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Virtual Assistants – Should You Have One?! – Takeaways from the Made Simple Summit

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Takeaways From The Made Simple Summit

Especially since the pandemic accelerated the shift to remote work, the topic of Virtual Assistants has grown in popularity.  Whether you should have one or not is certainly up to you, but the argument for their use is compelling.

At the recent Made Simple Summit, we had the opportunity to hear from Tricia Sciortino, the CEO of Belay Solutions.  Belay is one of the pre-eminent US providers of virtual assistants (VAs), and Tricia deftly made the case for their use.  I’m a VA believer, so it wasn’t hard for me to agree with her logic and just because it’s what her company sells, it doesn’t mean her logic isn’t sound.  The choice is still yours, but I’ll provide three big reasons from Tricia’s keynote presentation for giving serious consideration to using a VA.

1. As the CEO, YOU are What Limits Your Business and Its Growth.

When you think about what limits your business, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?  Often, it’s sales capital or other tangible items.  Unfortunately, the true answer to the question is you.  You are the limiting factor that ultimately will determine the size and potential of your business.

In the early stages of your company, you might have done everything, but even if that wasn’t ever the case, you can either work as a contributor or a leader.  Contributors are evaluated by how much work they do while leaders are evaluated by how much work they enable others to do.  Contributors and leaders have very different roles.  As the CEO, you become the ultimate leader for your business.  Your ability as the leader to enable more and more work to be done establishes the growth trajectory and potential of your company.

You can only do so much.  For your business to do more, you’ll need other people to help you.

2. The Math is Simple.

What’s your hourly rate?  Let’s ask that in a different way.  How much money do you want to make next year?  Take that number and divide it by 2,000 (the approximate number of hours in a year) to see your hourly rate.  $100K/year is $50/hour.  $250K/year is $125/hour.

Now that you know what you want your hourly rate to be, to accomplish your goal, you need to be sure that everything you do in those 2,000 annual work hours is worth your desired hourly rate.

Is sorting through email worth your hourly rate?  How about booking appointments?

If you’re doing anything that’s typically worth less than your hourly rate, you’re either going to have to work more hours to make up lost value or spend significant time doing activities that are worth more than your hourly rate.  Maximizing the value of your time becomes a math problem.

Let’s say your hourly rate is $75/hour.  If you can delegate that task to someone at the rate of $30/hour, you’re saving the company $45/hour as long as you use that saved time productively.  The math is simple.  Spend your time performing functions that are worth your hourly rate, or the output of your time (and your business!) will be dramatically less than you desire.  Delegation is the opportunity to have stuff you’d normally do, be done by someone at a more effective hourly rate.

3. Get over your Control Freakism!

Are you a control freak?  You’ll likely quickly deny it.  However, if you believe that you can’t delegate your tasks to another person, you should consider whether you might just be a control freak.

If you struggle to delegate because you don’t think someone can do it as well as you, you might be a control freak.  The fact is that almost everything you’re doing can be done just as well (likely better!) than you can do it.

If you don’t think anyone would want to do that task, you might be a control freak. Don’t pre-judge others and what they might want.  For almost every task imaginable, there is someone who would love to do it.

If you enjoy a task and thus think that you should get to do it, you might be a control freak.  Of course, you can still do the things you like.  Just know that doing so puts a limitation on your company.

If you think you shouldn’t ever ask someone to do something you’ve never done (or aren’t willing to do yourself!) you might be a control freak.  Hopefully, you’d be willing to do anything you’d ask someone else to do, but that’s not reason enough to limit the growth potential of your business.

It’s okay to have these beliefs, but they will limit you and your company’s ability to grow.

Learning to delegate, and specifically to delegate tasks that you’ve traditionally done in the past, isn’t easy.  However, effective delegation allows you to scale your time and reduce how much you are limiting the growth of your company.

As a CEO, you determine the growth trajectory and potential of your business.  Using a VA can increase the opportunity for growth by allowing you to have more time for higher-level activities that meet the value of your hourly compensation rate.  Don’t let the natural CEO tendency of being a control freak get in the way of delegating tasks that will free up your time for the highest value actions you need to take to keep your business growing.

If you don’t currently use a VA or other assistant to delegate tasks, you’ve just read why you should consider getting some help.  Next blog, we’ll dig into a few early opportunities for delegation wins so you can see how using a VA effectively will increase your company’s growth potential.