5 crucial steps to finding your niche as a virtual assistant

Most virtual assistants agree that they enjoy being virtual assistants mainly for their flexibility in terms of working hours and location, being in control of their own schedule, and working from the comfort of their own armchair.
But virtual assistance isn’t for everyone, and it sure doesn’t work well if you don’t focus on a specific niche. I’ve spoken a lot about virtual assistance and becoming a niche VA and I believe it’s vital to becoming a successful entrepreneur and VA business owner.

First off, having a niche is a must in terms of profitability. Having a niche allows you to grow your set of skills within that specific niche, which in turn, allows you to be able to charge higher for your skills.

Secondly, having a niche allows you to better market yourself and your skills. Because you know exactly what you can offer, you will eventually know exactly who to target and how to approach them, which makes it a lot easier to get new and repetitive business.

Finally, you become a valuable asset to your clients which leads to more ongoing work, repetitive business, and higher earnings!

So how can you become an expert at a specific niche as a virtual assistant? Below are a few steps that I found helpful when trying to find my niche.

  1. Just like everybody else in the career world, you probably don’t exactly know what you like or what you want to really focus on doing. There’s no harm in rotating within different work categories or trying to do a bit of everything, as long as you take note of what you like and/or dislike and get closer to finding your niche. When you’re starting out, you’re usually looking to earn a bit of money and will take any job you get just to improve your rating!
  2. When I first started working as a freelancer, I had just quit my full-time job and although I did not know what I wanted to focus on in specific, I had an idea about the type of work that I wanted and the areas of work that attracted me such as digital marketing and data related projects. So I started working on what I was good at and what I enjoyed. From there, my skills expanded and clients started hiring me for similar projects, and suddenly, I found myself with somewhat of a niche!
  3. Look for jobs that mix with your personal interests. For me, I enjoyed working with spreadsheets and data, so any job that involved research and organizing data was interesting to me. It, later on, evolved to become more than just organizing and researching which is how I wound up with my SEO agency.
  4. Once you know that you enjoy certain types of jobs more than others, it helps to go out and look for these jobs, as in the search for the skills that you have and that you enjoy utilizing and applying to these jobs. On Upwork for instance (previously Odesk), you have the option to buy additional credit in order to be able to apply to more jobs. You also have the option to search and filter available jobs by keyword, duration, and payment type which comes in very handy once you’ve narrowed down your interests.
  5. Some jobs are plain routine and thus offer little chance for advancement and building skills. Unless you’re planning on working for a fixed rate per hour or per project for the rest of your life, avoid monotonous repetitive jobs that require little to no head-scratching. These jobs, regardless of how much they pay – although they usually pay peanuts – will not enable you to increase your rate much in the future or acquire any new skills.

To put it in a nutshell, virtual assistants can start off earning as low as $3 per hour on websites such as Fiverr, Freelancer.com, and Upwork. But if you get really good at doing one certain thing or several things within a single category of work, and if you improve your ratings, you eventually have more control over what you charge your clients and can go on to charge as high as $100 per hour. So if you’re planning on being a long-term virtual assistant, go ahead and find your niche!

Photo credits: https://pixabay.com/en/business-secretary-manager-plans-819287/

Sources: http://www.thevahandbook.com/decide-virtual-assistant-niche/

8 Tools a Life Coach Uses to Help you Reach Your Goals

Reach Your Goals

Hiring a life coach is one of the best things you can do if you feel as if you are stuck in a rut or struggling to achieve any goals you set for yourself. This is because life coaches use a variety of tools and techniques that have been developed to help you break barriers, stay accountable, and surpass your expectations.

The purpose of this article is to help you get a better understanding of the different tools a life coach will use to help you to reach your goals. I’ve done my best to scour the web to find some of the best free and paid tools out there that are commonly used by life coaches.

Whether you’re a life coach looking for some new tools or just someone in need of an extra kick-in-the-ass, here is a compiled list of tools to check out.

The Wheel of Life

This tool is a staple for life coaches. It’s an excellent device for identifying how balanced (or unbalanced) your life is. With this tool, you’re easily able to identify which areas you should focus on to improve the stability of your “wheel.” The 8 areas, which you can choose to use or customize your own, are family & friends, romance, fun & recreation, health, money, personal growth, physical environment, and career. If your life is more balanced, you’ll be more stable and better suited to achieving your goals.

Tolerations Tool

This tool and the following tool are both very similar. This tool is a list-type tool that helps users identify the things in their lives that they are willing to tolerate. Tolerating too many things in our lives can drain energy and pull us away from the things we want or need to focus on. The key here is to identify the issues then work on removing the things we tolerate so that we can focus on our more important goals.

Energy Zappers

Similar to the above tool, Energy Zappers help to identify the specific things that are zapping our energy. The difference here is that this is a paid tool.

Detox Your Toxic Relationships

This tool is very similar to the two previously mentioned tools as it helps to remove something that can zap a person’s energy. The difference here is that this tool focuses on relationships. All of us have at least one toxic relationship in our lives and unfortunately when it comes to friends, family, and colleagues, sometimes we might not have much choice about it. The good thing about this tool is it not only identifies the toxic relationships but also the energizing ones. The goal here is to surround yourself with people who are going to lift you up, not bring you down.

Big Rocks and Little Rocks

This is another paid tool, but it’s a personal favorite of mine. Big rocks and little rocks refer to the important tasks (big rocks) and the details (little rocks) that most people tend to get caught up in. The tool helps you identify what you should be working on to ensure the important tasks are completed first before dealing with the everyday pebbles that come up. Usually, the big rocks are the things that help bring you one step closer to your goals.

The rest of the tools that I’ve found here are more generalized and therefore don’t have any specific links to them. However, they are still awesome tools and exercises to go through that will help you achieve your goals.

Self-love tool

This tool helps get you in the right mindset for taking on your days. Here’s how it works: first get a blank sheet of paper and list at least twelve things that make you special. Then list at least twenty or so personal achievements and successes in your life. These can be big things or even little things like learning to use the big boy potty. Next, list at least twenty things that you excel at: sports, video games, talking with people, relationships, fitness, or anything else you can think of. Finally, write down 5-10 physical qualities you possess. Choose one of the physical qualities that makes you feel attractive.  Save this list and put it near your bedside so that each morning and night you can read it to yourself for a week. This trains your brain to think positively which gets you ready to accomplish your goals.

Goal-setting worksheets

These are painfully obvious tools that every life coach must have in his or her repertoire. Basically, the details of the worksheets might vary, but the content of the worksheets is generally the same. First think about what you want in life and don’t have. Then think about what you do have but don’t want. Write those down. Next focus on your top three priorities. Then write down where you want to be in 10 years, and do the same with 5 years and 1 year. The goal here is to eventually identify your goals, both long-term and short-term, and then identify specific actions you can take today to start making progress towards them. Make sure to check out my article on the Huffington Post on how to set and go after your life goals.


This last tool is another favorite of mine and something I’m personally working on being more consistent with. The concept of a journal is simple: you write down some notes, either in the morning or at night, or both, about your day. This helps you keep a daily log of your accomplishments, setbacks, moods, and so much more on any given day. If you’re stuck and wondering why you’ve been slacking on achieving your goals, referring back to your journal can be an eye-opener as to what’s been holding you back.


woman in black long sleeve shirt and brown pants sitting on brown wooden chair

To say the least, the idea of a normal Joe aspiring to be a style icon is perplexing. While the word ‘style icon’ is used more cautiously in the realm of menswear, it is used liberally in the field of womenswear. Because a ‘style icon’ is defined as someone who has significant influence over how other people dress, including what designs are exhibited on the runway, the phrase has become virtually cliched.

Being referred to as a style icon is merely a result of having a distinct personal style that reflects your present location and time. A style icon is usually reserved for individuals with celebrity or significant cultural influence, but that doesn’t mean an average gentleman like yourself can’t aspire to be one or at the very least inherit the traits that define a style icon. Most of them symbolize a period in history, and as the Telegraph points out, most fashion heroes don’t even have such impeccable style. Having said that, we agree that the term “celebrity” should be broadened. It’s vital to understand that the word ‘icon’ refers to the representation of a common symbol at its most basic level. Although reverence is indicated, let’s simply say that if someone’s style embodies any form of cultural zeitgeist, they can be considered an icon.

That being said, having great personal style alone does not automatically make you an icon; there is just more to it. While superstars make a concerted attempt to affect our culture, average ‘style icon’ males do exist. And no matter where you fall on the fashion spectrum, we’ll help you get there if you want us to. It’ll take some time, patience, and skill, but if you follow these three simple steps, you’ll be on your way to enviable status in no time.

  1. Concentrate on your personality rather than your appearance.

Your clothing should reflect your personality: To wear them, you must have inner confidence as well as personal charisma. It would be difficult to find a man who wasn’t charming and/or popular in his chosen industry if you looked at any of the many style icon lists available.

Staying true to yourself takes a certain amount of bravery, and for the style icon, it’s about more than just clothes; it’s about how you wear the clothes, your personality, and your level of confidence. Who isn’t captivated to a man who exudes confidence and is admired as a role model? It has the potential to be intoxicating.

  1. Develop a distinct, one-of-a-kind style.

It’s difficult to avoid mentioning Johnny Depp while discussing a modern-day fashion icon because he is the epitome of one. What makes Depp so intriguing is that, as previously stated, he isn’t what a fashion snob would term well-dressed; rather, he is distinctly dressed. Depp can be recognized from a mile away without ever seeing his face, and it’s incredible. With a liking for worn-in vintage clothing and heavy accessorizing that’s part grunge and half bohemian, his style can best be defined as casually stylish and not trying too hard.

The message from Depp, for example, is that you should appear effortlessly cool without being overly effortful. As CNN points out, this is why respected guys like Steve McQueen, Hunter S. Thompson, and even Bob Dylan remain at the top of our style idol lists. Their attire reflects their professions, opinions, and historical significance. Their looks are distinct and unforgettable, and none of these gentlemen ever appeared to be attempting too hard. Their names have become nearly synonymous with their aesthetic. On the other hand, there are style heroes like David Bowie who went entirely against the grain: his style was more of a trend setter and well ahead of his time than it was effortless. These fashion icons are hard to come by.

  1. Develop a following

It’s pointless to be a style icon if you don’t have others who accept you and look up to you. You must be accepted as one by the males in your life. This doesn’t mean you have to create an Instagram account or a blog to show off your style to the world, but you should stand out and be known as “the person with that unique style” in your circle and beyond, as if you know what you’re doing but it comes naturally to you. It should come out of you organically. Having said that, being sartorially aware of trends and, if you choose to, adopting and tailoring them to your own style needs is still beneficial.

Top Flight Schools in California

Being a pilot is a job that requires very specific skills that can only be developed with adequate training and practice. If you want to be a pilot, choosing the right flight school to go to can be one of the most important steps to becoming one. Careful thought and consideration should be taken to ensure that you get the proper instruction and training needed to become a great pilot.

If you’re in California and planning to be a pilot, here are three schools to go to if you’re looking for the best pilot training in California:

The Flight Academy

Located in 7900 Balboa Boulevard, The Flight Academy at Van Nuys is a family owned business created by the Tarakji brothers who are dedicated to providing the greatest standard of flight training in the US. Whether your aim is to learn to fly, prepare for an FAA knowledge test, upgrade your pilot license, become a Commercial Pilot, or seek an Aviation Career, The Flight Academy is committed to assisting you in achieving your objectives. Visit them for an introductory flight and you will not be disappointed.

California Flight Academy

Located in El Cajon, California, the California Flight Academy has trained thousands of students from around the world. They have several aircraft that are all maintained above FAA standard so you are sure that they are safe and reliable to fly. One of their best devices is their Redbird LD Flight Simulator which can be reconfigured to fly a wide variety of aircraft types.

ATP Flight School

A big flight school with training centre locations across the US, the ATP flight school has seven flight schools in California. They have a large training fleet and numerous simulators. The experience of ATP Flight School in training pilots is well-known with their hours of flight training, FAA certifications issued, and number of graduates.

Flying Academy

The Flying Academy’s flight school in California is located in Los Angeles where they have four single-engine aircraft. They also have a flight school in Europe and their students can combine flight training in both Europe and in the USA because they offer both EASA and FAA courses.

All these flight schools offer various flight courses and have good reputation of providing quality flight training. These are just some of the flight schools in California. There are quite a few more schools offering pilot training, just make sure to check the school’s training history and safety.

Cultural Taboos to Avoid in Germany

Taboos in Germany

So you’re off to Germany ay? Besides needing to know a bit of German to fit in and get around, it’s important that you understand their culture as well. Things are not uniform around the world you know! Something completely normal at home could be extremely rude elsewhere. Make sure you don’t do any of these no-no’s while in Germany.

Avoid meaningless small talk

Let’s start with conversation. Feel free to get into a debate, talk about politics, or crack a joke at the expense of the Italian national football team. All of these are likely to be well received, and odds are you’ll find yourself engaged in a passionate conversation.

But don’t try and make casual small talk about the weather. Germans find this boring and a waste of time. They’re not much for the subtleties of the American conversation. If it isn’t worth saying, don’t say it. Everyone around you also knows what the weather is like.

Also, with that said, they are very honest and have no problem telling you exactly how they feel. Don’t get all blubbery if they say something you don’t like. Get over it and move along. After all, they are just being truthful with you.

Show up on time

Germans are punctual, and they expect you to be the same even if you’re visiting. Meeting someone for dinner? Plan to beat your reservation time by a good ten minutes because even walking in as it’s called is pushing the limits here.

No matter where you’re headed — be it work, a football match, the pub — keeping someone waiting is seriously frowned upon.

Even traffic is no excuse — leave your hotel or flat earlier than you need to, just in case something comes up. If you arrive early, use the extra few minutes to brush up on the news so that your conversation points are ready to go.

Keep those annoying habits to yourself

The American A-OK hand sign means something far different in much of the world, including Germany. Don’t ever make the sign at another person. Chewing gum, blowing your nose, winking at someone you don’t know well, rolling down the window to chat with someone outside — all of these minor infractions are taboo in Germany. 

The best way to avoid falling into the trap of these seemingly harmless habits is to do as the locals do — try to blend in as much as possible.

Always raise a toast at the pub

So now that you have a great conversation going, go ahead and order another beer for yourself. Just be sure to say prost before that first sip! In Germany, drinking beer is a pastime of the utmost respect, and the toast is the ideal way to acknowledge that you’re enjoying your time with those around you.

However, don’t end up getting super messy and falling flat on your face. You need to know how to hold your own! We all know their amazing beer goes down very well but don’t overdo it. Public drunkenness is definitely frowned upon.

Don’t jaywalk, no matter how tempting it might be

Perhaps you want to take a stroll around town in Munich or Berlin. There is plenty to see in both cities. Just don’t get caught jaywalking. There are designated areas for you to cross. If you do jaywalk, you will stick out like a sore thumb and possibly get fined.

European cities, Germany included, are generally far more pedestrian and bike-friendly than American cities. As such, pedestrians are expected to follow the rules. Don’t dart across the street during a red light, and don’t sprint through traffic just because someone is selling schnitzel on the other side of the street.

Another thing to be aware of is to stick to sidewalks. If you are wandering around on foot and decide to use the bike lane, you’re likely to get run over. Plain and simple. The bike lane is for bikes and they will have no problem kicking you out of their way. Walk where you are supposed to. If not, you might end up in the hospital.


Have you been listening so far? Great. I’m sure you will get on just fine. If you happen to meet a girl you fancy though, try not to bring her carnations or lilies! These flowers are given at funerals and she will kick you to the curb quicker than the bikers! So be sure to not ruin your chances by giving the wrong kind of flowers or by showing up late. Being punctual is a must whether you are on a date, business trip, or just meeting up with friends. Don’t keep people waiting.

Alright, now you’re ready to jet-set to Germany and you should have no problems getting on with everyone. Mind your manners and have fun! Bis Nachher! (See you later)

Author bio:

Thom Jackson is a contributing writer at Live Lingua and has spent five years living in Germany. He writes about language, culture, and politics. Although he currently calls Svalbard his home, he hopes to make it back to Bavaria again soon.