to my home office, it has *more* than paid for the trip!
This is all the more true when you’re first starting out. Many newer VA’s say that because their client load is low, they don’t have the money to spend on these things. I can safely say that the year following my first convention I attracted more clients, and earned several thousands of dollars more than I ever had, just by putting into practice some of the relatively easy revenue-generating ideas I got from others at the conference–from the speakers, of course, but especially from the other attendees. In my opinion, going to the convention is not an extravagance; it’s something you owe to your career. It’s an investment in your business–and it may very well be the thing that keeps it from failing.
I have seen a huge percentage of those who try self-employment give up and go back the job world because they simply didn’t know enough about how to get and keep clients. And getting and keeping clients is what is really behind most of what we learn at the conventions.
As far as investments go, you only have to save about three dollars a day during the course of the year to be able to afford to go to the conference each year—and you’ll get back *tons* more than that from what you glean there. I’ve heard of some folks who have actually put that three dollars in a jar at the end of each day, designating it especially for convention trip money.
Even though I’ve been in business for decades, it’s always an incredible “shot in the arm” for me to go to the convention. The sustenance and inspiration I get from others there has saved me from burnout more than once. This is what I wrote to the colleague I talked about in the first paragraph: <<I, too, thought I couldn’t afford a convention the first few years, so I didn’t go. But later, after I came back from my first one, I earned so much based on what I learned there that it MORE than paid for the trip, and it still does, EVERY SINGLE TIME. If I were you, I would put the whole thing on your credit card and just go. You won’t regret it. I guarantee it!!! The VAs I know who started going to the conventions “before they could afford it” are the ones who are still in business.”>>
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. Hope to see you there!”
I have already shared the above via my VA forum and to the team of “A Clayton’s Secretary”. And received feedback already that Nina’s words above have allayed concerns that the conference might not be for newbies in the industry. The conference is for any and ALL Virtual Assistants, no matter where they are with their VA walk. We so look forward to seeing you attend #AVAC2014. Book today! http://www.australianvaconference.com. You will not regret it!