If you’ve made it to this page, you’ve probably heard me speak about how Cristina – my VA extraordinaire – has changed my life.
And if you’ve done one of my programs you would have spoken to her, emailed her and no doubt been blown away by the level of service you’ve received.
You’ve also probably read The 4-Hour Work Week and thought to yourself how do I get me one of those? You may have even asked my advice in the past on recruiting a VA.
What is a Gun VA, exactly?
"Gun" is an Australian colloquial term to denote somebody who is formidable at a particular activity. A Gun VA is an invaluable partner who supports you in running your practice or business, at a fraction of the cost of hiring locally.
It actually took me a while to get a real Gun VA. And we’ve learnt a lot along the way.
I used to have a office in town that was costing me $50k a year, and a full-time PA that was around $70k. Looked great, but that was all money that I had to pay each month before I got paid. Things are very different now … my office is where-ever I am, and we now have Cristina and two other VA’s in the Philippines as part of the team. And even with three support staff we’re paying a fraction of what I used to pay.
And the beautiful thing is that there is almost nothing that Cristina can’t organise for me remotely (from booking travel, managing my diary, answering my phone, paying my bills, managing my programs … in fact, come to think of it, I’m not even sure if I’m needed anymore!).
Although I must admit Cristina was the third person I tried, and it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. We’ve learnt a lot over the last five years working together, and I’ve made my share of mistakes along the way. This program is about sharing the lessons we’ve learnt, the resources we’ve developed and the mistakes that we’ve made so that you can achieve in 90 days what it took us probably two years to do.
Why hire a Gun VA?
If you’ve done any of my thought leaders programs, you’ll know that I couldn’t possibly answer that question without a value model, so here it is :-)
And apologies that it's only a 2x2 quadrant model (but don’t fret too much, there’s a 3x3 coming up).
There are two main reasons to get some support as you are growing your practice:
- To save you time and free you up to make more money
- To reduce overwhelm and make life easier
There are four options in terms of getting admin support in your practice:
- You could do it, and initially that’s probably what’s happening. This is the most expensive option (when you consider your day rate) and the least effective (worst use of your time is creating invoices, doing data entry etc, etc).
- A local PA is effective, but you're looking at $60k–$80k a year to get anyone decent.
- You can get a regular VA offshore for $6k–$10k a year. Obviously those numbers look a lot better, but if you don’t do it right, you can end up wasting as much of your own time as you save.
- Or you can get yourself a Gun VA, which will cost about $10k–$15k a year. I think a Gun VA offshore can be every bit as effective as a local PA - it certainly has been in my experience. And then when your VA has an assistant of their own, or is managing a virtual team for you, they become exponentially more effective, and still at a fraction of the price. Cool huh?
And why the Philippines?
Apart from the great beaches when you go to visit, three main reasons:
- English. English is the official language (it was an American colony) and you can find people who speak and write perfect English (albeit with an American accent).
- Time difference. Manila is only 2 hours different to the East Coast of Australia (3 with daylight savings) which means you are working at the same time as your VA.
- Culture. It’s a generalisation of course, but Filipinos have a reputation for being diligent, reliable and hardworking, and that’s been our experience.
Who is this program for?
I’ve created this program for Thought Leaders running a solo practice – experts who sell their thoughts.
In our bestselling Sell Your Thoughts book we recommend hiring a part-time business manager at yellow belt ($240k annual revenue) and make them full-time at blue belt ($480k annual revenue). But since writing that book, with the ease of hiring someone offshore and how relatively little that costs, I’ve revised my thinking. Now I suggest that white belts get themselves a full time Gun VA … which will only accelerate the journey to black belt ($720k annual revenue) and beyond.
Having said that, there are a number of my black belt mates also looking at hiring an offshore VA either for themselves, or to support their local business manager.
This program is for Thought Leaders who are ready to take their practice to the next level by hiring a Gun VA offshore, and want to get it right first time.
And while its designed for Thought Leaders, this approach will also work if you’re running a small business, and need support.
Here's what we'll cover
Having a VA extraordinaire is actually as much about you, and your relationship with your VA, as it is about them. There are three major roadblocks that, in my experience, prevent people creating a powerful working relationship with their gun VA:
- Preparation. Lots of people hire a VA without really knowing what they are going to do, and what needs to be in place before recruiting a VA to make it work.
- Recruitment. Most of us aren’t HR experts, and don’t know how to effectively recruit locally, let alone virtually.
- Induction. The final breakdown is how to induct and manage your VA so they become a team member who is as passionate about your business as you are.
Not surprisingly the program covers all three of these over 90 days.
1. The first month of the program is all about preparation – getting your head right, and putting everything else you need to have in place before we think about hiring.
The basis of everything is the actual stuff your VA is going to do. For 30 days you’re going to carry a notebook and record everything that you are doing that your VA could do for you. We’re also going to give you a list of 101 things that Cristina does for me to give you some more ideas. And you’re not allowed to hire anyone until you have 52 tasks you want them to do for you.
There is a bunch of technical stuff you need to have in place in order to be able to communicate effectively with your offshore VA, to be able to manage them remotely, and to have the right stuff in the cloud. We’ll show exactly what we use, and how to implement that yourself.
This document is the foundation for the relationship. We’ll give you a template, show you ours, and help you with the big bits (accountabilities, technical skills, personal skills) and the details (conditions, remuneration, structure).
2. The second month is when we actually get down to recruiting your Gun VA … and things start to get exciting.
If we want to get the best of the best, this is as much about selling your business as it is about saying what you want. We’ll help you create an ad that works, and tell you the most effective place to post it.
How to pick which VA to hire? We’ll take you through the testing process we use, the skills matrix we’ve put together, the interview questions to ask and the evaluation process.
A bunch of things that we’ve discovered over the last two years that you want to put into the contract - how much to pay, how to handle leave, how to transfer money, what the “13th month” is, health insurance, notice period etc, etc. Again, you’ll get a template, and the agreement we use.
3. The final month is about induction, how to bring your gun VA into the team, and manage them ongoingly.
The first week is critical, and we’ll go through exactly what they should be doing for you in week one, and what you need to be doing to support them.
Managing a virtual VA is different to managing someone sitting in the same office as you. We’ll show you what we do and the systems we use so that you get the most out of your VA, and have them feel like a valued part of the team.
Finally we’ll show you how to manage performance reviews and salary review with the aim of having your Gun VA with you for the next ten years.
Here’s how it all works
It starts off with a setup call with Cristina as soon as you register. Cristina will talk you through what to do before we kickoff and answer any questions you have. One of the cool things about this program is that Cristina and I run it together, so you get the perspective of a VA extraordinaire, as well as my two cents worth.
Receive new videos weekly that will walk you through the different phases of finding, hiring and managing your Gun VA. We also provide recordings of live webinars from past programs where Cristina and I share what works in our working relationship, and the mistakes we've made that you'll want to avoid.
Get clear descriptions of the work you need to do in preparation. You will find that these tasks will save you a lot of time instead of going throught it by trial and error. The preparations are designed to enable you and your VA to start work with mutually clear objectives and expectations of the tasks to be done.
Save time with tools suitable for working with offsite VAs. We provide templates, resources and tested tools to get you started in the right direction. Some of these templates seem simple enough that you just fill in the blanks, but these have been developed through time, taken from real life experiences (and errors!). Same thing with tools. You might be thinking, "Oh, this tool and that tool will be fine for me and my VA." There are other tools that do facilitate ease of instruction, feedback and sharing files. Cristina and I have gone through lots of platforms as we worked together, and we found that some tools make life easy for the both of us, while some don't. We are more than happy to share which platforms will also most likely be helpful for you and your VA as you both work in different places.
When you hire your VA there is an invaluable induction information session with Cristina to let them know about working with a Thought Leader. As we wrap up the 90 days, you will get a video for your VA to watch, that will orient your VA on how it is to work for a thought leader (no, you’ll never get on top of everything … as soon as you do, they launch another offering) and working with an Australian (dates are backwards etc., etc., etc.).
There is unlimited email support throughout the 90 days, so anytime you get stuck, shoot through an email, and Cristina or I will sort you out.
And the most exciting part I think is Gun VA Portal. This is the hub where we’ll post our lessons, our videos, and best of all, all the resources. This includes:
- 101 tasks – things that your VA could do for you
- 21 procedures – 21 detailed procedures that you can customise to kick start your procedure manual.
- Weekly videos to watch and exercises to do
- Recordings of the monthly webinars
- The interview process – what to ask, and how to evaluate the answers
- Testing process – tests to use as part of the recruitment process
- Skills matrix – again, part of the recruitment process
- Gun VA job description – the template to use and an example to follow
- Gun VA contract – ditto
- And more – we’ll continue to add new resources as we go.
In short, the most comprehensive program in the world to help you prepare for, recruit and manage your Gun VA.
When does it begin?
The program begins immediately right after you enrol. Get instant access to the video for the week, and the related resources in the portal. If you are having second thoughts because you think everything is not yet in place, it's the best time to enrol because this comprehensive program will answer most of your questions.
What have others said?
If you were going to pay a recruiting agency to hire an EA for you, you’d pay about $20k. I reckon what you get with this program is much better than that. You learn how to do it yourself, you get support along the way, and you get all the resources we’ve developed to ensure a fit between you and your VA. We help you drive the process from inception to completion - which gives you the best chance of recruiting a gun VA - and also leaves you fully prepared to recruit again if that becomes necessary.
The cost of the 90-day program is only $1950 plus GST upfront, or four monthly installments of $550 plus GST, and it represents incredible value. Be sure to register and ensure you've got yourself a gun VA recruited and ready to go, so you can focus on growing your business.
I know, you’re thinking Pete, that’s crazy ... but that’s just the kind of guy I am.
But before you sign up, three things that I want to warn you about:
- Things are going to get harder before they get easier. There is work you are going to have to put in before you have a VA taking work off you.
- You will need to support your VA so they can support you – For this to work, it needs to go both ways.
- Eventually plan on a planning meeting for an hour once a week, and talking to your VA just about every day, and double that in the first few weeks.
Do this before you are ready - the process WILL get you ready. Start today to get closer to getting those 90 days done, so that your Gun VA can start rocking your world.
100% Rock Solid Money Back Guarantee
Any time in the first 30 days of the program, if you think for any reason at all you’ve made a mistake, just let us know and we’ll give you a full refund. And you can even keep the resources you’ve got up to that point.