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.
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:
- You want to get out from under the administrative pile.
- You want to focus more of your time on what you do best.
- You want to be more productive.
- 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 BELAY.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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.