Not too long ago we shared a particular quote that we found motivating. It was a graphic image with a very blunt quote, shared on our social media channels. We expected that some folks would agree and of course, some would disagree. Everyone’s entitled to have their own opinion, especially when it comes to bold claims like the one quoted. What we didn’t expect was just how passionate(and misleading) some of the responses were! As of writing, that post has 4,000+ reactions, 340+ comments, and 550+ shares. So we felt it only appropriate to not only address some of the responses we saw repeating but explain a bit more about the message behind the quote.
Let’s talk about the quote itself, first. What does that even mean? Where did we come up with it and why do we support it? The idea here is that by taking on all of the responsibilities of a particular job, you become multiple employees yourself. Just because a particular task like processing paperwork is part of the business you lead, doesn’t mean you need to be doing it. It’s really no different than if you stopped and went down the hall to clean the employee bathrooms. If you’re a manager and you’re doing that, then you’re also the janitor. Regardless of the extra tasks you take on, the point is that you shouldn’t have to. You have higher-level, dollar-producing tasks that adhere to your expertise. Those tasks can’t play second fiddle to busy work, or your business will never grow to its full potential.
“Or you are capable of doing your own work. Nothing wrong with that.”
This comment was one of the most popular responses under this post, with 70+ reactions and 20 replies! At first glance, this statement makes sense and sounds agreeable. Unfortunately, it misses the entire point of the post. The quote isn’t referring to whether or not you are capable of doing paperwork, it’s about why you shouldn’t be in the first place. An entrepreneur who is trying to grow their business really shouldn’t be dividing their time among menial tasks. It’s not about being capable, it’s about focusing on the right things and delegating the rest to someone else just as capable. Processing paperwork, data entry, reviewing for signatures, filing, etc are not complex tasks that require a specific skillset. Those are the kind of tasks that just about anyone can learn with a bit of training. Need more proof that time is of the essence when you’re growing a business? Check out this informative piece when you’re done here.
“I’d rather be my assistant and know that it’s done right, and finish the job I started with my clients…”
Here’s another response that got some decent attention, with 15 reactions and a few replies. Luckily, someone replied to this comment and demonstrated their own understanding of the quote when they said; “That’s a lot, I mean a lot of work for a growing business. Imagine if every business owner said they don’t want help…yikes”. This guy gets it! But let’s dive deeper into what the initial response is saying; they don’t trust someone else to get the job done right. That sounds like a personal problem rather than the strategy of someone successfully scaling their business. When you take a bit of time to find the right people and train them well, you solve your own problems. For an organized, efficient team, the paperwork should not be so complex that an experienced assistant can’t learn it and do it for you. Freeing you up to devote more time and effort to the higher-value tasks you deserve to be focusing on. And guess what? It also frees you up to spend more time with those clients they mentioned, since you’re not juggling paperwork when you could be adding value to your customer experience.
“If we are doing our paperwork, we are smart and know what to do to get things done when we can’t afford a staff.”
This comment references the concern about “getting it done right” again but also mentions the cost. Since we already covered the issue of thinking you’re the only person in the world who can do paperwork, let’s talk about the price point. It’s totally fair to be concerned about the cost of hiring additional hands. For a lot of entrepreneurs, the early goal is to simply increase revenue. And they think they’re cutting into that by adding more employees that need to get paid, but they couldn’t be more wrong. It’s called an investment! The time you waste doing your own paperwork, taking time away from higher-value tasks, and facetime with your customers, will equal slower gains and even loss of income over time. By investing in one or more virtual assistants, you pay a little in the short term but increase productivity and thus the potential for more revenue in the long term. When you outsource to a virtual assistant you save up to 70% off the average cost to hire a local assistant, but you get the same quality of reliable work. So in this scenario, you kind of can’t afford to not hire an assistant.
“And if you own your own business you’re also the window cleaner, security, janitor, etc. All of that is ok.”
This is a perplexing comment because it continues on, even more, to really take offense to the original quote. This sentiment was echoed a few times, which showed us that message here really was missed by many. When you’re just getting started, sure it makes sense that the owner will be handling a lot of things themselves. That’s just how it goes, no argument there. But as you grow, you will need helping hands. That’s a fact. As far as business owners go, you’re not special. It’s simply not professionally intelligent or business savvy to think it’s ok for the owner or other executives to also have to process stacks of paperwork, let alone clean windows or be security. That’s just silly. Maybe if you have a “mom and pop” book store or pastry shop that might make sense for your model, but for most growing companies it simply doesn’t make sense to not delegate busy work to trusted assistants. You started your business for a reason; you have a vision, and the skills and talent to execute that vision. Not just anyone can do that! Once you’ve hit the ground running you should be focusing on those skills and talents, not doing paperwork. That’s something anyone can do.
The Ones Who Get It
“In order to purchase time for yourself, even though you can do some things yourself, pay a professional to free up time for other things you want to do.”
Now there’s someone who really gets it! Like we said above, this idea of not doing your own paperwork isn’t about being capable or not. It’s about dividing your time appropriately and efficiently. And in the case of MyOutDesk, doing so cost-effectively as well. By hiring a helping hand for busy work like paperwork, you free yourself up to focus on what made you excited about this job in the first place. We’re sure doing paperwork isn’t why you wanted to be a business owner. So why force yourself to do it? Time is money. By insisting on doing everything yourself, you’re wasting both.
“Doing everything myself makes me an employee of my business, not a business owner. I’m working to free myself of the work an assistant can do.”
Bingo. Business owners often start their businesses because they didn’t want to work for someone else anymore. Some could argue that by doing their own paperwork they’re just working for themselves, which was technically their goal. But just because you are your own boss doesn’t mean you’re a good boss! Imagine if you were an experienced expert in the field of HR, but your boss made you set aside time every day to process a stack of recruiting paperwork. This starts eating at your available facetime with the employees you’re there to serve, for example. Eventually, you’ll resent your boss for not investing in an assistant to help streamline your processes so you can focus on what they hired you for. Well, don’t resent yourself someday for not asking for a little help because you thought it was impressive or admirable to always be grinding. It’s not.
Words of Encouragement
- “Yep and you’re right, been there done that… whew!”
- “Right! I needed to get an assistant. She’s great!”
- “Ooh I felt attacked, that’s great marketing!”
- “Truth, I agree because I do need assistance. Don’t want to be boss and secretary too.”
We felt like adding a few more positive blurbs from the comments to highlight that it wasn’t all protest! It was a controversial post because the response was fairly divided. While a lot of folks did seem to miss the point a bit, quite a few understood the message and could relate. Perhaps it has to do with their own experience being business owners? We did notice that a lot of the protests came from people who didn’t appear to be business owners, anyways. And the folks who are might be speaking from their experience with much smaller businesses. The kind that doesn’t necessarily have much need for scaling up as an expanding business does. So while the message behind this quote may have been controversial for some, we understand it’s also relative. But for most growing businesses, you’re either a leader or an assistant, not both.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
When you hire a virtual assistant, you’re investing in your own business. Ask yourself: what is truly stopping you from embracing the timeless business practice of hiring an assistant? If it’s the cost, the uncertainty, or some false sense of pride about “doing it yourself” then you’re looking at this all wrong. Any business that has any kind of goal around scaling up, growing, and expanding so as to increase revenue, will certainly find a need for assistance. If your business is small enough or has a narrow enough focus, then this message simply isn’t for you. In fact, power to you for being a hustler in your world! We agree it can feel good to do it all yourself and have that peace of mind and satisfaction at the end of the day. But that life isn’t sustainable for every person or every business model. Most enter the business ownership world because they eventually want their business to work for them, not the other way around.
So, are you still firmly against the idea of an assistant? Or are you undecided now? If so, is it the cost or the fear of reliability? Because at MyOutDesk we got you covered on both. Our virtual assistants grant all of the same benefits as a local assistant, but at a fraction of the cost. They also come with years of experience, natural talent, education, and drive. We verify all of our virtual assistants before adding them to our pool of available professionals. We also provide certain assurances, support, and benefits to smooth the transition for any business new to the concept. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by exploring your options with a virtual assistant. So use the link below to request a consultation. Our expert will go over everything with you and answer any questions or concerns you may have. Like we said before, time is money. And we’re not in the business of wasting either of yours.
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