Developing confidence in anything new that we tackle is part of the growing process. From taking our first walking steps, to learning to recognising letters and words so we can read, to learning maths and the many other things as we grow up, learning and developing confidence in running your own VA business is part of the process.
Did I feel nervous taking on my first clients, quoting for jobs or even that I was in business? You betcha! But the desire to run a business and be home for my children was much stronger. Learning to take things on a day by day basis helped considerably but it was also important to plan ahead and look at the big picture.
Setting goals goes a long way to helping you get over that fear. There is an old saying ‘fail to plan and you plan to fail’. In other words if you don’t have a plan in place to get something happening then it is highly likely that you will fail.
Set your sights on something you want to achieve and work towards it. Take it one step at a time. Each success will grow your confidence to move onto the next step.
Gaining one client and achieving what they wanted will build your confidence. The important thing is not to promote/advertise work you aren’t capable of doing. Only take on jobs you know are within your capabilities and seek advise or help from more experienced VAs in tasks you don’t have experience with. That’s the beauty of our industry. We can outsource or sub-contract to other VAs.
With respect to making a mistake? Sure, we all do sometime or other. The important thing is to recognise it as soon as possible and then seek to fix it. If you’re not able to, then offer to find the assistance required to sort it out. For example, quite a few years ago, I had a client wanting me to work on an Access database. I accepted the job based on the information given but it soon became clear to me that it was out of my depth. I hadn’t asked enough questions to understand what the job was about and I had to admit this to the client. But I did help find someone else for him that could complete the job.
Over time as I’ve gained confidence in what I was doing and as my clients gained confidence in me (through a growing lasting working relationship) I felt I could research those things they wanted done but that which I didn’t have experience in. But it was important I didn’t do that until such time the client trusted me sufficiently to do that for them. I still don’t advertise things I cannot personally do but if a client asks then I will ask if they want me to find someone or if they want me to research what’s involved first? If we’ve been working together for sometime already they usually take the latter option – because they know me and are happy to continue working with me. And that only comes over a period of time.