The Many Decades of the Virtual Assistant Industry

The Many Decades of the Virtual Assistant Industry


I feel like I’ve been a part of the Virtual Assistant Industry forever. It’s almost 13 years since I decided to log onto the internet with my noisy dial-up modem and see what sort of work was out there for “off site administration”. I was working in the Disability Sector in middle-management and desperately wanted out of the politics, although my love for my clients never faltered. I thought maybe I could contract to groups within the disability, aged or disadvantaged areas. But as it turned out, they didn’t really have any funding for administrative support. Plus the idea of working remotely for them was a little extreme to say the least.

I did however, get my start with the local Chamber of Commerce, the President being a contact I’d made at the local Rotary Club. I’d joined Rotary – a 25 year old female which was unusual at the time – and I was loving giving back to the community that way. The Chamber President was a forward thinker who got things done – and I got to be a part of that growth.

My work with the Chamber was great – lots of variety, lots of people and lots of learning. I learned so much and I really feel that they nurtured me and my business so it could be what it is today.

Since then I’ve specialized in desktop publishing, web development and logo development. However, I rarely do any of those for clients any more. I now run an amazing community for Virtual Assistants. And in my role I’ve seen so many changes, so many issues and thankfully many resolutions along the way. What I’ve enjoyed most is the collaboration within the Industry. My network is not for everyone – networks are rarely going to fit all people. But it does seem to attract people who are open and willing to collaborating, sharing, rejoicing in each other’s’ successes and mourning their losses. And that’s so beautiful to see.

In the VA Industry, the desire and need to keep learning is incredible. I’m not sure of many other industries which have grown and evolved in the last decade like the VA Industry has. Most of the tools VAs use today didn’t exist a few years ago. Large attachments for emails were a royal pain and creating websites was done with html coding – not CMS’ like WordPress or Wix. But the evolution of the online resources available to us has allowed so many more people to step up and take advantage of the possibility of running their own business from home. And not just for the VAs – the clients who work from home, online and use VAs to help them too.

Recently I’ve tried imagining what the online world and the VA Industry will look like 10 years from now – I’m completely at a loss as to what direction it will actually take. I can imagine what I’d like to see, but that is limited by what I’ve been exposed to.

10 years ago if I had to project how the online and VA world would look today I probably wouldn’t have imagined everyone with iphones and ipads, a million apps to chose from, programs like Zapier connecting unrelated software to each other or the amount of business networking happening within social media.

Thinking about what you were doing in 2007 – what sort of phone you had, what sort of website or business or services you offered – could you have imagined the world we now have? So I ask you – what do you think our online VA world will like 10 years from now? Will it continue to grow? Will it all change and move away from online communities and programs? What new possibilities could be invented? I’d love to know!

Learn more about Rosie and her VA Community here!


Rosie Shilo

Since creating this thriving and ever growing network for Virtual Assistants, Rosie Shilo has become one dedicated business woman. Currently Rosie owns and runs ‘Virtually Yours’, a network for over 170 Australian Virtual Assistants which she founded in 2004.

Rosie has mentored many new and experienced VAs in their business, and seen them overcome many hurdles to achieve amazing goals. This inspired her to write “VA VA Voom: How to become an amazing VA and every client’s most Valued Asset” which was published in May 2014 and has sold hundreds of copies to date.

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