Season 3 / Episode #65 : Michelle Thompson
Michelle teaches people how to delegate and outsource tasks correctly so they can gain back their time and their lives. Awesome Outsourcing, LLC specializes in organic Facebook and LinkedIn lead generation, creating omnipresent content for entrepreneurs, and virtual administrative services.
Her courses include how to delegate tasks to others without a dip in quality or the need to micromanage, helping clients hire, train, and manage a team, and how to hand tasks off to be magically delivered back, completed.
Her podcast Automate to Dominate follows her amazing journey of automating and outsourcing her way to financial freedom, sharing everything she learns along the way about building multiple passive income streams in numerous areas of life. This show is for entrepreneurs and small business owners who want to build passive income streams to create the freedom they have always dreamt about, and aren’t afraid to work for it.
Guest, Michelle Thompson is a CEO of awesome outsourcing. And what she does is she helps people to free up time and mental capacity by teaching them how to delegate less than 25 an hour, $25 an hour jobs.
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[0:38] The Good Note – Story of Success
[1:39] The Bad Note – Story of Failure
[6:23] Practice Makes Progress
[9:07] Assembling The Band
[16:15] Keeping the Hat Full
[21:07] Guest Solo
Intro / Outro: Are you a work at home rock star, or do you dream of becoming one? Then you found the right podcast. Your hosts, Tim Melanson talks with successful work at home rock stars to learn their secrets and help you in your journey. Are you ready to rock here’s tim?
Tim Melanson: Hello and welcome to today’s episode of the work at home rockstar.
Very excited for today’s guest. She is a CEO of awesome outsourcing. And what she does is she helps people to free up time and mental capacity by teaching them how to delegate less than 25 an hour, $25 an hour jobs. Very excited to be rocking out with Michelle Thompson, Michelle. Hey, are you ready to rock?
Michelle Thompson: Absolutely. Let’s do it.
Tim Melanson: Perfect. All right, so we always start off on a good note. Tell me a story of success in your business that can inspire people.
Michelle Thompson: Yeah, this is super timely. Um, so I got this, uh, Text message today from, um, one of the gals that we hired probably a year and a half ago. Um, and honestly haven’t heard from her in a while and, uh, she just sent over.
Uh message. Um, that was like, Hey Michelle, hope you’re doing well. I’m still working with Blake. And I always thought of you and how grateful I am for having this job. Thank you for the opportunity. And I’m just one of the many lucky Filipinos you guys have helped wishing you and your business success have a great day.
And that is just. Just made my day because that’s, our mission is to make people’s lives better. Both the employee and the employer. So that was definite win
Tim Melanson: right on. Yeah, I got to love when you get those testimonials just out of the blue too, right? Yeah. Awesome. So now, okay. With the good note also comes to bad, then there’s some things that are not going to go as planned.
So, you know, through your journey, is there something that didn’t go as planned and what can we do to avoid it or recover from it?
Michelle Thompson: Yeah, absolutely. Um, so I’ll go back in time a few years when I first started delegating and, um, without even realizing it, I was expecting somebody to be a mind-reader. Uh, so what I did was, um, at the time I had a blog writer.
And he was also creating the graphics for the blog. And so I said to him, Noriel, I want you to go out and I want you to find a successful business person and use that for, um, you know, the, the topic of the blog post and, and make a cover photo for that. And when it came back, I got, uh, I just started laughing, right.
Because, um, I don’t know if you’ve seen the picture of. It’s a painting where the guy’s face is actually a green apple, and he’s wearing a black suit with a red tie and he’s got like the hat and he’s holding the umbrella and it’s raining outside. And when you first look at that, like it’s kind of like dark and ominous almost.
Right. And, uh, you don’t like ness. It doesn’t instantly go wow. A successful business person. Right. Cause it’s, it was like raining outside and all kinds of crazy stuff. And, um, I was just. Wow. Um, that is not at all. What I meant was a complete disaster. And, uh, I realized it was my fault because I didn’t explain, um, what I was thinking.
And so what I did to fix the problem, uh, was I went over to, um, uh, a free picture site, like Pixabay or something like that. And I went through maybe a hundred photos and I recorded me going through those photos. I was like, okay, Noriel these are the photos that I like, and these are the reasons why I like them.
It fits in our branding colors. Um, you know, green and orange doesn’t match with pink and purple. Um, so I wouldn’t pick this picture cause there’s a lot of orange in it. Um, I wouldn’t pick this picture because I don’t like the way that the guy’s arms are crossed. He seems very closed. We want something that’s more open.
Um, I do like the way that this person is smiling and. Brings up a, a pleasant feeling. And so I literally just went through like, I just random hundred pictures just typed in like business person. And, um, just went through and explain not only why I liked them, but the reasons why I liked them, um, you know, color scheme, branding, font, overall feel, um, you know, uh, Way, the people are posed smiles.
It’s crazy, things like that, you know, all that stuff. And, uh, you know, it took me maybe 10 minutes to do that, to record that video. And I sent that off to him. And do you know, in the last five years I’ve had to change one picture and if we will stop and slow down and realize. You know, when we get something back that we didn’t expect chances, are it wasn’t the employee chances are, I didn’t explain.
Well, and so if we can just look at it through that lens and say, okay, what didn’t I explain? Well, and how can I fix this? Uh, we will end up being phenomenally more successful.
Tim Melanson: Oh, really, really smart. And actually using video like that. We do it as well in our business. It is so much easier to explain something on a video.
And then also you don’t waste any time because, you know, if you get the video wrong and we start it, you go again. So you’re not wasting the time of your employee when the employee gets something or. Subcontractor or whatever it is, they get something very succinct and they can use that. And on our side as well.
I love it when, when, uh, every once in a while a client will say that, oh, you know, that’s not really what I was looking for. Can I just send you a video? I’m like, yes, please do send me a
Michelle Thompson: So my two favorite tools for that, um, loom.com, L O m.com. And, um, scribehow are you familiar with Scribehow
No, I use loom all the time. So tell me what.
Michelle Thompson: Yeah. So scribe. How is, um, like if you didn’t want words, if you wanted to show somebody a process very quickly, uh, what it does is it records what your mouse does on the screen, and then it puts it step-by-step and actually like spells it out for you. Go here, do this.
And so you have the video, but then it also. Uh, types out the steps. So it’s an amazing way to do a workflow really quickly.
Tim Melanson: Well, I’m going to have to take a look at that. So now, uh, on our journey, we have to get good at what we do. We have to constantly reinvent ourselves and practice. And I’m wondering, how do you approach the, you know, the practice getting good at what you do?
Michelle Thompson: You’re going to hate this answer, but, uh, fail and fail quickly. Um, I am not afraid to fail. Uh, for me, I learned a long time ago. Failure is nothing more than feedback. And when you look at it that way, um, you realize that. If you fail, it’s just data for what didn’t work. And so you sit back and you analyze and say, okay, it didn’t work this way.
Let’s try it this way and this way and this way, and what are our results. And then look at the data again. And so. You know, even in like delegating or outsourcing, right. Like let’s say, um, so it took me like 16 years to get really good at it. And when we first started, um, I had a couple bad hires. Right.
And I was like, okay, how did they get through my filter? What did I miss? And it wasn’t that it was a. You know, there was some type of failure on my part, or I just picked a bad apple or something weird like that it was okay. That person would have fit amazing in some other culture. It’s not that they’re a bad person, it’s that they didn’t fit in my culture.
And so if I would have defined my culture a little bit better, I would have naturally polarized them away from me. And so that’s just one. One really good example. And so for me, um, I just go out and, uh, we, we laugh because we say, uh, we take massive imperfect action daily and it’s never going to be perfect and it doesn’t have to be perfect.
Uh, but just the simple fact that we’re taking action. Um, I forget who says it, um, it might be in the outliers, but, um, all you have to do is if you can get 1%. Every day, that’s all you need. And so all you have to do at the end of the day is ask yourself. Did I move the business forward 1%? If the answer is yes.
Guess what? You got a gangbuster business. If you continue to do that. Yeah. Atomic habits. That’s what it was. Sorry.
Tim Melanson: Yeah. I just recently read atomic habits too. And, uh, I think the one thing they talked about it in the one thing too, but yeah. Uh, wow. No, I, I love your answer and I agree. I don’t think there’s any such thing as failure.
I think it was will Smith that said you only fail when you quit. And, you know, there’s lots of mistakes along the way, but failures, you know, is one of those things where, you know, you really only fail when you’re done right.
Michelle Thompson: Yep, exactly.
Tim Melanson: Right on, so, okay. That’s awesome. So now what about you, you know, you’ve mentioned delegating a few times, uh, in order, in order to go far, you kind of have to, if the band people that you could play with.
And so I’m wondering, who do you put yourself around and how do you find good people?
Michelle Thompson: Yeah, so for me, um, and this, this answer will vary, um, for everyone, but for me personally, um, I actually take a look at, um, hiring executive assistants out of the Philippines. And the reason for that is, um, I love their work ethic.
I love their culture. Um, English is their, uh, primary language inside of schools, inside of hospitals, things like that. So, uh, they’re also very used to, uh, north American culture. Um, so just like we’re watching the NBA finals, so are they, um, so it’s a very easy transition and I can very easily, um, record a video, explaining what I want and send it over to them and have them create it.
Step-by-step so. When I tell people a lot of times they’re like, oh my gosh, I can’t delegate because I don’t have time to get with delegate. I already don’t have time. Like, how do you expect me to do that? And it goes back to our loom video, right? You have to do the task anyway. Click record, take an extra 30 seconds and explain why you’re doing what you’re doing.
Do not create the SOP yourself, please. Standard operating procedure. Send them the video. And if I have a template for it, if you guys want it, email me email@example.com. Happy to send you the template and have them watch that video and create step-by-step with pictures pointing. And guess what?
Now that task is handed off and save that video, upload it to like Vimeo or whatever. I don’t care what you use and you will never have to train for that task again. And what I tell my team is, you know, everybody’s like, oh yeah, that’s great. But then how do you keep all your SOP is up to date. We’ll get.
Each person that does that task once a quarter, it’s their job to go in and look at the original SOP and change anything that’s changed, right? Facebook move the button over here. You know? Uh, no, we can’t that this decision tree doesn’t work anymore. We don’t do that in our business. So take that out. Um, and what happens is.
Created systems for your entire business, uh, without you having to do it, all you did was record one task at a time.
Tim Melanson: Yeah. And isn’t it a catch 22 that people say they don’t have enough time to make more time, right?
Michelle Thompson: Yeah. Yeah. Cause it’s a snowball effect. Some people get so bogged down. They’re like, oh my gosh, I don’t even know where to start.
And you’re like, it’s okay. Just start with one task. And if that gives you. 10 minutes, take five of it to record the next task and the other five to go have a cup of coffee or whatever. Right. And now you have 20 minutes. Now you have 40 minutes. Now you have an hour, three hours, 10 hours. And it’s just the snowball effect.
Um, and if we, when we don’t put pressure on ourselves, um, We become far more productive way faster because it doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be polished. We don’t have to take the time to write it all down. So as a business owner, that’s not our job. Our job is to transfer the knowledge from our brain to someone else.
Tim Melanson: Yeah.
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Okay. So you’ve probably dealt with a lot of. Uh, responses to why they, why people would not want to delegate. So other than time, what do you think holds people back from delegating their tasks?
Michelle Thompson: Yeah. Great question. Um, a lot of times it’s fear and for that, what I mean is. We’ve worked so hard to build this business up. And if I hand this task off to somebody else and they screw it up, it’s going to damage my company reputation. It’s going to damage what I’ve built my relationship with my client, which is going to turn into loss of money, X, X, X.
Right? And so we, we, we spin that around in our heads. And what we don’t realize is when we tell ourselves that we become the bottleneck. Of our business. And so we’re not able to help as many people as we could simply be because nobody can do it as good as I can. And so I have to do it all myself. If you can just get somebody else to do it 90%, the way you would have done it.
That’s good enough. And now when we’re talking about things that need to be exact, right. I don’t want my accountant getting 90%. Right. But that would be bad. But so there are some things that, you know, there’s no buffer, but other things. Okay. We’re going to make a social media graphic and put it on Facebook at the end of the day.
Does it really matter that I would have moved to the photo three degrees that way and change the font to 14 instead of 12. Um, you know what somebody is going to scroll through that and like, not even stop, right. And you spent 45 minutes freaking out about the fact that the picture wasn’t three degrees, right?
So. We have to, we have to be okay with the fact that if we can get it 90% of the way you would have done it does not necessarily mean. Wake up call there’s more than one way to do things. And just because you would have done it that way doesn’t mean that that’s the only way to do it. And when you give your employees that freedom, a lot of times they will shock you and it will come back better than you would have done it because now they have the time to do it in your brain space.
Tim Melanson: Oh, no, not better.
I’m going to work myself out of a job,
Michelle Thompson: but that will never happen. Promise, you
Tim Melanson: No, that’s actually, that’s a really, really good answer as well, because I think a lot of people sort of like try to make up these other made up answers about, oh, well I just, you know, I, I, I don’t know if they’re.
You know, going to be capable or I don’t know if, you know, I have the time to really put it together, you know, all these other excuses, but really I think you’re right. It comes down to fear of losing that task and losing control. And it might even also be of, you know, maybe they are getting busy doing that task that they do really, really well.
And they’re just scared to move onto the next task of, you know, growing that business.
Michelle Thompson: Yeah. Yeah. It’s their comfort zone, right? That’s, that’s, what’s nice and comfortable and we don’t want to step out of that because then it gets uncomfortable.
Tim Melanson: Yeah. And I mean, cause that, that kind of leads into the next topic, which is, you know, cashflow keeping the hat full because then the next thing is, you know, what do I do next?
You know, if I’m hiring people in delegating, well now that’s money out of my pocket going to somebody else. Well, how do I, how do I refill.
Michelle Thompson: Yeah, I love that question. And I’m a firm believer that, you know, if you’re going to hire somebody, you should at least three or four X, what you’re spending. Right. So if you’re spending a thousand dollars a month, they should be bringing in five thousand.
Right. And the way that we do that is by freeing up your time, by not spending your time doing those $25 an hour tasks, does that free you up to have more, whatever it is, sales calls, um, more time to bill at $200 an hour or whatever it is. Um, so that that’s the one part is that we free up your time so that you can really build out your specialty.
And you’re not stuck doing the admin type type tasks. Uh, but the second part is, um, absolutely 100% used them as a lead gen machine. Right. They can be, uh, networking for you. They can be sending out emails, they can be on social media and creating a presence for you creating a brand. Um, and we actually have, uh, that’s one thing that we do when we, we teach all of our.
Executive assistants before that we placed them with, with a company is we teach them how to do lead generation on LinkedIn and Facebook. So that hopefully from day one, um, well now let’s be honest. It takes 30 days in the hopper for it to actually start working, but I generate probably three or four appointments a week just off of that strategy.
And, you know, When they’re doing it, let’s face it. When we do it ourselves, we’re not consistent because we don’t have the time and just having the process and the consistency will bring money in the door.
Tim Melanson: Um, you’re a hundred percent, right. Uh, when I do the social media myself, I, I dropped things, you know, but I think, I think I love what you’re saying because when you, when you put it into a process, then it.
Your employees are probably less likely to second guess the process as you are when you create it. Right. And I get that, like, I mean, when I create the process, I’m like, okay, this is what works, you know, you got it all figured out and then I’m getting work and I’m like, well, you know what? I’ll just try this, you know?
And then next thing
Michelle Thompson: you know, you have to do hashtag research it’s yeah,
Tim Melanson: just do it this way. You know what happens, but your employee, I mean, if that’s their job, that’s their job. They’re doing it the best way that you already know. Now, if they come back with feedback and say, Hey, I tried this and it worked well, then now you can make a decision, but they’re going to be probably spending less time messing around with your processes.
Michelle Thompson: Yeah. And so, like, email’s a perfect example for this. Right. I don’t get a ton of emails, but I don’t manage my own email inbox. And the reason is I go down rabbit trails. That I shouldn’t go down. And so I look at the email and I’m like, oh, that’s interesting. Maybe I could go to that summit. Right.
And then I signed myself up for a summit where I’m going to sit and listen to days on a thing where I really don’t get anything out of it. And for whatever reason, right. Because I went down the rabbit trail. And so I have somebody manage my. Inbox for me just simply so that they can put them in folders and tag them so that I only pay attention to what I really need to pay attention to.
Um, and it goes back to that, um, that brain space, that capacity, I shouldn’t be using my brain on anything other than, um, you know, what’s super important for the business and what moves us forward. Because you only have a finite amount of energy each day. And if we’re not refilling it by doing the things that you’re really good at the things that energize you, um, it’s just a time suck and that it ends up costing money.
And then I am a barrier to the business because I didn’t do what I was suppose.
Tim Melanson: Yeah. And I think, I mean, I’m taking something out of this interview as well. Cause I would think I would like to delegate a lot more of the, the, the sales type, especially social media stuff, because wow. Is that ever a rabbit hole you get on social media and your, you know, your intention is to go and, you know, generate some leads and, you know, make some comments and all that next thing, you know, You’re wasting an hour of time on something that doesn’t matter.
And meanwhile, you know, my time is worth way more than the time of the employees that I would be hiring, I would assume. So if they ended up wasting that time, not only do I, maybe not even have to pay him for it, but even if I do, it’ll be at a much lesser rate. Right.
Michelle Thompson: Correct.
Tim Melanson: Wow. Very, very cool stuff. Okay.
So I’d like to know more about this, but let’s get into your guests solo right now. So tell me about what you guys do and what’s exciting in your business.
Michelle Thompson: Yeah, sure. So what we do is we hire, uh, pre-trained and vetted, uh, executive assistants for upper six-figure lower seven figure businesses. Um, and what we do is we come in and.
Uh, have you recorded the videos and then we turn them all into standard operating procedures, and then we use that to train your VA. So day one, they are already pre-trained and ready to rock and roll. Um, so if that is something you’re interested in, I would love to chat. You can find out more information at awesomeoutsourcing.com.
Tim Melanson: So now they, you said upper six-figure lower seven figure businesses. So these are probably medium-sized businesses.
Michelle Thompson: Yeah, it depends on what type of business they’re in. Um, a lot of people that we work with, um, are still solo preneurs, and they’ve hustled and grinded. Um, and they’re, you know, they’re at 300,000 and now they’re capped, right?
Because they just can’t do anymore. Right. They can’t wear all the hats anymore and they know that they could get to 600. If they could just get somebody to help them with X. Right. And that’s where we come in and really shine. And so we’ll take them from mid six figures to upper six, seven.
Tim Melanson: Okay. Okay. Yeah, because I think a lot of the concepts are all very. Relatable to people who be making much less than that, even just people that are getting started. However, I imagine that the reason why it’s, because you’re actually placing people who need to earn a salary and in order for them to earn a decent salary as an executive assistant, they would need to be in a company that’s earning a decent amount of money.
Michelle Thompson: Yeah. And the last thing we ever want to do is hire somebody and then offer them a job. And a, the business owner is freaking out like, oh my gosh, I can’t sleep at night because I don’t know how I’m going to pay them. And B the employee feels that. And then they’re like, oh my gosh, I need to go get another job.
I just left my really good job for this job. And now I don’t have a job. Um, and so you can actually get a really good, um, executive assistant for seven to $10 an hour, but you have to be super comfortable with, you know, uh, in us dollars, a thousand to $1,500 a month. You know, you have to be able to, you know what, Hey, I am very comfortable with, with that number.
Um, otherwise it is, um, it’s, it’s not in your best interest because you’re just not ready yet. And it’s definitely not in the employee’s best interest.
Tim Melanson: Okay. And so all of the people that you guys train are all out of, uh, places where a seven to $10 an hour is, is good, right?
Michelle Thompson: Yeah. So, um, that’s typically.
And so this is an interesting question because people are like, oh my gosh, why are you paying such low wages? Right. Um, so it to put it in perspective, um, Making seven to $10 an hour in the Philippines would be equivalent to about a hundred to $150,000 in the United States a year. So that’s upper-middle-class for them.
Um, once you make $2,000 a month in the Philippines, you’re considered rich. Um, and it’s just because of the U S dollar to Filipino peso conversion rate. Um, there are. This is very sad. Um, unfortunately people will, will work for $2 an hour. Um, average minimum wage for a day in the Philippines is about seven to $10 a day on an hour.
Um, so when people come to me, uh, and they’re like, oh, Hey, I’m going to hire somebody out of the Philippines for $2 an hour. I was like, okay, great. You’re not going to work with me. Right. Because my job is to, um, Eliminate poverty in the Philippines. And so what we’re going to do is we’re going to pay them an upper six figure salary.
We’re going to pay for their health insurance. We’re going to pay for them to be able to afford, to send their kids to college so that we can break that cycle of poverty. So, um, just so it’s understood seven to $10 an hour is actually a very, very good, um, good wage there.
Tim Melanson: Wow. I love what you’re doing. That’s a really, really cool idea. And it’s a win-win for everybody around.
Michelle Thompson: Yeah. What I did was I took everything that I absolutely hated about outsourcing like all the slimy ness of it. And we turned it into a positive, you know, I, I hated the fact that, you know, people didn’t get benefits and we didn’t save for their retirement and they didn’t have any time off.
And I hated that people treated them. Like it was just a vending machine, like B2 out pops, virtual assistant. That’s not the way it works, there are human. Right. And so I took everything that, that we hated and we turned it into a positive and said, how can we change the culture around this?
Tim Melanson: Yeah, I love it.
And, uh, I think that you’re also taking a lot of the hesitation away from, uh, the people on this side of the, of, of it too, where, you know, even myself, I mean, I, I feel very, very weird about hiring, you know, overseas and even Philippines and stuff like that. I know. People for much less money, but I also worry about, you know, language barriers and I live worry if they’re, you know, really committed.
I worry if they’re going to be around for a while. There’s just so many things that I don’t, I’m not sure of. And it seems like you’ve got like, kind of that in-between where you’re making sure that you’re vetting the people so that when you do place them in, then they’re going to be a good fit for a long.
Michelle Thompson: Oh, yeah, we’ve got a crazy hiring system. So we actually have like a five phase hiring system where we put them through, uh, four different tests and two video interviews. Uh, so they have to really, really want the job, uh, to work with us. Um, and. So we honestly, and that, and like I said, it took me 16 years to, to figure that out.
Uh, so we honestly, we don’t have a problem with people ghosting us or people just not showing up for work or, um, because we’ve, pre-vetted like when, when we go out and we hire for somebody, um, you know, we’re going to go through 300 people to find that top three candidates. And then the one that we’re ultimately going to hire.
Tim Melanson: So. Love
it. Okay. So tell me again, how do we find out more about this?
Michelle Thompson: Yeah, sure. It is awesome. outsourcing.com where you can just drop me an email. Michelle, M I C H E L L E at awesome. Outsourcing all one word .com.
Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Thank you so much for rocking out with me today. Michelle has been a lot of.
Thanks so much, Tim have a good day take care.
Tim Melanson: And to the listeners, make sure you subscribe, rate and comment. We’ll see you next time when we’re at home rockstar podcasts.
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