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Wondering how to become a Virtual Assistant and start a work-at-home business? Or, do you feel ready to outsource and earn more revenue in your business, but aren’t sure where to start? Today we’re talking all angles of what it means to hire or become a Virtual Assistant.
There’s never been a better time to become a Virtual Assistant (VA), with more businesses than before ever working virtually. Especially if you’re a mom who wants to work from home, it’s really a perfect fit since you can bring in an income while working flexible hours AND doing something you enjoy!
Or, maybe you have a small business and are feeling overwhelmed with all the things you need to do to keep it going. You’ve been thinking about hiring but wondering if it’s the right time to outsource. (Hint: I believe outsourcing is one of the best way to grow your business!).
Enter: the world of Virtual Assistants.
A VA is also sometimes called a freelancer. It just means you operate as an independent contractor to help small or online businesses grow.
You might have a specialized skill set like graphic design, social media marketing, or copywriting, or you might offer virtual admin support.
As a freelancer you set your own rates, run your own business, set your hours, etc. You are in full control of the work you do- down to who you work with plus where and when you work!
If you’re looking to hire support for your business, starting with a VA is perfect. You can set how many hours you want and what projects you want support in, empowering you to take the process as fast or as slow as you want.
In today’s episode, we discuss everything you want to know about either hiring a VA or learning how to become a VA yourself!
My guest today, Micala Quinn, is a wife, mom, online course creator, podcaster, and work at home enthusiast. Her mission is to revolutionize what it means to be a working mother. Micala’s online course is designed to launch working moms into the freelance world prepared, confident, and ready to make their mark.
To date, more than 1,000 moms across the country and world have enrolled in Overwhelmed to Overbooked. In late 2018, Micala launched the Live Free podcast to spread her freelancing method and mission throughout the world. With more than 200 5-star reviews, the podcast has surpassed 100,000 downloads.
When Micala does jump off her Working-At-Home-Mom soapbox, you can catch her walking to the park with her kiddos, making cookies, or watching a rerun of Friends for the millionth time with her cute husband, Colin.
Thanks so much for joining me this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!
If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of the post.
Also, please leave an honest review for The Success with Soul Podcast on Apple Podcasts so we can improve and better serve you in the future. Plus, you could be featured on a future episode during our listener spotlights. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and I read each and every one of them.
And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts to get automatic updates. My goal for this podcast is to inspire those who seek flexibility and freedom in their lives by making something happen with holistic, soulful, step-by-step strategies from me and other experts.
Kate Kordsmeier 0:00
Welcome back to the Success with Soul podcast. It's Episode 20 and I'm your host Kate Kordsmeier. Today I brought on my friend Micala Quinn. She is a wife a mom an online course creator podcaster and work at home enthusiast. So I love Michaela is approach to helping women become work at home moms. She has a online course that's designed to help launch working moms into the freelance virtual assistant world prepared and confident, ready to make their mark she's helped over 1000 moms across the country and world with her program that's called overwhelmed to overbooked and she also is the host of the live free podcast spreading her freelance mission and method throughout the world. And in today's episode, Michaela and I are talking all about this work at home mom life not only what your child care options are and how to balance it all. But also we're digging into Micala is really inspiring story about how being vulnerable is actually what led to her dream job admitting when things sucked when she was a burned out working mom. And then we're getting into hiring. So who should your first hire be as an entrepreneur? And how do you know when you're ready? Plus, Micala has got some really good ideas about how to get creative and barter when you don't yet have the cash to hire. So whether you're interested in growing your team and making your first hire, or you're a mother who is looking for a flexible work from home job, that's legit. Not an MLM, not anything sketchy, not being a call center where you can make upwards of $25 an hour and way beyond that. This episode is for you. Let's do it. You're listening to the Success with Soul podcast with Kate Kordsmeier x journalist turned CEO of a multi six figure blog in online business. But it wasn't that long ago that Kate was a struggling entrepreneur who lacked confidence, clarity, and let's be honest money. But all those failures, experiments and lessons learned helped Kate create a thriving business that impacts thousands and brings freedom, flexibility and fulfillment to her life. If you're ready to do the same and make something happen with holistic, soulful, step by step strategies from Kate and other experts, you're in the right place. here's your host, writer, educator, Mom, recovering perfectionist, bookworm and sushi connoisseur, Kate Kordsmeier. Hey, mckaela thanks for joining us today.
Micala Quinn 2:51
Hi, Kate, thank you so much for having me.
Kate Kordsmeier 2:54
Yes, this is fun because I was on your podcast a few months ago and now we're flipping it. You're on mine. I love
so fun. So let's get started just kind of with the cliche question of like, tell us your story. I know you've built this whole business on going from like, working mom burnout and overwhelmed to now having your own super profitable and beautiful business of your own. Tell us your story.
Micala Quinn 3:22
Yeah. So, gosh, I'm one of those people that knew exactly what they wanted to be when they grow up. When they were a little kid. My mom was a teacher. And I would take all of her old school supplies and had my own school in our basement and I just like, that was what I wanted to do forever. And every job I had was preparing me to become a classroom teacher I babysat I nannied, I worked in a gym daycare. I worked at the Boys and Girls Club I substitute taught and then finally, after I graduated, I had my dream job at the high school. I wanted to work at it. was great that first year like, fresh out of college, not married, not a mom. I had unlimited time to devote to planning the best lessons and like teaching myself everything I needed to teach my students because I mean, that's a huge fact of education. You go to college, and they teach you theory, but no one knows what you're going to end up actually teaching. So it's like, you have to prepare and teach yourself before you have actual students. And so I spent, gosh, that summer before that first school year started, I was at school every day from like nine to three, not even getting paid yet just planning and preparing. Like I was so happy. I loved everything that I was doing. Yeah. And that first year was hard, but it was it was good. Like I really loved teaching and I thrived. But I was also living at home. I was engaged, not yet married and my husband was working Unlike another city over it's like 45 minutes, so we didn't see each other every day. So I have nothing to do. I was living at home like I had unlimited time to just plan lessons grade. And that's it. It was because I was so excited. And then my second year teaching, we got married. It was still a great year. But halfway in to that school year, I found out I was pregnant, super excited, like my husband and I got married in September. We wanted kids right away, and it happened. And then that's kind of as I got pregnant and my belly got bigger. And it started to be the questions of like, what are you going to do for daycare and looking into daycare? I think all moms can just relate to that. That anxiety like that brings on like, Oh my gosh, someone else is going to be watching my child. Who are they? How am I going to trust them? And I really, really, really wanted to put her name This fancy Montessori program near us, the hidden cameras and each crib and all over the costume. So I could log in from my desk and like, no, she's that taken care of and know she's safe and loved and everything is fine. But that daycare, gosh, back then was like, one was 1500 a month and the other was like 1765 a month. That was more than three fourths of what I made a month or Yeah, that was more than three fourths of what I made a month as a Catholic school high school English teacher. So that was absolutely out of the question. And I tried, you know, getting my mom was a teacher. And we actually taught at the same school I tried getting her to quit to watch my daughter and my dad wouldn't let her because my brothers go to this school and she gets free tuition and she's like, Oh, so we found an in home daycare lady and she was fine, but it was like, I don't know if it was her or if it was me, or if I would have been you know, grouchy no matter who was watching my child, and it wasn't me, but it was just hard dropping her off at daycare. And that's when I had her June after my second year teaching and I got to kind of stay home a little bit of my third year teaching. And going back just wasn't the same. Like, every day I dropped her off. I was just angry and mad and I wanted to stay home. I was sick of all the rushing and like leaving the house when it's dark, dropping her off to someone else, and then working all day, coming home. And you know, trying to squeeze in a little bit of play time before she had to go to bed because little babies go to bed so stinking early. Mmm hmm. And then I had more work to do. And I was just exhausted. And I was like this whole be a teacher work, you know, 60 hours a week and make pennies. No longer is working for me like, Yeah, I just, it wasn't sustainable for me. And it That was really really hard on one hand, because I'm like, this is what you want it. This was everything you've ever wanted. And here you have it. And now you're not satisfied, like What's wrong with you?
All this like internal, just so many feelings and added on the feelings of like wanting to stay home wanting to quit and my husband being like, no. Let's look at the budget mckaela and be smart here. Mm hmm. That third year teaching after I had been back for a couple months, very unhappy. I realized I just had to, I had to find something different. I had to figure this out. solve this problem of how I was going to make an income from home and have more time with my kids and be the one that's with them. Mm hmm. Or change my attitude because however I was living was not good for me, my kids or my daughter at the time and my relationship with my husband. Right? just searching for ways to do work at home. How to afford to be a stay at home mom and legit income from home like all the all the search phrases, yeah, we just kept coming up. Everything that just kept coming up was like, not what I wanted to do. And there was lots of start a home daycare. Well, like I love my kids, but other people's kids from like 6am to 6pm I would literally pull my hair out.
Kate Kordsmeier 9:26
Yeah, yeah, it's a lot. I could not do it.
Micala Quinn 9:29
And, like I wanted true freedom. I wanted to be able to schedule my days, however I wanted, like I had this big idea that I would go to the gym every day and get a shake after I worked out and that never happened. I wanted to go I have slow mornings and go to the park and explore our city. And I knew if I had other people's kids in our house, yeah, I'd be stuck, like in a prison of our home. And finally, I just started telling people You know, like when you're a new mom, people will be like, oh house, where are you going to stay? How long are you quitting? At least I kept getting all those questions. I mean, finally I just started telling people like, it sucks. I hate it. I want to be home. Do you know of any way I can work from home? And finally I told the right person. And she told me how she got started as a virtual assistant, found her first job through this website called hire my mom calm.
Kate Kordsmeier 10:27
I love that name.
Micala Quinn 10:28
Right. It sounds kind of sketchy. Because what are you hiring your mom for? Yeah. But four years ago, it was this awesome job source board where different businesses companies could post flexible part time positions that could all be done virtually, that were mostly done by stay at home moms or women who wanted to be a stay at home mom. So I signed up for that in January of 2016. I just kept applying for any and every positions. I mean, like I was applying for bookkeeping positions for editing positions for proofreading for, like some educational positions for marketing positions, all these things that I like, had no true experiencing. And for like, the first seven months, all I got was crickets. Nothing like not even a response of like, hey, thanks, but we're not interested. Yeah, just silence,
Kate Kordsmeier 11:29
which is so much worse. I would so much rather just know that it's a no.
Micala Quinn 11:35
Yeah. Because there's always like, oh, what if you know, there's that one thing I have out there? And it's like, No, no, huh? And so I just really started to look at why am I not getting responses back? How can I you know, have a better email have a better resume and I just started tailoring everything to each specific job position. And finally, I you know, as I as I got more experience I started to get some people calling me. And then it got to the point where I would get down to the top two or three candidates and they always went with the other person. But then finally I talked to the right person and I had had enough experience of like, how I went wrong and how to knock those interview calls out of the park. And I got the first lady to hire me. She hired me as her virtual assistant. I helped with like, email inbox management, scheduling, social media post organization of like Google Drive stuff, like very basic, just man. Yeah, admin. Yeah. And she was paying me $20 an hour, which I thought like, Oh, my gosh, I hit the jackpot. They're like work at home positions. There's call centers and they pay you $10 an hour and you have to be stuck. Yeah. your desk from eight to five with a quiet environment that was not going to work with what I wanted. Plus, I'm not I like have a college degree. I'm not working for $10 an hour, right. And she hired me and you gave me some projects and it just opened up this whole new world of virtual freelance positions. I had no idea existed in that business. Once I finally got that first client that was August, I went back teaching for fourth year. But I was able to go part time. We had fun angled it to where I was actually the first time I worked without taking a plane period. Oh, okay, had more work at home, but also had more time at home and started growing my business on my days off at home when my daughter was napping, and by April of that year, April of 2017, I was pregnant with our second. I had no it was actually February, I had reached this but since I was teaching, I had to stay working. By February of that year, I had tripled my teacher take home pay, working just like 15 to 20 hours a week.
Kate Kordsmeier 13:58
Wow. That's amazing. How. And
Micala Quinn 14:01
as an NBA. As a virtual assistant, I grew as I got started, like I started as a virtual assistant started at $20 an hour, I bumped it up to 25 3035 started doing social media packages, and was able to like make triple working a fraction of the time as a teacher and I had all that freedom at home. I could do my work, you know, early mornings, late at night, during that time, and it was just perfect.
Kate Kordsmeier 14:29
Yeah. Yeah. So then fast forward to today. You're no longer a virtual assistant, but instead, tell us about your current business model now.
Micala Quinn 14:40
Yeah. So after I quit teaching, like I just realized there were so many other women who are experiencing exactly what I was thinking that their only option is to sacrifice their entire budget, sacrifice all the extras and stay home or have the extras and stay stuck and stay miserable in a job. They have. or job that, you know, isn't what they truly want. And so I just started helping them, you know, hey, here's what I'm doing. And quickly I kind of became known as the lady who can help you work from home without joining an MLM in our local area. And that just grew. And I started my own Facebook group, I started my own course and now I run a podcast and group coaching programs helping women start their own freelance business, leveraging whatever skills they have. So you know, some become virtual assistants and become copywriters, graphic designers, web designers, social media managers, podcast editors, all the things. Yeah, that's so awesome. And I want to kind of just draw this parallel to because, you know, you said you spent like, you knew your whole life what you wanted to do and you became a teacher, but now you you're still a teacher. It's just in a different classroom setting. So I love that you are able to take what you truly are passionate about, and the kind of You know, impact you want to have on people and that environment and just do it your own way? Yeah. And it's much better, it's more profitable this way. My students are more eager to learn from me. They actually pay to show up to be in my virtual classroom.
Kate Kordsmeier 16:17
Yeah, they really want to be there. Right? And now you have three kids and you're pregnant with your four. So do you have any form of childcare or help? Or are you still working like during naps and margins and nights and all that?
Micala Quinn 16:33
Hi, do you have childcare now? We've got my daughter before, you know, everything would go to preschool. She did a full day preschool four days a week. And while she was at preschool, I would have a college student come over for a couple hours to watch my youngest. Okay, our middle child passed away. Shortly after I quit teaching. It was very unexpected.
Kate Kordsmeier 16:59
I'm so sorry. I had no idea.
Micala Quinn 17:02
Yeah, I mean that's kind of one thing that like having that time at home with him I was his only caregiver are like his early infant years compared to my daughters were just completely night and day different man. just gave me the perspective so much of that, like life is short. Make it what you want and don't don't stay stuck. Just go after your dreams and yeah, for sure. But I only about 15 to 20 hours a week. I still really much just want a part time schedule. Right?
Kate Kordsmeier 17:33
Yeah. Yeah, it's tough. I feel you know, My son is in. Well, he was right now we're all quarantined at home.
That's a little different. But he was
in full time daycare at an in home daycare that we absolutely loved. But he I didn't start him full time there until he was six months old. And yeah, I struggled with it though. Because In some ways, I think it was the unpredictability that was hard for me about babies, right. Whereas I just knew that for sure, he would always nap between these hours and I could schedule things or whatever that that that could have been easier. But I found it. I found it just difficult to manage the unexpected. And then also, I think I've gotten to this place where it was like my time was too precious in a way that I felt like I had to maximize every possible second that I could working. And then, you know, if I got stuck in traffic, or if somebody was late to a call, or like if something happened that threw me off even by five minutes, I would like lose my mind. Okay, this is no way to live. I need more help so that I can actually like, enjoy my time.
Micala Quinn 18:54
Yeah, that's kind of how I got to that point to where working in all the like separated It just became a lot and constantly like trying to do everything. I just I wanted a more separated schedule where I could show up into my office, be in work mode, shut the door and then walk out and be in mom mode and not try to kind of juggle everything at once. Yeah. And the beauty of working from home and having your own business you you can make it whatever you want. And if you start somewhere and you realize, okay, this schedule, what I've got working, isn't working for me, you can change it. You don't have to go for permission from a boss for an employer. It's all in your hands.
Kate Kordsmeier 19:41
Yeah, exactly. And that's what I love is like nothing's ever permanent. You try things out. If they don't work, you make a pivot, and it's not that big of a deal. And that's that's definitely how you know my business has always run even before kids was just figuring out what works for me what feels good. To me, and there's been seasons in my life where I've worked like 15 hours a week, even before I had kids and was just like, that's just all I want to work and I was able to figure out a way to make enough money that I was still making a full time income. Even just doing that, and then other seasons where it's, you know, just man, I'm working like 60 hour weeks and going, you know, balls to the wall, basically. And just that, of course, that's not sustainable for me. But sometimes it's just like, it's just a season and then you know, you know, transition out of it. I'm very much into the like, there are seasons of rest, there are seasons of hustle slow, fast and just kind of letting you know my energy and what's happening in my life kind of dictate that and it's so nice to have that flexibility and freedom. Whereas if you work full time for somebody else in an office, especially or somewhere that you have to actually show up. Can't do that.
All right friends coming in for a quick break here because I've got a secret to share with you about something that literally nearly tanked my business last year. So here's the story. After I figured out the formula on how to create a profitable blog and business doing what I loved, I knew I wanted to teach others how to do the same. And what was now my course the six figure blog Academy. After all, not only do I love teaching and helping people, but I knew it would be a lucrative way to monetize my blog beyond ad sponsors and affiliate marketing. So after my first soft launch was successful, and brought in nearly $20,000, I now easily went into my second launch and spent a ton of money on Facebook ads. Once I accounted for all of that ad spend. I ended up actually losing money and was in the red for the first time in my life. Oh my god, it was so stressful and Pretty much every day I wanted to throw in the towel and just quit and be a stay at home mom. So, at first, I didn't know what I did wrong. I was just so upset. But it wasn't until I went to Amy Porterfield entrepreneur experience event that October that I learned how to launch from the queen of digital courses herself. Amy Porterfield, I realized it takes a ton of intentional planning to launch the right way. And I'm so glad I took her advice particularly for the pre launch runway. So in my second official launch, I increase my revenue by 7.5 times and I actually made over $100,000 from that launch in January 2020. I could not have done this without Amy's course the Digital Course Academy. So if you are thinking about launching a course someday, do yourself a favor and save some major headaches and expensive trial and By taking Amy's free quiz to discover your personal path to creating a profitable digital course, you can do that Katekordsmeier.com/coursequiz. You might as well make sure that every action step along the way is your next best move so you don't waste valuable time and resources. In less than two minutes you'll figure out action by action what steps you should take based on your goals audience and business level. Again, head to Katekordsmeier.com/coursequiz and get your results today. It's free.
So okay, tell us a little bit more I want to talk about this idea of virtual assistant freelance work at home mom, I love the expression work at home mom instead of stay at home mom. I wanted to look at it though from the perspective of both people who are listening that maybe want to do this and To start their own VA business, but also from the perspective of other entrepreneurs and small business owners who are thinking they might be ready to hire out some help. So let's start with the latter, I guess how do you What? What's your advice for people? I get this question all the time of how do I know when I'm ready to hire?
Micala Quinn 24:24
Gosh, I don't I don't know the answer to that question because I hired from the very beginning, going into my business I knew going into pivoting in the to be the online course creator like mini micro influencer, whatever you want to call it. I knew that I wanted to grow and I wanted to grow fast and big, but I didn't want to sacrifice family time and work
Kate Kordsmeier 24:51
tons of hours. And so from the very beginning, I think like month two, I hired my first assistant. And where did you have the money technically to hire an attorney. At that point is sort of a risk.
Micala Quinn 25:02
It was sort of a risk of, Hey, I really need help. Can we do some sort of a barter, where I'll help you build your business? And you'll help me and as you know, this isn't forever. Within a couple months I was paying her.
Kate Kordsmeier 25:22
Okay. That's good. That's a good idea to get creative to see how can you make a trade with somebody to get some help in the beginning before you have the cash to do it?
Micala Quinn 25:33
Yeah. And we have in my facebook group, we have like swap at Sunday threads where there's women who are wanting to get started and build their portfolio built their experience level. You can post like, hey, I need help with, you know, like, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And there's women that are willing to you know, step in and help out on a small project for free in exchange for the experience. That's a testimonial and building their portfolio.
Kate Kordsmeier 26:03
Yeah, that's awesome. And we'll link to your Facebook group in the show notes. Is that can anybody join that? Or do you have to be part of your program?
Micala Quinn 26:11
Oh, no. So I have a free group that anyone can join.
Kate Kordsmeier 26:14
Okay, awesome. We'll definitely link that in the show notes. So what is your I mean, I guess maybe your answer is sort of like, take the risk, but get creative with it. And I think the age old question that always comes up is like, do you have to spend money to make money and I know even at different phases in my business, I've struggled with this in the very beginning before I was making any money and then even fast forward to like having six figure months and still feeling like okay, I would like to hire this new position, but I don't technically have the cash right now. Or, you know, maybe the cash for the year to hire somebody at this rate. But what's your take on that?
Micala Quinn 26:56
I I do think you have to spend money to make money and some instances, but you can be smart about it. And I look at our profit and loss each month. And when I look at hiring someone I'm looking at Okay, what is this? What is the return on this investment is going to be? Sometimes it's going to be shown in actual like revenue, like for example, by hiring a Facebook ad agency. That's one of like, the more expensive services you hire out by hiring that out. Okay, what is the return on that I am going to one have so much like time and stress lifted off of me, because managing ads and that can be really stressful because you're spending and you want it to be spent properly. And it can take a lot of looking and there's just so many intricacies that I realized that was causing me a lot of stress and like having And so outsourcing that, even though it was a big retainer, I looked at it as Okay, like, what is the, like mental benefits I'm going to get from this plus that can literally be tied to earning more revenue.
Kate Kordsmeier 28:13
Right? So you can Ward really say, Okay, if I spend $2,000 on this, but it makes me $5,000 then it was worth it.
Micala Quinn 28:22
Yeah. And so some of the other things, it's harder to see that direct increase, but like, if you hire a virtual assistant, let's say they are, you know, entry level $20 an hour, you hire them for 10 hours a month to start. What can you do with that? 10 hours? Now that they are taking over, you know, maybe it's your email inbox in your client communication that you spend an hour on each day? What can you do in that other time? Do you need that time to have more arrests in your life? Or do you need that time to make more money and maybe take on more one on one clients or whatever it is you do to, to to make money if you charge, like $150 for a strategy session or whatever it is with the client. Okay, if I'm hiring someone for 10 hours a month, I'll have 10 more hours to take on 10 more sessions a month, right? 50 What is that compared to 10 times 20? Well, that's a no brainer,
Kate Kordsmeier 29:25
right? Exactly. I love thinking of it from that perspective, even hiring somebody to help you like manage your home, like somebody to clean your house or do your meal planning and grocery shopping and cooking and stuff. Because, yeah, if you can pay somebody 15 to $30 an hour depending on the role, and you know that you can charge $100 an hour for what your services are. It's such a no brainer trade, but I think people don't often think of it and in that way of like, this is Now time that I will have freed up to generate more revenue at a higher rate, they just see the $15 an hour or $200 a week or whatever it comes out to like, well, that's a lot. But when you think of it from that perspective, it really makes sense.
Micala Quinn 30:16
Yeah, my I mean, my experiment, I have a huge contractor expense. I have a pretty big, big team. And I just balanced the profit and loss like to see what my profit margin is. And I'm like, I want to be around a 40% profit margin. And as long as I'm, you know, plus five within that, I'm happy and so that's something we track each month because when you are hiring, you should be able to see an increase in that income in your revenue and the profit that you're you're making and if you're not, that is something to evaluate. Okay, like what's going on here is the person not producing, did I hire this person? And then Am I just, you know, not actually doing what I said I was going to do with this time? Mm hmm. And it's not, you know, you hire someone month one, it's not gonna be like magical there's, there's a period of getting there or if you know, for example, if you hire someone, and then you're going to use that time that they take off your plate to create a product, well, you have to actually create that product and launch it into the world before it will. Right.
Kate Kordsmeier 31:30
Yeah, there's always going to be that ramp up transition period. So but even just setting that up, like setting those expectations from the beginning, okay, I'm going to use this time to do this. And so I'm giving myself three months to get it done. And then you know, from there or six months, whatever you think it might take, or it's going to take this person, six weeks before, I think they're really going to be able to start working in the way that's going to bring in revenue or Whatever their, their task might be. But yeah, I think that makes a lot of sense setting up those expectations. So what do you think for most like online entrepreneurs? What's some of the best places to start hiring, like, what would be your recommendation for the first hire they're going to make?
Micala Quinn 32:19
My first hire was a virtual assistant. And I loved that because it's such a versatile position. And that's someone who can come in and take on basically any and every project, you throw their way. And they're not necessarily going to be an expert in copywriting or an expert in Facebook guy, or whatever. But they are an extra pair of hands to free up your time. And that can look very different week to week, day to day sometimes, you know, I have daily weekly tasks that my virtual assistant helps with, but then she's also there for random projects that come up. Each month or that we want to work on to help take some of that burden off myself.
Kate Kordsmeier 33:05
Right? And where do you recommend people find virtual assistants,
Micala Quinn 33:11
um, my hire form.
I'm very biased. But I truly believe I have some of the best women. In my program. I have different entrepreneurs that come back for each hire, I have people that hire for other entrepreneurs that they they come back to my group for each hire they make because they, they just say the like, the professionalism and the, like the passion and the desire to actually help. Yeah, is is really in these women and they don't always see that in some of other places they go,
Kate Kordsmeier 33:45
Yeah, for sure. When you
Micala Quinn 33:47
go to like a higher form, you'll have a little bit more control, kind of of the hiring process. Because if you just go to a Facebook group and post like, Hey, I'm hiring a social media manager. People are just gonna You know, send you your rates and their packages. But when you fill out my hire form you can fill out, okay, here's what I'm looking for, here's what I need help with. And then here's my budget, and then whatever, like important details or prereqs are, you know, needed for someone to excel in this position? Right? And then people will you know, who fit that description who fit what you're looking for your budget, will will apply?
kind of take a little bit more control of the application process and ask them questions, you know, maybe have like a trial project are a test thing that they submit to help weed people out?
Kate Kordsmeier 34:39
Yeah, I'm a big fan of doing like many skills tests, when I'm hiring for something. Just see, sometimes it's not even that you have to master it. But just to see, where are you here? How much training is going to be required? How close are you doing it even without any training to how I would want it done. I mean, I've had even just to say some to somebody, like, write a sample Instagram caption for this blog post. And you can tell very quickly Oh, no, no, no, we're not going to be a good fit or like, yeah, that I mean, at certain jobs, I've thought, I've had people apply and do the skills test. And it's been like, Oh my gosh, I don't even have to train you at all. This is just exactly what I would want you to say. And then obviously, there's some middle ground in there too. But that's a super easy way to get a good feel.
Micala Quinn 35:30
Yeah, and I like to do it to see their personality. Mm hmm. Like, okay, so we gave a test project, are they going to come at us with 500 questions? Because like me, personally, I don't want a lot of questions, right. There's like an art to asking questions and an art to just showing up taking ownership and getting something finished and bringing it for feedback. Right. I'd rather provide feedback at the end not every five minutes along the way. And so that's something that I specifically look for in our candidates, like how do they handle problem solving? If they're working on a project and they don't have a piece? Are they going to stop and wait for me for guidance, right? Or are they going to take their best stab solve that problem and bring it to me?
Kate Kordsmeier 36:25
Yeah. I mean, this is something actually that even a woman that's worked with me for over three years now. We just had this conversation on our team meeting this week where she was saying that, you know, she was held up a little bit last week because she was waiting on me to kind of give her guidance before she started a project. And so on the call we I was just like, Look, I don't want us to waste time. I would hate for you to, you know, go do this big project and then submit it and me say, Oh, this is not at all what I wanted. But at the same time, it was like look, especially in her case, You've been with me for three years. So I think you know how I like to work generally. And you should just go for it and not let like it's hard when you come in especially I'm such a control freak. So I'm sure she's like, Well, I know you have a certain way that you want things done. I wanted to make sure I did it the right way. So understandable, but it sucks when you're the bottleneck of your business and that you feel like everybody's just waiting on you to make a decision or give them guidance or answer questions before they can do anything.
Micala Quinn 37:31
And I got to that point. Once I had a virtual assistant, I had someone doing some graphic design and some tech work and a podcast manager and a social media manager and then like a copywriter. And there were just so many people looking to me for answers that I became super overwhelmed and so when you once you have like a couple you know freelancers that you're working with consistently I and you start to feel that oh my gosh, there's so many people coming to me An operations director or an online business manager is a really great next step you bring onto the team to kind of take away the project management and the team management and like all of that delegation, and back and forth questioning that the owner gets when when they are the the visionary and the integrator.
Kate Kordsmeier 38:23
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. I love that. Yeah. For anybody who hasn't read the book rocket fuel that talks about visionary integrator, highly recommend it. We hired an integrator this year, and it has been a huge game changer. But again, like she's still, you know, newish. And so there is that transition period where sometimes it's like, she doesn't know the answer, because she's only been with us for three months. But I just know, like, okay, but we involve her in the conversation so that she can see how I respond and get to know how I like things done and then eventually, we'll get to it. point where she just knows exactly what to do and say without anybody having to come to me.
Micala Quinn 39:06
Yeah, yeah. Okay, no, sorry. Go ahead. I was just gonna say we moved my very first hire my very first assistant. She was actually one of the first two women in my program. We moved her into that integrator role, because she was with me for like two and a half years at that point she anytime I mean, she was already kind of doing that role just right. not officially.
Kate Kordsmeier 39:29
Right. Exactly. Yeah, it's always great to when you can. That's how a lot of my hires have happened as I start somebody out 510 hours a week or something, doing something small and then they grow and grow and sometimes into a full time position. But even if they stay a contractor or part time, they still grow into a new role. And then we go back to the drawing board and hire again for that more entry level position and then grow people with us rather than that Opposite I guess where you know you're you're hiring the expert person up front and then constantly yeah
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Okay, so let's switch gears a little
bit and look at it from the other perspective for anybody listening who is like, I want to be a work at home mom, how do I do this? What skills do you feel like are required to be a va?
Micala Quinn 42:29
So a lot of people focus on hard skills like oh my gosh, I need to know all of the software, I need to know everything in order to be a virtual assistant. And that's simply not true. I honestly think the soft skills are way more important, important. So the hard skills are going to be things that you like, are like literal tasks that are done like I know how to schedule social media posts, I grade papers, I teach lessons. And then the soft skills are going to be those Like secondary kind of more personality traits that allow you to excel in the hard skills, and that's what's going to be transferable. So for example, when I looked at all, what my hard skills were as a teacher, grading papers, planning lessons communicating with parents conducting class, I looked at, okay, what allows me to excel at that, and that was my ability to multitask. I'm super creative. And I'm also a problem solver, like something I can see around and I can see this is not working. I've got to switch fast. And I have a solution like that. That is way more crucial and a virtual assistant than, Oh, she knows how to come into Active Campaign and send an email. Right, I can bet that like problem solving creative personality traits can. Yeah, because and like no matter what you Your current experience is or what your degree is there is a freelance, freelance option where you can start out with. For me I started as a virtual assistant. But if someone else is like very passionate about writing and less to write, you can you can do copywriting you can start with content writing, writing blogs for, for bloggers or emails for bloggers to send to their list. You know, if you are I always go back to teaching because that that was my experience. Another thing I did a lot as a teacher was I created slide decks and created like my own lessons and like printables and worksheets and stuff like that. There's a huge market of online course creators out there, and they need that stuff done. Yes. And they pay in point for that to get. There's just there's just so many options, but I would say the personality traits of like, are you Right you create, can you solve a problem that will make you a good virtual assistant way more better than any hardcore experience? Right?
Kate Kordsmeier 45:11
Yeah, I do think a lot of those things can be taught. I know, in my personal experience, like, I like somebody to have a basic understanding of how to create graphics in Canva. Or, you know, that they need to be a good enough writer that they could do an Instagram caption that doesn't make me cringe and things like that, but that it's not those hard skills that Yeah, it really is more hiring for the personality and who the person is, then. Do you have experience in Active Campaign because anybody can learn Active Campaign?
Micala Quinn 45:46
Mm hmm. If I can, anyone can.
I want to point out that a lot of people will say but I'm like, I'm just a beginner. Why would anyone hire me? Well, we were just talking about it when they are talking about You know that business owner hiring the first hire not everyone has the budget to spend $3,000 on an expert Social Media Manager a month right but you need help and they need help fast and so they are you know excited to take on a beginner they were themselves a beginner at one point and want to give back and you know, give that mom or give that person their first. Their first job and a beginner is exactly what they need everyone on my team except for one of my copywriters was a beginner. My podcast editor she taught herself how to podcast at it. She's now our full blown like Podcast Producer and does everything podcasts related. All I have to do is press record.
Kate Kordsmeier 46:44
Yep. Love it. Yeah. I think that's such a good point both for I mean, no matter which way you're coming at it because if you're a beginner and you're feeling like it's that's holding you back, you know don't let it because people need people need cheap labor And they're willing to pay for and if you're an entrepreneur, remember, if you're on the hiring side of things, then it's good to remember like, yeah, there is a little bit of like you get what you pay for, but you can teach people things. And, you know, I know one thing that we've done is like, we'll buy online courses for particular topics, and then we'll hire somebody, Hey, take this course. Now you're a Pinterest manager. And that's so much cheaper than hiring some big league Pinterest management company to do it, so there is a
lot of value. Probably hiring beginners, having them
go through their own program. Yep. Yeah, such a good point for sure. How much time do you feel like is required from from the VA perspective, in order to to really make money doing this?
Micala Quinn 47:53
I mean, it depends on what type of money you want to be making. I work with women who just want an extra thousand dollars a month. They're stay at home moms, they want to just be able to go to Target and guilt free and walk down the aisles and buy whatever they want. And to kind of see how many hours you're you'll need to work to make what you want to make, you can just write down, you know, the number you want to bring in. Is it 1500 to 3000 6000? Divide that by your hourly rate. And that'll tell you, okay, here's how many hours you need to work a month to make that then you can divide that by four and a half for kind of know how many weeks in a month, and that'll tell you how many hours you need to work a month. So for example, most of the women that I work with kind of on average need about 30 $500 to quit their jobs a month coming in. So 3500 Let's do 3500 divided by 35.
Well, that's a little high 3500 divided by 30 and 116 hours a month divided by 4.5 is 25. hours a week.
Kate Kordsmeier 49:02
Okay, yeah, that's a great work backwards, easy math that anybody could do even me who's not math?
Micala Quinn 49:12
not wrong. Not math. Yeah. If you if you, you do that calculation and you're like, Oh, I don't want to work 25 hours, I don't have 25 hours. Well, you have to start somewhere. And once you start, like, let's say you start at $30 an hour, as you grow your business and you grow your experience level, maybe you take an online course in a specific skill set. You have case studies that you, you know, can prove that you you know what you're doing, you can charge more, right and then start to you know, make more working less hours or work the same amount of hours and, and make more. I had a woman who started my program in January, where it's April now. She was an e commerce manager in her day job and got started doing e commerce management. Assisting as a freelancer, she started out at $25 an hour with her first client in February. And now it's April 25. And she is like doubling her rates. Because she's realized, like, Oh my gosh, I have all of this experience. I'm really good. There's high demand. Yeah. And in like three months time, she's doubled her earning potential, which does not happen in a traditional job setting,
Kate Kordsmeier 50:27
right? No, that would take years if it's ever even possible. So yeah, the beauty of her doing your own thing. So tell us how can somebody get started with this tell us more about your program overwhelmed to overbooked and like, where do people go to get started?
Micala Quinn 50:45
So the best place to go to get started would be my workshop, my free workshop. It's micalaquinn.com/workshop. And that is a 60 minute training video kind of walking you through like the beginning of what is the Even the freelance industry so I'll cover you know who hires freelancers, why, what a freelancer is. And then how how much money you can actually make and how long it actually takes to go from like not knowing what it is to leaving clients. I'll cover like how to know what freelance service to start your business with, I'll help you uncover like your hidden skill set. And then a in the last part, we'll talk about like, what you actually need to get started freelancing. Because it's a lot less than, you know, other types of businesses, all you really need is a service to offer and people to hire you. Yeah. Yeah, and a computer and I covered that in the last part. And that's a good place to go to see like, okay, is freelancing is that what I want to do? And if it is, I have a group coaching program overwhelmed to over books that can help you like step by step build that business from, from the ground up. Awesome. Everything from you know, the legal tax side Who do you want to work with? to how to land clients to how to show up, start working with them. We have skills, training, everything, everything all in one.
Kate Kordsmeier 52:14
Yeah. Fantastic. I love it. Well, we thank you so much for being here with us today. I always end by asking everybody the same five kind of lightning round questions. So we'll just go through those real quick. And just as a reminder to everybody, the Facebook group, Michaela is hiring forum. The free workshop will link to all of that in the show notes. Just go there to click right through. So in the meantime, lightning round, what is your favorite way to make time for self care? Ooh, hot bubble baths. Hmm, me too. So good. What is one tool or strategy that you use to help with time management.
Micala Quinn 52:56
I'm a hardcore paper planner person. I have to write down What I'm doing, do you have a favorite paper planner? Erin Condren? What is it? Erin Condren. Oh, okay. Yeah, I've got it right here.
Kate Kordsmeier 53:09
Awesome. Let's see what is the most powerful business or mindset book, you've read just one that you reference again and again. My gosh.
Micala Quinn 53:18
Ah, there's so many like, I'm always reading mindset books.
Kate Kordsmeier 53:23
Yeah. Just be like, what's one that you've read recently that has been very influential?
Micala Quinn 53:28
Everything is figure out about Marie Forleo. It's simple. But it was such a great reminder that we're all going to face problems. We're all going to have challenges. You can literally figure your way out of everything.
Kate Kordsmeier 53:45
Yes. I love it. That's been on my list for a while. Do you have a favorite quote or mantra or affirmation?
Micala Quinn 53:54
I don't do a lot of mantras. But one of my favorite quotes is done not perfect. I use that A lot in my program to help kind of just push them into action because I think so many people wait for, you know everything to be perfect and just right and i think that's actually a procrastination tactic because they're scared. They're afraid. And so, you know, in overwhelm overbooked we talk about done and good enough
Kate Kordsmeier 54:20
for now. I love that big fan of that one too okay last question What does Success with Soul mean to you?
Micala Quinn 54:28
Success with Soul I to me that means knowing what you want out of life and having the courage and
tools to show up and do your best to make that happen.
Kate Kordsmeier 54:45
Yeah, I love that. Where can people find you?
Micala Quinn 54:49
Michaela Quinn, calm. That is my website and all my resources links are there. I hang out a lot in my facebook group and and it's Instagram.
Kate Kordsmeier 55:01
Awesome. And you're just at Micala Quinn on Instagram. Yep. Micala Quinn. Okay, perfect. Well, thank you again so much. It was great chatting with you. And I know you gave people a lot of good inspiration whether to hire or to become a VA.
Micala Quinn 55:17
Yeah. Thanks so much for having me. It was fun coming on cake.
Kate Kordsmeier 55:20
Wait right there.
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