When starting your VA business, evolving from a 9-5 employee (where you don’t make the decisions and merely react to orders from your boss), into an independent business owner (where you make the decisions and give the orders) is sometimes a difficult thing to do.

Successfully crossing this barrier often separates successful VAs from less successful VAs.

I believe it all boils down to how you think about yourself and your business. In other words, it all boils down to your mindset.

Do you operate your business with an employee mindset or a business mindset?

I firmly believe, mindset is 90% of the game, because your mindset – the way you think about yourself and your business and how you then react to situations – will determine whether you’ll be successful or whether you’ll fail.

One of my mentors once said that:

  • Your thoughts (the way you think about stuff) create your feelings and beliefs
  • Your beliefs then dictate what actions you will take
  • Your actions will dictate your results

Today, I want to explain this concept on the hand of the following two scenarios:

Scenario 1: Running your business with an Employee Mindset

Let’s say a client who is writing a book, asks you to help him type, edit and proofread his new book.  He sends you the draft copy and you do exactly what he asked. Some time later you send the completed copy back to him. You’ve done your work exceptionally well; you have a satisfied client and your ways part.

There’s nothing wrong with this, but let’s analyse it on the hand of the mindset concept.

Your thoughts create your feelings and beliefs: When you think like an employee, you will feel and believe that you are still inferior to your clients (a typical “boss-employee” scenario) and you will (perhaps unconsciously) belief that your clients dictate your business, i.e. they make the work requests and you just need to deliver on it. So when your client requests the work, you pull out all stops to deliver a great service.

Your beliefs dictate your actions: With this inherent (sometime unconscious) “boss-employee” believe, you follow their “orders” (work request) to the letter and give your ultimate best performance. Your client is happy and you are happy and then….off they go, and in most cases, you start looking for your next client.

Your actions dictate your results: Although you’ve followed your client’s instructions to the letter and they are happy with your work, you still struggle each and every month getting clients. It just feels like a constant struggle and you don’t get ahead.

But here is scenario 2: Running your business with a Business Mindset

Let’s take the same situation as above:

A client who is writing a book, ask you to help him type, edit and proofread his new book.  He sends you the draft copy and you do exactly what he asked. While you are busy with the work, you engage with the client to see how you can continue working with him. You start asking question such as e.g.

  • Does he have a graphic designer to design the cover page, because you know someone who can help him or perhaps do it yourself.
  • Is he going to find a publisher or will he self-publish the book – you can help him with that.
  • Does he have a payment module on his website to sell the book online – you can help him or you know about someone who can do it.
  • Has he contacted Amazon to sell the book through them – you can help him with that etc. etc.

Your client is amazed about your insight into his work and start to value your opinion. He takes you up on your suggestions, continue working with you and start to tell all his author friends about you.

Ok, so let’s analyse scenario 2 on the hand of the mindset concept:

Your thoughts create your feelings and beliefs: when you think as a business owner, you belief you are equal to your clients. You take the lead in your client relationship because as a service provider you are the expert in your field even if your clients are the expert in theirs.

Your beliefs dictate your actions: Since you belief you are equals, you are confident in making suggestions and take actions to help your clients grow their businesses while simultaneously growing yours.

Your actions dictate your results: Your client receive so much more value than what they originally anticipated and they want to continue working with you. They also refer you to all their colleagues and friends and suddenly people are contacting you to work with them. You’ve reach a point where you do not struggle anymore finding clients and building your business. You are content and business is finally paying off.

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So, which mindset would you prefer to bring into your business? Start today and take a stance on how you will think about yourself and your business in future.  Develop a business orientated mindset and use every situation as an opportunity to grow your business.

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