Starting your own business is very daunting, especially if you are doing it by trial and terror. I was fortunate enough to be under the guidance of Melissa Nicholson, The VA Coach
Melissa took time out of her busy schedule to share some pearls of wisdom with me
What are the 3 hardest lessons you learned as a VA?
- I did not have the support I needed in my VA business back then, which resulted in many stressful and un-needed hours of confusion
- You can’t always trust everyone you do business with
- Not having all the resources I needed right away to make the VA business work for me
How has being an accredited Life Coach assisted you in your VA Coaching business?
- It has taught me personally how to get rid of limiting beliefs that held me back throughout my personal life, which filtered into my business life in terms of what I believed I could achieve in life
- It has helped me Coach countless ladies on how to get rid of their own limiting beliefs
- I can read people and situations very quickly, by applying my life coaching techniques to certain scenarios
Please share 3 pearls of wisdom to anyone thinking of becoming a VA:
- Make sure that you have a fantastic mentor to help you build your business (one that has actually been a VA or a business owner and knows precisely what you need and can assist you to deal with the tough situations that may arise in your business)
- Make sure you have everything you need before you start this business (including market-related information, a very good business plan and all the systems you need in place to start your VA business)
- Never let your current circumstances or any limiting beliefs that anyone might have believed of you, halter you from starting this business and making a huge success of yourself. I always say, if no one else believes in you and only you did, you are the only one that matters anyway
What words of warning would you give to anyone attempting to set up a VA business?
- Do not go into this business thinking that success will come to you. You have to wake up every single morning and drive yourself to do whatever it takes to make your business a success
- Make sure you have absolutely every resource and groundwork in place, in order for your business to succeed
- Having a professional brand and website is the face of your business, make sure these are in place, as this is what is going to really get your name out there
If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
- I would stress MUCH less about things that I know are out of my control
- I would have incorporated planning and time blocking for my calendar a lot sooner, as this ensures one always meets their goals
- Learn how to say no every time you need to
What drives you / gets you up in the morning?
- My business and the ladies out there whom I coach and rely on me to help them build their businesses, which in turns changes their futures entirely
- My faith
- Knowing that my purpose in life is to help others achieve what I have in my businesses and help them to believe that they can do exactly the same. Knowing that I started with absolutely nothing and used my drive and determination to get me to where I am today
What keeps you going?
- My drive for entrepreneurship and success
- My responsibility to those that undergo my coaching and ensuring the success of theirs
- I am extremely results-orientated, so I am always making sure I am reaching goals I have set for myself. I go out of my way to usually exceed my own expectations, which makes everything I do reward and well worth it
Things you can’t do without on a typical day?
- My calendar – I use the time-blocking method to map out every single day. This includes personal responsibilities, meetings, calls and times blocked out for certain aspects of my business, like strategy
- Affirmations – I use affirmations and read them out loud, about things I want to achieve in my life and business
- Coffee – Naturally this is something that gets me through the day
- Besides my usually fully-booked daily schedule, I always make time to do something that relaxes me, I am a very big believer in self-care. You can’t pour from an empty cup
- Planning – I am a big planner and it is easy to get lost in trying to do 1 million things per day, but I have found the key to really getting things done is by choosing only 3 key tasks per day
Do you have a mantra / winning recipe for success?
- Push yourself, because no one else is going to do it for you
How do you overcome adversity?
- I always take a step back, breath, even go do something completely different and then come back and relook at the situation with fresh eyes
- I really believe that what is meant to be will be, there is no point in stressing and worrying oneself over certain situations that cannot be changed and always try to apply this to every situation I face
- I am a big believer in faith and that sometimes you have to let certain situations go on purpose
What would you say are your 2 strongest character traits?
- The determination to keep my eyes on the prize and never ever give up for myself and my business
- A passion for entrepreneurship has gotten me through some of the most difficult times in my businesses as well as my happiest times
What, in your opinion, are the top Myths and Truths about owning an online business?
MYTH: That it’s easily done according to online articles
TRUTH: The truth is it takes a lot of knowledge, resources and a truckload of hard work and determination to be successful in an online business
MYTH: That it’s possible to be an overnight success
TRUTH: This couldn’t be further from the truth. It takes time to set your business up the right way. You have got to have all your ducks in a row before you can even think about putting yourself out there
MYTH: You don’t need a business plan
TRUTH: How can one know where they are going, if you have not mapped out where you want to go
MYTH: It costs a lot of money to start a business
TRUTH: Let’s just say I had less than no capital to start a business, with no back-up, support or pretty much any help at all and here I am 7 years later. Proof that it is possible
MYTH: That you need a college education to start a business
TRUTH: Once again, I only had matric when I started my business in 2014 and here I am. It is absolutely possible to start a business with no further education, although it is a great added advantage, it won’t determine your success, only you can do that