- Falyn Golub is a virtual assistant and the founder of boutique VA company The Invisible Assistant.
- She started working 5 to 10 hours a week at an hourly rate of $25. Now she’s six figures.
- Here is her story, told to writer Layne Van Vranken.
This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Falyn Golub, a 37-year-old virtual assistant from Long Island, New York, about her job. It has been edited for length and clarity.
I didn’t even know a virtual assistant was a job when I decided to start working from home in 2016. I was at a point in my life where I wanted to dictate my own schedule, stop doing the shuttle between New York and New York. , and creating a better work-life balance for myself.
Over the past five years, I’ve started my own virtual assistant business, and it’s become an amazing career for me. But being a virtual assistant is not a comfortable job that you can do without any experience. It’s challenging and challenging, but incredibly rewarding professionally and financially if you do it right.
After realizing that I missed life with my children, I contacted the owner of an event organization company I had worked for after graduating from college, Shaw & Co Productions. I asked the owner if I could freelance part time to help plan his large scale events.
I started working 5-10 hours a week from home
After a while, it occurred to me that I could support additional clients, especially small business owners. I researched various job boards and job postings online and found that there was indeed a job title for all the work I did, and it was called an assistant. virtual.
From there, I contacted a virtual assistant recruitment firm Association of Virtual Assistants and they placed me with difficult clients, but through it all I developed my craft, my expertise and my confidence. Part of the challenge with some of my early clients was that I wasn’t very selective. Finding the right clients takes time, as well as the confidence to know when to move on when a relationship isn’t feeling right.
I knew if I was going to take this somewhere and achieve my goal of a 6 figure salary, I had to start my own business.
This would allow me to take charge of my career, so I created an LLC called The invisible assistant in January 2017.
When I started I was charging an hourly rate of $25. From the first client I took, I put all my eggs in one basket. Over time, I learned to expand my services and not have just one client.
I now offer services such as calendar management, e-mail management, implementation of customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, business development, customer reception, integration of employees, research projects, event planning, preparing tax returns, etc.
I learned how to grow my business by talking about my job and what I do all the time. This is not to brag to others, but rather to continue to connect with those around me and find leads where I least expect them. The other day I had a new client from a Pilates class.
My work experience in places As Def Jam Recordings helped me become a virtual assistant
At Def Jam, I was an executive assistant for three or four people at the same time, so being available for so many people at once taught me how to manage my time, set priorities, and stay meticulously organized. It also gave me the experience and confidence to work with a variety of personalities and management styles. My experience of helping so many people simultaneously has definitely given me an edge in my career.
I also have an MBA, and that has helped my career tremendously. As my studies focused on business management and entrepreneurship, I was encouraged to always look at the big picture. I believe a lot of my success can be attributed to not just taking on clients to make more money as a means to an end.
I have since gone from an hourly wage to a monthly installment
I have also created custom pricing packages that have taken my job from a very task oriented position to a boutique value concierge service that my clients are very happy with. Every client is very different, so my packages are custom-created to meet their individual needs. I always start with a first call to discuss their goals and the level of service they will need. From there, I’m able to estimate the estimated number of hours I’ll be working for them and create a bespoke pricing package.
My business is now making over six figures a year due to this shift from hourly rates to monthly fees, and I’m excited to continue growing. I hired a full-time employee in 2021 to work as an assistant and be responsible for a client account. She helps me with various research projects and keeps the behind-the-scenes project management super organized. In the future I hope she will take on her own clients so that I can hire an assistant. I plan to grow and hire more employees over time.
My clients have included everything from event planning firms to public speakers, authors, dental practices, interior design firms, PR agencies, private families, and semi-retired but busy people. still board positions. This is not an industry-specific career, as the need for a virtual assistant can apply to almost any industry.
My job first took a hit during the pandemic
Many of my clients have interrupted their work with me because their own work has stopped, but I have never lost any clients. They just needed time to pivot and find a new way forward, but now my work is booming, and I think it will continue to thrive, especially now that many companies are embracing virtual work.
I talk to some of my clients daily and some of them once a week. Seeing people in front of the camera creates a level of comfort, especially for people who were used to working face-to-face and now aren’t.
One of the main requirements of this job is to stay calm and be ready on deck. Your clients need to know you have the job covered because they’re going to be busy and won’t necessarily be there to handle every step of your job.
I encourage those interested in becoming a virtual assistant to stay ahead of the technology as it comes out
Companies will always be looking for someone who knows new technologies, especially project management tools, so follow them, even if you just need to watch YouTube tutorials to learn. It’s not necessarily the technology, but rather the willingness to take on the challenge of learning new tools, whatever they may be.
If I don’t know a tool, I take the time to learn it, even if it’s on the job. While sometimes I take time to learn a new tool that I can personally use, like Canva, for example, often I learn by working in the tool, that’s really how I learned Asana.
I’ve been using Asana for a few years now, and in an interview a client mentioned that they just invested a lot of time and resources into building this platform to get a better overview of its various projects, teams and deliverables. They were very happy to learn that I was using Asana on a daily basis.
And if you don’t already know them, go ahead and learn about Google Calendar, Excel, Outlook, project management tools, workflow tools, CRM tools and all the Microsoft suite programs. Be ready to become a master of the tools your clients need you to know.
Are you a virtual assistant who wants to share your story? Email Lauryn Haas at [email protected]