It's no secret that finding and training team members for your business can be challenging. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like there is enough time in the day to search, nevermind onboard someone. And then once you have your new team member trained the real test comes along when you see their performance.
Placing team members in specific roles based on their personality type is the best way to ensure they will be successful.
I’m so excited to share today’s guest, Hiliani Ellis, founder of Exceptional Admins who will share with us the top things to look for when searching for team members.
How working with an assistant is for the betterment of your business and life
Advice Hilani would give her younger self
How to discover your daily purpose
Easy to digest insight into working with an assistant.
Special tips to be a better boss/leader.
Reminder to work on your business, not in your business.
MORE ABOUT OUR GUEST
Hilani is a well-known ambassador for the administrative profession. Her depth of expertise stems from working for over a decade as an executive assistant. Her previous roles were anything but ordinary. It’s the dynamic job circumstances that helped Hilani build a unique foundation, atypical of traditional executive assistant roles. Later in her career, Hilani transitioned from her position as an executive assistant and launched a specialized headhunting and facilitating firm.
I'm so excited for our guests today, because I should have been recording when we first started talking, we were talking about dry shampoo. And we literally are so similar and like how we like to schedule things and then get back to in person meetings. And we were just chattering away. It was so much fun. But Helwani Welcome to the show today.
Hello, there. Thank you so much, Angela, for having me today. I'm actually kind of at a loss for words, I'm usually the host of my own podcast. So I got to kind of do that mind shift being the guest and being here and spending time with you. And I love your energy. I'm very excited about this time that we're going to be spending together and I have to disclose right here at the front, you had me at GSD you haven't done. That's just that's my language. And I was revisiting your bio today and remembering some really awesome things where your southern gal with potty mouth, so I'm glad to be in your company. I'm of the same. I don't. I'm from Florida. I've heard we can't say we're from the south, even though we're southern than where you are. But I am. I'm from that Florida area. I'm actually coming to you live now from Denver. So thank you so much for having me.
And we were just chatting, you guys, we both were just in Cabo, and you're talking about how awesome it is. Now the energy is in like this sun just I don't know, it does something to you there. I absolutely love it. But before we kick off, I want and really, there's so many cool takeaways from the company that you've started in, like, how you're helping so many businesses thrive. Before we jump off, I would love for you to share a little bit more about like your background and your journey. And anyone who's watching or listening. It's really important to me that people understand like you just didn't roll out of bed start this great business and like shits working. It's like so
true. That's so true. So yeah,
what's your background?
Oh, I'm excited for the question. Because every now and then you do need to for the listeners, wherever you are in your journey, you do need to stop and think, Where have I traveled? Where have I, you know, fallen down on my face? Or been able to jump over that hurdle and keep moving forward? So I appreciate the question, because not often do we stop and go? Holy shit, you know, where am I actually been? And what am I kind of doing? And where am I going? So thank you for the question. Yeah, you know, I've always been someone I'm an Aries, we were just covering that before we started recording. There is something so innate in my personality that I am always in a position to serve, which I am happy to admit I'm a recovering people pleaser. So for any of those out there that are on that journey, you're in good company here today with Angela and I, and I 42. I'm always happy to admit how old I am. Because I appreciate getting older. It makes me wiser. And we also mentioned this before we started recording, I had those wisdom lines, which is called gray hair. Those got covered up just recently. I've always been an individual that appreciates helping others. And there's something really beautiful I've actually got goosebumps saying it something really beautiful about the return on at and for me it's extremely authentic. Second to being recovering people pleaser. I learned the word know in the last 10 years and it's extremely life giving on how to use it. I am an only child. I was in theater a lot. I was varsity cheer captain in high school. You know, I was someone that would always be babysitting, helping with the dishes and had no problem with doing those things of service and it definitely teed me up for my very first big girl job, which was an executive and personal assistant to a well known writer, voice radio personality. Her name is Dr. Laura Schlessinger. And this was well before the iPhone I had a Franklin Covey journal and multiple pencils and erasers and pencil sharpeners in my bag. And it was really where I had no idea about the point fashion as an administrative individual, but it was made for me in my personality. I did waitressing throughout high school, I did not finish college. And I'm always comfortable now later in life admitting that whereas I thought it was a deficiency, and I have street smarts that are extremely creative, that have propelled me forward, and been each those types of things about me that are natural have helped me get through my own hurdles. I'm a mom. I've been married here in 2021. Now almost 21 years, and there's a by the way, no book that helps you get this far. And I have two boys, which is awesome. My oldest is driving and I'm looking in like, What the fuck is this? Oh, my
God driving crazy, or Yeah,
it's awesome. No, no, not really. I'll be curious when my younger starts driving, although I think he'll be. He'll be great. Both boys are great. I don't have that house where it's like, Oh, my God, you have boys? What's that like, and it's pretty awesome. So we're definitely in that transition to becoming friends. A little bit more on that percentage versus parenting. So I'm a mom, I left the corporate world, being an executive assistant to stay at home and be the CEO of the house. And I did it in a way that was unconventional. You know, I was reading books early on, I viewed it as a job. And so my natural habits of being a hustler definitely came into the home and my husband was working. And we were doing that, you know, single income with kids. And it was amazing. We left California to be here in Colorado, where we've been now for 13 years. And there was a point at that time where I said, I need to revisit my full purpose in life. And it's to be of service. And so I had applied to an executive and personal assistant role, like late in the night, and I was running a very small boutique business selling products. You know, I had a shop on Etsy, I had a blog, I didn't have a podcast then because it wasn't popular. But I had a Facebook page, and just all these really great things. And that kept me engaged in what made me me. And so for anyone who's starting out their business, you know, you should be mind mapping, what makes you feel alive inside and finding those small tentacles of you know, what can help you feel that sense of purpose. So I took that executive and personal assistant role, which is essentially what's going to lead me to what I'm doing today. And I'm very proud to announce, and this isn't in a position of overconfidence, but I'm really fucking good at doing that role. And there's areas I'm not great at, I would rather go to the dentist, do you know anything in Excel and accounting? That is not my view. And I own it, I own it, and I'm okay with it. However, with being a high functioning executive and personal assistant, you have to have that. So I took extra time to try to not make a lot of mistakes. So I landed an interview and I realized when I got that job hadn't interviewed in 12 years. And so when I left that first interview, because I worked for for state home for eight and so I hadn't interviewed, and I was like, it's time to be a big girl again, and get your big girl clothes on, get your hair done and makeup and, and I wasn't sloppy at home. Yes, there were days I was in sweats. But closing out the story. It was really beautiful to have touch points with very big people in the community on behalf of my executive. And having been from Los Angeles actually being in the entertainment industry, I believe that that gave me just
an edge to my voice an edge to my hospitable nature. That wasn't common here in Colorado. So I stood out to the leaders I was interacting with on behalf of my executive and a couple of them said, Where did you find her? I'm going to need me one of those. And so they asked for my assistance and helping them find their strategic business partner, which could be known as an executive assistant. And it wasn't until the summer of 2016, where I was in my fourth year in that EA personal assistant role. Where I was like talking to my executive I said something's going on in the community. I'm feeling very drawn to be of service in a different way. I think I need to pay more attention to these now introductions that started happening, like once a quarter like Hey, I heard about you. Can you help me too. And I was doing it all pro bono. And I was doing it in a very light manner considering how in depth my manner is now four years into running this company. And I left the corporate world in the summer of 2017. And I've been wonderfully hustling since and I heard from a client last week. You only get burnt out if you don't like what you're doing. And I had to pause and think about that. I don't get burned out. It's a very emotional space to be a headhunter. You're dealing with people money job where we spend so much of our time. So I launched a company, it's called exceptional admins. And my past executive gotta give him credit. He was the one that came up with the name because the abbreviation is EA, like executive assistant. And so I'm in my fifth year now. Yeah, here in 2021. And I'm close to completing 100 placements in less than 45 years, which is very exciting. Yeah. For me, I view business growth. So this is a tip for the listeners, a lot of people are promoted by the outside CNBC Squawk Box, you know, Market Watch, that revenue tells you if you're successful. And when I see applications for, you know, getting recognized for an award, and they want a minimum of a million, I'm thinking I'm, I'm not available for that yet. But I truly believe that every time the phone rings, I've heard about you, Helwani. And I'd love to work with you, that is a measurement of success for me. So I hope we get to cover that at any point during our discussion. And just kind of like the varying ways to view different things as a business owner, so I'm running exceptional admins, I've got three different things I really provide the, the community, its permanent placement for individuals, I have consulting, which is also connected to a workshop that just launched this year, EA University. Creatively, I have some articles I write every now and then I have my own podcast. And so I'm not trying to be all things for all people. But I am continually trying to find channels to give my wisdom and the things that I learned on a daily basis, out into the ears of in the eyes of the reading the article to those out into the community. So that's my story. Yeah,
I love it. And what you doing is so needed. And much like you've probably heard a zillion times, like, I, let's say, for the last 20 years, I've had three main like, right hands, like literally, well, yeah, they're my right hand. Mm hmm. And, and they are very loyal. And they're awesome. And they stay and they grow and they pivot. But there are a lot of friends that I have who are entrepreneurs, and they say over and over. I need an Amanda, I needed to make it where did you find a man I needed Amanda? But it's like, strategically from psychology. I know what type of brain makeup I need to have. But no one taught me that I learned that through working in mental hospital, which everybody has that background. Yeah. So understanding like how that person needs to be communicated with is so important. And so I remember years ago when VAs first started coming out, and it was like, Oh, I'm gonna get a virtual assistant, they're going to fix it right? personally, professionally. Yeah. And then a couple years would go by and I would listen to my friends at dinners, bitch and complain about Will that be a that's the shits not working out? And I'm like, but Tom out? Why is it not working out? And the reason it's not working out is because you, as the leader, don't want to train them put in the effort. And it's all that's always but it's like, until all sides say that to their face. They're like, Oh, shit, maybe it is me. And then there's people who are just, you know, they'll never listen, those people are not around my circle. But it's like, you know, I had to take a step back and always, like, even as a leader, we are serving others. And if we can't serve our VAs and our EAS and our assistants that are how are they going to serve our clients if we're not training them and teaching them and leading them. And so what I have learned just through experience is it comes down to like training, and placing the right people in the right places. If someone uses a company like yours, you do all that work for them, and then place them and it's beautiful. So, like now, even after the pandemic, and I think during the pandemic, a lot of people realize like, oh, shit, I need to figure out how to work with with an EA or a VA. Like, yeah, for technology. Right, right. Mm hmm. And they've had to learn how to train a whole different way. So are there any insights or strategies or something that you can like your top three things that you look for? If there's someone listening or watching and they're like, Oh, my God, I know I need to hire somebody. I know I need to do it like I'm drowning. Yeah, just it's like, you can't do it all by yourself people. What would you say to them? In terms of, if they're looking for somebody? Like what are some things that you have learned over the years in your company? Like, these are non negotiables? Like, these are things that I have to do?
How much time do we have for the recording? No kidding. Like, girlfriend, we don't have all
I know. And I love how this teed up because I sort of mentioned it earlier in my story, there is an I'm going to start with a negative, but I'm going to close on a positive. So everyone stay with me. There is no playbook. Now to your question of three things, I'd like to get to that in a moment, before I tee up some philosophy changes that need to happen. A lot of the work that I do is helping X advance the mindset of a client, to the today's assistant, a lot of the times and when I prior to COVID, right, I was out business development like heels, I don't even know what those are now, but heels, you know, out and about. And a lot of the times people would say, oh my gosh, Kalani, I love what you're doing. But I don't want to bring that in. It's more work to train and you use the word train. And so I'll talk on that it's more to train someone than to just do it myself. And then actually is a beautiful gateway to a discussion on time productivity, which is what your purpose is every day. And for me, and you had this in your bio, and I loved it, where's your energy going? We need to have the replacement for time management of energy management, right? What's being called me and where's my output? There is no playbook. However, there are two types of administrative individuals and both serve a purpose in the professional community. One is conveyor belt, which it sounds like from the example that you gave, you know, they would receive a task from Angela and execute and be done. The strategic individual is I Angela, that doesn't really connect with what were our goals are this week or next week? You know, where does this line up with what you're working on in your head that you haven't shared with me yet? Because it's about and you said it communication, and the why. And when an executive says to me, and this is the word training, please don't bring me someone I need to train. I try to break that up. And say, it's either training or education, right? context, context is so key. And that is unfortunate. And it happens all the time. So for any of you listening, and you're about to sail ship, that was me, you just assume they know it, and they figured it out. And they're in your head, and you've only been with them your VA 10 hours a week for the last three weeks, you're like, well, they should know my business, and they don't. So there's a context discrepancy, which, so if we're training, it's like, let's say Angela uses, you know, a new CRM, you know, she's tracking all of her activities, we need to train Helana, your assistant on that, Sarah, that is training. So when the executive says training, I say we either have training or we have education, you're telling me ultimately what that statement is, you don't want to spend the time necessary to educate them. You have historical knowledge in your role as an individual. And usually I'm working with CEOs of large companies, lots of new entrepreneurs this year, which is great, right? Because their business is booming. And like where are you at with a threshold of patience for the fact that you you for the next six months, when this person joins you is going to be siphoning from you a significant amount of context that they don't have to get up to speed. So that beautiful cadence of back and forth is getting stuff done. And the things that I like to tell people, if they're exploring a part time or full time hire, one of the top questions you should ask even in the very first interview is this is one of three from a suggestion and wisdom standpoint.
Sarah, you know, you don't have executive assistant in your background. Tell me what from your background intersects with the needs of this role? If they are too general? Well, you know, I'm really great with people and I'm happy to, you know, put events together because I do appreciate people that come from the hospitality background and join an administrative roles. I've got a lot to offer. If that's the answer you're hearing, they don't have their administrative voice, which means they won't have the strength necessary to be able to execute administratively. If their answer is well, calendar is king. And I want to learn everything about your calendar, who you spend time with. What's the frequency, you know where you regularly eat lunch the calendar is where I'm going to become a subject matter expert in the first 30 days. So if you start asking me to run reports, I may not view that as important, even though that's important to you, because I don't have context, the calendar as king, we can look back to the last five months of you know, where's Angela been spending time? How many times have she talked to Sarah? And why do we only talk to Julie once? What's the context of that? And really kind of getting into that today? So asking that question is, where do you see yourself as the assistant focusing, and that still applies to a virtual part time person? The next question is, and I actually use this on both ways, both the client can ask this, and an assistant can ask this. And this is very vulnerable. And this allows for authentic discussion. The executive can say, or the entrepreneur, where do you think in? Hoping you've done research, Angela, on the company? Where do you think you might make your first mistake? And that question trips everyone up? And it's good. And the reason we want to ask that is twofold. How do they physically respond? Right? Do they start to move in their chair too much? Because they don't have the answer, which likely means they didn't do a lot of research, they're not invested in what you're doing, you know, their stalking is not established, which for me, being a heavy stalker equates to being resourceful. Which, and I'm sharing a lot of wisdom, which everyone's trying to digest, and maybe you've pulled over to start writing some of this down. It's key, because we need to think differently about interviewing. And it comes down to the context, it comes down to personable and actually being confident with that question of where you're going to make your first mistake. And a great answer is, I may trip up. If you have to Steve's you talk to a lot, I may confuse them. And that's how that's healthy and human. And if that's their answer, that's great. And they've already figured out that you're dealing with a lot of clients. They may say, you know, hey, I learned in the past or triple check x&y, you've just learned that they're developing because they've given their answer. The third thing is, and it kind of goes to small teams having culture. I like to ask, to me culture does not mean beer pong, and a wine in the fridge and shit like that. Yeah, culture, culture is is what does a company do? And Leah, my assistant, I work we're culture of two people, you know, what are we doing? We could be found praying, maybe when we have an issue with the client, we can be found laughing when we're like, really, that's okay. Let's move it. Let's bless that heart and move along. And there's a variety of things that can come up. And so culture is really a neat thing. And if you are a one person entrepreneurial environment, and you are looking for that second, right arm, left brain person, what do you do? Angela to recharge is a great question to ask if they know how to stay high functioning. They know if they're like, Oh, I'm a workhorse that's going to be great for you. But are they going to be able to recharge? You know? Are they a person that reads leadership books? How are they going to invest? There's some beautiful things that have come from my relationship with Leah, where I use now and I give her full credit for it. She's like, wow, that call was very life giving. And when we're giving offers to candidates or have to make the hard calls of I'm sorry, they're not moving forward with you. Even though that's a negative call. It's life giving because they're like, well, thank you for helping me so far along in the process. And that's still being a servant, even though the outcome for the candidate isn't what they desired. So while it's a very long answer, I sure hope that the listeners were able to pull one or multiple things from what I shared.
Oh my gosh, just the interview questions alone. Like, I don't do interviews any more. But how we were able to grow our team, which this was a, a, who still manage our business manager who said, you have to start an internship program and saw the website Yeah. But that came out of me having 12 employees and I was in healthcare and rent ran a business and taught gym now, I don't even know what how I did all this. But wow, I just was like an opportunity presented itself and I'm like, I need to choose like, I'm going to jump ship out of corporate America and the direct deposit every two weeks and the bonuses and try this entrepreneur thing and if it doesn't work, I can always go back to health care. That's right, but and then when I told the people I had a big Christmas party at my house and I was so excited I just built a new house and and basically designed it to do design for all of our events and Crazy shit. And then but the response that I was expecting versus what I got was two different things. And so pretty much every single person sitting there at that party besides my sister, the way they responded to me saying, like, Hey, I'm leaving healthcare, I'm going to do this full time. They took it very negatively, like, are you going to take jobs away from us? Are we not going to work every weekend? Like, what do you mean? And then they all got together. And there were like, separate little teams. And they sent me emails, because they got real bold, and told me that I didn't pay them enough. And keyboard warriors love though, yeah, all these things. And I was crushed. I was like, I pay more hourly than anybody in the city to do an event. You don't sit up all night, you don't plan the shit behind the scenes, you show up with an iPad and run the show, you might be invested 15 hours where I'm invested 150 hours over a year. And I was so angry and so upset, my business managers, like you have to let everyone go, go, you have to they don't respect you. They're not going to grow with you. And I'm like, I can't just let everyone go, I have, we have hundreds of events, I need people to execute. And he's like, You got to start an internship program and those people you're going to teach them. And that's how you can prevent your team. And that's what I did. It was very hurtful, but it's one of the best things I ever did. And unfortunately, like I was, you know, using friends to help me build this company, which I didn't really know, was building a company at the time, right? I'm not friends with any of them anymore. Yeah, it's like those hurtful things have to happen. But now it's like having an intern program, we're able to see the proactiveness and make sure it's a good fit. And probably I would say a good 90% of them. They don't belong in hospitality. They think they want to, because it looks fun on TV, but like then they get in it and they're like this is hard, Peto, rude, like, and they don't know how to respond. And so for us, like preventing people it's like dating, right? So it's like, is this gonna
show true? Yeah, yeah,
it's true questions are so important to be able to ask, like, we do a psychology methodology, which
actually works. I use Myers Briggs.
Yeah, so you, you filled out one of our favorites. And 50% of that is Myers Briggs. Okay, the difference is that with Myers Briggs, that usually is like you in the computer, and it spits out results. And then you read your results, and you interpret the results the way you want to interpret them. Yeah. The one we use is a team approach. So like, everybody goes off and like does the the cluster, and then they come back and it's like, okay, what color are you and like, where are your numbers? And so like, when I looked at yours, which actually it it's shocking, because most iais and bas who are like just on it, they are really high gold, like in the 20s. And you're but your highest your brightest was orange, just by one point. Okay, what that tells me like, if I met you five or six years ago, and I saw this, I would be like, What do you not own your own business? Yeah. You know, it's like most like I'm a hot orange. And so much orange is like, we're entrepreneurs. Like, we always know that there's something else. But it's scary to like, branch off and like start your own thing. But you're golden your orange is so close together. But it's like the really high high goals like they will never start a company. Because it's too risky. Too risky. It's way too risky. And they don't want to they want to sleep well every single night. And they don't mind the repetition and and the tradition of having a job. But it's more nowadays, it's more about like the quality of life. Who are your team members who's leading you like what is that purpose? What is that? Wow. But it's it's funny because I can look at these personality results and kind of know right off the bat, like, Okay, your brains work this way. But you're having to do this because you're making this. But then you also mentioned too, that your husband was an entrepreneur, which when you have a partner involved, it makes makes it a little bit less risky. And if they're an entrepreneur to like they're pushing you and supporting you, because they understand that when you get into, I'm going to run a business, I'm going to start a business mode, like you really flourish, you really love what you're doing. So even before talking with you, like, I could look at that, and I'm like, this is interesting, like, knowing what your business is. And then now it makes sense to me why? It's like, Oh, why hasn't this been up for 15? years? Ryan, but it's like, you have your shit together. And you wanted to make sure you had your shit together? Yeah, before you're gonna go out and do it for other people. Right? Yeah, I mean,
absolutely, yeah. I loved all of that. And I'm intrigued by that extra orange. And it's interesting. Let this be a thought that's backed by the data of the assessment, you do have the chance, and I don't like the word change, you do have the chance to evolve totally. And if I were to describe myself, I am in my assistant, Leah will comment on it. I'm pulling from my my desire of service. And I'm still kind of acting as an executive assistant to my CEO clients. Because I have deliverables. I've actually shared outside information, I am luckily running the show and the timeline and what we're doing. And that is still very executive assistant in nature. But I'm also in the driver's seat. I do sometimes not work with certain clients just based on that initial call. And I have a huge advocacy bone for the individuals on the candidate side, who are my people that I'm working with? of the 95, I've done only two, maybe three, two, I remember that I personally would not have been their assistant and I kind of have that box I want to check off when I'm talking to them initially, would I want to be your assistant would I want you to call me or text me at 6am. And traditionally, I want to say yes to that, to take them on as a client. Because then my liveliness, and passion as the interim publicist, who is verbally marketing the role verbally speaking on your behalf, is really powerful. And that goes into what you mentioned with purpose. For me having a high orange, I've, this is my third business. My first one was the handmade brand that I had mentioned, I was doing it while I was at home. It wasn't clearly the revenue generator that I have today. But it was great. And it kept me in tact with what made me me. And so if you've been a stay at home mom, and you're now moving into entrepreneurialship, if you wake up and do your life, the same as you did as a stay at home, mom, you haven't evolved. And it's key to kind of think about, Yeah, throw on some mascara. And get that dry shampoo out. Today I have in a braid, right, just something a little different to define that change, or as I just said the evolution. But then I'm happy to take risks. I actually wrote this down because on your website. What did you say rules are meant to be broken. I have this really cute meme that I've used on my Instagram page months and months ago it and you may have seen it. It's in black and white. It's five little ballerinas, right? They're all like three, four, and five and six years old. And they're all standing ready to play except the one that's hanging upside down on the bar. And then the caption says Be different. That was me. That was me, man. I was called out, you know, early years of she can't sit still apparently to conferences, you know, she's always chatty. And it's unfortunate because we are still trying to dismiss this years later. And 42, as I mentioned, where I'm like, I should have been viewed as a disrupter and inventor, someone who's intuitive and thinking that doesn't want to follow the rules. So yeah, I can. That's why I believe being an entrepreneur. But then to your point about sleeping, which I laughed. I've said this before anyone can start a business. It is the freedom of what America provides us. Anyone can start a business, it genuinely takes something very unique to prosper. And again, to the very back comment I made you need to identify how you want to label your business as successful and don't only use revenue as a measurement for that. And that will help give you some grace. When you're going through a period that maybe a low where you don't have traction from you know clicks on your Instagram and certain things like that. Give yourself a little bit of grace and define what that looks like knowing it is always in draft form. And never final because you personally are never final I can be found saying to both my boys, I want to grow up and be like you someday, which is obviously hilarious, but just that that innocence of thinking, and the ability to, which is a gift to kids, they don't have a clue of what we have to struggle with. And I just actually made the assignment to my 16 year old that he was going to start managing our mini account. I wanted him to really understand where money went, what it costs. We talked, when we traveled, we went to Cabo. We're like, hey, what do you think this bill was for dinner? What do you think the hotel was? And so on? Which then of course, like Mom, how's that alcoholic drink? How much is that Margarita? I love it. I'm like, It's fine. I work really hard. This work. I play hard.
That's right. That's right. Yeah. So I pivot between to your colors, gold, still being in. I would still say peer, but being the one that's delivering and sharing the information, like an executive assistant for that I'm also, you know, driving driving the partnership. Mm hmm. Which is an honor.
And people can't like you said, people can shift and change, like when I was in health care. And I took this for the first time I was very high gold. Because I had to be that way in my role to be good at it. But I wasn't my happiest as well. I got out of corporate America, I started being more creative and inventive, exactly what you were saying, like I was always in trouble for talking. Or like not doing what the teacher said to do the way the teacher said to do it. Right. And but you know, I didn't know that at the time. And so it's like, that's, it's like, I didn't really figure out who I was until I was about 30. And I'm like, Oh, this is what happiness is. And this is what I can do to be happy. And it's like if you're not happy, like pivot. And then I do want to circle back what you just did a minute ago, and an end on this note about success looks different for everybody. So I'm in a group, the entrepreneur organization, and you have to have a million in revenue in order to do Yeah, catalyst, which when I went through catalyst many years ago, in 2010, you have to have, I think, 100 Now you have to 250 in revenue. And so they they pound this into your head, and you have to have this to get this. And then Gary Vee came and spoke when the pandemic started. And he's like, you know, if you're good with five clients, and you're good with that revenue, and you have a comfortable lifestyle, why try to take on five more just to get more revenue, because more money, more people more problems, and it is a slip in truth.
It is so true. Mm hmm.
And so it's like, I you know, I thought about that, because I've always it's been pounded into my head. You know, in order to do this, I've been in for over a decade, and it's my people, you know, it's my group. And then when the pandemic hit in three days, you lose over a million in revenue, being in hospitality, it's like, you take a step back, and it's like, shit, what am I gonna do now? Mm hmm. What's gonna make me happy? And like, taking everything that we had done over the past 20 years, and then really pivoting to what what do businesses need? Now that still have to do with like you said, giving, giving and helping and supporting and, you know, it took me about two weeks to sit back. I'm like, Alright, this is what we're going to do. But something you did that was really important. As you listened to what people were saying to you, you listen to your audience, the introductions that you started to get. And so that's what I had to do. I had to take a step back and say, what are people asking for? What do they need help with? And that's how we can pivot. We're not quite there with revenue yet. But he Oh, they took a step back. And they're like, Okay, 50, over 50% of our membership just lost 100% of their revenue. Yeah.
You still need to be served by that. Yeah.
Absolutely. And it's like we needed that the most. So they're not going to say, you know, they gave a grace of I think like 24 months like, but the whole point is having the conversation of growth. And growth isn't always exactly what you said in the revenue. It's what value am I bringing to the table for a client? Am I able to live my life comfortably provide for other people and be happy? And that may not look like a million in revenue to some people and that's okay, like there are groups out there. Yeah, and I think that's really important for anybody listening or watching like you have to define what your success is going to look like. Don't compare your today to mine today or your today. Like really think about in for nuances. printers they don't even know what that's if you asked me 15 years ago, what a success look like I'm like, Oh, we did 250 events this year. I'm about dead. Yeah, yeah. Oh, yes. Mm hmm. So it's like, really thinking about that I think is really important.
Yeah. And I like that we're kind of closing out here. As you know, a lot of the things that we've covered, I'm hoping, have just been sparking energy, right. And then, of course, we're always in a state of learning. We're always in the state of evolving and gaining information you'd mentioned one of the neat things about your listeners is some of them have been doing their business for a while. And so I want to actually start with that as my answer. I've looked at other people in the community, the large firms that do recruiting, I prefer the term headhunting. They're still here. Right? They're still around, and there's some other firms that are small. I'd like to think I'm boutique. I'm very specialized in what I do. I don't believe I have competition because I don't do it like the others because I'm me. And that is the biggest thing that's lost on new entrepreneurs. You are special, like I was mentioning with the ballerinas, right. Are you the one hanging upside down? Are you the risk taker? Are you different? What is your one draw that helps other people feel energized. And there's a book that I was given by my bookkeeper. It's called the company of won by Paul Jarvis J. A. I just pulled it up J R V I S. And I'm a company of two because I have an assistant. I could be a company of 12 Someday, but it was extremely powerful to read, because it's on this tone of how do you measure success. One of the quick stories was an individual who had a goal of how much revenue the person needed to make to have that joyful life, right, versus the burnout of 250 events. He was paddleboarding up in Canada, the author and this individual, the individual, because the author was like, hey, you know, what are your goals for third and fourth quarter, he's like, I've made my revenue for the year, I'm on vacation for the rest of the year. And I stopped at that page. I was like, What? What are you talking about? Hello? No. Are you going to write a book then in that time? And I was like, but he knew what he wanted. And so how do I bring that in? And when I was in Cabo, I was, you know, standing there at the ocean, and it was just so phenomenal. I was like, What is all of my hard work for? And so you guys listening? really identify? Is it a phone call a week is it 10 phone calls a year, right? Really creating and manifesting, what you will look back at, that tells you you were successful, and kind of move away from revenue. That way you give yourself more grace, and authority of how you are going to feel mindset is so key. And if we have such a rigid mindset, we're creating a suffocating philosophy, and then we're disappointed and then we're going to get discouraged. And then we're going to kind of hunker down and be a hermit and then we're gonna like forget doing another Instagram real, I'm not in it today. And mindset is key, which is connected to growth. And don't compare yourself to someone who's got yours on you. I mean, just for the sake of war, I'm now in my fifth year, I have progressed forward, I was able to sustain. So being a business in 2020. And I was like, gosh, if the phone rings a couple of times, and I do a few placements, I'm still successful, because to the point of the people who've been doing it a long time, the phone is still ringing for them. That means out there successful. And I hope that you guys think about that revenue is not the only methodology to decide if you're successful or not, especially in those first few years. Get your name out there. Right, make a reputation for yourself and recognize, you know, what is your unique gift because I believe that everyone has something special to offer.
And just because you have revenue does not mean you're profitable.
Isn't that the truth? Right? Like what's in the green? What's in the red, what's your overhead, you know, and then some of those are like God, do I get an assistant yet or not? And it really goes down to where's your energy going? And then also in the book of company of one he mentioned he's got several subcontractors, right? He's not great at marketing. So he brought in someone like Angela, right, he doesn't, you know, have events and he needs to have constant workshops. So he you know, subs that out, contracts that out. So those types of things are key and then some of you might be rolling your eyes have any money to afford that, sit down and evaluate what you're great at, and then capitalize on that for as long as possible. So you can have some cash in the bank to pay for your first subcontractor that's going to help you expand and then expand. I gave away as I mentioned in my first lead straight bookkeeping was by go by someone else gonna do it, because I'm just not gonna be great at it. And she was my appointment before you and I was just like, I can't I'm watching her on the screen. I'm like, I'm so glad you love doing that. Uh huh. Cuz I don't know,
I don't either. Yeah, that's the first thing. Yeah, getting somebody to do the invoices and the numbers. And then but then also getting that person to talk to our business manager, who like, oversees everything. And getting those two together. And then them looking at me and saying, You're working so much, and you're doing all this and you're really not making a profit. Like, we need to go back to figure out a different business model and quit saying yes to everything. And it but it almost took 10 years for me to get there. And so that and now I'm like, Delegate outsource as much as possible. It gives other people opportunities. And when you know, the business model, and you know your numbers, and not aside from just revenue, but you know, your numbers, how much it costs daily to run the company, then that's how we've been able to expand. I didn't do that on my own. It was it was way smarter people. Yeah, who are not creatives are like write data. And this is what you need to do. And the data doesn't lie, even though it's not always fun. It doesn't lie, and it's not sexy. But it works.
It does, it works. And I have to say that if you do have your bookkeeper, be your first one, have that person love bookkeeping, I'm just so she's actually a girlfriend of mine. And she just makes me smarter. And that's how we are serving, you know, our clients. And if they're just excited about plugging in numbers, you may not be giving yourself the right, full return on what it is that your bookkeeper is doing for you. So knowing the revenue, knowing the expenses, knowing your margins and things like that she's made me smarter. I will and I have no desire to be as smart as she is on the topic of accounting. But you know, think about that, if that's maybe your first hire besides, before a VA? Do they love talking about helping you with the finances of your business?
Yeah. And that the bookkeeper could be the person to help you set up your numbers. So if I, when I hear people, they're like, I can't afford that. And I'm like, wait a minute, you got to Starbucks every f&i day, sometimes twice a day. And let's just add those things up. It's like you don't need that. And I mean, that's just the example right top of my head. And it's like, you can't afford not to hire someone to help you. Because you can't grow. You can't do this on your own. So it's just it's so important. I could talk talk your ear off all day long. But this
is so exciting. Yeah, gotta go. Gotta go. Thank you. Where
can people? What's your favorites?
I love everyone connected, everyone can go straight to the website, exceptional admins with an S at the end, calm. And there's just a wealth of information. There's an article section, my podcast, if you want to kind of understand how a great administrative individual thinks there's a lot of episodes for that. I have a couple CEOs too, if you want to hear about how that is. I'm very active on LinkedIn, I'm more soft on Instagram, I rarely use Facebook. So I don't know if I'm actually missing out on opportunity. But my audience is a bit hybrid. And so just really understanding your audience and you know who you want to be talking to, is key. So visit exceptional admins.com. And you'll be able to learn a lot more and receive more from that initial source. Thank you so much. This was wonderful. Yeah. And
we'll put all of the links in the show notes. So if you guys are driving or biking, don't worry. We'll put it all there. And thank you so much for watching or listening today and be sure to tune in next week for another episode of business unveiled. Via that's it for this week's episode of business unveiled. Now that you have all the tools that you need to conquer the world and GSD get shit done. Would you share this with your friends and fellow business leaders? One thing that would really really help us and help new listeners is for you to rate the show and leave a comment and Apple podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you tune in and listen to business unveiled. You can check out the show notes at Angela proffitt.com/ Podcast and link up with us on social media so you can share your biggest insights. And I want to know your aha moments. Until next week, remember the profitable shifts and structures you're creating in your business, help you be more present in your life. So get out there and GSD