The minute you tell your friends and family you are going to work from home as a Virtual Assistant,
1. They don’t have any idea what you are going to do;
2. They think you are using this as an excuse to sit and watch movies all day and
3. They do not believe you.
People still think I sit at home watching movies all day, after doing this for 17 years, so there really is not much hope of ever changing their mind-sets about what I do. As a VA it is hard to get family and friends support. They do not think of us as legitimate business owners, who run companies just like small businesses do. They can’t seem to associate us with it. I think what must be worse, is if your husband does not believe in what you do. Surely they must see what work you are doing and see that you are under pressure and are actually working.
I am lucky I am not in that type of situation, my husband has supported me from the beginning and he helps spread the word about my business whenever he can, keeping business cards in his car, for just those occasions when he needs to pass my details along. He knows I am doing a real job and actually working, he has met my clients when they come here with work. He has seen the long hours over the years, that I have had to work including weekends and public holidays.
Your friends think now you are at home, they can just pop in for coffee and a chat whenever, they can’t grasp that you are working and working to a schedule and just like in the corporate world you have start and finish times. They think you are available anytime, to go shopping, go to gym, stop for a chat. We work to deadlines, nearly all our work is deadlines so we are committed to sitting hours at a time working, just like in the corporate world but they can’t see this and get upset when you say, you are busy and can’t just drop everything.
Our reputations are built on meeting our deadlines. If we do not work, we simply do not get paid. Any time we take off affects the money we earn at month end. So if we take time off we need to work that time in, to make sure we are paid. People think as we work from home we can simply drop everything and pop to the shops, sometimes you can but the majority of the time we can’t. Because we work from home we tend to work longer hours as we do not have travelling time getting to and from work and its easier to pop back to our desk after hours and finish tasks to meet our deadlines.
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