Do you want to build your time freedom? How should you start your week for peak productivity? What is holding you back from outsourcing effectively?
In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Molly Rose Speed about building time freedom by outsourcing effectively.
- Molly’s new week productivity tip for therapists
- Business owners and entrepreneurs: what you can delegate
- Letting go and trusting
- Molly’s advice to private practitioners
Molly’s new week productivity tip for therapists
I take Monday mornings and address everything I have going on in the week, and build in the time that I am working on the business. (Molly Rose Speed)
Molly takes each Monday morning to lay out what she needs to do for that week and schedules the times that she needs to address each item.
Taking the time to prioritize what needs to be done and when it needs to be done can help you build a structure for your week.
Otherwise, as life happens each day, you may be thrown off course without a general outline of what you want to do and by when you want to do it.
If you [address] your day as it comes at you, your inbox – for example – will dictate how you are going to spend your day, not you. So, you have to get ahead of it. (Molly Rose Speed)
Business owners and entrepreneurs: what you can delegate
Entrepreneurs and start-up business owners make themselves a job to do that they are passionate about and qualified for. However, as time goes on, they end up with more than one job, or with “27 hats”.
Even though that is part of starting a business, at some point you need to delegate so that you can get back to your original goal.
Molly’s simple exercise for delegating:
- For a day, a week, and/ or a month, keep a piece of paper in your workspace and write down everything that you do.
- Then, circle the things that only you physically need to do.
- What are the roles that you want to do?
- Where can you start by delegating one simple task to someone else?
Letting go and trusting
1 – Communication: fully layout your expectations to the person who is taking over the task at hand. Give them all the tools that they need.
2 – Take baby steps: identify the tasks they can take on and let them do them.
3 – Have check-ins with your staff each week: once a week have an in-person or virtual sit-down with a staff member and discuss what went well and what can be done differently. Remember to let the person do something in their way.
4 – Let your staff participate: in team meetings, let staff also participate in acknowledging how they can do things differently, and acknowledge them for the things that they have done well.
Creating that communication and culture from the very beginning of hiring someone makes a world of difference [for the whole team]. (Molly Rose Speed)
5 – Long-term goals: let the goal be that in the long term the staff member feels that this role or job is their own. Virtual assistants can become integrated into your business and take up full responsibility for their tasks.
Molly’s advice to private practitioners
There are solutions and systems that can help you get out of feeling bogged down from doing everything in your business. Take small steps to delegate, because it will do wonders for you, your business, and your work-life balance.
Books mentioned in this episode:
Useful Links mentioned in this episode:
- Get a jumpstart on your private practice’s spring cleaning list by contacting Brighter Vision. To get started and learn more, visit brightervision.com/joe.
- Visit the Virtual Assistant Management website and see also Molly Rose Speed’s website
- Connect with her on Facebook and Instagram, and LinkedIn.
- Find out more about Trello, Asana, and Monday.
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- Apply to work with us — decision-making matrix for your next steps
Meet Joe Sanok
Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.
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I’m Joe Sanok, your host and welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast. If you’re like me sometimes it’s a struggle to figure out what to outsource, what to take off your plate, what to put on your plate. For years it’s been a refining process for me to just figure out what do I really want to do? The things that I wanted to do even two or three years ago have changed and adapted and things that I loved doing, maybe I don’t like as much anymore. Other things that I didn’t think I would like, I really enjoy. So that ongoing process of figuring out where I want to spend my time, how to outsource things to other people or systems, or to just plain cut from my own schedule is just an ongoing thing.
It’s never a set it up and set it and forget it. It’s a constant growth where I’m learning things and the audience is changing and growing all these different things. Maybe that’s you, maybe you felt stuck for a while and you’re stuck doing email. You’re stuck doing you’re scheduling, the phone calls, all those things that it takes to run a private practice to grow it and maybe eventually exit it. Today I am really, really excited about our guest that we have, because we’re going to be talking all about time, freedom, and really figuring out how you take things off your plate. So Molly Rose speed is an expert in creating what everyone wants more of and that’s time freedom. Through her proven methods of intelligent systems, seamless automations, and outsourcing you’ll experience another 10 to 15 hours per week of freedom and flexibility. Molly, welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast.
[MOLLY ROSE] Thanks, Joe. It’s great to be here. I’m really happy to be chatting with your audience and talking about time freedom.
[JOE] Yes, well, I mean, it’s a big thing that I love with Thursday is the New Friday and working usually three days a week for me, like I love this stuff. So I think we’re going to geek out for a bit on today’s show. Well, let’s start with, why do you care about time freedom? Why is that important to you? How did you get to this point that you care about helping people find more time?
[MOLLY] About 10 years ago, I was a young corporate cubicle dweller as I say, hating my life, doing the commute that many Americans do to and from work an hour, each way, very limited vacation, at the Beck and Call of my corporation and realized that there’s more to life than this. So I quit Cold Turkey and started serving online entrepreneurs as a virtual assistant, taught myself everything that I now know today. Along the way, it went even deeper than that. Starting your own business and having your own entrepreneurial dreams and aspirations, it creates a lot of work for yourself. So there are a number of ways to automate, outsource and create more time, freedom for myself to do the things that I love and now that I teach and train people how to do that and have the solutions to do that.
[JOE] Wow. I mean, Cold Turkey, had you saved up money or was it just like a mic drop, like sick of this, you walk away?
[MOLLY] My poor, now husband, he’s active-duty military and he was deployed at the time and he came home to a fiancé to marry with no job. He’s like, you have six months and within three months. I had it figured out, but had a little safety net. But it was small, but it worked out.
[JOE] Well then when you started that company and you started serving people what was some of the learning curve for you as a VA? I know now you teach other things beyond just how to be a VA, but what was that learning curve like in the say first year of being a VA?
[MOLLY] It was pretty high. I think having, now what we have with the technology and the tools and people teaching VAs how to be VAs like myself, it can happen a lot faster. But back then it was a lot of, you don’t know what you don’t know. So I was just learning as much as I could and not being afraid to try new things. If a software didn’t work, we tried the next thing. So learning five different project management tools or three different inbox management systems and just learning and learning as much as I could. I spent a lot of time doing that, not necessarily getting paid. So that was a huge learning curve. Then time management, starting your own business, you just work yourself to death in some regard and so figuring out how to balance family and work and client work and prioritizing, and all of that was probably the biggest struggle getting started. That I’m sure many of the audience members face.
[JOE] Well, I know that a lot of businesses have almost two types of audiences because you need to have VAs to be able to serve folks, but then if they’re not working enough, you got find people that need VAs. Like I remember when I was helping Clay Cockerel start onlinecounseling.com, he had to have therapists that could do the online counseling, but then he had to find the clients for those therapists, otherwise the monthly fee that those folks were paying. So how did you manage having two concurrent business avatars to find the staff, but then to find the people that needed the staff?
[MOLLY] Still managing. So I go after, like you said, two different markets, I’m looking for virtual assistants that want to become virtual assistants and support online entrepreneurs or business owners and then I’m also looking for the clients to hire the virtual assistants. So, early on, too late, but early enough I hired a placement manager that is solely focused on getting the students ready to be hired by the clients. Then I focus on training the students and networking with the entrepreneurs. I’m a part of a lot of big networking groups that feed us clientele and just understanding where I’m strongest and bringing in other people to do, support where I can’t necessarily be spread that thing.
[JOE] So when you say students, are you then taking people that maybe don’t know how to use project management systems or be a VA, you’re not looking for people that already know how to be a VA?
[MOLLY] Yes, correct. So my target demographic are military spouses. So I put them through an academy, a training program on how to become a virtual assistant and teach them everything that I’ve learned in the past 10 years, including a lot of project management tools, productivity tools, time management tools that we’re discussing and then Polish them up and get them ready to be hired by clients. Some of the virtual systems that come in are already trained, have been doing this for years and I just certify them in my way, my respective way to support clients. Then we onboard them and place them with clients.
[JOE] Take us through the average therapist, they’re checking their email, they’re in charge of most of their schedule. Maybe they’re even doing some phone calls, things like that. How should they think about how they manage their calendar, their schedule, where they spend their time?
[MOLLY] I think so much of, we’ve heard this, I’m sure a hundred times, you’re working on your business, not in your business. So first of all, recognizing that is a huge deal, but I take Monday mornings and address everything I have going on in the week and build in the time that I’m actually working on the business, meaning I’m checking the email, I’m sending the invoices, I’m registering the clients, whatever it might be for you. Then when you are actually providing the service and blocking those times on your calendar and recognizing that you need to do both, and that’s very important, but if you just come at your day, as it comes at you, your inbox for example, will dictate how you’re going to spend your day, not you.
So you have to get ahead of it and schedule in that time that is outside of your clinical hours or whatever your service is that you’re providing is super, super important. Maybe you don’t work on Fridays, like one of your methods and in practices and making sure that that is blocked out and then your time is allocated properly. So I’m a huge fan of using your calendar to your benefit. If you look at back at your calendar, it’s how we live our days. Being really intentional about us scheduling, how our calendar looks, not someone else doing it for us and not going over those boundaries of taking clients when we can’t fit them into our schedule, that causes stress and more time spent away from family and then everything spirals.
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[JOE SANOK] It’s so interesting, like immediately before this interview, I was getting interviewed for someone else’s show and she was just asking, what’s your morning typically look like. I said, well I wake up my kids, I walk them to school, then I come home and I meditate and have my green tea and practice Spanish. I’m going through this and she’s just said, “Wait, you don’t ever check Instagram or your text or email before all that?” I’m like, no, I legitimately start it at 9.30. Her mind was blown that I didn’t just start reacting to things. We had this whole conversation about exactly what you’re talking about that when you’re reacting to an email or reacting to text, you’re not deciding for yourself what you want your day to look like.
I think that’s such a big shift for people to say, yes, you may have legitimate fires in your practice that you have to put out immediately. But for the most part, the things that other people think are fires probably aren’t. They’re things that maybe are essential, they need to be worked on, but is that the best use of your time in this exact moment or can it be delayed a little bit? Just even that idea of your training your clients, how you respond, if you respond immediately to texts all the time, especially on the weekend, they’re going to expect that. Actually there’s some legal things that if you are doing that over and over, and don’t set that boundary that say someone then is suicidal on the weekend and you’ve been always responding, that can become a major liability as well. So how do you help people, like if you’re thinking about the average entrepreneur, the average private practice therapist, what are some of the first things they can do to really think through what they should be taking off of their plates?
[MOLLY] I’m probably going to say this more than once in this interview, but when we started our own businesses practices, you created a job for yourself that you signed up for, you’re passionate about you’re licensed for, whatever it might be. But along the way you created 27 other jobs for yourself. We call them the 27 hats that we all wear or however many. It happens really quickly and as solo practice providers for a long time, we have to do that. You have to do that getting started. But then all of a sudden, the excitement wears out and you hit a plateau and you’re burnt out. You’re not doing the best service providing that you can be, and you’re just spread way too thin.
So when this starts to happen, that’s when I mostly get calls from clients needing support and I ask, well, what do you need off of your plate? They’re so in deep that they can’t even recognize it. So it’s a very simple exercise that I walk people through, but literally next to your computer or where your workstation is for a week, two weeks a month, depends on how much you actually work. If you are doing a lot of stuff every week, it’s all it will take. Write down everything that you do, everything from checking email, to getting on Instagram, to working with a patient, to doing billing, calling your mom, going to an appointment, whatever it is, and then circle only the things that you physically need to do; you have to be the one that calls your mom. You have to be the one, possibly have to be the one the practice room. Maybe there are other people that can do that for you in a lot of cases.
Then you’ll start to re see all the buckets where you can have support and it’ll immediately provide some relief, just knowing that there’s an answer. Okay, wow, this is, I am doing a lot and recognizing that, and then you can go through the process of what goes first to outsource. Do I need to hire another practitioner? Do I need to hire an assistant, where are the roles that you want to be versus outsourcing that first?
[JOE] Yes, I think that idea of just figuring out what’s the best use of my time, what is something I can do, but I really shouldn’t be doing and what it’s a terrible use of my time. I often encourage people just dream about the things you hate doing. For a lot of folks that’s bookkeeping, sending invoices, keeping track of all the progress. It’s like there are systems and people that can help with all those things. I still remember when for every podcast I was doing all the artwork for every single episode. And I loved it. I’m an artsy guy. I enjoy doing art. I think it was something I was pretty good at but I remember when I handed that off to Sam, who I had a visual designer on the staff, but still just held onto that, it went from every single podcast taking three and a half to four hours, because I was doing all the sound engineering and I was doing the images and I was scheduling out the notes for it to then I could just show up and kick out three or four podcasts in an afternoon and quadruple the amount of output that I had.
So now we can, I mean, we’re doing four episodes a week. I couldn’t do that if I was still doing every single aspect of it. So to say, sure, I can still be an artsy guy. I’m going to, I’m painting watercolors downstairs. I do that with my daughters, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be integrated with the business and I don’t have to do every single little aspect. When you think about people having a hard time letting go of things, I imagine you see that quite a bit, what strategies do you have for them or do you teach the VAs in regards to how you talk about letting go of parts of your business and trusting someone’s not going to screw it up?
[MOLLY] It’s funny you said that. I wrote down control, because that’s the next step. We’re so used to controlling everything that we’ve been doing in our business it’s really hard to let it go. So it’s two part, well, several part, the biggest thing to start with is communication. So fully laying out your expectations for the person that’s going to be taking over said task and giving them all the tools that they need, everything that you expect of them, access to the assets or the logins, whatever it might be. But even further than that, it’s really is baby steps. I see this happen over and over and over of entrepreneurs hiring virtual assistance and then not actually utilizing them. So you need to identify the tasks that they can take on that you signed up for them to take on and let them do it.
Recognize the things where if they did make a mistake, it wouldn’t be detrimental to your business. So start with those get your feet wet, have check-ins with them. So I often recommend having a Monday or Tuesday. Check-in could be 15 minutes, “These are all the things I need to get done,” and then by Friday you have updates on what was completed so they’re not constantly bugging you or they’re not constantly in your chili, as I say. Once you start to get this cadence down of, okay, I outsource this one thing. It didn’t go bad. It went well. They might have done it in their own way, which is completely okay. Us type A assistance, have our own way of doing things, recognize that as business owners it’s super important for their autonomy and sanity as well as productivity. Then recognizing that it does get better. The more you start to outsource, the more it will flow and help you be able to take more and more off your plate. So long-winded answer there.
[JOE] No, that’s awesome. And I think that being able to allow other people to try things and create their own processes. Oftentimes what I teach or what I encourage people to do with their new virtual assistance is to have them create the process as much as possible that will work for them rather than you just create it. To me, I think that helps with cross training so they can describe, here’s why we do this. So I oftentimes will start with the end. Here’s what I want. I want to have these numbers every single month. I want to know that these things happen. I want to be able to have this information or make these decisions to me. I ask myself constantly is what this virtual assistant or this person doing, going to help me make different decisions?
If not, then why are, am I even making them do it? So to really have some function behind it from my side, but then to even have them create the process and then if they’re doing the training to pass that off to another assistant to allow them to do that training. How do you view feedback? Because at least for me, I feel like in traditional businesses feedback is once or twice a year, you sit down with your boss and you go over your performance review and it’s not usually that functional. Whereas I, when I have a new person on the team that I’m directly working with will usually schedule a weekly meeting, even if it’s 15 or 20 minutes to just say, here’s what worked, here’s what didn’t work. What am I doing that needs some adaptation? So feedback just becomes a part of the process. Screwing up becomes a part of the process. We’re going to miss the mark in some way that we communicate. I don’t expect you to be a perfect new staff or understand me. How do you think about that and teach people regarding feedback in particular?
[MOLLY] I think that failure is the only way companies, people, individuals grow. So I think it was Sarah Blakely, who’s dad asked her every day, instead of at the kitchen table or he didn’t say what went well today, honey? How was school? He said, when did you fail today? So I think creating that culture where it’s okay to make a mistake is super important. But on a Monday morning call or whenever you have your team call, which is also important point, if you have a virtual team member and the rest of your in-staff, they’re still a part of your team, even though they’re sitting in a silo in an office in Oklahoma or Florida or wherever. It’s very important for them to feel like they’re part of the team, but having a communication or on your Monday morning call where you talk about not only the wins, but the ops and every person shares them, I think is super important. This is where we could have done better. This is where I could have done better. Just creating that communication and culture from the very beginning of hiring someone makes a world of difference for everyone.
[JOE] When you say ops, what do you mean?
[JOE] Okay. Just wanted to make sure.
[MOLLY] Thank you.
[JOE] I was like, it could mean operations. It could mean a lot so ops, opportunities, cool. So then what are some things you see long term? So we talked a lot about onboarding, bringing people in, having that feedback, knowing what you want someone to do. Long term, how should people think through their virtual assistants or their team members?
[MOLLY] I think the goal is for an assistant and or any of your team members to take so much pride in your business that it’s their own. They respect it, they build it, they grow it with you. You reward them appropriately for that type of dedication and knowing that actually virtual assistance can go from being a team member that you meet virtually to fully being integrated into your business as an operations manager or a number of roles, marketing roles, online roles that virtual assistants grow into. Then I think that using the right systems to communicate will, you’ll dive in down the road as you build these relationships in these teams. So when I say systems, I think of things like Asana or Amonday, or these project management tools that are popping up for us now that are incredible at keeping teams on point, goals set, transparency there, due dates, responsibilities, everything in one place where teams can communicate and grow together and celebrate and talk about where projects are not. Trello. I mean, there’s tons, tons that I’m probably not even mentioning.
[JOE] So how we tend to use Trello, how do you use Trello or Asana or other project management tools? Because, I mean it’s so, you can customize so much in these systems and so to hear how people use them I always love hearing little hacks or mindsets within it.
[MOLLY] So I use Asana primarily. That’s my go-to, so as I’m referencing it. Others might not have the capability, but I believe most of them do. So I run all team meetings in my project management tool. So if you think about how your team has questions throughout the week for you, that might not need to be answered today, but they need to put it out there and it needs something to respond to, we throw it on our weekly agenda list in Asana or wherever board you’re using in a different system like Trello. It just becomes an agenda item to discuss on the next call. That’s really amazing. Communicating within that tool and sharing that with your team, this is where we communicate as a team. If there’s an SOS, as I call it, you can text me, call me, inbox me, let’s figure out what that other channel is. But by keeping communication within the business tool that everyone uses, it protects everyone’s time, insanity. You’re not being emailed and texted and G-chatted or whatever systems that you use. It’s all coming through one channel, which makes for a very happy team.
[JOE] Okay. So within that, so usually I would say for different arms of our business, we’ll have Trello boards. So for example Sam who oversees all of the podcasts, each individual podcaster will have like a Trello board that only the podcast team can see or the other Sam, she and I have a Trello board that’s keeping track of all her different things. Would you recommend pulling all of that into one board because there’s things that maybe are too nuanced for a project or what would go on that team board that maybe wouldn’t, like, what would be on there, what wouldn’t be on there?
[MOLLY] So the team board, I think, is probably where the whole team would come together, where it’s relevant for everyone. So what you’re bringing up should be relevant for everyone. If you’re having just a podcast, a lot of podcast questions coming up or items to deal with, you should set a 20-minute podcast, separate meeting, like keep the rest of the team that’s not involved in that off task. That’s just going to pull them in, get them distracted, get them involved in something that they should be doing, something else. Maybe they’re an admin and they’re focused on billing. They shouldn’t be necessarily focused on all the podcasts. However, as an example, they should know that a new podcast drop this week with a certain client that is on the books or with an expert that they should be able to share and celebrate on their own social media or within client conversations that they have. So it’s being intentional about who needs to know what and placing them in the right buckets. Asana does the same thing with the segregated boards, but also having that opportunity where the team comes together and has a place to share the wins or things that went well, didn’t go well, so they can learn from one another, get excited for each other, I think is what I see that Monday morning meeting being like.
[JOE] Hmm, very cool. So the last question I always ask is if every private practitioner in the world were listening right now, what would you want them to know?
[MOLLY] I want to echo this. You started a practice with a passion of a certain service that you’re offering to individuals. It’s likely if this podcast is resonating for you, that you are now doing a ton of stuff that you didn’t necessarily sign up for, and it’s bogging you down, it’s making you maybe dislike your business or not show up fully or not be the best version of yourself as a practitioner. I’m here to tell you that there are solutions. There are not only systems, but there are amazing talented assistance and you name it, freelancers out there to support you. So really taking the time to identify all the things on your plate that should not be there and making steps to eliminate them will do wonders in your life, in your practice, in your business, in your profitability, in your family, and create a lot of balance.
[JOE] Ah, so awesome. Well, if people want to connect with you, connect with your virtual assistants, get some more help what’s the best way for them to connect with you?
[MOLLY] So I have a guide, outsourceresource.co for anyone interested in taking the first steps to outsourcing. Then if you’re looking to hire a virtual assistant, everything is under virtualassistantmanagement.com.
[JOE] So awesome. Well, thank you so much for being on the Practice of the Practice podcast, Molly.
[MOLLY] Thank you, Joe. It’s been a great conversation and I hope everyone goes forth and is very productive and creates some time freedom for themselves.
[JOE] So how are you going to take action after hearing this podcast? To me, my ability to level up has been by outsourcing to other people, to different systems, just eliminating stuff from my plate and aggressively saying what’s the best use of my time? For two and a half years, it was focusing in on writing my book, getting that contract, getting the marketing, doing all of those things. I couldn’t have done that without the team that was behind me. I remember I dropped on Sam R and Mitchell, my sound engineer. I totally forgot that I had videoed all these. I had all these videos for YouTube about Thursday is the New Friday where Angie Morgan, New York Times bestselling author had interviewed me about the book and they had chopped it up, but I totally forgot that I wanted to launch a podcast with that for the Thursday is the New Friday podcast.
Within two weeks they launched an entire 30 episode podcast because they were there to support me. Now I dropped the ball seriously in that situation where I could have worked better with my team and thought ahead on what I needed, but to have that support and be able to say, okay, this may have sold an extra a hundred books, extra two thousand books. We don’t know exactly how many extra books it did by having that podcast behind it, but being able to focus in on the things that I need to focus on because of being able to outsource has just been so essential for me leveling up.
We couldn’t do this without having our sponsors. Brighter Vision is another thing you can outsource to. They do websites for therapists. You can head on over to brightervision.com/joe. They’re going to give you some months for free. They have full IT support. They have Social Genie. That’s going to help you with your social media. It’s a great program. So head on over to brightervision.com/joe to sign up with them. That way they also know that you came through the podcast as well.
Thank you so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain. We have some really interesting shows coming up. We’ve of course, got our Ask Joe show. Our 700th episode is going to be tomorrow. We then have Joe Hudson who coaches only 10 CEOs a year, and is going to be helping you with your limiting beliefs. Then Alison Whitney are going to be just diving in talking about growing a group practice, how to do that. So that’s coming up and we’ve got a lot of other really interesting episodes coming up as well. Thank you so much for letting me in your ears and your brain have a great day. I’ll talk to you soon, too soon.
Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy for your intro music. And this podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, the producers, the publisher, or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.