For the first few years of owning and operating this business I didn’t have an assistant. I was running a firm centered around the great benefits of having an Executive Assistant, but I had never had an Executive Assistant myself. It wasn’t really a problem, because I knew how to be a great Executive Assistant and I knew how to train others to be great in that role. However, the tailor had no clothes; the cobbler had no shoes.
A few years into the business, we had enough money that we could afford for me to utilize the services of one of our executive assistants. “After all,” I said to myself, “you could have one at wholesale pricing!” In the beginning it felt a little bit like stealing from the company, like I was taking office equipment back to my home to use it for myself.
I started slowly, delegating a little here and a little there. Soon I was hooked.
Now that I was no longer just the receiver of what others were delegating, and I was now the delegator, I got all new perspectives on the world of delegation! I understood the hesitance and the reticence of delegating. Should I? Shouldn’t I? Should I pay for somebody else to do this, or just do it myself? Should I take the time to explain this to my assistant? Will my assistant be able to figure this out? Will she hate doing this?
Over time, I began to delegate more and more, from all different areas of my life, and particularly from the key areas that I most recommended to the Executives we work with:
1. Things that you dislike doing
2. Things that are not in your zone of genius, not one of your superpowers
3. Things that, while they may be fun and enjoyable to do, are not the highest or best use of you
4. Things that you know in reality are going to take more than the 10-minutes you think it’s going to take
Here are some things that I’ve delegated to my EA that fall into those categories.
• Researching and ordering gifts for clients and staff
• Sending cards, emails, or gifts (birthdays, condolences, new baby, anniversary)
• Updates to the website
• Booking an airline ticket
• Going to Amazon to buy those “one or two” things
• Social media posts
• Invoicing clients and running credit cards
• Parts of onboarding a client
• Parts of onboarding a new contractor
• Researching vacation elements (hotel, airline, excursions, rental cars, where will you be able to play pickleball while you are there?)
• Ordering flowers for mom; Easter baskets for grandkids
• Getting off of company mailing lists
I often say to myself, “Don’t go there Gina; delegate it.”
That means don’t go to Amazon to buy one or two things, because before I know it, I’ll be there shopping around for something else that I just thought of, and something else. It’s better to have my EA shop for me, and then send me two or three options of what to choose from. Similarly with shopping for airline tickets. She does the research, then texts me “Gina would you like this option or that option?”. Then I pick and don’t get mired in “shopping around”.
~ Gina Cotner, CEO
Looking for an engaging guest for your next podcast? Gina enjoys being a podcast guest and discussing items such as:
- Effective Delegation
- How to turn over entire segments of your business process to someone else (so that you have more time off!)
- How to have the balance in your life that you want
Click here to learn more about having Athena CEO Gina Cotner on your podcast or inviting her to present at your next virtual meeting, workshop or event.