Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker & Executive Presentation Coach - America's Marketing Motivator

Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker &
Executive Presentation Coach
Let's Talk. 860-371-8801 or Email me
Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker & Executive Presentation Coach - America's Marketing Motivator
Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker & Executive Presentation Coach - America's Marketing Motivator

Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker &
Executive Presentation Coach
Let's Talk. 860-371-8801 or Email me
Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker & Executive Presentation Coach - America's Marketing Motivator
Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker & Executive Presentation Coach
Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker & Executive Presentation Coach
Let's Talk. 860-371-8801 or Email me
It’s All Systems Go with Sam McCracken

You’ve heard the expression, “All Systems Go.” It indicates a state of readiness for immediate action. This is how my fearless virtual assistant, Samantha (Sam) McCracken makes me think-feel-do.

I believe the phrase “All Systems Go” originated from space flight control centers and was the confident response given when everything was ready to launch. I can only imagine how many people, steps, procedures, systems, tests and trials, and investment preceded that confident declaration of readiness.

As woman-owned business that has been operational since 2005, I cannot even remember how many different methods and systems I have experimented with. I seem to have a propensity for complexity and personalization. Perhaps it’s how my brain works. I am not an analytic, systems thinker. I am more of a creative entrepreneur type. I remember writing my first book Networking Ahead for Business about the importance of networking follow-up. In my research for the book I quoted another expert who narrowed in on what I was missing – the system. Opening my own book this morning and finding the passage, I am reminded of the importance of systems even with routine activities such as professional networking.

“Whoever said ‘the fortune is in the follow-up’ first could have been a billionaire if they only got a penny for every time someone said it. And yet, they’ve only got it half right. Follow-up is important, that’s true. But the real fortune is in the follow-up system.

~ Lisa Robbin Young

Taking my own advice from my own book (first published in 2010 and updated in 2017), I built a networking follow-up system. But it wasn’t efficient. It wasn’t fast. And it didn’t allow me to scale my efforts and impact. In short, my system wasn’t particularly powerful. I was still bogged down with all of the follow-up tasks and unable to leverage the fearless networking I was capable of.

So I took the next local step and I outsourced some of my administrative tasks to a Virtual Assistant. Basically I dumped my messy system onto to the VA in hopes that they would transform it into something magical. It was good and helpful but I was still missing something important.

I was missing the SYSTEM.

And then the pandemic came along and we all had to learn new ways of delivering our work and value to our clients. I took a course with David Newman called High Fee Mastery. It was a game-changing investment for me. This is where I learned the  8-week group mentoring virtual model of delivering leadership development training and coaching. Within a few months The Fearless Leader™ 8-week group mentoring cohort program was launched. It was fantastic to find a new brand, platform and purpose. My business service offerings had transformed to 100% virtual delivery. I was (and still am) very happy about that! But tasks were taking too long to complete. For example, onboarding new cohort members was a manual nightmare.

My SYSTEMS were scattered.

David Newman didn’t seem to have that problem. I wondered what he had that I didn’t have. Okay, let’s be honest, David is fearless, gifted, driven, and Uber confident in what he does and how he does it. He knows his value. David also had someone quite talented behind the scenes. I asked him to please introduce me to his operations manager (and my future fearless virtual assistant) SamMcCracken, business owner of Sharp Business Support.

Find the right people to create the right SYSTEMS.

After my first consultation call with Sam, I immediately sensed that she would bring tremendous value to my business, my life and my work day. I still remember the three questions she asked me to think about and write a list of (paraphrasing here):

  1. things you don’t have time for
  2. things you don’t enjoy doing
  3. things that need to get done but are not the best use of your time

I whipped out my list and shared it with Sam. It became our initial project list. Within a very short period of time, I could see the systematic improvements in my business operations. Things were easier and faster to get done. Less rework. Fewer steps. Sam quickly got me set up on new technology platforms including Airtable, Zapier, Jotform, Calendly, Lead pages, Squarespace, Mighty Networks, Stripe, MailChimp, Google Docs, Loom, ROCK – just to name a few. And although we have many pieces, they all fit and flow together. It’s amazing looking back how many new things I’ve been exposed to and how much more I’ve been able to accomplish…with Sam McCracken at my side. That’s why she is known as “Done For You Tech.”

SYSTEMS can make work more fun.

Sam sets up my systems, optimizes them, and then teaches me how to use them. We collaborate and communicate daily. Best of all she is a delight to work with. Pleasant, professional, calm, creative, solution-oriented, highly skilled, fast as all get out. And best of all, there is absolutely no drama. What used to burden me now brings me joy and reward. I have to chalk that up to Sam McCracken. She’s my secret weapon…and I’m happy to share her with you.

Did I mention that she lives in Spain? The time zone difference has never been a problem. She recently sent me a few favorite pictures of her. I like this one best. It says to me, “With the right systems and the right people on your success team, you can work anywhere anytime, even at a coastal cafe in Spain should you choose.”

With Sam McCracken by your side, you too could operate like this!

Is this the world’s longest recommendation, or what?

Please forgive me if I am overly effusive (gushing even) about how pleased I am to work with Sam McCracken. I want her to continue to grow and succeed in her business. Just today I recommended her to my colleague Cheryl Jones of Thriving With Cheryl Jones and her new podcast Thrive 55+.

If you are an

There are two main things she helps her clients with:

1. They need an online course built for them, but they don’t know which tool(s) to use, or they don’t have the time. Sam can build an online course in as little as ONE DAY, with my VIP Day package. It’s true – ONE DAY!

2. Operations aren’t as smooth as they could be. There’s a lot of “stuff” going on, and things could definitely be streamlined. Sam implements systems to organize and automate many of the business operations, resulting in higher accuracy, response times, and profits. Trust me it works!

For those of you who are systems-thinker and want to carefully analyze whether or not you are ready for a Virtual Assistant, Sam prepared this outline for my blog to help you assess your need for a Virtual Assistant:

Assessing Skills and Specializations: Finding the Perfect Fit for Your Business

by Sam McCracken, owner of Sharp Business Support

  • Introduction
    • Setting the Stage: The Challenges of a Disorganized Business
    • Identifying Common Issues: Lack of Organization, Inefficient Processes, and Time Drain
  • The Role of Virtual Assistants (VAs)
    • How Virtual Assistants Can Be the Key to Organizational Transformation
  • Choosing the Right Virtual Assistant
    • Assessing Skills and Specializations: Finding the Perfect Fit for Your Business
  • Implementing Effective Systems
    • Unleashing Efficiency: How Automation Can Save Time and Resources
    • Building a Foundation: The Importance of Well-Designed Systems and Processes
    • Regaining Control: How VAs Help Business Owners Reclaim Their Time

This outline would flush out into a great eBook. Maybe Sam will produce it someday (probably in ONE DAY knowing her). But do you really need an eBook to tell you what you already know that you need. If you are anything like me, you know you need help developing a SYSTEM for your business.

Carpe Diem. Let’s get going. With Sam McCracken by your side, you too will be All Systems Go!

What are your fearless goals for 2024?

I hope it’s not too late to wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR. May 2024 bring you vibrant health, happiness, joy and fulfillment of your professional and personal endeavors. I’m curious what goals have you set for yourself for 2024? What do you hope to accomplish? Where will you put your energy and attention? [read more]

Accountability Can Be Your Superpower

Did you know that the nemesis known as Procrastination cannot withstand the light and power of Accountability? Here’s how to make Accountability your superpower in 2023. New Year – New Goals There’s something magical about the beginning of a new calendar year. A fresh start – new possibilities. It can make you feel like you [read more]

Make Those Courage Calls!

December can be a challenging month. We make the assumption that business leaders are very busy and unavailable with quarterly and annual year end business push. Like us, we know that working professionals are consumed not only with their demanding jobs, but with the holiday season. We make the false assumption that they are not [read more]

I’m Not Done Yet…Are You?

It’s funny how great news can sometimes turn your whole life upside down and cause you great consternation. For me that moment came in a planning meeting with our financial advisor. At our request, she was running a few scenarios to see how and when we might be ready for retirement. She shared some of [read more]

The Importance of Minority Mental Health

In this blog post, guest contributor and licensed psychotherapist Shameka Argo shares her insights and personal experiences about the importance of minority mental health. Her approach puts focus on our collective responsibility while providing practical tips and resources to help safeguard our individual and community mental health and wellness. She invites us to get comfortable with the [read more]

Passing the Baton

I’ve been thinking a lot of gender equity these days. Well, actually gender inequity. Perhaps it was prompted by the daily news barrage or pending legislation that threatens to strip women and minorities of their constitutional rights. Or maybe it was from watching TV shows that made me dream of a better world in which  [read more]

The Networking Funnel of Opportunity

At a networking skills CPE class that I facilitated a few years ago, an accountant asked me a very insightful question: How do you turn a new contact into a meaningful connection? That got me thinking more deeply about what’s involved in actually forming relationships – the kind that can really help you advance your [read more]

Ageless Conversations

Is it true what they say about every generation criticizing the one that follows? If so, how can we prevent ageism from creeping into our thoughts and polluting our relationships? What can we do to foster and engage in more ageless conversations in our workplaces and beyond? I ask these questions because I recently had [read more]

Need More Patience?

They say that patience is a virtue, but why does it have to so painful? If you are like me, an Achiever who has a bias towards action, you want to see things get done in a timely fashion (aka fast!). Making progress on important projects and initiatives creates satisifaction in one’s work. It creates [read more]

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