Trial by Fire

My Usual Smarty Pants Self

This blog post is about all the things I did WRONG when starting my business. I am hoping that it deters and encourages someone else to not make the same mistakes. First being a know it all, I just decided in December, December 11 to be specific that after seeing a post on Facebook that I was going to start my own business as Virtual Assistant. There was no research, no budget, no business plan, in fact, I had never even met a Virtual Assistant. Mistake #1.

Throwing $$ Everywhere

I thought with my Full Time Job intact, I could budget what was needed to get me up and running before I had customers. WRONG! There was a lot of fees just to become legal:

  • City Business License Fee
  • Assumed Name Fee for using my OWN Name as the Business Name
  • Zoning Application Fee/Permit
  • Quarterly Business Tax Payments

Then the expenses I assumed I needed to make to be prepared to service the customer. Mistake #2

  • A new Printer
  • Marketing Materials, Brochures, Envelopes, Stamps
  • Business Cards
  • Chamber of Commerce Membership
  • IVAA Membership
  • A Website
  • Various Software (Custom Email Domain, Microsoft, Adobe, Canva)


I half expected there to be no learning curve since I had been doing this for the last 20 years, Right? No! There was CRM’s, Social Media Marketing, Target Markets, Niches, like really who knew! I then right out the gate found a customer, who was so eager and nice, but turned out to stiff me after she got my bill for work already done. I was crushed. Then on top of that she gave me a negative review that every other potential customer could see. I was doomed. How was I supposed to get customers with this negative false review sitting front and center? I give up, no really I gave up. I closed my account, I removed myself from groups, I didn’t bother to send out my marketing as planned, after spending all that money.¬†


So I took the time to have my pity party, then I gave myself a kick in the pants and did what I should have done in the first place, RESEARCH! I signed up for Facebook Groups, did internet research, and Found a Business Coach. I started to participate in the various groups, take classes, learn the relevant software, and again solicit for business the proper way. This was something that I wanted to do and I meant I was going to do it, pitfalls and all.

Any business endeavor no matter how eager you are deserves adequate planning and research. If not so you are aware of what you didn’t know so that you are prepared and can enjoy the experience.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post.

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