09 Nov How I became a Virtual Assistant?
The virtual assistant industry is a giant industry in many parts of the world including the UK, Canada, Philippines, and India. In fact, many platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr and people per hour have made it even more popular than ever before.
However, in Nigeria, the industry is still growing with a lot of business owners not knowing what a Virtual assistant is or can do for their business – but that is a blog post for another day!
So how did I become a Virtual Assistant? I became a Virtual Assistant by chance – I did not set out specifically to become a virtual assistant, much less own a business.
In 2015, I had just received my MSC degree in Operations research from the University of Lagos, Akoka and I was searching for a job – although I wasn’t so desperate at the time because my son was about 6 months, and I wasn’t too keen on enrolling him in a crèche just yet.
I spent a lot of time online on social media platforms, and one day while on twitter, I stumbled on a tweet from a lady saying someone needed a research assistant at a private company in Lagos. I hurriedly sent out my resume the same day and hoped for the best.
Long story short, I got the job and I realized that the company operated virtually, because the CEO didn’t see any point in paying for a brick and mortar space with all the attendant high costs of servicing an office rental – so, we communicated via mediums such as skype, emails, WhatsApp and phone calls and kept tabs on tasks using project management apps like Trello etc.
I thought it was fantastic, I mean not having to seat for hours in Lagos traffic was a huge relief and not having to find a crèche or baby sitter for my son was a double blessing!
As a mom, who worked from home most of the time, I enjoyed a great work-life balance working from my home and indeed any location, for me this was amazing especially because I was doing what I absolutely loved to do – RESEARCH!!!
I began to think about more ways to make money online while – doing what I enjoyed.
I saw an ad for a client in the UK who needed an administrative virtual assistant to help with some tasks each week – I applied and I started working Pro You Services and they became my first client!
I realized that with my skills, I could help a lot more entrepreneurs who didn’t require a physical employee to get tasks done.
March 2017 marked a turning point for me in my business, I had just signed up another new client Stephanie Nicholas and my clientele was steady increasing each month.
By July 2017, I had worked with almost 10 clients and some had my service on a retainer. My company VAFY Enterprises was also registered by the corporate affairs to do business in Nigeria – I was officially ready to be on my own!
Of course, nothing good comes easy, I have had to learn so many things about business on my own; including how to pitch my business to potential clients – because most people couldn’t understand how I could work efficiently from any location and so on, but with God and a great support system, consistency, determination and most importantly passion, I have become arguably one of the best virtual assistants in Nigeria *wink*.
Interested in hiring a virtual assistant for your company or owning your own VA business? Feel free to send me an email or leave a comment.