AskPat 524 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey what's up everybody, Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 524 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always I'm here to help you by answering your online business related questions five days a week.
Alright, here's today's question from Marilyn.
Marilyn: Hi Pat. This is Dr. Marilyn Brodeur with Infant Dental Center. My question to you today is regarding VA's. I recently got my own VA and have been working with her for the past two or three months, it's been fantastic to be able to send her an email of the task and she gets it done, and I don't have to think about it anymore.
However, as I've been doing this more, it's getting more difficult for me to track tasks that are a little bit more complex or going back in my email to find the answer to different research that she's looked up. I was wondering if you have a system or an open access software that you use to manage the communication between you and your VA, and managing projects.
Thanks for your time Pat, appreciate all you do. Bye.
Pat Flynn: Hey Marilyn what's up? Thank you so much for the question today I really appreciate it, and congratulations on getting your first VA. I remember when I first got my VA for the first time—not just somebody I hired on a website like Elance back in the day, which is now called Upwork, which was really cool too.
To hire somebody, pay them to do something that I didn't have to do myself, it was just a big revelation for me. When I got my first VA who was working with me on projects continuously, it was awesome. It was so cool. So it's cool to know that you've been working with this person for two or three months. It seems like things are going well, but you're right, communication and keeping track of things is also another component of it, and over time as you start to collect more information from this person, it's going to be very important for you to be able to A) easily communicate with them; and, obviously, B) find those things and just know what they're doing, especially on more complex tasks, like you said.
So here are the solutions. Two things that I want to mention that I think are going to change how you work with a VA. First is to not use email anymore, at least for direct communication and really quick little items. I would use Slack. You might even actually end up using Slack 100% for all communication, which is an amazing, amazing tool. It sort of acts like a chat room between you and your VA and any other people who are involved.
They used Slack and continued to use it, and I was just blown away by how much it has actually made a difference in the way I communicate with my team. The benefits of it, it just makes communication really quick and it also makes it very easy to search through, and that's going to solve both of your problems there. But there's another thing I want to add on to that which I'll talk about in a second, but let's talk more about Slack.
So it makes communication really easy, and it cuts out the emails so much, especially on those short things, plus it's real-time too, so what's cool is you leave a message and if the person on the other end is online you're able to have this sort of Skype like conversation with them at that moment in time, but if they're going to easily see that there beforehand and unlike Skype it just organizes all of that information.
You can have different channels for different projects too and you can private message certain people to begin to add to your team too, so getting started with Slack now, even though you have one VA only, it just might make things a lot easier, and if you have a designer for example who's on board with you, or other people who are in your business too, get them in there too. Have everybody work with each other, it just makes it really easy.
I actually converted Michael Hyatt on to Slack too and now he's using it, now he recommends it to everybody, so it's definitely something that's proven to make major changes in how people communicate with their team.
So again, that's Slack.com they were a sponsor for one of my other podcasts if you wanted to go through my link there you actually get some credit. I think it's like a hundred bucks towards your slack purchase or whatever. But go ahead and go to smartpassiveincome.com/slack. Again that's smartpassiveincome.com/slack and you'll see what it's all about, sign up there. It's really quick and easy and it's cool. You download the software onto your desktop and I use that all the time. When I'm away I have the app it notifies me on channels where I want notifications from, and leaves me out of ones where I don't need to hear the conversations and it's just pure gold, pure gold. Smartpassiveincome.com/slack.
Now the other thing I wanted to talk about in terms of getting to in terms of what your VA is doing. A great thing that you can do with your VA is to have them write a report. To have them do this daily, too, would be very helpful. To have them list out and send you a message on Slack, maybe it's even in a specific channel.
I haven't done this because I had VA's that I was using before slack was invented, and I do have people who work on my team now but I don't consider them Virtual Assistants, they are people on my team, that are not overseas. They're with me in the same time zone. We'll not argue that here but a VA that I had in the past—which is probably similar to the one that you have now—working on these kind of tasks, I would have them write a report and it would be very easy to do if you have Slack in a specific channel called “reports” or “daily reports” where they, every day, mention and list out all the things that they did and how many hours that they spent on each.
That way you get to keep track on not only where their time is spent but what it is that they work on, and because everything is very easily searchable through Slack you can easily find out on what day a person worked on what project, and then be able to make connections from there and find information about that. It all keeps great records. The records are great on slack and all that good stuff.
So that's what I would do. These daily reports I used to have them send, or my VA sent them to me in an email and so it would be for that very same purpose to find out, “well what did this person do on that one day, and what is it that they delivered?” And yes you can upload files, if for example there's a report and there's a certain file than needed to be delivered on that day, you can have them upload it there too just as a back up and so you can have it all recorded there on slack.
So go ahead and check it out, Marilyn, I think that's going to solve a lot of your problems and you're going to love it. There is a little bit of a learning curve but not too much at all. A lot of people who were kind of like, “Oh this is kind of weird,” but I'm a convert. A lot of people are converts too, and I think you would be too. So go ahead and check it out, smartpassiveincome.com/slack. And those daily reports are really helpful too, they just keep your VA in check and also help you be able to make sure that you keep track of everything that they do.
So, Marilyn, thank you so much for the question. I want to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show, and for anybody else out there who has a question, just head on over to AskPat.com you can ask right there on that page.
Thanks so much, I appreciate you and again as I'm doing this entire month I'm letting you know if you haven't heard already, that my book is coming out. It's called, Will it Fly? How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don't Waste Your Time and Money. Head on over to willitflybook.com to check out more information about that and at this point forward there are themes where, actually yesterday was the first time I had a themed quote, which is themed around my upcoming book, around flight and launching things and business. So this quote today that I want to end with, like I do on every show is from Buzz Aldrin, and he said—this is just a really interesting fact actually—he said, “There's a historical milestone in the fact that our Apollo 11 landing on the moon took place a mere 66 years after the Wright Brothers' first flight.”
Wow! 66 years between the time that flight happened from the Wright Brothers, to them landing on the moon, which is awesome! Super cool. Hopefully that gives you some inspiration and man, I can't wait to see what's happening in the future.
Thank you so much, I really appreciate it and I look forward to serving you in the next episode of AskPat. Cheers.