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Assistants Are Not Luxuries: Why You Should Change the Way You Think About Having an Assistant

Over the years, I have met so many successful entrepreneurs who refuse to hire assistants because they feel they are not an essential investment but rather an expense or a luxury. As someone who in hindsight waited too long to get help, I wanted to share some experience that might help shift your perspective. 

Most successful entrepreneurs I know are “rugged individualists” by nature. We went out on our own to start something and early on, often by necessity, we “got to” do everything for our business, and because of our mindset, we often wear “hard work” and “busyness” as a badge of honor.  

Sooner or later, as we experienced success, we learned to accept the fact that we are not superheroes and are bound by certain limitations such as time and/or expertise. We took the leap of faith and began to grow the business by investing in teamwork.  

So, what’s the difference between teamwork and an assistant?  

Why does it feel like a guilty pleasure for the same entrepreneur who has grown a successful business through teamwork in the business to get an assistant dedicated to them?  

Your Vision is Too Big! 

I believe it’s because of vision…it’s too big.  

What? Too big? Well, before anyone gets too mad at me or sends me a nasty message, let me explain. 

The most successful, ambitious entrepreneurs I have ever had the privilege of working with often like to fly really close to the sun. The problem, sometimes, with flying close to the sun, is we can get blinded by the glare. We sometimes miss what is right in front of us because we are looking so far out on the horizon.  

In a typical entrepreneur’s world, being blinded by the glare shows up like this: 

  • Doing “stuff” we are really bad at (scheduling meetings, paperwork, bookkeeping) at the hidden expense of achieving full productivity with your best revenue-generating opportunities. 
  • Procrastination or “Death Valley” on innovative ideas that never see the light of day due to the tyranny of the urgent and important. 
  • Wasted time on “got a minute” meetings with team members or vendors with no agenda, purpose, and no action coming out of them. (Has anyone ever had a “got a minute” meeting that lasted just a minute?) 
  • Missed opportunities to turn your appreciation into action such as thank you notes not sent, birthdays, anniversaries, and other important milestones and opportunities missed. 
  • Strain on personal relationships from not being present and always feeling pulled between home life and the business for fear of missing an important email, etc. 
  • Negative health impacts – being overweight, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, and other issues are among the things that “rugged individualists” don’t like to talk about. Admit it, scheduling a doctor’s appointment, talking with a counselor, or meeting a personal trainer is a task easy to overlook when there are other priorities. ? 

 How Assistants Can Help You from Being “Blinded by the Glare”

When I’m coaching at Strategic Coach, we go through the Unique Ability® — The Activity Inventory™ where I ask entrepreneurs to list the things they do while working in their business and make the list as specific and comprehensive as possible.  

We go through the whole process and let them identify where they are spending most of their time. More often than not, it’s always heavily weighted towards things that they loathe and/or low ROI items that are important, but they don’t need to be doing.  

A great assistant can take these items off your plate so you can focus on your Unique Ability® and strengthen it to have the greatest opportunity for success. They can help you avoid being “blinded by the glare” by creating a better work environment for you and your team that relies on you. They help you stay focused on your priorities and what you have creative energy for.  

Assistants Are Not Luxuries, They Are Investments 

When entrepreneurs think hiring an assistant is an expense and a luxury, it’s because they don’t really have a clear idea of what they are missing out on. They spend time working outside of their Unique Ability® and worrying about what an assistant would cost them, rather than how they’ll reuse that time and the potential freedom that would result from having that time given back to them.  

When we reuse that freed-up time achieving exponential results, it can quickly turn into measurable ROI. And even when we reinvest that time into “squishier” things, such as spending more quality time with our families, making the big soccer game, getting home on time for family dinner, having a gift ready for birthdays and holidays (ever forgotten Valentine’s Day?), or just the mental bandwidth to plan a creative date night – those things really create a solid ROI and that’s difficult to measure.  

Accepting our limitations can be liberating! Choosing the right mindset and investing in an assistant for better productivity, health and relationships can be nothing but beneficial to our lives and our businesses. Clearly, its positive effects make it not just a sound investment, but a necessity. At least that has been my experience. ?