Work From Home

Work From Home Virtual Assistant| My Experience as a Belay Contractor

Looking to work from home as a virtual assistant?

This question might be getting ahead of the game a little for some of you. Some of you may just be at the point where you want to work from home. There are a ton of different ways you can make income from working at home today. I would encourage you to check out Caitlyn Pyle’s Work at Home School. She is really great at helping you figure out how to make money from home doing pretty much anything!

My story.

So if you haven’t heard already, my journey to working from home started about 9 months ago. I was in a full time job with a boss that I just could not stand and he could not stand me. After all my hard work he always said he was “happy” with it, but that never showed. I could never gain his trust, I could never get a promotion, and I stayed making less money than another guy on our team that was only part time. I would say that I believe there was a little bit of male chauvinism I was dealing with here, but either way, I was ready to get out of there.

How I heard about Belay.

My sister had started her own business from home as a proofreader about a year before I started seeking interest. She took the course Proofread Anywhere with Caitlyn Pyle. She was literally working from home within a year after starting the course. You can check out her full story here. She had heard through some of her friends about virtual assistant work. I told her how unhappy I was in my job and thought that was something that fit my skill set. She saw someone refer Belay for virtual assistants in her group on facebook and told me to look into it.

What is a virtual assistant?

So this is a question I get asked all of the time, and honestly I feel like I can’t just give you one answer for this. I have 4 clients right now and I do completely different work for all of them. For one client I really do just what you would think an assistant would do. I book his appointments, help manage his inbox, help keep track of birthdays and anniversaries for his staff, and I help plan events. Another client I have I do more project management type work. He is working on building his program, so he will give me a project that he wants done and then it is my job to make it happen. I come up with what technology to use for the project, I decide who will be on the project and keep it running, and anything else you could think of. Other tasks I have are expense reports, social media marketing, blog posting, graphic design, video editing, and tons of other odds and ends for my client. I have learned a lot in the last 7 months to say the least.

What is Belay?

Belay is a company that hires virtual assistants and pairs them with companies that need them. They also contract bookkeepers and webmasters as well. Belay has a ton of businesses that trust them and come to them to contract the best people for them. One thing Belay has for it’s contractors is a job board. This is a list of jobs that have virtual assistant, bookkeepers and webmaster needs. There is at least 20 of these on the board every day, so there is no shortage of jobs with Belay.

How does it work?

You have heard me use the term “contractor.” That is how you are hired with Belay. You are not a hourly or salary employee, but a 1099 contractor. This basically means that you get paid with no taxes taken out, so it is your job as the contractor to make sure you have a CPA that can help you, or have the knowledge needed to pay your taxes. When I was first hired I was told to go to their job board and start applying for jobs. This is one way that you are able to get jobs once you are signed on as a contractor with Belay. The other way is through a relationship manager. Belay has people on their team that are hired to match current Belay contractors with new or existing clients. My first client I got I did not apply for, but I had a relationship manager contact me about the job.

What is applying like? 

So the application process was pretty lengthy, but this does make me appreciate the attentiveness they take when hiring people. I first submitted my resume and application, then I had a first interview about 2 weeks after I applied. After this interview I was required to do a video of questions. Once I did the video questions I also had to take a test. The test was just some basic questions you would need to know as a virtual assistant. Then after that test I had one final interview and then I was hired! Belay will send you a contract that you actually sign with them. They also send you the amount that they will pay you hourly to work with their clients. So really you are getting paid by Belay, and the clients are paying Belay to provide you, the assistant.

Landing my first client.

Like I said before, my first client came to me from a relationship manager. A relationship manager is the person in charge of making sure the relationship between the VA (virtual assistant) and their client is healthy. I did not receive my first client until about 2 months after I was signed as a contractor with Belay. Applying on the job board did not land me a client just yet. I also received an offer for another client from another relationship manager, but after talking with her and listening to the recording of her call with the client, it showed that I would not be a good fit for that client. This is probably one of the best things about Belay. They really do a good job of matching the VA to the client. They take a lot of time and care into this. As a VA, this is so helpful. There is nothing worse than working for someone that you just don’t gel with.

Then the unexpected.

So I started off with just 5 hours with my first client. I still had my full time job, so I didn’t want to overwhelm myself. My full time job was from 9-4, so I would work on my Belay client either from 8-9 or 4-5. Just one hour a day! My client was in an Eastern time zone while I was in a Central time zone, so I did have to make sure I worked around his time as best I could, but honestly there was rarely ever a need for that. About 3 months after working with this client I got fired from my full time job. It was a shock, but it kind of wasn’t. I had been praying for God to provide for me a way out of that job, so I guess he did. I had given that job a verbal agreement of 3 years, and He knew that no matter how unhappy I was that I would have stayed there until that time was up unless I was fired.

What to do now?

Getting fired is never a fun experience, but now I had the freedom to try this whole working from home thing. I immediately got on the job board and started looking for other clients that would fit my personality. I applied and landed my next 2 clients in 4 weeks. In just 4 weeks I was now working full time from home. Not only am I now making more than half as much as I did at my last job, but I am now making my own hours. They will tell you that you need to at least be available to your client during their working hours, but you are able to work on your own time. That means, if I have a dentist appointment at 4pm that day, I can get up early and work an extra hour from 7-8 and not have to tell anybody or even ask off. I can now do the things I want to do. I make my schedule work for me.

Do I recommend Belay?

If you are a VA, then I recommend Belay 1,000 times! Every single person I have encountered that works for them as a salary employee has been amazing. They are so passionate about what they do, and they care about their contractors. I can tell they are very selective not only in who they pick as a contractor, but as clients as well. Every single one of my clients has been amazing. These are companies that want to grow and want to make themselves better. Belay has changed my life. I am so thankful and so grateful to everything they have given me. If working from home is a goal for you, then my advice is do it! You just have to start somewhere. You deserve to work in an environment that is healthy. Find that place for you and go get it. If you would like to hear more about my journey to working from home check out my blog Working Remotely Full Time From Home | How You Can Do It To.

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