Whether you’re hiring your first virtual assistant or you’ve got a small team of people who help you run your business, at some point the idea of letting them run the business without you might cross your mind.
When I’ve worked with teams in the past, there’s always that moment when the “boss” realizes they can trust or depend on their team enough and leaves the building.
Now, being the person who often was left with the keys to the house, I know what it takes to have that team be ready.
I’ve also watched friends who were entrepreneurs take the leap too quickly only to return to a bunch of messes to clean up.
So, today, I’m going to dive into some of the reasons we want someone else to run our business, the misconceptions and how to make those daydreams a reality.
Spoiler alert = it takes time and training to be able to leave someone else in charge.
Okay, let’s dive in.
#1 You want to fly off to Aruba (or Insert Your Destination) for a month.
I totally totally get it. You want that freedom lifestyle, to be a little bit more suitcase-entrepreneur, to take those social media images from around the world as your business runs without.
No one gets to do this straight away unless you are literally doing the work yourself.
The dream is possible, but before you take off, leave your business in several or even one able bodied person, you must remember:
- It takes time to build systems and train people other than yourself to use them.
- Giving those non-you people the time to build their own workflow and see them using the systems with consistency is key!
- Planning must be done well in advance. Plus, when it comes to launches, you’ll need to make sure you’re available, no matter which yacht you’re on. In fact…try to plan your vacation or away time after the launch, not during it or leading up to it.
You care about your business the most. That is a fact. Even when I was working with LKR and took ownership immediately, I knew in the back of my head that it wasn’t my company.
There’s a fine line, so don’t expect the babysitter to know everything about your biz!
Remember: You care about your business the most if you’re a solo-preneur. Even when you hire on amazing people, you are the one responsible.
#2 Your biz will grow 10x when you hire a team.
You’ve heard the claims that your business can’t grow without a team. You need outsource. Delegate all the busy work. But the truth is, it doesn’t happen overnight! There are tons of growing pains with a new team and new hires, but if you approach it the right way with a little planning, your biz CAN grow 10x.
But you’ll definitely need to keep in mind that it takes:
- Focused experimentation – no longer can you just float around to this and that without thinking about the bigger picture of your business. Focus on a few key offerings that work or have always worked and find new ways to improve those offerings. Having more heads does not mean more projects. I’ve definitely worked through periods of time where it felt like – wow, we are doing so many different projects. The people I know who turned their businesses around all focused…even if they’d been previously focused on something else. CLEAR YOUR PLATE.
- Systems – honing in your key operational systems is one piece of the puzzle, but you need to make sure that they are working, evaluate them regularly and find ways to improve at regular intervals – like say, every quarter or every six months. Use your system for podcasting, evaluate after 3 months, tweak, use, evaluate, tweak, use.
- The right fit doesn’t always happen right away – you might go through different people or realize someone either has a temperament or skill set better suited for another task in your company. You might also discover during a launch that someone simply can’t keep his/her cool when there’s a little more pressure. I know that I get a little high strung at certain points in the launch. My role has always been juggling tons of tasks and while I’m good at that, I also need someone on the team who gives me the calming touch and talks me off the ledge!
Take your time. Build and train your team to handle all important activities in your business—from the in between launch time to full blown launch madness.
#3 You’ll be more productive.
Ahh finally, someone is scheduling your blog posts. Someone is editing your podcasts. Someone is scheduling your social media. Someone is keeping an eye on your shop, your stats, your websites. You can FINALLY get something done!
Hold up, lady friend! Sometimes when these jobs get taken away from you, you’ll feel like a vacuum is about to open up and you’ll be sucked in! Give yourself the time and space to figure out what productive and effective now mean:
- Productive means you are finally getting consistent and won’t miss creating the content you set out to create. Productive might mean you finally have the energy to create a complete campaign or flesh out your next product launch in a few days.
- You know what to do and what NOT to do.
- You’ll spend a lot of time at the start managing what the new hires are doing until they are settled into the systems and working consistently.
Remember: Productivity and the ability to be effective takes time, practice—like a muscle that needs consistent training. Yes, aim to work yourself out of a job, but remember it’ll take time for your team to take the role your handing off!
#4 You’ll get out of the weeds and spend more time on what matters.
Again, just like being productive, this is going to be the biggest shift when you hire people. You’ll be able to get to that point but only after you’ve truly let someone else handle the day to day busy work…and:
- It’s not so simple when you’re not sure what those high leverage tasks are.
- Sometimes it takes awhile to adjust to not doing the busy work
- Your days will look completely different than they did before the hires!
- You have to be ready for that hole because like being productive, your head has to be at a different space.
- You might want to hire a coach who can support you through the shift!
In the weeds is spending time on the stuff you’ll label later as busy work, low leverage, not the important business building activities that really push things forward.
This can take awhile for many entrepreneurs to bust out of with or without a team!
How To Turn The Misconceptions Into Reality
Now the misconceptions don’t mean you can’t attain them. They just don’t happen overnight.
The best way to make these myths true is spend some time thinking about your end goal and overall vision for your business.
Step One: Ask Yourself What’s Your End Goal?
You really should be asking yourself when you do anything in your business—make it your go to filter question.
So now – before you hire even one person – ask yourself:
- Is it to create a business that makes passive income or to “make money while you sleep”?
- Do you want to be able to travel 3 months every year?
- Maybe you want to work only 2 hours a day?
- Perhaps you’ve been wanting to launch every quarter instead of just once per year?
Do a deep dive into the specifics of what you want your business to look like once you've got the right people in place.
Step Two: Make your dream team qualifications list
Make a list of the type of person who would need to be in place to make the above misconceptions a real possibility. I know some people who use Strengths finder tests, Enneagram type, and Myers-Briggs to figure out who their best complementary collaborators should be. I think those can be helpful guideposts, but in the end I need to be the one making the decision.
Want to be able to travel and have someone else run your business? Who would need to be on your team to make that possible?
Maybe they’d need to be self-directed, proactive, able to stick to a schedule, detail oriented, and also able to take responsibility/ownership—and also be okay admitting mistakes or finding mistakes!
You’d need to be able let go of everything happening exactly the same as you’d do something, give her good directions, let her/him establish the consistency for a certain period of time, answer questions and support the person until she/he felt confident to handle it alone…
Want to be able to launch multiple times a year and have a systematized approach each time you do it? How do you train your team or specific members of your team to launch?
What’s interesting is that most people who work with one or two people are often still not prepared to launch. The best way to train your team for a launch is to make sure you provide a list of expectations for the way work has to get done but also that you provide them with the details for the whole launch—even if they aren’t involved in those pieces.
While some people will be able to transform from your regular support team into a launch team with no real training, most entrepreneurs in this space have to get everyone on the same page before a launch can run smoothly.
I’ll be talking about this in depth during a very special workshop on training your team to launch.
No matter what you’re hoping your new team or new VA can help you achieve in your business, the starting point is you really being clear on where your business is going, your end goal, and what you’re hoping to achieve once you have help.
Now It’s your Turn
I'd love to hear from you. If you dream of being able to take off for a month or even a week and have other people keeping your business afloat, where are you on the journey to making that happen?
Do you have one person on your team you can really trust and depend on for this?
If not, what can you do to get them up to speed so you can start taking time off, being more productive and running your dream business?
Want help training your team for your next launch? Make sure to check out: Train Your Launch Team – It's a perfect course to buy for yourself and your team to go through together!