5 Biggest Mistakes New Virtual Assistants Make with Kathy Goughenour


Kathy Goughenour

In today’s episode of Live with Bottleneck, our guest Kathy Goughenour shares the 5 biggest mistakes a Virtual Assistant make. This will be helpful for aspiring virtual assistants, and also businesses who plan to hire one for the first time.

Kathy Goughenour teaches professional women how to create their own work-at-home Virtual Assistant or Virtual Expert® businesses. She hopes that this can help them enjoy the freedom, flexibility, and financial security they desire and deserve. Kathy and her Virtual Expert Training programs have been featured in Forbes, The Huffington Post, The Wealthy Freelancer, and more.

So if you wish to avoid these mistakes while pursuing a career in virtual assistance, stay tuned to this episode!

Who is Kathy Goughenour?

The conversation starts with a bit of an introduction of our guest. Kathy Goughenour started out as a real estate virtual assistant herself when she quit her corporate job, and eventually having a VA company of her own.

Due to the 2008 real estate bubble burst in America, Kathy had to look for alternative ways to use her knowledge and skills sets. She set her sights to finding a new niche in the VA market, and found it with professional speakers seeking marketing assistance.

“I had been working on creating training programs for virtual assistants for a while. I thought, “well, I’m going to take my own training program to see if it really works” and identify a new niche (for the business). So I took my own training program and within 30 days, I’d identified a new niche of professional speakers who are business book authors.”- Kathy Goughenour

Kathy Goughenour on Following the 3P’s

According to Kathy, when looking to hire a virtual assistant, one should use the 3P’s as their checklist. What are the 3P’s? Simply put, a virtual assistant should be Professional, Proactive, and a Problem Solver.

Based on the 3P’s, Kathy outlines the 5 biggest mistakes that a virtual assistant make that might lead to less hires or less income. Here are those mistakes, by category of which they fall under:


Do you have a contract? – This is one of the most basic things that the company and the VA should have between them. A contract protects both the VA and the client, as it  sets expectations, as well as the responsibilities of both VA and the company for each other.

Correct Pricing – It is important to not overprice your services, but it is equally important to know your worth and not underprice. A lot of first-time VAs fall into the trap that they should present themselves as willing to accept anything to get hired. Some clients might try to exploit that for more work and less pay.

A good way to gauge is to set a price, and see how the market reacts to it. If your price has a 50% or so hire rate, you’re in a good spot. If your price has an 80% demand, you might be selling yourself too short. Lastly, if your hire rate is at 20%, it’s either you are overpricing yourself, or you have not conveyed properly to the market why you deserve that amount of pay.

Treat your business like a business – If you treat your business almost like a hobby, you’re not going to be seen as professional or as reliable to potential clients.

It is also important to have a set schedule of when you are going to work. If you are planning to work on a flexible time frame, you need to inform your clients too. It is the same with vacations or when you have to be on leave. Don’t just disappear and not have a way to be contacted.


Don’t be a YES person – someone who shares their thoughts and insights, especially if it can help the company run smoother, will be a great addition to any company. Your client will value you more than a YES person that just does what they say, even if they know it’s wrong.

Problem Solver

Don’t be someone that needs hand-holding all the time. – As a virtual assistant, your clients need you to handle their daily tasks for them. If they have to hold your hand in every step of the way, then they might as well just do it themselves.

Although, it is important that your clients give you ample training beforehand, so that you have ample time to get used to their systems and processes.

To hear more from Kathy Goughenour and how to avoid these 5 mistakes as a virtual assistant, continue listening to the episode.


After finding the courage to say “bye-bye” to her corporate marketing career, Kathy Goughenour built a 6-figure Virtual Assistant business from her tiny house in the middle of a forest.

Today, she teaches professional women how to create their own work-at-home

Virtual Assistant and Virtual Expert® businesses so they too can enjoy the freedom, flexibility, and financial security they desire and deserve. Kathy and her Expert VA® and Virtual Expert® Training programs have been featured in Forbes, The Huffington Post, Good Housekeeping, All You, and The Wealthy Freelancer.

Connect with Kathy!

Website: VirtualExpertTraining.com

LinkedIn: in/KathyGoughernour

Facebook: fb/ExpertVATraining

Twitter: @ExpertVAmentor

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About Bottleneck Distant Assistants

Bottleneck Distant Assistants identifies, cultivates, and hires Dedicated Distant Assistants from the Philippines. We appreciate the unique Filipino culture that is in line with our core beliefs and integrated into our own company culture. Our Distant Assistants also share the same love for supporting business growth worldwide. Our Value Proposition: Helping our clients stop doing so many daily tasks to they are able to do their best work! There is not a better feeling than to have one of our clients let us know how much they appreciate the service we provide because of the impact it has made in their business and more important, in their personal lives.