When you hire an executive virtual assistant, they need to be completely and 100% all in with you and for you. You’re basically hiring a second brain, someone there to catch your slack and enforce your boundaries with pushy clients. Your EVA is a second you. So the EVA you hire has to be all in.
Let me tell you a story…
I worked with someone who could really go places. She was driven and motivated, but she was also disorganized and unfocused. It was to the point where she never got anything done. Like… she wouldn’t finish client work because she lost interest.
So, she thought she needed an assistant, someone to keep her on task and focused. Unfortunately, she didn’t realize that I was there for her business just as much as (honestly, in this case, way more than) she was.
When she hired me, she didn’t see that she was getting a team member. Another person who was basically there to be her duplicate and assist so she could do her genius work.
Let me tell you, she did not like that accountability! She refused to listen to my advice or keep any of the things I had organized…well, organized. She treated me like an employee versus a partner in her business.
See, she thought she was getting an employee. Someone who just checked off boxes, put in their monthly hours, and logged off Chrome at the end of the day, content with doing “good enough.”
There’s a difference between a task doer who needs a checklist versus someone who wants to take responsibility. Your EVA is the second in line and should have that mentality!
Unlike the chickadee who thought she was getting someone to check off a list, you have to understand the type of support you’re hiring.
Fact, you’re going to pay more for someone who thinks and takes responsibility and you’re also going to get more comprehensive, quality work.
When I work with my clients, I think like they’d think (which is why it’s super-important that you like the person you hire and get along with them! And if you’re in need of help finding that person, here’s my proven process to hiring the perfect assistant.)
I also try to anticipate my client’s needs, like a c-suite assistant in a swanky high-rise office building. When you hire an EVA, especially someone who’s an ongoing part of your team, there has to be that buy-in and forward thinking.
Now, I don’t want to paint things with the broadest of brushes. There are times when task doers are perfect! You may have a long list of well-defined tasks that need to be done.
There are tons of great assistants out there who happily freelance and operate on their own. They thrive in taking a list of tasks and powering through until every last one is crossed off.
There’s also the personality consideration. You may not love being around someone, but they kick ass at tackling your virtual to-dos. In that case, a freelancer who operates independently could be a great solution for you.
Ultimately, the issue here is making sure there is clarity.
Having expectations of the work is paramount to getting the support you need. Get clear and set parameters.
No matter what, the person you work with must be focused on you so your ship can keep smoothly sailing along.
It just depends how “all in” you want them to be. Where there’s room to play is in figuring out what kind of assistant you need.
Depending on your business type, your needs may be different. If you’re a coach with a lot of touch-points who needs a very elegant, supportive process for your people, an EVA who is on retainer as your second-in-command could very well be for you.
Similarly, your personality type could also dictate who you choose to work with. Scattered people may need organized thinkers who can compile and synthesize. This is a job for an EVA. Folks who are super organized may need task do-ers. An assistant who operates independently could be for you.
(If you’re unsure of the difference between VA and EVA, I answered that, along with a few other common questions, right over here.)
At the end of the day, you have to maintain standards and expectations well. That is your job. It’s the assistant’s job to buy into the vision you’re giving her and realizing if they’re the person to help you execute that.
The executive virtual assistant you hire must be a partner. They’re going to be a team member, not a subcontractor or freelancer. They have to care about your business as much as you do.