Awesome People - Ep 73

EAs, VAs, relationship management, delegation

Hi fellow founders and VC Friends!

Each week we deliver one awesome person to your inbox. These are the people you need to know—the marketers, sales gurus, engineers, ops wizzes— who give your startup superpowers 🚀. The best part is, everyone is hireable on a part-time basis.

Please meet Eryn (and her team), Your Strategic Executive Assistants! 🤩

Eryn came referred by another Awesome Person, Fabri. During a catch-up, Fabri casually referenced his EA who took meeting notes, pre-drafted emails, and managed his inbox. He had me at “pre-drafted emails.” Obviously, I had to meet these magical EAs.

Eryn has over 20 years of experience as an EA and founder and now runs an EA agency. Most recently, she’s launched her own EA agency and has worked with founders at companies backed by Techstars, Founder Collective, Kleiner Perkins, and more. Since their first 6 months in business, Eryn has grown the co 9x, expanded it to 7+ countries, and provided service in 4 languages on referrals alone. Fun fact about Eryn: she loves practicing traditional archery and made her own longbow and arrows!

You can hire Eryn’s team to make your business more efficient, enrich your working relationships with your customers, and serve as another set of eyes and ears for your startup. 

Full disclosure: I tried them out and loved them. That said, they’re on the pricer end, so they’re best suited for Seed+ companies who have a proper budget to augment their exec team.

Want an intro to Eryn and co? Lmk and I’ll connect you!

She was gracious enough to share some pro-tips with us here 🙏

Save hours by delegating small tasks to your EA

Earlier this year, we realized that a client was receiving 40-50 important emails per day. This added up to 3,960 emails over 3 months. He started to delegate all his emails to his EA. At about 2.5 minutes per email, this saved him 165 hours per quarter. He valued his time at $500/hr. He gained $330,000 in value per year.

Pay attention to where you spend micro-minutes. Delegate as many of those tasks as possible. If you’re worth $300-$800 per hour (or more!) to your company and you’re spending 2 hours a day on things that can be delegated, you’re missing out on $3-5K of lost opportunity per week.

So the next time you think “I can do this in just 2-3 minutes,” remember to delegate it to an EA who has your back!

Integrate relationship management with the help of your EA

We once had a client who struggled to balance his work and personal life. He was so busy that he often missed important family events. It put a huge strain on his family. We connected with his wife to make sure that family time was added and protected on his calendar. This immediately removed stressful static and enhanced our client’s focus and general happiness.

Relationship management is often overlooked. Too many organizations use CRMs to push people through a pipeline without regard to the individuals. If you’re not nurturing relationships, personally and professionally, you’re missing out on opportunities. Relationship management should be proactive, not reactive. 

Here are a few tips on proactive relationship management:

  1. Block and protect personal time on your calendar

  2. Ask your EA to prepare meeting agendas with easily forgotten details about the people you’re meeting

  3. Create a list of connections to initiate follow-ups with every month

Find a top-notch VA with these questions

When I meet new clients looking for an EA, they usually come from one of two starting points: either they’ve never had an EA, or they’ve had an awful experience with a cheap, outsourced VA (virtual assistant).

Right now, it’s hard to find a reliable VA service. There are thousands of VAs who over-promise and under-deliver. Here are some good questions to ask when interviewing potential assistants or agencies:

  1. Will you have one VA or will you get passed around to whoever is available? Some assistant agencies use a pool of VAs to resolve tasks on a first-come-first-serve basis. This works for some work but isn’t ideal for long-term relationship-building. Know what you’re getting into!

  2. Will you have to detail out every single task or can you present ambiguous details to strategize and work out together?

  3. What kind of security protocol is in place for your personal/business data?

  4. Are these VAs new to business with little hands-on experience, or do they have 10-20 years of solid experience under their belts?

  5. Can this VA write email drafts/communications with excellent language proficiency in my native language? If not, will you need to proofread everything they write?

Looking for an executive assistant? Respond to this email and I’ll connect you to Eryn and co!

As always, let me know if you have any questions and if you want an intro to any of the folks in this email (including the PS section 🎉). 

Stay awesome,

Julia Lipton

Founder of Awesome People Ventures (join the syndicate here

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Awesome People continued 🔥

Most recent features

Elizabeth - Co-founder relationship coach. Over the course of her career, Elizabeth has helped countless early-stage founders backed by a16z, IVP, Sequoia, Kleiner Perkins, Initialized Capital, and other top VCs. She is kindly offering a 10% discount to the Awesome People community for co-founders who signs up before Q2!

Anna - Marketing queen. Anna recently started her own marketing business after 10 years in corporate marketing. Before that, she led marketing at Elevate K-12 (education co that’s raised $23M+) and Fooda (Lightbank and 500 Startups-backed co that’s raised $34M+). She's trusted by Accenture, Groupon, and Signalfire, where she’s an advisor for the firm’s portfolio companies. 

Tatiana - Recruiting wiz. Tatiana was referred to me by another awesome person and exec coach, Heather Jassy. She has served as the sole technical recruiter at places like Etsy (IPO-ed) and AppNexus (acquired by AT&T, she was employee 50), as well as her own recruiting agency. Most recently, she has filled 14 roles at Thinx (Series A co that’s raised $26M+ from MassChallenge)!

Want intros to anyone here? Lmk and I’ll connect you!

Quick ask - Webflow designers

Does anyone know any AWESOME part-time Webflow designers available now? One of my port-cos is in a pinch and looking to hire someone asap. If you have a reco, would love to hear it!

Part-time opportunities 👀

Want to make some extra $$$ and work on interesting projects? The Awesome People job board is filled with awesome flexible advising and consulting roles. They’re perfect for fun-employed folks, self-employed folks, and moonlighters!

That’s all for now folks ❤️ 🚀 ❤️