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Issue #35 The 3 Things That Make Hiring an Assistant Work

Everything I learned about hiring an assistant I learned from my kids.

Well, my wife, really.

Our kids are teenagers. They have opinions about things, sleep until noon, and have had AirPods surgically implanted in their ear canal to block out any parental conversation.

(Not surgically yet but maybe soon.)

It also means that they can do things. Like, washing the dishes.

See, my wife and I don’t like washing the dishes. Or vacuuming, cleaning windows, or dusting baseboards.

(On that, who invented baseboards anyway. Do they do anything other than collect dust?)

We suggested to the children that they take a more active interest in maintaining the house. They looked at us with blank expressions.

So we moved to specific instructions: clean this, clean that, wash the dishes, dust the baseboards. But pulling a teenager off of a couch is harder than pulling teeth (I’m told).

They also learned that we are not great enforcers; micromanagement sucks.

So my wife sat down and listed all of the things that we don’t like doing, the things that able-bodied, noon-waking, musically inclined teenagers can do.

She assigned responsibilities, gave them ownership, added some incentives (Spotify premium, transportation), and voila, she doesn’t do the dishes (and I don’t do the baseboards. Oh, I see, they do look nice.)

And this is just like hiring an assistant.

No really.

See, if you hire an assistant without a plan, they wait for you to give them instructions. You end up telling them to “do this” or “do that.” They do it and report back, ready for what is next.

You have to figure out what to give them all the time. It is effort. Work.

But if you sit down, figure out what you want to delegate and when, and then create a plan around it. Well, that works pretty well.

You build trust and rapport, and your assistant becomes a part of your team.

What we have learned is that the keys to hiring an assistant, virtual or in person, are:

  • Think of them as an integral part of your team, not just someone who does stuff you don’t like to do.
  • Create a delegation plan and assign ownership.
  • Find an assistant you can trust so that you can turn critical parts of your business over to them.

And maybe, just maybe, you will learn to deal with teenagers too. No promises, though.

Talk soon,


Hosting a Hybrid Meeting

Hybrid is easy to say… and it seems to be the business world’s favorite word at the moment. So, when we decided to hold a hybrid Zoom/live audience meeting, I thought, “sure, no problem.”

It turns out there is more to it than that. You actually need to think it through, create a plan and -gasp– get some equipment.

So after going through this with Carla’s help, I put together a post on HOW to make hybrid meetings work.

Read it before you leap into hybrid and save yourself from a meeting fiasco.

Find the guide here.

Results From A Recent Survey

We got about 32 responses to last week’s survey.

(Geez, guys, we can do better than that, can’t we?)

The results are not the least bit statistically significant. Still, they are interesting, with 42% of you saying you are worried about “competition from larger companies” and 17% not getting enough sales.

Survey Results

What I am hearing is this: there is no need for us to go into insurance, but we need more content on marketing.

In my experience, the best way to stand out from large businesses is to define your niche and develop an amazing customer value journey.

In fact, this is the kind of thing that gets you acquired.

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