As a business owner myself, I totally understand the overwhelm that comes with trying to manage ALL. THE. THINGS. Luckily, I used to be a personal assistant to several entrepreneurs. I could tell pretty quickly when it was time to get help with my own business after supporting other entrepreneurs before. Within my first year of operating, I hired my first assistant because I knew I couldn’t scale without support. I desperately wanted to be present with my family and run a business. I simply couldn’t do both without help.
Myth #1: “I don’t know if I am ready for an assistant…”
I already know what you are thinking. “There’s no way I could hire an assistant. I have no idea what to have them do. I am way too busy to train one. I’m just not organized enough to supervise someone.”
Phew… I get it. I really do. The truth is though that you don’t need to clean the house before the maid comes. I tell this to my clients all the time. If you are waiting until you get yourself together to hire help, you never will. Psst… I even have a whole program that finds and trains VA’s for essential oil leaders and general business owners, but we will get into that another time.
Hiring a virtual assistant is one of the greatest ways to step out of survival mode and into a whole new space called THRIVING. A VA allows you to focus on the things you were meant to do without worrying that everything else is falling through.
Myth #2: “I am the only one feeling burnt out.”
When I started working with other business owners, I was surprised by how many of them were fatigued. These were entrepreneurs that others in their industry had looked up to for years. They were seen as completely organized, running efficiently, and doing well. I often wish others could pull back the curtain to see the authentic day to day realities that all business owners face. Not everyone sees that these “totally put together business owners” are often at the breaking point. Before I started working with some of my clients, several were even planning to walk away from their business indefinitely unless something changed. The things they used to love were getting buried by the mountain of other things they had to do.
This burnout comes from not delegating enough tasks. At a certain point, you simply are not meant to run a business by yourself. Your ability to grow is tied to your ability to delegate.
Myth #3: “I would feel terrible asking someone to do the things I hate doing.”
I’ve heard this one a lot. The beautiful thing about gifts, however, is that some people actually love the very things you do not. *Gasp*
There are highly qualified individuals who LOVE this kind of work and would be completely giddy about supporting you. I can’t tell you how many of the assistant’s I train light up when I tell them about the tasks they will be doing. They legit love spreadsheets, details, message management… all of the things that you probably don’t want to do. Imagine that. You could have someone that not only can do the job, but is passionate about it too. Then you could finally focus on the things that you’re passionate about and bring fulfillment to your life and business.
Myth #4: ”I can’t afford to hire out.”
When I hired my first assistant, I wasn’t making a lot of money in my business. However, I knew I had to reserve a percentage of my earnings to invest in help right away. It was the only way I could actually maintain a business as a stay at home mother with a gazillion other things demanding my attention. In fact, this is a standard practice for businesses everywhere. It is often recommended to set aside 15-30% of your earnings each month for hired help.
Let’s do the math. If your profit in January is $5,000, let’s reserve 20% of that to hire an assistant. That means you should set aside about $1,000 that month to pay for help.
$5,000 January profit X 20% for help = $1,000 monthly budget to hire
In the US, you can hire an assistant for $15-30 per hour depending on the specific skill sets you are needing. For a rough list of speciality skill sets that would necessitate paying higher, you can visit my website where I talk about my assistant program.
Let’s do some more math assuming you still have that $1,000 each month to invest into your business. If you hire an assistant for $20 per hour to help with basic administrative duties, you could get 50 hours per month of help!
$1,000 monthly budget to hire / $20 per hour =
50 hours per month (about 12.50 hours per week)
Imagine what you could do if you had someone helping you 12 hours per week?! If you aren’t sure what tasks you can delegate, scroll down for a list of 50 things you could have an assistant do for you.
I know many business owners shy away from hiring right away because they cannot pay someone for 20-40 hours per week. Well, guess what? If you only need 5 hours per week of help, that is exactly what some people want. Not everyone wants a full time job. In fact, I love to work with stay at home moms who only want to work a few hours per week while their kids are napping or in school. They typically only want to work 5-20 hours per week. College students, travelers, and others are looking for the same thing. Perfect, right?
The possibility of working from home is truly a dream come true for many as well. So, this dramatically increases the scope of people you can hire if you want a Virtual Assistant (VA) instead of someone in an office.
When you hire a virtual assistant there is no overhead cost for you. You do not have to pay for their office space and other costs that go into in-house employees. You can assign your virtual assistant a specific number of hours each week so you can stay within your budget.
Oftentimes your VA would be a 1099 Independent Contractor as well. This means you do not take taxes out of their paycheck and you likely would not be paying for things like health insurance. So you’re literally just paying them for the hours worked or projects completed.
Hire Based on Strengths
Another strong reason for hiring a virtual assistant is that you might not know how to do all the tasks required in your business. If spreadsheets or technology are not your strengths, it’s even more important that you delegate those things to someone else. You can hire a virtual assistant trained in the areas of your weakness meaning you no longer have to waste time trying to learn a new skill that doesn’t motivate and excite you.
One thing that I have to remind my clients is that while your general VA can do a lot for you, specific tasks like website building for example, should be delegated to someone with skills in those areas. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking, “Well I need a website designer and a VA, but I can’t find someone that excels at both.” It’s certainly possible, however you might be better served in splitting your “hiring out” budget between two people. You will get better work from two people who are working in their strengths versus one person who is stretched thin trying to do things he/she may not be particularly good at.
Invest in Skill Development for Your VA
Investing in skill development with the right people is also something to consider. While you don’t want to spend money and resources teaching your VA to be a graphic designer when he/she has no natural eye for design, some skills can definitely be taught over time. The benefit to this is that you could hire an assistant at a standard rate instead of paying the cost of hiring an expert. If you do this, know that the development of skills takes time and a lot of creative back and forth between the two of you. You must be willing to put the time into that growth, but if you do, it can really pay off. Be sure to ask your assistant if the skill you want them to develop is something he/she would be interested in. If not, that’s a good sign that they may not do particularly well with that skill even with further training.
When I was a VA, one of my first responsibilities was the creation of a monthly newsletter. I had never done that before but I knew the industry, I was a quick learner, my grammar was passable, and I had a basic eye for design at the time. My employer told me what kinds of things she wanted in her newsletter, what her general vision was, and I created a first draft. Then we spent several Zoom calls going back and forth to finesse it. Each month we would do this until eventually she no longer felt she had to even look at it for approval before sending it out. It took about a year to get to that point though. We did the same process when she wanted me to build courses for her. She purchased a course and had me learn the skills and strategy.
If finding the right person stresses you out, don’t fret. I actually help business owners to find and train their General and Speciality VA’s. Get on my calendar
to see if it’s what you’re looking for.
Don’t forget: This article should not replace professional tax, legal, financial, or HR advice. Consult with a lawyer, accountant, or other expert for advice specific to your location, business type, and more. Also, I may earn commissions when readers visit links on my site and make purchases. However, I never recommend something that I personally would not find value in.