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Archive for February, 2008

If you have the skills and experience, transcribing is a great niche, or a great area to focus on while building your clientèle in other areas of virtual assisting.

Contrary to popular belief a transcriptionist is more than just a “typist.” We have to be excellent spellers, be patient, be able to decipher various accents and dialects. We have to have a great eye and be a good proofreader. We have to be able to listen to people speak, use a foot pedal, type at the same time, and be relatively quick about it. And a good transcriber should be an intermediate to advanced user of Microsoft Word. (more…)

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When starting my virtual assistant business, the dilemma of what to charge literally kept me up at night. I had done my research, so I knew what the ballpark figures were that professional virtual assistants were charging. I also knew my value, but I’m just starting out. How could I possibly demand $25 to $60.00 an hour for my services? I thought, if I charge that, I’ll never get clients as a new V.A.!

Eventually, I settled on an hourly rate between the median price ranges. However, in my quest to obtain clients, I found myself accepting whatever the client wanted to pay,  and soon became very disillusioned.  Because I had to start earning some money, I began answering ads from people who wanted to pay hourly rates of $15, $10, and oh my gosh, I even accepted a job for $8.00 an hour. This was performing marketing-related services. I began thinking to myself, “I can’t do this.” Evelyn, what the heck are you doing?” I wasn’t that desperate. Was I? I cannot sell myself short. I haven’t made $8.00 an hour since I was a freshman in high school for God’s sake! If this is what it’s going to be like, I’m going to back into the corporate world, where I was at least paid a decent salary and received benefits!

However, my husband, who is my sounding board and head cheerleader, reminded me that starting this business is what I had been praying for and that I had to press on; but to be consistent and not to sell myself short. I have great skills. I’m good at what do. I have over 18 years of professional experience. I successfully ran programs with budgets of almost a half a million dollars.  Sure, I was in business, but I didn’t feel proud of myself knowing I was allowing myself to be taken advantage of. I felt violated each and every time.  (more…)

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Do not panic! Houston, we’ve got a problem! But thankfully Google had the answer. I was in the middle of a transcription job; on my last hour of six hours of transcription, when low and behold I pressed some odd combination of keys and my screen turned sideways! What the heck is going on here?! I didn’t know what combination of keys I pressed, nor did I know what combination of keys to press to fix the problem. So I thought okay. (more…)

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Seven months ago, I was unemployed-but very employable-and praying for a way that I could earn a living and have the flexibility I desperately needed at that time in my life.

My husband had suffered a major stroke (at 38…listen to your body folks!) and is on dialysis, which necessitates my being available to take him to doctor’s appointments and so forth. Also, we live in the Atlanta area, where traffic is horrendous. My last job as a project manager for a well known international ministry had me commuting two plus hours each way, and I worked 10 plus hours a day. I couldn’t do that any longer. My family was my priority and I while it was a great job, with great pay, my family was suffering, and I wasn’t there for them like I needed to be. (more…)

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