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):
- things you don’t have time for
- things you don’t enjoy doing
- 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
- 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!