Does the term Personal Assistant feel fancy-pants and out of reach? Do you think that having a House Manager is overkill to help you work in your line of genius?
If you said yes to either, I’m writing to help you realize not only can you wear department-store or athletic pants to hire assistance, but the investment can be a higher return when it comes to your health, happiness, business, and relationships. I often coach business owners on all things virtual assistant –how to hire, interview, onboard, and delegate. Sometimes that’s a struggle for people to admit they need one or to give up the tasks that they think only they can do. Personal Assistants or House Managers are an even harder sell, but having one can be life-changing.
What’s the difference between a Personal Assistant and House Manager?
Maybe nothing, depending on what they like to be called. I used to call mine a personal assistant until she introduced me to the term house manager and it fits her much better, based on what she does for us. The job descriptions are gray, but here is what you might expect from either.
- Runs errands – dry cleaning, shipping, grocery, etc.
- Light housework
- Light meal prep
- Makes calls or sends emails
- Schedules appointments
- Some pet duties
Attends events where you need someone to manage logistics, i.e., when I’m speaking, I would like someone to set up the tech, make sure I have what I need, tear everything down, take photos, etc. This allows me to engage with the attendees before and after.
- Maintains schedule of when things need to be done, i.e., descaling the coffeemaker, cleaning the fridge, steaming floors, and caulking sinks and tubs.
- Laundry – she folds like the Gap and now I don’t even bother trying.
- Housecleaning – She cleans what needs it since not all rooms need to be tended to every week.
- Tailors clothes – mine notices a hole and takes it home and sews it without me asking (yes, I know, she is fantastic).
- Runs errands
- Some pet duties
- Meal prep – mine chops and preps my produce box that gets delivered on Wednesdays.
- Manages other assistants, i.e., lawn care, housecleaning service (if you have a bigger house you may need a service as well).
- Meal creation
- Is the Doer of Things – mine just sees what needs to be done and does it. She has bought us razer holders for the shower and straws to fit in my tall water bottles.
This is not a joke. Some people really do these things and love it. Mine does this full time and works for a few different people. She takes great pride in how she helps people and how it allows me to be able to spend more time with clients. It took me several months to admit I hired her, but two years later and I can’t imagine my life without her. At first, I had to justify it by saying it gave me more time to work on my business, but now, I don’t feel I need justification. It’s too beneficial in other ways.
I get 4-5 hours more a week to build my business.
She’s better than me at all of the tasks she does.
It’s cheaper than marriage counseling since my husband and I have different standards and timelines for what needs to be done, when, and to what level of perfection.
How do I find these angels, gnomes, or fairies? Do they really exist?
Depending on where you live, it may be as simple as asking Sir Google for Personal Assistant companies in your area. I have had great luck with my clients through Care.com. It’s mostly known as a nanny and babysitting website, but you can also hire PAs and HMs through here. Create a profile and set up your job description based on what you want and need, not what you think fits into a perfect box. Get creative. What do you not like doing, never make time for or aren’t good at? Do you have a housecleaning service but they don’t do laundry? Do you have visions of cooking at night but don’t want to spend the time washing and chopping? Do you despise errand running like I do (my husband does this in our household) and want someone to be on hand to make trips?
Write down your specifics and give them a heads up on how big your house is, how many errands you need per week, if you have pets, if you work from home, etc. They need to know what they are getting themselves into. You will start getting several inquiries, so the more specific, the better. After you have performed interviews, do a reference check from at least 2-3 people and use the upgraded service in Care.com to do the background checks too.
Pick one or two applicants and test them out for 30 days. They can’t read your mind so be patient with them learning how you want things done.
- What can this free you up to do?
- Spend more time generating income.
- Enjoy a night out by yourself or a partner.
- Eat healthier by avoiding the fast food run.
Intrigued? What three things would you delegate right now to a Personal Assistant or House Manager and what’s keeping you from hiring one?