Should You Consider Hiring a Virtual Assistant?

I know what it’s like. You have more to do than you can get done. You’re pulled in a thousand different directions. You can’t ever seem to catch up. And the paperwork is killing you.

Administrative Assistant with a Beautiful Smile - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/, Image #6926487

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/esolla

As the CEO of Thomas Nelson, I had a great assistant. She managed my calendar, fielded appointment requests, booked my travel, took meeting notes, and a thousand and one other things.

This allowed me to focus on what I did best: vision-casting, communication, networking, strategy, etc. We made a great team. It was the perfect division of labor.

But when I left the CEO role, I moved my office home and was without an assistant for the first time in over fifteen years. Man, was it a rude awakening. Suddenly, I found myself buried in administrative detail.

Just booking travel for one trip would take me a couple of hours. Fielding appointment requests drained me. I found myself spending less and less time on what I had hoped to achieve by stepping out of corporate management.

Long story short, I hired a virtual executive assistant two months ago. My stress level dropped almost immediately. Today, I am more productive than ever, because I once again have an assistant who is handling my administrative details.

Could this work for you? I suggest that you consider hiring a virtual assistant if:

  1. You want to get out from under the administrative pile.
  2. You want to focus more of your time on what you do best.
  3. You want to be more productive.
  4. You want more margin in your life.

There are numerous companies that offer outsourced administrative services. (Tim Ferriss lists several in his book, The 4-Hour Workweek, and on his website.) After doing my research, I chose eaHELP.com. They are based in Atlanta but have virtual assistants all over the U.S.

Here are a few details about my assistant that you might find interesting:

  1. She works part-time for me. I couldn’t afford a full-time assistant or keep one busy for forty hours a week. Turns out, I didn’t need to. Instead, I started by committing to just five hours a week. Currently, I am up to fifteen hours a week. This can flex as my needs change.
  2. She is super-professional. She filters my email, books my travel, manages my calendar, handles invoicing, and responds to all routine requests. She is a very fast learner. She is also three times as fast as I am on administrative detail. She does way more than I could do in less time.
  3. She is truly virtual. She lives in a completely different city. She and I have never met face-to-face. I wouldn’t recognize her if she walked into the same room. However, to the outside world, it looks like we work in the same office. She has her own michaelhyatt.com email address and signature.
  4. She handles things my way. I spent a little time on the front-end, explaining how I wanted my business handled. I gave her a list of all my travel preferences and a big assortment of email templates. If she has a question, she comes to me. We also have a weekly “calibration call” just to make sure we are in sync.

One of the great features of this relationship is that I don’t have all the overhead you would usually have with an assistant. She is technically “contract labor.” As a result, I don’t have to pay her payroll taxes, provide her healthcare, or purchase her equipment.

Perhaps you’re thinking, That’s all well and good, but I could never afford it. Don’t be so sure. Do the math.

What’s your time worth? If it’s worth more than what you would pay a virtual executive assistant, than his or her service pays for itself. In fact, it will increase your income.

While I am very high on eaHELP, this is not a sponsored post. I get nothing out of it personally—other than the joy of connecting you to a solution that could truly be a game-changer.

I also got them to agree to give my readers a $195.00 discount off the initial set-up fee of $395.00. However, this offer is only good until November 30, 2011.

How do you find out more? Visit their home page and see what eaHELP has to offer. When you are ready for more information, including a quote on what it will cost, go to their contact page. Enter “Michael Hyatt” in the field that says, “How Did You Hear About eaHELP?” This will give you the discount.

Question: What would a virtual executive assistant make possible for you? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • Genovia Riley

    Great post
    Mike!

    Thanks for
    helping to promote our industry. Indeed, Virtual Assistants do play an
    important role in the lives and businesses of their clients.

    As
    a Virtual Assistant and owner of Genwil Business Solutions, I enjoy helping to
    reduce my clients’ workload and stress levels by managing their administrative
    assignments. I have found that most clients really want to achieve a full,
    enriching and balanced life while running their businesses; but some just need
    the essential administrative assistance to help them get there. Getting the
    administrative help allows my clients to stay organized so that they can have
    more time to focus on growing their businesses or just do what they do best. I
    provide two 30 minute free no-obligation consultations to each potential
    client. These calls are designed for us to establish if we would be a good fit.
    They allow us to explore the standards for each of our businesses and to
    further determine how the partnership will work. Feel free to visit my company
    website at http://genwilva.com/ more details.

  • Pablo Angel

    Virtual assistant are persons who are self employed that provides administrative assistance for clients. Having a virtual assistant is a great time to save you time and efforts. Virtual assistant are capable of working on personal tasks, online marketing, maintain websites, handle your  booking, manage your data base, customer care and etc. However, hiring a virtual assistant is not that easy you should also consider a lot of things in searching for the right virtual assistant for the job. Competent virtual assistant should have great communication skills, flexible, organize, great time management skills, computers skills and etc. You can also outsource virtual assistant from different countries for a cheap price that is also a great way to save you cost. Countries like Philippines and India are the county that has the cheapest cost in virtual assistant. You can check this article for more information about hiring virtual assistant from the Philippines. http://www.staff.com/blog/hiring-a-virtual-assistant/

  • Pingback: Why I'm Grateful for My Virtual Assistant | Tim Brister

  • http://ideal-helper.com/ Francis

    Great insights into how it is actually to live working with a virtual assistant.

    I have one myself and I am really happy the way he works.

    Here are a few tips from my experience.

    When you start out working with a VA, you might think that you cannot afford them or you don’t have the time to manage them.

    Start Slowly – Start one hour a week.

    That’s affordable and manageable. You will very soon be thrilled about the time you save when your VA starts to work. Sometimes a VA works literally overnight depending on your time zone.

    That’s when real excitement will kick in.

    You get asleep – then you wake up – and the work is done!

    Once you start working with a VA, you’ll wonder how you could ever live without one.

    So if you don’t want to get sucked-in into the enthusiasm of saving time and having an awesome life, stay away from virtual assistants ;)