Momentum Podcast: 300

Why Your Assistant Didn't Work Out

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

Hiring a good assistant can almost double your productivity. A good assistant is someone who wants to support you like crazy and that person is going to want clarity as to what that actually means. 

Your assistant needs to have a documented position with clear expectations to succeed. A lack of explicit expectations equals a lack of confidence in the role. Provide your assistant with clarity and they will charge forward with momentum.

Full Audio Transcript

Why Your Assistant Didn't Work Out

Hiring a good executive assistant, a personal assistant, somebody who's going to help you do what you do, can more than double your productivity. I know that, for me, that happens every time I find the right person that knows how to take care of things for me, to get things out of my way, and to help me move forward like crazy.

But there's a method to how I do things. See, there's a reason why most executive assistants don't work out. There's a reason why when entrepreneurs try to get help, most of the time it doesn't happen. And if you don't think it's most of the time, I can tell you that from experience, the vast majority of entrepreneurs I've talked to have tried to hire an assistant and have had a hard time with it. When you look at the number of entrepreneurs in the world today, or let's just look in the United States. There's 29 million businesses in the United States. 22 million of them are under $100,000 a year. If you want to go all the way up to a million dollars, 97% of businesses never crack $1 million.

So, most entrepreneurs never get significant help, and there's a reason why your assistant didn't work out. Let me tell you. The first thing I ask ... and I was just talking to a friend of mine yesterday, she's a solo-preneur. She's making the shift from solo-preneur in a very successful profession where she's highly regarded, a lot of people know who she is. She helps people one-on-one, and she's making the shift from one-on-one to one-to-many, to putting out some courses, to putting her content out in a bigger way, to amplifying the effect that she can have one-on-one.

Her first move was to hire an assistant. And yesterday, she explained to me how she had hired an assistant, and it didn't work out. And I said, the question I ask every single time, "How well documented was your assistant's role when she came in?" And she said, "Oh, it was very well documented." I said, "Okay, well explain to me. How did you document it?" "Well, what happened was, when she came in, we would work together on processes, and we would fill out the processes and document them. Then I would expect her to do it again." And I said, "Okay, well what kind of documentation, what kind of job description, what kind of role did she have spelled out?" And she said, "Well, none."

So, what happened was, a person was hired without clarity around a role. They were put into a position where they didn't have clear outcomes as to where they were going. And then they were told to make it up as they go. Here's the problem. The only people who like to do that is people like you and I. Your assistant isn't going to want to. See, a good assistant is someone who wants to support you like crazy. A good assistant is someone who feels like they win when you win. A good assistant is someone who's excited about making you more productive. And that person is going to want clarity as to what that actually means.

See, when you give them a clear outcome, when you have a documented position on the way in, when that person knows what you're expecting from them, everything changes and they actually become better at their job. Let me tell you why. When someone doesn't have clarity as to their position, they're going to lack confidence. When someone doesn't have clarity around their position, they're going to lack commitment. They're going to have a hard time with being confident. They're going to approach what they're doing with trepidation and fear. When someone is approaching what they're doing with trepidation and fear, when someone is approaching what they're doing with not a clear understanding of the outcome, it immediately takes them out of momentum. And as we, as human beings, are out of momentum, we're not good at anything. When we're struggling, when we can't see forward clearly, when we don't know how to win, it's very hard to find anyone who can succeed in that situation.

So, when you hire an assistant, the way to get them to work out at the highest level is, one, do an inventory of everything you're doing that you're going to hand off to that assistant. Turn it into a 4R document. We suggest everybody does a two-week time study. I've done a podcast on time studies. Go listen to it. It will show you how effective a tool that is. For two weeks, you record everything that you do. And that two weeks of recording turns into a document that gives them their role, responsibility, results, and requirements.

And here's the massive change that makes. In fact, you don't even change any behaviors. As long as you give an assistant that level of clarity, here's what happens. They now know the target. They know the outcome. They know what they're aiming for. They know your expectations of them, and that fundamentally changes everything. Because when they know where they're going, when they understand their role, what they're accountable for, and when they know how you're keeping score, people will charge forward with confidence. They will be in momentum. Your assistant will feel that momentum, and they will be better at everything that they do.

So, there's a reason your assistant didn't work out. If you didn't have a clear role, responsibilities, results, and requirements for them, if they didn't have clarity as to what they were actually doing on a daily basis, if it was a come in and learn it on the fly, about one out of 20 of those actually works out. 'Cause you find an assistant who's entrepreneurial enough, they can put up with the ambiguity for a long enough time to finally help you be successful. But the challenge with those assistants, is they often realize how much they've done, and then they go on to start a business on their own.

When you find the right person who feels like they're succeeding when you succeed, help that person by giving them a clear outcome, a target to shoot at, putting them in momentum, letting them know how they're doing along the way, and let them know exactly what their role is. When you do that, an assistant can double your productivity or far more.

Don't take my word for it. See, until you hire an executive assistant, you are one. I'll just say that one more time. Until you hire an executive assistant, you are one. So everything that you're doing on a weekly basis that isn't strategic, somebody else could be helping you with that. Through some documentation, some studying of your time, putting together the right role, responsibilities, results, and requirements document, you can bring in someone who can exponentially increase your productivity. And since you are the most important person in your business, there's very little else, there's very few other people that you can bring in that will increase your productivity and profitability as much as a world-class assistant who's been brought in the right way to be able to fully support you.

Are you ready to hire an assistant, build a team, create an infrastructure around you that creates a game-changing, world-changing organization? Then you owe it to yourself to be at our Billionaire Code Summit in September. And if you don't come to that one, at least get in touch with our team so you know when our summits are coming up. If you'd like to be in the room with multi-million dollar businesses that are growing their teams like crazy, if you like to understand the structure, the strategies, and the tools that will help you build a game-changing team, if you want to be able to leave Austin with a strategic plan that you are fully confident in executing with you, your team, and the infrastructure you will build, then you should be here. Go to, answer a few questions, and you'll have an opportunity to sign up for our event here in Austin.

There is a massive discount on tickets right now, only if it's your first time. So if you've never been to one our events, we want to help you get to one. Go to, and I'll see you in Austin, September 13th and 14th.

Thank You For Listening!

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