Category Archives: Relationship

Do You Need an Assistant, or Do You Just Have to Work Harder?

 


Do You Need an Assistant, or Do You Just Have to Work Harder?

By Heather Markel @TheBullBuster

 

An issue I continuously encounter with my entrepreneurial clients is whether they should hire an assistant. As a solopreneur, you get conditioned to do everything yourself, cut costs and work really hard. However, there’s a point where too much hard work could work you out of more business.

A few of the core factors in deciding whether it’s time to get an assistant are timing, expense, and purpose. I’d like to pose three strategy questions to help you figure out whether now is the time for you to hire someone and where they will add the most value to your business.

1. Is it time for an assistant or a strategy overhaul?

A good indicator you need help is realizing you’re extremely busy and can’t get everything done. You may feel stressed, overwhelmed and rarely end a day with a sense of accomplishment. Before you hire someone, assess whether the issue is needing help or needing focus. You may be so busy trying to hit every sales and marketing channel that this lack of focus is the problem itself. If this sounds like you, make a list of all the methods you’re using. Next, to each, write down how many clients you’ve generated. Temporarily eliminate any channels you’ve used for six months or more that haven’t resulted in clients. See if removing extraneous work leads to you getting more done and better serving your clients.

On the other hand, if your challenge is a steady stream of clients generating administrative work, which takes you away from serving your clients and getting new ones, you need to hire someone.

The most important consideration is whether your current activities increase your revenue or waste your time. Why pay someone else to do activities that don’t help your business grow? If you do, you risk wasting money on a person, in addition to a monthly subscription fee, potentially tripling your costs, just to outsource work that offers you no return on your investment.

Here’s a perfect example. I find my clients often default to hiring someone to do their social media. When I ask what they want a social media assistant to do, they typically want someone else to take the annoying task of posting every day or week off their plate. When I probe further, I learn they’ve done their own posting for months or years and have not gotten clients or inquiries as a result. Instead of hiring someone to implement the same strategy you’ve proven ineffective, either drop the time and money investment or hire a strategist to help you change what you’re doing to get better results.

2. Can you afford an assistant?

If you’re just starting and have limited funds, it can seem impossible to think about hiring an assistant. You may be overlooking a valuable resource — interns. Inquire at a local high school or university, and you’re likely to find eager students willing to work for experience instead of a (high) salary. You may be fortunate to work with someone you want to hire in the future.

If you’re further along in your business and spend lots of time on non-revenue generating activities, you can’t afford not to hire an assistant. You won’t be able to grow your business unless you delegate, at least, the administrative functions you perform. For you, the strategy of avoiding the expense of an assistant will cost you more in lost growth opportunities.

3. What kind of assistant should you hire?

When you make the decision to get help, the next hurdle is figuring out what an assistant will do for you. An assistant should do at least one of the following — save you time, earn you money, expand your customer service. If you can’t explain how an assistant will contribute to at least one of these outcomes, then it’s either the wrong time to hire or you haven’t figured out what you need an assistant to do.

Here’s the advice I give to my clients. Create a “bucket list.” No, not the list of things you want to do before you die, rather, the activities you feel will kill you if you do them any longer! I recommend using Excel and creating a spreadsheet with nine columns:

  1. Daily/weekly activities
  2. Revenue generating or admin
  3. Essential or optional
  4. Activities I love and do well
  5. Activities I can do but don’t enjoy
  6. Activities I’m not skilled at
  7. Activities I hate doing
  8. Time spent
  9. Cost/income

Start by listing your ongoing activities in the first column. Then categorize the activities into the buckets outlined above. The final two columns help you figure out your outsourcing priority. Write down how much time per day/week you spend on each task. If you don’t know, a stopwatch or a program like Toggl can help you figure that out. In the final column, list how much money each activity has cost or generated.

The last step is to filter your spreadsheet and create your outsource list. For example, essential admin tasks you hate doing — and eat up a lot of your time — are great ones to give to an assistant. Once you understand what you need to delegate, you can create a job description that will help you find the right person.

An assistant can be a needless business cost or one of the most valuable resources you have. Creating a logical way to analyze your business needs will help you determine the right time and the right person to hire.

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Epiphany

By Marie Diaz-Cervo

She is an alpha woman, she speaks her mind and unable to be loyal to people that think maybe she is their friends. You cannot treat people with bad attitude and expect them to remain your friends. When she wants something from people, she used that delicate voice as a sort of manipulation. If you are naive, you will think oh she likes me.

I noticed others utilize little girl voice to make people help them. That voice is soft and angelic. These must be the voices they used to get things from their fathers and tickling down to their boyfriends and husbands.

I want to know and develop that kind of manipulation toward people to get what I want from them. The same people can also lie to get what they want from others.

I went to visit my mother after church, and it was a hot day. She had three fans one and the ceiling fan on also. My old furniture is at her home since I resided in the main house. My furniture and appliances are distributed all over my sisters and mom homes. My brother gave her an IPad so she can skype or facetime with her grandchildren, she enjoyed the knowledge on the freedom she has. I saw the IPad, therefore, I decided to teach her how to use YouTube to watch fashion shows from different designers. Mom saw the show and got so happy because she loved fashion. I enlarged the screen for her, and she said I made a dress like this already. I closed the page and asked her to demonstrate how to open the apps.

We also have a conversation about how hot it was in my room since it is on the second floor. She said someone stole her air conditioner from the garage. I told her I went to home depot and saw a small one, but it was too heavy.

A family friend came over and got into the conversation and told us that he saw an air conditioner for $118.00 at Hallmark. My mother said buy two and here is the money. Her friend suggested he will come with me. I told them we can go to home depot because it was closer. I got in the car, and he made a smart remark “wow you know how to drive” I answered “actually.” Did I ask him how old are you? He said Fifty years old. I used the google map on my cell to get the direction to the store so that we can get there faster. I stopped for gas, and he asked how come the car is making so much noise. I told him the car is old and I also said that everybody stated that Subaru is a good car. He said it is a Japanese car, so is Toyota. When we got to home depot, the air conditioner was sold out. We when back to my mother’s house without going to another store, because he was angry. He told me he needs to get AC Pro for his car, and he didn’t have the money for it, so I said I will buy it for him, but he said no. I also asked how come his family is so close to my mother; he told me that his mom and my mom were good friends almost like sisters when they were young.

My mom said to me when I got back; your sister is having a party for your nephew for his going away to college. I told her I’d take her and head out to another store to purchase the air conditioner. She wanted to go with me to the store, but I told her I would take her to my sister because I wanted to go alone to the store this time.

My then husband’s teenage daughter got her driver’s license; they usually go to the school together, but our thirteen-year-old got sick and had to stay home in bed. She said to me “are you coming with us” she just assumed that she was just going to take the car without asking. I laugh and told her no and that she was not going to take the car and told her to come upstairs. I said to her did you asked me if you can use the car or did you just assumed that you automatically take the car. I told her that I need to get food for her sister that was sick and it is my car, therefore, she needs to ask. I looked at her and felt all the confidence that she had and told her to learn to be humble. A car is a big responsibility and it would off make sense if she asked. The next day she went to her father’s sister house and came back with my sister in law’s car. I knew at that moment I was in for a rude awaking, the relationship changes at that moment. Now she is married and more mature, if she wants some kind of relationship, it would be alright with me.

The warning signs are there before a person cut ties with you or betray you. If you pay attention to what the person does or says, you can be aware of what is about to come. The person might abandon someone else before, and you think there is no way that person will do this to me. Your job is to move forward and spend times with people who love you and accept you. You can also reach out to others who might need a friend, and it will make you feel so much better.

Read more of my writings at www.amazon.com/author/mariediazcervo

Corporal Punishment

By Marie Diaz-Cervo

So many people are still so accustomed to corporal punishment, they can not refrain from it. It also takes lots of discipline to not put a child on timeout when the child’s behavior is not good. If people know how to properly speak and work with children, it would help so much with the children’s confidence. For example, you redirect a child when he or she is displaying a bad behavior.

I went to the doctor last week to get a TB test and while I sat in the waiting room, a young mother who just had a baby last weekend was there with her other two children. The younger child did not want to seat on the chair next to her and she told her again and again to come and seat and the refused. Finally, the mom got so upset and grabbed the child’s arm and she pinched her daughter’s skin because she was so mad at her. I could not believe she was doing that in public and I was shocked and another parent was there witnessing the whole ordeal. She just looked at me and shook her head in disbelief.

Corporation

By Marie Diaz-Cervo

I had to do a lot of self-development in order to run the cooperation with the team for a number of years while my husband was running the financial business full time in order to get promoted to Regional Vice-President. I had to learn deal with different personalities, some were melancholy, sanguine, choleric and so on. I had to know what type of personality I was and had to work on myself to be a better leader. Actually, the most difficult personality helped me to be a better leader, sometime I would question it was my gender, color or nationality. At the time I learned that it wasn’t personal, I learned to forgive. The stress took a toll on my health, I was hemorrhaging constantly and would get very tired. I had to slow down and asked God for a miracle to get back my health.

“Be so good they can’t ignore you.” – Steve Martin

Are You Promotable?

By Dr. Travis Bradberry

It’s almost September, and year-end reviews are just around the corner. It isn’t too late to show your boss that you’re worthy of a promotion.

Maybe you’ve been holding down the same position for a few years and are ready to move up. Maybe your company is going through some internal shuffling and you’re expecting your dream job to open up. Or, maybe you’ve been disappointed a few too many times by other people getting promoted ahead of you.

Whatever the reason, you want to make certain now that you’re ready to move up. In other words, you need to make certain that your boss sees it that way.

Anthony Greenwald at the University of Washington has studied bias more than just about anyone, and his research findings have major implications for your ability to get promoted. His recent studies showed that unconscious workplace biases tend to stay constant, and bosses follow these biases, whether they are aware of them or not.

“People are claiming that they can train away biases,” Greenwald says, “[They’re] making those claims without evidence.”

When it comes to getting promoted, you want to present yourself in a way that feeds into the biases that bosses’ have about what makes someone promotable. You’re already doing the hard work, so why not frame your effort in such a way that it increases your chances of obtaining the position you want?

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While this probably sounds a bit manipulative, there are several straightforward things that you can do to showcase your work and make certain that you’re promotable. The following five actions will appeal to your boss’s inherent biases about promotability, without you being disingenuous.

1. Stretch your boundaries

Anybody (well, almost anybody) can do what they’re told. To get promoted, you have to go above and beyond. Taking on additional responsibilities without being asked is not only a great way to demonstrate your work ethic, energy, and skills, but it also lets your boss know that you’re ready (and able) to expand your scope. When you take on more than the norm, your boss can’t help but think that you’re capable of a bigger role. This includes showing that you’re willing to take risks by making innovative suggestions.

2. Don’t be too irreplaceable

Most people fail at this. Of course, performing at your highest level regardless of the position you’re in is always the best idea. The key here is not to be seen as the only person capable of performing the necessary duties in the position that you want to move on from. If you do, your boss will conclude that promoting you isn’t worth the trouble (and risk) of finding someone to replace you. The best way to find a balance between doing your best and showing that you’re ready for more is by developing other people. As tempting as it is to hoard knowledge, don’t. Instead, make certain that there are others who know how to do important aspects of your job. Plus, teaching is a critical leadership skill. So, in addition to alleviating concerns about finding your replacement, you’ll demonstrate that you can handle the responsibility that comes with a more advanced position.

3. Demonstrate emotional intelligence (EQ)

You might be able to get away with being a temperamental genius in entry-level positions, but you’ll never move past that without emotional intelligence. If you’re the type who’s prone to temper tantrums when things don’t go your way; losing your cool when people cross you; storming out of rooms, yelling; or going silent during conflict, you’re signaling to your boss that you don’t want a promotion. No boss wants to be known as the guy or gal who promoted a short-fused person. Once you’re promoted, your behavior is a reflection of the judgment of the person who promoted you. Show your boss that you have enough self-awareness to acknowledge your weaknesses and to work to improve them. This will prove you’re capable. Emotional self-control is the result of hard work, not an inherent skill.

4. Make certain you speak the company’s language

Bosses appreciate vision more than anything. They love it when you see what could be useful to the company over the long term and tell them about it in language they understand. As you move up in any company, your choice of language becomes increasingly important. It’s no longer enough to simply be an expert at what you do; you have to demonstrate that you understand how the work you do serves the business. That means learning the vocabulary of the executive team and your boss. Whether that’s KPIs, EBITA, profit margin, market share, failure rate, or what have you, know what the terms mean and why they’re important so that you can use them correctly when speaking with upper management. Speaking the right language will not only show that you’re interested in more than your current role, but it will also demonstrate your intelligence and fit within the company.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask for it

Not everybody wants to be promoted; some people are perfectly happy doing the same job for years on end. If you don’t tell your boss otherwise, he or she may assume that you’re one of them. When the time comes to show up in your boss’s office and say, “I’m interested in a promotion,” it’s important that you have something specific in mind—if not a specific job title, then at least a clear idea of what the responsibilities might include and how this ties in to your career goals. And, if the job requires skills you don’t have yet, outline your plan for acquiring them.

Bringing It All Together

You may not get the promotion you’re aiming for. If that happens, ask for feedback, but stay away from sour-grapes questions like “Why did you pick him and not me?” In fact, don’t speak about the person who got the promotion at all. Instead, ask which of the critical skills you lack and what you need to do to be ready for the next opportunity. Don’t argue; just listen, and ask thoughtful follow-up questions. Just make certain you follow through on the suggestions you’re given. If your boss suggests some things you can do to become more promotable and you don’t follow through, don’t expect to be considered the next time around.

Promotions don’t just happen, and they’re not a guaranteed result of high performance. That’s because you don’t get promoted as a reward for what you’ve already done. You get promoted because your boss thinks you have the potential to add more value in a larger role.

About the Author: Dr. Travis Bradberry is the award-winning coauthor of Emotional Intelligence 2.0 and the cofounder of TalentSmart® the world’s leading provider of emotional intelligence tests and training serving more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies. His bestselling books have been translated into 25 languages and are available in more than 150 countries. Dr. Bradberry is a LinkedIn Influencer and a regular contributor to Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur, The World Economic Forum, and The Huffington Post. He has written for, or been covered by, Newsweek, BusinessWeek, Fortune, Fast Company, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, andThe Harvard Business Review.

When I Was 10 Years old

By Marie Diaz-Cervo

I realized that I became a young adult as soon as my mother left for America, she left my younger brother who was very young and I had to step up and be an older sister to him. I took care of him and continued my education.

I was ten years old when my mother went to the USA and I tried to be the be the best me that I can be. I did not have to cook or do laundry because we had a lady who did that part. All I know is to be a person who helps others and be good to others.

I Noticed

By Marie Diaz-Cervo

I noticed when I do not want something or someone, the person would actually want me. Does that mean I need or I have to use the opposite of my mindset? It is not too easy for me because I am a positive thinking person. I find it more healthy for me to think positive. It helps me to believe in others especially children with special needs. They need people who are sweet, affectionate, calm energy and good with kids. They need people to see and believe that they can do things once learn and they can function in society. They are gifted individuals like Albert Einstein.

PEARL

By Marie Diaz-Cervo

It takes three years for a pearl to form, it takes lots of pressure, therefore, you need to know that every test has an expiration.
The work of a pearl is hiding.
Pearl is expensive.
Pearl has a shine.
Have the discipline to tell everybody your problems during the trials and test.
Have the courage not to cheat during the trials
You will not get any answer during the trials.
Do not rush the process or you could waste precious resources.

My Friend

By Marie Diaz-Cervo

My friend has been married for twenty-something years and he and his wife have a daughter in college and a son in High school. He is freedom Israel and she is a blond mute from different countries. They met at a bar and they liked each other so they dated for about one year than they got married. He is an artist who makes signs for business especially restaurants and bars in NYC. He started his business and built it up, so he makes great money and she works as an accountant in the business. She also does real estate on the side, so one day she asked him for a divorced because they were acting more like friends rather than husband and wife. He was shocked and did not understand what happened, so she moved out and got an apartment in the town near him. He was hurt but he made his best to understand her feelings. So, they lived apart or one year and during that time he brought the house from her and their son and daughter resided at the home, but their son spent the week with mom and the weekends with dad. Their daughter lived on campus and came home during the holidays.
My friend stayed in the home alone during the week and made the best of the situation while they got the divorce. He traveled a lot with his male friends when he has free times in his business. He tried to keep his spirit up, but my friend does not believe in God, how can that be when is a Jew from Israel. Although he lived a wildlife when he was younger, he tried drugs and wild crazy sexual encounters.
Somehow, I get attracted to wild and street-smart men. I had a boring childhood because my grandmother was strict and was very religious. I behaved well because I did not want to get discipline in the form of a beaten by her and my uncles. So, my sisters and my brothers and I behaved well to stay out of troubles unlike my cousin Yanithe. I like to spend times with my friend because I feel that he is wise, and he likes to watch the channel from his birth country. His mother and father are still alive, and they live in Israel. When I go to visit him, he teaches me how to play card and other games and he always has foods for us to eat. Anyway, after his divorced, he decided to move to NYC because his son is going to attend college there and he told me that the travel is too much for him. So, he put his house for rent and I suggested to him that maybe it would be better if he sells the house because the rent is very expensive in the area where he lives. He said that he will think about it, the house is very comfortable because he and his ex-wife made all the upgrade and they also have great furniture.
I am comfortable with him for some reasons, my shield is down, and I understand him and what he went through. He did right by his ex-wife compare to my ex-husband. I figured that my ex-husband and I was going to handle the business even though we got divorced. After all the business we started them from scratch, he and I were so proud of what we built and how we helped so many people and we duplicated ourselves.

Career Counseling

By Marie Diaz-Cervo

The client asked her husband for a divorced because he was not there for emotionally, she felt like she was losing her identity. She has a three-year-old daughter with her husband and they did not have the same type of parenting style. He also criticized her right in front of her daughter. He looked down at her and he judged her which a type of emotional abuse. She has a set of value and she does not like people to pressure her into their own value. She is working as a waitress and she has her degree. She can not make up her mind about getting a better job. She is comfortable with a low wage job. She liked to be different more like the black sheep of the family. She got divorced from her parents.

The career counselor utilized the development theories, in this case, he looked at the different relationship in her life. He listened to how each of them impacted her mindset, he can understand how her self-esteem was damaged by her husband. She made the decision to end her marriage to save herself. After the divorced, she has the freedom to make her own mind and she enjoys her freedom to choose her own career. Her happiness and comfort are more important to her than money. She can stand on her own without another person undermine her. As she gains more control of herself, she can make the decision to get a better job or work more hours so she can purchase health insurance.
Self-concept is defined as an individual’s beliefs about himself or herself and can include self-esteem, a person’s attributes, and who and what the self is (Baumeister, 1999).

The client can write goals and plan to get better jobs so she has a better lifestyle. The plan needs to an expiration on when to reach the goals and what steps the client needs to take.
Goals are the end results of the times invest in plans. My goal is to get my degree, therefore, I will keep moving forward despite any obstacles. For example, at one time I had an issue with the internet than I had to relocate because of the Nor Easter.

The counselor listened to the client and rephrase what she said. He kept an open mind and he treated her with respect. He did not force her to make any decision or change her opinion about her beliefs. He was very patient with her and allowed her to know that the decision was hers, not anyone else.
The client has an opportunity to express herself and follow her own goal. She can as much time as she wants to make a decision. After a person leaves a hostile relationship times is a good way to heal and the person can appreciate life.

References:

American Psychological Association (Producer). (2012). Helping a client define his career and life goals. Retrieved from: PsycTHERAPY database

McCarthy, C. J., DeLisi, M., Getzfeld, A. R., McCarthy, C. J., Moss-King, D. A., Mossler, R., Privitera, G. J., Spence, C., Walker, J. D., Weinberg, R. S., & Youssef-Morgan, C. M. (2016). Retrieved from: https://content.ashford.edu/