How Entrepreneur and Blogging Expert, Yaro Starak, Is Embracing ‘The Laptop Lifestyle’ and How to Break Free From Emails in the Process
Why a Virtual Assistant Can Be a Great Investment in Your Business
In this episode, special guest and online blogging expert, Yaro Starak, takes us through how he has adopted what some may call ‘The Laptop Lifestyle’ and how to break free from emails to focus on the things he loves.
This episode is full of insights and tips from Yaro on how you can begin the process to ‘break free’ from managing your emails and once mastered, can bring so much freedom and success to you as a business owner.
Some of the areas covered include:
- Adopting The Laptop Lifestyle – having the right people on your team is paramount to making this happen
- The importance of separating personal emails from business emails
- Hiring the right person to take on the task of your emails
- The value of setting up systems and processes for responding to emails
- Tips on training your new recruit
Let us know what your key takeout has been from this episode and join the continuing conversation over in the Virtual Success Facebook Group.
In this episode:
02:05 – About Yaro
03:22 – The laptop lifestyle
04:15 – Having the right people on your team
08:20 – Yaro’s blog: Break free from emails
13:10 – Steps to break free from emails
13:25 – Separating personal from business emails
14:35 – Hiring someone to take over your emails
15:56 – Creating systems for dealing with emails
19:07 – Emotions experienced when handing over emails
22:35 – Key competencies needed to take care of emails
25:48 – Tips on training your new recruit
35:41 – Wrapping things up
Barbara: Hey everyone and welcome back to another episode of the Virtual Success Show, where I’m joined by my co-host Matt Malouf. Matt, how are you?
Matt: I’m well Barbara, how are you?
Barbara: I’m good thanks. You must be having a good week. Finally, your book has come out. Your book has launched – The Stop Doing list.
Matt: It has. It’s been really exciting over the last … it’s been out for about a month now. Getting some really positive feedback. So really, really enjoying the journey.
Barbara: Yeah and probably a bit of rest time after all the push that was involved with pushing the book out.
Matt: Absolutely, absolutely.
Barbara: I can imagine.
Matt: There was a few things that I might stop doing years from now.
Barbara: Yeah. Well, I’m reading it at the moment and I’m thinking “Gosh, there’s so many things I can still stop doing.” Anyway, one of the things that I do need to stop doing is my own email, and our guest today on the show, I’m very keen to talk to today’s guest about this because he wrote a fantastic blog post about this a while ago which triggered me to bring him on the show. He’s not only a friend of mine, but he’s very big in the online marketing space online. I would call him sort of the King of people who would want to start a blog and figure out how on earth to get traffic to your blog. And get going with your blogging journey. Yaro Starak, welcome to the show.
Matt: Welcome Yaro.
Yaro: Thank you guys. Love to be here and looking forward to talking about something I don’t really talk about on podcasts very much.
Barbara: Yes, obviously you would usually be interviewed about online marketing, getting started in blogging. Tell us a bit about your background, tell the listeners a bit more about your background just to get things going.
Yaro: Yeah, you’re quite correct. I do normally talk about blogging on I’d say, 95% of the podcast interviews I do. Primarily because that’s what I teach and what I’m known for, and I’ve been blogging myself for, we’re in year 12 now of blogging. I started in 2005, so it’s been a career. I’ve pretty much had an online entrepreneurship career my entire adult life. It’s been great to me.
I have to really thank the Gods for being born in a time when I can use the internet as a way to run a business, and I’ve pretty much made my living entirely online. Thankfully, also been able to travel around the world, taking my business with me. What you would normally find me doing is sitting in cafe’s, writing on my laptop. Either writing a blog post or an email, coordinating with my team on Slack. I teach courses and I have a membership sight, I sell ebooks as well. I’m basically a writer, teacher, entrepreneur, and running a publishing company is probably the best way to put it now. That’s what I’ve been doing for the last, more than a decade. And I love it.
Barbara: You’re heading from Vancouver to France next, so you’re truly the laptop lifestyle entrepreneur. You truly live that.
The Laptop Lifestyle
Yaro: I like to represent what I teach as much as I can. Yeah, that’s for sure. Especially at the moment. I’ve been traveling, I wouldn’t say non-stop. I’ve certainly been stopping in Canada and I’ve had a number of trips back and forth to conferences in the States. But, yes, it’s really go, go, go, go keep traveling, and if there’s an event we want to attend, I’ll hop on a plane and get to it. Life doesn’t really change that much. It’s Airbnbs and Ubers and sitting on my laptop working. That’s kind of what the day to day life is like.
Barbara: I’m sure there’s lots of listeners going “Yeah, I want to do that” So, you’ve got to follow Yaro if you want to figure out how to get that lifestyle. Because you teach that really, really well.
So, Yaro, obviously you mentioned Slack, which we’ve talked about on this show many times before, which is a great communication channel when you have a virtual team. How many people do you have on your direct team at the moment, helping you to run this laptop lifestyle.
Having the right people on your team
Yaro: I should officially count. I’m pretty sure we’ve got 10 people in Slack at the moment. Nearly all of them are working with me every day. Basically, I’ve got three people in what we call, Client Care. Which is email and customer support and sales support too. It’s sort of like an all-around Client Care. That’s why they’re called Client Care. I’ve got two … I wouldn’t call them full-time – all my people are contractors but the Client Care people really do check in every day.
I’ve got two tech people, who are pretty much my main tech resources for doing all website changes, blog changes, setting up pages and that sort of thing. One Graphic Designer, one Facebook Ad Manager, one Content Auditor. At the moment, it’s going to be content audit on my website. It’s sort of a social media management role too. Well, it will be anyway. One person handling my podcasts, publications, I think that’s kind of everyone.
Then there is the more, not really day to day, part of my team. The person who does the transcripts and then occasionally if we need something written, we go to a writer. If we need something formatted, we go to a desktop publishing specialist. Really the day-to-day team is the people I just mentioned.
Barbara: Yeah. You know what I love about that, and I want to say to some of the listeners that are listening to this that think that running a blog, and making money from content marketing, coming into courses, can be done by just one VA. I just want listeners to realise that, if you’re really running this like the true business that Yaro teaches you, basically how to do.
Look at all those people you have on your team. Yes, you’re working from your laptop, but you have a fully functioning team that is firing every day. So, to make this thing work, you’re really taking it very, very seriously. I think that’s important for people to realise.
Yaro: Yeah. It’s actually been more recently though. If you go back in time, my team was really me, a tech person and an email person and that was it. We certainly had the odd contractor come on board, now and then, for one-off calls. But, for a long time it was a three person show. I did all the content and all the marketing and all the email writing. I just had the tech person and the email person sort of as my main two support team.
To be fair, I ran a great business. It just was capped in how big it could get and in the last maybe four or five years, I wanted to go beyond that phase and that’s why I brought more people in. Which has been really interesting actually because it’s allowed me to not only grow further, but to also test some theories around systems that I’ve always wanted to set up. It’s actually taken me out of the business even more because it’s allowed me to sort of say “Okay, what if Yaro does absolutely nothing, except for maybe show up for one group coaching call and communicate with a few clients who pay for private time with me. Does the business still run?”
That requires a slightly bigger team and certainly more systems in place. I have to spend a bit of time creating email funnels that run without me. So that was a deliberate change in strategy, because before that it was very launched-based. I may create money, I can’t complain, but I didn’t feel about it, that it was as automated a business. It is a business still, but I guess it felt more like I was a … I don’t call myself a freelancer but I was a coach, or a teacher making a great living. Now, it feels more like I’m still that, but my content is kind of doing a lot of the heavy lifting for me. More so than it was in the past. And because that’s working, the team is needed in place to kind of manage the more sales, the more customers, the more queries coming in. It’s been fun to see that transition and that growth happen.
Yaro’s blog: Break free from emails
Matt: Yaro, the blog that Barbara referenced earlier about breaking free from emails. Talk us through just what inspired you to write that and what the general gist of that was.
Yaro: Yeah, it’s one of my favourite topics actually. It’s weird that it’s taken so long to write about it. Even before I was a blogger, I was obviously an online entrepreneur and I had an editing company, which was set-up to specifically be what you would call, I guess Tim Ferris kind-of-business today. A four-hour work weekkind of business.
I built it before Tim was Tim, and he hadn’t written any of his books. But, back then I was still chasing very much what Tim represents now, which was that lifestyle business that provides a cash flow source so you can do whatever you want with your life. That was my primary goal to begin with as an entrepreneur, was to create some kind of income stream business like that. It’s weird because today, people don’t build online businesses necessarily thinking about how they can run without them, but that was my entire goal.
This particular editing company I had, the main job that kept me involved in the company was email. Even from day 1, I knew at some point email would be one of the first, probably the last thing I’d outsource but it would be the thing that would take me out of the company. I did…after, I mean it took a number of years to get the business up and running, and getting enough customers, and getting enough cash flow.
It was a completely contractor-driven company. I had contract editors. I just built the website and did the marketing and initially did all the email and customer support myself. And then once there was enough cash flow, I brought on actually a friend from university, back in Brisbane, Australia. She took a job and from that point forward, we’re talking like 2003, 2004, she did everything with that business. I really was out. I maybe did one hour every 5 or 6 days, I had to pop in and do something and ever since then, I’ve always seen email as the first thing I need to get off my plate if I really want any sense of freedom. It blows my mind how many entrepreneurs I still spend time with who are devoting large chunks of their most productive hours to simply replying to emails.
So, the impetus for writing this actual article, was a very small networking dinner I went to with some other entrepreneurs. And one of the woman there, was talking about how, we were sort of sharing our problems, and she was saying “Every night I go home, I just can’t get on top of my email. I spend like 4 or 5 hours before I go to bed.” And that’s when I kind of dropped the bombshell at the table and said “I haven’t done my own emails in 12 years.” There’s all these shocked faces when people think about that because it’s … I don’t know what it is about it. Barbara, you mentioned before, people have trouble letting go of their email or seeing that as something other people can handle for them. Yet, we all know most the time, it’s not a part of your business that moves forward either. It’s something you kind of do that is like treading water. It’s not growing your business, you are always responding to things.
For me, since that experience with the editing business and then with my blogging business, and pretty much any business I’ve ever had, Email, along with tech support have been the first two things I always get other people to handle because I need to be writing the blog posts or doing the joint-ventures or creating the webinars or the videos or the podcasts because that’s my growth activities. Responding to emails is barely a growth activity. I think it’s one of the most important things to outsource.
Barbara: Yeah, I mean I’m so fascinated by that whole story because I know and as you were talking I was thinking, I know one of the areas our clients would probably delegate last is their email because it’s kind of difficult to do it. And also because they’re probably hiring virtual assistants and I know you didn’t necessarily get a VA to do it. And I was also thinking about my own email and I actually still manage my own email but what I’ve done with mine is I’ve managed to eradicate as much email as possible. I actually don’t get that many emails. I don’t really have to deal with email in that way cause I’ve automated a lot of things and I push everything on to project management tools. I’ve tried every which way to sort of eradicate email but I recently dived into this blog post and I read it several times over. I was like, I really need to nail this because I want first of all to do it for myself, and second of all, to start talking to our clients about how to do this safely, effectively; Because it is your personal email.
Let’s dive in. I’m sure the listeners are dying to know, ‘how do we actually do this?’ Do you have a couple of steps maybe you can share with us that we can digest and actually activate ourselves?
Steps to break free from emails
Yaro: Sure, sure. You mentioned one thing right there that’s worth covering. You said, “Handing over your personal email.” I think that’s a distinction that needs to be made. I have a personal email account and then I have a business email account. I don’t hand over my personal one and frankly, there’s no need to. I get maybe two or three emails a day and it’s really just friends, family, and a few things like notifications about a flight booking or an Airbnb booking or something like that. Even that, I could potentially have someone else handle but, I like to choose where I live and I like to choose which planes I fly on so it’s more of a personal preference there.
Separating personal from business emails
My business email is everything else. That’s I think step one for people is to separate their emails, which they’re happy to have someone else handle and, which ones they want to maintain. But, really be realistic about that because you’d be surprised how little you really need to touch in terms of email yourself. You can if you have someone you trust do 99% of the messages. One of the things I like to do is go into your inbox and just have a look at all the emails and ask yourself, “Should I be the one replying or filtering or even just deleting these messages.” I know this is crazy but, hiring someone just to delete the bad emails, the emails you don’t need to deal with can make a huge difference in itself, so that might be step one.
Hiring someone to take over your emails
But, I guess I should stick with my article cause I did have three steps in there that I mentioned. Then really step one, is the obviously step, which is hiring someone who is competent to do this job but this is not more difficult than hiring someone for any other outsourcing role in your business. There’s not some sort of secret spy test they have to go through to handle my email here. It’s like any other thing I outsource. I look for qualities I look for in any person I’m hiring. Do they have good attention to detail? Do they have good written communication? Are they familiar with the technology I make use of like Slack, Asana, Gmail. Then we run tests in my business. We have a one-month long trial to see how they work live. We have training systems in place as well, which is part of my process. Assuming they do well with all that, then it’s basically here’s the inbox and … look after it.
Obviously, the first time you do this, just like the first time I did it, I was the person training them. They learned how to be me as best as they could or even be better than me, is probably the best way to put it when it comes to answering emails. How to reply to certain messages that they didn’t know, I taught them. Sometimes, they improved on that.
Creating systems for dealing with emails
Just sort of continue the steps cause it would make sense to explain here. As you hire and train someone, part of the process will actually be creating things that make the inbox more systematised. Like template responses because you probably get common queries coming in, perhaps from potential customers or even current customers or just current recurring situations so they can be templated. Plus, you’ve obviously got folders and filters so we make use of those heavily within Gmail.
We actually run a shared Gmail account that my entire team basically has access to. It’s me, I have my own folder there, or as Gmail calls it a label and so does each member of my team and they all access it so we have 24/7 … We have three main people in my client care team all going in there every day. They’re in different countries around the world so we can get that 24-hour coverage of it and they just put the messages in my folder, if it’s a message only I can deal with which is probably 5% of my email at most and I check that folder every two weeks.
What I have is people going in there, replying to messages using templates, archiving messages that don’t need to be responded to or seen by anyone and they also put labels for messages that I need to see but not reply to, which is a huge chunk of my email. That’s like all those newsletters you get that you might just want to glance at but not do anything with. And then, of course, they have the ones I need to actually reply to. This is all systematised and the great thing about email is it teaches you what you need to do, as you do it.
What I mean by that is, you hire a contractor. Let’s say you start training them up on the basics and then more emails are going to come and that’s going to trigger them to learn how to reply, to come up with a system, to maybe create new folders and filters if we need to. New templates if we need to. Possibly improve on it because you can potentially turn this into a sales role if they can get better at converting people to customers or keeping potential refunds and stopping them from refunding. There’s are all kinds of opportunities for the person in the inbox to really impact your business and that takes time but the great thing about it is, there’s constant feedback cause you’re getting emails every day. I think it’s one of the best things you can spend some time working with someone to get right.
Barbara: That’s fascinating. Yeah, Matt, go on.
Matt: No, I was going to say. Just a couple of things you mentioned there Yaro. One thing fellow listeners that are done in conjunction with what you’re talking about there was, I’ve got a small group of clients that we coach personally. I just set up a personal email for them and then everything else can be managed by somebody else, which is something as an interim step that people may want to consider. But, the question I wanted to ask you is, what was some of the emotions that you experienced initially when you started handing over your email?
Emotions experienced when handing over emails
Yaro: Well, euphoria is the first one actually. Honest. Only because the first time I ever did this, it was literally the final step in proof of concept of a true lifestyle business. I remember clearly waking up the next day and logging into my computer following the pattern I always had prior to that to go into my email to see if any editing jobs had come through and my inbox was empty but I checked the all-mail tab to see what had happened and the sent mail tab to see how my person had replied and they did everything right. I can’t remember specifically but I know during those first few weeks I would’ve had sales come in from my business and they would have been processed by this email person, assigned to the contract editor to do the job. I was making money and that whole day, or those weeks that followed and I wasn’t doing anything anymore.
For me, it was like, this is real. I built a business that had ran or runs without me and I’ve been obsessed with systems like this. Very much human powered systems like this ever since. Email is the simplest but the best example of that. Ever since then, I guess I’ve become complacent with it because it has been so long. We’re talking 12 years of not having that stress point cause I do remember before the 12 years, needing to simply log into my inbox and feeling stress because there was a … It’s like the dishes. You wash them and then there’s more. As emails, you empty your inbox and then a few hours later there’s more. If you let it go for two days, you’ve fallen so far behind you can’t keep up.
And then I’ve got some friends who I see their inboxes and they’ve got 100,000 messages in their inbox because they’ve given up on actually dealing with it. I’ve got one friend, in particular, he had 300,000 emails in his Gmail. He was proud of the fact that he had that many unanswered emails and I was like, “How do you operate that? How do you find your emails? And he uses search all the time. It sounds ridiculous. That was definitely the first feeling.
After that, I don’t know, it’s the lifeblood of every business I’ve run. I’m still very much in my inbox in the sense that I watch it. My sales notifications come through. I get the fun stuff comes through like invites to be on a podcast with you guys. This is organised through email so a lot of things that I enjoy about my business still come from email but I think the overarching feeling today is the lack of stress and sense of comfort to know that no matter what hits the inbox, it’s ultimately not my responsibility. I’ve had to force myself over the years to you know, don’t take this on, let the team handle it. Once you get to that place, it really is like … If you ever read the 4-hour Work Week or you ever read The E-myth Revisited or any of the books on systematisation. Your book Matt, probably no doubt as well. This concept of having a business run without you, the email is the first place you can really taste that. I taste it every day and I love it.
Matt: As far as the competencies of the people that run your email, what are some of the key competenciesyou’re looking for in the person or people you bring in to run these emails?
Key competencies needed to take care of emails
Yaro: I mean, communication is number one. Especially, obviously written communication. When I hired Angela, my very first email person, she was a fresh out of university. She has an Information Technology degree so she wasn’t qualified like an English major or had training in customer service but I knew she was intelligent, I knew she had good emotional intelligence as well so that when you got an angry customer writing an email, you know how to react and calm that person down. That’s the first thing. Just that report, the ability to communicate well in English even in the sense of a customer service situation. It’s kind of funny but people who possibly work in retail or hospitality can be good at this because they know not to get emotionally responsive to an angry, or a person who doesn’t communicate very well back at you. You know how to deal with those situations. I worked at a help desk so I knew the patience required sometimes to work with certain people. That’s one.
I really also respect people who have attention to detail more than anything because they tend to see possible ways to do things better than I do and think about the things that need to be done that you might not see in front of you. They’re not always just reacting to the inbox or to the situation, they’re proactive about something they could do better depending on the situation. This really helps with sales too, because I let my team come up with special offers for people. That is a very dynamic thing to do. You have to kind of figure out, based on who you’re communicating with what to offer them.
For example, we have someone who might be considering canceling out on my membership site and they decide, my team member decides, let’s give this person 1 month free because they just need to get to their next few months when they get a salary again from a job or something like that. They have to have the competence and also the intelligence to solve that problem without me. Without needing to come to me either because I don’t want to be, be being asked questions throughout the day. I need someone who has the ability to work on their own and that was also a big thing early on so that the independent worker … Obviously, all of this comes into play after some testing. You don’t just throw someone at the role and say figure this out, do it all yourself. You want to make sure they’re doing a good job, right? But, once they’re there then you can be confident that they’re going to keep doing a good job. So, those are kind of like the main things though.
Obviously, tech skill. You need someone who knows how to use a computer. Has a good internet connection. In my case, I work with a lot of stay at home moms and that’s great because they have that flexibility in their schedule and that’s what was great about Angela and I think two out of my three current client care team members are both work-at-home moms as well. They can be checking the email all throughout the day. There’s no sense of needing to be anywhere for large chunks of time away from the job, so that’s good. Those are the main things.
Tips on training your new recruit
Barbara: Can I ask though, actually Yaro sorry. The question I have is if the initial is probably easier by now since you’ve done it for so long but how about the initial training period. Even when you get someone competent and has the ability to take initiative, think outside the box, all those things. You still would’ve needed to train them, first of all I would imagine on your actual business. So, what is it you do, how you operate? Everything. It would’ve been a lot of training initially before they can successfully take over email.
Barbara: How did you tackle that? How did you not become overwhelmed with that part of it in the beginning?
Yaro: This is so much easier than you think it is Barbara. It’s ridiculous.
Barbara: Okay, cause I can ask my clients. Clients would ask us these questions and I would-
Yaro: We’ve been doing the same thing when it comes to bringing on new people since I did with Angela, day one. Obviously, nowadays I have my current people train my new people so that’s an advantage but even if you’re just doing this for the first time, this is all you have to do. Tell your new hire to go into the inbox and read your replies to messages. Go into the sent folder and then read how you reply to things and then go back as far as they need to. Might need to look back over the previous two months or something like that depending on how much email volume you get. They can learn pretty much everything from that one activity. How you reply, what you reply, what your business is about, what you sell, what web pages to refer people to. It’s not going to solve every problem but it will get them up and running really, really quickly.
We kind of do it like this. We phase them in so they will spend probably about a week just reading how … In this example, it would be how I reply but in my company today, it would be how my other already established people reply but if you’re doing this for the first time, it’s going to be you.
Then the next week, assuming they say they’re feeling confident, we say “Can you start doing replies to the emails you feel confident in?” And you just check over their work and make sure they’re doing that correctly and then they’ll get better and better cause they’ll start doing more and more replies. Obviously, they’re going to ask questions. There’s going to be, “How do I deal with this? Is there a special page for this?” But, they only need to ask that once and then the next time it happens, they don’t need to ask again. They’re kind of building up a mental database of how to answer probably 80% to 90% of your emails. Within about two weeks to a month, they’re feeling confident to deal with about 80% of the messages that come into an inbox. That’s the basic starting point.
From that point forward, you might get the odd email. Maybe one a day that they just don’t know how to deal with that’s fresh and new and they’re not sure and they want to run it past you. That’s what they do then. Then, when you really takes things to the next level, you set up a system for all the more common things. That’s when you start completing templates, you create videos and ideally, you get the person who’s learning it to do the systematisation as well because when you first learn something, is a great time to teach it. Once I just learned how to do something, I’d get them to record a Screenflow desktop recording video, if it’s something that needs that. Or, I get them to write the template reply or sometimes they just take the template from one of my previous replies and then the next person you hire has all these templates and all these training videos to follow as well as all your previous emails. It really isn’t that hard to do. It blows my mind more people don’t do this.
Barbara: Yeah, actually I just realised as you were talking that … I think Matt, the question you asked is the most critical one. It’s the emotion because I know that for me, it’s the emotion of letting go of that and feeling like it won’t be done right. Even I would be a bit overwhelmed with handing it over, but that’s great that I now have this strategy. I’m going to do it. I’m going to do it.
Yaro: You have to. One of the things to expect is they won’t do it right. You do have to realise, they aren’t going to write exactly like you are. They are going to make mistakes and it depends on how much of a control freak you are because I’ve had moments where I’ve just been so angry and frustrated because I’d seen a better way to reply to something. A way that could have saved a customer that we lost or brought in a new customer that we didn’t or something like that. But, more often than not, that’s a very rare thing that happens and then it’s an opportunity to train a person. They’re getting new skills in sales and in fact, if you hire a good person, they’ll go on to do even a better job of selling than you did. I mean it’s-
Barbara: Actually, I should clarify that in my email though, I have eradicated all client contact in my email so actually my team do deal with that. I guess-
Yaro: What are you dealing with Barbara? What’s in your email inbox?
Barbara: Yeah. My inbox is actually full of things, things I’ve signed up to and I’m great at unsubscribing from things too. But, I know you’ll need somebody to do that for me and delete stuff. And then the odd email, normally its more business opportunity type stuff, which really is going to come to me anyway and you only get one of those every now and then so email for me is not a big job for me everyday, it’s what I’m saying anyways. So, I have eradicated-
Yaro: You’ve done the outsourcing of the business emails already.
Yaro: You’re ready where I am in that regard.
Barbara: Yep, yep. That’s probably it. Just to clarify for the listeners. I always say to clients, “You have to get email out of your lives.” Either delegate it or do whatever with it but, you got to try to get rid of it using all automation, delegation. Whatever strategy you can. FAQ’s on your website. Videos.
Matt: One important thing and you’ve mentioned it multiple times Yaro, through this conversation, is there’s a system for it. There’s a system for responding to certain emails in certain ways. You’ve templated things where you can but there’s a system all around this. Most people even if they’re managing their own emails, don’t have an effective system. And hence, what it does, is it makes it near impossible for them to hand it over to anybody else. In which case, when they do hand it over, they’re handing over 300,000 emails in an inbox like you were mentioning before.
Barbara: Yeah. A mess basically.
Matt: I find that – it’s so and I mean Barbara, you and I have had conversations on the show before around ‘the system’. If you want anything in your business done by somebody else, it must start with a clear system that you can train somebody in that, that needs to be refined, over time. I think that’s just an important message to hammer home to everyone. That Yaro, he’s not just talking about handing over emails. He’s got a clear, definitive system on how to do this. Hence, other people can operate and run the emails for him.
Barbara: Yeah, that’s a key point to make. Yaro, thanks so much for this inside. You think this is easy but so many people struggle with delegation of their email. It is a letting go process. Its lack of system. All of the above. But, to just dissect down on the show like this, is just gold for our listeners because they do want to do this. The fact that you have successfully done it for 12 years is amazing. It’s inspiring.
Yaro: Yeah, I don’t think it’s that hard. I think the simple thing to walk away with after this interview is go back to your inbox and look at any messages that have accrued and ask yourself, “Am I the one who should be dealing with these emails?” How many of them are mission critical for me to answer? You’ll probably find there’s a solid 80-20 rule. There’s only 20% that really matter and 80% someone else could be dealing with.
Barbara: Actually, I’m just going to interject here with something I have done, which is sort of along the same topic of what we’re talking about. Recently, I made a decision. Matt and Yaro, you’re both in my Facebook friends list, so you’ll know that I’ve done this or maybe you didn’t see it. But, I made a decision after about two years to separate my private and public profiles on Facebook. So, now I have two profiles. Facebook messenger on my public profile is managed by a VA because I kind of got sick to be honest…my parents live- I live in Sydney, my family live in Europe. We live very far away from each other and we have big Facebook messenger groups for different family members. I wake up very early in the morning and I got sick of jumping into Facebook messenger to see had my mom commented on a photo or something. I’d have someone wanting something in my Facebook messenger, so I made the decision to separate completely. One will be completely private for that reason, cause I just don’t want to deal with those things at that time. My VA manages to inform me and she lets me know what I need to deal with.
Yaro: It’s such an interesting point actually Barbara. You’re touching on messenger and messenger, is sort of like the new email for a lot of people, right? Messenger is becoming a place where bots, you know, those automatic robotic responses are starting to make an impact. I can imagine it happening to email too. Then it won’t be a human being managing your inbox, it will be a bot just doing automated template replies based on the questions being asked in an email, and that’s probably where we heading.
Barbara: Well, that’s a topic for another show because we have actually just put Jane … We called her Jane and we have introduced an automated bot on the Virtual Angel Hub Facebook page. There is a bot in there that actually answers your questions when you go there. Her name is Jane. That’s a whole other topic. Yaro, thank you so much for your time.
Matt: Yes, thank you.
Wrapping things up
Barbara: If people want to find out more about you and they want to follow you and not email you but email your team. How do they connect with you online?
Matt: The simplest answer to that one is just Google my name, Yaro, Y-A-R-O and you’ll find the blog, the podcast. If you’re interested in blogging, look out for my report. It’s called the BlogProfitsBlueprint.com is where you can find that but Yaro. Y-A-R-O. Just remember that and that’s the easiest way to find me.
Barbara: Guys, The Blog Profits Blueprint, I will put my hand up and say it was the first pivotal moment in my online career where I discovered Yaro’s online blog, The Blog Profits Blueprint and I knew nothing about online until that moment. I’m a big fan of that piece of work. It’s very, very good.
Barbara: Any final thoughts from you, Matt?
Matt: No, thank you so much Yaro. You’ve given an amazing insight and I think just, one thing I’ll reiterate in what Yaro’s been saying today is email, to get it off your list is so doable and it’s a lot easier than you think.
Barbara: Yeah, absolutely. Guys if you’re loving this show, we’d love to get a review. We’re trying to get the reviews up on iTunes right now and the ratings so just throw us a review and be sure to let us know other topics you want us to cover that you’re trying to outsource, delegate. Whatever you’re trying to do. Until next time, we’ll see you for some more Virtual Success.
Matt: We will. Thanks, Barb.
Yaro: Thank you guys. Bye-bye.
Matt Malouf is a passionate business coach, speaker, author and entrepreneur on a mission to help entrepreneurs around the world break the shackles of mediocrity and reach new levels of personal and business success.
Barbara Turley is the Founder & CEO of The Virtual Hub, a company that specializes in recruiting, training and managing superstar ‘Virtual Assistants’ in the social media, digital marketing and systems automation space.