“I worked for the Chairman, President, and CEO of a Fortune 500 company. The level of small details he expected me to manage was extremely high, such as making sure his water pitcher had the handle turned to the left (he was left handed), and making sure all the coasters on the board room table had the logo facing the same direction. At first, I found it excessive, but over time I realized that his detail-oriented style is what propelled him to his position, and being able to meet the needs of such a stickler for details for those years trained me well to be the detail-oriented EA I am today. But I must admit I enjoy being virtual — which means I don’t have to serve coffee or fill water pitchers anymore!” — Kelly C.
“I’ve worked in a church, a tech company and for recruiting firms. I’ve kind of always been a Jane-of-all-trades, which has given me great experience to make me successful here. I’ve been fortunate enough to have had two positions that allowed for work remotely, so that’s been a tremendous help as well.” — Beth B., Texas
“Marketing, public relations and bookkeeping… seems those skills are always in demand!” — Jennifer W., Oregon
“I worked for a Fortune 500 company in several areas of sales: training, marketing, operations, project management and event planning. The demands of a high-paced corporate environment prepared me well in being able to strategically identify areas I can assist my EA clients in quickly and efficiently. I’ve also worked for a church, non-profit organizations and several authors. These roles taught me the importance of using my natural gifts to serve others with kindness, grace and respect and required me to stay up to date with the latest social media /Web trends and tools. I love that I can have the best of both worlds and constantly learn new skills by working with eaHELP!” — Lindsey H., Tennessee
“I’ve been administrative support to teams of five as well as a single person. I think the biggest benefit from my ‘previous life’ was learning to work with many personality types and work styles. That, combined with my psychology degree, helps me to see ways to uniquely help each of my clients in a wide range of work situations.” — Samantha D., Virginia
“Since I do some blogging and social media for my clients, all that time I spent on the Internet has actually come in handy!” — Katie E., Kentucky
We love hearing from happy clients and sharing their praise with you, but never before have we had a client send us a testimonial before they were even matched with an EA! Here’s a video from Mike Weinberg, the New Sales Coach, with why he wants to have a virtual EA, how he chose eaHELP, and his thoughts on our sales and pricing. High praise coming from a sales coach!
“I have been working on editing some bios of Jordanian women recently. While editing isn’t my favorite, I have loved the opportunity to learn more about these amazing women’s lives.” — Katie E., Kentucky
“I recently developed a protocol of Honor and Celebration for the church I work for. The lead pastor wanted to create a way to celebrate those special moments (birthdays, work anniversaries, wedding anniversaries) in the lives of the staff, board and their families that created an appearance of ‘high touch’ and was very personal, but could be administered virtually by me. Many hours of thought, research and collaboration went into this project, but I think we came up with a really amazing system that makes his team and their families feel appreciated and loved in a very personalized way. The great thing is that my client doesn’t have to administer any of it beyond small tweaking of personalized messages that I write for each person being celebrated. Gotta love technology mixed with that personal touch!” — Teri M., Nevada
“I don’t have a specific project, but I do enjoy any project where I get to creatively design systems to solve problems or bring order. I enjoy making things neat, be it Evernote, email, or recurring situations.” — Samantha D., Virginia
In today’s society, where we get breaking news and opinions in 140-character chunks, it’s easy to think that the rules we learned about grammar, usage and writing styles have flown out the window. But, if you’ll excuse the metaphor, correct grammar and usage are like deodorant – you don’t notice it when it’s there, but you definitely notice when it’s missing.
You especially notice it when you’re reading communications from a business or professional entity. Nothing will damage your credibility in the new information economy like communication that comes across as unprofessional or undisciplined.
So what can you do to bring your blogging, letters and press releases up to the mark?
Get a voice. The great thing about blogging and writing online is that it allows communicators to establish their unique writing “voice” and build a following faster than ever before. Once you find that voice, that unique writing style that defines you and/or your organization – stick with it. Make sure your communications all speak with that same voice. If you’re a consulting firm for the financial industry, your blog posts and emails will sound very different from an ad agency specializing in Facebook marketing to tweenagers. Don’t confuse your readers – or your employees – by mixing up those voices.
Get some style. Find or create a style guide for your organization, a document that lets everyone know how you handle things like capitalization, your product or service names, trademarks, etc. Lots of communications organizations follow the Associated Press Stylebook, or the Chicago Manual of Style, or another accepted style guide. The goal of a style guide is to make sure that all your communications are consistent and enhance your professional image – if a product name is capitalized with the trademark symbol in one brochure, it needs to appear that way in every publication or post.
Get some (internal) readers. When you’re writing content for your organization, you’ve immediately disqualified yourself as an editor of that content. You wrote it, so your brain automatically fills in what you meant to say and you don’t notice missing words or incomplete thoughts. Find some folks in your organization who are good at minding the details, arm them with a copy of your chosen style guide, and have them editing your content before it ever goes public.
What do you think? How are you making sure your communications stay true to your desired brand and image?
“My biggest problem has always been ‘leaving work at the office.’ It’s hard to shut off and say I am done. While there are benefits to being able to answer emails anytime of day… sometimes I have a hard time saying ‘no, that can wait until tomorrow.’” — Eileen K., North Carolina
“Compartmentalizing household chores from work. I literally have to schedule time for chores in each workday (cleaning, laundry, dishes, etc.) so that I don’t get distracted by the 18 loads of laundry unfolded behind me on the couch while I am trying to work at my desk. As long as I have it built into my schedule, the easier it is to focus. Also, IT issues… if something breaks or doesn’t work with my computer or Internet it can be quite a challenge trying to work around it. Luckily the stresses of both of those are lessened by flexible, understanding clients AND an encouraging and helpful husband!” — Lindsey H., Tennessee
“I think my biggest challenge will be summer. I started with eaHelp in September, so I’ve done the majority of my work while the kids are at school. Helping them understand and respect the fact that I am working, even though I am home with them, this summer should prove to be my biggest challenge.” — Kelly C., Virginia
“Summer time when the kids are home. ‘If you leave me alone until 2:00, I PROMISE I’ll take you swimming.’” — Vikki H., Illinois
“Balancing my time and attention between work and my 10 month old. He’s still too young for bribery. It took awhile to work out a balance/routine that allows me to get things done while being his mom. Being a work-at-home mom has really brought out my creativity.” – Samantha D.
I have only been in this role for a few months now, but being the Executive Assistant for the CEO and Co-Founder of eaHELP is fast-paced, rewarding and some days even challenging. That being said, I thought it might be fun to share some insights on what it’s really like to be the Executive Assistant for Bryan Miles, the boss of virtual executive assistants across the country … the good, the bad and the ugly.
- I have learned a great deal from Bryan on time management just by managing his calendar. He is very meticulous about his calendar and because of that he accomplishes more in a day than most people could even dream of. EVERYTHING goes on his calendar and he actually does what is on there … whether it is a scheduled call, writing a blog post or taking time out for his kids.
- Bryan is ALWAYS GRATEFUL. Always.
- He is a great leader and he keeps true to who he is, what he believes and what he stands for at all times, no matter what the situation.
- He protects time. His time, my time and everyone else’s that works with/for him.
- He is a great communicator and story-teller.
- No matter what I do (good or bad) I know he will always have my back.
- As much as he lives and breathes this business, he always prioritizes being a great dad and husband.
- He knows how to laugh and have a good time.
- He is in the day-to-day of the business and he makes special efforts to be attentive and interact with all of the people who work for him.
- Bryan makes me tell him jokes. We could be in total company-wide crisis mode, or I might be in the middle of pulling together the last-minute details of our corporate meeting, or my 15-month old may be having the meltdown of the century … but Bryan will call me and ask for a joke. This is usually followed by me asking “… Excuse me?” and then he waits patiently until I can come up with something. The good news? He always laughs. I now keep a drafted email with jokes I learn, so I can use it as a quick reference and move on with the more important things.
- He knows exactly what he wants and how he likes things. This is a great thing, but from that I have learned that it is my responsibility to ask as many questions as I need to in order to make sure I completely understand his vision to successfully fulfill his requests.
- We all mess up… and we all hate to mess up. Working for the CEO of the company comes with a lot of pressure. He has high standards and expects me to work my hardest/give my best, but he is patient and gracious and helps me work through problems that arise. I now feel totally comfortable coming to him with my problems (as long as I have also thought through a solution). It’s always resolved one way or another and we come out a stronger team because of it.
- Sometimes Bryan schedules things on his own…which is okay, but he hired an EA for a reason! These appointments typically work out fine, but there have been times when he realizes he’s overbooked and I have to do his dirty work to cancel/reschedule.
- Last but not least, anyone that Bryan doesn’t want to talk to for any given reason, he passes right along to me. This makes for some very awkward, yet necessary conversations. However, to his credit, he has told me that anyone I don’t want to talk to he will gladly have a conversation with … as long as he didn’t give them to me first.
Hopefully this insight has been interesting and even helpful to you, whether you are a client or an EA. As you can see, the good definitely outweighs the bad and the ugly! I feel honored to be in this role and privileged to work alongside the leadership of Bryan.
“Being able to attend every single field trip and class party guilt-free!” — Kelly C., Virginia
“My favorite thing by far is the fact that my kids are no longer getting my leftover time and energy. I am able to still work part time and be a mother to my kids and pour into them, which is my main priority. Previously, I was coming home from a full day of work, drained and stressed from traffic and then going through the motions of getting dinner ready, baths, etc. But now, I laugh and can genuinely enjoy spending time with my girls. Quality time!” — Lauren M., Florida
“This allows me the flexibility to volunteer in my daughter’s classroom. Also my husband and I don’t need to decide who has the schedule to allow them to stay home if one of the girls are sick.” — Diane M., Pennsylvania
“My favorite thing about working from home is working from anywhere. Easy enough on wireless or 4G. I’ve even logged into a dial-up dinosaur in a third world country in an opposite timezone to meet a virtual deadline.” — Lee M.
“My favorite thing is the money I save. I usually can go on one tank of gas a month and I rarely eat out for lunch since I’m eating at home. I don’t have to invest in a ‘work wardrobe’ and that saves a ton! I also can do some basic things like laundry, cleaning, etc., in between things during the week since I’m home and that way my weekends aren’t filled with chores!” — Anne B., North Carolina
“I really enjoy working from home with eaHELP! They have provided a way for me to use my gifts and contribute to our income, while still being able to be available for my family. I finally feel like I have balance to my life. And as a bonus, if my husband continues to move with his company, I can fully support him moving without having to sacrifice another job I love. This position can move with me, and not leave me searching for a place to serve again. :)” — Melissa W., Ohio
Recently one of our happy clients, Danny Rohrdanz Founder & CEO of Yellow Leaf Marketing, wrote a wonderful blog touting eaHELP’s services and gave a behind the scene look at why he loves being our client. I think his story speaks volumes to the passion eaHELP has for serving our clients and serving them well.
Below is a snippet of his post:
1. eaHELP operates with the leader’s success in mind
I went through an in-depth matching process to in order to be placed with just the right executive assistant. They didn’t just pull from the next available person. It’s refreshing to work with a “smart” company - not just a company who tries to get things done quickly, but one that takes time and puts a plan in place that will wow their clients.
2. eaHELP hires very well
Bryan and Shannon at eaHELP take their hiring process very seriously and make sure that they are hiring competent, quick-learning, others-centered, hard-working folks who love details and thrive on getting the job done the right way.
3. eaHELP gets it…period
Bryan Miles, eaHELP’s CEO and Co-Founder, understands that in order to grow, you must serve. In order to succeed, you must submit. In order to lead, you must follow. All of these traits are reflected in every person from eaHELP. eaHELP is the type of like-minded company that I am proud to hitch my Yellow Leaf Marketing wagon to.
If you are on the fence about a decision like this, I’m here to tell you, look no further than eaHELP.
Thanks Danny for your words of praise!
Knowing that we are truly helping to make our clients’ lives and business better is what drives us. A client’s testimony like this is the WHY behind what we do.
Christy Mettler, Marketing Manager of eaHELP
“Working from Starbucks.” — Kimberly B., Virginia
“No more frantic discussions with my husband over who can afford to miss work when a child is sick. Early dismissals or snow days don’t throw us for a loop. I can attend special events at my kids’ schools. I can keep up on tasks at home which frees me up for other things like exercising, volunteering on school band trips, etc. Working at home allows me a flexible schedule so I can go back to school.” — Vikki H., Illinois
“Other than working in my PJs until I feel like actually getting ready for the day, (which some days, doesn’t happen at all) I would have to say that I enjoy the flexibility it gives me to be there for my children. I can help with homework or attend a school function without guilt that I’m missing work.” — Trivinia B.
“I can contribute to our family income and still do class parties, Bible studies and occasionally work in my PJs!”
– Beth B., Texas
“Oh, so many things! It leaves more room for a better work/life balance for everyone involved! By eliminating commutes and in-office time wasters, working from home keeps things incredibly efficient. For example, I can finish my work day, and walk straight to the kitchen to start dinner therefore giving me more personal time with my family. I used to have to drive a minimum of an hour in rush hour traffic before I was anywhere near home. I don’t have people walking in and out of my office with questions all day, allowing me to stay focused on the priorities, therefore giving me more actual work time. Sick days and other emergencies like home repair appointments are pretty much eliminated because you can simultaneously handle those things and still be ‘in’ the office. Then, there’s everyone’s truly favorite part if we’re all honest: We can put on a suit jacket and make up for a Skype meeting when we need to, but still have yoga pants on! And yoga pants — well, they make the world a better place, my friends.” — Suzie B., Florida