The Entrepreneur Mindset You Need To Get Real Success With Virtual Teams
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In this episode, we talk about the entrepreneur mindset that is critical to succeed with Virtual Teams. This isn’t a nice-to-have or some off-the-cuff suggestions, Matt & Barbara share with you what they believe to be essential mindsets to succeed with your Virtual Team.
The episode goes deep into the 5 critical entrepreneur mindsets you must adopt in order to succeed with your virtual teams.
- Adopting an entrepreneur mindset of letting go – believing your VA can do these tasks as good if not better than you can.
- Viewing you VA’s remuneration as an Investment vs Expense.
- Understanding that your information/data is safe and secure even though you can’t physically see your VA. Also that strong systems are essential to further mitigate this risk.
- You must slow down to speed up.
- Understand the cost of mistakes are often not as bad as you think!
Let us know what your key takeout has been from this episode and join the continuing conversation over in the Virtual Success Facebook Group.
Matt: Hey everyone! Welcome to this week’s episode, we’re really looking forward to sharing some amazing content with you today and I’m joined by my co-host Barbara Turley, how are you Barb?
Barbara: Great Matt! How are you? How’s your week?
Matt: The weeks are just flying by at the moment, it’s like,
Barbara: We’re getting old Matt, we’re getting old!
Matt: Tell you what, we’re recording on the Thursday today and it’s like, we are the rest of the week go? So it’s just flying by!
Barbara: Yeah but it’s good fun, good fun!
Matt: You know Barb I’m more excited than I’m normally am about today’s episode because it certainly is the area that I’m extremely passionate about and I’d say talk about multiple times every single day in what I do. It’s part of the book that I’m writing at the moment and it’s all around the mindset that is critical to succeed with virtual teams. You know I think a lot of this is touched on but I don’t see many people really addressing this seriously enough and I really wanna make sure that today the way that I understand it, that what we’re talking about isn’t it nice to have, isn’t like something’s was suggesting we believe that this is critical to your success with your virtual teams.
Barbara: Absolutely Matt, you know I think like I’ve said before, sometimes this can be a bit of a woowoo topic when we’re talking about mindset and believing in yourself and all that when the reality is if you don’t get this bit right, all the strategies and tactics in the world will not work because this will get into people’s way and you see it every day the people that you’re coaching. I’m seeing it develop with client’s relationships with VAs and … either succeeding or failing and often it can come down to mindset, little mindset tweaks. Interestingly we’re not in the part of the client but I actually see on the part of the VAs. We’ve actually tweaked a couple of mindset issues with VAs and watched them soar afterwards you know so it’s a very interesting area. I’m keen to hear your … because you obviously, coach on this a lot.
Matt: I do and you know the biggest challenge I had while preparing today was trying to condensed, I think I can talk a 2-day weekend workshop to get just this one topic so I wanna make sure that we hear the, what we’ve come up with is, what I believe Barb as we discussed prior to the show what you believe as well, the 5 critical mindsets that you must adopt in order to succeed with your virtual teams so let’s get straight into it I think! So, mindset #1 – you need to adopt the mindset of letting go, you must let go – I see so many relationships to team virtual assistant and business owners fail because the owner has, their mantra is, they can’t do as good as me, they’ll never do as well as I can, they can’t do it as fast as I can, they’re making too many mistakes and they adopted this limiting belief that no matter how talented the people are, they’ll never do it as good as them and in my coaching whenever I hear that phrase, my response is it’s rubbish! That’s absolute rubbish because the reality is the first time you performed the task, you can do it as well as you can do it today. You probably practiced it time and time again, you’ve made multiple mistakes probably cost you loads of time and money and yet we have this expectation in a very short period of time, we should be able to train someone once or twice on something and they can do it as well as we can. I think having this understanding that when you’re inviting any team member for that matter and in that process of letting go, you need to have faith in your system, I mean you need to have faith in your ability to teach somebody how to become awesome at what you can do and often that’s where the failing lies, so the business owner doesn’t let go, they never give the virtual assistant the opportunity to succeed, they’re constantly undermining and hint holding themselves back and it’s all because the self-thought is they can never, they can never, they will never.
Barbara: Never is the key word there, yeah! And it keeps on reinforcing that. You know funny thing Matt what I tend to see as well is obviously step 1 is as we’ve talked about constantly on the show is having the right systems and processes that actually works, so that’s step #. What I haven’t see is even with clients that have that step, some of them just really nailed that step but then it’ll be like on day 2 I get an email so day 2 virtual assistant has started, email comes, support ticket comes, they’re not just getting it so this gonna be a frantic email comes in day 2 or 3.
Matt: Day 2!
Barbara: Yeah totally, day 1 even day 3 let’s say they’re just not getting it, this is not worth the money or this sort of stuff star jumbling out, I have a process, she wasn’t able to do it and I sort of think you know just because you got a process, the next step in that dense when you got a great process brilliant tick but then you can allow the person this space and time to get better at that process and to get their own way around that process and that may involve some feedback from you along the way but I asked people, people least spend 6-8 weeks not perfecting one process but getting comfortable together on working together, I think it’s at least 6-8 weeks process.
Matt: Absolutely and I think it comes back to it’s something we spoke about in the episode on the expectations around, it’s being realistic with your expectations of these people and it often not a lack of skill or ability, it’s just that they haven’t have the time to get a head around things and whether they’ve done it before doing it the way that you want them to do it takes time and you’ve got to be realistic. I think 6 weeks depending on what the task is but for most tasks, 6 weeks is a really good timeframe for you and your virtual assistant to find your feet on something, it’s a really good point that you made.
Barbara: So it’s sort of a dance that you’re doing not 6 weeks you’re just figuring out each other’s energy and you know at this whole point though ‘nobody can do it as good as me’ – I want to bring out the book and if the listeners haven’t read this book, you have to! Michael Gerber the E-myth, actually it’s called the E-myths you visited now, he talks a lot in there about being a technician vs. being an entrepreneur and if you’re constantly thinking ‘I’ll just do it myself!’ as well as ‘It’s faster if I’ll do it!’ then you’re sitting in a technician land and you’re not really an entrepreneur because as an entrepreneur, you’ve got to be, you’re taking your business to the next level, you’re not necessarily the one who is getting caught in the trenches getting all the work, you’re the person leading the you know leading the charge, leading your team on to the new open space, blue ocean if you like you know so it’s really important to remember that, that mindset is really holding not just your relationship with your VA back but your entire company.
Matt: Absolutely agree Barb! Like you know it’s a lot of what we teach on this podcast is not just related to virtual team success but business success in general and the point that you’re making most definitely will be holding somebody’s back not just individuals or key relationships. You know I think if we move to the next point. There are 5 keys I wanna focus on today around this mindset piece, I think #2 is this concept of investment vs. expense and it’s looking the investing or what your spending to have your virtual assistant is not an expense in investment, it will give you an amazing return but it starts with the mindset of that. When you view something as a cost, your energy around that is it’s, there’s no real return for you. The whole mindset around investment is that if I invest the dollar then I’m gonna get more than a dollar back. The mindset around expense is that, if I spend a dollar, I’ve got nothing back and with your virtual teams, when you adopt the mindset that investing in them, having there is an investment and it will return to you more than what you’re quite spending. It totally suits your energy around how you engage, how you train, how you communicate every aspect of the relationship with your virtual assistant.
Barbara: Yeah, you know it also changes your attitudes towards helping them to win because if you see that as an investment, you’re sort of incoherent together. You’re both in this together all of a sudden you’re investing so I feel that what I see people put more efforts into making sure that they win, the VA does that. The other thing I would say about investment as well is that, obviously with all the investment there is a risk, there is a risk that it won’t work but once you have the mindset that you are investing, it’s not that you’re investing with a virtual assistant or person or team, you’re investing on the future development or future direction or introductory of your company and it’s always risk is involved on that but it’s totally a different mindset on thinking, ‘Oh I spend money now just trying to get anywhere!’ that’s a different you’re making and it would even change how you run your business in reality!
Matt: Absolutely! I wanna share a little story as well. When I bought on my 2nd virtual assistant, so I had a full-time VA assisting me and I bought another one and it just happened that I tend to Vanessa my personal assistant that if ever anyone within your community, your friends, your family has the skills that you have and looking for a role please let me know and so we were talking and she said, ‘I’ve got a friend that is looking for some work.’ And just to be short, I just got from a 3-week holiday I know we’re gonna need someone in about 6 weeks that I’ll gonna be away, do I, don’t I, a bit a bullet and I bought this person on and at the time I was thinking to myself, ‘Ah am I wasting money?’, ‘Is it an expense?’ but because they fit the criteria on who are we looking for, they had the right profile, they had the right skillset, for that 6 weeks role on my return of investment was probably negative, moving forward it’s been amazingly positive and I made that decision because when good people are in front of you, you’ve got to grab them, you’ve got to take advantage on that and if I had an expense mindset, I would never accept or taken that opportunity and that person would find employment with somebody else but by adopting the investment mindset and having understanding that when you have great team and you have great people, you bring them on, they will return more than it quite cost. I bought that person on and what it enabled me to do was once I got from leave, on that 3 weeks, I leveraged the whole heap of tasks that I would be wanting to move forward and what I actually meant was that it enabled me to focusing on my genius and grow my company even faster.
Barbara: I love that so much I mean coz you know it’s, I was just thinking as you were talking about a similar story that I had. I have a VA currently on my team that he was actually working in my husband’s business and he sort of available because that wrapping the business up but I actually don’t really have anything for him to do to be honest and then natural tendency that bring to me to farm him to a client coz he’s very good and I know that we have clients who’d love to work with him and I’ve made the decision to keep them. And I’ve given him a mandate, I actually said to him, ‘I really don’t have a role for you right now.’ But I know I’m gonna need him in the company in the next 6 months so I’m actually happy to sit initially with him for the next 6 months and trained him like that so he’s been training, I’ve got him training in InfusionSoft, we’re doing Facebook Ads, we’re doing a ton of new trainings that I would really never have time to invest to someone to do that except this situation occurred and he’s that good and I’m gonna keep him but I’m not be paying for him for a while before our company realistically needs him but I just know that the introductory of this thing is going to a place where I’m gonna need someone like him so I’m hanging into him.
Matt: Absolutely! And one little thing just to add to it what you were saying, when I bought this second person on, I had posted note on my computer and the woman that we bought on named Shahani and I said, ‘What do I need to stop doing that Shahani could do right now?’ it staring at me all day, all day, all day and coz I was looking at it and answering the question before I knew it, she had a full workload.
Barbara: Well you know, I’ve, this is a real situation that happens to me as well. I find this one interesting. It often gets messes with clients or whenever saying. ‘I’m going on a holiday for 3-weeks, I don’t have anything for her to do can I not just,’ and obviously they don’t wanna pay for them in 3-weeks and I would say, you know really if you wanna take this to the next level, I mean this person needs to go to another level so you should be using that time to be upscaling your team and give them very clear mandates on what results you want when you get back, are from training that they’re doing or research or whatever. I could think million things for VAs could do while you’re away to further your business.
Matt: Absolutely, absolutely! So that brings us to our third point and around this mindset piece, Barbara I know you hear this all the time and I hear it day and day out which is there’s this fear mindset that because I can’t physically see my virtual assistant because they’re not in my office, because I don’t have access to their computer, that someone’s gonna cheat you or that the securities less, they’re gonna rip off your information or your data.
Barbara: I think all day, sit around on Facebook all day doing nothing coz you can’t see them.
Matt: Absolutely and the reality is whether your team member is on the other side of the world or sitting the desk next to you, the behavior that often people feel can happen in both scenarios.
Barbara: Absolutely, absolutely! Someone can rip you off regardless on where you are in terms of data security on these days you know as we’ve talked about it, you can do screenshots of things, you can upload things on the cloud I mean if someone’s gonna do that, that’s actually personality type as supposed to an issue with virtual or any staff member. It’s an issue with the personality type and if you’re unlucky enough to get one of those then I feel very sorry for you but most people, most people are good people and they just want to do good job in my experience as …
Matt: Yap and same with me! And this fear, it is a fear mindset, it really is. It’s a lead by creating good systems, it’s about employing experts to assist you with your data or security, making sure that, you know we’ve got IT support company, if any of our, if we really need to get rid of our virtual team, I literally make one phone call, 24/7 and I can switch off the log-ins to, the person can have 0 access within minutes of me making a phone call.
Barbara: We have that at Virtual Angel Hub as well, it can cancel straightaway. You have to have that!
Matt: Absolutely! And you know, the other thing is you can build systems these days which is enable people to see certain aspects of your company and the like but the reality is you know most of this fear, what would they do with half of the information that they have accessed to anyway?
Barbara: This fear while there’s slim chance that it’s a legitimate fear but the reality is this fear is holding the company back, it’s holding you back as a business owner because if you have this fear in one place, you probably have in lots of places too and you probably come in from natural skeptical mindset which leads to negative thing I guess and not an expansive mindset where few opportunities come your way, you’re gonna attract the right energy I guess in your own company.
Matt: Absolutely! So mindset #4 now point #4 here is what I call slowing down to speed up. In order to get your virtual team to be successful and work with you at your Angel Business, you have to understand that in the initial faces there was a slowing down process, there’s a slowing down because often many companies that I see haven’t documented their systems. They aren’t clear what their expectations are. They don’t know how to find the right person. If they find the right person and they have spent time training that person, there’s a whole host of things that has to happen in order to set somebody up to succeed and often it’s an investment of time and money and that can slow you down, you may need to redirect funds in order to invest in software and the like in order to make this work. You need to divert time from other quite important things to train your virtual team to become outstanding and I think we leave in such a way world of everyone wants everything yesterday that this whole concept of slowing down to speed up is a real paradigm shift but the entrepreneur is out there succeeding yet this mindset and understand that it’s critical to their success.
Barbara: Absolutely! I mean the amount of times I had phone calls with perspective clients coming in Virtual Angel Hub and I heard this one a lot and they just say, ‘I’m desperate for help. I just need help yesterday, I’m snowed under.’ And I’m … for myself, ‘Okay we need to have this conversation because I’ve tried … way. Coz I’ve said, ‘Are you willing to accept that you’re going to have to pause and make this work and some of them said, ‘I don’t have time for that and I’ve generally said to them, ‘Well really I don’t wanna send you a dream because it’s not gonna work! It’s actually not gonna work for you, it’s unlikely to work and I can give you a VA but it’s probably going to create a bigger mess for you than what you seem to already have because if you’re not willing to slow down, all you’ll gonna do is to create one more job for yourself which is unboarding to your team member. Which is initially a bit of a job coz there’s work involved and they’re not getting right. It will face so many dividends later that slow down for a month or two means that you can speed up in a few years!’ … to do that!
Matt: Absolutely! And not only that, I think often we’ve leveraging through virtual teams. You’re getting a lot of the lower value and tedious tasks to taking care of which gives you greater opportunity to focus on number 1 things that you love doing in your business, number 2 the things that have the biggest financial reward. So understanding that in that slowing down process, it’s gonna create more time for you to invest into the higher yielding, higher return tasks and projects.
Barbara: Here’s a mindset question for you Matt coz just something that popped into my head as you were saying that was you know some people I mean the biggest curse for any business owner is aside of being busy and sometimes we may meet ourselves very busy and we don’t have to face into the selling and bringing the income and there’s more higher value or tasks that probably pushes more inside our comfort zones so do you see that with people you’re coaching or sometimes they cling on to this mindset of busy so that maybe subconsciously they just don’t have to push to that they don’t have to go and do that sales calls or bringing the revenue like they’re gonna have to?
Matt: 100% you know I see people majoring in minor tasks day in and day out and you know one of my early business mentors in the coaching area was a … name of Taki Moore and when I first met Taki, he worked 12 hours a week, that was it! 4 days a week for 3 hours a day and not because he had this fantasy of having a business that enabling him to work 12 hours a week because of some health challenges that his wife and his child had, he was forced to, he had to attend to them and be there Kara and so what the amazing thing was in being mentored by Taki was that he taught me that if you focus in an important things and then you build things around you by locally and overseas, you can have an amazing company and work minimal hours and make an absolute fortune.
Barbara: 100%! And you know what I talked to, I mean you know I’m a big fan of the whole female entrepreneur and movement that is happening out there right now, in any women who are listening at the moment in particular have children. Anyone really particularly moms that are, lots and lots of moms that are running their own businesses and a lot of moms are playing very small because of this mindset of thinking that you know they have to control everything and they have a little time they create this busyness all the time but actually they can really create the freedom that we are all business to get if they start to get this stuff right you know really, really focused on this idea of teams, systems and processes and critical tasks vs. stuff that just needs to get done. We could go on a week where hundred things, you know have these topics and we delegate to those in the future shows.
Matt: We certainly can! And I guess coming to the last one, I think this point number 5 here really sum, wraps around everything that we’ve spoken about and it’s having mindset and asking the question, ‘How bad can it really be if they screw up?’ what’s the worst case scenario? You know if I’ve given this task and they make a mistake, will they screw it up? How bad things can really be? You know what I mean? I think it’s important that when you’re onboarding a new team member, you need to give them tasks that have a very little consequence, let them earn the right to work on higher value, higher returning tasks and projects and I think in our interview with Dan Norris that he talked about when they bring developers on, they give them you know the simple tasks first and they have to earn the right to work on more complex, more senior projects, I think that is very, very clever so that helps build the working relationship between you and your virtual assistant but also you know it puts your mind that is knowing that as you have things over, your exposure, your risk is minimal. Be careful not to go too conservative on this as I see too many business owners becoming really conservative but the reality is from most of the tasks that we tasked out to our virtual teams, it’s not like it’s a life or death or it’s gonna collapse out a business if they screw up, that’s the reality!
Barbara: Yeah I mean you know what, I’ve seen situations where you know particularly business is starting out wanting the help of their social media for example you know social media is quite, you know it’s a tricky one for someone else to manage but in time our VAs get very, very good at this coz they start to understand their business and the client based target that sort of thing but initially it can be a real struggle because they don’t know the branding and we don’t know the … the images and all that stuff. We’ve had situations for businesses that started out, they don’t have a big following yet on social media, can be very upset in the first week again complains in first week or two that she does not get the brand and I think well, why not sort of use this time when you don’t have a big following yet to really nail that to this person and actually get this to where you need to be together so that when you do have a big following, you have someone who can hit the ground right, that’s what I’m seeing!
Matt: Absolutely, absolutely! And so if you can go back and reiterate for a second you know and both common in this podcast, we talked about this all day. This is really, this is to differentiate data between succeeding with virtual teams and failing in my opinion and if I just summarize, mindset #1 is the mindset of letting go and understanding and believing that your virtual teams can do it as well as you can if not, better! Mindset #2 is seeing the money that you’re spending having a virtual assistant or virtual team is an investment vs. the expense and when you adopt the investment mindset, you will reap in the long run. Mindset #3 is understanding that the exposure risk simply because you can’t physically see it is minimal and then if you have to have strong systems to minimize and medicate risk but the reality is that the very limited damage that somebody can do and it doesn’t differ whether they’re domestic or international or in your office or working from their home somewhere around the world. Mindset #4 is the concept of slowing down to speed up and understanding that we need to slow down, we need to train, we need to systemize, we need to allow people time to learn in order for us to speed up and enables us to focus on the higher value, higher returning tasks and projects and #5 is that getting clear on what is the actual risk, how can it really be if they screw up and adapting and abandon mindset as supposed to a fearful or a scarcity mindset around this. I think that we’ve covered a lot today and one thing I recommend is please make sure you go back in and re-listen to this episode, do this episode and I think you have to listen to multiple times and take a copy and some notes so that you understand and re-inforce it. Remember reputation is the mother skill and reinforces to adopt this new mindset and practice it. You’ll not gonna get it right the first time but be open, give it a go and just take it one step at a time.
Barbara: And you know Matt, one thing I want listeners to do as well is, guys if you’ve got questions that you’d love to address completely in this area, mindset area or you have stories that you know where you’ve cracked the code on yourself, put them in the comments below and let us know, we can do lots of future shows in different topics and concepts and let us know how you’re getting on in this whole area with your virtual teams, I think that would be really useful!
Matt: I agree!
Matt: Barb listen, you have a wonderful week. Thanks again!
Barbara: … next week!
Matt: We’re looking forward to it! Have a great day.
Barbara: To Virtual Success!
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.