Archive for November 9th, 2009

No, We Can’t Help You

Omigawd, I just have to vent a little here today…

You know, we work so hard to educate the public about what we are and what we do… that we are experts who specialize in administrative support, not unskilled gophers and flunkies.

And then those stupid fluff articles come out, written by industry outsiders who didn’t do their homework or talk to the right authorities, and we get a flood of contacts from business owners who really, in all honestly, are just looking for people they can exploit and take advantage of.

“Yes, I need someone who can take all the administration off my hands, grow my business, create my marketing plan, build me a website, perform all my social networking for me, ghostwrite my blog, manage my public relations, handle all my customer service functions and order fulfillment, and just generally be available whenever I call to do whatever else comes up. The person who fills this role won’t be paid until they start showing results (and I start making some money). Once that happens, they’ll be paid on a percentage basis (or $10/hr). This would be a great role for a work-at-home mom looking for some side income.”

Seriously! I’m not even kidding.

I get garbage requests like that all the time through our Virtual Assistant Partnering service.

We don’t even entertain them.

I’m just not going to disrespect and devalue my members like that.

My feeling is Virtual Assistants have a hard enough time trying to earn a living at this work and find clients who value them as professionals. They don’t need their professional associations perpetuating or condoning these kind of crap requests on their behalf.

Gee, isn’t it great that there are Virtual Assistant associations out there enabling that mentality, making it even harder for VAs to create viable, sustainable practices?

Look, you unethical morons, Virtual Assistants are professionals who are running businesses–JUST LIKE YOU.

They can’t be expending their time, energy and expertise for a pittance or only the promise of being paid later (and which is dependent upon whether you are even successful or not).

When you go to the grocery store, do you think you get to pay later for the groceries you take home and eat today?

Do you go to your accountant or bookkeeper or attorney and tell them they’ll be paid on a percentage basis?

I think not. You’d be laughed out the door.

I mean, REALLY?! Get lost. How do you even look at yourselves in the mirror?

Granted, there are people out there who have no business calling themselves Virtual Assistants.

But pay competent, qualified professionals their fees and quit devaluing them. It’s not their job in life to subsidize your business growth and success.

That’s your responsibility and you don’t get to decide how or what they are to be paid for lending their skill and expertise to your business.

And let me ask you this, you completely selfish and self-absorbed person who wants to rip other professionals off of their time, skills and expertise–if you think like that about others, why on earth should anyone pay your fees?

Think about it. This really is big picture stuff here.

If you want people to honor and value what you have to offer in the world, and pay you what you are worth, you have to be willing to extend that same respect to others.