It sounds pretention every time I say it.
It also sounds really cool.
I have an assistant. Her name is Kate. She does stuff for me.
– Makes phone calls I don’t want to make.
– Research stuff I’m interested in but too lazy or busy to research myself.
– Find and book hotels when I travel, whether in Las Vegas or near Scarborough Faire.
– Lots of moving related tasks.
Here are some actual tasks I gave her.
– Find me Scottish Socks to wear with my Blackwatch taran kilt.
– “Gather election results in Abilene for the last 10 elections for city council including the mayor. Find out who ran (name and political affiliation), how many votes were cast, how many for each person.” She ended up talking with the city secretary’s assistant to get the information.
– Outline a cool video presentation on the Gameapocyolypse.
– Organize all my model releases for the past 6 years.
– “Can you find me the best price on an Arduino micro controller?”
– Find a royal blue comforter. Then later, find those people I paid for said comforter and find out why they never shipped it.
– “Can you call liquor stores in Abilene and see who sells Republic tequila and how much a bottle would cost.”
I got her through Zirtual. Zirtual is a company started by a friend of mine, Maren Donovan. I’ve been following Maren’s business career since we were both founding members of the Internet Business Mastery Academy. When I met with her for coffee years ago, she had 2 or 3 virtual assistants in the Philippines. She more than anyone made that work. Now years later, she’s perfected the virtual assistant game and made it available to anyone.
When she started the Zirtual “beta” program, I signed up immediately. I’d tried doing the Philippines thing, but it hadn’t worked for me. I figured Zirtual would handle selection and I’d just get someone who worked. And I did. Her name was Maren.
Yes, one of the founders of the company was my assistant. They were boot strapping the company and wanted to understand what it was like to be an VA, so at the beginning they did the work. Maren wasn’t my assistant for long, but it was funny when I got my first “I’m your new virtual assistant” email from her.
Next I had Jenny. She was good. Had an issue with deadlines, meaning she did my tasks right before I told her it was due. But I learned to deal with that, and just moved my due dates to when I really wanted it done, and not when I had to have it done.
After a few months, Jenny moved on and I got Kate. Kate is insanely proactive. I give her a task and she sends me an apology if it isn’t done the same day I send it.
My funest story about Kate was the first time I got a phone call from her. She was calling to tell me one of the lawn guy’s she was getting estimates from had gone to my house and found a truck in the back ally with door open and running. Was that normal? Suppose to happen? At the time I was in Houston and had to play phone tag with the Mrs, and we never did figure out who the mystery truck was.
Having an assistant is cool.
If you’d like to have your own zirtual assistant you are out of luck. They are so popular they had to close taking new clients.
Buuuttt, since you are one of the two people who read this blog – Mom doesn’t read it – drop me a line and I’ll get you an invite to join up.