Janna Rains is a Virtual Assistant with Virtually Here—and at sixteen, our youngest team member! In this interview, Janna discusses the benefits of working with a Virtual Assistant and how she got started as a VA.
VIRTUALLY HERE: How did you end up becoming a Virtual Assistant at such a young age?
JANNA: I started with a business card data entry project for my dad (Creative Partner Rob Rains). He enlisted me and all of my siblings that could type for it. It was after that when I started to do phone calls and scheduling for Jacqui’s meetings. And then I started learning more about different programs and administrative tasks that businesses frequently need help with. Now, I have routine, steady work I do every day for clients. It’s definitely progressed.
I thought it was a pretty cool thing to do. It wasn’t like, “Oh yeah, my dream is to become a VA when I grow up.” But I liked it. I like the different things I was able to help my dad with. As a job, it’s pretty easy to manage and I’m able to work on it freely, it’s something I can easily incorporate with my schedule for school.
VH: Do you see yourself continuing to work as a virtual assistant in the future?
JANNA: Yeah. It is something that is working very well during high school. I can foresee it working pretty well into college because it’s virtual. I can take it with me pretty much wherever I go. Probably, the better part of the next ten years, I can still see myself doing it because it’s so flexible.
VH: How can a VA be integral to supporting a business?
JANNA: A lot of the things I do are smaller things that are a lot easier to delegate to someone else, rather than trying to keep track of these little things while you try to run your own business.
Like for Jacqui, I mean, I do just one little thing every evening that takes 15 minutes, maybe. But it makes it easy for her because, with all the other business she has to work on, that is one less thing she has to worry about, and it’s something that consistently gets done.
It’s like having a cluttered desk area, where you have all these little things in the way, but if you move all the little things out of the way, it’s so much easier to deal with the bigger things that you have to put there.
VH: What is it important for business owners to know when they delegate to a VA?
JANNA: I know, for me, personally, I work faster with very clear instructions. I want to make sure that I’m doing everything correctly before I hand it off, rather than having to go back and forth asking a bunch of questions. Like, “Oh, what do I have to do here?” I want to make sure that I’m clear on what I’m working on. I think that’s the biggest thing for me.
VH: Were you intimidated when you first started working outside of your family business?
JANNA: I think, definitely it was a little bit intimidating. On my first job, I hadn’t even met Jacqui in person—she’s a very close family friend now, but before meeting her I was like “I need to do a good job!” I didn’t want them to be like, “That kid screwed up my whole system!”
Also, when I started doing things like scheduling, sending emails and phone calls—those were a little bit stressful, but it kind of pushed me out of my comfort zone. I’m glad that was what was called for when I was first doing this, because obviously, those are all things you need to do once you’re an adult.
So yeah, it was a little bit intimidating to put myself more out there and get into more business relations type things.
VH: What are your outside interests?
JANNA: I love music, so I’m into musical theater. I’m very interested in theater. Earlier this year, I was in my 11th production. I play the piano, guitar, and ukulele. I do a lot of stuff with my church youth group. I’ve have some leadership experiences with that, helping plan activities. I’m trying to paint, reading—I love to read a lot. I’m trying to work more reading into my schedule.
I recently started doing some online courses, which is very cool. It was my first experience with structured school assignments, so I really enjoyed that. Actually, all my friends find me really weird for that, I just think it’s really cool to experience since I’m homeschooled.
VH: Are there any VA skills you’re hoping to add to your repertoire in the future?
JANNA: I think so. Sometime in the future, some of the things that I’ve trained on, like newsletters or direct client interaction, things like that. I have a bunch of things that I have trained in that I haven’t really delved into yet. Definitely newsletters and getting more actively involved with clients.
VH: What do you enjoy most about being a VA?
JANNA: What I enjoy is the flexibility, where I can have the job and still have my own life as a teenager, have my schooling going on. I love the fact that I know my bosses very well. I can easily work with them, easily get in touch with them—sometimes it’s pretty much just walking downstairs and saying, “Dad, help me.”
Being a VA fits very well to where I am right now. It’s matched to who and where I am. It is something that I can do alongside the rest of my life, because it’s virtual. Definitely, I feel very grateful for the opportunity to work with this, because it’s been an insight and training into a business career.