Transcription: #40 - Tracey D'Aviero / The VA Opportunity
#40 - Tracey D'Aviero / The VA Opportunity


Aderson Oliveira: I had the pleasure of talking to Tracey D'Aviero. She is the President of the Canadian Association of Virtual Assistants, and we spoke about the VA opportunity, what it takes to become a VA, the fact that being a VA is not a job. It's really a business that you are for yourself, you have to take care of your own administrative work, marketing, promoting yourself. So, it's not job; it is a business.

We spoke about that. We spoke about the association, the Canadian Association of Virtual Assistants as well where she runs the association, what is it they provide to VAs. They provide insurance, they provide a bunch of services. They have partners that provide services through the association as well. All in all, a great conversation about the VA opportunity and what it takes to become a successful VA. Hope you enjoy it.

Hello, hello, Aderson Oliveira here. This is another interview for the OuchSourcing Podcast where I talk to business owners, to specialists, to experts, to trainers, to people that know a lot about outsourcing, and the topics that surround the outsourcing topic as well, like virtual assistants, like VAs.

Today, I have with me someone that will help me a lot to understand better about virtual assistants. Her name is Tracey D'Aviero. She is the President of the Canadian Association of Virtual Assistants. Tracey, thank you so much for being here. Welcome.

Tracey D’Aviero: Thank you so much for having me. I'm happy to be here.

Aderson: Perfect. Tracey, let me start with a little bit of your backstory there, because I know that you have a few years in the VA industry. So, let's start by talking a little bit about that. Tell me a little bit of your history as a VA and your progress in the profession.

Tracey: Sure. I don't know how much time we have. I've been doing this a really long time. Actually, I tell everybody that I've been a virtual assistant for 20 years, and I realized I was a virtual assistant about 13 years ago. I didn't realize that there was this industry, but I did begin working from home 20 years ago, and I was actually going off on maternity leave to have my son, who will be 20 in May, and I was going off on leave, and my boss asked me when I could get back to work, and I sort of thought, "Oh, okay." I hadn't really thought of it at that point.

He taught me to work from home, and so he said, "We're already working from email, you can come in for meetings if you need to, we can do a lot of things on the telephone," so I really started teleworking way back then. So, he taught me, really, how to do it, and then for eight years, they were sort of my sole client while I just scaled up the work that I was doing and that kind of thing. I mean, it was the hospitality industry that I worked in. It was a restaurant chain, so I worked at the corporate office, but I was doing it then on a contract basis instead of being on salary. I just realized that the restaurant industry, as I wanted to then start growing my business, my son was in school, and found that the hospitality industry was a terrible industry to try to find clients who could pay.

What I did was I took to the internet. I struggled looking for clients who, then -- I was working with local restaurants. We didn't have a really large industry here for the restaurant industry in my city. So, I was having to travel, I was having to be on site to help them do inventories, and all kinds of things I didn't want to do. I worked nights, weekends, holidays, and I traveled and I didn't like it. So, I thought, "I need to find other people that can be my clients," and so that's when I discovered -- I took to the internet and said, "Okay, what am I going to do? How can I find clients and services that I can provide skills for?" and I discovered that there was this industry called the VA industry, and that's what I was.

I rebranded myself and turned into a virtual assistant and started taking some courses. I actually provided bookkeeping. My work with the restaurant was in finance, so I did some bookkeeping work, I did some admin, I used to do policy manuals and all that kind of stuff for the staff, training things. So, I moved into that and I started providing those services for whoever needed them, and it was just a really good transition into an industry working with people who were -- well, I ended up finding the business coach industry online and then I started to take some classes and get some training in internet marketing and social media, which was nothing way back then.

Just started to really up my game and the people that I was connecting with and services I was providing, and getting my rates down, and doing lots of networking, and that kind of thing, and I really grew a big, big business providing -- my specialization became virtual events. So, things like this: webinars, teleseminars, and telesummits, and that kind of thing for the business coach industry, which was really booming. That's a nutshell version, but that's basically how I've transitioned the pieces of my business over the years.

Aderson: Got it, so here's the thing, you transitioned from what was a full-time job in a place, and then you went through your maternity leave, and then you started to work from home as an employee, but you said as a contractor, that's fine. So, a VA, a virtual assistant, is not a job. It's really a business, correct?

Tracey: That's correct, very much, yeah.

Aderson: Unpack, a little bit, about the difference, I guess, from working from home as a job and working from home on your own business like a VA.

Tracey: Well, one of the big pieces of it is the bookkeeping aspect, all of the admin that you have to do for yourself just to run your own business. When you're an employee, you just have to check the bank to make sure that you paycheck was put in. So, never mind the things that we have to do to do our business setup. That's the biggest issue is that people need to recognize that they have to run a business whenever they're working as a VA.

There's business setup, there's all kinds of that type of admin, there's networking, there's marketing, all of those things that you need to be doing to find clients, and even if you have a couple of clients, because a lot of VAs work with just a couple of large clients, which is really nice to do. I've often had a 12, 13, 20 clients at once because of the nature of the services that I provided. But, if you're working with just a couple of clients, maybe you think you shouldn't be networking and marketing, but it's a really important piece because if that client decides that they're going to move elsewhere and get help from somewhere else, you could be really, really stuck.

It's really important to always continue to do your networking and marketing, and that's a really big piece, and those are the things that I teach in my coachings and teachings. I teach business skills and marketing skills because they're the things that, most VAs, when they go into business, they know the skills they can provide, they know the services they can provide, but it's the other stuff around it that's really important if you want to have longevity in your business and profitability. It's super important.

Aderson: It is critical. I mean, we come from, sometimes, the mindset that, "I'm a good technician. I know how to do this job, or that job," or a web developer or, "I'm a great assistant," but to succeed on your own, you have to add a lot more components to that game. So, let's talk a little bit about those components. I'm talking about, as you mentioned, networking and marketing. Let's start with networking. Are you talking about networking online, are you talking about offline networking? Unpack, a little bit, the networking aspect.

Tracey: I do a lot of networking online, and I do networking offline, and it totally depends. When I first started, I was working from home, I was really clear, from my hospitality background when my local clients wanted me to travel to their office. When I first started saying I wouldn't do that anymore, I was really, really clear I'm not going anywhere. So, I sat behind my little computer screen, and I was 100% online.

That worked for me for a long time, and I worked with clients in the States, I worked with clients in England. I didn't want to leave my house. I didn't want anybody to think that I could, at the drop of the hat, go to meetings. I was really particular about it for many, many years. So, recently, probably about five years ago, I started doing a lot more local networking. I found it so much more effective, so much faster.

What I was doing previously was I would travel to conferences. I went to places in the States, probably a couple conferences a year, and was networking with people over a three-day period to staying in the hotel and having dinner with them, and that kind of thing, and building a really great relationship. Some of my own clients who were attending these events and their colleagues, but it was expensive, and you only got to network twice a year, really. So, we did a little bit of online and that type of thing.

That was the extent of my live networking, and so it was costly, and so what I realized was that I really needed to bolster it with the online stuff, which is very good. But again, there's a lot of noise on social media now and a lot of people are a little bit more difficult to get in touch with if they're hearing a lot of other people. So, trying to get yourself in front of people in Facebook groups or wherever it is that you're doing your networking, you're a little bit of a drop in the bucket sometimes and sometimes it takes a little more effort.

Now, I do quite a bit of local networking, and I find that really effective as well. Now, what I'm seeing as the trend is to be able to meet somebody, then you connect on social media, you're really conscious of who the other person is, and they're conscious of who you are. You can have faster discussions, and I'm finding the networking, converting people into clients for me much, much easier that way. So, it's still the same thing. It's a combination of both, but that's what's working for me right now.

Aderson: I get it, and I find it very interesting, the strategy of, "First, let's connect offline, let's establish that rapport there, and then let's transition that to an online relationship to move forward." I really find that very interesting. Now, let me just understand one thing there. When you say client, because I know that you have a mentorship program as well as part of what you offer, are you talking about clients that have you as a virtual assistant or are you talking about other VAs that have you as a mentor?

Tracey: Actually both. Depending on which event I go to, and that's part of my networking that I teach is have a strategy, have a goal for every place that you are going, whether it's online or offline. What is the strategy, what is the goal you want to achieve with spending your time at that particular event doing networking? Sometimes, I'm looking for people who need me as a VA, and sometimes I'm looking for people who need me as a coach, and it's one of those things, it depends on what event I'm at. Sometimes, there are both of those people there.

I do carry two business cards now, and I don't like doing that. I'd love to just carry one, but it's still very effective. You can just speak with the person about what it is that they need because the events I go to are for entrepreneurs, and there are many VAs, many more than there were when I started 20 years ago or 13 years ago going to these events. So, I do wear both hats, but the follow-up is the same for both.

Aderson: You brushed through that quickly there, and I want to get to that point. You said that you wear both hats as a mentor of VAs and as a provider of VA service as well.

Tracey: Let me ask you about the events that you go where you are the provider there. You mentioned about entrepreneurial type of events. Can you talk a little bit more about what type of events are those that are more geared towards you as a VA? What are those events?

Aderson: What I teach my VAs that work with me about doing networking is when you go to an event that has business people, small business owners who are networking with each other, most of the time, and one of the things I say -- I'll just back a second.

One of the things that I often say is that every small business owner needs support in the business. Everybody's working in their area of specialty or their area of brilliance, and that's what they should be focusing on, and then they should be outsourcing the other things, like the business stuff, like the admin, like all the things that we are more skilled at providing for them.

When people ask me, when VAs ask me where to find clients or, "Who could my clients be?" I literally tell them that every small business owner is a potential client. So, when you go to a networking event that has the small business owners at it, maybe the networking, per se, is not geared towards the VA, although it is because we're all business owners, but it's an excellent place to get clients.

One of the things that is really fun to do is whenever you go to a networking event, if there's an opportunity to speak, if there's a microphone, if there's anything like that where you can ask questions of somebody may be on stage or something that they're doing. I encourage everybody to get up, introduce yourself. "Hi, I'm Tracey D'Aviero, I'm a virtual assistant," and offer some kind of information or ask a question that will just get you up there to the microphone and everybody in the room will then know that you're a VA, and it's so incredible at so, so, so many events, all of a sudden, that woman, or that man, whoever it is who stood up and says that gets a barrage of people towards them because everybody's, "Oh, you're a VA. I need a VA. What do you do?" So, it's a really, really great place for VAs to network with potential clients simply by letting people know that they're a VA.

Aderson: Let me ask you that, Tracey. Are small businesses right now aware of what a VA is? Because, it might be my bias, but I would have the impression that, usually, small businesses, they are not super savvy, they don't know what a VA is. What can you tell me about that?

Tracey: What I'm finding is the small business owners who are going out to these events and seeking clients and that type of thing, they are having the same conversations and they're understanding how they -- they're talking to their colleagues, really, about how you run your business, what do you do, who's your bookkeeper, do you have a housekeeper, what are the things that -- what are you outsourcing to your business so that you're not so busy? How do you do your follow-up after a networking event?

They ask each other all kinds of questions like that because they're just in a social situation where they're networking with each other. So, I would say that there is a huge, huge number of people who are running businesses who know nothing about VAs, absolutely. But, I think when you try to put yourself in front of the ones who are more knowledgeable about the more -- who have experience with them, that's when you're going to be more successful.

I actually have an e-book that I have: Getting Started as a VA. That's an e-book. I have a list of industries that use VAs, and business coaches are in there, speakers are in there, graphic artists. There's so many people who use virtual assistants, and there are big pockets of people within those who don't understand how to use a VA, or they have a really limited knowledge in terms of what they think or what their perception of what a VA does, and some of it goes into personal assistance, some of it is only client care. They don't realize that there are so many areas of specialization that a VA can work with.

That's where we educate a little bit. Like I said, when I was working with virtual events, people would call me all the time for general VA services, and I didn't offer them. I said, "This is what I specialize in, but I have a colleague who could probably help you out." So, then we pass referrals to each other all over the place too.

Aderson: Okay, perfect. I love the tips, I love those initial tips that we talked about. I want to transition a little bit our conversation more to the main topic of what I think of more as an intro to the VA space, talking a little bit more of the opportunity that there is to become a VA. Let me put it this way, the situation for you. If I'm someone that's considering, have heard about VAs, is considering that what is it that I should ask myself initially to see whether or not I could be a good fit for that career, for that type of business? What should I be asking myself?

Tracey: One of the things, and I always start with this whenever I have a conversation with someone, whether it's an email inquiry, or I meet them in person, or they send me something on Facebook or LinkedIn, a connection request or anything like that, is I let them know they are opening a business, because this is, sometimes, one of the things that I will get very commonly in terms of sort of a private message or whatever, is someone who is doing some VA work on the side, "How can I find jobs?"

I'm not in the business of educating every last person out there for sure, but if they are connecting with me, then I let them know that, certainly, there are job boards out there, and you can apply to certain places, and that type of thing, but to me, it's not being a VA. I think that's kind of just doing some admin work for people who need it. So, when you want to be a virtual assistant, you most definitely have to run a business, and that's where I start with everybody.

Then, the next thing I go into is your personality type. If you are not motivated, if you cannot manage your time very well. If you are a task-doer as opposed to being a proactive person, looking for things, it's not that you can't be a VA if you don't have any of these qualities, and there are probably a handful more qualities that I would suggest, but even those particular things, if you can't self-start, if you can't manage somebody else's stuff, because these are the things that we're sort of tasked to do on a regular basis. The client is looking for support, and they're not looking to really micromanage the person who's coming in, because they're not an employee; they're a contractor.

You really are partners in the business, and so for me, I say you can be a VA and not have any of those top skills or top qualities, but you may be more running a hobby than a business. If you want to be really successful and if you want to be able to grow to the level that you want, whatever that is, and for some people, it's just $1,000 a month is all they need to bring into their home.

I don't, because I say, whenever I started my business, I knew I needed, 20 years ago, to bring in $600 to my house, and that was all I needed to bring in at the time as 20 years ago. But, I said I knew that that's what I had to do. So then, when I was -- and that paid for the daycare, and the groceries, and whatever, but it allowed me to stay home. So, whenever I moved on, then I decided to grow, then it was like I've always worked that way is, "Okay, how much do I need to earn, how much do I want to earn?" and then I work my business around that, and now I have revenue goals all the time.

Those are the things that you want to be able to -- you don't have to know them all when you first open your business, but you have to realize that that's what you're probably going to move towards. That's what I would say, if you're getting started, just know that if you don't have a business sort of a CEO hat, CEO mindset, you need to be able to learn how to do that and grow that, and it will just make things better for you. It means you'll be in business a lot longer.

Aderson: Awesome. Great points for someone that is considering whether or not this can be the right move for them. Being honest here, have you seen people that tried and felt that, "This is not for me. I'm a task-doer. I don't have what it takes." Have you seen that before?

Tracey: Absolutely. I see it all the time, and it's okay. There's nothing wrong with doing that, because like I say, there are opportunities. There are lots of virtual assistants who use subcontractors, and so that, sometimes, is a really good position, but you're still a contractor. You're still an independent contractor, but you can work with somebody who has -- I have friends who have 18 and 20 people on their teams, and they take care of very, very big clients, and so someone does the client care, and someone does the websites, and someone does the social media, and that type of thing. Multiple people, in some cases, do all of those things.

In some cases, you can get onto a team and still be able to run your own business, then you're still doing your own billing, and you still have to run your business, but it may be a little bit different because maybe you don't have to be as proactive, but when you're working one-on-one with clients, I think it's essential, and truly, some of the clients that are getting VA support are micromanagers, so sometimes, there is a fit, but most of the time, to me, it's a lot easier to be able to dictate your own boundaries and that type of thing when you have that personality and you're being proactive as opposed to sitting back.

But, I have seen lots of people start and fail because they didn't have it. I've talked to lots of people. I do an awful lot of consults through the association and otherwise, and there are a lot of people who just, they have a conversation with me, I sort of tell them the way it is, and they just know that it's probably not for them.

That's okay too. It's important to know because you do invest a lot of time. I have people who have been trying and trying to get clients for two or three years, and just can't do it, and I don't know how they can last that long doing it, but it's about, sometimes, it's that personality where they don't know where to go, and they don't know what to say. So, it's really important to get - and I'm sure we'll talk about this too - training in the things that you're not that skilled at, even if it's networking.

I talked to somebody yesterday or the other day, and she said, "I'm an introvert. That's probably going be the thing that is really going to slow me down," and I said to her, "I'm an introvert. Nobody thinks I am, but I love being alone, I need my silence after these live events, and anything. I need a little downtime after this," but I said I know my message and I know what I want to get across to people, I know what I want to tell them.

My advice to her was she had everything, she's ready to go, she's setting up her business within the year, she has a full-time job now, and I said to her, "My advice to you would be when you get to the networking point, that's when you should start working with someone to help you do that better. You've got the rest all down pat."

Just get the help and whatever it is you need. But, it's so simple, it could be three calls with somebody or one call with somebody, a coach like me that could really help just push through what you need to push through, and as soon as you get out and start to connect with people and say the right things, and it's effective, it's a whole lot easier, and then you can go home and relax after that.

Aderson: Let me touch on a subject that I see that conversation. I've interviewed other VAs in the past, and it's about competition, and by competition, I don't mean North American competition. I mean low-cost competition from -- I mean, the place that comes to mind when I think of VAs, sometimes, is the Philippines. I'm sure that came across to your desk and to your inbox many times. How do you address the question of, "Okay, you know what? I can be paying half or a third of the price if I have a VA in the Philippines"? How do you address that kind of question, that kind of comment?

Tracey: When I talk about the people who are in the Philippines, or India, or anywhere overseas that is working as a VA, there are good ones and there are bad ones. Here in Canada, in the States, South America, anywhere, there are good VAs and there are bad VAs. So, when I talk to people who are operating VA businesses or working as VAs in the Philippines, there are some of them who work with me and take their training, and do work with American clients, and maybe their rates are a little bit lower, but they still have the mindset, they still want to grow, and some of them have been in business a very long time, almost as long as me.

I have some colleagues, and I think that they're really great. So, if my clients want to work with somebody overseas, I absolutely tell them go ahead and do that, or people I come into contact with. It's their business; they're allowed to spend their money any way they like.

Now, there have been some situations, and many situations, that I've heard of that people disappear. What happens, sometimes, in other countries, and it happens here too - that's the really important thing - people just get overwhelmed. Maybe they build their business too quickly or maybe they're not making enough money so then they have to go get a job or whatever it is, so they provide poor service.

I think that sometimes the people in the Philippines get a bad rap for being cheaper, but some of them are extremely dependable, and if they can be a better opportunity, financially, for a business owner here, then I say more power to you. I don't recommend using somebody who doesn't work in your country or in your continent - in our case, U.S. and Canada are pretty close - just simply because I think that it's important to foster relationships with people that are in your community, and your community being your country.

Working with the Canadian Association of VAs, I have tons of people looking to work with Canadians all the time, and it's a little bit about your money, everybody's paying the same, we're looking to be able to pay people in Canadian money and that type of thing. But, I always just say I don't see anybody as competition. The VA industry is very, very collaborative, and I find that the people who are worrying, the VAs who are worrying about the competition, if that's what you want to call it, with overseas people, then they're just not communicating with the right people.

I have some clients in my network, some coaches in my network, and that's what they do. Tim Ferriss talked about it right? The 4-Hour Workweek, and one of the things is get an offshore VA, and that's totally fine. If that works for you, that's great, and like I say, if you have some bad experiences, then you'll probably end up coming back, and so I don't think it's a competition for me, and like I say, some of them have come through my training programs, they're on my mailing list, and they're awesome and they've been around a long time.

I think that that's the more important piece of it is to make sure that you're going to work with somebody who has that possibility for longevity, and you can grow with them in your business. I think, from a support professional, it's really important to be able to invest myself in my client's business, because then, as they grow, my business grows, and that's certainly what happened with my business. I got connected with a group of business coaches who were expanding all the time and got lots and lots of clients from it. You find an industry that works for you and invest yourself in their business so that, by helping them grow, you grow as well.

Aderson: Got it, awesome. Let's make a quick transition here, Tracey, if I may, to talk a little bit about the association, CAVA, in that case, Canadian Association of VAs. Tell me a little bit of what the association is, what are the goals. Can we dive a little bit deeper into that?

Tracey: Absolutely, yeah. So, the Canadian Association of VAs, or we call it CAVA for short C-A-V-A - I call it CAVA for short - it was established four, five years ago by two women who each had different VA associations that had been in existence for about 15 years, and they were Canadian. So, they merged. One of them had a lot of real estate people in it, real estate support, and the other one had quite a few people across Canada.

They merged the associations, and they developed CAVA from that. So, it's been in existence for 15 years. When I made my realization that I was a VA 13 years ago, I joined it, and so I've been a member of it ever since. Last year, the women who owned it, their businesses started to transition. Of course, being a VA for 20 years, you go through a lot of different phases, but now they've launched into moving -- one is traveling and doing a lot of marketing training, and the other one is involved in LegalShield. She promotes and works with LegalShield, and she does very, very well.

They approached me to buy the company, and knowing that my background and that type of thing and knowing that one of the things that I want to do is teach and grow, and I'm a huge advocate for the VA industry. They just reached out, and I'm sure they reached out to a bunch of people, and I guess I hit the buzzer first and said, "Sure, I'd buy it."

I only bought it last year in September. So, it's been a learning experience for me, but it's also been really, really great because it's helping me to get the platform out there that I want for VAs on a bigger level. I've always promoted being in Canada and working as a VA, but I've also had a lot of American and UK clients over the years. We do have a branch that is a global association that is smaller because it's only four years old. But, the CAVA, it's a lot bigger association, a lot more active association simply because it's been in existence for a long time.

What we provide there is we provide some resources for people to be able to open their business, lots of business forums, and templates, and that type of thing. Those are the things that, oftentimes, you struggle looking for, and because all of our stuff is Canadian, we know that it's good with everybody that is in the association. It's nice to have just that sort of limited thing. We have resources that you can go to to learn things, all the government business pieces, all that type of thing. So, we have lots of resources like that.

We have lots of partners who offer special pricing for services that VAs can sign up for, things that you would use in your business. We have lots of preferred partners who are a lot of my colleagues that I've met over the years who do training for various skills or strategic training, anything like that. We have lots of those things, so lots of opportunities of things that we vet our partners, and so we know what it is they're providing. So, it's a little bit of a trust factor. We recommend people that we know are good at providing something instead of doing the Google search and coming up with a whole bunch of options. It's a little bit more direct.

We also have a Facebook community. We have a job board, we have an RFP board where clients can submit their positions that they have for free, and then the members provide their proposals directly to them. Then, we have our Facebook community where you can go in to ask questions any time, build some camaraderie.

In the last year, actually, it's been really fun for me. As I say, I like the live events, I like getting together with people. So, we got these little group of people who live in the same cities who are now forming little meetups where they can get together for dinner, and visit with each other, and there are all kinds of them all of a sudden, people just popping up in these little communities where they can get together. So, the social piece of it is really important too.

We are always adding more things all the time. We have an events calendar that we're adding local and virtual events that people can attend. Lots of new things all the time.

Aderson: Let me ask you about training a little bit. I would assume that, behind, if you become a member to the association that there is training. I'm not talking about 101 or one-time training. I'm talking about online training, like videos, like e-books, like white papers. Is there a lot of that behind the association as you become a member?

Tracey: There is some. As I say, one of the things that I have been doing for 10 years is I operate -- one of my companies is Your VA Mentor. So, I've done lots of training over the years there, and so I'm incorporating that into the association now so that there is free training. Like you say, there are white papers.

There's lots of business pieces like that a little bit of do-it-yourself stuff. But, I've done a lot of training videos, and I'm bringing those over to the association. I'm bringing training that some free, some low-paid, and some higher-level stuff depending on what you need. That's a big part of what I'm doing, and that's actually just starting to roll out.

Aderson: Tell me a little bit of your vision for the association, your vision for CAVA. What is it that you intend to do with the business, with the association? What's your five-year vision for the association?

Tracey: My vision is definitely to build the membership, of course. That’s something that I'm learning as I'm now a year into it. So, people are renewing memberships and new people are joining all the time. My vision is really to bring to them what they want.

My initial thought was that they wanted a big job board, a very busy job board, and what I'm finding is they want the community. So, they want the events, they want to be able to get together. I did host a VA conference in May here in my town in Ottawa, and the people come, register. We only planned it a month out, so it was really just a last-minute thing, and they so enjoyed it, and that's what they tell me they want more of.

We want to be able to do that a little bit more frequently and try to incorporate some virtual things as well. It's the camaraderie: they want to learn, but they want to learn with their colleagues. They don't want to sort of attend the webinar, or pay for a skills training, and be done with it. They really want the community, they want to build their business, and the way to do that, just like all the networking events that our potential clients go to where they're networking with each other, and asking questions, and that kind of thing, they want that for VAs because there is really, really limited, as you were asking earlier, what kind of events would cater to VAs. Specifically VAs, there really aren't that many. So, that's one of the things that I really see in the future for the association too.

Aderson: Again, Tracey, thank you very much. We are coming towards the end here. I'd like you to think about one thing that you'd like people to leave this conversation knowing about or be curious about. What is the one thing that you want people to leave here knowing about?

Tracey: I think the one thing that I would say, my mantra is and the reason that I do what I do in terms of my own work, my advocacy work, promoting the VA industry, and doing the training, the coaching, and now buying the association, is my feeling is that if somebody wants to work from home and run a business that suits their lifestyle, that is expandable to whatever they need it to be, whether that's small or big, and if they want to be able to do that successfully and do that well, and stay in business a long time, be profitable, be sustainable, I want to be able to provide the resources for them to do that, and I think that i do in all the facets of things that I do.

But, I think it's important to be able to provide that for people, and I think the one thing I'd like them to know is that there are places where you can get all of that, and it's important to learn what you don't know, and be open to the responses when you ask certain questions and that type of thing.

It's a constant learning, because like I say, we're not business owners when we begin our practices, none of us are. So, it's very important to look at those types of things, but that's my sort of last point all the time is that if you want to do this, we can help you do it, and I can help you do it, and that's what I really, really want people to know.

Aderson: Perfect, and that's a great segue to ask you how can people reach out to you if they have questions, if they have comments, if they want to engage with the association, with your services, how can people reach out to you?

Tracey: The simplest way to do it probably to go to the, so it's, Canadian Association of Virtual Assistants, and just hit the contact form. It's the simplest way to get in touch with me. There are resources there on the website.

We do have the global association as well if you're not Canadian. Same setup, it's, and just hit the contact form, or you can download my free e-book, which is Getting Started as a VA, or there's a rate calculation package on the websites as well, so if you just need some help in learning how to set your rates, and set package pricing or anything like that, there's lots of information in there.

If you want to get a little something for contacting or you're just welcome to email me, we can always set up a telephone call to talk about what it is that you need and then answer any questions that you have, and I have lots and lots of resources at the association, and Your VA Mentor, that I would just point you in the direction of whatever it is you need. So, pretty easy stuff.

Aderson: Awesome. As usual, all links mentioned by Tracey here will be posted in the show notes, so no need to make notes right now. You can always look them up in the show notes. Tracey, thank you very much for your openness, for your willingness for moving forward with the association, and bringing more and more the awareness about VAs, and what is VAs, and what is this industry, and how can you get involved. I mean, I really like your honest take on the VA space. I really like that. Thank you very much for your time, and I hope that we keep connected and that we talk again soon. Thank you.

I'm an Outsourcerer. I'm a DNN Geek. I help people with their sites @ DeskPal. I'm a #Pomodoro practitioner. I'm a husband and a father of 2 beautiful girls.

Read more posts by Aderson

Download the Top 50 Outsourcing Sites

Choose the right Outsourcing Site

Don't start your new PROJECT before you download the Top 50 Outsourcing Sites guide! It will save you time and help you choosing the right site.


Aderson Oliveira
Aderson Oliveira