I participate in many forums and see lots of ‘advice’ being given to newbies in the industry by others who have only been VAs themselves such a short time.
Some of that advice is good and helps to demonstrate the journey they, themselves, have been travelling, but I’ve seen some advice that was ill-founded although well-intentioned.
It is really important that VAs who are seeking advice, mentorship, coaching and training, check the backgrounds of those advising them, especially if they do get to a point of paying for advice, such as the coaching or training, or if they decide to act on the advice given them.
Simple things they can do is look at how long the ‘advisor’ has been a member of that forum (if on a board forum that shows that, or by searching message archives). Visit their website and see if it indicates how long that person has been in business. Compare their advice or suggestions with that of others.
This industry has been a fantastic one for VAs to support and encourage each other, but sometimes in their enthusiasm, a more vocal (newer) member can accidentally become seen as a leader when they have very little mileage behind them in the industry. That’s not to say they might not have good advice but I do encourage all to weigh up the advice given and seek out those who do have the walk behind their talk before taking action.
Heather Villa, CMA, MBA, MSM says
Excellent advice. I have seen too many events where newcomers to the industry depend on the advice of someone just as new, and that can prove detrimental.
Jeannine Clontz says
Well said, Kathie –
I totally agree and I also look to be sure that they have experience in the VA industry.
Sure, there are great ‘business’ coaches out there that haven’t owned a virtual assistance practice, but it just seems more beneficial to me to have someone who can understand EXACTLY what I go through in my specific type of business.
Thanks for sharing. 😉
Beverly Mahone says
This is good advice for any industry you might be in. I often find there are lots of folks who say they are PR and media experts but when I dig further into their backgrounds I find that they may have been a receptionist or other non-descript position. It is always in your best interest to check out the person you’re dealing with to make sure they really are who they say they are.
Angie Dixon says
I’m going to second what Beverly said. In every industry, there are people who don’t know what they’re talking about. I find that there are often people who’ve actually been around a while, and talk through their proverbial hats.
After a while of hanging around on authority sites, forums and blogs, you’ll start to see who seems knowledgeable and respected. That’s great, not only because you know to listen to these folks, but also because you can ask them questions when you’re not sure whether someone else gave you the best advice.