An Online Entrepreneur’s Guide to Building and Managing a Virtual Team | Rebecca Livermore | Skillshare

An Online Entrepreneur’s Guide to Building and Managing a Virtual Team

Rebecca Livermore, Microsoft Office for Creatives

An Online Entrepreneur’s Guide to Building and Managing a Virtual Team

Rebecca Livermore, Microsoft Office for Creatives

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16 Lessons (1h 17m)
    • 1. Introduction

      3:23
    • 2. Objections

      3:14
    • 3. The High Cost of Doing Everything Yourself

      5:29
    • 4. How to Know You're Ready to Hire Help

      4:49
    • 5. 3 Lists to Freedom

      4:45
    • 6. Setting a Budget

      3:16
    • 7. Temp, Part-Time and Full-Time Workers

      4:28
    • 8. U.S. Vs. Overseas

      6:02
    • 9. Agency vs. Independent

      6:25
    • 10. Training Team Members

      7:57
    • 11. Sharing Files and Passwords

      5:24
    • 12. Practice the Golden Rule

      7:06
    • 13. Communication

      3:48
    • 14. When Things Go Wrong

      5:20
    • 15. Growing Pains

      3:42
    • 16. Your Project

      1:48
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About This Class

Have you ever felt stuck as an entrepreneur? Do you sometimes feel like the amount of time it takes to build a business simply isn't worth it?

If you've ever worried that you simply don't have all the skills you need to run a successful business, or if you've ever been overwhelmed by all the work that goes along with being an entrepreneur, then this class is for you!

In this class you'll discover:

  • The benefits of building a team
  • Low-cost ways to build a team
  • How to determine whether or not you're ready to build your dream team
  • The best way to decide which tasks to get help with
  • Tips for hiring your first team members
  • How to train your team so you can put things on autopilot and never have to worry about whether or not important tasks are being done properly
  • How to securely share passwords and files with your team members
  • Tips for communicating with your team to keep everyone on the same page
  • How to nurture loyalty in your team members
  • 5 ways to deal with team conflict
  • And what to do when things go wrong

Bestselling author Rebecca Livermore knows better than most how to build and manage a virtual team. Not only does she run a successful blog with the help of her own team members, she's also worked for top entrepreneurs such as Michael Hyatt, Amy Porterfield, Pat Flynn, Marcus Sheridan and Patrick Bet-David. She knows firsthand what it's like to be a virtual team member and what it's like to manage virtual team members of her own. Her unique perspective will help you grow a strong and healthy team that will not only work for you, but that will help you nurture team loyalty from your virtual dream team.

Meet Your Teacher

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Rebecca Livermore

Microsoft Office for Creatives

Teacher

Rebecca Livermore is a bestselling author, blogger, and the owner of Professional Content Creation, a company focused on helping business owners use content to market their businesses. She has worked as a freelance writer since 1993 and has served as a content manager for top bloggers such as Michael Hyatt, Amy Porterfield, and Marcus Sheridan.

Her passion is helping others create content more strategically so that they get the results they desire through their content marketing efforts.

She has been married to her husband, Chuck, for more than 30 years and is the mother of two young adults who affectionately nicknamed her, "Hot Rod Mama."

Need help getting started? Check out these recommendations!

If You're Just Getting Started with Blogging, Writi... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: hello and welcome to an online entrepreneurs guy to building and managing a virtual team. I have a question for you, and that is, is building a business harder than you thought it? Chances are it's a lot more work and takes a lot more time than you anticipated. The good news is, even if you have a super limited budget, giving the help you need is within your reach. And it's possible without selling off your first born or resorting to eating nothing but macaroni and cheese. The great news is that one of the best and most cost effective ways to do this is to build a virtual team. No employees are office based required, and you can start with whatever budget you have. Hi, my name's Rebecca Livermore, and I'm the author of the book The Bloggers Quick Guide to Working with the Team. I wrote this book because I've been on multiple virtual teams and some of them have been great and some not so great. The most important things that I want to share and why I decided to write that book and also why I decided to create this class is because I've experienced two sides of the same coin. On one hand, I've worked as a virtual team member. I've been a virtual assistant and a content manager and freelance writer. And on the other side of the coin, I have also managed virtual team members of my own. And because of that, I understand what it is to be a virtual team member. And I also understand what it is to be a business owner who hires virtual team members. And because of that, I understand both sides of a coin. This class is built on the premise that even entrepreneurs that aren't yet making Megabucks can't afford to have a team, and that having a virtual team is the best option for online from yours. In this class, you'll learn how to grow a team on a limited budget because after home way all have a limited budget. How doing everything yourself can actually cost you more money than hiring others to do the work. How to know when you're ready to hire team members? Where and how to hire your first team members. The best way to share files and passwords with team members and tips were keeping the lines of communication wide open. You'll also learn how to manage your team, the best ways to maintain loyalty and the overall happiness of your team members and what to do when things go wrong. Because, unfortunately, sometimes they will. As your project for this class, you'll determine the top three task. You should outsource and come up with a workable plan for how to find people to do those tasks without breaking the bank. So what are we waiting for? Without further ado, let's go ahead and dive in. 2. Objections: in this video, I give in to some of the common reasons why some entrepreneurs are hesitant toe higher team members. So the biggest concern for most people when it comes to outsourcing is the matter of money . How much is this going to cost now? Obviously, as I mentioned already, this is one of the biggest concerns, and this is especially true if you're just starting out and you're not yet making much, if any money in your business or with your blog's or whatever it is that you're doing now, if money is one of your biggest concerns, I have some good news for you, and that is that you don't have to have a huge team to be effective. And one of the reasons I recommend working with virtual team members is that you don't have to rent office space or have a lot of the other big expenses that many businesses have. And in future videos, I'm going to provide some tips for evaluating your needs and setting a budget, and also some low cost ways for building your team. Okay, the next reason that people are hesitant to hire team members is a concern that things won't be done the way that they want them to be done. Now, as a true perfectionist, I get it. Sometimes it is hard to hire people who will do things exactly the way that you want to have them done. But the good news is that sometimes other people do it better than you do. Yes, it's hard to believe, but it's true that sometimes other people will come up with creative ways of doing things and actually do things better than you would do them had you done them yourself. Also, when you properly trained people and you set up processes for doing things, then it's much easier to ensure that things will be done the way that you want them to be done. The next objection is kind of related to the 2nd 1 and that is that good help is hard to find. You know, there's a that's a common saying and there is some truth to that. That's the bad news, but there is some good news, and that is that quality people are out there and it is possible to find the perfect match for you and later in this class, I'm going to get into how to hire your first team members, and I'm also going to talk about what to do if you end up with a dud. 3. The High Cost of Doing Everything Yourself : In the previous video, I mentioned that one of the fears that entrepreneurs have when it comes to building a virtual team is how much will it cost? Let me first say that I totally understand your concerns about money. I'm a celeb preneurs, which is pretty much the exact opposite of being a big corporation that has deep pockets. Now, budgets do matter. And yet, in spite of that, I regularly hire help for my business. Why? Because the failure to do so can be incredibly expensive. Yes, that's right. Expensive. Have you ever spent a ton of time trying to figure out how to do something I have in fact, sometimes in my quest to save a few bucks all spend a ton of time on skill share or lynda dot com trying to figure out how to do something. And after trying and failing to get the desired results, I've given up and reached out to a professional. And to my chagrin, the pro turned around the completion of the task quicker than I could prepare an eat lunch . Not only did I waste a ton of time trying to get the darn thing done in the end. I ended up hiring someone to do it, and since the pro was incredibly skilled and didn't even take that long to get the task done, it didn't even really end up costing me that much. If only I had hired someone right off rather than trying to do it myself, I would have saved myself a lot of time and frustration. And I also would have avoided the next big problem, the extra expense of having to hire someone to fix what I did. Not only can you waste a lot of time trying to do something yourself in the long run, it can cost you more than if you had hired a professional in the first place. For example, let's say that you decided to tweak your website yourself. It was just a little tweak, and you wanted it done right away. Not to mention that you preferred not to spend the money on hiring someone else to do it for you. But somehow when you were working on it, something went terribly wrong, and your website no longer looks like your website. So in a panic, you do what you should have done right from the start and that IHS toe call your Web developer. Since your site is now officially messed up, you need help and you need it fast. And here's the problem. The emergency you created can be expensive, and it could have been avoided had you just called a professional rather than trying to do it yourself. So the next question that I want to ask you is, What's your time worth? You know, and the answer to this question is different for everyone, and it's an incredibly important one to answer now. If you provide services and charge an hourly rate, it's an easy thing to calculate now. If you don't have an hourly rate, you'll have to give this your best shot and just think about what you need in order to meet your financial goals. So, for example, if you work eight hours a day, how much do you need to make at a minimum in those hours in order to meet your financial goals? Now, every time you attempted to do something yourself, consider whether or not someone conduce Oh, it cheaper than you. For example, if your hourly rate is $50 which is rather low for most professionals and you can hire someone for a lower hourly rate, then you should do so now. In this scenario, keep in mind the extra time it will take you to do something compared to the professional you may hire now, using $50 an hour as an example, you may avoid hiring your Web developer that charges $100 per hour for help. But what if it takes her or him 30 minutes to do the task? And it takes you three hours to do the same task because it's not your area of expertise. But if would take her or him 30 minutes to Dio and it would take you three hours to figure out the task. Still be cheaper to hire the professional who has the higher hourly wage than you dio. Now it works even better if the person you hire is not only an expert at what they dio, but charges less than you dio. So, for example, again using your hourly rate of $50 an hour, perhaps you could hire a virtual assistant that works at $25 an hour. So the question would be why would you do anything that your virtual assistant could do for you when she makes half as much as what your hourly rate is worth. The key thing to remember is that while it may seem like you save money by doing things yourself, you have to consider the cost of your time. Sometimes the best way to increase your bottom line is to hire someone else to do the work for you. 4. How to Know You're Ready to Hire Help : in this video, I get into how to know when you're ready to hire help. I am a firm believer in hiring help before you desperately need it. The reason for this is that if you wait until you're desperate, you may make a hasty decision. And instead of hiring the best person or people for the job, you hire perhaps the wrong person in your haste. In addition to that, it takes time to get new team members up to speed. And if you're already overwhelmed, you may find it difficult to find the time to get things in place for your new team members . Next, I want you to hire your team members before you feel like you can afford to do so. Now. Let's face it, it can be difficult to hire team members when you first start your business, especially since you likely won't be making much, if any, money at the beginning. However, ideally, you'll hire some help for your blawg or your business. Whatever it is that you're doing before, you really feel like you can afford to do so now. I'm not a big fan of debt, so I'm not talking about using credit cards or other forms of debt to pay team members. At the beginning, you may need to sacrifice a little bit personally from your personal accounts in order to hire some of your team members. Now, before you protest too loudly, let me assure you that I'm not talking about personal sacrifices that require you to eat nothing but beans and rice. And I'm also not suggesting that you pull your kids out of any extracurricular activities that they may be involved in in order to pay for this. However, what I am suggesting is that you look for small ways to get help early on, and these small ways don't necessarily have to be expensive. Now. The reason for this is twofold. First, it will free you from the mindset that you need to do everything yourself, and that's a really important place to get to as an entrepreneur, and secondly, it will give you more time to devote, actually building your business in a way that will make it profitable. The great news is, is that you can start in very small ways. $5 here, 20 or $30 there. Skip the pizza and it's did hire someone to enter some information into a spreadsheet for you or to create some images for your blog's or social media for you, that type of thing. Those things don't cost a lot of money. And so it's easy to find money in your personal budget in order to pay for them now. Obviously, if you have a budget that can handle more than that, then go for it. But the key is to start small and work your way up. Now let's get into some of the signs that it's time to hire help. Okay, so I think that we can all relate to this. You have some task that you dread doing, and in fact you might not only dread doing them, they may sit there undone because you simply can't get yourself to do them. Let's say that your customer service is not at the level that you'd like it to be now. Just to be clear, customer service goes beyond dealing with actual customers. For instance, I consider customer service to even be things like responding to comments on social media or emails that you get from your blog's subscribers. Another sign is that if you took any time off from your business that it would fall apart. And basically, that happens when you're the one doing everything and nothing functions at all without you or and this is a biggie if you're too busy to take on new clients now, this relates back to the thing about how much is your time really worth and again using the $50 in our example? Uh, and let's say that you would pay an assistant $25 an hour to do task that you're doing and you're so busy doing those tasks, you don't have time to take on new clients and charge that $50 an hour rate. How about this one? You don't stay on top of things that matter in your business. Or how about if your family hardly ever sees you, and when they do, you're in a bad mood. Also, any other pressing things that bother you may also be an indication that it's timeto hire help now, even if it's in a small way. So I hope that this helped you get some ideas about when you should hire help and the sure signs that it's time for you to hire help for your business 5. 3 Lists to Freedom : in this video, I'm going to share with you an exercise called the Three List of Freedom or To Freedom that I learned from my friend Chris Tucker. Now you need just two things. To do this exercise, you need a pen or pencil and a piece of paper. Or if you prefer, you can just do this on your computer. And what you're going to do is you're going to draw two lines down the page to divide it into three columns. And as you can see, the three columns have different headings on them. The 1st 1 is hate to do, can't do and shouldn't dio. So in the very first column, you're going to write things that you just hate to do. So let's say, for example, that you hate to write, and yet you want written blawg content. You would put that into the hate to do column. Let's say there are things that you can't do, and I'll give you an example for me is I'm terrible at graphic design, and so I guess you could say I can do it. But I'm really bad at it, so I would put that into the can't do column, and then the third column is things that you like to do but shouldn't dio. Now, remember that just because you love to do something doesn't mean you should do it. Refer back to the video where I talked about understanding the value of your time. So maybe you love Teoh, uh, enter information into a spreadsheet. You just like typing stuff up like that. But it's something that could easily be outsourced to somebody else at a lower hourly wage than what you make. So that type of thing would go into the you like to do it, but you shouldn't do it. Call him. And this one is actually very important because we tend to do things we like to do, even if it's not the most profitable thing for us to be doing now. Once you've done this, make a list in priority order of the things that you want to outsource. Now, when you do this exercise, you're gonna end up with probably a ton of different things, and you may not be able to stay outsourced them all right away. So first, make a list of everything that you shouldn't be doing, whether it's because you hate it. You can't do it or you love it, but you shouldn't do it and then put those things in priority order. Now what you will want to dio is start with what you can't do. But that has to be done. So, for example, when I write a book, I have to have a cover for it, and I can't do that. I can't do the graphic design to create a cover because that's not my skill set. So but if I'm going to publish a book, I have to have a cover for it. So that is something that I can't do, but it has to be done next. A focus on the things that you can do but you hate to dio, and one great way to figure this out is just like if you have something on your to do list and you just keep procrastinating on it. Chances are that something that you can do, you have the ability to do it. But you just hate to do it. So first, start off with the things that have to be then, but that you absolutely can't do next. Priority is the things that you can do but that you hate to do. And also, if your budget is super limited to start off with the things that will cost you the least outsource. So, for example, it might cost you a lot of money to hire someone to do certain tasks and not so much money to hire somebody to do another task. So if your time Excuse me, if your budget is very limited, focus on the least expensive things first, even if the order may be different. If you had more money now in your project area, I have a couple of PdF's for you, so be sure to check those out. The first thing is exercise and that I've also included a pdf in the project area for information on where you can hire help. So be sure to check that out as well. Regardless of what you dio, be sure to take the time to do this exercise. It should only take you around 15 or 30 minutes at the most and then decide to taken action to outsource at least one of the things that you wrote down on the list. 6. Setting a Budget: Well, I can't tell you exactly how much you should budget for help with your business in this video. I'm going to provide some basic principles that will help you determine how much of your money you should allocate for outsourcing. One of the best business books that I've read in a long time is profit first By Mike McKell Wicks. The basic premise is that you pay profits first, and whatever is left is available for your expenses. The typical formula that most business owners uses income minus expenses equals profit. The biggest problem with this is that your expenses tend to expand to the amount of money you have. If you see a balance in your bank account, you may spend it simply because it's there with the profit first method. When money comes in, you allocate it to the appropriate accounts. Here's the suggested breakdown, along with the recommended percentage is prophet 5% taxes, 15%. Owners pay 50% operating expenses, 30%. To make this easier to understand, I'll start with a nice round number $1000 for every $1000 that comes in. Here's how do you allocate it, according to the above percentages, $50 would go to your profit account. 150 would go into your tax account. 500 would go into your owners pay or salary account, and 300 would go into your operating expenses account. There are, of course, a lot of variables and nuances, and I highly recommend you read the book yourself to be able to really dive deep into it. While your percentages may look a bit different, I'm going to use the above percentages to illustrate how to determine your budget for outsourcing. First of all, it's important that you don't forget about fixed expenses. Since you've already allocated money for profit taxes and owners pay the money that you'll have to play with when it comes to outsourcing will come out of your operating expenses account. Now, before you go out and blow all the money in your operating expenses account first, consider your ongoing monthly expenses. If you haven't been keeping up with your bookkeeping and you're not sure what your regular expenses are, simply take a look at your credit card statement, and if you use one your PayPal account, you may find that you have some expenses that you've forgotten about, And I also recommend that you actually go back over the last year in case you have some annual memberships in that type of thing that may not be billed monthly. Once you've made note of those things, look at what you have left in your operating expenses account. One thing I love about the Prophet first methodology is that especially once it's in place , it's easy to take a look at the balance in your operating expenses account and know whether or not you can afford to hire help. It's definitely easiest to know whether or not you can afford a one off expense compared to hiring a regular team member that you'll pay on retainer. 7. Temp, Part-Time and Full-Time Workers: Now there's some great news for entrepreneurs, and that is that it's no longer necessary to hire employees, and it's definitely not required to hire full timers in this video. We'll look at the pros and cons of hiring part time, temporary and full time team members. First, let's talk about hiring temporary workers. Hiring temporary workers is where many entrepreneur start. It's actually where I started. And if you haven't yet hired team members, this is where I recommend you start as well. Temporary workers are often hired for one off projects. For example, you may hire a Web designer to set up your blog's or a graphic designer to create your logo . Temporary workers are an excellent way to get your feet wet when it comes to hiring help. When I first started hiring help, I loved hiring temporary workers because at the time I didn't feel super secure with my income, and I didn't know whether or not I could afford to hire someone on a regular basis. In fact, I still prefer to higher short term workers. There's something very freeing about hiring someone for a specific task, negotiating a fee and not having any further obligation to keep paying them. However, as much as I love the freedom of temporary workers, there is a downside. Since you have no long term commitment to them, they also have no long term commitment to you, and they may not be there the next time you need help. For example, I hired a contractor in the Philippines to repurpose some of my block content into power point slides so that I could put them on slide share. Now, not only did she do a great job at a reasonable cost, she worked fast. Unfortunately, at one point when I went to hire her for another gig, she was nowhere to be found. She wasn't to blame for this, as she had made no commitment to me, no doubt, because I had made no commitment to her. Now, by all means, higher temporary workers. But just know that the perfect contractor you found may not be there when you need them the most. Now let's talk about hiring part time workers. In most cases, the part time workers you hire will also be independent contractors, but they have a higher level of commitment than temporary workers. It's important to note that when I say there is a higher level of commitment, I mean that they have a higher level of commitment to you, and you have a higher level of commitment to them while any worker can quit at any time. And while you can let any worker go at any time from an ethical perspective, it's important toe only. Hire a part time worker when you can't in good conscience, commit to paying them a set amount on an ongoing basis. Now, one drawback to hiring part time workers is that if they need full time income, they will need to work for multiple clients in order to make ends meet. So this means that while they may have a commitment to you, they also have a commitment to others. And since they can only do one thing at a time, your request may sometimes take a back seat to the request of their other clients. If you do hire part time workers, be sure to communicate ahead of time, which things are priorities and any deadlines you may have for work that needs to be done. OK, now let's get into hiring full time workers as your business grows, hiring full time workers is something worth considering. The biggest perk is that a full time worker, maybe more loyal to you and at the very least shouldn't have the distraction that comes from working for other clients. One thing to keep in mind is that hiring a full time worker is a big commitment on your part. Not only will it be more costly, but I believe you have a moral obligation to go into the relationship on Lee. If you can afford to pay a full time worker in the foreseeable future, this doesn't mean that you would never need to lay off a team member. The financial situation or the direction of your business may change, but chances are a full time team member will be highly dependent on the income you provide and may have perhaps even quit another job to work for you. So consider carefully the cost and the moral obligations before hiring full time workers 8. U.S. Vs. Overseas: in this video, I get into the pros and cons of hiring virtual team members in the U. S. Or overseas. Now, when I'm talking about us, what I'm really talking about is if you happen to live in a western country and your own country. So, for example, when I say us, it might be that your Australian and so that this would apply to you asking, would you hire someone in Australia or would you hire somebody and say the Philippines? So those are the things that I'm going to address in this particular video, So just apply it even when I say us apply it to whatever country you live in. Okay. So whenever the topic of outsourcing is discussed, the issue comes up of whether or not to hire workers in the U. S. Or again, wherever you're located, or if you should hire team members in countries where the cost of living and thus the wages are lower, such as the Philippines. Now there's pros and cons of hiring overseas. Many entrepreneurs choose to hire help from countries such as the Philippines. That could be a really great option for a couple of reasons with the most often cited reason being price. No doubt about it. Price is a huge consideration, especially in the beginning when your business isn't making a ton of cash. But it's only one consideration. Time difference is something else to consider now. Time difference could be considered an advantage or a disadvantage. Essentially, the days and nights are the opposite. Now this works well if you like toe assigned task during the day and wake up the next morning to find them done. However, if you like sending an email and getting a quick response, this may not be the best option for you. For me, a bigger issue is adapting to cultural differences. You can't hire someone from a different country and expect them to think like you dio and toe work in the same way that someone from your own country would. That doesn't mean that it won't work, but that you may need to educate yourself about the proper way to interact, and I actually put the responsibility for this on the entrepreneur. If you're choosing to hire someone from a different country for cost reasons, then I encourage you to take the time to learn about the cultural differences and adapt the way that you communicate and do things to fit well with the culture in the country where you're hiring the worker. I do also want to mention that cultural difference can make it more challenging to use a V A from a country such as the Philippines in a more public role. And now this varies person by person, and the one you hire may quote unquote sound like someone from the U. S. Now I have, ah, a couple of stories to tell you. First of all, one time I worked with an excellent transcriber from the Philippines. Generally speaking, the work was very good, but I noticed that sometimes the things that would easily be caught by an American were miss transcribe by this person. For example, when a reference was made to the energy drink Red Bull, it was transcribed as red ball. Here's another humorous example. Being distracted by email pinging on the desktop was transcribed as being distracted by a mule peeing on the desktop. Now that would indeed be distracting, wouldn't it? Now, thankfully, I proofread and edited the transcript before it went live. Now the truth of the matter is that even US based transcribers will sometimes miss here. What said. But the cultural misunderstandings can lead to some interesting reading. And again, this is not the worker's fault. Ah, you can't really expect them to be up on all of the terms that would be used in your own country if you're hiring someone from another country, So it's just something to be aware of. Okay, now let's talk about the pros and cons of hiring someone in the U. S. Generally speaking, the biggest conta hiring help in the U. S is cost, whereas you can hire full time help in the Philippines for as low as $500 per month. And that's more or less depending on the job. Even a minimum wage worker in the US makes approximately $1350 per month, and naturally, you can't expect ah, highly skilled person in the U. S. To work for minimum wage. Another kind to consider is that due to cost, you may be able to hire a full time worker from the Philippines, but you may not be able to afford to do so if you choose to hire someone in the US now on the plus side, team members that you higher in the US quote unquote speak your language, and I mean that both literally and figuratively. And by the way, English is also widely spoken in the Philippines. But the figurative aspect of it may be missing due to cultural issues, and being in the same or similar time zone can also be helpful, especially when it comes to impromptu meetings and real time communication via email, slack and so on. Now let's talk about local versus national if you do decide to go with US based team members, another decision to make is whether or not you want your team members to be local or if they can live in any state. In most cases, a desire for local team members stems from habit and sticking with what is comfortable more than necessity. With technology that we have available today, it's easy to share files in the cloud, chat via video and do most everything from a distance. One advantage to consider when it comes to hiring nationally versus locally is that if you broaden your scope to national, you have a larger talent pool to choose from. It may make the hiring process a bit more challenging, but also increase the odds of finding the perfect vet. Having said that, if you have a lot of hands on projects that you'd like to do in person with team members or if you simply like a lot of face time than hiring local may be right for you. 9. Agency vs. Independent: Now let's talk about whether or not you should hire virtual helpers through an agency or whether you should hire people who work independently. So perhaps by now you've made the decision to hire US based team members. Or maybe you think that you're better off hiring people overseas. You may even like me want to do a combination of the two. Once you've made that decision, the next thing you have to figure out is whether or not to go through an agency or to hire team members directly in this video all provide you with some food for thought on which option may be best for you. First, let's talk about the agency. Advantages has its true with most, if not all things. There are pros and cons to hiring help through an agency. Now here's some of the advantages. First, pre screening and training agencies take the first step. When it comes to vetting potential candidates, they may do background checks, interviews and perhaps even do some training. And as part of the screening process, they often also act as matchmakers, looking through their talent pool for team members that appear to be a good fit for you. This can save you a lot of time and frustration since much of the work is done ahead of time for you. Okay, Number two Multiple team members. Some, but not all agencies assigned more than one team member to you. One, maybe your primary worker and the 2nd 1 maybe a backup trained in all your basic task. This can really come in handy if your team member quits, becomes ill or has some other type of emergency that results in a quick exit. Number three deal with hiring and firing. Many years ago, I worked for a temp agency in the U. S. And while on the surface it may have looked like I worked for one company, the company where I went to work for every day. The reality is at a different company cut my paycheck and dealt with issues. Now, thankfully, I never really had a problem with this. But if the company that I worked for via the agency decided they wanted to get rid of May, they wouldn't even have to tell me. They would have simply communicated that to the agency, and the agency would have been the bearer of bad news. Now, while I prefer direct communication with team members, if a situation is particularly unpleasant, it can be nice to have an agency as the mediator. Now let's talk about some agency disadvantages. The advantages mentioned earlier are nothing to sneeze at, but no surprise. There are also some disadvantages. Here are three to consider. Number one potentially higher cost, as should come as no surprise, agencies often take a cut of what you pay for your workers. Now. This is totally fair and appropriate as they're providing a service to both you and to the team members. Unfortunate disadvantage to this is that there is the potential for a higher price to you and a lower amount of payment to the contractor. If at some point you decide to work directly with the contractor, you may have to buy out the person by paying a fee to the agency toe work directly. Number two. You may not get a self starter now. This is a broad generalization, and so much so that I almost didn't include it. But I think it's worth considering. While not true, in all cases, virtual workers who work for an agency may do so because they either don't have the drive or the know how to drum up business on their own, they may have more of an employee mentality as opposed to the mindset of a business owner. Now, perhaps that's a good thing if what you want is someone with an employee mindset. However, if you want a more independent thinker who knows how to make decisions on her own, comes up with innovative ideas and is very driven. An independent person may be a better option, since those skills are needed for someone who runs their own business. Number three, you would be limited to working with their talent pool. Now, if you decide to go with an agency, you'll be limited to the workers they have available. Some agencies air huge and have a lot to choose from, and others may only have one or two options for you If you choose not to limit yourself toe Working with an agency, you may have more freedom and choices about who you'll hire In some ways to understand the advantages and disadvantages to hiring help for your business directly rather than through an agency, All you have to do is considered the opposite of the advantages and disadvantages that I mentioned earlier. For example, when you hire a true independent contractor who represents him or herself, all of the money goes to the contractor rather than some of it going to the agency and the remainder going to the contractor. You will also have more freedom and flexibility and who you decide to hire, and you can negotiate the terms with greater freedom. Then you may be able to do through an agency. You also won't have to jump through any hoops to work with the independent contractor directly, since that's what you did right from the start. Those are all positives. But of course, hiring someone who works independently isn't all sunshine and roses. Among other things. It may be harder and take more work to find the right person. So, for example, when Michael High it decided to hire a podcast producer, he put an announcement on his blogged about the job, which included a job description and instructions on how to apply. He received at least 100 applications, and it was up to his team to vet all of the applicants narrow down to a handful of candidates and handle all the interviews, salary negotiations and so on. Ultimately, it worked well for him as a few years later. The person they hired is still working in that capacity. However, if the person hadn't worked out, he would have had to deal with firing him. In contrast, if he had gone through an agency, not only with the agency had done the hard work of finding the person, they also could act as an intermediary if there were problems. 10. Training Team Members: in this video, I get into some of the things that you need to consider when it comes to training new team members. One of the biggest reasons that entrepreneurs fell to train their team members properly is that training takes time. In fact, if you compare the time it takes to train someone versus doing something yourself, you may be tempted to give up on the whole team idea and keep doing everything on your own . Now, trust me, I've been there. But that's a short sighted way of looking at it in the long run. Properly trained team members can save you both time and money. Now, one way to keep from being overwhelmed with the training processes to hire just one new team member at a time and train him or her on a single task. Once you get the kinks worked out in the training and things are humming along with that one task, you can add new task. I like to start very small and simple, with a task that requires Manimal training so that my new team member can get started right away with very little supervision. While that beginning task is worked on I work on creating training for the Net task I want to assign now. Ideally, you will create training before hiring. This doesn't mean that you have to have a massive training library built before you hire your first team member. But do consider giving at least some basic training materials in place before you knew higher starts. This can make things much less stressful and much more productive for everyone. Now let's talk about creating processes. A process is simply a series of steps you take to achieve a desired result. We all have processes in every aspect of our lives. For instance, most of us use the same process over and over again to make a pot of coffee. We do those steps without thinking about it day in and day out. And because the steps of the same each time we can expect to start each day with the perfect cup of coffee, creating processes for your business ensures that the desired outcome is accomplished each time. Processes should be detailed enough and easy enough to understand that anyone with the proper skill set could do the task simply by following the process that's important to have processes in place for every task that is done on a regular basis in your business. This includes processes for you to follow as well. If you create documented processes for yourself to follow, not only will the quality of your work be more consistent. If you do decide to hand a particular task off to someone else, you'll already have everything in place, and the training time will be minimal. Now let's talk about a few things to include in processes. The key and most important thing to keep in mind is that a process should include a list of every single step that needs to be done In order for the task to be completed properly, I like to create a checklist for each task. The checklist should be in logical sequential order, and ideally, the checklist should be clutter free but linked to documents and videos that explain each step in detail. For instance, the process for uploading a new block postal WordPress may have starting a new post in WordPress as the first step, and while this is a very basic step for anyone familiar with WordPress, make no assumptions about the person you hire. The tacit do does or doesn't know, assume they don't know how to do the specific step in the process. Create a screen share, video or written documentation that demonstrates how to do the step. Now again, you don't have to put all of those details in the checklist, but you can include a link to the detailed documentation or tutorial video on the checklist , and that keeps a checklist Uncluttered but provides additional instructions the team member can refer to, if needed. Now this is a lot of work, but if you create this level of documentation in your procedure creation, a brand new team member without experience in an area can do the task by simply following the steps she laid out and referring to the training documents and videos. You can even have another team member fill in for the person who normally does a task if the person is ill on vacation or stops working for you. So now let's just get into a few of the tools that you can use to create processes. Now, at the most basic level, you need a word processing program away to take screenshots and a program for making videos So, for example, for word processing, you could use Microsoft Word or Google docks or one drive and both Google docks and one driver free. And if you're a Mac user, you may want to use pages. But keep in mind that you'll need to save the documents in a format that both Mac and Windows users can work with next. Screenshots your computer may come with a screen grab tool already installed. So, for example, Windows computers have the snipping tool and the print screen option as standard. Regardless of whether use Mac or PC, you can use the free service Jing for taking screenshots. I also really like snag it for screenshots because it has more options for marking up my images than gene does and snake. It and Jean are both made by Tech Smith and are available for most Back and Windows computers, however snag. It's not free, so it just kind of depends on what you need to do and your budget now for videos. The great news is that both drink and snag. It can also be used to create screen share videos, and you can also use screen flow. If you're a Mac user or Camped Asia, which is available for Mac and PC but most likely gene or snag it are all you'll need for training purposes. Now I want to talk about a service called Sweet Process. As your team grows, you may want to invest in sweet process. It's a tool for documenting procedures, and it allows you to create step by step procedures and add video screen grabs and so on to the processes. Each process has a checklist that the team members can use as they work through the process . It's pretty slick, and I definitely recommend it if you want to take your process, creation and presentation to the next level. Now, as you can imagine, creating processes takes a lot of time and a lot of work. And the good news is that you can have team members create processes, and this is in fact, one of the best ways to create processes for everything is to just have team members do it for you Now. This could be done if you hire team members who have more experience in you in certain areas, and you can also have team members update processes as things change or if they have ideas for improving some of your processes. In addition to that, you can create a process in one form and have the team member create a detailed process from what you initially created. So, for example, I created some screen cast videos showing how to do certain things. And then I had my assistant take those videos and create written instructions with screen grabs, so I didn't have to do everything myself. So that's another consideration, and that can save you some time as well. But regardless of how you do it, expect to spend some time creating processes and training materials for your team. 11. Sharing Files and Passwords: in this video, I get into some of the tools that you can use for sharing passwords and files with your team members, and I've used all of these with great results. Now the best thing is that all of these are free or they have free options available. So even if you're on a tight budget, they'll work for you. First of all, I want talk about two that are very similar. Google Drive and one drive Google Drive was the first tool that I use for collaborating with team members, and I've used it with my own team members and my clients have also used it to collaborate with me on various projects. Since then, I have actually switched to using one drive, which is very similar to Google Drive. And yet it uses actual Microsoft Office documents, which tend to be a little bit more robust. And there also is the option to have a notebook in one drive, whereas Google Drive does not have that, but either one of them will work great for sharing documents with your team members. I'm not going to go into a ton of information about what is included in thes But the short version is that you essentially have word, power, point, Excel and that type of thing. People can work on the documents with you in real time, and you can see the changes that they're making. And they can also access files that you've put in there to work on as well. Okay, Evernote is another popular option. And again, I used to be an Evernote user and switched to one note for various reasons. But the main thing to keep in mind is that if you like notebook type options, then both Evernote and one note are good options for you, and you can indeed share your notebooks with your team members. Dropbox is another popular file sharing option, and you can upload files of all types, including videos were documents, excel, spreadsheets, images and audio files. And then you can share those files with your team members. Now it's kind of funny because I started off with Dropbox and then I moved over to Google Drive and then eventually to one drive. All of these options allow you to upload files and share them with team members, at least at the time that I was using it. One downside to Dropbox was that people could not work on the files in real time, whereas in both Google Drive and one drive, they can. So with Dropbox, someone would, let's say, for example, download a file, work on it and then have to upload the revised file into Dropbox. So that's just something to keep in mind with that. Another option that I've used is creating private YouTube videos. Now this is a great option. If you like to create a lot of training videos, and you don't want to upload them to Google Dr One Drive or Dropbox, you can upload them to YouTube and make them private. Now it's important to understand the difference between private videos and unlisted videos . Private videos can Onley be viewed by people you've specifically shared them with. In contrast, unlisted videos can be viewed by anyone with a link to the video. It's easiest to select unlisted as the option for videos that you want to share with your team, because then it's unnecessary to go in and give new team members permission to view the videos. And if you use the unlisted option rather than the private option you could add links to your unlisted videos in the procedures that you create and the links will work regardless of who quicks on them. The downside, of course, is that since anyone with the Lincoln view the videos, it's possible for them to be shared with people outside of your team. So the best way to deal with this is to make videos unlisted. If you're not overly concerned about who sees them and make them private, if you want to ensure that only specific people have access to them for sharing passwords, last pass is the tool that I recommend now many business owners reluctant to share passwords with team members. But often in order for someone to do their job, they have to have your passwords. Well, one great thing about last pass is that it allows you to share your passwords with team members without them ever actually seen the password. When you change your password, you simply update it in last pass, and your team members will immediately have access to the new passwords without having to ask. You can also quickly remove permissions to access your various accounts. Should a team member stop working for you. Last pass is a convenient and secure way to share passwords with your team, and it's available for both Mac and Windows, and it has both a free and premium option. 12. Practice the Golden Rule: in this video. I want to talk to you about the golden rule, and I think that this is a way in which I'm may be unique in my perspective. And that is that I've worked as a virtual team member and also hired virtual team members. And sometimes as a virtual team member, I've been treated in a way that's not necessarily great. And so if you keep the golden rule in mind, then there will be a big difference in how you treat your team members. So that's what I get into in this video. All right, now, if you ask people what the golden rule is, you may get more than one answer. Some people say that it means he who has the gold rules, and that's how a lot of entrepreneurs behave. Others use the golden rule to me that you should treat others the way that you want to be treated now. Unfortunately, as I mentioned, some business owners use the first definition, and since they're the ones with the quote unquote gold, they take on the posture of being the ruler. Sadly, if you focus on being the ruler because you are the one paying people, you may end up with an unhealthy team now. It's true that as the business owner, you are the leader. But one aspect of effective leadership, especially if you want your team to be healthy, is to treat others the way that you would want to be treated. Now, while it may seem that you're giving up a lot by this approach, in the long run, your team will function better if you use golden rule thinking in the management of your team. Now, here are a few ways to go about that. First, pay what you would want to be paid. Managing a tight financial ship is important if you want your business to be profitable, but it's not cool to be as cheap as possible. Yes, she may up to hire workers from the Philippines because you can do so cheaper than you can if you stick with hiring people in the US and there's nothing wrong with that. But if you hire team members from the Philippines, you should pay them what is considered a good wage there. If you hire American workers, start them at the going rate for the duties they perform. If they're independent contractors. Pay them at a higher hourly rate than you would an employee. And the reason for this is simple. You won't have to cover the same cost as you would for employees. For instance, you likely won't provide office space, computers, health insurance and other things that you would for employees. The independent contractor must pay for all of those things, him or herself, and they only get paid for the work they actually do and aren't paid for Annville herbal hours, which include things like reading email, bookkeeping, learning new programs and so on. As a former independent contractor, I found that on Lee, about half of my work day was spent on billable hours. So you definitely need to keep that in mind with what you pay your independent contractors . Also, as your business prospers, reward those who work for you. For example, if you have a big launch and people had to work really hard to help you out with it, give them a bonus. If your team members skills increase, give them a pay raise if they work for you. Long term reward their faithfulness with bonuses and pay raises. The key thing is to ask yourself if you would want someone to be stingy with you hand, since the answer to that is likely, no. Then don't be stingy with your team members now for this next example, I'm gonna use virtual assistance as the example, and it really applies to any virtual worker. So what I want to talk about here is the need to let go of super V A expectations. So Chris Tucker has written a lot about the super V A syndrome, and the basic idea is expecting a single team member to be good at everything. It's easy the lapse into the sinking if you want to keep things simple, not to mention if you don't have the finances to hire multiple team members. But it's important to remember that no one is good at everything, and expecting that of your team members will not only frustrate them, it will also set them up for failure. Instead of expecting someone to be good at everything before hiring them, find out what they consider to be their strengths and weaknesses, and avoid hiring someone who claims to be good at everything. Even a person with multiple talents will have shortcomings. If someone claims to be good at multiple things, dig a bit deeper and find out what they really enjoy doing, because chances are if they really enjoy it, they'll also be good at it. For instance, if someone claims to be a great writer and also a great bookkeeper, ask which one of the two they most enjoy and focus their task on that resort to using them in the less desirable areas on Lee, when absolutely necessary and Onley on a temporary basis. Next, give credit where credit is due. Now. When I was still doing client work, I was content to mostly stay in the background. I didn't blab about what I did for others, even though I worked for some really big name people, and I didn't secretly long to have my name and accomplishments broadcasted. Now, in spite of that, I did appreciate it when I was publicly praised for the work I did because, let's face it well like that. And while it's best to publicly give credit for the work that others do, it's okay to be quiet about it as well. However, one thing that is wrong 100% of the time is to claim that an idea was yours or to take credit for work that was actually done by someone else. This became painfully real to me in an experience that I had. I once did a major project for a client that took months of work. The initial concept was mine. All the research on it was mine and the entire process for it was something I created. Receiving public credit for the work actually never even really crossed my mind. But I was shocked when this person publicly took credit for the idea and in fact went out of his way to go on stage and tell people about how he came up with the idea. I felt betrayed, and the trust in the relationship was broken as a result of him taking credit for my idea and all of the hard work that I did. So you know, the bottom line is, too treat all of your workers whether they're temporary, part time, full time, in the same way that you would want to be treated, because the golden rule truly never goes out of style. 13. Communication : in this video, I get into the importance of keeping the lines of communication open. Now. A lot of heartache, conflict and confusion can be avoided if the lines of communication are kept open. Well, you don't want to spend an excessive amount of time on communication. Regular communication can contribute to the overall health of your team. Now be lower. Some of the tools that I've used in both my work four clients as well as with my own team members, uber conference and free conference call. Now both of these are free conference call options that are quick and easy to use. These air great options to have team meetings or, if you want to for some reason, have a call recorder with an individual, but just make sure that they understand that the call is being recorded, if that's the case. But they're definitely great for team meetings, since multiple people can be in on the call easily and from often from anywhere in the world. Next is Skype, and a Skype is great for video chats, and one thing that I love about it is that it's free, and as long as people have an Internet connection. They can use it from anywhere in the world. Now, this is especially great option if you use one drive for your documents sharing and storage , because you can actually start conversations with your team from within the same dashboard where all of your files are located. Next is slack and Slack is a relatively new kid on the block compared to things like Skype . But it's quickly gaining momentum, and it has both free and paid options. And for most small teams of the free option is more than sufficient. Slack is a great way to reduce the amount of email that goes back and forth. Since much of the communication on item can be done via slack rather than email. You can also set up channels that pertain to different aspects of your business and keep all communication related to a specific topic in one channel. So, for example, you might have a channel for your podcasts. If you have a podcast in a different one. For other aspects of your business, you can share the channel with just the people on your team who need access again. Using the podcast is an example. The only people who would need to have access to that channel are the people who work on the podcast. And that's true of any of the sharing or any of the channels that you dio. Okay, next is email now love it or hate it to some degree. Email is here to stay, however, since it's easy for emails to get buried, I don't recommend it as a primary communication tool. Instead, try one of the other options such a Skype or slack for your primary communication tool and use email Onley when necessary. Next are project management systems such as asana, and it's great because you can communicate about specific projects. Include files, deadlines and other things. And finally, is texting. Now. Texting is great for time sensitive communication. Now personally, since your team members likely work for multiple clients, I recommend avoiding texting unless something truly is time sensitive. For instance, if you send a time sensitive email and your team member didn't respond quickly, you may want to send attacks to alert them to the email. Regardless of what you use, it is important to communicate regularly clearly and consistently with your team 14. When Things Go Wrong : in this video. I get into how to handle it when things go wrong, because, unfortunately, sometimes things do go wrong. Now this is a simple fact of life that applies to everything, including teams. And because of that, it's important to plan for it so that you'll handle things well when the need to deal with problems arises. So I'm gonna talk about how to let someone go when needed. But before I go into that, I want to talk about the importance of managing expectations. And this is so important because most, if not all, of the conflict in relationships is a result of unmet expectations. You may expect your team members to know where do certain things and when they don't, you may be disappointed, frustrated and perhaps even angry. And by the same token, your team members may have their own expectations. And when you fell to meet them, they may become disillusioned and quit or even worse, start an attitude attack that spreads throughout your team. So, for both reasons, and it's important to always keep expectations front and center and communicate about them on a regular basis. So with that in mind, let's dive into fireable offenses and how to deal with growing pains on your team. Now it's often been said that you should hire slow and fire fast. And while I'm all for hiring slow, firing Fast can be a bit harsh. I do agree with that advice. If, shortly after hiring someone, you realize that they simply aren't a good fit now to avoid having to fire people, consider initially hiring them for small projects or a Siris of small projects before making them a more permanent part of your team. Now that could be one way of hiring slow. Once you've hired someone as a more permanent part of your team, it's important, in my opinion, to do your best, to give them the same chance and to make things right, as you would want if you were in their position. Having said that, if there are a few things that should be considered fireable offenses, even without a lot of warning, for example, if a team member steals from you, it's not out of line to immediately terminate them. Or perhaps they publicly bad mouse you. Those and other things that only you can determine can rightly fit into the fire fast category. Keep short accounts in all relationships, including both business and personal. It's important to keep short accounts. Don't let things fester. If something bothers you, let the person know. Likewise. If you sense that a team member is upset with you, don't wait for them to bring it up. Shoot straight with them. Let them know that you sense they're upset with you and ask if that's the case and, if so, what you can do to make things right. Make a point of fostering a safe work environment where people can be honest about their struggles without worrying about being fired. Obviously, they're respect is important. And if a team member is disrespectful on a regular basis, it may be time to part ways. But don't immediately shut people down if they're frustrated and just blowing off steam. Next, accept blame. There's nothing worse and blaming things that go wrong on other people when the cause of a problem is at least partly your responsibility. When things go wrong, admit your part in them. If a team member is frustrated with you, even if their frustration and criticism seems and just look for the kernel of truth and make adjustments as needed. Now let's talk about how to let someone go gracefully. In spite of all your efforts to hire well, communicate well and admit your own mistakes. There may come a time when you simply need toe. Let someone go, depending on your relationship with them and whether or not they could really jeopardize your business. If their disgruntled When possible, give us much notice to someone as you can. This isn't always possible when it's time to part ways things maybe tense. And the potential may exist for the person to do things that impact you, your other team members and your entire business in a negative way. If that's the case, consider immediate termination but provide some level of severance pay. If you have the means to do so, for example, you may let them go immediately and immediately cut off all access to your accounts. But give them one month's pay to help them in their transition. It's just a matter of the person not being a good fit for you, but someone that you may recommend to others write up a letter recommendation or leave them a positive recommendation on lengthen. You may even want to introduce them to others in your circle that you feel would be a good match for them. Now say as much as is needed to other team members about your decision toe. Let the person go, but never more than is needed. Remember toe once again, practice the golden rule by putting yourself in the shoes of the other person and treating him or her like you'd want to be treated if the roles were reversed. 15. Growing Pains: in this video, I want to talk about growing pains. I decided to separate it out from the earlier video, the last video, because it's not necessarily a time when things go wrong, but it may indicate that it's time to make a change. The important thing to understand is that there may be times when it's necessary for a team member to move on due to growing pains, either yours or theirs or sometimes both. So, for example, as your business grows, you may need someone to work more hours than you initially hired them for slight increases in hours, maybe welcomed. But if the demand is more than the person can handle, it may be necessary for you to part ways. Likewise, the other person's own business may be growing in a way that they can no longer accommodate you as they want to put more time into their own content or their own, whatever their own work is that they're doing. And as I mentioned earlier, it's important to understand that growing pains aren't necessarily a bad thing. As your business grows, you may become too big for some of your best team members, and on top of that. If you hire riel talent, they will likely keep growing and at some point may have gone as far as they can with you and need to move on now, even though it's likely a good thing changes often painful even when good. So the suggestions below can help ease this type of transition. First, I want to encourage you to have a transition agreement with key players. I had a nagre mint in place with one of my former clients. I worked a lot of hours for her, and because of that, what she paid me was the bulk of my income. I would have been in bad shape had the relationship been terminated with no notice, for whatever reason. Now, likewise, since I did as much as I did for her, she would have been in a bad place had I quit with only a two week notice. Because of that, when we together decided to increase my hours, we agreed that if either of us decided it was time for me to move on, that we would give a two month rather than a two week notice. Now, the time finally did come for that to happen, and the longer noticed helped both of us to transition well, now, obviously, this wouldn't work in every working relationship, but it's a good thing to consider with any key players on your team. Now let's talk about providing references and making introductions, assuming that you were happy with the person's work, provide references for them, write letters of recommendation, testimonials linked and recommendations or anything else that they need to move on to bigger and better things. You also might want to consider assisting each other in future projects. Now, just because you stopped working together in your previous capacity doesn't mean that you can't still assist each other on some level. For instance, in the relationship that I referred to above, I've been able to give input on certain aspects of this person's business, and she has also helped me out in various ways as well. So regardless of what you dio, when it's time to move on, don't burn any bridges. You never know when you may need to connect again in some capacity and never, ever publicly say negative things about the person. Regardless of the circumstances 16. Your Project : so welcome to the end of this exploration of what it may look like for you as an entrepreneur. Toe work with a virtual team while this class has come to an end. Hopefully, the journey for you is a team leading entrepreneur is anything but ending. It's time to embrace team members, however big or small the task may be. The main thing is to start. Start with small task and had bigger task and more team members as your business grows, and I just want to encourage you to embrace how others can enhance your business, never stop growing and never stop learning. Now has your project for this class. I want you to do the three list of freedom exercise that I mentioned in an earlier video In the project section of this class. You'll find a PdF that has the exercise go through the exercise and then in the project area. Share the top three task that you plan to outsource as a bonus if you'd like, you can also share whether or not you plan to use workers in your own country or whether you plan to outsource to people in another country such as the Philippines. Also, if you enjoy this class, I'd really appreciate it if you would give me a thumbs up that helps other people discover this class. And trust me, it makes my day every time I see that someone has given me a thumbs up Thank you so much for taking this class. And I absolutely wish you the best and all of your business endeavors, particularly in building your team.