Hiring a virtual assistant is supposed to make our lives easier, not harder. It’s supposed to free us up from the routine tasks we’re not very good at so we can focus on what’s really important, right?
Too often, though, coaches hire a VA when they’re at their busiest. It makes perfect sense. The moments when we’re drowning in the routine minutia of our business is when we need help the most.
The problem is, we need help (and we need it fast) but we don’t have the energy or time in our busy schedules to onboard virtual assistants the way we should. When we fail to train them, they underperform and we end up taking tasks back from them, which puts us right back where we started.
When we get the onboarding right, things look quite a bit different. We’re able to rise above the day-to-day minutia and think about the strategic aspects of our coaching business that actually move us forward. Also, all the small details we’re terrible at, are taken care of by somebody with true skill. The best part is, instead of it taking ages to get somebody new up to speed with our business, we can have a killer VA running things in just six weeks.
Sounds pretty good, right? On the last post, we talked about the very first tasks your VA should do for you. These are the tasks that give you freedom right from the start. Now, let’s take a look at the second key to getting the most out of your virtual assistant.
After you’ve set up your VA with handling the routine tasks you dislike, the second key is to start two rhythms. Specifically, we want to establish a weekly rhythm and a daily rhythm.
Set a Weekly Rhythm
The weekly rhythm is a once-a-week meeting between you and your VA. Start by reviewing the positive outcomes from the previous week. I call these wins. What were the big wins and why did they matter? You’ll make a list, your VA will make a list, and during the weekly meeting, you’ll compare notes.
The main idea here is to praise progress, not only perfection. It’s easy to build momentum when you focus on what’s working well.
After you go over the wins from the previous week, look at your calendar and see what’s coming towards you in the next six weeks. This is crucial.
When you only focus on what’s happening now, it’s impossible to plan for the future. Think of it like driving. Your subconscious takes care of what’s immediately in front of you, but your conscious is focused on the road ahead. When you force yourself to look six weeks ahead, you and your VA can prepare for it together.
Set a Daily Rhythm
Think about the daily rhythm as a daily ‘huddle’. It’s a short, ‘stand up’ meeting, that should only last 5-10 minutes. The point is to do a quick check-in to make sure everyone’s good to go.
I used to run a 12-minute meeting on Skype every day at 12:12 PM for my VAs. I’d go around and ask the same three questions to each person.
- What are you working on?
- How are we doing?
- Where are you stuck?
Everyone had about 30 seconds to answer each question, and then I’d move on to the next person. If you’re just working with one VA, it should take you three minutes tops. Then, you’re done.
A daily meeting might sound overly time-consuming, but it’s not. I watched one our Black Belt members run this type of daily meeting with a team of 20 people and it only lasted eight minutes!
It was a great example of how following these daily and weekly rhythms are crucial to the success of working with virtual teams of any size.
How often do you talk to your VAs? Share your thoughts. Leave a comment below.
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