Dear Gritty VA:
I sent an attorney the Virtual Assistant contract templates that I purchased off your site. I contacted him knowing very well that it would be costly, but he offered to look them over at no cost. After not hearing back from him, I asked him once if he’d had a chance to look them over and he mentioned via email that he would look them over during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Well, as of today, I’ve yet to hear from him. Since he offered, I don’t want to bug him. I would really like to start marketing the business, but I’ve been hesitant because of this minor glitch. I’ve worked with contracts before and they looked fine to me, but contacted him because it’s smart to have an attorney look things over. I’m seriously thinking of writing him off and simply moving on. I really need to move forward with my business, but I’m nervous about working with my first client. I’m sure you can understand my dilemma and frustration. To be honest, I’m afraid I’ve forgotten everything I’ve learned in the last 15 years. Crazy, isn’t it? –DE
Not crazy at all. So is that the only thing holding you up? If so, don’t give it another thought. So you’re nervous about going live, so to speak. It’s perfectly understandable. Perhaps waiting around for this attorney’s approval on the contracts is a way to keep dragging your feet. So I have two thoughts to offer you:
1) Yes, I think you should write the attorney off at this point. It’s holding you up and when it does that, it’s no longer a kindness or a favor to you. Don’t allow empty promises to keep you from moving forward in your business. You were prepared to pay for this service originally. Find another attorney and pay him or her. Remember: You get what you pay for and you can’t expect much when it’s a freebie.
2) For legal reasons I have to qualify my assurances by saying that you should always have an attorney look things over. That said, I work with attorneys, three of my uncles are attorneys, I developed these forms with my own attorneys and have been using them for over 12 years of business. So again, I want to encourage you to move forward. Waiting around for clearances and permissions and okays and not trusting in your own good counsel is going to keep you from rockin’ and rolling. Find another attorney to look them over when you get a chance, but in the meantime, you don’t have to wait on that to get started.
As far as being afraid you’ve forgotten everything, trust me you haven’t. It’s like riding a bike. You’re just experiencing the natural, usual fears that all of us have about putting ourselves out there. We all have the inner self-critic in the back of our heads telling us we’re not good enough and all that. You have to just ignore that and plow forward.
Remember, you don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to know everything. The value in what you do as a Virtual Assistant for clients is that you are providing a base of right-hand support. Some things you might be rusty at, but you’ll pick them back up with use. There will be other things you might have to learn. And then there are going to be other things you simply don’t need or want to provide.
Sometimes, the best advice is to not even think about all the what-ifs you may encounter. Just focus on getting that first client, taking that first step. It might even be helpful to have an honest conversation with any new client letting them know that while you are an administrative expert and can definitely help them, you are new to business as there are going to be things that you learn in that regard as you go along. This will at will clear the air and I think most people are going to find such openness and honesty very refreshing and earn you their even greater confidence. You’ll tweak and hone and fix things as you go along, which is to be expected in any business regardless, but if you don’t ever get started, you won’t ever get anywhere. Go for it!