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Virtual Assistant... Like It or Not?
by Natalie Olson


There is some talk around social media right now by a few who do not like the term 'Virtual Assistant' because they feel it downgrades them to the level of an employee or office assistant.
The definition of 'Virtual Assistant' in Wikipedia:  A virtual assistant (typically abbreviated to VA) is generally self-employed and provides professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients remotely from a home office. Because virtual assistants are independent contractors rather than employees, clients are not responsible for any employee-related taxes, insurance, or benefits, except in the context that those indirect expenses are included in the VAs fees. Clients also avoid the logistical problem of providing extra office space, equipment, or supplies. Clients pay for 100% productive work, and can work with Virtual Assistants, individually, or in multi-VA firms to meet their exact needs.  Virtual Assistants usually work for other small businesses.
I had this discussion with my mentor sometime last year on whether or not we should continue to call ourselves 'Virtual Assistants.' She and I both agreed that we don't really care what we are called, as long as it's not 'late for dinner', or 'hey you.' I think the reason the term 'Assistant' is bothering some, is that it makes them feel like an employee or general office assistant. I know who and what I am, what my business offers, and in no way do I feel like I am an office assistant. I am a small business owner, working from my own office, which in my case happens to be from my home office, and I help Realtors, Life Coaches, and Business Coaches with their administrative work, website work, and other tasks they were not completing, so that they in turn can run and grow their business.
I like the term 'Virtual Assistant' now, because it says I work virtually, which I do, and that I 'assist' others, which I also do. My assisting comes in the form of helping my clients grow their businesses by taking tasks off their plate that they do not have either the time or knowledge to do, or that was impeding the growth of their business in some way. If I have to bring others in to 'assist' us, I do that as necessary also.  In no way do I feel like an employee of my client. I am their business partner helping them grow their business and accomplish more.
Whether you call yourself a Virtual Assistant, Administrative Consultant, Office Manager, Online Business Manager, or Resource Nancy, you should be proud of who you are along with the services you offer, and how you help your clients.  The titles do not matter; they are put on us by a society that says we have to have a title to run a business. Pshaw, I say.  Be who you are, be good, no, great, at what you do, and your title won't matter. Your clients come to you for who you are and the service you provide them.


About the Author:

Natalie Olson is owner of YourVirtualConcierge and happily helps small business owners, entrepreneurs, and Realtors in accomplishing more and growing their business. You can reach Natalie at to learn more or to schedule a free consultation to see how she can help you grow your business.

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