Ep. 114 Why Unicorn VAs Burn Out and Don't Hit Income Goals


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After spending the first couple of years of my virtual assistant journey doing everything for everyone, I’ve definitely learned the power of the phrase “Just because you can do everything, doesn’t mean you should.”

 You’ve heard me talk about the phrase “Unicorn VA” before, right? That’s the industry term for a multi-talented and well-rounded virtual assistant.

We see the phrase pop up in job postings where clients are looking for that magical person who can do all the things for them - from inbox management to social media to copywriting to website updates and everything in between.

 Most new virtual assistants are proud to be able to offer all of those different services and see job postings like this as a dream opportunity.

 But take it from someone who’s been there, as magical as the word unicorn sounds, it’s covering up an ugly truth: being someone else’s everything will only lead to frustration and keep you stuck in your business.

 In this episode, I’m sharing why unicorn virtual assistants often get burned out quickly and don’t hit their income goals.

If you’re a multi-talented service provider who hasn’t seen the growth you’d expect in your business based on your skills, this episode is for you.

Not in the Driver’s Seat

One of the biggest problems when you are that unicorn VA is that you're not in the driver's seat of your own. 

 A reason a lot of us start our businesses is because we hear this phrase, “be your own boss.” We think as a virtual assistant, we can be free of the corporate boss and finally be working for ourselves.

 What I found is that when I went into my business as a unicorn VA offering all of these different services, I suddenly found myself with four bosses. I had four clients who relied on me for a lot and they all relied on me for very different things. I realized that the “be your own boss” thing is kind of a myth until you really niche down your business and find some structure.

Locked in to Hourly Pricing

One of the places you're going to get hit the hardest as a unicorn VA is in your pockets. When you’re offering too many services, it becomes nearly impossible to create packages for your business. So you get locked into kind of an hourly pricing and hourly pricing is not really the most profitable, sustainable way to price your services. 

Inconsistent Income

​​Let's say you're a social media manager who has set packages. You know that every month your client is going to need the same amount of social media posts. So you have a package and you can keep them consistent. 

 Whereas I found when I was working with my clients as more of a general VA, they would go through a launch and suddenly I'd be working around the clock for them. Then after that launch, my clients would often take a break for a while or a major step back. And because I was pricing hourly, I would see a major reduction in my monthly income.

 It was really hard to stay consistent when I didn't have a clear structure for how I was working with clients.

Unable to Scale

Say you want to bring on subcontractors to support you with your client work so you serve more clients. If you're doing too many different things, it becomes impossible to train those people, or to even know where they could fit in. 

 When you do have a specialty like podcast management, you're doing the same work for your clients week after week. It becomes easy to start to separate out different tasks, bring on subcontractors, and train them really easily.

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