Transcript of How a Digital Assistant Can Save Your Sanity and Develop Your Enterprise written by John Jantsch learn extra at Duct Tape Advertising and marketing
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Whats up and welcome to a different episode of the Duct Tape Advertising and marketing Podcast. That is John Jantsch and my visitor right this moment is Jess Ostroff. She’s the founder and director of Calm at Don’t Panic Administration, a agency that gives digital employees members and assistants. She’s additionally the creator of a e-book we’re going to speak about right this moment, Panic Proof: How the Proper Digital Assistant Can Save Your Sanity and Develop Your Enterprise. Jess, thanks for becoming a member of me.
Jess Ostroff: Thanks a lot for having me, John. I’m so blissful to be right here.
John Jantsch: Effectively now, do you qualify as a millennial age sensible?
Jess Ostroff: Sure, technically I used to be born within the millennial years, though I don’t determine with all of the millennial traits.
John Jantsch: Effectively, your job title is definitely very millennial-like I believe.
Jess Ostroff: Sure, sure.
John Jantsch: Director of Calm. All people wants a type of although, don’t they?
Jess Ostroff: Proper. Effectively, that’s the good thing about beginning your individual enterprise. You get to create your individual title, too.
John Jantsch: Effectively, that’s proper, that’s proper. I’ve chosen to go no title and folks will say, “Effectively, what ought to we name you?” I stated, “Simply John works.”
Jess Ostroff: Simply John. Effectively, that’s nice.
John Jantsch: You’ve gotten this digital assistant area actually. I in all probability employed someone nearly that I’d name a digital assistant, 12, 13, possibly 15 years in the past, however this area as soon as was form of an odd factor that folks did on the market like me that have been on-line has actually, very, very mainstream within the final 5 years. Would you say that’s correct?
Jess Ostroff: Completely. I believe you have been in all probability one of many earliest adopters in case you have been doing it 15 years in the past. It was undoubtedly an odd phenomenon at the moment.
John Jantsch: In your view, and once more, I do know you will have … Don’t Panic’s what? 6 years previous or so? 5 years previous?
Jess Ostroff: We formally began in 2011. I had began freelancing in 2010, so eight years of freelancing, however seven years or so of the enterprise.
John Jantsch: Okay, so you will have an extended sufficient view to form of say right here’s the way it has modified. Do you need to share that with us?
Jess Ostroff: Certain. Effectively, for me, I imply, one of many greatest modifications that I’ve seen is that persons are getting extra specialised of their requests, so it was once I would like a digital assistant, interval, you understand, and that was the massive ask. Now, it’s like, I would like a digital assistant to supply my podcast or I would like a digital assistant to schedule my conferences and e-book my journey. Persons are getting extra particular with their wants, which I believe is nice as a result of there’s not a one dimension matches all method with digital assistants and numerous instances assistants might imagine that their Jack’s or Jill’s of all trades, however they’re actually not. I believe it’s vital for the assistants to hone in on the abilities that they’re actually good at and for the possible purchasers to actually perceive what precisely they want since you might discover somebody who’s actually nice at scheduling and likewise actually nice at podcasting. These folks do exist. I believe you will have considered one of them that’s working with you proper now John, however these are uncommon and so the extra specialised you will get, the higher or I believe it’s good to be keen to have the ability to spend a while coaching your assistant and ensuring that they perceive how you want issues executed and while you need them executed and deadlines and all these sorts of issues.
John Jantsch: Yeah, and we’ll undoubtedly cowl that in very particular element. I’m going to ask you some questions on that, however going again to that concept of specialization, I believe that that’s form of gone each methods.
Jess Ostroff: Yeah.
John Jantsch: I believe lots of people have realized, hey, you convey an worker in and also you’ve bought a job for them to do. They try this for about 20 hours every week and you then notice, I bought to refill their time and so I’m going to offer …
Jess Ostroff: Proper.
John Jantsch: … all of them this different stuff that they don’t love to do, however I would like executed. I believe that that’s actually what persons are waking as much as is I can get someone simply to do that one factor as a result of they’re actually good at that one factor and so I can get actually good for very inexpensive.
Jess Ostroff: Proper.
John Jantsch: I believe that that mindset has actually modified, hasn’t it? That each the digital people which are on the market advertising and marketing themselves as digital employees and the customer of which have realized that specialization’s an excellent factor. I’ll get 5 digital assistants as a result of all of them do 5 various things.
Jess Ostroff: Completely. I believe that it’s not their fault for not pondering of that sooner. I believe that it looks like the apparent answer, proper, however for the longest time folks have been certain by their geographic location and whoever was round them. They both didn’t need to or didn’t belief that someone that wasn’t sitting proper subsequent to them might truly get the work executed and now that we’ve seen you and all types of individuals have discovered success with working nearly, there’s no motive to not rent someone that’s not proper subsequent to you. I imply, I believe that’s the rationale why folks have been hiring staff within the first place, even when they solely had 20 hours of labor they’d rent full-time as a result of they’re saying, “Effectively, I like this particular person. They’re good at what they’re doing. I need to have them, so I don’t have some other selection.” Now, the selection is, I imply, there’s so many decisions and so some ways to get the appropriate particular person for the appropriate job.
John Jantsch: Effectively, and I inform you one factor that folks don’t take into consideration, I believe it’s unfair to each events. Whenever you convey an worker in and also you don’t both have sufficient for them to do or you will have them do 5 issues since you need to refill the time, there’s an excellent likelihood that three of these 5 issues they hate …
Jess Ostroff: Proper.
John Jantsch: … and doubtless weren’t employed to do.
Jess Ostroff: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
John Jantsch: I believe it’s form of unfair for each events.
Jess Ostroff: Completely. I believe that when you notice that, I imply, typically it’s important to have a foul expertise with that earlier than you notice, however that’s additionally only a problem of whether or not you need to develop your online business or not, too. I imply, in case you rent somebody that you’re investing in to be a full-time worker and also you possibly don’t have all the full-time work for them but, however you need to develop into that, that could possibly be an excellent funding since you’re form of constructing on their abilities and also you’re coaching them as you go. You’re getting their buy-in when it comes to tradition and issues like that. Yeah, they could need to do a number of issues that they don’t need to do within the meantime, however I believe in case you can nurture that relationship it could possibly be an excellent factor, but when it seems that you just don’t truly need to develop and you might be simply hiring a full-time particular person since you thought you needed to and also you thought you had no different selection, then that’s proper. It’s not nice for anyone.
John Jantsch: The primary two digital assistants I employed have been horrible. They saved asking me what I needed them to do and the way I needed them to do it and I simply needed them to do stuff.
Jess Ostroff: Like, determine it out.
John Jantsch: Effectively, I’m being facetious, however I believe that that’s such a vital part. I believe, in some methods, you may really feel like I would like to rent someone, however boy, the work that you just do to determine what you’re going to rent them to do is so vital. I imply, how do you provide you with what I would like assist with, what I would like this particular person to particularly do?
Jess Ostroff: Effectively, I believe that if you’re fighting provide you with issues, you won’t be prepared for assist. I believe that the folks which are actually prepared are the individuals who discover themselves being pulled in one million completely different instructions. They really feel like issues are slipping by means of the cracks, they get up in the midst of the night time worrying about one thing that didn’t get executed. Simply actually bursting on the seams with issues.
John Jantsch: I assume that was actually my query. I’m speaking about someone who’s now attempting to determine, what’s going to be essentially the most beneficial to get off my plate as a result of …
Jess Ostroff: Proper.
John Jantsch: … I can’t do all of it, let’s put it that means.
Jess Ostroff: Okay.
John Jantsch: How can we determine that out?
Jess Ostroff: Proper. Effectively, I additionally suggest doing type of an audit in your life and that features the …
John Jantsch: That sounds painful.
Jess Ostroff: It’s painful. I’m not going to lie, it’s fairly painful, nevertheless it’s actually helpful and also you solely need to do it for a number of days to begin to see some patterns in what you’re doing and what you’re focusing your time on. I do know for me and for lots of purchasers that I’ve executed this train with, you discover that you just’re spending numerous time on little tiny issues and all of these little issues make up a day, however you’re by no means getting an opportunity to spend the time on the issues that you just really care about or the issues that you just constructed your online business on within the first place. Should you do get to do them, you’re having to do them late at night time or on the weekends. It shouldn’t be that means. Except you’re a complete workaholic and also you simply adore it, love doing it that means, you need to be constructing in time in the course of the common work hours for these huge, vital initiatives and people issues that you just really like to do or are uniquely certified to do, however you may’t determine what these are till you truly are sincere with your self and also you write down each single, little factor that you just do day-after-day. I like to recommend doing this for every week, however you could solely get by means of a few days and that’s okay.
Upon getting all of it written down, you can begin to see hey, you understand, I spent an hour penning this proposal or I spent 30 minutes attempting to determine find out how to ship this bill or I referred to as the automotive place to get my automotive in for an appointment and so they put me on maintain for 20 minutes or, you understand, little issues like that the place that’s already like two hours proper there digital assistant might have executed for you. When you’ve form of recognized all of the issues that you just’re doing, you can begin to take a look at mainly two buckets. What are the issues that I really like and am uniquely certified to do in a single bucket, after which simply every part else since you actually ought to solely be doing the issues that you should do and the issues that you just love? Then, every part else ought to both be delegated or automated or relegated. There are numerous issues that persons are doing of their work and of their life that they don’t have to do for any motive. It’s not contributing to the underside line, it’s not one thing that’s making them blissful, it’s identical to a waste of time.
I imply, checking Fb 10 instances a day, like in case you’re not a social media supervisor or a PR particular person, you don’t want to try this. Save Fb for after work or put it aside for particularly designated hours, however don’t waste all of your time getting sucked into social networks and wasteful issues as a result of time is cash. I believe that lots of people don’t notice how a lot time they’re losing every day. I believe while you take a look at that from a extremely data-driven perspective of how every minute and every hour of your days are being spent, you may see the true worth of what a digital assistant can convey as a result of theoretically, in case you’re doing it proper, your charges per hour are going to be exponentially larger than what a digital assistant price might be, which signifies that as quickly as you rent a VA to take these hours off your plate, you might be billing at your regular price for extra work that you just like to do.
John Jantsch: I numerous instances like to inform entrepreneurs, you understand, I all the time chuckle when folks, younger , discuss ready to have kids till they’re prepared and also you’re by no means prepared. As someone who has been by means of this expertise, you’re by no means prepared and I believe it’s true of hiring a digital assistant. There’s that entice in pondering, oh, I’m going to do that after I get thus far or after I’m prepared.
Jess Ostroff: Proper.
John Jantsch: What occurs is, I believe in case you don’t … I inform each marketing consultant that joins, you understand, that begins a enterprise, joins the Duct Tape Advertising and marketing Advisor Community, plan on it proper now.
Jess Ostroff: Yeah, yeah.
John Jantsch: That is going to be one thing that you just do as a result of in any other case your plate will get full and it’s truly, sadly, typically it’s tougher, it’s a step backwards to rent a digital assistant for some time …
Jess Ostroff: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
John Jantsch: … in some instances, since you’ve bought to coach them, you’ve bought to stand up to hurry, and also you’ve bought to carry their hand till they stand up to hurry possibly. Should you’re so busy that you could’t make investments that point, you form of are trapped.
Jess Ostroff: Completely. I all the time say that it’s an funding. Folks suppose it’s like, oh, it’s going to make me cash immediately. Effectively, no. That’s not how investments work. It’s important to put within the cash, it’s important to put within the time, and you then’re going to get one thing out of it, nevertheless it’s going to take a short time. Relying on what number of hours you will have with this particular person, it’s going to take, you understand, one, to 3, to 6 months so that you can begin to see the outcomes, nevertheless it’s going to be value it as a result of unexpectedly, you’re going to seek out all this time again in your schedule and also you’re going to have the ability to develop your online business in a way more intentional and targeted means. Yeah, …
John Jantsch: Have you ever ever gone into a company and helped them determine what can be one of the best use of a digital useful resource or two?
Jess Ostroff: Yeah, I assist folks with operations consulting, if you’ll, as a result of numerous them, you understand, it’s like you may’t see the forest for the bushes.
John Jantsch: Proper.
Jess Ostroff: I do go in and discuss to them. Some folks have stated once they discuss to me it’s like they’re in a spa, which was actually candy as a result of I’m simply saying, right here’s one thing that may get off your plate, right here’s one thing that may get off your plate. Right here’s one thing that this different particular person must be doing. Why isn’t this particular person doing it? Why are you doing it? They’re like, oh my goodness, I really feel higher already. It’s like, okay, that’s good. Cherish that feeling proper now, however you’re nonetheless going to need to do some work to get one other particular person on top of things with all of this as a result of, such as you have been … I imply, you perceive this, John, however lots of people suppose that it’s a magical, turnkey answer the place it’s like properly, I signed the contract, that’s all I’ve to do. They’re a digital assistant. They need to have the ability to determine it out. That’s simply not the case. I imply, you wouldn’t try this with an worker. You wouldn’t try this with somebody who was coming into your workplace to work with you, in order that’s a giant false impression that I believe folks have to type of recover from that it does take not solely a monetary funding, however a time funding to make it possible for the particular person is doing what you need.
Once more, I believe the extra that you just put in upfront, the extra you’re going to get out of it and the higher your relationship goes to be. You desire a digital assistant that you could be with for so long as potential since you don’t need to need to reinvent the wheel, you don’t need to need to waste that point once more going by means of. I undoubtedly suppose placing processes into place and even get your assistant to doc these processes. That all the time helps in case you do have a turnover for what … You understand, somebody will get sick or has some form of an emergency. That does occur, however you need to attempt to put your finest foot ahead to make it possible for your assistant will need to stick with you endlessly and ever.
John Jantsch: I need to return to that time as a result of I’m going to gap you to that. I believe providing a service that got here in and assist someone unencumber 10 hours every week first, you understand, get stuff off their plate would possibly give them the flexibility then to start out seeing the place the processes wanted to be carried out. I believe you ought to advertise the heck out of that.
Jess Ostroff: Okay.
John Jantsch: The second situation I need to run by you is, I do know stuff I shouldn’t be doing, however I prefer it.
Jess Ostroff: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
John Jantsch: It’s the stuff that makes me really feel good to do, even when it’s not one of the best factor for the enterprise. How do you get enterprise homeowners, and I actually am type of telling on myself a bit bit, however how do you get enterprise homeowners who, all good intentions set all that up, however then they gained’t let go? I imply, what’s the method to lastly get them to let go?
Jess Ostroff: Effectively, I’ll inform you what I did as a result of I’m identical to you. I labored with a monetary accounting firm and likewise with a enterprise coach and what we did was we truly created a spreadsheet that was all about the price of providers. The price of providers sheet confirmed, in fact, not solely what precise hours we have been billing and delivering to purchasers, but additionally all the hours that we have been spending on inside duties, like invoicing, like sending Christmas playing cards, you understand, something and every part, and we form of did our personal audit as an organization. What I noticed was that the issues that I used to be spending my time on that weren’t being billed or being one way or the other accrued on the hourly price that my wage was charging, we have been dropping cash as an organization, bodily. It’s proper there. It confirmed me within the spreadsheet.
After I did that, I did it with my management group, so there was some visibility and transparency in that. Then, I stated, “Effectively,” and so they have been like, “Come on, Jess. You’re not simply dropping cash for your self, you’re dropping cash for us. If we took these few issues off your plate, we might get a elevate.” I imply it wasn’t that straightforward in fact, however having the accountability of my group saying, “Bear in mind, Jess, you shouldn’t try this. Who can we get to do it as a substitute?” Additionally, seeing that the underside line was instantly affected by the hours that was spending that weren’t incomes what my wage charged, I simply, I needed to do it as quickly as potential as a result of although I used to be bodily hiring another person to do a few of these issues and sure, that prices cash, it didn’t price as a lot as me doing it myself.
John Jantsch: I believe that you just used the accountability phrase. I believe that’s enormous as a result of numerous enterprise homeowners don’t have anyone to carry them accountable.
Jess Ostroff: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative).
John Jantsch: [crosstalk 00:18:55] I’m the boss.
Jess Ostroff: Proper.
John Jantsch: I do no matter I really feel like doing.
Jess Ostroff: Proper.
John Jantsch: I imply, that’s such a fantastic case for a enterprise coach or a mentor of someone to not less than attempt to make your self accountable as a result of I believe that’s [crosstalk 00:19:06] …
Jess Ostroff: Yeah.
John Jantsch: I believe that’s a giant hole.
Jess Ostroff: Each month when we’ve got our conferences, they are saying, “How are you doing? How are you doing getting these 10 hours off your plate,” or no matter it’s? I say, “Effectively,” and if I’ve executed it I’m actually excited, and if I haven’t, then I’m embarrassed. You don’t need to really feel that means when someone is instantly watching you and ensuring that you just’re doing what you stated you have been going to do.
John Jantsch: Right here’s a query I think lots of people have. I’ve labored with a number of people that you’ve got helped us discover and have been extraordinarily blissful, however I’m positive folks need to know, how do you discover these folks? How do you qualify them? How do you be certain that they’re going to ship, not solely in your model, however on what I would like?
Jess Ostroff: Yeah, it’s not straightforward. I believe at Don’t Panic we’re lucky to have a … We’ve been increase on our weblog posts and dealing on our web site for years and now, we do have a bit little bit of search juice, so when persons are trying to find a digital assistant job or distant job or a thrival job, which I had by no means even heard that time period earlier than, however we’ve got a few weblog posts about thrival work, which mainly means such as you’re capable of stay the life you need and pursue your passions whereas nonetheless having a job. It’s form of like, properly, it’s precisely what a digital assistant job is in some ways, however we get a ton of candidates from that search time period, so we’ve got type of a pool of individuals which are all the time coming in. Our [tech 00:20:43], you understand, “hiring” course of is all the time open. Anyone can fill out a kind at any time and we’re all the time doing interviews.
I believe that, prefer to your level earlier than while you stated, “Purchasers ought to put together to do that,” I believe that it’s a good suggestion for folks to simply all the time maintain their eyes and ears open, even when they don’t have type of a proper software course of on their website or someplace, if they arrive throughout someone that they like or that they know is on the lookout for some distant work or that they know is on the lookout for some distant work, do an interview with them and see the way it’s going. Even in case you’re not prepared to rent them, I believe it’s all the time nice to have folks like that in your again pocket. Should you’re not type of, you understand, in case you can’t discover folks that means, the very first thing I all the time suggest is asking your community. John, you’re a fantastic useful resource for folks and there are ton of different folks within the trade and in your trade, if it’s not our trade, who’ve expertise with digital assistants. I believe you’d be shocked, lots of people maintain their digital assistants beneath wraps. Lots of people, they don’t know that they’re working with a digital assistant. They’re not hiding it on function essentially, however you simply wouldn’t know.
Asking your community, placing out a put up of Fb or LinkedIn is nice as a result of you then truly get vetted suggestions. Then, in case you don’t fairly have that, I believe one of the best place to start out your search is on LinkedIn and like I used to be speaking about earlier, if you understand what kind of providers you need, try this search, so podcasting digital assistant or admin digital assistant. Should you simply search digital assistant, you’re going to get a ton and also you’re in all probability going to get numerous crap, but when the extra specialised you may search, the higher your outcomes might be.
There are additionally another companies, you understand, clearly Don’t Panic is considered one of them, however there are different digital assistant companies. I do know Michael Hyatt recommends eaHELP. I believe they’re based mostly in Europe and never all people desires to take care of time zone points, however there are tons of different companies on the market, too, if you wish to form of undergo that course of. Then, in fact, there’s Upwork. There are locations the place, once more, I believe as a result of these marketplaces are so huge, it may take much more work on the entrance finish to seek out somebody who’s actually good and also you won’t need to take care of that. You may want another person to form of allow you to discover someone as a substitute, however there are tons of locations for folks to look. Once more, I believe beginning with your individual community and attempting to get a vetted referral or suggestion is one of the best place to go.
John Jantsch: Ultimate query and hopefully this gained’t be embarrassing, however [crosstalk 00:23:34] …
Jess Ostroff: Uh-oh.
John Jantsch: … could be. What’s the oddest request you’ve ever gotten from a shopper?
Jess Ostroff: I completely …
John Jantsch: Bear in mind, this present is rated G, so [crosstalk 00:23:43] …
Jess Ostroff: Proper. Proper, proper, proper.
John Jantsch: … off the desk.
Jess Ostroff: Effectively, no. I don’t suppose we’ve ever gotten any R rated requests, …
John Jantsch: Okay, good.
Jess Ostroff: … however we’ve undoubtedly gotten some bizarre ones. I’m attempting to suppose. After I was dwelling in New York, after I was first beginning the enterprise, folks thought that I used to be an govt … or like, a private assistant and I did have …
John Jantsch: Decide up my laundry form of factor.
Jess Ostroff: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I did have lots of people asking me for these type of, yeah, like choose up duties and issues like that. Effectively, first, I’d say no, however I’ve additionally needed to do numerous like transport stuff for purchasers. What I’d do was I’d say, “Okay, it’s going to take 20 hours,” after which I’d rent like a Activity Rabbit to come back to my home and do the packaging. Then, I’d simply test every part and put the addresses on, however I’m attempting to think about the weirdest request. I imply, I’ve had some issues the place, okay, okay, that is PG, nevertheless it’s bizarre.
One among our purchasers was going by means of a divorce and we’d do some extra admin assistant stuff. We have been doing issues like sending flowers to folks. Usually, we don’t actually take a look at who we’re sending stuff to or the place, however we began to be requested to ship numerous issues like that to 1 explicit particular person and it form of got here out that there was a, you understand, untrue scenario and it was simply so awkward to form of piece that collectively and be speaking with the ex-wife after which the husband and the brand new girlfriend. I don’t know, it wasn’t just like the weirdest factor, nevertheless it was undoubtedly actually awkward for everyone.
John Jantsch: It’s when being a Director of Calm got here in very helpful.
Jess Ostroff: Precisely.
John Jantsch: Effectively, Jess, thanks a lot for becoming a member of us. Hopefully I’ll see you subsequent time we’re on the market within the New York space. Creator of Panic Proof: How the Proper Digital Assistant Can Save Your Sanity and Develop Your Enterprise. Inform folks the place they’ll discover you, Jess.
Jess Ostroff: Sure, properly, I’m on most social media platforms at Jess Ostroff. My website is JessOstroff.com and you should buy the e-book there or you may simply seek for it on Amazon, that all the time works, too. Then, Don’t Panic you will discover at DontPanicMgmt.com and in case you’re keen on working with us or changing into a VA, you’ll see hyperlinks on that website for each.
John Jantsch: Okay, and can you discover a testimonial from Duct Tape Advertising and marketing I believe, possibly, sure, no?
Jess Ostroff: I believe so. Yeah.
John Jantsch: If not, it must be as a result of I’m a really blissful, glad shopper and that’s why I actually needed to have you ever on right here and have another folks meet you as properly. Thanks for becoming a member of me Jess.
Jess Ostroff: Thanks a lot.