Motivation, the Who, What, Where, When, Why

What motivates you?

Maybe it’s family, friends, nature, money, lifestyle? Whatever it is we all need a little help with it it now and again.

The very fact that you are reading this implies that you are either currently a Virtual Assistant or on the path to becoming one. To be self employed you need a certain mindset and that mindset is motivated. For you to step out of the “normal” working environment and go it alone to build a business demonstrates that you are driven, motivated and strong in character.

We may not always feel this way about ourselves and knock backs can quickly dampen our motivation. This is when we need to be at our strongest but are often at our most vulnerable.

To be #selfemployed you need a certain mindset & that #mindset is #motivated Click To Tweet

We will often find that if we’ve hit a low period in our motivation, this tends to be accompanied by plenty of nah-sayers and those that may not be particularly supportive or beneficial to improving our motivation. It’s at times like this that the hardest work of all needs to be done.

VA Life folded red paper heart on red background

The mental challenge of keeping a positive and motivated mindset is crucial.

Ask yourself these five questions and answer them honestly:

  • Who inspires me?
  • What makes me happy?
  • Where am I going?
  • When do I feel successful?
  • Why am I doing this?
  • How do I go forward?

I call these ‘The 5 W’s of Me’ and these are questions I’ll ask myself if I’m not 100% on my game, or at least every three months if things are going well.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the 5 W’s. Using the concept to understand your story in order to keep you motivated and pointing in the right direction is one of the most critical tasks you’ll undertake as a small business owner.

Let’s take a look into each question and understand why they are so important for you to focus on:

Who inspires me?

Inspiration is the key to motivation. We all have someone, or indeed something, we look to, for inspiration. In our busy day-to-day lives it can be easy to forget to look to these sources. Equally as we grow and our business focus alters, so too will the things that inspire us. Never forget to indulge yourself in that which motivates you. If it’s nature, then go for a walk. If it’s a particular business leader, seek out their latest book. If it’s family, then set aside dedicated time.

What makes me happy?

I would hazard a guess that one of the reasons you’ve chosen to become a Virtual Assistant is to ensure you are doing what you love? Why would we choose to do something that makes us unhappy? Look at the list of things that make you happy, are there potential areas of business in there? Maybe you love writing to friends? Turn that around and offer a personal communication service for small businesses. Have you got sketching on your happy list? Ever considered designing logos for companies? Understanding what makes you happy will naturally lead you to understanding what you can do for clients. We all know that if we love what we do we will be successful at it.

Where am I going?

You’ve created your VA company for a reason, why? What do you want to do with it? Is it a means to an end? Are you building something larger to ultimately sell off? Do you see yourself running a team? Where do you see yourself in 6 month, 1 year, 3, 5 and 10 years? If you don’t know where you’re going, how are you going to get there? We all need a goal, we all need direction. Take time on this one, it’s a big one!

If you don’t know where you’re going, how are you going to get there? Click To Tweet

When do I feel successful?

Celebrating your successes is important, understanding what you class as a success is the first step to being able to do this. Throughout your day you may have many small wins, your latest tweet is taking off, you’ve written a great blog post, you managed to link with a great connection. Whatever they are, celebrate them. The more wins you celebrate, the more you’ll find to celebrate. This is real motivational boost.

Why am I doing this?

Is it for fun? Is it to pay the bills? Is it to make your fortune? Is it for more flexibility? Is it because you know you’re dam good at what you do? Whatever the reason is for you stepping up and saying “I’m going to become a VA” be sure to understand the ‘why’ you’re doing it. Without this question answered honestly you’re going to struggle to truly keep yourself motivated to do what you’re doing.

How do I go forward?

Good question. It’s a relatively easy one to answer now. You go forward by looking at the answers to the above questions. You now know the Who, What, Where, When and Why of your story. Never forget that it is your story, you have choices. If things aren’t going the way you expected or you find motivation is low, look at these questions again and change the route you’re taking.

Never forget that it is your story, you have choices Click To Tweet

As a remote worker it can be easy to feel, well, remote. We can turn to partners or friends to seek support but they may lack the specific expertise and advise you’re looking for. This is where networking with other Virtual Assistants will benefit you. Look out for local events, check sites like or join one of the many online Virtual Assistant communities. Ensure that other VAs can find you too. As an industry we are very unique in that we support one-another over competing, you’re not alone and you’re good at what you do. Stay motivated.

I’d love to hear what keeps you motivated in the comments below?

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