Best thing about being a Virtual Assistant in Shetland?
You can set your own hours and you can work from home, of course.
But where is ‘home’ to me? I live in the Shetland Islands. We’re at the very, very, very far north of the UK. We’re 50 miles north of our closest island neighbours, Orkney. We’re closer to Iceland than we are to London. We’re bobbing around in the North Sea, at a bit of a crossroads between Greenland, Iceland, mainland UK and Norway.
Our two nearest cities are Aberdeen in Scotland and Bergen in Norway, we’re halfway between them. If we fancy a McDonalds or a Starbucks, it’s a one-hour flight minimum or an overnight ferry trip.
And it’s beautiful! Yes, it’s remote, and that may not be for everyone who loves hustle and bustle.
What’s the best thing about Shetland? Well, there’s peace, tranquility, space to breathe the freshest air and to never be away from a sea breeze.
There’s also space to think and to be grounded and that brings something really important to me as a VA – the space to think about my clients, what they need, how I can help and improve how they work and their business. I like to think I pass some of that calm, grounding and headspace on to my clients too. They can offload their todo lists, thoughts and business to me and I can then do the VA bit and sort it out! Don’t get me wrong, I can be the calm swan to a client but paddling away like mad beneath the surface. A quick 5 minutes outside (or some days 10 seconds in a flying gale with horizontal rain) is all that’s needed to blow away any cobwebs, and off we go again. As I type this I’m looking out at open sea and hills, a few sheep and not much else…. You can’t help but have a clear head!
It’s also a great place to bring up children where they can play in nature – all that fresh air. It’s no novelty to visit a petting zoo because they feed lambs at home, clip sheep, play in fields, get muddy, eat the free-est free range eggs, talk to ponies, and see wild rabbits, swans, ducks, seals, otters, puffins and a multitude of other sea birds AND dolphins, porpoise and killer whales. (Yes, killer whales). All in nature, up close and personal.
When we go on holiday as a family, we’re not looking to escape and to find peace and quiet where we can relax for a week. We’re looking for city lights, hustle, bustle, underground trains (any trains!) Shopping centres, huge car parks, double decker buses, drive thrus and 24 hour supermarkets!
What’s the best thing about being a VA in Shetland? Well, I have everything I need to work as long as I have internet, same as every other VA. I could tell you about the lack of mobile phone service in some places in Shetland, but I have clients in cities who have black spots in their offices, so actually we’re no different and have the same hurdles to overcome as anyone else in business.
Being a Virtual Assistant in Shetland means I can keep connected to the big wide world and to that hustle and bustle, but in a way that suits me and keeps me grounded. My clients love to hear what’s going on in Shetland too, it’s different and they get a bit of it’s Scandinavian/Scottish culture too…. Whether it’s a photo of last night’s Aurora (Northern Lights) or a Viking fire festival, it’s a point of interest. I was buying a thank you gift for a client recently and was really struggling for ideas, so I went local and made up a little hamper and they LOVED it, they felt they were experiencing a little bit of daily life from a Virtual Assistant in Shetland, which is lovely. I don’t have too many clients in Shetland, 80% of my time is spent working for clients who are elsewhere in the UK or Europe and I love that variety.
So, next time you’re wondering about marketing yourself to find new clients and are putting out flyers or business cards in your local area, stop and think. I don’t market myself locally at all. Use your fab VA skills and market yourself online…. Realize that location really is no boundary, you can market yourself to your ideal clients who can be ANYWHERE in the world. Any limitations you have around WHERE you are based are not real. You can be a VA for anyone, anywhere.
Location isn’t a boundary, and I’m proof!