Enter: BELAY Virtual Assistant Lisa Speir.
She developed a system where instead of tackling emails as they come in, she takes ownership of all emails three days old and beyond to keep Will’s inbox under a hundred emails and make sure nothing gets missed.
Lisa also handles Will’s travel arrangements, calendar, and now, some ‘personal stuff.’ He never thought he’d have an assistant help with personal things, but it’s been great. He likes the fact she is not in the office, “hanging out at the water cooler”. He trusts her completely but the fact she can’t even be tempted to share personal information with his staff is appreciated.
“It wasn’t really part of the value proposition … but then people have very much appreciated [my] response time,” Will says. He is able to be fully present now when meeting with his staff. “It’s even gotten to the point – though this doesn’t happen a lot – that occasionally, my wife emails her and says, ‘Do you think you could move the ball on this thing?’”
It really does take a village.
But then, the unexpected: a pandemic.
Lisa and Will had established their rhythm and then COVID-19 caused them – and the rest of the world – to pivot.
So where once Lisa’s day-to-day responsibilities included setting up meetings, managing meeting agendas, managing meeting follow-up, and managing arrangements for all the places Will needed to travel, those tasks became quickly irrelevant.
So she and Will set out to reevaluate her role as Will admits to being ‘too invested’ to terminate their partnership.
Now, Lisa has assumed more responsibility for project management, particularly those they started together.
“We’re opening a warehouse in Florida and [Lisa] has put more time into opening that warehouse than I have,” Will says. “We needed a job description for a forklift driver – we’ve never made a job description for a forklift driver because every forklift driver we have has been here since I started working at the company.”
And – unsurprisingly – Lisa delivered.
“[Lisa] said, ‘One of my best friends is in HR. I’ll reach out and see how they do that.’” Will explains. “At the time, our HR manager was a little busy with COVID, so we needed that capacity.”