Over the years I’ve seen a paradigm building in the Virtual Assistance industry. Many VAs have marketed themselves to provide 24/7 support to clients and it’s transitioned into an expectation. Even though many of us have shouted our business hours from the rooftops, the expectation has already been set.
Virtual Assistants are expected to be available at the client’s beck and call. Don’t get me wrong, I would be the first to acknowledge that I work some pretty odd hours, nights, weekends, etc., but they are under MY control. I have never published or marketed myself to provide 24/7, or even weekend support, although sometimes I do. I have weekend rates for such emergencies, but it’s not normally the way I do business.
A newer client gave me a project early Friday morning and asked if I could have it back to him by Sunday morning. I indicated that I could certainly have it by mid-day on Monday, but that I wasn’t working this particular weekend. If he really needed it by Sunday morning, I could accommodate him, but my weekend rate would apply.
While we did work the situation out, he really was under the impression that ALL VAs worked 24/7. He sort of left me with the impression that he didn’t think I was a very hard worker if I wasn’t on call. He was equally shocked when I told him I take at least 2-week’s vacation each year, whether I leave town, or not.
Being a hard worker doesn’t mean I need to work ALL THE TIME! I work very hard on client projects and my business. But I also want and need to have a balance between work, family, and play. I really couldn’t see myself operating my business in a 24/7 model, even if I would be interested in modeling my business in this way.
Without exception every single successful and profitable business person I know does NOT work all the time, and it certainly isn’t expected. I would feel like I was a prisoner to my business if I did; and it would certainly take the joy out of doing what I do. I think I’ll pass on working so hard I feel like I’m doing hard time!
Jeannine Grich, owner of Accurate Business Services, a VA practice, is an author, writer, speaker, and VA Business Coach, specializing in providing professional business coaching to established and start-up virtual assistants (VA’s). For her FREE article, “What’s Holding Back my Business Success?” Visit: http://www.VAbizcoach.com; or contact her at: http://vabizcoach.com/contact-us/.