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Reader's Digest Article

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I've noticed a few people lately have joined this forum due to a Reader's Digest article. I found it online and here is the link http://www.rd.com/content/best-quick-cash/1/ I kind of thought it was funny that the article is titled "Best Quick Cash". I don't think of becoming a VA as a way of obtaining "quick cash", but more of building a business that will eventually bring in money.

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I agree with you. I don't believe that is one of the best way to introduce people to the industry. - I see this as one of the main reasons why people give up so quickly on it - articles like this. It's rather unfortunate.

 

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Guest VirtuallyYours

I agree - I often get asked by potential VA's 'how much can I earn in a week?' before they even ask what being a VA is!

And some ask how much they can earn per week whilst keeping their normal full time jobs - it's as if they don't think you have the grow the business to begin with and dedicate time and committment to it.

Edited by VirtuallyYours

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It is really too bad that this article gives the impression that being a virtual assistant is a quick way to make some extra money when the reality is that it takes money to start a business and it is a lot of hard work. For those of you that are here because of this article the advice I would offer is to make sure you research the guidelines for starting a business in the area in which you live. It's going to take some time to get set up properly, market your new business and start getting clients. You also want to understand the taxes you will be responsible for along the way once you do start getting those clients. If you are getting into this business to make quick money I think you are going to be very disappointed.

 

I don't want to be all negative either. This industry is a great way to make money with a very small initial investment. If you have the skills and experience needed to perform this type of work, and you are willing to do your homework on how to set up your business, you can really establish a successful business as a virtual assistant. Anyway, that's my take on this article for what it's worth :)

 

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I definitely agree that it should not be listed under "Best Quick Cash". Owning a business can be difficult for people that don't understand marketing, taxes, setting things up correctly, etc. It's not a "get rich quick" business. It takes time to locate the right clients and build your business. You're most likely not going to be making the same kind of money owning your own business as you would in the corporate world for a while.

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I think that's one of the biggest problems (even being a newbie)! So many say I can type (20 wpm), have a computer, a printer and can buy some blank business cards. I think also some of the cert courses perpetrate that as well.

 

People see a certificate but don’t have the experience or background. You need to have been more then a receptionist and take a cert course. The cert courses should do as IVVAA and require proof of employment history and/or education.

 

My concern is the people who don’t have the skills then get clients who are newbies as well. The “VA” can’t do the job and puts the whole industry in a negative light with the client. Complaints spread faster then compliments any day of the week. For example: You give Client A bad service she tells a friend. The friend will overhear someone else talking about needing an assistant and she’ll then tell the people talking about her friend Client A who tried a VA and how terrible it was. They will then tell someone else and so on. Yet Client B has a great VA who is or is not certified but has years of experience, is knowledgeable in software such as Quickbooks, MS Office tested and certified, has expeience transcribing and the list goes on. Client B is happy and will tell people but it won’t spread as quickly or as far. Cient A will probably never try another VA even for free nor will the people who heard the story that has now been exaggerated to the VA causing Client A to go bankrupt and commit suicide.

 

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I agree that there is no such thing as "quick cash." And I've seen references in other mags that are just as inaccurate. Relative to many other industries, however, one can turn a profit often more quickly in this business. It's not "easy-peasy" but virtual assistance has low barriers to entry and that makes it an attractive business opportunity for many.

 

On the positive side though, they referenced VANetworking.com as a resource and that is amazing exposure for us given the profile of Reader's Digest! Not to mention the publicity for Di Ennen too. Way to go Tawnya and Di!!!!! :cheers:

 

I've no doubt that once our new members get to know our community they will get a ton of great information about what it really takes to run a successful VA business :)

 

Karri

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I agree, it is great to see the VA industry highlighted in another national publication. It lends even more credibility to the industry and gives us another resource to point people to if they have questions about what a VA is. :unsure: It is also great that they mentioned this forum. Becoming a VA is hard work and it requires a lot of "sweat equity" but little financial investment at the outset. It also think that people who join this forum will see this through the posts.

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Does anyone know if this is in the print version of the magazine, too? Or just the online version?

 

Thanks,

Lauren

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I am going to disagree on the original post. This was an excellent article.

 

As Arnie explained to me once, as he has been featured in many travelling and aviation magazines with his articles, the editor decides what the title and text will be period, not the author. All titles are designed to attract a reader and nothing more by stirring human emotion to capture the reader's interest just like it has in this post? ;)

 

The fact that VAs are mentioned in Reader's Digest is something to rejoice in and not to dissect apart and lose the real meaning.

 

Remove the heading and this article couldn't be more accurate about Virtual Assistance!

 

"Best Quick Cash" does not imply anywhere that this is "an easy way" to make money else it would have been called "Easy Quick Cash". Instead of jumping out defensively, please try to first understand exactly why the article was written. Diana Ennen is one of the biggest pushers for awareness of virtual assistants and a personal friend of mine too ;)

 

Please, remember that part of us being able to educate potential clients about virtual assistance is in making them aware that virtual assistants EVEN exist. What better way than via an article in Reader's Digest? THANK YOU DIANA!

 

I feel that the title is actually very accurate. Working on the assumption that one does have the skills and work experience, is being a VA not one of the best ways you know to provide an income quickly?

 

I'll give you an example: If Donald Trump's personal secretary started her own VA business, do you think she could not attract high end clients the day she opened her doors? I highly doubt it :whistlin:

 

The title does say "Best Quick Cash" but nowhere does it say you don't need skills or experience to get it.

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:embarrassed:

If my original post made people think that I didn't like the article or agree with it, I apologize. When I said I thought it was funny that the title was "Best Quick Cash", I meant haha funny. I think it is great that the article is in there at all no matter what the title. I was looking for this article since I first saw it mentioned here, but it wasn't on newstands yet. I agree with Tawnya that any publicity for this industry is wonderful.

The more people that know what a VA is and does, the better!

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Hi

 

First I'd like to welcome all the new people to the forum who found us through the Reader's Digest article. As you can see, us Virtual Assistants are a very passionate bunch and we value the integrity of our Industry a lot.

 

When I responded to the reporter who was writing the article for Reader's Digest, I was very proud to let her know about the Virtual Assistant Industry. She wasn't aware of it. I am constantly trying to spread the message of what we are and what we can do. The message at all wasn't this is a "get quick rich scheme. Far from it. It was about how if someone wanted to start a business on the side, part-time, this was a great business to start. I do mention how many might start part-time and go full-time, but not everything you say in an interview gets printed. I firmly believe that those who want to start this business part-time can. So I guess I do stand by that 100%. Kelly Poelker my co-author did and you can see where she is today. And I could mention dozens more. I still firmly believe that VAs can make their business how they want it. If you want to start part-time you can. If you want to go full-time you can. You make the business you want.

 

I always encourage feedback. But for the person who is unfamiliar with our Industry, let's tell them more about it. I chose to include VANA when I was interviewed because I felt this was the place I wanted them to come to and get the encouragement and support they needed if they wanted to become a VA. Please let's start doing that. E-mail me and I'll be more than happy to discuss the interview. My hope was that it would make all of us proud to get such national recognition. I worked really hard to land that interview. I'm not critizing anything that was written, but I'd love to see more positive talk about the VA Industry. Readers Digest is a major magazine. Let's tell them why we are so proud of our industry.

 

Thanks

 

 

 

 

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I admit, I just actually read it... but anything with the words "quick cash" or "easy cash" starts me off anyway. It always sounds too much like an infomercial - or let's face it, the scams that are out there. I'm surprised RD went with that title at all. Thanks for the additional information, Tawnya. I still object to it being called that. Goodness knows there's nothing quick or easy (cash or otherwise) about starting and running a successful VA business!

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Does anyone know if this is in the print version of the magazine, too? Or just the online version?

 

Thanks,

Lauren

Hi Lauren,

 

My mom gets the print version of Reader's Digest, so I asked her to look up the article for me. It took her awhile to find it, but it's there! :)

 

Angela

 

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I am not sure what else there is to add about this article other than Congratulations to Diana Ennen for being quoted! :thumbup:

 

I know it takes hard work to have a publication like Reader's Digest to even consider interviewing you!

 

Who cares about the Title? I don't.

 

The VA Industry is mentioned in Reader's Digest! That's a big deal.

 

They wanted to catch the reader's attention - and that title surely does the trick.

 

We all know that there are always going to be those who want to become a VA because they think it's a quick/easy way to earn $. AND those who don't take it seriously - don't last long. I have seen them come and go rather quickly once they realize how much work it is!

 

I started my business part time while working a full time job in 1997. I have been working at it full time since 2002 - I love being a VA!

 

Nancy

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