Courtney was paired with BELAY Virtual Assistant Erica for 45 hours a month and was able to slowly move her goalposts apart.
“I’m a Type-2 Enneagram, so I’m very focused on relationships and connection and I tend to be pretty transparent,” Courtney shares. “So when we first started working together, I felt a connection very early with Erica. She had also worked for a family business prior and could speak Spanish. She also has kids my age. We had similar personalities.
“And she very quickly put me at ease and helped me feel supported. I’m the person who goes to the therapist and sits down on the sofa and asks them how they’re doing. So Erica has really made me feel very comfortable.”
Initially, Courtney had Erica managing her email, albeit somewhat reluctantly as she had hesitations about having someone speak for her. But in time, Erica earned Courtney’s confidence.
“When I learned Courtney’s voice, it became even easier,” Erica says. “I knew [when to use] my voice and [when to use] her voice.”
“That was the beginning – just email,” Courtney adds. “And then it grew to my calendar and now, and it’s grown to all sorts of things. ‘How is she doing this in 12 hours a week?’
“She always goes above and beyond, which is incredible,” Courtney adds. “Now, my calendar is so much more manageable. And the reason is that Erica listens when I tell her, ‘You know, I need some space between meetings. I need to be able to go check on my kids who are being raised by wolves over there.’ Or I need to get some fresh air.”
And Courtney was able to lean into Erica with the advice she received as she onboarded with BELAY.
“I remember the number-one piece of advice was [about] the importance of trust. If I don’t fully trust, then Erica can’t do all the things I really need her to do.”
And one of those things was making time to care for herself and her family.
“I was not taking care of myself as well as I should, as well as my kids,” she admits. “And so I just needed to completely say, ‘Here are my logins. Take over finances, calendar, you know – everything.’ So the trust really mattered.”