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7 Years ~ 7 Lessons Learned with Assistants 4 Hire!

Updated: Jun 27


7 Years ~ 7 Lessons Learned with Assistants 4 Hire!

As I sit down to write this blog, it is the day of our 7th anniversary as a company.  What an interesting and valuable practice to sit down and reflect on the successes, the challenges, and the process that has gotten our little company from a fledging business of one (me) to now a scaling and growing company of 9… and counting!


As I reflect, here are 7 lessons learned from our 7 years in business.


1. Trust Myself


When I began telling people that I wanted to start my own business and move to New York to do it, I was not presented with a lot of support. In fact, it was quite the opposite from all of my family and most of my close friends. The overall feeling was that I was crazy to be leaving a successful coaching career with a stable and prosperous future to start a business in a city that I had never lived in (the most expensive in the entire U.S. my sister added,) to start a new business as a single mother of a 16-month-old baby.


I have to say, I can understand their point.


Still, everything in me knew that this was what I needed to do. I wanted my daughter to have her father in her life (who was living in NY- hence the choice of the city,) and I knew I wanted to be able to raise her as much as humanly possible (hence a virtual company).


2. I am grateful for my GRIT


I have developed grit and determination from many experiences in my life. These skills began developing through the strong work ethic my parents instilled in me through chores and having me start my first job at the age of 9. I used it throughout my teens to become a successful amateur golfer, ranking 76 in the nation at the age of 22. I really needed it when I decided to leave the Morman church and get divorced from my ex-husband at the age of 29. And finally, I used that grit to start a Women’s golf team from scratch and within two years be a top 25 Division II team for the next 10 years. 


Still, I have to say starting and maintaining a business in New York has tested every bit of grit I have ever developed. I am so grateful that I learned early on to keep going even when things are really hard and you just don’t know if you can go any further! It has gotten me through all the bumps along the way.


3. TEAMS make everything better


They say that you can’t be great at everything. Well, ain’t that the truth.  


I learned that the hard way when I was about 10 months in business and finally working about 40-50 hrs a week, which also meant with my job as a mom, I was sleeping about 3-5 hrs a night.


I kept finding errors in the newsletter and social media posts I had created for clients that were already posted. 


Enough was enough… I hired my first team member Myra within the next two months to start helping me with the things that I just didn’t have bandwidth for or wasn’t good at.  She was a godsend and happens to be an amazing editor! 🥳


4. Efficiency is based on skills you love


Have you ever met someone really good at something but they just don’t like doing it?


It happens all the time and the result is that even though one is good at something, they still will do it slowly, reluctantly, or even procrastinate not doing it simply because they don’t like it.


Guess what happens when you find people who are good at what they do and love it?  Yes, you got it!


So, that is exactly why I developed a team approach to our business model! That way each member of our team does what they are great at and what they love to do!


This is what one of our clients said to me… “I just don’t know how I used to pay someone 40 hrs a week for what you guys are doing for us in less than 10 hrs a week.”  


Now you know!


5. Procedures, Procedures, Procedures


If you didn’t know already, I bet you already guessed, I have procedures for EVERYTHING…well almost everything. When I find I don’t have a process written out for something, I immediately remedy that.


We do it for our clients and our company internally, too.


SOPs are the foundation for anything you want to delegate. No one can live in your head and if you hope for someone to someday do 1 or 20 things for you in the future, it needs to be written down (and now in many cases, videotaped as well).  


As we plan to continue to build and grow our client's businesses and our business, procedures manuals are essential!


6. Trust is Key


I am organically an honest person. As one of my good friends says, “I am honest to a fault.” Even though she is joking, I have to say that honesty is one of the biggest contributing factors to A4H’s success.


One of our key values is creating with our clients exactly what they want done and then delivering on our assigned deadline. When we do that, our clients trust us that we do what we say with exceptional deliverables!


Have we missed a few deadlines in the last 7 years? Of course, we have. Still, the number is quite shockingly low after all these years with thousands upon thousands of deliverables. I would say on average we miss about 3 per year and when we do, it is always with an apology, a game plan for resolution, and a new date it will be done!

   

7. Relationships are the MOST Important!


I absolutely love our clients, our past clients, our team members, and the 10-12 new people I meet every week through all of my networking events and calls!


I love helping people find more joy and happiness in their lives and that can only be done by taking the time to understand them, know their pain points, and help them explore what they love doing.


This is why I love what I do. I get to help our clients focus on the parts of their businesses they love. And, I get to create a business where the people who work with me get to do jobs that they love doing. And, yes, I do ask them and review their tasks all the time.


And the bonus! 😜 In creating this for others, I also created it for myself. Time for me to stop writing this blog and hit the links for a little golf networking! ⛳️


Happy 7th Anniversary to Assistants 4 Hire!


 

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Written by MerriLyn Gibbs








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