From drones that deliver packages to robots that pack and ship them, everything is trending toward mechanization these days. We talked about it earlier in this article, where I called it “automation.” But it’s all the same phenomenon. Greater automation means greater profit for less work, and you have to understand this equation if you want to make money online.
A virtual assistant (or “VA”) gives professional administrative, technical, or creative/social support to clients via the Web. VAs work online to handle clients’ emails, make travel arrangements, manage schedules, or anything else a time-strapped client may need. And the VA market is exploding, with growth projected to exceed $5 billion in five years’ time (10).
Jumping into the field is relatively simple. Most prospective transcriptionists start by taking an online transcription course that teaches them the skills necessary to perform common job duties. Companies, such as Transcribe Anywhere, offer classes that teach students the basics of general, medical, or legal transcription, and just as importantly, how they can go about finding clients for work.
Before I talk about some of the methods for making money online, I wanted to address the role of pain versus pleasure. Every decision that we make in life is weighed on a pain-versus-pleasure scale. We will always do more to avoid pain than we will to gain pleasure, plain and simple. However, this is also what holds us back from succeeding in any endeavor.

Be professional. When you submit a résumé, don’t type it in ALL CAPS and please don’t avoid the caps lock like the plague. Know how to use it without looking incompetent. Write in complete sentences with proper grammar. Of course, there will be exceptions, but even with the exceptions, you must keep it professional. You’re building their view of you.

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