One of the questions posed in a Virtual Assistant group is:
What do you think are the 3 most important skills to have as a Virtual Assistant/Entrepreneur?
Obviously each person has their own answers, some were communication, competence, great attitude, being proactive, having great time management skills etc. I think they are all great answers!
For me, the answers are geared to having a solid foundation. This is where I see many struggle the most—laying a solid foundation for longevity and profitability. Most virtual service providers are bringing the other skills from their professions in corporate settings but being your own boss is an animal of a different nature.
The ability to research the answer. In my opinion the ability to read, comprehend and apply information from help resources is important.
You DO NOT need to know everything you just need to know how to find and apply it when you need it.
I was licensed in 13 states as an insurance agent. Knowing the guidelines and rules for each state was critical. Mistakes could cost me, the company or our clients hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Imagine knowing all the forever changing rules for 13 states-it’s just not possible to effectively have that much information in your head. It’s not healthy either.
Before my company digitized I had a huge rack manual on my desk and undertook the task of staying organized with inter office information as well as state mandated information.
I became the informal go-to person—if it was written and distributed, I had it.
If it was verbalized in a meeting, I typed notes and sent off to the presenter to say “yes, that is correct” and it was then printed and organized so I could refer back to it.
This wasn’t my job at the company, I was an Underwriter, this is how I facilitated my job because I had a license to protect as well as wanted to provide accurate information to my internal and external customers.
Once the company digitized, I continued organizing and knowing where and how to find the information needed. We’re never going to know everything. We do need to know how to find the information we need, that within itself is a skill set. I am on my 24th year as a licensed insurance agent.
The ability to move beyond fear of trying something for the first time or fear of doing something different, fear of failure and fear of success.
Most people aren’t stuck due to lack of knowledge they are stuck because they’re afraid. This fear hides itself but is easily revealed if we listen to ourselves and our thought processes.
Some of the most negative things ever said to us in life are things we say to ourselves.
You may be thinking to yourself “that’s not a skill”. Skill is the ability to do something well; expertise. And being able to confront fear in life and do it expertly is a skill.
With so many coaches, masterminds, workshops, experts and self-proclaimed experts available today many are afraid of not jumping on the bandwagon.
They’re afraid that if they don’t do it the way the person they met online does it they won’t succeed.
No one wants to fail however, the ability to miss the mark, assess the situation and go again is a skill set within itself.
Most successful people have stories of failures because knowing how to fail is a skill and a quality. Go ask them, you’ll be surprised who has failures that lead them to being who they are today. Learn from them but don’t be afraid to be uniquely you and try different things.
The ability to operate a profitable and sustainable business model.
Yes this is a skill. It’s not necessary to have a business modeled exactly after someone else. We all need a business that does what we want and need it to do for us not the next business owner.
Profitable varies per person. Sustainable is something many small businesses fail at within the first two to five years.
Taking in money is great, but the question is how much is staying in your pocket?
In the virtual service industry there is an abundance of dialogue on tools for doing the job and processes but those things alone won’t make you profitable and able to sustain over the years.
Knowing how to expand as a business owner extends beyond the tools to do the business and includes a whole person approach.