How to keep a small business mindset when working with a  VA

The true test of realizing success, as a small business owner may come down to the type of mindset you have; and whether or not you are willing to change it.

This is especially true if you, like many small business owners, have worked for years as an employee. The employee and small business owner/entrepreneur mindsets are significantly different.  So, what type of mindset is needed to succeed?

When you leave your job, to follow your dream of owning your own small business, you leave behind co-workers and a daily commute, but you must also leave your employee mindset behind, as well. Pivoting from an employee mindset to an entrepreneurial/small business mindset is an important part of becoming a successful small business owner.

VAs are not employees but business owners and will work differently with clients than an employee would with a boss. When you hire a VA, it is also important to keep this mindset and know that as a business owner as well, your VA will have similar thoughts and needs for their own success.

What are the differences between an employee and small business mindset?

An employee mindset is one in which you:

  • Follow tasks that are assigned to you and managed by others (a ‘tasker’)
  • The company directs your activities and makes time and financial investments in your training
  • Not much opportunity to think ‘out of the box’ as procedures and policies are set by the company
  • Risks are not normally encouraged by the employer
  • No need to think long-term; as that is done by employer/management

A Small Business Mindset is one in which you:

  • Set and complete the tasks that you determine, based on your business plan and goals
  • You invest 100% in your education/training and manage the direction of your own activities
  • Not only will you be expected to “think out of the box”, you will be REQUIRED to, in order to grow your business
  • You, as the small business owner/virtual assistant, will need to take some calculated risks and then be completely accountable for their outcome
  • Small business owners’ mindsets need to stay focused on their long-term business vision at all times

How to keep a small business mindset when working with a  VA

  • Share with your VA your values and what is important for your business to succeed. They need to know where and how they can best help you.
  • Make sure you communicate clear boundaries when you start working with your VA
  • Be sure to that you both have clear expectations on how and when you will communicate with each other and how the deadlines and work will be done… The initial onboarding process should clearly state these expectations
  • You need to remember that as the client, you will outline the scope of the project, and timelines and deadlines, but your VA will determine HOW and WHEN they will do the work
  • Meet with your VA to review work done on a regular basis, such as monthly or quarterly to ensure their work is what you need to support your business and define gaps or changes to make.

Now that you know a bit about the different types of mindset and which type of MINDSET is needed to Succeed in your Small Business; it is up to YOU to rewire your brain so that your VA can help you meet and exceed your business goals!


Karen Kannegiesser virtual assistantKaren Kannegiesser is an online business resource assistant with over three decades of C-suite level executive administrative and supply chain expertise. She has many years as a strategic MRO buyer for a large specialty chemical manufacturer, as well as an extensive background in database management, project management, contract administration, and business continuity/disaster recovery