FTC 114 | Virtual Assistant Industry

114: Getting Into The Virtual Assistant Industry with Bryan and Shannon Miles

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Bryan and Shannon Miles is a power couple who grew their company in the virtual assistant industry from two employees to over 60. But as amazing as this story is, like most people, they started with a lot of heart-pounding risks and “burn the boats.” In the spring of 2010, Bryan was working as a VP of consulting for a construction company and was on four to six flights a week. At the same time, Shannon was working for a Fortune 10 company called McKesson. They had two kids at the time, two and five, and they hit a roadblock in terms of how they were operating as a couple and also how they were working in their jobs, coming to a point where they needed to make a change. Bryan and Shannon shares the preparation they did before quitting their job and taking the leap, and talks about how focusing on one vertical helped propel new contracts and referrals and word of mouth.

Getting Into The Virtual Assistant Industry with Bryan and Shannon Miles

I’m about to introduce you to a power couple who grew their company from two employees to over 60. The best part is that they operate completely virtual. Some of you know that I wrote the book on operating completely virtual called The Invisible Organization. I am thrilled to see incredible examples like the one you are about to experience now. As amazing as this story is, like most people, they started with a lot of heart pounding risk, and if you’ve heard the term burn the boats, you will soon see why. Welcome, Shannon and Bryan Miles to the show.

Thanks for having us.

You do have an incredible story and I love what you’re doing. Why don’t we start at the beginning? Tell us a little bit about how you got going in this business and where you came from.

How we got started was that we were both exhausted, and our current environment for how we were working wasn’t working for us. It was the spring of 2010. I was working as a VP of consulting for a construction company. I managed ten guys in a book of business of about $40 million in sales and I had probably four to six flights a week that I was on. At the same time, Shannon was working for a Fortune 10 company called McKesson. We had two kids at the time. They were two and five and we hit a roadblock in terms of how we were operating as a couple and also how we were working in our jobs. We came to this point where we needed to make a change.

You apparently had what I would call good jobs. You were probably making decent wages and probably had a little bit of upside there too. It must have felt compelling to leave those jobs. Did you leave them together at the same time?

We did. As tempting as it was to have Bryan start the business and me come along later, we knew that in order to maximize the opportunity, we both had to go all in. We took the spring of 2010 to plan what we were going to do. We incorporated in August and then October 1st, we walked into our employers and gave our notice. We wanted to be able to finish well with both of those companies because if this thing went bust, we wanted to come back on good terms.

FTC 114 | Virtual Assistant Industry
Virtual Assistant Industry: We knew that in order to maximize the opportunity, we both had to go all in.


I talked a little bit about that, I mentioned burn the boats in the intro. Did you cash in your 401(k) programs, took the penalties and everything to get this going?

We did cash in all of our 401(k), which was equal to about $160,000. We did a roll over for a startup business and we used the third party to create a C-corp with an ESOP. I personally don’t recommend that strategy. It was the right decision then, it wouldn’t be now, but that’s what we did. We moved everything that we had in life savings to use it as our startup capital.

We were making decent money and it was very difficult to take a 50% pay cut and leverage our retirement in the recession to do that. We were convinced that we had a great idea for what we were going to do and that this was the right time to do it, that we felt like it was worth the risk.

It sounds like you were convinced of that. Let’s talk about our audience, who are less convinced than you were. What advice would you give somebody who thinks they have a great idea, who is maybe even convinced they have a great idea, who works at a corporate position, who earns a salary but has not yet made the final leap, which is to quit their job? Give us some ideas about preparation for that moment.

While we were convinced, we spent time talking to smart business people that we respected, where they could create a safe harbor for us to have a conversation about what we were trying to do. We did a lot of due diligence. We asked successful business people what they would do and we’ve got their feedback. Then we thought long and hard about it and we researched the market. We did a ton of analysis even before we entered into this space, even before we incorporated. If there are folks that are doing the side hustle, the more time that you can give to speaking with people that have been successful maybe in that domain or that area, that can guide you or give you counsel and the brutal truth like, “This is a terrible idea, don’t do this. This is an awesome idea and I consider this.” The more you can do that, the better. It teeds you up for success even before incorporation.

One other thing that helped us in the beginning is that we focused on one vertical and that was the industry that Bryan knew well from his construction company. That helped us gain some early traction and validate the concept and say, “We might have something here.” We went all-in on that one vertical for the first seven months of our business. It helped propel new contracts and referrals and word of mouth was a big part of that strategy. Not trying to go too big too fast but going deep in one area that you know well was helpful.

Running a business is hard, being married is hard, but both are very rewarding. Click To Tweet

Would you advise people to do what you did? The advice I give is different than what you have done. My advice to most people is to create the side hustle first, go off and prove the concept to make sure it’s truly needed, to make sure there’s a blood-spurting problem that you are solving and you know who is having those types of problems before you leap. Maybe even get some clients in advance of taking that leap. Did any of that make sense to you back then?

No, mostly because we were at a place with our careers where we needed to make a change. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard the statement that when your desperation exceeds your embarrassment, you’ll make a change. We were desperate for change. What was working for other people wasn’t working for us in our career. We didn’t know how to handle two kids and to evolve in our careers and figured this out. At the same time, we saw this opening in a space, in the virtual assistant industry where we felt like we could enter the market.

I, personally, had experience working with a virtual assistant for seven years. I knew that other leaders could probably benefit. To answer your question, the only way I could see our way through it was to commit and jump in the pool and swim. It wasn’t reckless. We did a lot of due diligence or side hustle. It didn’t feel reckless. It felt pretty managed. It wasn’t that manic, but to commit and go in on the idea, that was when we left our jobs and said, “Let’s do this together.”

We side hustled for a few months. Not very long, but long enough to know that we were on to something.

It sounds like you work by bringing in temporary talent to other companies. Is that the nature of your company now?

No, we provide assigned dedicated virtual assistance or bookkeepers or webmasters or writers to organizations. They are contracted folks who work for us, but they are assigned to work inside that team. We’re totally responsible for them on an ongoing basis with our account management layer. These folks are great qualified people who work on behalf of our clients.

I’ve interviewed one of the people who does something similar and he sources at least 60% of his talent out of the Philippines. Are you doing the same?

No, we don’t. We hire everybody domestically here in the US. We target college educated, stay-at-home moms and dads with past business and professional experience all here in the US.

That’s a great distinction and the distinction is typically price and cost. How would you compare what you charge to what other people charge?

We’re on the higher side of cost, partially because we can demand that in the market of the great people we employ. What we’ve found is if prospects are coming to us and price is their first thing, then we’d likely send them or recommend them to some of our competitors who are maybe overseas or maybe are lesser costs. What we’ve found, the type of clients that value our service are the ones that want a person that’s more result oriented than more like a time clock puncher. Those folks demand a greater fee, which means that our price must go up as well to get after those great people who serve our clients well.

FTC 114 | Virtual Assistant Industry
Virtual Assistant Industry: The type of clients that value our service are the ones that want a person that’s more result-oriented rather than a time-clock puncher.


Others charge by the hour. Do you charge by the result?

We charge per month. We have a flat rate per month that’s agreed upon based on the amount of work that’s being done because we can offer a dedicated person that joins your team and integrates into your team. Most companies look at it like it’s a person that joins your team, but they’re paying a vendor versus having an employee with extra employment burden cost.

We scope it based on estimated hours a week, but we don’t want our customers to get shocked by the overage charge. We track it, monitor, and make sure that if there are trends that are starting to occur, then we can make adjustments accordingly. We want it to be predictable. Our sales team will help scope out what the client is needing, what the budget is and therefore what the monthly fee should be.

If somebody hires somebody on board through your company and they like him a lot and want to hire him directly, I’m sure you’ve set some process in place for that.

That happens a lot and that’s very rewarding for us because it affirms that we made a great match. We found a great person to serve an amazing client and we have a buyout provision in our contract that covers them.

Our business is not recruiting at all, but we have realized that we do good with matching. When people fall in love with the people that serve them, then a few times they’ll say, “We want them to be added to our payroll.” What’s rewarding for us is, let’s say for whatever reason that person moves on, those clients come back to us and say, “You are good at finding people. We want another assistant with you or bookkeeper or whatever.”

Let’s talk about when you started. What challenges have you faced in getting your first several dozen clients?

When we first started, the concept of a virtual assistant was not widely known, especially in the industry that we were targeting. It was a lot of education, a lot of, “What is this? Why should I care? How does this work?” It was a tremendous amount of education and trying to make sure that the concept made sense and was tangible for the prospects that we were trying to reach.

When you’re working with a virtual person, it’s an actual person but for some reason, there’s novelty around that. When you say this person can serve you from afar, from two states away or two time zones away and they can do it better than people who are even on site, be productive, be efficient and represents you in a very professional way, it takes a little bit of them getting used to that. Most people that are our clients even still now, they don’t have that experience. They typically work with an assistant that’s on-site. They know what that means and feels like, but to make the transfer to somebody that’s working virtually for you is a little bit tougher.

You solved the problem with education. How did you deliver the education? Did you have sales scripts for salespeople? Did you have some form of a video that people would watch before they’d get to talk to salespeople? How did that work?

For the first season of the business, Bryan sold all the contracts. We were trying to distill down the things that only we can do and that was something that we felt like only Bryan could do. As the company grew and he had more demands on his time, we had to create a sales team that does have scripts. We put a lot of information on our website to help potential customers understand how it works, what the process is, and to hopefully answer a lot of those questions. We also have an eBook and a paper book with a guy named Mike Hyatt, who is well-known in our space that was like a how-to manual. We would add that to our campaigns to educate prospects in advance of them signing on as a customer.

Develop leaders and let them lead so that you're not the one having to make every day-to-day decision in the business. Click To Tweet

I worked hard, especially once I transferred to the sales team once we got to a certain place. In the early days from a sales perspective, I had to sit down with prospects and understand their needs but remind them that I’m qualifying them as much as they were qualifying us. We didn’t pick everybody to become our customer. The right customers made sense for us and we could have grown a lot quicker if we said, “Everybody is welcome.” We knew that what we are trying to do in protecting our brand and in protecting our prospects too, that there are going to be a certain group of people that couldn’t be our customer for various reasons. It took nuanced, incremental change with the prospecting effort over time to create a sales methodology that made sense or that could transfer to a sales team.

For me, the lesson is don’t go off and hire a sales team. Do it yourself. Get to know what the process is and understand the nuances as you move through them. Call sometimes until you figure out what changes you need to make in your presentation and in your closing agreements and all the things that make up a great sales call. You were learning as you were starting out. Now, you are at the beginning of your business, you’re closing every sale and you are getting these people assigned. Where did the systems that you use to manage all of this come from?

That’s where I could look back at my past business experience and be like, “That’s why I had that role, so I can apply it to what we’re doing at Belay.” The systems were everything because it’s impossible to scale an organization without them. Very early on, we were documenting what we wanted the customer experience to look like, what the steps in the sales process were. We were trying to get referrals and client testimonials and having that as part of our client review process and things like that. The systems that we set up early on were intended so that we could scale and ultimately, not have to be the ones to do all of it. We adopted a mantra pretty early on in our business that we wanted to own it and not run it, so own not run. That informed a lot of the decisions that we made early on and even now, that you have to create solid systems that can be transferred to other people. You have to develop leaders and let them lead so that you’re not the one having to make every day-to-day decision in the business.

FTC 114 | Virtual Assistant Industry
Virtual Assistant Industry: You have to create solid systems that can be transferred to other people.


That’s some fantastic wisdom and the reason I like it is that it’s all about how great businesses should be built. It’s basically, ‘‘I want to own and not run’’ is the mantra here because once a business is well designed and once it’s tested and can run well without owner’s daily involvement at a very high-level, then it can finally scale. What about the actual tools that you discovered early on? How did that change as the business grow?

Technology is a funny thing. The tools that we used years ago have morphed and changed because there are new, better and shinier things that come out. What stayed the course of time is our basic project management applications are out there. Communication tools like Google, ironically, we still use Google because it’s been able to morph and change and grow with our business. We use the Google Apps platform. In the early days, there were different types of social media applications that were out there that have changed. We’ve tried them all and because we’re all virtual, this may make sense. We’ve tried them all in terms of web meetings, Webex and even Skype. The one we landed on that we’ve stayed with the longest is Zoom. They’ve been amazing with the enterprise application with them now and it makes sense for our team. While we are virtual, we need to see each other and Zoom has been an incredible application for our corporation.

People love Zoom and I love Zoom. I use it every day. The question, I need to be more specific, was there some form of an operating system, a database, a project scheduling, project management system that you adopted? Or did you build it from scratch using spreadsheets and stuff?

There are two key systems that we live and die by. In the beginning, we used Salesforce then we migrated over to Infusionsoft because we wanted to be meticulous in tracking our customer data. We use Infusionsoft a lot for our marketing campaigns and outbound communication. The other is Basecamp for project management. We pride ourselves on our ability to execute and in order to do that, we’ve been able to leverage Basecamp in the project management functionality within that to make sure that we’re not missing anything as we’re executing on all of these initiatives.

Does your virtual team have access to Basecamp or is that invisible to them?

For our contractors that serve our clients, we want it to be as easy for the client as possible, so we’ll recommend tools that we’ve used or that we know have worked with other clients. Slack is incredibly popular right now. We use it in segments of the company, but we don’t require that they use any particular system that we have because we want it to make sense for each individual client that we serve. They probably do use Basecamp, but it’s not like they’re accessing our version of it.

Gossip does bad things to your team. You're basically taking your problem to somebody that can do nothing about it. Click To Tweet

Our corporate team, our 60 folks that are W2 full-time people here in Metro Atlanta or our headquarters team all use these applications every day. Our contractors or the ones that the clients are facing, that interact with our clients and are assigned to work with them. There are about 540 of them in our company. They’re integrated into what the client’s tech requirements are, not ours.

What I’m most interested in is the relationships that you have set out to build, not so much with your clients, we understand the client relationship, but with the folks who you employ as part of the services you deliver. How did you develop the culture of that particular group of people?

We live and die by culture. We think that’s been a key element of our rapid growth in the company. We’re very clear about our mission, our core values. They’re on our website, they’re part of our vetting process. When people find an organization that they identify with and that is legitimate and has served them well, they tell their friends. Word of mouth and referral has been huge for us to build our contractor base. FlexJobs has also been an awesome source of amazing talent for us. My virtual assistant found us through Flexjobs. It’s one of those things where there are so many scams out there. People who are trying to design their own lives, have freedom, flexibility and work from home and find that work-life balance is so elusive. They come across many scams in the process, “Make six figures while in your pajamas, from your home.” When they find a legitimate organization that sets expectations up front and values relationship, they stay and they tell their friends.

It sounds as if you have had thousands of clients and you’ve had a lot of experiences. Why don’t you tell me about maybe one of the worst experiences you’ve ever had and the lessons you learned?

I’m listening to us as we’re even talking, and we sound so good and professional but I’m thinking about some of the goofy things that we did in the beginning. We paid a lot of stupid tax. We’ve done some things that weren’t great. One in particular, in the early days, we knew that we needed to onboard our clients, but now it’s a very robust process for how we onboard new clients. Our matching wasn’t so great in the beginning. We matched one time an assistant with a client of ours and it was oil and water to the point that we didn’t get it right. We didn’t know it because we didn’t have mechanisms or systems in place to get an insight into those relationships.

We were horrified one day to realize that one of our virtual assistants was working way under what was expected for the contract. Once we confronted her on that, we were horrified by her response. We had to quickly figure out how to get into our deeper understanding of how we were serving our customers. The challenge with our business is we’re working with people we have qualified that we may never meet face-to-face and they then they represent our brand and serve our clients. It’s a very trusting situation but it can also be terrifying at times as well.

FTC 114 | Virtual Assistant Industry
Virtual Assistant Industry: The challenge with our business is we’re working with people we have qualified that we may never meet face to face, and they then represent our brand and serve our clients.


The way you described it is that it wasn’t a match and you didn’t determine that in advance, which is a problem. Talk about the employee from hell or the one person that you hired that you said, “How did this person even find us or get into our world and how do we get them out as quickly as possible?”

Inside of our employee handbook and also on new employee orientation when we train our folks that joined our corporate team, we make it clear. We have a no-gossip policy because I hate gossip. It does bad things to your team. You’re taking your problem to somebody who can do nothing about it. We have this no gossip policy. It is clear and we even test it. If you gossip, you’re fired. Unfortunately, over the course of eight years, we’ve had to fire three great people because of gossip. What we’ve found in doing so is we’ve created an awesome culture internally, because people know what to do when they’ve got issues. They know how to address them and take them up in the organization or fill the gap of trust. We’ve worked hard to make culture something that where people love working here because it’s a great working environment working with others.

What exactly was the gossip situation about? When this person was “gossiping,” how did it damage the culture?

It was in our sales team at the time and that was a salesperson who had figured out how to gain the system for commissions. In essence, the good old sales term, “Sandbag your month so that you can have a better month the following.” He started sharing this information in his frustration with our sales process with the other sales team and unfortunately, it’s soured the apples for a couple of other salespeople that were able to course correct on. His issue was needed to be brought up in the organization like we had taught not just creating unnecessary pain on our team. I have the facts and we sat down, and he was fired.

This is the nature of culture. If you don’t create your culture, your culture will create itself and that’s never a good thing. Apparently, you’ve solved that problem by making it clear that that is an actionable offense, this thing you call gossip. I had a person in a customer service department years ago who is negative, who was unhappy with her life and in general with all of life and slowly but surely destroyed an entire department. She brought down the entire department. It got to the point that other than the one person who I relied on, the manager who was a close friend and a brilliant woman, we fired the whole department all at once because the cancer had spread badly. The tip here is to make sure you create this culture in advance. Make sure you stick to your word. If you say that gossiping is an actionable offense and you don’t fire somebody or take action, then you’re simply inviting more of it.

Your credibility is on the line at that point.

What do our audience need to do at this point? If they have this great idea and they are particularly interested in entering a business and they want to grow rapidly, similar to the way you did. What is the unseen part of this that they need to know?

One of the keys to success for us early on was not trying to do everything ourselves. We are a company that clients turn to for outsourcing and we practice what we preach. In the early days, while Bryan and I were quitting our jobs, cashing in the 401(k) and getting started, we still had an assistant helping us because we knew that the ultimate goal was to grow quickly and to scale. The next thing that we outsourced was bookkeeping because it was not a good use of my time to try to muddle through QuickBooks and figure out how to do it and probably end up producing inaccurate reports. While it seems scary sometimes to introduce somebody else to your side hustle to assist you, there are people out there who want to see you win and want to support you. There are creative ways in companies, whether it’s ours or somebody else, maybe it’s a neighbor down the street, there are people who want to see you grow. One of the keys to being able to grow rapidly is getting help early on.

Say yes to the right prospects and say no to the wrong prospects. Click To Tweet

To add to that is to say yes to the right prospects and say no to the wrong prospects. If you don’t know what that looks like, then create an ideal prospect. Bullet out the things that you know make a potentially great prospect to become a customer of yours because the wrong customers can derail you quick. We were very brutal to say, “I’m sorry, I don’t think you’re a good fit.” In the early days when you need the cash, that’s hard to do but when you’re consistent with it over time, you find that that’s not that pain. It’s much easier as you’re building your brand.

Creating a customer avatar is essential to understanding who you’re selling to and without it, you’re basically shooting in the dark, hoping you hit something or close someone. Even then, they might be the wrong person as you’ve described. This has been very helpful, very informative and I have learned a lot from you about this process. What I’d like to do now is move to the other end of the scale years later. Now you are as big as you are and you look back and I want you to tell me what you think is the biggest mistake you made in either managing the company or growing it in the last eight years.

The biggest mistake that I’ve come to realize is that I thought that at some point, in the iterations of our business that we would need to bring in outside talent to help us scale up. We’ve tried it on two different occasions and it was a train wreck, simply because there were demands that they wanted to come into an existing organization that we were not willing to concede as owners. Besides that, it took them forever to understand our business. We made a switch that wherever possible we want to promote from within and it’s worked. We’ve been able to scale quickly into those roles because they have domain expertise into our existing business and they understand our culture and what we’re trying to accomplish. That has been part of the reason, we made that switch, why we’ve been able to scale so quickly.

FTC 114 | Virtual Assistant Industry
Virtual Assistant Industry: Wherever possible, we want to promote from within.


I had a similar experience. This goes back some years to my software company, Timeslips Corporation. We brought the company to about $5 million in revenue and the smart people around me were saying, “You’ve never managed a company this big before and it’s starting to look like you might need some professional help.” Wanting the company to be successful and drove further, I didn’t want to be the breaks or the limitations on the company. We started looking for a Chief Operating Officer. We started by interviewing folks and I absolutely could not believe some of the things I heard in some of these interviews and the demands of people. I had one person say that they wouldn’t even come to the interview unless we agreed that there would be a $50,000 advance payment, a signing bonus.

We ran into all kinds of things. Finally, we did hire somebody and I thought it was a complete disaster. It was shocking how incompetent they were because everything they had done, they had done through others. When it came to rolling up your sleeves and getting busy, it wasn’t going to happen. Luckily, we caught it pretty quick. We had that heart-to-heart conversation that went along the lines of, “This isn’t working, you need to go.” There were some emotions involved but we couldn’t wait any longer, it was destroying the company. I took the helm back over as CEO but what I did, and this was in parallel to what you did, is we looked inside and think what resources can we further develop? That’s how we brought our vice presidents up the ladder and into those positions. It’s a great strategy.

It definitely worked for us and the team was energized by that transition too because it gave them opportunity and hope. If my hard work will be seen, I may be able to have an opportunity for growth. There was a win on that side too.

In this next phase of our conversation, we get to know who you are a little bit better than we have up until now. I don’t know if you are going to answer this as one. I’m happy to have you both answer this question. I’m going to ask you the one question that I believe defines your dreams, your vision and potentially even how you got to be where you are now. Who, in all of space and time, would you like to have one hour to enjoy a walk in the park, a quick lunch or an intense conversation with?

It’s hands down, Oprah. I have loved her since I was a kid and watched her show every day at 4:00 PM when I got home from school. I have such an admiration for the life that she has designed and the work that she does and in how she leads with her whole heart and mind. I feel like we’d walk in the park, that seems like something we’d do. Maybe on her property somewhere. Maybe sit in a chair for a while and have a conversation. We would be great friends.

The wrong customers can derail you quick. Click To Tweet

I’m sure you would and I’ve got to tell you, I’m a huge admirer of her as well. I know that there are people who’ve had it worse, but the amount of diversity, the amount of struggle, the amount of challenge this woman has faced in going to and becoming what she has is unbelievable. It’s such a great story and it’s so inspirational. Bryan, your turn, what do you got?

A side note, if Oprah’s listening, I’d love to meet you too. For the answer to this, Shannon and I had an opportunity a couple of years back to being in a big room and see George W. Bush talk. I’d love to have an hour with this guy mostly because my understanding of what I saw him in the media was not at all what I witnessed when he was speaking. He was very charming, super witty, very humble, and very respectful of his position. I admire that from a leadership standpoint and he also seemed funny too. I would like to spend an hour with him or have an intense conversation with him. It’d be super cool to do that.

Another first, George W. Bush has never been mentioned and it’s a great choice as well. It’s interesting, I experienced this to some degree. I have been what you might call the man behind the curtain for some famous people. When I ran business breakthroughs and Chet Holmes and Tony Robbins were my front men. I was the CEO and president of the company running the entire operation. The opinions that people form of those in the public eye are different than who the person is. Particularly with a guy like Tony Robbins, most people make assumptions about Tony that are completely wrong based only on his public persona. George Bush would be absolutely a great guest. Now comes the grand finale, the change the world question. What is it that you are doing or would like to do that truly has the potential to literally change the world?

Running a business is hard. Being married is hard. Both are very rewarding but running a business and being married together is doubly hard. Bryan and I have learned a lot in the years that we have had our company together and we’d been married almost 21 years now. We still like each other, we’re in our 40s now and around us, friends and family are getting divorced. We both have this desire. We have a different answer to this question. I feel like sharing our experience in what we’ve done right and wrong might help people who are either already in business together as husband and wife or desire to do so. When we first started the company, there was a woman that Bryan knew through his company who reached out to me and said, “You don’t know me. I have no skin in the game but my husband and I started a business and it ruined our marriage and we’re divorced. I don’t want you to make the same mistake with Bryan. If you’d like for me to come alongside you for a season of time and mentor you, I’d be willing to do that.” I took her up on it and it helped tremendously. I would like to be able to do that for other people who are getting started.

FTC 114 | Virtual Assistant Industry
Virtual Assistant Industry: Sharing our experience in what we’ve done right and wrong might help people who are either already in business together as husband and wife or desire to do so.


This is a serious invitation because I want to make it clear that you hit a nerve with me when you said that, Shannon. I built my software company and my wife was part of that business and we’re no longer married. I would say in part that it was because of what happens as we work together, live together and started a family together. We grew apart and we became adversaries and she was responsible for the most important part of the company. She was the vice president of sales and by the end of the month when we were 50% of quota, the bed was a great place to find out who she had lined up for tomorrow for her sales calls. That is not the best place to have those types of conversations.

Being obsessed with the businesses, I was not having visibility into how we were going to complete that month and by the way, she pulled it off every month. It wasn’t as if there was a problem, it was more me if anything else and my entire focus has been on the business. What you are talking about is essential and it’s powerful. If you could find that balance and understand how the two of you work together, that’s a gift. Thank you for mentioning that.

I appreciate you opening up on that. I didn’t know that when I shared. When we started this business match, our kids were two and five. We never wanted them to resent the fact that mom and dad owned a company too. We feel like there’s more than just a business legacy to leave to them. There’s a how-to-live-your-life legacy that we’re trying to make good on too. Thank you for sharing that.

This has been an incredible conversation. This has been probably the most fun I’ve had in quite a while. I want to thank you. You told your story, you shared your experience, and I understand you have a little bit of a free giveaway for our audience. Can you tell us what that is?

We call it Delegation Matrix. Oftentimes, we bump up against leaders that would love to delegate, but they don’t know their next step. They’ve started to maybe recognize that their time is more valuable, and they need to hand off some of those lower pay off activities but they’re at a loss as to that pile of things. How to sort those things out. We have a delegation matrix that we’d love to share with your audience.

Thank you very much. That is a fantastic offer and a great gift. I know that a lot of people are going to take you up on it. Before you leave, last thing, I want to say that the type of business you’re in is essential if anybody is going to be a success. Delegation was one of the hardest things I ever learned to do and it didn’t come easily to me. I would take these guys up on your offer. I would understand what they do and for heaven’s sake, get yourself some help even if you’re just starting out, even if you don’t have your first customer. Think about the amount of time it takes for you to do something that someone who’s working for you could do instead. There’s your opportunity. I can’t wait until we talk again soon.

Thank you for the opportunity.

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

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