Want to earn 5-figures per month as a virtual assistant? No, this isn't a scam. This is the true story of how Kayla Sloan, a former personal finance blogger, started a side hustle as a virtual assistant that led her to earn $10,000/month. Now, she trains others how to become virtual assistants so they can earn extra money on top of their day jobs to reach their financial goals sooner.
As a sort of companion episode to last week’s interview with Amanda Abella (sales coach & CEO of Make Money Your Honey), in which we talked in-depth about how to get over feeling guilty about earning money, this week I’m chatting with Kayla Sloan, a virtual assistant coach. And guess what, the topic of earning guilt pops up yet again. To be fair, I’m the one who brings it up. I’m pretty sure I recorded these episodes close together and it was something I was thinking about a lot.
In any case, I’m excited to share this episode with you because I really want to emphasize the message that earning money is good, not bad. Especially as women, who are still paid less for the same work as men, we need to stop the shame game and empower ourselves to reach our full financial potential!
Just take Kayla’s story for instance. She finished university, got a job, then realized she was always flirting with a $0 balance in her account. She had $8,000 in student debt and $10,000 in credit card debt, not to mention a $110,000 mortgage. She wanted to live a better life, but she didn’t have a business background or even felt like she deserved to earn more.
I think a lot of us who were raised in low to middle income families feel like this. We are taught to be smart, go to school, get a job at a company, and accept whatever salary we get (we should be so lucky we even have a job when so many people don’t!).
The thing is, we’re limited when we work for someone else. That’s why Kayla started blogging (she ran a blog called Shoeaholic No More), then started doing some freelance writing on the side to earn some extra money. She then started getting offers for virtual assistant work, and realized she had a talent for creating systems and project management.
After a year of basically juggling two full-time jobs, she was at a crossroads. She had to give either her day job or her virtual assistant side hustle up, or risk burning out completely. Looking at the numbers, she was earning just as much as a virtual assistant as she was at her full-time job. Believing that virtual assistant work was her calling, she took a big risk (since she was still in debt) and left her day job in 2015.
Since then, she’s actually stopped most of her virtual assistant work and runs her own business as a virtual assistant coach and instructor with her 10K VA online course. Now, she dedicates her days to training others how to become virtual assistants so they can earn extra money at home in their free time.
For full episode show notes, visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/172
Do you feel bad or guilty about making money? You're not alone. This is a very common feeling that myself and my guest Amanda Abella (CEO & founder of Make Money Your Honey) have had to confront head-on in our financial lives. Here's the thing, earning money isn't bad. It's actually an amazing, empowering thing! Learn why in this very raw episode with Amanda and myself.
I’ve been in some of the same circles as my next guest, Amanda Abella (CEO and founder of Make Money Your Honey), for the past 7 years. Still, I hadn’t gotten to know her properly until we officially met at a party at FinCon in 2017, and then went to the same retreat back in the spring.
Once I got to know her, I just loved her! Her personality is infectious, she’s so positive and energetic, and she makes you feel like you can reach any goal you set your sights on. That could be why after I had her on the podcast, she convinced me to hire her for some sales training. Yeah, she’s that good.
To be fair, I had actually been looking for someone to help me with my sales. I started getting enquiries about my financial counselling services as soon as I became an Accredited Financial Counsellor Canada in January, but over the course of 6 months I still hadn’t locked down any clients. I knew that it wasn’t me not being good enough. I got my accreditation, I worked with some clients for free before offering my paid program, I knew I had the ability to really help people. But for some reason, I just couldn’t get anyone to say “Yes” to working with me.
Well, as I discovered when working with Amanda, it had everything to do with my negative mindset about earning money. It’s something I’ve had for a while, and something I still struggle with. I want to earn money. Actually, I want to earn a lot of money. But whenever I try to do something to raise myself up and reach that next level, I let the nay-sayers and my own self-doubt get the best of me.
It’s not easy being called a sell-out or being shamed for earning money (and yes, this happens to me all the time). But the thing is, they aren’t the people I want to work with anyway. Those people are detractors who have their own issues they’re projecting. For me, I want to earn money, but it’s not out of greed or a desire to be rich just for the sake of being rich. I want to help people. I also want to earn a living, pay my bills, and be able to continue to work for myself.
Long story short, after working with Amanda, I worked hard at shifting my mindset, and since then have been working with financial counselling clients one-on-one and loving every minute of it.
Enough about me though, because that’s only part of what we discuss in this episode. In my chat with Amanda, we talk about how she also had this mindset where she felt bad about earning money and also was afraid to spend it.
What we all need to realize is we’re only limited by the limitations we put on ourselves. If we don’t think we can earn more, we won’t. If we don’t think we can afford something, then we won’t find a way to change that reality. If we’re always afraid that there won’t be enough money, so don’t spend any of it, that money will control us instead of us controlling our money.
This episode is really about empowerment. I never thought I’d be where I’m at right now. Two years ago I would have said you were crazy! But here I am. And a lot of it has to do with shifting my mindset so I feel empowered about making more than I ever have, feel good about spending money on things that I value, and also make a point of giving back more money to the community or charity because I’m earning more.
For full episode show notes, visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/171
ETFs, index funds...oh my! I talk with Vanguard Canada Investments Managing Director Atul Tiwari about all things passive investing. If you want to dive into a great conversation with an investing pro, this is the episode for you!
For this episode of the podcast, I chat with Atul Tiwari, the managing director of Vanguard Investments Canada. He seriously has such a wealth of knowledge, it was such a treat to ask him pretty much anything and everything about Vanguard, passive investing and some key things us Canadians need to know about how to invest for our futures.
To give you a little background on Atul, he joined Vanguard in 2011, but before that was the senior vice president of BMO Asset Management and founding president of BMO Exchange Traded Funds. Before that, he was president of BMO’s U.S. subsidiary mutual fund business, Harris Insight Funds. If that wasn’t impressive enough, he used to practice law.
Why Low Fees Are So Important
This is a subject that comes up no matter who I’m talking to about investing. Probably because absolutely no one likes to pay high fees! Why would they? As Atul said in the podcast, “The best predictor of your investments’ performance is the cost of them.” In other words, no one can predict the outcome of your investments, but you can control one thing — the fees you pay. The lower the fees, the more money in your pocket.
The thing is, most people have no idea how much they are paying in fees. Typically, if you’re invested in actively-managed mutual funds, you could be paying 2-2.5% on your investments. If you earn a 6% return on your investments, that leaves you with only 3.5-4% after fees. That may sound like nothing, but after decades of investing, that could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
That’s why I’m personally a big fan of low fee index mutual funds and index-based ETFs. They offer the same diversification as actively-managed mutual funds, they track the index, and they have way lower fees.
Index Funds in Canada vs. the U.S.
This is something I swear no Canadian really knows about. I only figured out the difference when I started doing research about it and talked to a rep at Vanguard for my blog post on investing with Vanguard. They would be the people to ask since Vanguard developed the first ever index mutual fund in 1975.
So, when people are talking about index funds in Canada, more times than not they are actually referring to index-based ETFs. In Canada, there are actually only two providers of index mutual funds, Tangerine and TD E-Series. All the big banks offer actively-managed mutual funds, and all the robo-advisors offer index-based ETFs. Then there are the self-directed brokerages like Questrade, though almost all the big banks have their own self-directed brokerages as well. Using those brokerages, you can essentially buy any type of investment product like ETFs, actively-managed mutual funds, stocks, bonds, etc. You cannot however buy index mutual funds. Those can only be bought through those two providers I previously mentioned. Confusing right?
Well, the reason I think we Canadians get confused about some of this is because we get a lot of our information from the U.S. In the U.S., index mutual funds are much more popular, and you can even buy them directly from Vanguard. In Canada, you have to go through a brokerage, robo-advisor or financial institution to buy any of Vanguard’s products.
This is all to say that the next you’re talking with someone and they mention index funds, ask them whether they mean index-based ETFs, and then feel free to share this episode with them.
The Vanguard Effect
Atul mentioned in the episode a thing called “The Vanguard Effect” which was originally coined by Morningstar. What this effect means is that when Vanguard enters a new market, like Canada (though it was originally coined when it entered the U.K.), because it offers such low fee products, it causes other investment product providers to also lower their fees.
It’s a good thing for us Canadians especially since we have some of the highest fees in the world. Let’s hope things continue down this path in the future!
Vanguard Investor Questionnaire
Vanguard has a number of great free resources on their website, but my personal favourite is the Investor Questionnaire. It’s a great example of how to determine your risk tolerance and ideal asset mix. This is just a great thing to try out if you want to see how it compares to the investor questionnaires provided by the robo-advisors in Canada, or if you plan on becoming a DIY investor and need a starting point when building your own portfolio.
For full episode show notes, visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/170