One of the hurdles that business owners face when hiring virtual assistants is letting go of control. Successful online entrepreneur David Risley of Blog Marketing Academy admitted that at one point HE was the barrier that prevented him from having a good working relationship with a VA. As we continue our series on maximizing the value of virtual assistants, we’ll look at how Risley managed to get past his personal hurdle and developed a great collaborative partnership with his VAs.
The Risley Story
David Risley is your typical rags-to-riches story. His first job was as a janitor before he became a crew at McDonald’s and supermarket cart loader. He may be doing all sorts of things but there was one thing he was obsessed with—computers. His hobby led him to create his first awful website with blinking text and animated icons. But he’s not ashamed of it because it led him to pursue his passion.
In college, Risley took Information Systems Management at the University of Florida. By then he had started PCMech.com, a site for technology hobbyists. When he graduated in 2001, he knew he didn’t want to work in a cubicle so he decided to continue working on his site until it became his main source of income.
After 10 years of successful blogging about technology, Risley decided to blog about blogging and how to monetize it! This new venture gave birth to DavidRisley.com which later on became Blogmarketingacademy.com. This internet marketing site aims to help anyone know that life in a cubicle is not for them, just like him.
With Great Business Comes Great Demands
Risley’s success came with a lot of demands and it came to a point when he needed to streamline things. So he decided to hire a virtual assistant. Earlier we mentioned that his first venture in hiring a VA was a failure. To avoid this, here are a couple of realistic tips we got from Risley’s blog.
TIP #1 – Get Organized First
Risley said that he ended up letting go of his first virtual assistant due to his own disorganization. He underutilized his VA. He suggests that if you’re into a business that has a lot of routine details (e.g. blogging) a virtual assistant will be beneficial for you.
When he hired his next VA, one of the things he did was documentation. He logged all his common tasks and made it his goal that every “hat” in his business can be taken on by anybody.
Risley says, “Not having documentation means (1) you’re stuck with it and (2) you’re going to be working so hard you’re losing your mind, being pulled in all directions at once.”
TIP #2 – Let Go of the Reigns Slowly
Risley told to his virtual assistant that he was still learning this delegating thing as they went along. He was used to being a one-man show for the longest time and letting go of control had been difficult. Currently, he has a VA and a writer for his tech site but he still does most of the tasks by himself.
Risley admits, “It is hard to give up those reigns and it is a challenge communicating exactly how I do things to somebody else. It is a process, though. And one that is strange while it is happening but will surely be something I’m glad I did.”
Based on Risley’s experience, hiring a virtual assistant all starts with your decision to let go of certain tasks that overwhelm you. Most importantly, Risley puts emphasis on personal accountability and that begins with being organized and intentional with what you want to delegate. The success of your working relationship with your virtual assistant starts with you and not the other way around.
And if just like Risley you’re having difficulty letting go of control, you can always take small steps such as one-time projects and free trials until such time when you feel confident that you can let somebody else put on one of the hats you’ve been keeping on your head for a long time.
Don’t miss the other parts of this series!
About Pepper Virtual Assistants
Pepper Virtual Assistant Services is a business solutions firm that specializes on administrative assistance, customer support, CRM, copywriting, and personal virtual assistance. We take pride in our reliable service and responsive client handling which embodies our team’s optimal performance.