Virtual Assistance 101: What a Virtual Assistant REALLY Is

Admin AssistantAs promised last week, today I am going to begin the series on Virtual Assistance. So, what is a Virtual Assistant (VA)?

The back story:

Virtual Assistance is a relatively new administrative  profession, that was founded and formulated by Anastacia Brice. Anastacia was working virtually before it was known, hip or popular. I encourage you to take a minute to read her story here.

In a nutshell, Anastacia was working with her mother as an executive travel planner and quickly realized that her clients needed more than travel assistance. Over time, she began working from home offering travel and personal assistance. Then, in the 1990s, the founder of Coach U was looking for someone to support his business while he was on sabbatical. Anastacia decided to work with him. From that, other coaches started coming to her for assistance in their own businesses. It is from these experiences that Anastacia not only formulated the Virtual Assistant profession, but went on to create AssistU, the premier virtual training program and community for Virtual Assistants.

Virtual Assistance defined:

There are a lot of people offering their own ideas and definitions of Virtual Assistance; but, why not go with the definition as laid out by the foundress of the profession?

Simply stated, a Virtual Assistant is a home-based administrative expert who provides across-the-board administrative services in a long-term collaborative relationship with her (or his) clients. These services are all done remotely using the latest technology (and a little creativity).

Working as a Virtual Assistant requires a plethora of hard and soft skills that are gained through education and experience; therefore, the most successful Virtual Assistants often have years of experience in the corporate world as executive level assistants.

It is important to note that Virtual Assistants are business owners – not telemarketers or employees: they pay their own taxes, set their own hours, chose whom they wish to work with and what work they do or don’t do.

The heart of Virtual Assistance:

The heart of Virtual Assistance is relationships. That is why Virtual Assistance works best in long-term collaborative relationships. Some VAs do project work; however, the synergy created in the VA/client relationship does not lend itself well to project work. It is in the long-term that the benefits of Virtual Assistance shine through most brightly.

Next week I will talk about what a Virtual Assistant is NOT.


  1. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing! (That sounds like a stock spam comment, doesn’t it? Sorry!)

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