Three Mistakes to Avoid when Hiring an Executive Virtual Assistant

I once hired someone to help me in my business. From the beginning, I wasn’t in the right mindset to hire, which caused horrible problems in the backend.

Here’s what happened: I heard that you need a brand, so I hired someone to create graphics for me. But there’s the problem… she was just creating graphics when really, I needed a comprehensive brand put together. I had no clue what I needed, so of course the graphics weren’t capturing my brand.

Now, that’s no fault on her. I’m taking the blame here because I jumped in at the wrong time and wasn’t prepared to hire. (Now, “prepared” and “ready” are two different things. I believe you can hire before you’re ready, but I wasn’t prepared with the basics she needed to do her job.

Here was my pattern and mistake:

I thought I needed graphics for social media before I could start posting on Instagram. I asked a few people who to recommend. I hired based on that, not based on where I was.

In short, I knee-jerk-reaction hired.

And now, I want to make sure you don’t do that when you’re hiring an Executive Virtual Assistant. Hiring is a big deal and there are mistakes you could make (big ones) that could trip you up or cause clients to leave. All because of a bad hire.

Now, I don’t want to scare you! I just want to keep it real with you.

So before you hire, check your mindset and make sure you aren’t making these three mistakes.

Mindset Mistake #1: Not Getting Clear on What You Need

Clarity is huge! And finding clarity is where I start almost all things. For this hire to work, you need to be clear on both the job you’re hiring for and the person you want to support you.

My coach is great at this. Before she hires, she creates a complete job description of what she needs, wants, and “It would be killer if…”

Like I did, if you’re hiring without really knowing who you’re looking for, how do you know if you’ve found someone who can truly help you?

Fire up a fresh Google Doc (or get a pen and paper if you’re one of those analogue people) and do this:

  • Write down everything you do.
  • Categorize it based on things that are your genius work, what you like to do, what you don’t like to do, and what you want to get rid of.
  • Take everything but your genius work and put it in your job description.

Now, this should be done on a sheet of paper (because the hand/paper connection is powerful): write down the kind of person you want to have as a partner in your business.

What qualities does she have? Yes, of course, the basic stuff like being on-time and focused on her clients is necessary.

And also, think about her personality. Remember, your EVA is your right-hand gal. You’re going to spend a lot of time with her, so make sure you like her! Does she appreciate dad jokes? Is she into Gilmore Girls references? Can she diagnose your almost-dying plants and help you nurse them back to health through a Zoom chat?

If you find someone who ticks all of the boxes, that’s amazing. And here’s the cool thing… because you wrote it down, you’ll probably find that person!

Mindset Mistake #2: Questioning Everything

I get it, a lot of people are afraid to hire because that person “won’t do it like I can do it.” But you can’t hover and pop in with “suggestions.” The worst thing is to hire someone and then be all up in their business, showing them how you want things done.

Once hired, let her help you! You’ve interviewed your new executive virtual assistant, so you know she’s capable of streamlining systems, creating new workflows, and actually DOING the genius things she were hired to do.

So, after you hire your magical unicorn, get out of their way. I mean it!

Real talk: you’re hiring an EVA because you can’t get your own systems in place or you need more time in your day to do your work. You’re delegating for a reason. So freakin’ delegate!

If you question everything, or are closed off to new suggestions, you’re completely blocking the flow of what your executive virtual assistant does best. It’s a total mistake to hire someone and not let them do their genius work.

That isn’t to say you can’t give them direction. Like with my designer, I wasn’t sure what to ask her to do, so I got something disjointed and not representative of me. Again, that isn’t on her. I didn’t tell her what I really needed.

Similarly, tell your EVA what you really need in your business, then turn her loose and let her do her best work.

Mindset Mistake #3: Not Being Willing to Give Up “Control”

In other words…micromanaging! That is a huge hiring mistake.

This is actually about not trusting that anyone else would have your best interest at heart and be able to potentially do an even better job than you could do. And it’s a huge block to your success with an EVA or anyone else you hire.

I know, no one cares for your baby like you do… except a good executive virtual assistant! That’s why I’m an executive assistant. I treat your business like it’s my own because I am supporting your business as if it really is.

When I coordinate retreats for your business, I do it as part of your company, not like a subcontractor showing up to fulfill my hours and get a check. (And that’s why I believe you should hire team members and not subcontractors.)

This is the hardest part for many people, but girlfriend, you need to give up some of the control. That’s why you’re scrambling for time to do everything and clean up the mess your last hire made.

When you hire from the right mindset, you avoid these mistakes (and potentially others) so your newest business addition can help you flourish even bigger and brighter than you ever could on your own.

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