Drowning in Work? A VA Might Not Be The Answer

You’re here so I’m assuming a few things about you (apologies if I’m wrong – my mum always told me never to assume but sometimes there’s just no other way). 

First, I’m assuming you’re an entrepreneur. Not just any entrepreneur though. 

You’re a mega-awesome, on the cusp of being tremendously successful (if only you could find more time in your day to focus on the money-making areas of your business) entrepreneur.

Second, I’m assuming you’re an entrepreneur who’s bogged down sending invoices, following up with clients, and handling email — you want to be doing all the beautiful things you love doing. You know — those things you started your business to be able to do! 

But you’re swamped, overworked, looking for more space in your calendar, wanting to spend more time with your family, or on the beach in Bora-bora. 

And all the big 6- and 7-figure earners on those podcasts you love are all screaming Get a Virtual Assistant! It’ll change your life!” 

Heck, even your copywriting second cousin once-removed, who sells Scentsy on the side, is saying You need a VA! They’re magic!”

So you’ve found yourself here, wondering…

… is hiring a Virtual Assistant the right next step for me?

… will it really change everything and make my business skyrocket?

…. what does a VA even do?!

The answer to the first question is a resounding maybe

Certainly, the right virtual assistant can be the missing link in your business, helping you to reach your biggest business goals in half the time with less effort. But hiring a VA is not always the right next step. 

To that end, I’ve put together my list of the biggest reasons to NOT hire a VA.

You Don’t Have The Budget For It

I’ll cut to the chase here – a good VA does not come cheap. The cost can range widely based on the kind of VA you’re hiring and their experience. 

For example, a general admin can cost anywhere from $20 – $50 per hour. But a specialty VA (such as a Launch Manager, Project Manager, or OBM) can be anywhere from $30 – $200 per hour, or more.

If you don’t have the budget to pay at the very least $300 per month on a regular basis, you might want to put a pin in the VA idea. 

And if you find a VA you’re excited to work with, but don’t have enough in the bank to fund at least 3 months of working with them, keep looking or hold off hiring.

You Don’t know what kind of VA you need

Before you start asking everyone and their mother for referrals for the best virtual assistant on the planet, take some time to figure out what type of VA you need.

Are you drowning in all the daily administrative tasks need to make the business run? Such as, answering customer support emails and queries from people who stumbled upon your website, issuing invoices, running reports, documenting meetings and tasks, etc? Then a General Admin VA is likely the one for you. 

But what if the trouble is managing a bunch of big projects for your clients, or ensuring your next launch goes off without a hitch, or keeping an eye on the high-level items in your business and ensuring you’re working towards your goals as efficiently as possible?

In those cases, you might be better off with a Project Manager, Launch Manager, or OBM (Online Business Manager) instead.

Need help figuring out which type of VA is best for you? Book a chat. I’ll help you out.

You’re Not Ready To Give Up Control

This can be a common problem for us entrepreneurs. We got into business to be our own boss, do things our way, and have been pouring our blood, sweat, and tears into building the business. So it can be tough to not get attached to how things are done.

But – we’ve all seen those movies and TV shows with the old trope of the micromanaging boss. 

… also can you please sign off on the new TPS reports? Thaaaanks.


I’ve had that boss. It is not a good environment to work in. It’s well documented that most people don’t quit jobs – they quit their bosses, and it’s so true.

According to this 2018 article by Forbes, 58% of managers do not receive any formal management training – they get promoted because they are good at what they do, and this does not equate to making those around them better.

While your VA is their own boss, and you are their client, the relationship between VA and client is similar.

Don’t be the reason that your VA dreads turning on their computer and checking their email in the morning. 

This is a more difficult hurdle to get past. The first step is being self-aware enough to realize that this is an issue that you’re dealing with. 

  • Does the idea of having someone email your clients for you without your input seem scary?
  • Do you feel like the world will (figuratively) end if you’re away for a few days?
  • Do you feel more comfortable being in control of how someone is getting a task done instead of just being happy that it’s getting done?
  • Do you think you have to document each and every step of everything you do before you can hand the task off to someone else?

If this sounds like you, you might wanna do a little mindset work before you hire a VA. 

This VA Is Not The Right Fit

Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t!

Like that cheesy old Almond Joy/Mounds commercial (only with less chocolate bars and more goal crushing), you get to choose your VA. The ball is totally in your court. 

There are so many different kinds of VAs, some good and some not so good. The key here is to get to know everything you need to know before you formally hire them to maximize your chances for success.

I won’t dwell too much about what to watch out for when you’re interviewing your potential new VA since I’ve already covered that.

But – here’s the TL;DR version of a few stops:

  • They’re late to the interview or in replying to your emails.
  • They are difficult to talk to (monosyllabic answers or constantly talking over you)
  • They don’t seem interested in what you do and don’t know anything about your business.

(Seriously though – check that blog out ???? if you’re looking for a VA. Some of the things to watch for might surprise you.) 

Another big red flag is if your personalities just don’t jive. Sometimes you just don’t have a rapport with someone and that’s okay! 

You don’t need to be best friends but you do need to mesh well, feel comfortable speaking with them, and get the sense that they understand you and your business goals. 

You Don’t Actually Need A VA

This goes back to knowing what type of VA you need. 

Nowadays people are adding “VA” to just about every industry. Bookkeeping VA, Social Media VA, Content VA, Plumber VA. It’s ridiculous.

Okay so I made that last one up, but honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised to stumble upon one soon. 

So why is everyone clamouring to call themselves a VA? Well, it typically comes down to this.

They’re just naturally good at, and like doing, a lot of things. There is that one thing they like doing the most but… 

  1. Aren’t very good at it so offer VA services as a way of getting in the door and practicing, or
  2. Are very good at it but aren’t confident enough in their abilities to go for it whole hog, or 
  3. They’re desperate for work and think that by slapping VA to the end of their title and offering everything under the sun they’ll expand their potential client base (of course the opposite is true but I digress).  

And how does this affect you?

Well, if the main thing you need is someone to create your blogs and social media posts, you don’t need a VA — you need a content developer. 

If the only work that is causing you any type of stress or strain is entering your receipts, balancing your bank account, and managing your cash flow, you don’t need a VA — you need a bookkeeper. 

And, if the only thing holding you back is the 3 hours a day you spend scrolling the bottomless pit that is the Facebook newsfeed, before cyberstalking your business idol on Instagram and catching up on Real Housewives, you may just need some coaching on time management.

Too often I see business owners making the mistake of opting for the all-in-one promise of a VA, in the hopes of saving money by having them do everything from general admin work to copywriting, to design, to bookkeeping. 

And to be fair, some have even found a magical being who seems to be able to do all those things well. But for the most part, you’re getting someone who can do a few things really well and a bunch of things poorly.

Think about it, if you hired a professional caterer for your parents 40th wedding anniversary would you ask them to unclog the toilet and nip upstairs to paint the spare room while they’re at it? 

No, of course not, because there are some things you need a specialist for. 

So there you have it, 5 Reasons Not to Hire a VA. 

Yes – having a VA on your team can be a total gamechanger. They can help you crush your goals and get sh#t done in a way you could never do on your own. 

But hiring the wrong VA or just not being ready for one can mean bad news if you just go for it anyways. 

To recap – before jumping on the VA bandwagon ask yourself:

  • Can I afford to pay this VA?
  • Do I know what I need them to do?
  • Am I comfortable with not being 100% in control of how my VA completes tasks?
  • Is my potential new VA a pro in the areas that I need?
  • Are they the right fit for me personally?
  • Do I even need a VA, or is there a better solution out there for me?

If the answer is a ‘heck yes” to all of the above – go for it! If the answer is no to even one of these questions, step back and reconsider.

Still not sure about hiring a VA? Book an hour with me and let’s talk about it together.

Did I miss anything? Is there anything else you suggest people consider before hiring a VA – let me know in the comments below!

Meet your host

Sandra Booker, Founder of Changemaker Inc. (home to Sidekick COO and The VA Studio) and creator of Scale Society and The Advisory Board, is a mentor, Fractional COO  and growth strategist. She specializes in helping overworked, overwhelmed, multi-hatted entrepreneurs become the CEOs of sustainably scalable, and powerfully profitable businesses. 

After helping local businesses thrive, and receiving accolades in her community (like the 40 Under 40 award) Sandra turned her attention to the world of online service providers, and her clients include familiar names like Chanti Zak, Tarzan Kay, and Laura Belgray.

In her (efficiently used) spare time, she teaches others how to build and grow their own 6-figure virtual assistant practices and is on a mission to create a million jobs by helping her clients and students scale their businesses.

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