It started with a hat.
For a celebratory fifth-annual kayaking expedition in the wilderness of northern Ontario, Canada, with close crew of friends, Bubba Albrecht commemorated the trip with custom matching hats.
But this unassuming hat was different. People wanted it. Had to have it. Asked where they could get one and if Bubba would make one just for them.
Two hats. Two T-shirts. Gloves. A faithful family. And Give'r was born.
But what started with a grassroots, give'r attitude grew. And after six long, successful, sleepless years, Bubba turned to the The Lion’s Pride (an organization for CEOs and founders who are looking for like minded people to help them get their business to the next level) for guidance and support. Their advice?
“You could keep going at it alone and take the slower, harder way with rabbit holes, exhausting mistakes, and limited resources – but why?”
So he was encouraged – repeatedly, often, ad nauseam – to hire a high-level virtual assistant from BELAY. And, at long last, he did in the summer of 2018. We recently sat down with Bubba to find out exactly why it doesn’t have to be – insert: lonely, sleepless, stressful, overwhelming or all of the above – at the top.
So what was the tipping-point, A-HA! moment that brought you to BELAY?
“As the result of a Kickstarter campaign, we were launched into new exposure and community size. I would’ve loved to have 20 people working here but growing is so much new territory. So I joined The Lion’s Pride to maximize on what I knew was possible – and a high-level VA with BELAY was always recommended. But I dragged my feet for a long time until I finally recognized it was time to make it happen. I knew I had to make that leap before everything was aligned.”
So Bubba turned to BELAY, which paired him with VA Amber.
Now with Amber, how has your day-to-day productivity changed?
“The biggest thing that was almost an immediate game changer was that in addition to needing an assistant, I was struggling to wrap my head around how to execute the hiring process for an operations director because there was too much happening day-to-day to be able to dedicate myself to hiring a person with a very specific set of skills.
“I knew I’d struggle with it. Just the volume of emails and trying to execute the hiring process gave me a terrible gut feeling. I didn’t have my head wrapped around it until Amber came on board and said, ‘Let me do that!’ and ‘Let’s do it together!’
“I knew I could then talk to candidates and focus – and sleep more than four hours a night – and develop a process we could execute on. And with Amber – and the gift of hindsight – the game changed.”
How then, exactly, has Give’r changed and grown with Amber's help?
“When I was looking into different mindsets, personalities and types of assistants to bring on board, I really took the time to identify my strengths to seek out complementary skill sets to fill in the gaps – and with Amber’s organization and big-picture thinking, my anxiety diminished so I could see what we’re capable of.”
“And I got better with the rest of my team as I began recognizing opportunities to delegate. It’s something I've aspired to become – good at delegating and seeking help from others. For so long, you're solo at the helm that you’re used to doing everything on your own.”
“It’s like making one meal with a lot of special ingredients for yourself. But if it’s for 20 people, things just start to implode. Now, I have a sous chef that has it under control so I can focus on what I’m best at.”
So along the same lines, how do you think you’ve changed and grown with Amber’s help?
“I've learned that most of the time, my communication can be concise and clear – simply sharing my intended goal, no path or reason – to empower Amber to do things better than I would on my own.”
Like you said, when you’ve been on your own for so long, it can be hard to pass the baton – until you find someone you can trust to care for things just as you would. So what would you say to a fellow entrepreneur wrestling with too much to do, too little time and a hesitance to hire a VA?
“I understand that it’s very difficult to imagine how more could get done. But I would strongly urge them – or even my spring 2018 self – to dive in as soon as they’re able. Because they’ll quickly find that the process, system, and people at BELAY get it – they get that you’re special, but they also know where you're at and they're really good at helping you. And allowing them to do so changes the paradigm.
“I’m upset I didn’t do it sooner and for allowing myself to get to the brink of ‘I can’t do more.’ But Amber and BELAY have really been a huge game-changer – and I just want to help others see the light.”
If you are on the fence about using a Virtual Assistant, Virtual Bookkeeper, or Virtual Web Specialist, don’t wait another day. Get started today!