The camel’s back can break in so many ways. Too stressed. Too busy. Then a dish falls. A meeting gets missed. And you feel like you literally cannot take one more thing. You hear that little cry inside, “I need help.”
But what kind?
Thank goodness for all the kinds of help that are available: coaches, assistants, and therapists. Having used all three to help me get beyond my blocks, I’ve realized the situations in which I was right (or wrong) about exactly who could help me in the moment.
Here’s what I’ve learned.
When You Need a Therapist
Have you had a specific trauma that makes you unable to focus on your job or business development? Do you have trouble going about your daily life because of it? Have you become socially withdrawn, overwhelmed with feelings of hopelessness, apathy, disproportionate rage, fear or anxiety? Sounds like therapy is what you need right now.
My therapist is a kind woman with a hypnotherapy background who’s been helping me navigate life for years. When we first started, I went into therapy with an end goal in mind. We talked things out once a week until I felt I met that goal. Now I just go in for emotional tune-ups. We’ll work on something, I’ll get through it, then I won’t see her for two or three months.
It’s so nice to know I have that person to go to when I need more attention than it feels right to ask from my friends, and a more educated and unbiased opinion than I’d get from my husband or family.
My only grievance is that she’s super loving and super sweet. She’s never going to yell at me to drop and do 20 lead gen emails. She’s never shaking me up or pushing me out of my comfort zone. She’s calming me down and comforting me. She’s more nurturing than anything else.
She helps me with the emotional blocks that keep me from feeling that I’m able or deserving of growing my business. But who was actually going to help me grow?
Coach vs. Assistant
A therapist helps you in the emotional realm, but both a coach and an assistant help you in business. So which should you do first?
Having done it the wrong way, I can tell you: get the coach first.
Just as businesses need to start with a mission and vision before planning their daily tasks, you need to start with someone who helps you sculpt your future before you hire the person who can take over the fine sanding.
Getting My Assistant Right
Are you swimming in business and leads, but can’t process them all because you are too busy doing the admin work? You hate admin work and have enough business that if you didn’t have to do that stuff you would be a much happier person… and create more business. You have to get a ton of childcare to cover all of the time you need to spend working and on administrative tasks due to lack of office assistance. You are not detail-oriented or organized. You have a good book of business but really need help keeping track of things and making sure that your contacts and clients are not falling through the cracks.
Get thee an assistant!
I hired an assistant before a coach, and even then I did it badly. She was someone I should have hired a year ago or even two years ago, before I hit it big in 2020, when I didn’t have as much riding on my new hire. It was like waiting until you’re ankle-deep in water to call the plumber. Suddenly I’m cast on this national show and now I have to make sure that I have created the infrastructure to deal with the business that will come in the future. I waited until I couldn’t afford for it to fail.
In my opinion, I played too small in my hire. I needed to put on my Beyonce hat and admit I needed someone dedicated to just me.
Am I allowed to do that?
Yes, you are!
I wish I had given myself permission before.
Instead, I set up a mentoring/assistant scenario. That’s a really big difference. Mentoring full time is a job: that person needs to learn from you in order to do the business well. They need constant babysitting, amongst other things. Depending on where you are in the business, this may or may not work for you. I thought it would work for me and then I realized that I DON’T HAVE TIME for a 24/7 mentorship. That’s why I needed an assistant in the first place.
So if you want an assistant, make a list of exactly what you want them to do. If you can pay someone, just pay them. If you need to leverage mentorship to trade for their help, make sure you write out exactly the amount of time you can dedicate to that.
With either time or money, you probably have to spend a bit more than you want to and try to figure out how you are going to make sure it pays for itself in the future. I have realized over time that in many cases, going too cheap on the hire can be a huge mistake. It’s leveraging the assistant that makes you make more money.
As they say, the most expensive thing is a cheap attorney.
Place a bet on your success and invest in your happiness.
My husband is always trying to keep his overhead low, but judging from how angry he is that he has to do the stuff I delegate, I feel like I’m winning here. My happiness, feeling good, and good mood are so important to me. I would go broke making sure I could stay in that zone.
The best assistant listens, follows through, and removes, rather than adds, to the tasks awaiting your attention.
Coaches for Mom/Real Estate Brokers
Do you have a lot of energy and you really want to work hard, but you don’t know where to direct your efforts? You have your “heart in the right place,” but feel like things just aren’t going your way. You feel discouraged and a bit disappointed with where you are in your business or life. You’re happy with your business but feel you could still do more. You want someone to push you beyond your limits. You think you probably could do more if you just knew how. That’s a coach you’re after!
Like I said, I waited too long to get a coach. The main point of the coach is that the coach is going to help you get it together so you can execute. You need to know what you want to execute before you can have an assistant to the execution.
But when I did, I knew I needed one with steel-toed boots. I needed a real ass-kicking.
As lovely as my therapist is, gentle healing is not what I need right now. I need someone who’s going to yank me out of where I’m comfortable and say, “Hey, can I give you feedback?”
I found someone who was the coach to some high-earning real estate brokers. One person said to me, “She’s not even really nice.”
I was like Yesss, I need someone who’s not really nice!
As soon as I talked to Vivace MaxVictor, I knew I needed her so badly, because no one else was going to kick my ass in the way she would. It’s so different than having someone who’s all rah rah!
Even better, she spent 10 years as a volunteer with Tony Robbins events. I’m a huge Tony Robbins fan.
Now that I’ve worked with her, I am so impressed. No, she’s not that nice. Yes, she kicks my ass.
Also, on a spiritual level, having a woman that powerful in my life is making me feel awed, like weekly. I can only imagine where I’d be if I started with her years ago.
With coaching, you just have to make sure it will push you, but it won’t make you feel more stress. Find out exactly how many hours you’re expected to devote to homework and other tasks.
You want somebody who’s a business coach who helps you distill what you’re actually trying to accomplish, keeps you focused, and tells you where you need to be and how to get there.
What you need from anyone who’s going to help you.
There are a few things I look for in anyone I go to for help on any level or in any realm. Here are a few keys.
- They vibe with me. I need positive people who are going to make me feel like they’re adding to my life.
- They’re educated in the same camps. You need someone who’s literate in the methods you love most, like Tony Robbins’ for me.
How to have success with someone who helps you
In any of these roles, you’ll find a few practices that help you feel the relationship has been a success:
- Go all in and be specific about what you need. If you don’t tell the universe what you want, you won’t get it.
- Don’t be afraid to start over. If you weren’t specific enough, or that person didn’t work out, it can be disheartening. But cut bait and try again.
It can be hard to admit we need help, but once you get the right kind, I bet you’ll wonder, like I did, why I waited so long.
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