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About This Episode

What’s the one thing a good leader can’t live without? An assistant!

In today’s episode, we’re taking a deep dive into making the most out of your time with a virtual assistant – everything from gaining trust, building a relationship, practicing good communication, and more.

Joining us will be Katie Lantukh and her virtual assistant, Ari Adler, to share their insights from working together for the last year. Katie is the CEO of Murphy Marketing, a messaging agency that helps its clients find the right ways to communicate their message. She and Ari will walk us through some best practices on how leaders and their virtual assistants can make the most of their time together.

1. If you always seem to be having emergencies or urgent requests, you need to evaluate your processes.

The most effective leaders don’t allow emergencies to run their day-to-day operations. Many times, we create our own emergencies because we overstate something’s importance or fail to really plan things out. Unless you’re an ER doctor, emergencies should never be the norm. And guess who can help you evaluate your processes to eliminate those emergencies? An assistant!

2. The best assistants don’t wait to be delegated to.

The ideal assistant will look for work, not wait around to be asked. They are proactive and seem to know what you need before you need it. They know what your ideal calendar looks like. And they know how to politely say “no” on your behalf. Then they go out and do it without waiting.

 

3. Using your inbox as a to-do list is a big no no!

One of the first things an assistant can help you do is declutter your inbox, and that might involve getting you to stop relying on email for everything, including your to-do list. Using email that way makes it too easy for things to get jumbled and lost, forgotten, or simply missed. Use your email to communicate and let an assistant take care of your checklists.

 

What is the first thing you had (or would have) your assistant do when you hired them? How did that help?
What is your primary method of communication? What about that method works and what could be improved?
How do you currently handle urgent requests and what could you change? 
What does your ideal weekly calendar look like, and how often are you able to make it happen?

Trust the process and put everything on the table.

Katie Lantukh

Find the right person, not the first person.

Ari Adler

If you start a process and it’s not working, tweak it!

Ari Adler

A Virtual Assistant helps smooth out the bumps that you already have in your life.

Ari Adler

Trusting is a little bit like a leap of faith.

Katie Lantukh

Katie Lantukh on LinkedIn, Instagram and at Murphy Marketing.

Tricia Sciortino on Instagram and LinkedIn.

Lisa Zeeveld on Instagram and LinkedIn

BELAY’s staffing solutions

(02:05) Are you a night owl or morning person?

(03:16) Katie and Ari talk about the early days of them working together.

(05:38) You just have to start the process of getting a VA and the rest will begin to work itself out. 

(07:38) What was it like building trust in your relationship when you first started working together?

(11:58) BELAY wants to help you find the right person, not the first person.

(13:35) Katie and Ari talk about their typical week, communication cadence, etc. 

(15:59) Don’t use your inbox as your to-do list!

(17:13) Let your assistant say “no” on your behalf. 

(18:20) How do Katie and Ari handle emergencies and urgent requests?

(20:10) How has Ari’s support made the biggest difference in Katie’s business and life?

(23:35) Tricia’s title for her assistant is both “peacemaker” and “magic maker.”

(25:21) Katie and Ari give one piece of advice for people who want to hire a virtual assistant or become a great virtual assistant. 

(30:53) This episode’s one next step – go download our Ultimate Guide to Working with a VA. 

Katie Lantukh:

I know the BELAY has a good reputation. I trust that they vetted these people, I just trusted the process and Ari proved me right, that he’s worthy of my complete trust and he has made my business so much better and I feel like my clients are taken better care of now that we have more than just one person on the line, it’s been extremely helpful.

Speaker 2:

Welcome to One Next Step. The most practical business podcast in the world, helping you get more done, grow your business and lead your team with confidence with tips and tools you didn’t get in business school. Here are your hosts, Tricia Sciortino and Lisa Zeeveld.

Tricia Sciortino :

Welcome to One Next Step. The practical business podcast that helps you run your business so it stops running you, I’m Tricia.

Lisa Zeeveld:

And I’m LZ, in today’s episode we’re taking a deep dive into making the most of a virtual assistant. Everything from gaining trust, building a relationship, practicing good communication, and more.

Tricia Sciortino :

Katie Lantukh and her virtual assistant Ari Adler are joining us today and sharing their insights from working together for the last year. Katie is the CEO of Murphy Marketing, a messaging agency that helps their clients find the right ways to communicate their message.

Lisa Zeeveld:

One of the coolest things about this is that Katie found her virtual assistant Ari using BELAY. So instead of us just telling you how you need a virtual assistant, we’re going to go behind the scenes of a great working relationship.

Lisa Zeeveld:

This will be an amazing opportunity for Katie and Ari to walk us through some of their best practices on how leaders and their virtual assistants can make the most of their time together.

Tricia Sciortino :

So let’s take a listen now.

Tricia Sciortino :

Hey guys, Katie and Ari, thank you for joining the podcast today.

Katie Lantukh:

Thank you for having us.

Ari Adler:

Thank you very much, it’s great to be here.

Tricia Sciortino :

Welcome BELAY client and virtual assistant in the house.

Lisa Zeeveld:

I love it, such a special day around here.

Tricia Sciortino :

It is, it’s great to have you guys, but before we get started I have a fun question for you. For both of you, you can each answer: Night owl or morning person?

Katie Lantukh:

I think naturally I’m an early bird, but now that I have two young kids who also get up early I’ve shifted to more night owl tendencies lately.

Tricia Sciortino :

Really? Interesting. I went the other way, I was more of a night owl and then I had children and then they forced me to become a morning person because they were up at six o’clock in the morning and therefore as a parent you had to be also.

Ari Adler:

Yeah, I’m definitely a morning person and Katie, I would have said you’re more of a night owl because you’re always working at night and I’m getting the emails in the morning. I could see where you would have shifted with the kids.

Tricia Sciortino :

Fun.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yeah. No, I think I’m kind of a night owl, but it’s because of my kids. I’ve got a college student, so I have to stay up a long time. I don’t have to, I choose to.

Tricia Sciortino :

So They stay up late, so then you are staying up later now?

Lisa Zeeveld:

Right. Well, as Tricia said, thank you so much for being here with us today and I would love to dive in and first off, ask you guys, take us back to when you first started working together, how did that go? Were there any bumps in the road?

Katie Lantukh:

Oh gosh. I had thought about hiring a BELAY person for a long time, probably a year or more before I finally called. I dragged my feet because, A: I was embarrassed at how disorganized I was and I wasn’t sure how to articulate what I needed help with.

Katie Lantukh:

But by April of last year, 2020, I had a four month old and a four year old, no childcare and a growing business and I was very frequently staying up until 3:00 AM to finish my work. And I was just at my wit’s end. So I swallowed my pride, called BELAY and they matched me with Ari and he had all these amazing qualifications.

Katie Lantukh:

I remember them giving me the rundown of what he had done before. And I thought, oh my gosh, I don’t deserve him. And he deserves much better than the circus that he’s about to walk into. But I leaned in and I just trusted the process and he immediately started helping and Ari can probably speak more to the bumps, but I just remember the immense relief that I felt when he came on.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Wow, that’s awesome.

Ari Adler:

Yeah, I mean I don’t remember really any bumps per se. Katie has put it pretty well, she said, things were kind of a mess and I say that with love, right? But it was the… There was just a lot going on in her email inbox and not having systems and your schedule I remember, was crazy trying to keep up with everything. And I just remember when we get matched as a VA and they introduce us to a client, and we get to listen to intake calls and that kind of thing to learn. And I kind of learn your personality, when people do that. And one of the wins I remember, that you mentioned was, you wanted to have time to catch up on a Netflix queue occasionally, and just do normal,

Tricia Sciortino :

We all have to watch Netflix at some point.

Ari Adler:

And just have normal people things that you do, and not be working constantly. And I thought, this is exactly what you need, is somebody to help you just get through the bumps that you already have in your life and how do we smooth those out?

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yeah. I think it’s great that you mentioned what you did, Katie. Because I think a lot of people probably are in that similar place where they know they need help, but maybe they’re a little embarrassed by how much help that they need. And getting started itself feels like a burden right out of the get-go. So I think that that’s great information for anybody out there listening who is thinking about it is that, really you just have to start. The rest will work itself out. It can’t get worse, it’s only going to get better.

Ari Adler:

That’s a really good point, Tricia that you made too about, you have to get started. So I came into it with my background and looking at ways that I could help Katie with her inbox. And I’m like, “let’s organize your inbox in this way, and let’s set up this system”, and figure out how we’re going to work together and understanding that nothing is permanent.

Ari Adler:

If we start a process and it’s not working, we can tweak it, and we’ve done that with a few different things and then you just, It gets better and better as you go. So I think it’s best to just dive in and start and then move things as you need to. No matter what, it’s not going to get worse, I can guarantee that, and it will get better as you work together longer.

Lisa Zeeveld:

And I even think the Netflix reference, I mean sometimes people will think that that’s not important, but earlier we were talking about, I had some technical difficulties and my computer shut down and we all need to shut down. And so it’s like not feeling guilty if you want to ask for help, so you have downtime, so you can actually enjoy Netflix. That’s part of being a wholistic human and needing that downtime, especially when you have a family, it’s really important to know that it’s okay to ask for that help.

Tricia Sciortino :

Yes, and now I’m totally addicted so I probably could never not have a virtual assistant again. I’ve had one for many, many years and even when she goes on vacation, bless her heart, I feel like I don’t know which way is which, because I’ve become so used to having that support system and it is such a gift. Gosh, I feel so unproductive when she’s not around, so it’s amazing.

Tricia Sciortino :

So you talk about just getting started and I wonder what it looked like for you guys for really the whole trust issue. Was their hesitation? Did you kind of both just go in with palms up? How was that for you guys?

Katie Lantukh:

I think the hesitation that I felt was just back to that embarrassment that I was like, I had I think at the time four different email addresses, I had to keep all the tabs open all day long. I was checking all of them, always afraid that I was going to miss something. I had Asana, but I wasn’t really using it so I had a legal pad with my huge to do list and I was just always really anxious about missing something or dropping a ball. And so when Ari and I were looking through, what systems do I have and where can we start? I just gave him everything. I was like, this is where we are.

Tricia Sciortino :

I’m just going to have to trust- Right, I’m just going to have to put it all in.

Katie Lantukh:

Yeah, that’s right. Everything was on the table and nothing was sacred.

Ari Adler:

And Tricia, you mentioned all-in and Katie and I have talked about this a little bit. I think anybody who’s going to try a new system, whether it’s a project management system or you’re starting to work with a VA, whatever you’re going to do, you have to make that commitment to go all-in. You can’t dabble in it a little bit, because it ends up just not working well. So it’s really more a matter of everybody getting all on board and trying to figure it out.

Ari Adler:

And like I said, you can change directions a little bit as you go forward, but that was… And I remember Katie, you and I when we first started it was sort of like, “well I’m going to have you do this and then maybe we’ll start on some other things”, And then it didn’t take long, you were just like, “okay you know what, here’s everything.” I’m just dumping it all on you and see if you can make any sense of it. And from a VA’s perspective, that was fantastic, that was very empowering and it gave me the ability to just set up some new systems and try some different things and see how it worked, and that was great.

Lisa Zeeveld:

And Katie, Do you feel like that was natural to you? I mean, had you worked in an environment where trust came pretty easily and so that’s why you were just like, I’m at my wit’s end, here you go. Or was it strictly just out of exhaustion and I just need help, and so. Because I think that’s one of the hardest parts for most people. I think that’s one of the questions we get asked most when clients come is: How do I learn to trust? And so, curious if that was just something that was natural for you.

Katie Lantukh:

It wasn’t the most natural thing because I’ve always been, in my previous roles before when I had a normal job and I wasn’t an entrepreneur, I was always a contributor. I had interns a couple of times, but that’s very different. And so once I started my own business and then it kind of blew up, I had to shift to this more leadership role in delegating. And I’m used to doing all the things I’m used to doing the bookkeeping and the scheduling and client calls and the actual deliverables.

Katie Lantukh:

And to hand that over was kind of nerve wracking because my name’s on all of this and I’ve met him online. It felt a little bit of this, like a leap of faith of, well I know that BELAY has a good reputation, I trust that they have vetted these people.

Katie Lantukh:

I just trusted the process and I don’t know, Ari proved me right. That he’s worthy of my complete trust, and he has made my business so much better and working like clockwork and I feel like my clients are taken better care of now that we have more than just one person on the line. So it’s been extremely helpful.

Lisa Zeeveld:

That’s great.

Ari Adler:

BELAY does a really good job with the processes that you have and the system that you have, and so I think when it comes to a matter of trust, clients needed to trust that process, that you’re going to get matched with the right person. And I’ve talked to other people who are VA’s and some maybe who don’t get placed right away, and they get a little frustrated but I’m like, “just give it time.” There’s a reason the process exists and BELAY knows what it’s doing, they’ve done this long enough. Just give it time and you’ll get matched with the right person.

Ari Adler:

And that is so much more important than just getting the first person who comes along to work with. It has to be a good fit, you know? I have a background in public relations and media relations, that kind of thing. And with what Katie does with her marketing, we meshed really well because of that, because of my writing and editing background and I kind of knew what she did in her industry. And so I think that helped as well.

Tricia Sciortino :

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I couldn’t have said it better myself. That is our mission, it’s what we’re out here trying to do is find the right person, not the first person. And that is really, if you could boil it all down to a core sentence, here at BELAY, it’s about the right people, not the quickest people or the first person, because there are services out there where you can get somebody tomorrow. But how vetted and evaluated and careful is the process of finding that person in 24 hours. So I’m glad you brought that up Ari. That’s a great point is that: sometimes you just need to take the time to wait for what is right and then also, what you guys have already mentioned, when you’re in you’re all-in, you’re all the way in. No toe dipping, just go for it.

Lisa Zeeveld:

No toe dipping.

Tricia Sciortino :

No toe dipping.

Lisa Zeeveld:

BELAY Provides staffing to help you grow your organization. Whether you need a virtual assistant, bookkeeper, website specialist, or a social media strategist, they have the right team member for the hours you need, ready to help you accel without the added stress of having to do everything on your own.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Stop juggling and start getting back to what only you can do: growing your organization. Getting started is the easiest thing you’ll do today. To find out more, just go to belaysolutions.com/get-started.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Tell us a little bit about your typical week. What does your communication cadence look like? Are you talking on the phone, texting, email? What does that look like?

Katie Lantukh:

We meet twice a week for about 15 to 30 minutes, depending on what’s going on. We meet Mondays and Thursdays usually. So kick off the week and then wrap up and get ready for the next week. We only text in emergency situations and then we do have Slack, but again it’s usually not, I usually say, this is not an emergency or whatever, so that he knows that it can be handled whenever. So it’s pretty strictly meetings, emails. Just to cut down on all the digital noise that we have going on.

Ari Adler:

Well, there are so many ways, and Katie has information coming in from clients and potential clients and there’s so many different ways to reach her now that there’s just a lot coming in. And so we try to streamline what we do and I think… I know BELAY recommends at least one meeting a week, usually by video if you can, that really helps make the connection.

Ari Adler:

And we started with that and we did one long meeting and then we discovered that two shorter meetings was actually better for us in terms of what we could focus on in that amount of time and being able to do that. But we’re constantly in touch and know what’s going on, and then I use a program called Base that BELAY is obviously familiar with because you helped them get going. And I use a daily digest for Katie that she gets so there’s a lot of information available through there that makes a good reference point for her. So anything I can do to eliminate email is a big part of it. So we just try to condense everything into the smallest messaging package possible.

Tricia Sciortino :

Yeah, I love that. I feel the same way as well, I don’t want to, as a leader, have to go to multiple different platforms to try and connect with my team or my people or my assistant. I’m all for keeping it in one place, so you’re not tabbing between multiple platforms. And to your point, if your assistant is trying to help you keep your inbox empty, then don’t send your leader an email. I love a good instant message, actually. That’s one of my favorite forms of communication.

Lisa Zeeveld:

I was actually going to mention that, that we know that I’m not a fan of instant messaging.

Tricia Sciortino :

I love instant message.

Katie Lantukh:

It is helped though, too, because we got Katie going on a project management system. So I think one of the big changes we made for you, Katie, is that you’re not using your inbox as your to-do list anymore, and that was a big problem. Anybody that does that, it can really get unwieldy after a while and that’s when you lose stuff and you’re not sure if something is slipping through the cracks or not. So that was helpful to be able to do that as well.

Katie Lantukh:

And then my… I have an expectation that she stays out of her calendar as much as Possible. So if there’s any scheduling to be done, she’ll send it on to me or I’ll just deal with it with a client. And that keeps the calendar and the schedule a little more manageable too.

Tricia Sciortino :

Yeah, otherwise you’ll be scheduling things on top of each other.

Katie Lantukh:

And that’s what I do.

Tricia Sciortino :

I get my hand slapped too Katie, it’s okay. Melissa, my assistant will say, “what did you go do there? I was holding that spot for somebody.” Oops.

Katie Lantukh:

Katie actually put herself in timeout once during our relationship here, because we would talk about how she would need blocks of time to focus on something or get something done, especially being in a creative field, you need time to do that. And then I’d go into the calendar and there’d be a meeting scheduled there. And I’m like, where did that come from? So she gave herself a time out for a little bit and handed it back over to me, so that’s worked out really well.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yeah, I also get in trouble because I have an ideal calendar and I’m not always really good at saying no. And so I don’t know if that’s a problem for you Katie or not, but my assistant is able to say no on my behalf. And then I will say, “okay I don’t want more than four meetings in a day.” And then all of a sudden she’s like, “why is there five or why is there six?” I’m like, “well, this person asked”, and she’s like, “no, that’s why they all come through me, so you can’t do that.” Because then she knows I will get worn out and I’m not going to be my best for the meetings that are the most important, and that she’s already scheduled.

Katie Lantukh:

It’s like we’re living parallel lives, that’s exactly how our conversations go.

Tricia Sciortino :

Yes, or she will say, “listen, you don’t have time for this meeting till June…” And I say, “yeah, but I want to squeeze it in because he’s a friend or whatever.” And she’s like, “okay, I’ll put it next Thursday at three, but I guarantee Thursday morning there’s going to be a meltdown. I will not be held accountable for how you’re feeling Thursday about your schedule. Said, “Okay, you’re right.”

Lisa Zeeveld:

Well, how do you guys handle emergencies? I know Katie, you said that if something’s super important, you’ll put it in. Like the header of maybe the email, but urgent request. How do you know what’s the flexibility of how Ari works? How do you know that he’s able to see that and tackle it?

Katie Lantukh:

We’ve actually recently talked a lot about this because I’ve designed my business and the services that we provide to not need a whole lot of emergency exceptions. We write websites, we don’t develop them. So if one crashes they don’t call us, so it’s great. But at the same time, there may be something like: I’m not able to make it to a meeting that’s scheduled or a meetings running over, or something has come up. And typically we’ll just Slack or text, depending on where the other person is. If one of us is traveling or something, we generally know that ahead of time so that we can ping accordingly.

Tricia Sciortino :

That’s good. I like that that is your core. Nothing’s an emergency.

Ari Adler:

Yeah that is helpful. But also we communicate really well about, I mean obviously I see Katie’s calendar and I know where she is and what she’s doing, but I try to keep her posted on where am I at or if I’m going to be out of touch for a little bit, or not able to jump on something right away, I will give her a heads up. And we’ve picked up really well on the, I think BELAY calls it the virtual nod, which is if you get a message to somebody and if it’s not an urgent item, just in Slack a lot of times they’ll just respond back with a check mark or something like, “yeah, got it.” And Katie knows she can stop thinking about it at that point and I’ll take care of it.

Ari Adler:

And then as soon as I get back to a computer or whatever, I can do that. But I think communication, whether it’s a meeting or two meetings a week to keep you on track, but then also just constant communication between the two of you as needed, on a daily basis if you need it, just so you know what’s going on is very helpful. So that if something urgent does come up, you know where to turn.

Tricia Sciortino :

Absolutely. So what would you say, Katie? How has Ari’s support made the biggest difference in your business and your life? That was a very profound, big question. It really gets to the core of really talking about how things have changed for you.

Ari Adler:

What she’s really asking is: have you made any progress on your Netflix queue? There we started this conversation.

Tricia Sciortino :

Then I want to talk about you working at three o’clock in the morning.

Katie Lantukh:

Let’s not talk about that. I feel like the best illustration is this spring, I went on break with my daughter, we took a week off and since I’ve been working for myself since 2016, I do not think I’ve taken consecutive days in a row off. Not worried about clients, not taking sales calls on vacation. How many times have I done that or finished up deliverables or taken on extra projects?

Katie Lantukh:

It was constant, but I literally took a full week off and went to see my parents and it was fantastic, and I just think before Ari, everything was on my shoulders. I mean, we talked about sales, bookkeeping, scheduling, deliverables, all the entrepreneur stuff. And I was really anxious about letting someone down or missing something or just not doing a good job on something because I had other things going on. So I would just constantly check my emails, Slacks, project management, my legal pad, all the things.

Katie Lantukh:

But now I just know that Ari has my back and we’ve thought through everything, he’s helped me really streamline all the processes. I don’t have my legal pad anymore.

Tricia Sciortino :

I was going to ask you about that. I’m just going to ask you about that legal pad.

Katie Lantukh:

I mean, I have sticky notes, but I don’t keep my to do list.

Tricia Sciortino :

We all have sticky notes. I have a sticky note.

Katie Lantukh:

I just feel like he’s looking around the corner for me too. It’s not just my calendar or my inbox. It’s like, “oh, I learned about this and let’s implement a piece of that”, or he’s always helping me think through better ways to do things and just constantly improving, which I really appreciate it.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yeah that’s why I always said I think there needs to be another, I like the term assistant, right, because I think that it really does have the right connotation of how this partner is coming along and walking side by side with you. But I always feel like there’s just something missing from it, right? Because that intuition that comes with having a phenomenal VA, sometimes we can make it sound like it’s a nice to have, but it’s the core of what makes a great virtual assistant.

Lisa Zeeveld:

It’s that Ari is one step ahead of you so that you don’t have to stay up in the middle of the night worrying if you forgot something. I always say to my assistant she’s the other part of my brain, right? I just needed more, one brain wasn’t enough and she was able to come along and be next to me. And I think that that’s a testament to you, Ari, that Katie feels that way because it’s such a huge, huge relief. And Tricia’s point, why it becomes addictive, because you realize what a true gift it is and how much more productive you are and why we say every leader needs an assistant, your capacity just grows.

Tricia Sciortino :

Yeah, I change her title. Sometimes it’s peacemaker and sometimes it’s magic maker. So between, she’s either giving me peace and ease, right? Peace of mind, because she’s handling it, she is looking around the corner, she’s tackling the details, I don’t have to worry. So she gives me peace, so I call her my peacemaker.

Tricia Sciortino :

And sometimes I call her my magic maker because I feel like sometimes she turns things from scratch on a piece of paper, like ugly notes into, sometimes it’s a beautiful spreadsheet or whatever. The output from her is just always magic. So sometimes I like to call her those things.

Katie Lantukh:

I would just say a big part of that too is, especially with Katie working by herself when she started out and everything and having to keep track of all of that, and not having the ability to say no sometimes. And I think just having a second person, there’s been instances where we’ll be messaging back and forth and she wants to say no to somebody, but I think you just look for someone else to say, it’s okay you can say no, you don’t have time to do this.

Katie Lantukh:

So just having that other person to bounce an idea off of, and seeing Katie’s business grow the way it has, it’s been really rewarding for me to, from the VA’s perspective. Of watching her start out as a person who was doing it all herself and now has a team of contractors that come in and help her do more work for more people.

Katie Lantukh:

So I don’t know that your workload has gone down, but you’re accomplishing more in the same amount of time and I think that’s a big part of it too.

Katie Lantukh:

And I could not have done that without Ari’s help. He was the first domino and now we have a whole team of people. And I was at my wit’s end just on my own. And I for sure would have never even dreamed of adding more people to the puzzle. That would have been impossible.

Tricia Sciortino :

I love that, so if you could give, each of you, so Katie and then Ari. If You could give one piece of advice for someone considering working with a virtual assistant, or if you’re someone who maybe wants to be a great virtual assistant. What would those nuggets of advice be that you would give to our listeners?

Katie Lantukh:

I think I would just say to trust the process, trust the hiring process, the matching process, say everything that you feel is important to you in that intake interview or whatever that’s called. I was kind of particular about a couple of things and my client success person was like, “okay, no problem.” And I was like, that feels weird to say but this is something I care about.

Katie Lantukh:

And then also trusting the process that you don’t have to have everything perfectly figured out. I do not think I came to Ari at all with a task list. And like, “this is how I want you to spend your hours”. I was just like, here are all my logins and I don’t know what’s going on. So I think both of that, just trusting that you’re going to get placed with a great person and if not, you guys can figure that out. And then also that they can figure out how to best serve you, that’s what they’re here to do.

Ari Adler:

And I think from the VA side is also trust the process of BELAY, but also take those interviews seriously. When you’re able to learn more about a client before you talk to them or are you get an onboarding call with them, make sure that you match because your going to want to invest in them. And it’s an investment in their company. They’re making an investment with BELAY, with their hard earned dollars to get something out of this. And you need to understand that you are that investment. So go all-in from that side too. Make sure you’re there to take care of everything, figure out the best way to set up processes and get those going.

Ari Adler:

But then as we talked about a little bit, look around the corner. What is missing from their lives? And for most people, if they don’t have an assistant it’s going to be, they have too many things going on at once. They’re trying to tread water and not really making any progress. And that means, especially for an entrepreneur, you don’t have time to sit and look at what does the future hold, what comes next to help grow that business, that kind of thing. So the VA can take some of that load off their shoulders and then they can look ahead to see what comes next and we’ve seen that with Katie, with her business growing. So I think that it’s worked out really well.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yeah. We’re just going to take that Ari and put that into every bit of material we have. I could not have said it better. And that’s what makes you so great, so thank you. Well, I love your partnership and Katie, I love that you have felt so much relief and Ari, the fact that you’ve been able to take your skillset and the things that you love to do and really get joy out of helping Katie and her business grow. And that’s ultimately why we wake up every morning is because that’s what we’re trying to do is make both parties happy and excited to be here. So thank you guys so much for sharing your time with us today. This was awesome.

Katie Lantukh:

Thank you so much for this.

Tricia Sciortino :

Thank you for joining us today.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Ari and Katie had such a great energy, I loved talking with them today.

Tricia Sciortino :

What a win-win scenario with those two.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Totally, yeah. And I don’t know about you, but I could feel Katie, I don’t know, she was just at peace. Like she had finally found somebody that she could trust and hand everything over, and that’s so cool.

Tricia Sciortino :

And I love how Ari was so committed to her business growing and to her getting out of it, what she really wanted, that he knew that he was the investment, right? That he was going to come in and be the one that saved her. And I don’t know if many people think about it that way. And I teased around about my assistant being my magic maker, my peacemaker, but gosh, yes it is life changing.

Lisa Zeeveld:

And I think that his perspective on it, right? That’s something that we… Any assistant out there listening to this right here should really hear: understand you are the investment. You’re not just waiting to be handed to delegated to, right? You’re the one looking for the work.

Tricia Sciortino :

Dive in, help solve problems, help get ahead, look around the corners. I mean, it’s such a great testimony to the fact that she was able to grow her business because she was no longer spending time on things like booking appointments and filtering through multiple email accounts. So she was really able to grow her business, hire more contractors. And so that is such an awesome testimony to the power of having a great virtual assistant.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Totally. The other takeaway that I had was the fact that when I asked the question about how do you handle emergencies or urgent things. And she’s like, “we don’t have any of those”, because she’s not allowing the urgent to run her day to day operations, right? Minimizing that, and I think that sometimes we create our own emergencies because we think that what we’re doing is more important than really what it is, or it’s a lack of planning that causes the emergencies. So I think that’s just good for our listeners to hear is, if you have too many emergencies, if too many things are urgent, then perhaps there’s something that should be evaluated there.

Tricia Sciortino :

Yeah, exactly. Unless you’re an ER doctor, probably most of what you’re doing does not warrant emergency.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Right, exactly. Such good stuff.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Well guys, you know what time it is, it is time for me to talk about our download and this week’s download is our Ultimate Guide to Working with a VA.

Tricia Sciortino :

This guide is chock full of goodness guys. So text the phrase “one next step” to 3-1-9-9-6, or visit onenextsteppodcast.com and you’ll get access to today’s resource to help you keep moving forward. Thank you for joining us today, we will see you next week for another great episode of The One Next Step.

Lisa Zeeveld:

That’s right, so start by making today count.

Speaker 2:

Thanks for listening to One Next Step. Be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts or follow us on Spotify, then join us next time for more practical business tips and tools to help you get more done, grow your business and lead your team with confidence. For more episodes, show notes and helpful resources visit onenextsteppodcast.com.

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