Jade asked me this:

Do all people who search for a VA in the AssistU community find someone to work with?

Unfortunately, not.

With the Registry, our free, DIY referral service, it’s often because the client doesn’t really know enough to do the search well.

For that reason, many years ago, I created our Registry Gold process, which is a done-with-you service (like a done-for-you service, but more collaborative!) to help someone do the search smartly.

But even in that process, it happens sometimes that there are no connections. It happened for the second time ever last week. Now, twice in 18 years isn’t a bad number, but…

It’s disappointing all around, and I honestly think no one feels more disappointed than I do; I love it when I’m witness to a client and a VA finding each other, connecting and fitting together like puzzle pieces. I get such a thrill knowing what’s going to be possible in their relationship, and in the work they’ll do together.

So, when the VAs don’t respond to  one of our referral requests, it’s hard.

Trying to explain it to the client is difficult too, but here’s the bottom line, whether you’re looking for a VA at AssistU or elsewhere: If a VA doesn’t respond, it’s always a matter of fit.

Not dissimilar to looking for someone on a dating app, the VAs are looking at what a client says about soft skill/EQ,  availability needs, personality, character, special needs, deal breakers—you know, the kinds of things that would start to define who would be a good fit, and who would not.

Because, you know, it’s not all (or even mostly) about hard skills.

Sure, a VA will look at the work a client wants to delegate, but honestly, this is the stuff that can be learned. The other stuff is far harder to “get” if it’s missing.

And if any of what a VA can see about the client isn’t a fit for her in some context, she’s not going to respond.

Does it mean anything if a VA doesn’t respond? Not beyond the fact that at this moment in time, there’s no fit.

A client could be the most amazing human on the planet offering the cure to a dread disease, but if something about her, the work, the company she owns, or any number of other things are off, there’s no fit.

Invariably, clients start to question whether they might have gotten responses if they compromised on what they said they need. I always say no to that question, and I’m here to tell you the same thing:

Don’t settle on what you know you need just to get the help of a VA; the wrong help isn’t ever better than no help.

Now, I say that, knowing that in Registry Gold, I’ve plumbed any unrealistic expectations the client may have (“My VA should be instantly available to me”), and we’ve talked through things they say matter, but that I know may not (“I want a VA in my time zone even though I don’t need her to do anything for me that’s time-zone specific”).  So, I can really, really say that if you, as the client, have said something matters, it matters—and shouldn’t be compromised on.

Recently, a Registry Gold client of mine said about a VA she was talking with, “I can make it work with her.” I swear, I felt ice in my veins.

When you work in a bigger company, and you’re one of the cogs in the machine, you have to make it work with others if you want your job. And, if you’re fortunate enough to get an assistant, often you have to make that work, too—unless the company is deeply evolved, they aren’t giving you a choice based on how you feel about fit.

But out here? You deserve a hand-in-glove fit with your sidekick. Don’t ever try to make a square peg fit through a round hole. No good can come of it. I know you know that.

And so, I suggest you search until you find the ideal sidekick for you. In the same way that I believe in love and the right partner for every person, I believe there’s a perfect VA match for who you are and what you need. Keep looking.

And as with love, never settle.