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Do It Yourself and Save Time

Do It Yourself and Save Time

Counterintuitively, you often get things done with less labor and faster when you do them yourself.

Case in point: I’ve talked to legions of “virtual assistants” who are neither virtual nor of assistance. Here’s the latest one: “Maureen has asked me to call you to get copies of invoices from 2008. They should be in the amounts of $6,000 and $100.”

“Who’s Maureen, and what were they for and why does she need them?”

“She worked with you back then, apparently, Maureen Smith, and that’s all the information I have.”

I told her to have Maureen pick up the phone and call me herself and, what do you know, when she did we cleared things up in one minute and I sent what she needed. Too many consultants believe that the trappings of the profession are more important than the outcomes, so a staff is required, and formal offices, and complex phone systems with lengthy messages, and software that tells you they are going to call you for your scheduled meeting in six days, four hours, thirty-six seconds, and a quark.

I don’t like to deal with “middlemen,” and I don’t like the implication that someone else’s time is just so valuable compared to mine that they can assign their end of the accountability to someone else to deal with me. If you want something rapidly, pick up the phone and call. (I wrote a guy off, for whom I had done countless favors out of generosity and good will, when he stopped talking to me—having called me over in a hotel lobby—to take a call without even looking at who was on the other end. He held his finger up in the “one minute” gesture, and I turned and walked away in the  “sayonara” gesture.)

If your time is really so valuable, why are you wasting so much of it on Facebook?!

© Alan Weiss 2011. All rights reserved.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

Comments: 5

  • michael cardus

    January 25, 2011

    This is a weird and selfish trapping of appearance.
    The belief that in order to be successful you have to have 100’s of employees.
    I here from family, friends, even colleagues “are you still working by yourself? When will you be hiring someone.” When my response is, “most likely never” they seem disappointed.
    Alan you and other have proven that you can be successful by yourself. Once you bring on staff that are not quality, because you need to look important, people stop buying and connecting with you.

  • Alan Weiss

    January 25, 2011

    Sounds right to me, I’ll have my people get back to you!

  • Ashley Batiste, Administrative Consultant

    February 16, 2011

    Hi Alan-

    Even Though I own a Virtual Assisting business, I do understand where you are coming from as far as being out of on a third party instead of dealing directly with the one person your working with.

    I am a solo-professional, I work alone and take all calls personally whenever I can dispite business hours.

    I use to offer telephone services in my list of things offered to my clients but took it off a while back. I would rather leave that to my clients and assist them more with the administrative tasks like Creating their client/ customer data base, or data entry, etc. Thing for the not so tech suavy professionals.

    Of hand this article could be taken offensively by other VA’s, but after reading this a second time and emphathizing with the writer….I can relate to this post!

  • Ashley Batiste, Administrative Consultant

    February 16, 2011

    Corrections below, Sorry I was typing fast!
    “as far as being put off on a third party instead” 1st paragraph
    “Off hand this article could be taken offensively by other VA’s,” Last Paragraph

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