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Technically, I began working as a VA in April of 2016. That means 2017 was my first full year as a virtual assistant. I had one primary goal for 2017: Bring all my children home for Christmas.
I’m happy to say I met that goal — and then some!
This post will be an overview of how I accomplished my goal. I know, I know … it’s almost March. Why didn’t I post this sooner? Well, income reports can be very controversial. I’ve spent a great deal of time in prayer over this post.
I’m not doing this to brag. I’m doing this to show you (yes, you!) that it IS possible for someone to start over in life and build a business.
At my age.
After being out of the workforce for 20+ years.
That’s why I don’t consider this an income report — it’s just a review of my year. I don’t know if I’ll do this every year, but I’m doing it this year. I’ll think about next year when it gets here. (Once you pass 50, you start living more in-the-moment.)
Why I Became a VA
My goal in life was to be a mom. (Mission accomplished.) Before we ever had children, my husband and I agreed that I would stay home to raise them. As our family grew, we decided to homeschool. And, as our children reached adulthood, we started talking about what we’d like to do when the last one graduates.
Over time, my goal morphed from wanting to be a mom to wanting to be a grandma. (Mission accomplished again.) And part of being a grandma included being present in my grandchildren’s lives. No easy feat when they live in different states! (Still working on this one.)
But, my husband and I like to travel, so we talked about all the trips we’d take to visit family once he retired. We also discussed day trips on the motorcycle, weekend getaways, and long weekends doing genealogical research once all the children were finished with school.
Then chronic illness entered our lives.
In the fall of 2015, my husband was diagnosed with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP). Not knowing what our medical bills would be, I thought I might try my hand at blogging (since I already had a blog) to earn some income while staying home.
I signed up for a blogging class and started writing posts to get into the habit again. But, I needed to do something now, while I waited for my blog to gain more followers (and for the blogging class doors to open in early 2016). That’s when I stumbled across the idea of being a virtual assistant.
I signed up for 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success, through Horkey Handbook. Halfway through the course, my husband was hospitalized for a few weeks, so I took a little longer than 30 days to complete it.
But, I finished it!
After a couple months of small, individual jobs, I landed my first regular client.
What I Do as a VA
My strengths are editing and organizing. My dream job is to be a content manager; to do the editing and scheduling of posts while the blog owner does the writing (or hires writers, so they can create courses or write books or whatever they love to do). I’m hoping to find time to take an SEO course this year to brush up my skills.
I also do some writing. Sometimes it’s ghostwriting, other times I get a bio.
Or, I would love to be a social media manager for someone. Facebook is my specialty, particularly forming and running groups. And I’ve taken a class on Pinterest, so I’m no stranger there, either.
Who My Clients Are
I currently have two weekly clients and three who contact me when they need a project done.
My clients are bloggers, creatives, and authors/writers.
For some reason, I seem to gravitate toward those who work in the field of psychology; specifically, mindset.
I’m not complaining–they’ve taught me a great deal!
Where I Look for Clients
Currently, I find my clients on Facebook. As I interact within various groups, I look for people I can help. Usually, once we start talking via private chat, it leads to either a phone call or a video conference.
And, I have had friends and family members suggest potential clients, too. Some of those have turned into paying jobs.
My First Full Year as a Virtual Assistant
So, with all of that in mind, here’s a recap of my first full year as a virtual assistant:
My specific goal last year was to earn $1,000/month. I accomplished that goal three times (May, August, and November).
- Editing = $3,300+ (That’s from five books, plus a partial/final payment for one done at the end of 2016.)
- VA work = $4,100+ (That’s from three separate clients.)
- Affiliate Sales = $80+ (That’s for promoting courses I’ve taken; I didn’t earn anything from Amazon last year.)
Total = $7,480+
My expenses for 2017 were minimal since I took most of my courses in 2016. I spent money on things like software (for taxes), graphics (before I became comfortable making my own), subscriptions (Grammarly, Canva, and Tailwind), domains/hosting, PayPal fees, legal filings (set up an LLC), and other minor things.
Business expenses = $1,600+
I also tithed just under $600 last year (December’s earnings were tithed this year) and spent $3,800+ on Christmas gifts (including paying for the cost of transportation to bring my out-of-state children/grandchildren home to visit).
Paying cash for Christmas was probably the best thing ever. No huge charge card bills came in January’s mail.
Goals for 2018
This year, my goal is to gain at least one new client, preferably two. I also have a couple new revenue streams that I’m praying about adding to my business.
I’m aiming for $1,000/month for the first half of the year and $2,000/month for the second half of the year. Unfortunately, I’ve not met that goal yet this year.
But, I’m not giving up!
We’d like to use my income to pay for some remodeling/redecorating jobs around the house this year. With our last child on track to graduate in May, it’s time to start getting this house in shape so we can sell it and move into something that accommodates our new normal. Something more modest, for sure.
But not too much smaller. I still expect to host lots of visiting family members in years to come!
How About You?
Do you have any goals for starting or growing your business in 2018? Leave a comment and let me know–I’d love to hear about it!