Avoiding hard knocks, maybe not easily avoided.


New Member
Hi VAs!

I've been reading everything posted here on VAF frantically as I've fallen into (now) three potential clients. The first two I did not really understand the business, I was just looking for a work from home Admin. Asst. opportunity and spoke to them from a 'future' employee perspective. And because I was green, and did not speak 'the' language I lost those opportunities.

Now I have an exceptional long-term opportunity that I do not want to miss out on. Because I've never worked in the C-suite Recruiting industry (but personally have worked for directors of companys) I'm a bit overwhelmed and really not certain how to price my packaging. I've suggested a 3-mo contracted priced with a deposit and hourly rate, and once I understand the work, renewing the contract with a retainer as he is seeking a long-term assistant. Thoughts?

Also, how in the world did you make the shift from employee to employer mentality to peers? And what pitfalls can be avoided?

Thanks everyone!

The Perfect Word

Community Leader
Hi Kat, just a quick question. Is your possible new client aware that you have never worked with or in that particular industry? It sounds like he does, but if not, I would suggest you tell him that you haven't, but explain what your other experiences and skills are that you feel will be of benefit. If he doesn't know it and is expecting someone experienced in that field, you may end up with a very upset client.

I've been in this business a LONG time, but I don't remember having any problems switching from being an employee to running my own business. Although my clients are not my employers, I don't really consider them my peers either. I work with/for them, and they pay me as an independent contractor, so I don't really consider that a peer relationship.

Hope things work out for you!


Staff member
Kat, I realize this thread has been on the boards for a while now - but wanted to add a few thoughts, and just check in to see how you handled this and how/if it worked out for you?

My suggestion re: contracting this work is to spend more time talking with the client and doing research to better understand what he is looking for and what could potentially be involved BEFORE you commit to an agreement of any kind, three months or otherwise.

Part of retaining a new client (for me) is doing a bit of homework to understand their business, their needs, and where I'll best fit in to that. It helps me better advise them on the retainer, set my rate appropriately, and also will often pinpoint potential projects that the client hasn't even thought of yet.

I'd love to know how you approached this and how it worked out for you!

Clarence Tew

New Member
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