You've probably read our philosophy on our site before: "Do what you love. We'll do the rest."
We encourage everyone to do what they love - not just our clients. In fact, our founder, Ted Roden, created Fancy Hands by doing what he loves - building a website and company.
Our developers launched a forum a while ago, so that our assistants can communicate with each other from all over the country. It's been a huge help for them to be able to share ideas and tips about how to get their work done, and it's connected people who were previously not able to speak to their co-workers.
This week, one of our assistants, Allen L., started a thread with this:
I have been a Fancy Hander for a while now, and I love what I do. Fancy Hands came along at just the right time for me and has made a big difference in my life. I want to hear about your Fancy experience, so I thought I would start this thread and ask you all some questions.
As we read the responses, we were reminded that our assistants are also doing what they love - working and learning while raising their children, caring for other family members, and enjoying the freedoms that being a Fancy Hands assistant allows them to have.
Here's what our team members had to say:
What are the biggest benefits to working as a Fancy Hands assistant?
I have been a Estate Manager / PA for over 20 years and Fancy Hands has helped me keep my skills sharp. I had assistants in the past for some of the larger estates I managed and I never had to learn in-depth Excel spreadsheets, and I never seemed to have the time or interest to focus on it. With Google Docs (I am a G man all the way), I have been exposed to a lot, and I'm digging the learning experience. - Alan J.
I was looking for extra work on top of my full-time job that involves long hours/lots of travel, and I found other PT work hard to schedule. I can do Fancy Hands tasks on my lunch hour, in the evenings when I've lost control of the remote, and on quiet Sunday mornings. I love getting to learn. I prefer tasks that are research/data entry based, and I've had the opportunity to learn some fantastic things! I've proofread great book chapters, I know every food truck in NYC, I've made lists of great blogs and websites that I never knew existed...sometimes I want to thank the clients for letting me help them! - Allison B.
The biggest benefit to me is being able to work from home with my daughters. Before I started working from home, I was a teacher. It was really hard to leave something that I loved so much, but I just couldn't stand the thought of leaving my baby at daycare. I thought I'd only stay home one year and then go back, but we decided to have another baby! Also, with Fancy Hands, I'm able to put the the research skills I learned while earning my graduate degree into use! May as well get some use out of that - I paid enough for it. And the last benefit is the ability to do things that I can learn from. Education is my passion, and educating myself is part of that. I learn so much from the tasks I do as a Fancy Hand. - Courtney B.
I have an OCD with Sensory Integration Disorder seven year old, and keeping up with him takes a lot of time and attention. The various appointments for him make working during the school year nearly impossible. I love to work - something, anything to keep that mind fresh. Fancy Hands gives me a chance to do what I am good at: research! I worked as a Reference Library Assistant for 7 years, and then 2 years as an Executive Assistant, and this puts all those skills to work. The occasional person needing help with Star Trek references makes the job even better! - Christina H.
I get to stay at home with my son! And when we move around, because my husband is in the Army, I won't have to worry about finding a new job. - Joslyn S.
You can work whenever you want to. The work is always changing. You can choose exactly what tasks you want to work on. - Heather D.
I am able to stay home with my two kids (4 year old and 20 month old). I am currently three months pregnant with my third and have been so very sick and if I worked at an 8-5 job there is no way I would still be employed! Good pay is another benefit. You get what you put into it. That is a nice feeling, because it is rare these days to feel as though you are earning for the amount of work you put in. Another great benefit is the ability to stay current. The tasks I work on not only keep me relevant with the constantly changing technology and world events, it also allows me to keep my brain healthy and my grammar and typing skills up to date. - Jeanne-Marie M.
IT IS SO MUCH FUN! I mean who can beat sitting in your recliner calling people all day? Not to mention you get to act out so many different roles. I own my own business in a way. I am the boss. Well...except for Scott, haha! YOU LEARN SO MUCH! I have learned everything from how to get major discounts on hotels, to negotiating tactics, and so many real world tools that will make my life so much easier. I love learning, especially when it's crazy odd stuff. This job never ceases to amaze me, and every day I learn something new. And Scott - I mean who doesn't like this guy? I love having a manager I can trust to the fullest. - Draconius G.
I love the amount of knowledge that you learn and retain from various tasks. For example, I never knew there was a website dedicated totally to unclaimed property. I checked it the other day and, boom! A $75 check was sitting under my name, unclaimed for the past 6 years. Had I not had a task for someone that involved learning this interesting fact, that check would have just sat there forever! I currently work for a cable company that is going through several changes (buy-out and department shutdowns). Fancy Hands offers me the peace of mind that if my department shuts down, I have an alternative (much more fun) full time position to go to. - Amber M.
I quit working after I had my son in 2010; not because I had him, but because my husband got an awesome job offer in a different city and we decided to see how it would go with me not working. I make just as much here as I would working in the "real world" and paying for daycare. I love not leaving the house and dealing with difficult coworkers. I often get e-mails from an old friend at my previous job and things have gotten so bad for her since I left, I'm glad I don't have to deal with the office politics anymore. - Chris N.
I was told 22 years ago I couldn't have children, which was fine with me since I never really liked kids...dirty little creatures, and there is just no reasoning with them. Anyhoo....wasn't I just a little (LOT) shocked that at 40 I find myself pregnant! I am now "that" woman who can not shut up about how amazing, smart, beautiful and did I mention amazing, her 2 year old little girl is. So I am an old dog learning new tricks, and FH allows me to be the stay-at-home mom I want to be without having my brain turning to complete mush. I love the flexibility that "my" company allows me. I can be my polished, professional self on the phone while covered in whatever manner of goop my daughter is finding fascinating that day. - Denise Q.
My dad has serious health issues, and I am able to get him to appointments etc. plus spend some quality time with him while I can. I am so grateful for that! It's a gift for both of us. Second is the access to learning new things. I've seen things our clients are using and check them out - I am now on Evernote and I use Dropbox. I know I would never have learned about these great tools in my previous work environment. - Juls N.
What advice would you give to someone considering becoming a virtual assistant?
Always be professional in your contact with our clients, and go the extra mile. - Donna H.
Take a chance. If this is the kind of stuff you do all day for your friends and family, then make the extra step to getting paid for it. - Christina H.
It is a great job if you're detail-oriented and good at following directions. It is important to know your skill set and be clear about the things that you're good at and knowledgeable about. Some tasks will be out of your league, and that's OK - work instead on tasks that you know you can answer thoroughly and accurately. - Allison B.
Brush up on grammar and punctuation rules. Learn how to use Zipping software. Learn how to use Google Drive. If you make a mistake, own it and correct it. - Susan M.
I would warn someone considering becoming a Virtual Assistant that it is addictive. This was something I was going to try for a couple of months ... and well, I'm still here! I just can't stop myself! - Juls N.
Give it your all! The interactions you have with the clients and the information you learn is awesome! - Jeanne-Marie M.
Know what you're good at and do that. Leave the rest to someone else, or learn how to be good at that, too. - Courtney B.
Wake up early. Don't get overwhelmed. It's all about balance. Do what you can. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Find out what you're good at and be quick in claiming those tasks. Get real with yourself and never be afraid to go that extra mile for clients. It pays off in the end. I love Fancy Hands! - Draconius G.
Give it your all. This is your work product that you are producing for FH. Do go the extra mile, because the first time you get kudos from a client for a job well done, it will click. You are not just an anonymous person sitting at a computer. You are THAT person's personal assistant! - Denise Q.