When you decided to start your virtual assistant business, you may have dreamed about all the money you will make while still being at home for your family. Being available for your family is a wonderful reason to work from home, but as you write your business goals you need to make sure your plans and expectations are realistic. Ask yourself how many hours you can realistically work each day. Ask yourself what your family’s schedule is. Ask yourself how your friends will react. Then get down to making a written plan of action.
Write Clear Expectations
When thinking about your own expectations for your business and home life, be clear in what you want to achieve. Do you need to make a certain amount of money? Is having time to take your children to their activities most important?
Choose the Right Niche
It’s easy to overestimate how much you can get done each day, so start slow. Pick a niche that is most able to help you achieve your goals. If you have a goal to work around your childrens’ schedules, you can design a business that allows for that.
Talk to Other People Who Work From Home
People who already work from home are the experts in being realistic. Find someone successful whom you can look up to. They understand the pull of friends, family, and household chores better than anyone. Ask how many hours they work a day and how they stay focused on work when it's time to do so.
Consider Your Level of Commitment to Work
If you plan to work whenever you can, then you probably cannot expect to make six figures a year. On the other hand, if you plan to work 8–10 hours a day with few interruptions, you can probably expect to make that. How committed you are to working will affect how realistic your goals are. Remember that many of those hours may not even be billable.
Don’t Believe All the “Hype”
Sure, you can earn a lot as a virtual assistant and have flexibility for family and friends, but it will take work and commitment from you and your family. Don’t believe everyone who says their home life is perfect and work life is wonderful. Sure, it is at times, but there are other times when expectations are too high and you need to be able to admit that.
Let Go of the Idea of Balance
Some people say that life is a balancing act, and that somehow you can give equal amounts of time and attention to all aspects of your life. But the truth is, sometimes your family life and friendships will suffer. Sometimes your business will suffer. That’s okay; just try your best to stick to the schedule you’ve set, adjusting as necessary.
It’s hard to keep your expectations realistic about work and home. But if you write down how many uninterrupted hours you can realistically work each day, and exactly when they will be, then you can start planning for the right niche, with the right clients, and experience success far beyond any that you may have thought possible when working from home.