How To Delegate With Authority

Have you ever heard the old expression “Rome wasn’t built in a day”? Well that expression is absolutely true. It’s also true that it wasn’t built by one person either. A team can accomplish much more than any single person ever could. It may be in some of our natures not to want to delegate. The urge to handle everything ourselves may be caused by a desire to control or it may be a trust issue. Letting someone help you can be tough, it can be even tougher when it’s your own company that’s being worked on.

Most people have the goal of expanding their companies into something bigger and more successful. The thing that they need to keep in mind is that no really big company is 100% run by one person. Companies like these are powered by teams of people, not individuals. Having a team in your company can help you too. The bigger a company becomes, the more delegating becomes important. Here are some tips that any team leader should follow.

Make sure your team is composed of specialists. Each member should excel at something. The idea is to make your team good at everything they need to be good at. Think of a sports team. In any sports team, each position is filled with someone who excels at that position, not someone who only understands the basics of the game.

Communication is key! If you have a great team, but there is no communication, all of their skills are wasted. Everyone will be working, but there won’t be any unity. This defeats the entire concept of teamwork. Any team that lacks communication is just a group of individuals and will not work as a team.

A great team requires great leadership. Any team needs a leader who can motivate the group, foresee problems and take corrective actions when needed. A leader can’t just sit back and expect the team to be self regulating.

Best,

Kristi

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InfusionSoft – Think twice before sinking your money in this CRM tool

Champion Assistants Technology TeamI’ve seen a number of clients invest in CRM tools that are far more powerful than their businesses require – and more expensive than they can currently afford – because their business advisers have told them that they should invest in technologies now that will support their future business plans.  These business advisers instill the fear  in their clients that their company won’t be prepared in the future when their prospects and clients outweigh the capability for the company to manage them.  I have never witnessed a case where this was the reality.  In reality, the sudden onslaught of clients never comes, and even if it were to, most CRM systems are built so that all current data can be easily migrated with a learning curve for using the technology.

The biggest example I have seen in unfortunate CRM purchases is InfusionSoft.  I have seen InfusionSoft touted by so-called industry experts and gurus (think Dan Kennedy, Bill Glazer, Ali Brown) who advise info-marketers to invest in this CRM solution now in preparation for future business.  InfusionSoft has a number of drawbacks like not being able to paste text in various modules and difficulties pasting links to name a couple quick irritants.  The biggest thing about InfusionSoft is that it is NOT for info-marketers.  InfusionSoft is for businesses with actual sales teams.  To use InfusionSoft effectively the business needs to be sales-oriented, equipped with a multi-person sales force, have a database with hundreds of thousands of contacts AND have the budget to effectively implement this technology.  The time to migrate data, implement the tool and train a salesforce how to use it – and continue to update it – is extremely time intensive.  This is not the responsibility of a business owner either.  This is the responsiblity of an IT Leader.  While Champion Assistants provides the service of IT Team Lead, we are very careful to only work with clients who have a business that is both financially and mentally prepared for a company-wide CRM rollout.

Sadly, I have seen a number of solo-preneurs buy InfusionSoft on the recommendation of their marketing or sales advisor and start implementing the software only to find that it’s extremely cumbersome to use and their business only requires a fraction of the power of the tool.  InfusionSoft is not for contact management.  It is in fact a full-scale CRM tool.  Also, I have seen that the people referring this software get a handsome referral bonus, and I know there are ulterior motives at play as well.  For instance the Dan Kennedy – Bill Glazer Inner Circle has made huge amounts of money through their referrals to InfusionSoft.  They make so much money they actually hold presentations on buying InfusionSoft at their SuperConference and InfoSummit conferences!  It’s great business for them, but not necessarily the right decision for all of those people trying to follow the Dan Kennedy – Bill Glazer methods.

I advise against purchasing any technologies that require your business to grow into.  It’s difficult to predict if the tool will be outdated by the time you need it or if there would have been a better solution based on what your business actually needs at the time. Save yourself time and aggravation and focus on strategic growth instead.

Best,

Heather

Heather Nelson featured in Seattle Times Career Section

Heather Nelson featured in Seattle Times

Heather Nelson featured in Seattle Times

I think everyone remembers their first job – whether it was the low pay, long hours or seemingly menial work.  From humble beginnings we emerge!  My first job was at Nordstrom as a cashier hired to work the busy seasonal sales and holidays.  It was quite a lot to take on, and I learned and adapted as quickly as I could.  I suppose we never know in the beginning where our lives and careers will lead us, and it’s always interesting to take a mental look back at the path we’ve followed.

The Seattle Times actually featured my story in their My First Job Career Section column.  Over the years I’ve transition from cashier to sales and marketing staff to project management at some the world’s largest IT companies.  Today, I’m a happy business owner and virtual assistant.  It’s great to remember those days and think about how far I’ve come along the journey!

Please share your experiences with me, too!  I’d like to know what you went through in your first job!

Best,

Heather

Dan Kennedy’s Gold+ Mastermind Group

I’ve been a member of Dan Kennedy’s Gold+ mastermind group for about 2 months now and definitely see why he is the guru for so many of the leading info-marketers. Dan Kennedy has a very straight-forward (what he terms “No BS”) style and is definitely putting himself out there! I joined the Gold+ group which has hefty monthly dues ($297 a month!) in order to gain insight into his strategy and be able to use this to help my clients. I’m also a Silver member of Ali Brown’s mastermind group, which I have definitely receive a lot of benefit from. Ali’s approach is a lot softer, and I love her online member’s only forum. Members discuss everything from article submission to teleseminars to creating info products, and it’s a super-supportive environment. It’s so exciting being part of these groups and gaining insight into strategies that really make products sell. If I didn’t know personally of some of these people making $100K a month I would never have believed it! Both Dan Kennedy and Ali Brown offer trial memberships at a nominal fee so they’re worth checking out if you do any kind of online sales.

Kind regards,

Heather

Teleseminar Targeted to Those of You Who Are Considering a VA

This Thursday I’m holding a teleseminar with Meggin McIntosh PhD, the Productivity Professor, and we’re discussing:
“Do *Only* What Only *You* Can Do: Working with Virtual Assistants”

Here’s the scoop:

**You’re busy.
**You’re super busy.
**You sometimes think, ‘I can’t believe I am doing this ______ (task, activity, errand, chore, project).’
**You’ve been heard to say, “If only I had someone to help me.”

Actually, this *is* an option…You can hire someone to help you, and in particular, you can hire a virtual assistant.

In this teleseminar, here’s what you will learn:

**How to decide to use a VA,
**Ways to access virtual assistants
**Best ideas for using a VA,
**Considerations when choosing one (or more) virtual assistants.

Join me in this free teleseminar “Do *Only* What Only *You* Can Do” on Thursday, March 13 from 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. (Pacific). To sign up: http://tinyurl.com/2kjhgh.
If you miss it, I will be posting the audio to my website at www.championassistants.com.

Are you OVERwhelmed?

Meggin McIntosh Ph.D, the Productivity Professor, has a great business focussed just on getting people whelmed.  Check out her website at www.justwhelmed.com.  It’s a fabulous (and obvious!) concept – we need to be whelmed, not overwhelmed or underwhelmed.  She offers great resources for achieving the right balance.  I don’t think I’m the only one who can’t shut my brain down at night to get a good night’s sleep, and this is just one of the issues she addresses.

She explains how to get in the zone and feel energized and jazzed by what you are doing.  In order to lead a balanced life she recommends delegating and remembering to stay focussed on what’s really important.  One of the neat phrases I heard her say was, “If you can’t say no, at least think twice before saying yes”.  Another helpful tip I got from her to help me turn off my work brain at the end of the day is to set up an End of Day process (routine/ritual).  It’s just too easy for me to carry work through my personal life, so an End of Day routine is very helpful for me.

If you’re over- or under-whelmed, make sure to check out her site and seminars!

Kind regards,

Heather

www.championassistants.com 

Recycling Electronics for Free or Even Make Money!

I have an extra laptop in my office that I turned on once in the past year. My main laptop runs Microsoft Vista and my older one runs XP, and I’ve just hung on to it for that just-in-case situation when I will need to run something on XP. Obviously, with just one use in a year, I really don’t need it. Recently, I started looking into recycling options and found a recycling program at Costco. The recycling is free and they may even pay you for the item depending on what it is and its condition. They send you a UPS slip to print out and you simply send it in. So quick and simple even I have the time for it! If you have a laptop, camera or game system sitting around gathering dust and need an easy way to recycle, check this out:

Costco.com
Trade-In & Recycle Program
For PCs, LCD Monitors, Digital Cameras, Camcorders, Game Systems & MP3 Players

Kind regards,

Heather

www.championassistants.com