One Thing You Need to do Before Hiring a Virtual Assistant
How to know what you need to hire a VA for
So this post has been a long time coming but I realized that a lot of people struggle with knowing when to hire a virtual assistant. They know they are at the point in their business where they can’t do everything they want to do, they’re getting overwhelmed trying to launch their course, they aren’t able to spend as much time with their family as they’d like, they’re forgetting steps in the process that they’ve done dozens of times.
But the thing is they just don’t know where to start in order to hire someone to help them. That’s probably one of the most common comments I get when people fill out my contact form “I know I need help, I just don’t know where to start or how to figure that out”.
Today we’re going to dive into one of my favorite exercises that I’ve found to be immensely helpful when figuring out what they need to hire a Virtual Assistant for. It all started when I was a guest on the Marketing in Yoga Pants podcast last year and was talking with Brit, the host of Marketing in Yoga Pants and owner over at JAM Marketing about how to know when you’re ready to hire and what to hand off to a virtual assistant. Brit ran through this exercise during Q4 of 2017 and shared with me just how effective it was for her. Even more awesome than that I just followed up with her and since doing that exercise she’s hired a virtual assistant based on that list she made!
The Love-Meh-Hate Exercise
So what is this awesome exercise exactly? Well I call “Love-Meh-Hate”, but I’ve heard it called a couple other things, but I feel like this one makes the sections feel more definitive. The Love-Meh-Hate exercise is when you write down everything that you do for your business (and sometimes life) and place each task into one of the categories. Let’s break down each of the categories:
LOVE - These are the things that you absolutely love to do; it’s why you do what you do and it’s what makes you light up inside. For me organization, systems and helping others lights me up. No literally, I can’t stop talking or smiling like a crazy person when I’m talking about Asana or how to organize your files.
MEH - These are the tasks that you need to do in your business, but they literally make you go “meh” when asked if you enjoy doing them. For me social media is one of those tasks. It’s a task that I could keep doing myself but isn’t something I’d put at the top of my list of things I want to work on. But it’s also not something I hate doing and avoid at all costs, although it is slowly getting there.
HATE - These tasks are ones that you absolutely don’t want to do, like ever. They’re the things that you drag your feet to do when you see it pop up on your task list. In my business that was bookkeeping. I literally sat down one day to do it and zoned out for 30 minutes. Seriously it is something that isn’t in my zone of genius but it is something that I absolutely need to have done in my business (because come tax season it’s a nightmare if it isn’t done!). A lot of things that fall into the hate category are things that will fall outside of your zone of genius, and that’s okay! We aren’t meant to be able to do everything in our business, let alone love doing everything in it!
How to do the love-meh-hate exercise
There’s a couple ways you can do this exercise, from using the tasks you’ve time tracked this quarter to just writing down your tasks as you do them. No matter how you do it, the process is really simple, which is why I love it so much.
Before you start working tomorrow, take a second to pull up a Google doc or sheet and make 3 columns, Love, Meh, Hate. Keep this list up in the background and as you start a new task, whether it’s for your business or for your clients and start to write down everything you do. You can either start organizing them into the appropriate column now or you can do it later, or do a mix and if you stick something in the Meh column but in a few weeks realize you hate doing it, move it over!
What to do once you’ve finished it
I’d recommend doing this exercise over a couple months that way you’re able to capture all of the tasks you do as some only come up once a month or every couple months. As soon as you’ve got a solid list and feel like you’ve captured all of your tasks, go back through and organize them into the appropriate column. Sometimes there’s going to be tasks that you’re not sure if they go in one or the other, so I’d recommend sticking them in the Meh column for now and then later you may realize you actually love it or really hate it.
Sometimes I’ve even found that I hated a task because of the way I was doing it; as soon as I changed the way I was doing a task I actually started to like it. So take some time to look at each task in your list and dig deep and figure out why you feel that way about it. I’d even recommend writing that down below the task — as you start to hire out those tasks you hate it really will help your future VA if you can tell them exactly why you hate it, as they may be able to help you find a different way to do it that may cause you to change your mind about it!
Now that you’ve got your list of things you love, you’re kinda on the fence about, and hate, you’ll be able to more clearly know what kind of virtual assistant you will want to hire! I’ve found this to be a really enlightening exercise because there’s a lot of things that I do that I didn’t realize how I actually felt about them. Remember to be really honest with yourself because the more tasks you find you don’t like to do, the easier it will be to find a virtual assistant who loves to do those things (because they’re totally out there!), and the more that you’ll be able to enjoy your business and grow it!
Wrapping it up
I’d love to know if you’ve done the Love-Meh-Hate exercise before and if you were able to handoff those tasks you hate doing! I’ve got more posts coming soon about how to work with a virtual assistant and things to do before you hire one!