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Lucky Bitch Video Transcript – How to Hire Your First Assistant

hire-your-first-assistantWhat blocks and resistances do you have around hiring an assistant?

Before you hire an assistant ask yourself why you’re feeling resistant to it

I hear this a lot,

I don’t think I can afford it right now.

I feel like I should do everything myself.

I’m not ready.

You probably have a lot of excuses 

Maybe you are worried about the money. Maybe you think it has to be all or nothing; you have to hire someone for 40 hours a week or not at all.

I have a very lean business, and even Amy Porterfield talks about building a small but mighty team, so stop making that your excuse!

It really helps for you to write down a list of all the reasons why you shouldn’t have an assistant before you even start the process.

That is going to give you a lot of information about blocks that you have to push through and it will give you really valuable information about where you’re hitting some upper limits as Gay Hendricks talks about in The Big Leap.

The second thing to do is, once you’ve got all that out, give yourself permission to have an assistant.

Give yourself permission.

Give yourself permission that you don’t have to do everything in your business yourself.

Give yourself permission that it’s okay to have it be easy for you and it’s okay to outsource things that aren’t necessarily in your zone of genius — which is another term from The Big Leap. Definitely go read that one if you haven’t already.

Give yourself permission to start where you are right now. You don’t need full time staff to get started.

Where you’ve gotten to in your business so far is amazing, but you’ll find that you probably need help to take everything to the next level. As Natalie Sisson talks about in her podcast, growing a team is crucial to scaling your business (but they don’t have to be full-timers).

It’s okay just to do the things in your business that you LIKE.

We hear when we’re little kids things like, “You made your bed and you have to lie in it” and feel like we have to take responsibility for everything. We HAVE to do things we don’t like. We HAVE to eat our vegetables.

Really, in business, it’s not like that.

It’s okay for you to work on the things that you really love and it’s okay for you to outsource things that, frankly, you’re really bad at.

What would your assistant actually do?

Chris Ducker is an incredible resource for this. He suggests you start with a simple exercise, called “3 Lists to Freedom” – lists of things you hate doing, struggle doing or shouldn’t be doing”.

He says: “create your ‘3 Lists to Freedom’ you’ll have a blueprint, a roadmap if you will, that you can use to start outsourcing all the simple tasks that are bogging down your workload and stunting your productivity every day.

My other favorite article of Chris’ and something you can use as a job description is 101 things to outsource to virtual staff to grow your business.

Which brings us to my third point — and this is super important. It’s the thing that I’ve screwed up many times.

Don’t hire people like you. Hire for your skill gaps.

This really requires you to do some internal work. Look at what your strengths and weaknesses are and hire people who are good at those things you suck at.

The big mistake I made was hiring people just like me because I wrote a job description that sounded exciting for ME. I interviewed people who sounded really cool. Then, I had an interview with them and I’d be like, “They’re so cool! I’m going to hire them!

Unfortunately, I wasn’t hiring people that complemented the things that I was good at. I was just hiring little mini-me’s.

Unfortunately, when I was working for other people, I would get bored in six months and I’d get an idea and quit my job. Because entrepreneurs make shitty employees.

Know yourself & be honest on your weaknesses

I did a whole bunch of personality tests. The good thing about personality tests is it tells you what you’re really good at and, usually, that’s what you focus on. But I went in and had a look at the things that I was getting the lowest scores on.

What was I really bad at? For me, that was things like finishing things, getting things done and general organization. Looking at your big weaknesses gives you really valuable information about what you really need in your business vs. what you’re already good at.

Here Rachael Cook talks about how she hired teams for three areas of weakness in her business.

Use personality tests to write your job description

I actually took those weaknesses and I wrote a job description that really described all of those things I was bad at.

I wanted it to be exciting to someone who had my opposing strengths. Take any personality test like Strengths Finder or Meyers-Briggs or just sit down and make a list of all your known weaknesses.

If it says that organization is one of your weak points then you put that in your job description. “You really love organization. You really like doing repetitive tasks. You really like making systems.”

Hiring for particular strengths will be really handy when you’re managing them because you can clearly know what motivates them. Anne Samoilov talks about how to communicate and collaborate with your team here.

Being clear on your weaknesses will pretty much write the job description for you.

You have to really resist writing it in a way that would excite you, because that’s not the point. You’re not looking for a little mini you — unless you are. Most of the time, in an assistant, you’re really, really not.

Looking for things you can ask your assistant to do? Head right over here: Daily, Weekly and Monthly Actions To Keep Your Business Moving Forward

Then, lastly, everyone asks me, “How do you find that person?”

First of all, even just finding out what you’re good at, giving yourself permission to hire someone, finding out what you’re bad at and writing that job description- that’s a great start, and you’re going to really start to energize that person towards you. Law of attraction baby!

Once you have the job description, then you tell people about it. Post in networks that you’re a part of, send an email out in your newsletter and say, “I’m hiring.” No need to post it on a job site unless you want to.

Posting in your own communities serves two purposes, by the way. It gives your clients and colleagues the knowledge that you’re expanding and your business is doing really well. It’s really good PR to say, “We’re hiring! We’re growing! Everything is really exciting.

But secondly, you can also find someone who already knows your business and who already is on board with your culture.

That’s what I did and that’s how I found my lovely Amber, who if you’ve emailed us at Lucky Bitch, you have probably already had interaction with her. That’s the exact process that I went through to find Amber.

I’ve put this all into a really handy PDF for you, which you can get down below. You can see where my strengths are, what strengths I chose to hire from and then you can see the job description that I wrote for that role as well. It’s a very easy to follow process.

If you want that PDF to model for your own hiring process, just click here to download now.

Here’s my challenge to you:

Take those first steps into hiring your first assistant.

If you’ve screwed up in the past, don’t worry. This is a trial and error thing. Being in business for yourself is all about trial and error. You don’t have a whole HR department to help you with hires and you can learn to get better at delegation over time.

This is something that you don’t have to get right the first time, so don’t worry if you feel like you’ve screwed it up in the past and that’s your one and only shot. It really isn’t. You have to just do it better next time and refine it and refine it and refine it. It doesn’t mean that the universe is saying, “Nope. Sorry. You have to do it all yourself. This is your job now.”

It’s just that’s part of being in business. We screw up and we try it again next time.

Denise Duffield-Thomas | Lucky Bitch

Make sure you grab my free hiring sheet sheet, just click here to download now.

 

 

Did you miss last weeks video? Check it out here: How to Manage Your Facebook Community with Grace and Ease

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Comments

  1. Yes, 100 times yes on this one, Denise! As a VA who specializes in transcription and proofreading, your topic here is something I go over with potential clients all the time.

    As a business owner, work on your brilliance and the things only you can do in your business to advance it. Most everything else can be outsourced to capable people who love doing those other things.

    For example, when clients start to work with me, they often tell me that they were transcribing their webinars and podcasts themselves. Then they realized how much time that really took–and how much they hated doing it! There are people who love doing all kinds of tasks, so find someone who can do what you need to get done.

    And I agree on how to find good VAs. Often, if you ask around your own circle of other entrepreneurs in your industry, you’ll find out who they’re working with and who they recommend.

    It’s also completely okay to start small by delegating a couple of tasks to see how that feels to let it go, and how well you work together.

    Great points here, Denise!

  2. When I run a consultation with clients, I always do my best to understand their needs. Sometimes they know exactly what they want to outsource, sometimes not.
    In those cases, I think it’s a good idea to list the core (especially those revenue driven) and secondary activities (that administrative stuff, for example). That way, if the client is extremely confused, s/he can start seeing the what could be let go of.
    The thing is that sometimes, as business owners (and I include myself as well, even if I’m a VA myself), we just go on with the autopilot and we don’t even realize how much time we invest in things we don’t like or we aren’t really good at. And those are exactly the ones to delegate if we want to be more productive.

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