So far, we’ve been featuring virtual assistants started their businesses and have been successful at getting VA gigs either on a part-time or full-time basis.
But we’ve decided to show the other side of the deal, too, by interviewing business owners who hired VAs to help them lighten the load and free up some time.
Adrienne, the blogger behind Fruitfully Alive, was kind enough to share how she decided to hire a virtual assistant, and what that has meant for her business growth and her personal life.
Thank you for joining us, Adrienne!
Hi, Adrienne! Can you tell us a bit about your business?
I help millennials create their dream life by helping them start online businesses, manage their money, and become more productive and organized. I do this by writing blog posts, giving my subscribers free downloadables, and coaching them one-on-one.
At what point in your business did you decide to start working with a virtual assistant?
I reached a point where I was feeling overwhelmed with the day-to-day management of my business. There are aspects of management that I have a lot of difficulty with like the technological components. It got to a point where it was limiting my rate of growth. I was extremely frustrated.
That’s when I decided to start working with a VA.
Do you think you waited too long to hire help? What held you back from looking for a VA sooner?
I do think I waited too long before I started working with a VA. When I think of the countless hours I spent on tasks a specialized VA could do in their sleep, I realize I could have been spending that time doing what I do best and growing my business much faster.
I held back because I’m very frugal and don’t like to spend money that doesn’t have to be spent. Now I realize having a good VA is indispensable. It’s an investment in my business which paid off almost immediately.
Where did you find your VA? How did that process go for you?
I used the Virtual Assistant Finder. I had interviewed a couple of the graduates of Gina’s courses for my blog and even hired one once for a small one-time project, so I knew the caliber of her training and the excellence of the people who were learning from Gina’s VA course.
I didn’t want to use an enormous database and get inundated with dozens of applications from VAs. Nor did I have that kind of time to spend. I wanted a 30 Days or Less to VA Success graduate.
The process was almost as impressive as the results. I was given a questionnaire that truly helped me verbalize my needs clearly; in all honesty, I started the process just knowing I needed a VA, but I hadn’t really thought through the different ways I could accept help.
I needed a little help in most of the areas of management! That questionnaire gave me clarity.
Within the hour after submitting my questionnaire, I had a couple of applications. By the end of the day, I had around ten applications to choose from.
The hardest part was picking one because they were all fantastic. Each of them felt like a good fit for me and my business.
In the end I went with my gut and jumped on a call with the one whose application resonated the most. My call with her confirmed that she was perfect.
I have had no regrets since!
(I did keep the applications of the others for a future point in time when I will be ready to hire a second assistant!)
What made your VA stand out from other applications you received?
She genuinely resonated with and was passionate about the topics of my blog. I hadn’t realized how important that was to me until I saw it in her application. She genuinely wanted me as a client because she connected with what I was trying to achieve.
What does your VA currently do for you? Is that the same thing they were hired to do for you initially?
My VA is currently working on tech-y things for me. But that’s not all. She helps me with almost everything I do. She’s made graphics for me, done post research and content audits, altered the design of my site, and more. She even made me an email signature!
I had planned to just use her for the tech stuff, but she’s just so helpful and trustworthy that I find myself delegating more and more to her.
What was most surprising about working with a VA for the first time?
I was most surprised by how quickly I progressed as a result of hiring her. Projects that would have taken me a month now took a matter of days. I was also pleasantly surprised by her insight. I never expected to use her as a sounding board but have begun to do so with increasing frequency because she has great ideas.
What would you do differently if you could do it over again?
I’d start sooner. I could have saved myself so many headaches and frustration.
Did hiring a VA impact your personal or business life in any way?
Absolutely! There was a time I was so frustrated with my business that I seriously considered giving it up and moving on to something else. I was often in a bad mood.
I took an incredible personality test to figure out what aspects of my business weren’t motivating me personally and I was then able to identify that it was those tiny and yet infinite tech obstacles.
Once I hired my VA, I was suddenly passionate and enthusiastic about my business again. I was and remain optimistic and very grateful for her help!
Adrienne runs Fruitfully Alive, a blog where she helps millennials create their dream life and escape the cubicle 9-to-5. Check out her free resource library! In her free time, she tries to perfect an Irish dialect and plans for the day she’ll have a caucasian shepherd dog.