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Virtual Assistant with Catherine Adamson

Being a virtual assistant is a great role. Especially for women. In fact, Catherine’s company Kaleidoscope Services, employs only women VAs. Also, Catherine has a book out in August 2019, called How to Be a Thousandaire. We discuss this too!

Catherine was recommended to us by previous guest Nick Bramley. She lives in the York area, in the great county of Yorkshire.

Virtual Assistant, The Next 100 Days Podcast

What is a Virtual Assistant?

It is one title that covers an awful lot of work. There are lots of businesses offering VA services now. Catherine’s business is Kaleidoscope Virtual Assistant Services Limited. Her business offers executive PA support.

She works with Non Executive Directors of large corporations and executive coaches. Most of her clients work with people who are employed by large corporations. Her client’s themselves are self-employed.

Catherine’s business steps in as their back-office. The VA manages their diary. The VA organises their travel. And they do pretty much anything needed. As a good VA, the only thing you don’t do is make cups of tea!

NEDs heavily rely on their VAs

Clients are busy. The VA will re-arrange things if something crops up that changes everything. So, they make sure their client is where they need to be, when they need to be there.

Her clients do not want to be dealing with their travel and diaries. It takes time that they would prefer spending on more valuable work, from their perspective.

One of Catherine’s clients said of her:

“She has a lovely balance of charm and persistence”

You need to be friendly. Because sometimes you need a favour. Do what you need to do in a lovely way.

How to Become a Virtual Assistant

Her company has a stringent application process. PAs have to fill in an application form. This sounds basic. But, actually, they have to make an effort to do it. Any typos, issues with grammar, they don’t get an interview.

Then, they’ll speak to the applicant over the phone. This helps them understand their telephone manner. How they come across is important.

If they are still interested, and they have the skills, the applicant is invited for interview by Skype.

Catherine asks a series of questions. Mostly, to test “the give a damn attitude”. Are they bothered when they make mistakes, how do they respond to the problem.

If you DIY, how much opportunity are you missing.

How does the service work?

Check out Catherine’s website for more information (click on image):

Kaleidoscope Virtual Assistant Services Limited, The Next 100 Days Podcast


Catherine uses retainers. That’s a minimum of 10 hours per month. Some retainers are for 20 or 30 hours per month. Any hours above that are invoiced in arrears at the end of the month.

They work flexibly. Some clients take August off for vacation. So, the PA service is suspended for that period too.

VAs have more than one client. Potentially, they could be working a full week. Some VAs want full time work, others fit their work around their home commitments.

Once Catherine understands the CAPACITY of her business, she knows how many clients she can take on and who to allocate them to.

But, they don’t offer call answering or transactional work (like do me a powerpoint as a one off piece of work, they would as part of a retainer).

How to be a Thousandaire

You’ll have to search out this book. Catherine is releasing it in August 2019. Check it out on Amazon.

The subhead is: The Micro-business lifestyle that feeds your soul as well as your wallet!

The book is a real life story.

Before Catherine set up her business, she felt she wasn’t being challenged. So, she set up her business.

You might not realise this, but there are more and more micro-businesses around. In York, Catherine says women are setting up businesses after they have had children. There are thousands of micro-business owners in York alone. They are valid, wonderful, but most will not become millionaires. They just want enough.

Kevin referenced John Lamerton, a previous guest on The Next 100 Days Podcast

The book is aimed at (a) those thinking of setting up a micro-business and (b) people who are already set up, maybe a year of two in, but their business is not producing the results they wanted.

3 Elements to How to be a Thousandaire

Grow – to grow you need to create MORE CAPACITY. So when you are a tiny home-based business, how do you do that?

Resilience – you want a micro-business, so when something happens to you, your business continues earning money for you.

Work ON your business, instead of just IN your business

All these intermingle.

A VA service like Catherine’s may help a business owner step up to another level. It is all about divesting parts of your day-job.

How to become a more resilient business


And her cost is £37.50 per hour for new clients. For 10 hours, payable in advance. Her target clients are self-employed, and they sit on boards of larger corporates as NEDs.

Most of her clients know they need PAs. They’ll probably have had a PA in the past. The more work they do for clients, the more work they hand over?


  • what do you do that is not earning you any revenue?
  • what’d you hate?

Contact Catherine


Email address:

The next 100 days podcast is brought to you by Kevin Appleby and Graham Arrowsmith