4 Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring Your First (or Next) Virtual Assistant

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Whether you’re ready to hire a VA (like yesterday) or are intending to hire one in the near future, this post will help you to prepare well. It’s also going to save you from hiring someone who is not really a good fit for you and your needs.

A few weeks ago a girlfriend posted asking for advice about hiring her first VA, and then a former client of mine asked me about the hiring process, and I knew it was time to write this so that more women could benefit from it.

So, if you need to hire help in growing your business and body of work, and you want to do it well the first time around, let’s dive right in:

1. Don’t Hire a Shadow VA (I Repeat: DON’T Hire a Shadow VA).

Have you ever heard of the term ‘shadow artist’ by artist and author Julia Cameron? If not, here’s the skinny: a shadow artist is an artist in hiding — an artist that hangs around other artists but doesn’t make her own art. In some ways, she denies her gifts (and what she really wants for herself), while she unconsciously fills a void by hanging around others that are doing the work she wants to do.

Look, there are virtual assistants who do NOT want to be virtual assistants, floating around everywhere in the online space. VA work is a means to an end for them. Like, they don’t actually want to take tasks and to-do’s off your plate, they’d rather be in your shoes. Usually it goes something like this: someone who wants to be running her own visionary or mission-based business says, “let me work for someone who is doing what I want to do so I can learn from them while I grow.”

And while the desire to work for someone who is doing what you want to do might seem innocent and even intelligent, in my honest opinion, it quickly becomes a conflict of interest. 



Here’s the thing: as someone who LOVES to pass off the not so exciting tasks and to-do’s to someone else, I can tell you that the energy exchange between you and the VA is everything. You DO NOT want to feel like you’re burdening someone with the tasks you’re assigning to them. NO. You want to feel excited to give them the tasks, and you want to feel that they receive them with arms wide open.



I know, I know, it IS strange (to me at least) that some people actually want to handle things like customer service, scheduling emails, setting up automations, handling client care, sending agreements, setting up opt-in pages, tracking data etc. etc. but trust me, those people DO exist and they are a total joy to work with, because you feel GREAT giving them those tasks.

What I want to help you avoid here is a) holding back the tasks and to-do’s you most need help with because you feel the person on the receiving end of said tasks is annoyed or not excited by them and b) getting into a short term work scenario in which the VA soon decides that she needs to up-level and step into her vision.

While you will want to cheer her on (rightfully so) you’ve just spent your precious energy and time training her, and now you’ll need to start over with someone new.

My fool-proof method for vetting out the shadow VAs? Ask each VA you interview a series of questions that helps you to see their big vision for themselves and their life. If their genius zone and vision for themselves doesn’t involve working on a team for you, or for someone like you, they’re not the right person for the job. Next! 


The second mistake to avoid when hiring a VA is…

2. Not Knowing What You Need (Very Specifically) Before Hiring.

Make a list of exactly what you’ll be delegating, before you start looking for someone.

What are the programs and apps you need this person to be proficient in? What tasks will you be sending to them? What are you MOST excited about taking off your plate? Keep a piece of paper near your computer or work space, and every time you catch yourself doing something you don’t really feel is the BEST use of your time, write it down. You can go back later and categorize some of these tasks or ‘energy leaks’.

Think of this as you getting clear with the Universe. You’re like, “Hey God, hey Universe, I need a supportive person to help me with my mission.” If you’re not clear on what the person will need to help you with, you’re not going to know how to choose the best fit for you, when you start the hiring process (even though you’re highly intuitive, clarity on this is still so vital).

This leads right into the third mistake to avoid…



3. Hiring Without Assigning a Test Project 



It’s not only vital that you know what tasks and to-do’s this person can take off your plate. It’s also vital that you get to know who they are. Their energy and their vibe matters. You’re going to be working closely with this person, you know? You want it to be an uplifting and supportive match. This is why I recommend having a ‘trial period’ through a test project. After the project, if you’re happy with the way it went, you can officially bring them on board. 

The test project will help you determine things like:

  • Can they communicate openly, clearly, and effectively?

  • Are they late to meetings?

  • Do they make excuses, or do they own their shortcomings and mistakes?

  • Are they happy?

  • Do they have a problem solving mindset? 
Do they gossip?

  • Do they take pride in their work?


  • Are they so bogged down by 100 clients that they bring stress into your business and creative space?

You won’t know the answers to these questions until you get started on a project together. Make an agreement to start with a test project (you of course pay them for this) and at the end of the project you can determine if you want to bring them on board, fully. 



Which leads me to ONE more mistake I want you to avoid…


4. Hiring Someone Who Doesn’t Take The Initiative 



You’re already busy. You have enough on your plate. The last thing you need is someone asking you step by step instructions on how to do something that they can easily google or find the answer for in a forum somewhere. Hire someone who can receive a task, and figure that sh*t out for you, without you needing to be super involved.



If you loved this and found it helpful, leave me an emoji in the comments below.

And, if you’ve started the process of hiring a VA leave me a ‘1’ in the comments, and if you’re ready to get started (especially after reading this) leave me a ‘2’. 



Big Love,



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If you want to:

+ Help your clients get better results

+ Free up time + energy to strategically create a group program

+ Stop hustling for your next single 1:1 session, or low-end sale

+ learn how to go high-end with your rates, effectively

Then, this is for you. Download it below for instant access. 

 
 
 

How to Prepare Financially and Energetically for the BEST Postpartum Experience Possible

photo by devany or serpent fire tarot

The first time I was pregnant (in 2013) I could not see beyond birth. Everything was about birth. There was nothing else. I just couldn’t imagine life beyond it.  

Now that I am pregnant with number two (we’re due in May), I’m not as focused on birth. Birth is going to happen, and of course I want to optimize our experience, but it’s the fourth trimester I’m really planning for.

During the vital months after my first was born, I had no help outside of my partner, Aaron, who had to go right back to work because we needed his income (and then some).

I didn’t have community.

No meal train.

No frozen bone broth or soup stock.

No help with the laundry and house.

Actually, I didn’t even have a washer or a dryer yet.

A thousand people gave us onsies, and we didn’t need them. We did need more cloth diapers. But this blog post isn’t about that.

This blog post is me taking you by the shoulders, looking you square in the eye, and telling you to prepare. A supportive postpartum requires resources. It requires you shift patterns, expectations, and basically, your entire standard of living.

You deserve that support.

You deserve the resources you need, to hire that support.

Most of us don’t live with our extended family, in community. While your mother, aunt, or sister may be nearby to help out, there’s no shame in doing what you can NOW to set yourself up for the experience you most want, and there are still energetic shifts you need to make. And, just because there are people around you to help, doesn’t mean they’ll automatically know your needs and wants.

When it comes to preparing financially, you have three options:

1. Save steadily and consistently for a duration of time until you hit your goals. You may have a goal to hire a postpartum doula, or a house cleaner, or both. You may also have a goal to make X amount per month during your maternity leave, without working. Wouldn’t it be great if young women (who want to be mothers) were encouraged to save for this long before conception, as much as they’re encouraged to marry?

2. Separate money from time, so you can create sources of income that recur without you doing work in-the-moment. This is what I call a new paradigm of money — one where you receive money for value provided, and not necessarily for time (think: create something once and sell it repeatedly). If you’re entrepreneurial you know what I’m talkin’ about here.

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3. Rely on someone else. Some women have partners who have resources that can temporarily cover everything. Other expecting women contribute significantly to the household earnings. If that’s you, it’s smart to prepare as best you can by choosing either (or both) of the options above.

When it comes to preparing energetically, focus on the following:

1. Know your desires, and own them. There is no point in attempting to ‘find your voice’ or ‘use your voice’ if you aren’t clear about exactly what you want help with. You need to get clear on your primary role and be ready to pass the rest off to your support team. Getting clear on what you do, and don’t want, will require you speak with women who’ve gone through this transition already.

2. Use your voice. Now that you know what you want and what you don’t want, it’s time to practice ASKING for help clearly, and directly. You also want to practice asking for help without guilt. Remember, you deserve this. Growing and birthing a human is epic. It may feel uncomfortable at first to raise your hand and say, “I need ____, and I don’t want ____.” but your emotional, psychological, and physical health depend on it.

3. Get used to doing less, and receiving more. This will challenge your current patterns. It challenged me tremendously (hello, type-a!). If you’re hard-wired to produce results and your self-worth is attached to those results, you’re in for it. You’ll want to practice increasing your capacity to receive support from others with grace. There are strategies, mindset shifts, and embodiment practices I can teach you, that help with this.

This kind of preparation?

There’s emotional healing involved. Self-worth work. There are mindset shifts involved. There are risks that need to be taken, and fears that need to be overcome. Becoming a mother, or becoming a mother again, changes you into a new woman.

One of my favorite experiences with birth is that it connects you even more deeply with your purpose-work. This is because birth connects you to life, AND death, simultaneously. And when you come face to face with death, you start living with less fear, and more intention. You start to claim what you want more readily, because you realize that you won’t be here forever.

Are you excited about gaining clarity and confidence around what you want your postpartum experience to look and feel like? Are you afraid of losing your creative juice and business momentum after the baby comes? Are you feeling unsure and uncertain about how to prepare for your future, energetically and financially?

Do you want to do some deep Soul journaling with me, that’ll reveal to you what patterns and beliefs you need to shift, to make your transition into a well healed, wonderfully supported, and deeply fulfilled mother?  

Whether you’re an entrepreneurial woman who is:

  • Trying to conceive

  • Already pregnant and planning for postpartum

  • Already in your postpartum

  • A new mother

I’ve got a very special PDF guide that I’m creating for you. It’s designed to help you to get clear about the kind of support you want, and help you set up a solid plan for attracting and receiving that support. Think: planning + strategy meets energy-work. Think: your vision all mapped out in one beautiful place.

Sign up here to be the first to receive the [Deeply Supported Mother Workbook] when it goes live: https://bit.ly/2GaN1t4

Big Love,

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If you want to:

+ Help your clients get better results

+ Free up time + energy to strategically create a group program

+ Stop hustling for your next single 1:1 session, or low-end sale

+ learn how to go high-end with your rates, effectively

Then, this is for you. Download it below for instant access. 

 
 
 

A Recap on My Human Design Reading: How to Design a Profitable Business By Working in Harmony with Yourself.

Image by: In Her Image Photography

Image by: In Her Image Photography

I recently received a Human Design reading because I was struggling with making decisions in my business. It was liberating in ALL the ways I hoped it would be.

My challenges before the reading were:

Why can’t I stick to my promotional schedule? Why do I always move things around at the last minute? What’s wrong with me that I can’t plan my year (or more) in advance and stick to it? Will I ever be able to scale, or will I continue to work on a moment by moment, quarter by quarter basis.

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How can I design my business to be highly profitable, even though I’m super introverted? Like, I just can’t be on the phone TOO much, or on FB Live or IG stories all the time, because honestly I prefer to be alone and half naked in my yard with a journal and a pen.

How can I design the year so that I have plenty of time to write without disruption — time in which I don’t need to show up live to actively promote anything, without seeing a dip in my income (and ideally seeing it rise, consistently)?

I wanted to know: where am I contorting? Where am I out of harmony with my essence and myself? Where can I realign so that this business truly honors me, and my energy, my ideas, and my mission (which is ironically, financial education + liberation for women).

To be completely honest, I also really wanted to know if I was ON THE RIGHT PATH. I mean, do we ever really know if we’re on the right path? Every step of the way there are a multitude of choices and decisions to make. And to move forward, we have to keep making them. How do I know I’m making the best ones?

So, in enters my sister Jordan, who suggests I see her friend Pilar Lesko, for a Human Design reading. I booked my spot in Pilar’s calendar and excitedly awaited my appointment.

When we began the call, Pilar let me know how much the work I do (#PermissiontoProsper) had positively influenced her, and helped her start charging more for her readings. Wooo!

Then, she opened the call.

I sat back and listened deeply for 90 minutes. She hardly stopped speaking. She did check in on me intuitively, but the reading was really a stream of information coming through her, while I stayed receptive, took notes, and drew pictures in my journal to help me remember things.

A thousand realizations occured, but in relation to running a business in alignment with my essence and Human Design type (I’m a generator), here’s what was affirmed:

+ Some of us are NOT supposed to have five year plans. For some of us (me!), a five year plan feels like forcing. Some business experts would say, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get there” to which I smile, nod, and pretend I have a clue where this is all going.

+ I actually don’t need to make things happen (initiate things). I need to sit back and allow things to happen, and respond to them based on feeling. I also need to give myself ample time to decide. Side note: Manifestors can successfully initiate, generators (and manifesting generators) are better off waiting to respond, projectors are designed to wait for an invitation, and reflectors must wait longer than all the other types to make decisions.

+ The business experts out there, with models that are working for them, might not actually run a model that works for you. OMGosh. I’ve invested tens of thousands of dollars to study with various business experts. Publicity experts. A multi-six-figure business coach. Online business experts. Marketing + strategy experts. Events. Programs. You name it. And, I’ve emulated models that might be profitable for me, but won’t feel GOOD on me, in the long term.

+ My authority type in Human Design is emotional authority, which means that my emotions determine how I make decisions. This means, I make decisions that are not logical, they are based on feeling. I gotta say, those of you out there who have emotional authority, and are entrepreneurs, will be challenged. Sometimes as an entrepreneur, making last minute changes to your plans, based on your feelings, can throw your team off, or your calendar off. For me, I realized I need to be way more devoted to my morning practice that grounds me. I also realized I needed to inform my team that moving things around and making these feeling-based decisions, is MY BEST WAY.

+ There is NO ONE RIGHT WAY. You can design your business, and your business model, the way you want to. Don’t want to take 1:1’s? Don’t. Don’t want to launch more than once a year? Don’t. Don’t want to launch at all? Don’t. You can go the evergreen route. There are so many ways to do this.

+ I have A LOT of energy for what I love. I like to work. It’s how I roll. I check things off the list and I keep going. And, I was SHAMING myself for this, because my good friend is a projector and isn’t really designed to work like me. I thought things like: I’m a total product of the patriarchy. I should rest more. I should probably not want to work. I should slow down, etc. Turns out, all the ‘shoulds’ were not serving me. I’m supposed to roll like this. How. Liberating. I can just be myself. I can work in harmony with this natural desire to burn energy, and make sh*t happen.

Now, Human Design is complex. And by now, you’re probably wondering what your Design type is (if you don’t already know). If you know your type, you’re probably wondering how you can work more in harmony with your essence, make great decisions, make the most of your energy, and access your unique strengths, as you design a business that FEELS GOOD to you.

The great news?

A special collaboration with Pilar Lesko is HERE, and it’s going to help you design a business that you Love and feel nourished by, and not one you want to secretly burn to the ground.

It’s called the Human Design Your Business Group Reading + Coaching Session and you can find all the details about it here: https://www.jillian-anderson.com/human-design-business/

If you’re just getting started, it’s going to save you time, energy, and money. You’ll learn what you need to about your specific type, AND the business model/marketing strategies, that would work really well for you.

Get all the Details + Reserve Your Seat in Human Design Your Business Here!

Thanks for reading + talk soon!

Big Love,

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Disclaimer: I am NOT a human design expert, nor do I claim to be. Also: the above realizations were specific to various elements of my personal chart, and may not apply to you.


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If you want to:

+ Help your clients get better results

+ Free up time + energy to strategically create a group program

+ Stop hustling for your next single 1:1 session, or low-end sale

+ learn how to go high-end with your rates, effectively

Then, this is for you. Download it below for instant access.