The 5 Biggest Fears Holding You Back from Working Online

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fear working online overcome

(& How to Overcome Them)

The green-eyed monster rears its ugly head! You want to work online – you see others doing it kicking goals and finding the balance in their lives that you so desperately crave and yet you just can’t quite conquer the fear to start

Sitting on the seesaw of indecision is not uncommon – going up and down with your internal voice fighting the pros and cons and wrestling with negative self-talk. It is time to tell that little voice to PIPE DOWN.

After all, how will you know if it is something you can achieve unless you give it a go?

Self-doubt is where dreams go to die!

So for those of you who have considered working online but are too scared to take that first step, let’s take a look at the 5 most common reasons that prevent us from pursuing this avenue and how to overcome them!

1. Not Techy Enough

This one is a biggy for triggering self-doubt. When you take a look at the professional roles out there for work online it can become seriously overwhelming when you read all the different apps and systems being used and you may start to break out in hot sweats thinking you need to know them all – you don’t!

A laptop showing code and a mug next to it

You don’t need to be an expert on ALL the different technology available. You already have the skills and experience that will get you started – we all do. Just because you’re not an expert on Facebook advertising or a seasoned Graphic designer doesn’t mean your skills don’t have value – they do!

Go back to basics and write down the skills you have already and keep that list with you when you start to consider the type of online opportunities that are out there:

  • Good English reading and writing
  • Typing e-mail correspondence
  • Data entry
  • Calendar organization
  • Ability to post on Facebook or Instagram

These are just some very basic skills that ARE enough to get you started. Alternatively, you could look into further education for 1 or 2 applications if this helps you to feel more confident.

There are plenty of free tutorials available online. If you are happy to pay there are some great affordable resources also available on Lynda.com and Udemy.com

2. Don’t Know Where or How to Start

A pen with a notebook that has written on it "Start Today"

A great tool for helping to get you started is definitely to join some Facebook groups. There are plenty of excellent groups out there that provide really great networking and support platforms such as Female Digital Nomads, Work From Home (without selling anything) and Work at Home Mom Revolution, just to name a few.

Once you have joined some groups you will be able to post any questions that you have – most of the time group members are really great at information sharing and happy to share their own personal stories that may resonate with you or give scope for your future ventures.

In addition to joining multiple Facebook groups and doing online research, you might like to invest in an online learning program such as 90 Day VA run by Esther M Inman 90 Day VA .

This is a really great way to boost your experience and confidence before going out on your own and the internship group will be a continued source of support. Esther M Inman – Go ahead and look her up, you won’t regret it!

An image of a pink piggy-bank

3. Financial Sustainability

Financial sustainability is such a variable because what one person considers enough may not be the same for someone else. This is also relative to the financial commitments each of us has and our specific living situations.

There are so many online work opportunities out there but they are not all created equal –what you earn as a typist, for example, will not be the same as an experienced graphic designer or social media advertising expert and it shouldn’t be.

After all, just like in mainstream employment your earning capacity is related to your level of experience, skillset, and expertise.

Having said all that, the short answer is YES. There is definitely scope to make a sustainable living working online. Typically entry-level roles pay around $10-15 per hour – be mindful of your countries currency as this is often US dollars.

You are not capped at one client though which is important to remember. Take the time to work out how many hours you can commit to each week or each month and how many clients you can comfortably manage.

Working online you will essentially be your own boss so you need to regulate your own workload which will translate into your earning potential.

Once you have established yourself you may choose to do further learning in a specific field which of course will increase your hourly rate of pay.

A good exercise is to go ahead and join some Facebook groups. Work out your minimum required income and pose the question to the group “How many of you earn more than $2k a month”? for example. Members can be quite open with this type of information and it may be the reassurance you need to help you make that change.

Here are another 4 great tips to boost your income as a virtual assistant.

4. Imposter Syndrome

An image of a woman, who is uncertain of her skills

Imposter syndrome is where an individual doubts their own accomplishments or abilities. In short, if you lack confidence you may experience feelings of self-doubt and feel like a fish out of water in the online working world.

Whilst this might feel like a negative emotion it is not necessarily a bad thing. Feeling like you are not doing well demonstrates you have professional integrity, because if you didn’t care about the quality of your work then you probably wouldn’t last long in this line of work.  

There is a big difference though between:

  • Someone who is capable of performing the tasks asked of them – they just lack the confidence to believe they are awesome.
  • Someone who flat out lies and says they can but actually doesn’t have the skills and abilities to back it up.

Depending on the role you pursue, you may find yourself doing a multitude of tasks rather than focusing on one specific area. Many people thrive on this while for others it can be quite overwhelming resulting in the feeling of “imposter syndrome”.

If this is you it is likely that finding your niche may work best. Find one task you really enjoy, take the time to educate yourself further in your chosen craft so you can feel like a master at it and then market yourself as such.

After all, you didn’t choose the online working lifestyle so you can still feel unhappy with your work. Do what makes your heart sing and it will show in the quality of the work you produce.

5. Fear

A photo frame with a caption inside saying "Be fearless"

Fear can be an extremely debilitating emotion if you let it. Fear of failure, fear of change, fear of personal and professional security…. The list goes on….

Think about what it really is that you are fearful of and break it down. The solution to overcoming the fear will be in the breakdown.

  • Are you fearful of transitioning into online work and it not being financially viable?
  • Are you concerned you don’t have the skills you need to be successful in non-traditional employment?

The great thing about online work is that you can make it conform to the lifestyle you choose. If you want to transition slowly you have the freedom to do that.

Maintaining your everyday job initially while you pick up clients gradually and adjust to the change in work style may be what you need to build your confidence and confirm that you can generate an income and you are capable performing the tasks required of an online role.

Again gradual transition will allow you the opportunity to feel out different tasks and work out what your niche really is so you can focus on that if you prefer not to be a jack of all trades. Just remember “Everything you have ever wanted is on the other side of fear” so go ahead and check out 90 Day VA now, and let’s face this fear together!

Kerralie virtual assistant

Kerralie is Perth based Medical Systems Administrator, Educator and Virtual Assistant. She loves travels with her family, stand up paddleboarding and is passionate about women supporting women to achieve greatness.

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