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OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS AT 50!

Use your skills, experience, expertise and knowledge to become a VA.

Kay Lundy Guest Blog HeadshotAs you may well know, before the television show ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ there was another very popular TV programme called ‘Opportunity Knocks’ where the winning acts were decided, not by a panel of experts, but by the viewing public who judged contestants on their talent, interaction, delivery and connection with the audience. 

Much like being the Winning Contestant on Opportunity Knocks, and as any established and successful business owner will tell you, in order to shine and have that prize, you must:

*Stand out above your competitors the other acts 

*Win the business take the prize

*Keep your clients happy the audience 

*Utilise and leverage all your skills and experience years of focused and continued training

*Give exceptional customer service audience enjoyment

*Retain expertise in your business delivery your unique act must be current 

*Always strive for business referrals and continued growth ensure repeat auditions and performances

So, you’re deliberating about becoming a VA and wondering if an Opportunity will Knock for you?

You may be thinking; 

*I’m not so sure if this is the right thing to do; or 

*I’m not sure if I have what it takes to be a success, let alone be a Winning Contestant!

You may also be thinking:

*Do I have sufficient skills?

*Am I being unrealistic about my ability?

*Where and how will I find my clients?

*What if I fall at the first hurdle? 

In this blog post, I will explain how Opportunities can definitely Knock for you at 50. 

You’ve been working many years, decades in fact, within the business support and administrative industry, you’ve reached the milestone age of 50 and come to a very obvious junction in your life, a crossroads or even decided to embark on a completely new journey.  

At 50 years and more, you are actually at one of the BEST ages to walk confidently on to that Opportunity Knocks’ stage, face your expectant audience and have that spotlight shine directly on to you…

…being born either as a Baby Boomer (1946 to 1964) or a Generation X (1966 – 1980), your attitudes, perceptions, values and behaviours will be defined by your own generational cohort and you will be described as being either:

*committed

*self-sufficient

*competitive 

(Baby Boomers)

OR

*resourceful

*logical

*good problem-solvers

(Gen X)

The attributes and experience of both generational cohorts together as VA business owners make for significant input in today’s turbulent business landscape. 

In fact, re-invention and redeployment are one of the skills that the over 50s are extremely good at, often having to deal with challenges and uphill struggles throughout their life, with many of you perhaps having to experience divorce, broken homes, bringing up your family as a single parent, the transition of your children leaving the nest, caring for your ageing parents, working around a multi-generational family home, dealing with ill health; you name it, you are used to and very good at getting over and solving many of these accepted life challenges. 

By capitalising on that problem solving and inherent entrepreneurial spirit, it enables you, when you reach 50 years of age, to reinvent yourself, learn new skills and, especially important with anything digital (which evolves so quickly), being able to reinvigorate and motivate yourself to do and learn more. 

By pulling on all of your experiences, you can work towards positive goals instead of focussing on the negative fear of failure.  This is also very important for your well-being, your lifestyle and your whole self-esteem. Concentrate on what value you can offer and success will follow. 

I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to acknowledge that having a business support administrative background lends itself extremely well to capitalising on successful business owner traits. Such as:

  • Having a can-do attitude
  • Planning and forward-thinking skills
  • Organisational qualities
  • Business development strategies
  • Financial awareness and expense management 
  • Networking and strong natural communication capabilities
  • Extracting important and salient points from client meetings 

…the list of skills, knowledge and expertise you already possess goes on, and on…

However, we should also be committed to the habit of lifelong learning; it is a gift we should readily accept, it stretches you both mentally and physically.  There is no place for stagnation whilst you have the ability to take yourself out of your comfort zone and experience life in many different ways. Continued self-development, what I call Project You, has no age barrier. 

The administrative professional sector is also uniquely supportive of one another. This has been very apparent during the recent lockdown when the LinkedIn platform became completely and positively awash with free training, coaching support, webinars, zoom conferences to name but a few – all from leading figures and memberships in the industry, and from recruitment agencies specialising in Administrative roles. 

It was quite outstanding to witness, and it is still continuing. With this in mind, it shows how close-knit the global VA business family operates.  There is always access to support and help when it is needed from many platforms and points of contact.  It is not unrealistic to be able to gain the correct tools, glean the correct advice, learn about the essential legalities, plan a strategy, take advantage of ongoing training and networking, in order to really establish yourself as a successful and prosperous VA business owner.  

It is a widely known fact that, at 50 years old, you have twice the opportunity to be an independent successful business owner than most at 25 years old, simply because you are wiser and experienced, more realistic, perhaps in a better place financially, you are able to project a mature mentality, plus you have built up a strong network of colleagues who you can draw upon as potential clients and advisors. Additionally, you are able to redeploy those essential skills you have saved up over the years and which are now sitting well and truly comfortably ‘under your belt’. 

Finally, you may have concerns as to where and how you will find potential clients for your VA business. This is where knowing your skills and passion gravitate towards really comes into play.  Where your area of expertise will shine through amongst all the other generalist competition. 

The world really doesn’t need another generalist VA.  Therefore, the most important part of making your VA business as successful as it can be is to categorically know how you are going to be different, and to stand out from all the other VA businesses; similar really to being the Winning Contestant on ‘Opportunity Knocks’!  

Having a VA business with a potentially profitable niche service to a specific client market is important because, if you try to cater to everyone – the whole world – your overall marketing message won’t speak to anyone.  You will literally be lost in a sea of Virtual Assistants. 

Furthermore, by the time you have reached 50, you will definitely be aware of knowing the services you enjoy doing and those that you are really good at, where you can shine and give of your best. This will, in turn, attract client business since positivity and confidence breed success. 

So, to end where we started, there is so much evidence that there are favourable opportunities and strong foundations for you to win and be successful with your very own VA business at 50. You are a seasoned business Administrative professional with a solid past and a positive future to gain the flexibility you strive for in your work, to enjoy autonomy and independence in becoming your very own VA business owner.

Wishing you every success in your new career!  

Meet Kay

I am Kay Lundy and I work with Administrative Professionals over the age of 50 who are exploring new career and lifestyle options but face challenges and invisible barriers to realising their future personal success. Harnessing more than 35 years of Business Assistant experience and change across many industries and sectors, both in the UK and abroad, plus 14 years qualified Coaching experience, I have successfully worked with many clients to achieve new mapped out and successful, personal and career areas which has meant happier and more fulfilled lives.  I have also always had second-line careers alongside my Administrative Professional roles for financial stability, development and interest.  I now want to share my business acumen and personal focus for the benefit of my clients. 

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Website: expertadmincoach.co

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Opportunity Knocks at 50 - Guest blog by Kay Lundy