How to Work with a Personal Assistant
šŸ•”

How to Work with a Personal Assistant

David Perell and Rebecca Olason

  • a little bit of laziness is good, giving someone a good job and operationalizing the work
  • don't mistake busy-ness for business
  • assistant - enjoy novelty, co-shape role
  • david perell accomplished - articles, newsletters, twitter following, write of passage
  • write 90 minutes a day, publish youtube videos, hobbies
  • finding an assistant - how do I know if I'm ready?
    • busy calendar and busy mind will destroy ability to create anything great - naval
    • sluggish work, frustrated, overwhelmed, cash
    • best if there's already a system - need x leads to generate y revenue
  • misconceptions
    • workload
    • pay
    • instant win
    • no training
  • best tasks: It's not that hard, but it takes a while
  • questions to ask
    • full vs part time
    • timezone spectrum
    • where do you need help
  • personality type: find someone who different strengths who shares your values
  • important to communicate boundaries
  • weekly review
    • tasks accomplished
    • open questions
    • blocks
  • every urgent message is a failure in the system
    • as few moving parts as possible
  • position details
    • 1099 contractor
    • 20-25 h per week with room to grow
    • recommended pay: $18-22 per hour
    • long-term expectations
  • test candidate by requesting a detailed response to job posting:
    • 16 sentence email
    • subject line
    • paragraph 1 (ask for specific font/colors for each paragraph)
    • paragraph 2
    • paragraph 3
    • paragraph 4
    • resume
  • more expensive option: use https://greatassistant.com/DavidPerell for serious candidates
  • interview questions
    • job fit: what gives you satisfaction
    • compatibility: how do you learn best
    • personality: how do you stay organized
  • as a leader, must set clear expectations
    • NO to "I'll know it when I see it"
    • e.g. Cocoa-Cola's 1915 creative brief: "a bottle so distinct it could be recognized by touch in the dark or when lying broken on the ground"
  • the 11 laws of showrunning
    • the path - always describe a path to success
    • next steps - don't leave a meeting until everyone has directions
    • the gift of clear directives - every clear directive is a gift b/c it relieves the staff of the stress of having to divine your goals
    • trust - a clear directive is a way of saying I've taken the time to figure out your goal, now I'm trusting you to take that knowledge and figure out the process

  • mistakes will happen. don't get mad!
  • make checklists and SOPs to create organizational capital and prevent repeated mistakes
    • reality has a surprising amount of detail
  • meet 2x a week
    • pick tasks that take 20-60 min
    • clear enough to define, short enough to learn fast, long enough to save time
      • general admin
        • respond to emails
      • managing you
      • the middle 80%
        • publish videos and articles
        • upload and proofread newsletters
  • rookie mistakes
    • hard to teach tasks
    • tasks that require a lot of training
    • one-off tasks
    • limiting tasks to admin
  • what should I spend more time doing?
    • energy
    • unique gifts
    • alive
    • flow state
    • personal monopoly
    • feels like play to me but looks like work to others
  • what should I spend less time doing?
    • dread
    • boring
    • others can do it as well as you
    • things you procrasinate on
    • repetitive, time-consuming activities
  • key information
    • general: address, DOB, key contacts, reward accounts and frequent flyer numbers
    • booking travel: no flights before 12pm, non-stop, window, ecnomy plus, preferred airports
  • 3-month window needed to save you time
    • watch one, do one, teach one (write SOP)
  • time tracking:
    • figure out blocks, get good data
  • delegation
    • vision - design a company that is actually fun to work for
    • resources
    • definition of done
  • making the public-facing tone clear if assistant is answering emails for you
  • give feedback intermittantly rather than all at once
  • good intentions don't work. mechanisms matter.
    • create a system so the problem doesn't arise in the future
    • optimize for more than time, e.g. number of times things change hands
  • passwords, sensitive info - share only after building trust with other tasks

šŸ“£

If you like these notes, go to https://christinchong.com for more notes & essays ā¤ļøā€šŸ”„ You can support my notetaking efforts by any of the following: šŸ—žļø Subscribe to my newsletter šŸ¦ Follow and DM me on Twitter šŸ‘©šŸ»ā€šŸ’» Schedule a chat ā¤ļøā€šŸ”„ Sign up for the Compassion Accelerator community šŸµ Try honeyritual tea (use CHRISTINSFRIEND10 for 10% off)