Archive for August 24th, 2010

Administrative Specialist and Assistant Are Two Separate Concepts

One reason I think administrative expertise has for so long and so often not been given the same kind of respect as other expertise is given is because in the world of employment it tends to be inextricably tied to also being an assistant, which is automatically/inherently subjugating.

I want to say this loud and clear:  being an administrative expert and being an assistant are two separate ideas, and in business, they are NOT one and the same thing and don’t have to be.

You do NOT have to be an assistant to be an administrative expert and focus on administrative support.

Beware of virtual assistant “gurus” (many of whom weren’t successful in their own business or who haven’t run their own practice in decades, if ever) and “certification” programs that are simply training people to be glorified assistants who only call themselves business owners.

That’s not a new paradigm whatsoever. It’s just another name for the same old thing.

I see so many people in our industry struggling because they’ve been taught to continue being “assistants” in the same manner as an employee.

This is exactly what limits their earning potential and creates practices that enslave them instead of empower them.

It’s why we see many of them turning into virtual staffing/multi-VA businesses or starting their own training programs or professional organizations instead of supporting and collectively strengthening the established ones already in existence for the betterment of the profession.

They think that’s the only way they can begin to earn better and not be buried in the work.

But it’s a lie.

If you are running a business, you are not anyone’s assistant.

The term “assistant” itself is the root cause of all kinds of problems, misaligned expectations and confusion about the nature of the business relationship, which forces you to do double-time in educating clients.

Our lives could all be a lot easier without it. It’s why we’ve moved on to the term Administrative Consultant and a different, very specific business model entirely.

Being an administrative expert and being an assistant are not one and the same thing.

Pick one. Or do both if you choose. But know this:  you absolutely do not need to be an assistant in order to deliver value and expertise and have very personal, collaborative relationships with clients.

I know I certainly didn’t go into business for myself to continue to be anyone’s little assistant. I went into business to deliver my administrative expertise and talents to clients and help them achieve real results in their own businesses.