Identify them...then tap into their energy to keep yourself motivated.
One of the many complaints I hear from new Virtual Assistants–and even Virtual Assistants who have been in business for themselves for a while but are struggling to build their practice–is that they don’t have the support system around them that they feel they need to be successful. Their partners, spouses, families, and friends don’t always understand our industry or how anyone could possibly make a living in it (especially if the clients don’t come right away), so they may not react with excitement when a VA business owner tries to explain it. This is discouraging, of course, and it sometimes leads to that VA abandoning their business altogether.
Are you experiencing this frustration right now in your journey? What can you do to build a support system around you so that you don’t give up?
It’s a two-step process:
identify and remove (or adjust your relationship/interaction with) the often well-meaning but negative person or people around you
replace them with people who will cheer you on in your journey
So let’s start. Grab a sheet of paper and make three columns (or download a Write It Out! worksheet below).
In the first column (Cheerleaders), write the names of those who openly cheer you on, rooting for you to succeed. These are people you want in your corner–to celebrate your wins with you, and to prop you up emotionally during those times when things are not going so well.
In the second column (Potential Cheerleaders), note the names of those who don’t get what you’re trying to do, but aren’t necessarily against it. They may not understand that our industry is legitimate and that people actually make a living doing this, but they aren’t trying to stop you. Or they’ve seen you struggle to start a business before and just don’t want to see you suffer disappointment if you are unsuccessful in this new effort. The people in this column would love to see you succeed–they are just not sure how to help you do so. They might be willing to offer a listening ear, and maybe even some unexpected advice. And you never know–they may make their way over to your first column someday!
In the final column (Not Supportive), write the name of the people in your circle who are not at all supportive of your business venture. They never say anything to encourage you; most of their comments show they are completely against your pursuing this particular line of work and think you should just get a “real” job. In their opinion, you just don’t have what it takes to be an entrepreneur. These are the people you may want to avoid talking to at all about your business, as it may just result in extreme frustration for you and them.
Unfortunately, there’s more to be said about those in the third column--but let's save that for another post so you can stay in a positive mindset as you complete the assignment above. And I hope your first two columns outweigh the third one.
Let me know your thoughts.