#190: Why You Don’t Need a Virtual Assistant


Among the very first bits of advice you get as a digital course creator, or really as a digital entrepreneur, is to hire a virtual assistant before you think you need one. But hiring a Virtual Assistant, or VA, costs money and at the beginning or middle of your journey that might feel like a luxury instead of a necessity.

There are books telling you to Buy Back Your Time, how to hire a VA, and even what tasks you should be outsourcing, but let’s face it. That doesn’t work for everyone.

Today I’m going to share with you 5 ways to put off hiring a VA and they are all free! Now, you can go ahead and hire a VA, but I encourage you to consider these ideas first because they are certainly easier on your budget and don’t require you to interview anyone!

Should I Hire a VA?

Most digital entrepreneurs have been told, and this probably includes you, that you need to hire a Virtual Assistant, or VA, sooner than you are ready. You have a busy schedule, more tasks that you have time for, especially with what life adds, and you want to be a successful digital course creator. You want to get going quickly.

The problem is that as a course creator who hasn’t yet launched a course, you don’t have the revenue needed to hire a VA when you don’t have systems and processes in place that they can take over. And the thought of creating those systems and processes at this exact moment gives you a serious case of hives.

But the reality is that you do need help. As much as you are truly Wonder Woman or SuperMan, you don’t have time to do it all. You don’t have Hermione’s Time-Turner device from Harry Potter either.

What is the solution? Put simply, ask for help from your family and friends.

Think about it, I can tell you to go hire a VA and it will change your business and life, but is that true for everyone? No. For some it might be the magic fix to their time problems, but for many more it will add stress about money and maybe even take MORE time as they get the VA settled into the business.

I’m curious, what was your first thought when I said to ask for help from your family and friends?

Did you groan out loud? Did you immediately think, but what could they do to help? Or maybe you actually got excited about this possibility.

Regardless of what your gut reaction was, listen in as I share 5 asks that you can share with your family and friends. These are all asks that are free in that they don’t cost any money, can free up time, or can free up some mental space so that you can be more creative and more productive.

You’ll want to listen to the end of the episode today because I’m going to talk a bit about Ask #4 because this is one that I often feel resistance to and I know so many others who do as well. I’ll share how to get around that resistance and really lean in.

Ask 1: Running Errands

One of my favorite parts of the weekend is that we get to run errands together as a family. We stop by Target, the grocery store, and do those tiny tasks that we don’t get to during the week. My favorite part of this is that we get to talk, listen to music, and be silly.

But let’s face it, running those errands takes TIME in all caps. If you are spending 2 or more hours each weekend running errands, why not consider asking a family member or friend to run those errands for you so that you can get 2 (or more) hours of concentrated time to work on your business?

I already told you that this is something I hold dear, but I’ll also be the first to tell you that missing out on one day of errands a month is ok. My husband and my kiddo leave the house armed with a list of what needs to be done, something we create whether I go on the errands or not, and a strict instruction to not ask questions. This gives me 2 hours to get work done so that when they walk in the door, I’m ready to focus on family without feeling worry, stress, or trying to sneak in work while I think no one is looking.

If you even asked someone to run errands for you once a month or twice a month, how much more focused time would you have to get tasks done?

With those errands you are constantly watching the clock, thinking about all of the things you need to get done, and worrying about how late you’ll have to stay up.

When you delegate those errands you get freedom to work without interruption AND freedom to be present for your friends and family, which they will LOVE.

Ask 2: Teach your friends and family

Now, asking for help with errands is pretty concrete, right? Even better is teaching your family and friends how to best help you. And this is something that feels a little counter-intuitive, but if you find yourself saying I don’t know what to ask my family and friends to do, you are going to love this ask.

Ask your family and friends to use the following phrase when they have time to do something for you. Sure, they can ask “How can I help?”, but that adds to your mental load. You have to figure out what they can do for you and that feels hard.

Instead, have them be more specific. You can ask them to say, “I noticed your list is long today, would it be helpful if I…?” They might offer to wash the dishes, put away laundry, cook dinner, plan the birthday party, or walk the dog.

There have been plenty of times being asked how someone can help just felt like another thing I had to do, but being asked would it be helpful if I… felt like a weight being lifted.

Consequently, this is a great phrase to use with anyone at any time that you want to be helpful.

The key is to train your family members and friends to do this. It doesn’t have to be hard, you can just sit down and share that you are feeling overwhelmed with entrepreneur things and could use a little help, but it feels like a lot to make a list. You can ask them to make a suggestion instead of asking what they can do to help.

I’ve used this Ask and it makes a huge difference, especially if you are constantly trying to juggle home and work tasks.

Ask 3: Remind me of my progress

Hiring a VA isn’t always possible, but enlisting your family and friends to help you, especially with life tasks if not business tasks can buy you time, energy, and keep your money in the bank longer.

We’ve been talking about the concept of having friends and family run errands for you so that you have time to focus without distractions and even teaching your loved ones to ask if it would be helpful if they completed a specific task.

The 3rd Ask that I want to share with you is a little different. If you’ve been wondering if hiring a VA is right for your business right now, you might be thinking that a VA would help you make more progress, or if you are having a tough day you might be thinking they would help you make any progress.

What if you rallied your friends and family to remind you of the progress that you are making. In episode 189 I shared that one of the biggest things I got right in my business was to involve my family and friends from the start. Keeping them in the loop means that they can see the successes and progress that you are experiencing. Often with a clearer lens than you can.

You are stuck in the middle of the muck of building a course and a business. When we are in the middle, we often can’t see the beginning or how far we’ve come. Think about being on the highway for hours on end. It feels like you haven’t gotten very far because we can only see a little ways in the rearview mirror and a little ways in front of the car. You can’t see the 500 miles you’ve already covered or the fact that you are a mere 30 miles from your destination. You can see the 2 miles behind you and the 2 miles in front of you.

Ask your family and friends to consistently remind you about the progress that you’ve made. This will keep you going and remind you of all of the work that you have already done in your business.

How will it feel to know that when you are finally ready to hire a VA that your progress will be even more amplified? Pretty great, right?

Ask 4: Do a Household Chore

But getting your friends and family to rally around you and your progress is only one piece of the puzzle. We need to clear time and energy to get things done in our business. Whether that is recording a new course module, planning out the launch email sequence, or getting on a few calls with potential students. They all take time.

Much like the laundry, the cooking, the cleaning, the mowing, and all of those other household chores that just never seem to end.

If you are short on time, ask a family member or friend to help out. When a friend has a new baby, we rush to help. We make a meal, we fold their laundry, we mop the floor, we read a book to their other children, and generally make ourselves useful. A business is like having a child. We need help and should have help.

Because those chores aren’t just a once and one thing, but a recurring task just like paying the power bill each month, we need help.

If you have kids in your home and are the primary parent, you might feel like this load is even heavier and it feels tough to ask for help because that is actually adding a task to your lengthy list. You have to figure out what tasks need to be done. You do these things automatically. I’ve got a solution for this at the end of today’s episode in our Sixty-Second Solution because this is definitely something that I struggled with.

Can you find me any successful digital entrepreneur who doesn’t have at least a little help with household chores from a family member (kids included), friend, or a housekeeper?

Ask 5: Listen without Providing Advice

The question today has been do you need a VA and what if you don’t really need a VA. Oftentimes a VA is hired to save the entrepreneur time and energy doing tasks that someone else can do. But the reality is that even though a Virtual Assistant might not be a high budget item, even a little cost might be out of reach right now in your business.

So what can you do instead? We’ve been talking about getting help from family and friends by asking for help. I’ve shared 4 of my favorite ways to ask for help in my business and I have just one more to share with you before we wrap up this episode, but let me just remind you to hang out to the end if you’d love more help with household chores but haven’t found an easy way to make that happen yet because asking for that kind of help just feels like another task on your to do list.

Alright, Ask number 5. Sometimes the biggest help that we can get from anyone is having someone listen. When I say listen, I mean listen without offering unsolicited advice.

If you process things by talking out loud to someone, like I do, or just need to get things off your chest sometimes, having someone who will listen without judgment or advice is priceless. Friends and family love us. They want to fix what is wrong and, although well-intentioned, offer advice when we don’t want or need it. Find one or two family members or friends that you can share what is going on in your business with and let them know ahead of time that you just need to spill it all to someone, but you aren’t ready for ideas, advice, or thoughts. Just a listening ear will do. You might be surprised that they settle into that listening role with so much ease. In fact, you’ve taken the pressure off. They don’t have to have the answers or the solutions. They just need to listen. And that is just what you need too.

I bet you can think of a time when someone just listened. Were you able to come up with a solution? Did you feel more at peace? Or maybe you realized that what you were frustrated about wasn’t all that bad. As course creators, as digital entrepreneurs, we need someone in our corner who is always ready to listen.

Action Item: Ask for Help

As we get ready to wrap up this week’s episode, I want you to take action. Taking action is where the magic and growth in business happens. Today I’ve shared 5 ways that you can ask for help in your business that will buy you time, energy, motivation, and ease all without having to invest in a VA to take things off your plate if you aren’t ready.

We always get the advice to hire a VA before we are ready or need one, but what if we used our support system of family and friends before jumping into the VA pool? What progress could we make without adding more costs to our bottom line.

Become a Six Figure Course Creator

We’ve been talking all about getting help and that is a strategic growth move in business. But finding the right strategy, especially when you take into account the need to focus not just on magnetic messaging and course design, but on mindset and progress-driven learning can feel big.

This is something that I’ve been managing in my own business, with my students, and in my own college courses for over 15 years as a psychology professor, mentor, and entrepreneur.

One of the key things that I’ve learned is that we can’t just rely on learning to get up to that six figure mark as a course creator. The books, podcasts, courses, and workshops get us partially there, probably about 10% of the way there, but the other 90% often comes down to mindset work through 1:1 support.

If you are listening today and realizing that you are ready to take the next steps in your business and get 1:1 customized, tailored help with building your digital course creation business, let’s have a talk. Send me a DM at DigitalCourseCreatorGuide on Instagram or Facebook and we will sit down to figure out the next right steps for you and your digital course business.

Now I know that not everyone is ready for a 1:1 Coach or mentor, but you might still have questions, need help getting unstuck, or just plotting out your next step. I’m here for that as well, because we all deserve to have support in our business. If you need a little extra support, I hold at least two slots each week for strategy calls that are designed to help you get unstuck and take action in your business. These are free, no obligation calls and you can schedule your call at coursecalls.com.

If you are ready to make the next 12 months THE year that you go from being an uncertain Course Creator to a Six Figure Course Creator, schedule a strategy call today. Again, the link to schedule is coursecalls.com. I’ll also pop that link in the show notes for you.

Sixty-Second Solution

Before we wrap up, as promised, in today’s Sixty-Second Solution I am sharing how to get help with household chores to free up your time, energy, and focus so that you can do more in your business without staying up all hours of the night.

Asking for help with household chores seems like an obvious solution until your loved ones ask you for a list of what needs to be done. And you just throw up your hands and say never mind because creating a list feels like just another thing you have to do.

There is an easy solution, thanks to the internet. If you don’t already have a chore list in your home, head over to Google and search for a household chore checklist. Choose one of the options, print it, give it a quick scan and highlight the things you want help with and hand it over. Even better, just hand it over and say take your pick. I’d love help with anything you are willing to tackle.

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