We’ve all heard the saying, “Look after number one because no one else will.” When it comes to a virtual assistant / client relationship, it is one saying that isn’t thought of until something goes wrong. When it’s too late to look after number one (you); that’s when your client shuts the door.

There is nothing more gut wrenching than knowing you have given a client your heart and soul for a long time,  only to have them say they no longer need your help. It happens all too often. We get high on the fact that we are useful to them; we are helping them to achieve their dreams. We feel like we are irreplaceable. When in fact nothing can be further from the truth.

If this has happened to you, you already know full well, the feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness you feel. The blow to your confidence, the feelings of despair (especially if it is your only client and main source of your income). It’s a state of shock; it’s a total and unexpected loss that impacts you (your family) and your way of life.

You can and you will recover, you will be stronger and wiser and you won’t make the same mistake again.

Why does this happen?

There are always changes in business, and if your client needs to make them, they will. Sometimes, it will be with little regard to the VA who has worked with them, supported. The VA is the invisible person in the team, there is no face-to-face, no attachment, you are simply a means to an end.

Your client is always going to think about their well-being first. They too have a lifestyle and family they need to look after. Make no mistake, the first to go when things get tough for them, or changes need to be made, is the virtual assistant, and that would be you!!

Maintain a professional distance!

Once you develop a rapport with your client, it can be very easy to forget they are just that, your client. You need to remember you are a contractor. You serve a purpose for them and them for you. You’re the worker bee, and they pay your bills.

What you should have is a serious and healthy respect for each other.

Protect yourself

  • Don’t treat your client like a long-lost friend
  • Always be professional, be the SME – you’ll both benefit
  • Say NO; remember you’re the boss of your business not your client
  • Don’t work for your client for free – it will become an expectation that will be hard to shake
  • Make sure your client has signed your agreement before commencing work with them
  • If a client needs to be reminded of your business agreement, do it, don’t wait for things to improve on their own
  • Always include a period of termination in your agreement, one week, two weeks, a month. Whatever will serve you best.

Get back on track

If you find yourself in this situation, you need to get organised, get passionate, get strong and learn from it. Don’t make the same mistake twice.

  • Rebuild your confidence, work on something ‘your’ business will benefit from
  • Spend time on your personal development, ‘you’ need this
  • Talk about what happened, don’t bottle it up, it’s not going to go away by sticking your head in the sand
  • Use the free time you now have to review your website and make the changes you haven’t had time to do – it could be time for a makeover
  • Use your VA forums, groups and | or communities to bounce ideas off
  • Keep yourself motivated your business success is counting on you
  • Put the focus on you because you need to remember, you’re number one, so start acting like it

If you’ve been in this situation before, what have you done to pick yourself up? Please leave a comment below.