Hiring Your First Personal Assistant by Meggin McIntosh, PhD

By meggin@meggin.com
In Coaches
Sep 16th, 2013

Personal assistant

If you have been around me for any length of time, you know that I believe we should all be doing “what only we can do.” As a coach, there is a massive list of tasks, projects, and interactions that are the ones that “only you can do.”

For example, if your clients hire you to be their coach, they want YOU not someone else. If you are speaking to a group of people in an industry where you tend to attract clients, then it’s best if YOU are there, not someone else. So, can you hire out anything to help you focus more on your core business?
Actually, yes. And here’s what I’d like to suggest. Consider hiring a personal assistant first. Here are ten productivity tips to keep in mind to help you get moving with this endeavor.

  1. Make a list of (or mindmap) all the things you do all day every day (or that you wish you were getting done) that have nothing to do with bringing money in the door for your business. This is going to involve all the personal things and all the professional things. Stay with me here.
  2. Go through that list and circle the ones that are the ones that ONLY you can do (e.g., read to your daughter at night, enjoy dinner with your family, work out at the gym, have lunch with friends, etc.). These circled ones are the ones you are keeping even though they don’t “make you any money.”
  3. Look at what is left. For example, picking up clothes at the dry cleaners, grocery shopping, dropping off used inkjet cartridges to get the rebate, shopping for items to donate to a women’s shelter, and the like.
  4. Imagine having days and weeks where you didn’t have to do any of the ones that are left on your list (i.e., the ones that aren’t circled). How much time would that give back to you? How much stress would be relieved? How much more could you possibly make in your business when you have more time and less stress? How much more could you enjoy your life if you had more time and less stress? Get the picture?
  5. Now, start imagining yourself with one or more personal assistants. Just let that idea sit in your mind for a bit. Note: It doesn’t have to be one person who does everything.
  6. Begin generating the names of people who would LOVE to be one of your personal assistants. Think young teenagers in your neighborhood who want to earn extra money and would LOVE to wash your car, put stamps on Christmas cards, update your WordPress site, etc. Consider the teenagers in your neighborhood who drive and who, thereby, need to earn more gas money and could run errands for you throughout the week, thus taking that off your plate.
  7. Call one of these young people today (not tomorrow unless it’s too late at night when you’re reading this) and ask if s/he can come by so you can talk about some work you need to have done. You will need to be clear about what you want and what you expect – build the young person’s self-esteem by having high standards and holding him/her to those.
  8. Find other professionals (not teens) who do the kind of assistant work that you need to have done. Ask friends and networking groups who they use because you want someone who has been referred to you, not just a name out of the phone book.
  9. Make an email or phone contact with a couple of these people this week and schedule time to talk. Interview them and set up a reasonable probation time if you find someone that seems to “fit” with what you need. Be clear on your expectations as well making sure you are clear on the expectations that the other person has.
  10. Have the conversations with others in your house (and it’s often the other adult, but not always) about why you are hiring out certain activities, tasks, and projects. Be clear about your intent to focus more on income-producing activities that only you can do as well as your intent to focus more on (calmly) being in your role as mom, friend, husband, or whatever other personal roles you serve in. Remember to make it clear both what you need and what’s in it for them.

As a coach, you have special skills and talents and you need to be using those to make the biggest difference for the most people – including those in your circle of family and friends. Running errands or tending to other “personal” chores may not be the best use of your time. Hire a personal assistant and see what changes.

Meggin works with bright people through her workshops, writing, consulting, and coaching to support their quest for peaceful, predictable productivity.  The end result is that these great folks can now consistently keep their emphasis on excellence.  It’s a great life!!

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