Rob Herold has been working at Chick-fil-A for 21 years and has been a business owner and operator in Maryland for 12 years. There are 125 employees at his restaurant.
Rob attended a conference in early 2021 about a system called EOS based on the book, Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business.
The virtual assistants at the conference talked about how the visionary of a company — whether it’s the CEO, the owner or the entrepreneur — should be doing the best that they can to move things off their plate.
This sparked an interest for Rob and when planning a replica conference for an operator group, he invited BELAY as a vendor.
It was at that conference that he decided to chat with a BELAY representative about his own day-to-day operations.
“As the entrepreneur of the business, there’s a lot of stuff on my plate,” Rob says. “I’d find myself overwhelmed with daily tasks. I’d always have emails I hadn’t gotten to or emails that [were] forgotten, and my schedule was not consistent."
“I would miss meetings, and I would have people that wanted to spend time with me – and I couldn't find time to meet with them.”
That’s when BELAY Client Success Consultant – or CSC – Miles Flora stepped in.
“He interviewed me,” Rob recalls. “He wanted to learn about who I was, the type of business I ran, the type of organization I have. He asked me what my values were about, and what our purpose was."
“I really appreciated that we were looking at this as not just a business relationship but that the VA is someone who I’m personally connected with.”
After that call, Rob and Miles decided two of Rob’s biggest wants and needs were to never check his email again and to find someone to manage his schedule for him.
“He did a search for a week, told me he found a perfect person for me, and then Mindy and I were introduced to each other,” Rob says.
During their first meeting, BELAY VA extraordinaire Mindy Brewer and Rob talked through Rob's email and calendar, as well as a list of questions Mindy had for him.
“I didn’t have to train her [on] anything,” Rob says. “She came with a predetermined set of skills, knowledge, life experience and work experience."
“She didn’t know the problems I had and she didn’t know necessarily exactly where to start, but she started asking questions.”
Mindy’s first project was to help Rob by organizing all of his email accounts into one place, decluttering his inbox, and categorizing each message that came through.
Since then, her responsibilities have evolved into responding to and flagging emails for Rob’s attention, creating and managing a weekly to-do list via a shared Apple note, managing Rob’s calendar, and facilitating all of the executive team and strategic meetings.
“I’m an analytical person,” Rob discloses. “I am all about structure and systems. I’m a thinker. I’m always thinking about how we can make something better."
“Mindy is the perfect pairing to that mindset. I take big-picture stuff, and she can figure out the nitty-gritty details.”
“My life is different because I have her now,” Rob remarks. “I don’t feel pressure that I’m going to forget something. I don’t feel pressure that I’m not able to meet with the people I need to meet with."
“I try to be so efficient by making meetings go back-to-back, and she’s helped me successfully do that – whereas before I’d go over meetings and miss times and people would get frustrated."
“She’s helped me create the space that I need to be efficient.”
Rob has always wanted to have a system where he could meet and spend time with each employee every month, and Mindy has helped him design just such a system.
“I am more productive now than I’ve ever been,” Rob says. “I feel more confident now than I ever did before in getting things done in my business.”
Rob has had such a pleasant experience that he asked Mindy to create a list of accomplishments they have made together as a team for him to pass along to his peers.
“I talk about my VA to other Chick-fil-A operators,” Rob admits. “Having someone that is assisting you and helping you sort your life organizes the work you’re doing.”
Having Mindy on his team has helped Rob meet his goals of meeting with his employees and becoming a better leader.
“I’ve been able to delegate a lot of my plate,” Rob remarks. “I can [now] spend time dreaming, thinking, writing, planning, and meeting with people — doing the things only I can do.”
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