Melissa Smith followed in the footsteps of her mother as an executive assistant. After being one for over 15 years, she went out on her own to start a virtual assistant company called The PVA, a boutique virtual assistant matchmaking and consulting firm dedicated to matching clients with the right VA. In this episode, Melissa joins Paul Higgins to reveal the ten steps they take to find the right VA for you, the two essential skills people often miss when hiring a VA, and the different types of VAs and how to match them to your needs.

Finding The Right VA With Melissa Smith

Build Live Give. Mentoring With Paul Higgins

If you’re a first-time reader, welcome. If you enjoy it, please subscribe. If you’re a regular, thanks for your support. I’d love to get your feedback at [email protected]. It means the world to me when you do. Our guest is someone who followed in the footsteps of their mother as an executive assistant. They loved the role. When a series of family tragedies happened, they moved to work from home in 2014. They loved it and decided to give it a go themselves. This has turned into a VA matching platform, which is helping business owners and entrepreneurs around the world find their perfect VA. They reveal the ten steps they take to find the right VA for you. The two skills people often miss when hiring a VA, the two essential skills and the different types of VAs and how to match them to your needs. They’ve kindly given a hiring handbook at the end. Over to Melissa Smith from The PVA.

Welcome, Melissa Smith, to the show.

It’s a pleasure to be here.

It’s great having you on. I’ve had an amazing conversation with you when we first met. I know that everyone reading this will get a lot of value from this brilliant conversation. Why don’t we start with something that your family or friends know about you that we may not?

I would say I even shocked my family and friends with this, but I was once a certified cheerleading coach, even though I was never ever a cheerleader in life.

Tell us more about that.

My daughter wanted to get into cheerleading and I wanted to be an active part of that. Cheerleading can be a very dangerous sport. There are tons of injuries that go along with it. I was concerned about the safety of it all. I was also concerned about what routines might be done and how provocative they can get even at an early age. I thought, “The only way for me to get on the inside and make sure that I’m part of the change.” A lot of people raise their hands and complain, but they don’t have anywhere to fall back on. They don’t have an action item. They don’t have another course of action to take. If I had to say something and not only raise my hand, but I wanted to say, “Let me step in and help. I’m a certified cheerleading coach so I can.”

What age was your daughter then?

My daughter was probably 5 or 6 at the time. We lived in a town that had a very competitive cheerleading program in the town that was not tied to a school or anything else. Competitive cheerleading is big business. I thought if she’s going to get into this now and she becomes what she does, and this is her sport of choice, I wanted to be part of that. It turns out she never enjoyed it. She had a couple of sense where she thought she wanted to get into it. I had to say I learned a lot. It was worth it. I would do it again.

The reason she didn’t enjoy it wasn’t due to the coach. When my son played football, soccer, wherever you are in the world and I had to coach him and I’d never played the sport at all. I’m thinking that organizing 5 or 6-year-old girls is a lot easier than trying to control 8 to 10-year-old boys on a soccer pitch or a football pitch. It was an absolute nightmare. I did it for a couple of years.

It depends on what your temperament is. I feel more comfortable coaching boys. I have an older son as well. I feel much more comfortable in that environment than coaching girls. There’s a lot that goes into that. The most ironic part is when my son was in college, he was a cheerleader. He was a stunt person. The person I thought who was going to be a cheerleader wasn’t my daughter. It turned out to be my son. He loved the stunting aspect of it. He had a great time.

You were an executive assistant and then you went to being a mom as an executive assistant, and now you’re heavily involved both in the industry. Tell me a little bit about that career journey.

I was an executive assistant for over fifteen years. I went to secretary school back when that’s what we were called. It’s what I always knew I wanted to do because my mom was also an assistant. My mom is a saint. She’s incredible. Thinking back to her life and how she conducted herself, I wanted to be like her and going into the office, speaking with her coworkers, her boss and those that she was supporting. Everyone always said the same thing, they said, “We could not run this office without your mom. Your mom is the best. Your mom knows everything.” I thought, “I want to do that. I want people to say that about me.” That’s what I did. I loved every job that I had. I loved being an assistant. I was fortunate in seeking that out and always seeing that side of it. I never worked for a company where I felt like my role wasn’t valued or I didn’t have the opportunity to grow or learn.

Working remotely will allow you to experience different things, freedom, and flexibility. Click To Tweet

Nothing was more evident than that when I was working in Georgia. My husband died suddenly. A year later, we were moving back home to my home state of California. I found a job that I loved. I was working at a wonderful private, independent school. It was amazing. I enjoyed going to work every single day, but then my daughter came to me. She was going to be a senior in high school and said, “This is not my home. I don’t want to graduate from here. I want to go back home to Georgia.” I knew I had to give that to her. I went to my boss and I said, “I’ve got to go. I’m sorry.”

He said, “We don’t want to lose you. How can we keep you?” I said, “I can do most of what I do virtually. I don’t have to be here in the office.” He said, “Let’s do that.” I became the first person at that school to work remotely. I worked remotely in Berkeley for a few months. I had this taste of freedom and flexibility that I had never experienced before in my life. I grew up in California where commuting a few hours is not uncommon. I lived in a commuter town. It’s what you did. It’s part of the job process. If you want to make more money and then go over here and have a better living situation with the cost of living there. It became so much more than that. It wasn’t that I lost my commute. It was that I was doing different things and I got to experience different things. Freedom and flexibility, having that small taste of it lit a fire in me.

When was that?

I went remote in August 2014 and then they sent out contracts a few weeks later after that because we always signed contracts for the following year. I sent my contract back unsigned. I said, “I want to try this. I can do this for myself. I’ll finish up my contract. I promise. I want to see if I can do this.” They were supportive. They said, “We’re here to support you. Anything we can do to help. You always have a job here. Do what you need to do for you.” I started my own virtual assistant business and never looked back.

That’s a great journey. My father worked at Coca-Cola. That’s how I fell into working for Coca-Cola even though it wasn’t meant to. It’s similar to your mom. Continuing the journey and then I left similar to yourself. Once again, I’ve never looked back. What have been some of the biggest hurdles in the last few years of running your own business?

That first year, I often say it’s a joke I can only laugh about now. I knew I wanted to do it. I was super committed. I wanted to be with my family without having to take off work. I didn’t want to make the choice between work and my family. I was doing a lot of traveling. We had a lot of deaths that year. It was very overwhelming. My husband died within three months. My mother-in-law died within three months. My other mother-in-law died a few months after that. Our dog died. There were a lot of things going on. It got to the point where I was terrified to pick up my phone. There were all these things happening. I needed to be with my family. I wanted to be with my family more than ever.

That’s why I never looked back. However, it was hard to paint a picture of the future because I had no idea what I was doing. I was the best employee ever. I was the hardest worker ever. Those things don’t make you someone who runs a great company. I had no idea how to get clients. I had no idea why people would hire me and what was valuable to them because when I told them, it was too much. If one more person had told me to sell the sizzle, not the steak, I was going to lose my mind. I’m like, “What does that mean? What are you telling me?” It was a hard journey that first year. My journey is not everyone’s journey. There are plenty of people who did not experience what I experienced becoming a virtual assistant.

That’s for me what made it so much harder. Around me, it seemed like everyone had clients. Everyone was doing well. People were making six figures in six months and that was the complete opposite of what I was doing. I took the risks that you’re supposed to do. I knew I had to hire a business coach. I couldn’t afford to hire a business coach, but I knew that if I was going to fail, I might as well fail knowing that at least I did the thing that could have made my business survive versus not doing anything and relying on myself, which had already proven not to work.

Was that the key turning point when you hired your coach?

It was a key turning point. She had her work cut out when she was working with me. I was a subzero business level. Everything that she was telling me seemed polar opposite to what it was to be an assistant, to what it was to be a good employee. She was constantly drilling into me, “You are no longer either of those things.” I remember we had this intense conversation. I said, “How many people do you want me to eliminate from the services I could offer? What does that even look like? You’re telling me to do less and charge more. I feel like I’m ripping people off.”

She said, “You have it all wrong. You need to stop thinking that way. Value is value. I want you to turn away every single person who’s not willing to throw money at you.” I thought, “What you said makes sense. I don’t know how to do that.” She said, “Now that you finally are listening to me, I will teach you how to do that. I’ll show you how to do that. You have to stop fighting me. This has to be the key turning point for us.” I said, “Okay.”

What was her name?

BLG 246 | The Right VA

The Right VA: You’re not hiring the person because they had the best resume. It helps, but put that aside and concentrate on the other things.

 

Her coaching business is Make Your Mark.

We’ll move next into the Build section. I know you wear two hats, but why don’t you talk about each individually first? When people come to you and say, “Melissa, what do you do?” How do you best answer that?

I tell them I match clients to the right virtual assistants.

What type of clients?

My clients are similar to me and what they want is to throw money at a problem. What that means is not that they’re wasteful, that they don’t care, that they have so much money they’re throwing around. That’s not the case at all. When someone comes to me, they’re telling me, “I’m going to throw this money at you, solve my problem. Tell me when it’s done.” What I do for them is give them a done for you service for the right virtual assistant. I know exactly who to hire after our consultation. I tell them what they can expect to pay, how the VA is going to make the most impact, where to start. I conduct all the interviews. I do the reference checks. I do the background check. I give them a three-month guarantee. I have a 98% match rate. When they come to me, they know all they have to do is interview the three finalists to figure out who they feel most comfortable with, who they resonated with, what worked for them and then they’re off to the races.

What do you know about matching a great client with a VA that many people miss?

It’s the communication strategy and the ideal client fit. We go through these things on and on in our life and they’re building blocks to every place that we’re going to go in life. When I was working in an office, my boss was always part of the hiring process. Whoever I worked for was always part of the hiring process so that made me part of the hiring process. What I learned early on was to look for the signs of what a good match looks like.

Often people will say, “This is the candidate. They went to this school. They did this thing. They’re great.” I would say, “What’s in it for them? Are we saying, we’re the best place to work? How long before they get bored with us?” I would see a resume and it wasn’t the best written, but there were so many key things in there that they said that matched what our company did already. I would say, “What about that person?”

“I don’t know. It doesn’t say. They didn’t go to that school.” They would have all these things. I said, “I would put my money on them. You’re not hiring the person because they had the best resume. It helps, but they’re not going to be writing resumes all day for you. Let’s put that aside and concentrate on the other things.” What I’ve found through the years and what I found when people would come to me and they already didn’t have a good experience, the communication strategy wasn’t there.

What that means is when you have a good communication strategy with your virtual assistant. It means they’re communicating with you in your manner, your medium, your tone, your verbiage. Often, I see it reversed. That’s the tail wagging the dog. If you can only communicate with your VA via text, Slack or some project management tool or phone and that’s not your style, that’s not how you would do it. It’s never going to work because you’re never going to communicate on the fly and you have to be able to do that.

The other side is the ideal client fit. This is for the VA. Most VAs can do what they do for anybody, but it doesn’t mean they necessarily want to. There’s a number of VAs out there who don’t even know who they want to work with. That’s not good for the client because that doesn’t play into retention. It doesn’t play into good work. It doesn’t play into going above and beyond because they love what they’re doing.

When I look at those websites, their LinkedIn profile, their social media handles and they’re telling me, “Yes, I do all these things. Yes, I work with these kinds of people.” If I don’t see that in anything that they’re doing, I have to question, “Do you even know what you’re doing? Do you know who your client is? I don’t even know if you work as an executive virtual assistant. You work more on the digital side or the technical side. All your posts seemed to be about technology. Are you sure that this is the type of client that you want to bring on? That’s not what they’re looking for.” Often, I have to cut through that because it’s not fair to the client to match them with someone who can do the work but doesn’t show up excited. You need that excitement. That VA should be excited to work with you.

We don’t have to name names, but take me through a typical engagement. I work with a lot of service-based business owners. I’ve referred you a service-based business owner to find a VA. Take us through the steps that they would go through.

Being the best employee or the hardest worker ever won’t make you someone who runs a great company. Click To Tweet

We start off with our consultation that lasts anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes. We go through and I ask them the questions that I need to uncover. What makes them tick in their business? What drives them? How they measure success, what good looks like, the duties they want the VA to perform, their communication style, how do they like to share files? The setup of how I’m going to write the job description. Within 24 hours, I send them the job description. My job descriptions are unique. They’re not anything that you’re going to find online because they’re not only to attract the right VA, but they’re to deter the wrong VA. For instance, I’ve had a job description that said, “EVA with the ability to herd cats.” The number of people who responded and said, “That’s me.” I would go and I would look, and that was what they had on their websites.

That’s what they had in their About Section on LinkedIn. They posted pictures of them with cats. They understand what it’s like to work with those types of people and those types of companies. From there, I start the search process. I’ll reach out to people when I know, for instance, that’s a company that they specialize in. Someone posted and it was a company that works or a person who’s a coach and they work in NLP. I know the VA and she specializes in working with people in the NLP field.

I immediately tagged her and said, “I saw NLP. I thought about you.” You have VA’s who I think about that with all the time. It would be ClickFunnels. It could be technical sites. It could be websites, NLP, you name it. I’ll go through all my searches. I get all my interviews done in five business days. On the sixth business day, I send the client the three finalists, and then I set up the interviews on their behalf. At that point, I’d either already done references or conducting references.

Once the client gets interviews, I give them the questions to ask each VA to make sure each VA is offered the opportunity to answer the same questions. There’s less bias. Once they tell me who they want to work with, I conduct the background check. From that point, the client and the VA begin working together. I will also look through the contract, proposal and make sure that it all looks good. If there’s ever an opportunity to negotiate or create a package that is both a win for the client and a win for the VA, I do that as well.

In packages, I’d save clients thousands of dollars. I’ve made VAs thousands of dollars. It is a win-win situation. I don’t want anyone walking away thinking, “I got the better end of the deal,” because that means there’s not going to be a retention. Along with my matching success, I’ve also had a great retention success for my clients. They continue to work with their VA for years and that helps their business. It helps the VA’s business. Everyone wants that long-term relationship. No one has time for hiring. That’s the process. I check in with them a few weeks in. I have a three-month guarantee.

That three-month guarantee, is that to replace someone or money back? What’s the guarantee?

It’s to replace them. If the VA doesn’t work out, I’ll replace them within three months. It’s only happened on a few occasions. It’s because the client thought they knew what they wanted. When it got to it, they said, “I don’t want that. I don’t find that as valuable as I thought that I would,” or the person that they originally interviewed and they thought, “She could do it, but I liked this person better.” You can like a lot of people. It doesn’t mean that you’re going to work well together.

Ten excellent steps here so let’s dive in a couple of them. You said search process. I know you also have an association for VAs. Tell us a little bit about how you’re able to search and find the right people given the association that you run?

I’ve been building up my VA network since the very beginning of when I started my business. I have an extensive list of VA’s that I can contact. Anyone who wants to be matched with me also has to complete my own matchmaking form. They have to answer questions that tell me about them. When I’m searching, I’m looking and then they respond to me. I started digging around. I’m looking at their websites. I’m looking at their social media profiles. I’m looking at their LinkedIn profile. I’m looking at what they put on my matchmaking intake form. Does it all match? If it’s all different, if it keeps on saying everything, that’s a huge red flag.

If they’re telling me, “This is a client that I love to work with, but I don’t ever see anything like that on their site. I don’t see anything on their social media profiles, on their LinkedIn,” then it’s another red flag. If they tell me they don’t know who their ideal client is or what their ideal work is and I can’t see a cohesiveness to that, that’s a red flag. What I’m always looking for is what do they have? How do they communicate? What are they saying that already matches this client? It’s there. You have to find it. Sometimes the searches are easy. I can match them in days. Other times, I’m doing a lot of digging and a lot of searching. I’m expanding my network, I’m reaching out to people, and I’m reaching out to all my networks.

It can get intense. I appreciate the challenge. I’m looking for that diamond in the rough that is already saying the things that the client has told me. They’re using the same language. They dislike and like the same things. They measure success in the same way. It’s not just about doing the work. That’s part of the references. What is the client value? What is the assistant value? Do they match? That has to be there. That’s something that people often miss because if you go, “Who’s a Microsoft expert? Who’s ever done a funnel? Who’s set up CRMs before?” The list is endless, but it doesn’t mean that they’re a good match to work together.

I have clients who come to me and they said, “I had an assistant in the office for years. I went on my own and I’ve tried to hire her, but it wasn’t the same anymore. We didn’t seem to work together well.” That’s because once you’re virtual, things change. You don’t have the same follow-up. You don’t have that same organic communication. That is the test of a true assistant. That’s the test of someone who understands how to run a virtual assistant and be very present in a business. The true measure of any assistant, whether human or AI, is the ability to anticipate needs. If you have an assistant and they’re not anticipating your needs, they’re not a true assistant. They could be assisting you. They could be taking care of the tasks. They could be checking things off the list, but a true assistant knows how to anticipate your needs.

BLG 246 | The Right VA

The Right VA: It’s not fair to the client to match them with someone who can do the work but doesn’t show up excited.

 

It’s a bit like the word strategy. There are many different versions of it. You’ve got three tiers of people that help. They’re not just virtual assistants. Take us through those three tiers and what the key differences are. There’s technical. There’s an executive assistant and then there’s a VA.

There are many. If you have a need, there is a VA out there. I would say the most common is a general VA. This is someone who is going to answer emails, appointments, scheduling, light travel, maybe some invoicing, light bookkeeping. They might have been an administrative assistant in an office. You have an executive virtual assistant. An executive virtual assistant is a much client-facing and a key person in the executive role. They might even be drafting emails. They might be sending emails on the client’s behalf, heavy international travel, more reports, more presentations, lots of board work might be involved, serves as a liaison. When people think about how they’re going to get in touch with that executive, they’re going to go to the assistant first.

They know that person handles and controls that other person’s daily schedule and life, and not just manage it. That person is also going to set up and manage the flow of their executive to make sure that they’re doing things that they need to do. They’re doing things on time. They’re getting key things done while they’re working around the system and putting in people that they need to speak to at the appropriate times. Technical VAs, these are going to be people who are going to be setting up your websites, lead pages, lead magnets, making sure your integrations are working. All your systems are talking to themselves.

A good tech VA is going to make sure that whatever system you’re using, you are using it to its fullest before you add on another system. That is one that comes up all the time. They’re like, “My friend got the system. I love it. I’ve added it.” You’ve added this other thing to integrate. You don’t understand the pros and cons of it. You already had something that could have done that for you. You didn’t use it because most people don’t use all the things that their software provides, but these companies spend a lot of money to be an all in one for you. They’re constantly adding on. A good tech VA will understand that for you.

I hear a lot of people say, “I’m not going to get someone until I’ve got everything sorted.” That’s one school of thought or the other is you get someone and they help you sort it because I’ll go into my rationale, but which camp do you see working best?

This comes up a lot in our association. One of my partners, my CMO doesn’t work when systems aren’t already in place because she has far too many questions. She doesn’t like that style. I, on the other hand, am like, “Don’t worry about it. I’ll jump in and I’ll take care of it.” It comes down to, does the person want to educate you through the process, or do they simply want to do the work and be done with it? Do they want everything streamlined in a system and have this pretty chart of how things are going to go and follow that to a tee?

I don’t need that to get started. Some VAs do. Some VAs don’t. That would be what kind of client are you? What type of VA are you? I’m all about education. I’m all about explaining how things work. I’m all about giving options and researching what would be best, and then providing everything down and having the client say, “Let’s do that. We’ll choose B. We’ll choose C. Let’s go with option one.” Not all VAs are like that. There’s no right or wrong, but you have to know who you’re working with. When I work with clients particularly, they don’t like questions. They like options. When I go to my clients and I have options for them, those options are down. “I’ve already negotiated this price. I’ve already asked this question. I’ve already asked these three things. Here’s everything presented to you, which way do you want to go?”

What we’re going to do now is move on to the Live section. You can find out more about Melissa and her wonderful business at ThePVA.com. Before we get into the Live section, I like to talk about our quiz to help you work out. If you’re running a profit machine or a sweat box, go to PaulHigginsMentoring.com/quiz, and answer the questions in less than five minutes. You will be placed in 1 of 4 percentage ranges with custom actions, which include a free 45-minute strategy call to walk through a clear plan based on the exact results that you got through the quiz. It’s a great chance to be like Melissa and come and share all of your knowledge and wisdom on this show. The Live section, what are some of the daily habits, Melissa, that help you be successful?

Exercise is probably the number one, whether it be as a form of stress relief or a form of meditation. Whenever I am not exercising, I can feel it in my work, my mind and my body. No matter what that is, exercise has to be a part of that. Speaking to a family member is very important to me. I speak to my family member at least one every single day. That helps center me and helps remind me not only why I do what I do, but when things don’t go as planned, it’s not the end of the world. That’s not the only thing that’s important. As long as my family is safe and healthy, it helps me see the big picture of what’s important in life.

Having a creative outlet whether that’s reading or writing for me, being able to read or write about nothing and feel like I was heard. Sometimes you’re reading a book and they’re in my mind. They understand. They’ve answered the question that I’ve been pondering over for a long time or they answered the question that I thought I had right. It turns out I had it wrong. Writing for myself is reminding me that I have a voice and I have thoughts. Sometimes we work through them and sometimes they’re epiphanies. I can talk about nothing. I can write about nothing and I still deserve to be heard.

I haven’t flown since 2016 internationally and where we’re out at the moment with the pandemic. It will be a long time, but the time that I used to get my most creative thoughts was when I was flying. It’s probably because with corporate, working for Coca-Cola, I was flying 3 to 4 days a week. I haven’t been able to recover that. What’s your safe space? Where do you love to go and do that reading and writing?

I loved it on the plane. It was such a disconnect for me. I found it inspirational. I get my best thoughts when I’m running and when I’m on my long walks. Something clicks because I can’t turn my brain off. I have a real problem with it. At some point, when I’m done wondering why I’m running and why I’m out here, why am I doing this for, so and so. The negative thoughts that come into my mind about exercise that I think I could be doing something else. I forget that I’m breathing. I forget that I’m doing those things and I get into this meditative state. I come out of it and it’s like I have all these ideas and everything is clear.

For me, my new normal is getting back to my old routine because I’ve had to find my new normal again. I have to recreate it. I used to get so much creative juices going to museums, traveling to countries I’d never been before and visiting cities I’d never been before. I had to work like what I used to do. I used to do something. What was that? I was a long-distance runner, long-distance by my standards. I get into my sweet spot about 7 to 10 miles. I’m working back up to that now.

The true measure of any assistant, whether human or AI, is the ability to anticipate needs. Click To Tweet

The next section is the Give section. What’s a charity or community that you’re passionate about and why?

I am passionate about giving to missions, countries overseas or south of the border. I like to give to the ones that are going to be there for the long haul. I don’t want to be giving money every month to someone who’s going to go drop off food. It’s great. People are hungry. You need that. I like to give to the mission programs that are there who continue to go back, teach people new skills, build them the things that they need, to train them to do the things that they need to do to provide for themselves and be able to work because they want to. They don’t want handouts. That’s not beneficial to them. They’re thankful, but they don’t get any joy out of that. Anything that’s missions related that helps build up cities, communities and towns.

I’ve been giving to my church for as long as I’ve been going there for many years. To see the progression and to see like, “This town is self-sufficient now, or this place is doing great. Let’s see what we can do the most good somewhere else and plant roots there. Not fly by night charities.” I also love to give to teen moms and dental care. Those are things that are near and dear to my heart because I’ve had experience with both of them. There are not a lot of resources that speak to what goes on mentally when those things are happening.

The charity I support is called the Purple House. You can find it at PurpleHouse.org.au. All the proceeds of my book go to that and also a proportion of my revenue. The last section is the Action section. This is where we get some rapid-fire responses. We need to shift gears and quick, short answers. The first one is, what are your top three personal effectiveness tips?

Personal effectiveness is writing things down, making sure that I’m not trying to do it all myself and getting as much sleep as possible.

What’s an essential piece of technology you use to run your business?

It’s email. I couldn’t do anything without email.

I don’t touch my emails at all. You talked about reading and talked about writing, but what are some of the best sources for you?

It’s got to be the beach, water.

BLG 246 | The Right VA

The Right VA: Everyone wants that long-term relationship, but no one has time for hiring. That’s where the VA business comes in.

 

The last question is the big one. I always leave it to the end for that reason. What impact do you want to leave on the world?

I want people to create lives that make them have the opportunity and afford them freedom and flexibility so they don’t have to choose between the thing that they have to do, between the thing that they want to do.

You can find out more about Melissa at ThePVA.com. She’s also kindly given a hiring workbook. You learned her ten-step process and what she goes through. You can get the actual detail of that by going to ThePVA.com/hiring-workbook. Melissa, it’s an absolute joy having you on. I appreciate you giving us an insight into something I think is essential. I always say, as a business owner, you need a computer, a phone and a virtual assistant. Thanks for giving us another great option to go and help you, who’s reading this. If you do not have one, I highly recommend following up with Melissa and getting a VA.

Thanks for having me, Paul.

Thank you.

Isn’t Melissa a ball of energy? She is passionate about what she does and that came through on the interview. You can avoid the pain of a mis-hire from using her service. Go and try it out. I’d love to know what is your biggest takeaway from Melissa. Please take a photo of the show and share it on your socials mentioning Melissa and The PVA. You can find out more at ThePVA.com. Remember that brilliant hiring handbook is ThePVA.com/hiring-workbook. If you believe someone you know would benefit from the show, please share. They would love you for it. Find out if you’re running a profit machine or a sweat box in our quiz. Go to PaulHigginsMentoring.com/quiz. Please take action to build a profitable and sustainable business and stay well.

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About Melissa Smith

BLG 246 | The Right VA

My name is Melissa Smith and after being an Executive Assistant for over 15 years I went out on my own to start a virtual assistant company. I quickly realized business owners didn’t have the right knowledge of VAs and even less about how to hire the right one. After finding myself constantly matching coaches and consultants with the right virtual assistant I decided to create a business of it. That’s when I changed my focus to matchmaking and consulting. Soon after I would write a bestseller, Hire the Right Virtual Assistant.

There is a system and method to hire the right VA. I make the process an art. Utilizing a virtual assistant to diversify your income streams, expand your audience, and grow your business without killing yourself by doing it all and wasting time on trial and error is why I exist. It is my deep desire and privilege to work with clients, matching them with the right VA, and watching their business dreams come to life, while at the same time being able to enjoy the process. All this is done in much less time than they think.

Over the years I have worked with a variety of executives, speakers, consultants, and coaches. Each client gets their own personalized service, as will you. I pride myself on being the best at what I do and never over promise and under deliver. I define my success by yours – did you meet your goals, do you have more time to do what you love, are your long-term goals closer than you think. Of course, repeat clients and referrals are the greatest compliments I can receive.

How do I know all this? Well, it’s because I’m not only a virtual assistant, I’m also an entrepreneur, CEO, and business owner. I am constantly expanding and stretching my goals. Seeking out new income streams and sources of revenue. Discovering how I can reach a larger audience and automate my services to make what I do more valuable. This means I have anywhere from three to seven VAs working for me at any given time. I know the challenges you face because I face them as well. Being a player on both teams I’m constantly looking for the “win-win” situation and know when I find it.

Personally…

When I’m not assisting clients I enjoy traveling, reading, writing, running and catching as many sunrises and sunsets as possible. I’ve participated in several Tough Mudders and ran a couple of half-marathons. In 2017, I lived and worked in 12 countries in 12 months! I was able to sneak in several extra countries as well. (In order: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Morocco, Spain, England, Czech Republic, Berlin, Croatia, Serbia, Israel, Dubai, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Indonesia)

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