This month marks three years that I have been a virtual assistant. Three years! Where did the time go??
I took some time to reflect and think back to my very first days, weeks and months when I first made the decision to shift from being “someone else’s employee” to an independent contractor. I thought about the trials and tribulations, the victories and defeats and even some of my very first clients.
I admit, I cringed a bit.
Just like any newbie, I was pretty green and inexperienced in the very beginning. I made mistakes and conducted myself in ways that I am not overly proud of. I had some very good clients and a few dirtbags in those days. The dirtbags are almost a necessity because they teach you what a good client is and how to walk away from dysfunctional situations. Experiencing dirtbag clients is almost like a rite of passage when you are a business owner. It just happens.
I even had a Dirtbag disguised as a Very Good Client. Talk about a teachable moment.
But another one of the Very Good Clients I am still with today and am loving every second of working for her. She has been a tremendous teacher, a great client and even a good friend. We need at least one of those to to keep ourselves grounded, motivated and looking forward to what the next day will bring.
But the reality of those early times is that I wasn’t as good of a VA as I would have liked and probably embarrassed myself daily. The Very Good Clients that I ended up losing or leaving are the ones on the mind at the moment the most.
I really, really would like to reach out to a few of those early clients and say….
“Sorry. Sorry I was such a hot mess. Thank you for being patient with me and well….I’m much better now.”
“Much better” as in more professional, more experienced, more savvy, more in-tune with what needs to be done as a VA.
I think the majority of them would not care, but a few might. I guess that is the reality of having a customer base. Clients come and go and shift with time and your experience. Three years in I still make mistakes, albeit not as frequently. Three years in I occasionally encounter the dirtbag client. You know, the one who wastes your time and doesn’t want to pay your worth. I just had one last week in fact.
The difference is, I can spot ’em quicker now 🙂
Have you done this exercise lately? Look back on something you’ve been doing for a while now and acknowledge that you are “much better now?” If not, do it. It helps us to appreciate the skills and knowledge we have now when we see where we once were.