Personal Branding

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Replace Yourself Like a Ninja: How I’ve Disappeared from Another Business!


Replace yourself, Chris!!! What? Again?! Fair comment, but, over the last six weeks I have seen an incredible boost to the sales numbers over at Virtual Staff Finder. Since we launched the service back in September this year, we’ve done good, steady business – but, since the beginning of the year we’ve experienced roughly a 30% increase in sign-up’s.

This has done two things. One – made me happy, obviously, as we’ve been able to help tons of great entrepreneurs find solid virtual employees. And, two – made me VERY busy. Let me explain why…

Virtual Staff Finder helps business owners and entrepreneurs, both online and off, to find good quality, reliable virtual staff. Simple enough for us to do – we’re here in the Philippines, I own and operate an outsourcing company and have years of experience in the field, I have great support staff and a clear marketing vision locally – so we attract GREAT home-based VA’s that want to be involved in what we’re doing and get work with awesome overseas employers, that have ‘Replace yourself, Mike!’ written all over their thought process!

However, part of the process of the VSF service includes a 30min consultation with yours truly. Do you see where I’m going with this now..? You got it – the busier we get, the more people that sign-up to utilize the service, the more consultation calls I have to do.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I absolutely LOVE doing these calls. It allows me to connect with great entrepreneurs and likeminded people, and I’ve actually become good buddies with a few of the VSF clients. But, and for me as a Virtual CEO, its a BIG but… It’s taking massive chunks of my time away from me. My entrepreneurial clock was being slowed done because of the step – regardless of how much I was enjoying interacting with the clients.

So, last week the decision was made to fundamentally take me out of the process. In fact it was my VSF project manager that actually came right out and said, “Boss, you need to replace yourself to be able to focus on other things, too”. She’s awesome! Thinking about it, if I didn’t, I wasn’t going to be able to continue to grow my core business, the Live2Sell Group, as well as the Virtual Staff Finder service – plus, launch all the other projects I am working on for this year, such as the first ever VBL Product – more news on this next week!

The Problem

With this decision, however, came a problem. I had noticed that on pretty much all of these calls I was coaching and helping the clients through vital decision making steps in working with VA’s. How to train them. How to pay them. How MUCH to pay their VA. How to keep them motivated, and so on.

Surely the success of the people that signed-up for the service, in regards to working with the VA’s, must have something to do with all those tips, tools and tactics I was giving them on the call. But, if the call wasn’t part of the VSF equation any more, how would I be able to help the clients?

The Solution

After much deliberation, and several trips to Starbucks, myself and a select few staff at the Live2Sell Group decided that I was going to shoot a series of exclusive videos that would help coach the clients through the entire process, just as if they were on the phone with me. The content of the videos would be pretty much identical to the calls I had been making for the last almost-six-months, but, it was a one-time deal. Once they were shot, edited and uploaded, I would never have to do it again. “Talk about literally, replace yourself!”, I thought to myself… The tick-tock of my entrepreneurial clock was sounding again!

So, Monday last week, I worked on Powerpoint presentations – just simple white screen, black typeface, to be able to follow when I was filming, so that the information was concise and to the point and so I wouldn’t just waffle on… Then, the next day, we shot the videos in one sitting, back to back – surprisingly fast, with no do-overs, thanks to the Powerpoint slides. Then, on Wednesday, they were edited and finalized.

At the beginning of this week we made several very fine adjustments to the VSF Website, that changed certain wording in regards to the consultation call, and everything is now set. For me – this service now becomes a brand new 100% passive income product. As my good friend, Pat Flynn would say “Awesome..!” (in only the way that Pat could say it..!!). Well… Almost.

What Do You Mean ‘Almost’…?!!

As some of you may know, I also offer consultation services on this website – in case you’ve never checked out that section, you can do so for information on personal branding coaching, VA support services and general entrepreneurial brainstorming, amongst other things. So, I still DO a certain amount of consulting – why? Because I enjoy it, plain and simple.

So, what I decided to do, right at the last moment, was to include the ability for people to still have that VSF consultation call with me, however, for a slightly increased price point. Instead of the $350 usual fee, we’re pricing it up at $500.

Ultimately, I don’t expect a lot of people to sign-up using this option. At the end of the day they are using the service to find a qualified, experienced virtual assistant, not to talk to me. However, giving them the opportunity to do so, I believe shows that although I am not part of the ‘normal’ process any more, it doesn’t mean that I don’t care about my clients. And they ARE my clients. It’s my company, after all.

So, that is the tale of how I went about the mission to replace myself from a day-to-day business model, for the second time in 3 months! 🙂 – Getting good at it, aren’t I..?!!

Why I Wrote This Post

Simple. I wanted to illustrate that although sometimes you start a business in one way, it doesn’t mean that the business has to remain that way. Stagnant. Unmovable. Unchangeable. Especially when the success of that business stops you from doing other things that you want to!

This type of move is commonly called an ‘entrepreneurial pivot’. Much like the pivot in basketball, where you plant one of your feet in one particular position, and although you cant then move that foot (its superglued to the floor!), you can still rotate and reposition it to give you more options of a pass, or shot. The entrepreneurial pivot is a powerful weapon, and one that I have used countless times to great success.  And, I’m also planning one for this blog to happen soon, too!

What Says The Crowd…?!

I’m curious to know what you guys think of this plan, and whether you think it will affect the service in general and – ultimately, its sales. Personally, I think I’ve covered pretty much all the bases in those videos and my support staff on the service are all AWESOME, and take great care of all our clients.

The concept to replace yourself as a business owner might not always be your first choice. However, like I said… Hearing from you guys (as you’re such a smart bunch!), would be great… So, please let me know what you think.

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