Molly Rose Speed – Virtual Assistant Management

Jul 12, 2022

Season 3 / Episode #75 : Molly Rose Speed

by Work @ Home RockStar Podcast

The Back-Story

Molly Rose is a talented strategic thinker with cultivated skills in online tech solutions, systems, and processes that improve company efficiencies. With a background in finance and analytics, Molly Rose started her own business in 2014, serving online entrepreneurs as an outsourced COO: managing systems, online programs, and processes.

As the founder of Virtual Assistant Management, which provides trusted Virtual Assistant solutions and flawless tech execution for busy entrepreneurs, Molly Rose is the go-to professional for some of the most successful entrepreneurs and leaders in the financial and personal development industries.

Molly Rose is an awarded military spouse and solo world traveler who believes in creating a business and a life that allows you to do more of what you love.

Show Notes

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In This Episode:
[0:00] Intro
[0:33] A story of success
[2:58] What was something that didn’t go as planned in Molly’s journey?
[5:46] How Molly finds people she works with
[9:11] The tools Molly uses in her business
[13:19] Where did Molly learn everything she does now for her business?
[15:27] On hiring coaches
[20:11] What’s new with Molly’s business?
[24:01] Find out more about Molly and her work
[24:32] Outro

Transcript

Read Transcript

Tim Melanson: Hello, and welcome to today’s episode of the work at home rockstar podcast, excited for today’s guest.

She is a business operations expert and the founder of virtual assistant management. Very excited to be rocking out today with Molly rose speed. She helps people to. Become VAs. And she also helps businesses to find VAs. So this is a very, very good topic for a work at home rockstar podcast episode, excited to be rocking out today.

So are you ready to rock?

Molly Rose Speed: I am so excited to be here. Thanks Tim.

Tim Melanson: Great. So we always start off on a good note. So tell me a story of success in your business that we can be inspired by virtual

Molly Rose Speed: assistant. Also friend of mine, my first that I trained, uh, Did the VA path for several years and just called yesterday elated because she landed a full-time virtual position as a brand manager for a cybersecurity company, making really fantastic money.

10% bonus at Christmas, two raises a year, a retreat in Greece team meetings, like the full package all while working remote. And I just, I didn’t soak it in at the time, but just hearing her voice and how excited she was to have. It, it just validated what I do and, and just super exciting to see this, that VAs can go from managerial admin work to being brand managers for a really cool up and coming company.

So really cool.

Tim Melanson: Yeah. Yeah. That’s really cool. That came up recently too. Like VA is like a great starting place for pretty much anywhere you’d wanna go because you’re, you’re your. You’re becoming like an assistant of somebody who’s running a business. So you’re getting to learn what they do. And they’re starting to hand you parts of their business that.

They probably had to learn as well, right? Yeah,

Molly Rose Speed: yeah, yeah, absolutely. And it really is more than being a assistant. It’s an operations director. It’s a COO, it’s a VP of ops director of ops, whatever you wanna call it, the, the virtual assistant name just isn’t enough for what we all do.

Tim Melanson: So, yeah, exactly. And if, I think back to when I first started my business, When, when someone starts to become self-employed I know for me, it was like, oh, you know, I, you know, I’m good at this particular thing.

And so, you know, rather than go work for a company, I’m gonna do it for myself. And then you find out that running a business is a lot less of that thing than is all this other stuff you have to do. And that’s the kind of stuff that ends up getting delegated to a VA. So it’s, it really is a good place to start for a business.

Molly Rose Speed: Yep. Absolutely. I mean, you’re literally writing my marketing that I do for my, uh, clients that we replaced virtual assistance with. I’m like, you know, you started a business and you wanted to do this service or you this passion, and this was the thing you were gonna provide or the product you were gonna create.

And you along the path started wearing 27 plus hat. And those are all the things that you need to start to delegate and off board.

Tim Melanson: Love it. So now on this path, not everything goes as expected. so I’m wondering, you know, we talk about the bad note here. So what was something that didn’t work out as planned on your journey and what can we learn from that?

Molly Rose Speed: I think there was a lot when I started that, I just didn’t know, you know, I didn’t have a program to follow. I didn’t have a mentor and I just figured it out. So I spent years under charging, working and not billing hours specifically to that client. I’m like, oh, I’m learning or I’m doing this or it’s okay.

And I just left a lot of opportunity on the table. And then I also worked for a lot of people. Didn’t wanna work with, I was just taking the carrot like, oh, they need me, they’re asking for my help. I’m just gonna do it. And I became very overwhelmed and I was working for people that I just didn’t enjoy.

And the markets really changed. So many people are looking for virtual assistance where we’re kind of in the position now to, to cherry pick who our ideal client is or have really good rates. And so I just, I spent a lot of years struggling with that and, and once I figured it. It was, you know, sky’s limit became a lot happier.

Tim Melanson: Yeah. I think that most of us probably do the undercharging thing. Uh, and, uh, but I think, and, and, and, you know, you know, learning as you go and doing some research and sort of like having these less, um, and undercharging clients is. Probably something that isn’t gonna hurt you that badly mm-hmm but one thing that will hurt you badly is working for the wrong people.

yes. I think that’s one that, you know, really, I hope that someone’s listening to this and goes if, if you’re not getting a good gut feeling from it, just run just one.

Molly Rose Speed: Yep. Cause

Tim Melanson: it’s not gonna work. No, it’s not gonna work and it’s gonna drain you and it’s going to take away from your passion.

Molly Rose Speed: Right. Mm-hmm mm-hmm and I’ll also add one more thing.

Cause this is really important. I think having boundaries from the beginning is super important. You know, I was available when you set a precedent that you’ll pick up the phone at 8:00 PM or you’ll do something on a Saturday morning, you’re then available to do that. And that’s the expectation. And that was something, you know, learned through the struggle.

Got. Got those clients out new clients in, and then I’m like, Nope, it’s eight to five or whatever the parameters were and being really balanced with that also changed my life quite a bit.

Tim Melanson: Yeah. Yep. Um, so for me, what I, what I had gotten the habit of doing is always. Respond with I’ll. Let me get back to you.

And even if you’re getting back to them in 10 minutes, you’re still because sometimes it’s, you’re gonna get to a point where that 10 minutes is just not gonna work for you anymore. Mm-hmm and you’re right. You have to get set that expectation right off the bat. But yeah, that’s a really, really, really good point to not jump every time that even if you have the time, you could still put ’em off for 10 minutes, right?

Yeah, absolutely. Right on. So now, uh, let’s talk about the band a little bit. Let’s talk about how you find people, cuz this is your area. So yeah. So what are your sort of like golden nuggets on how you find people to. Work with.

Molly Rose Speed: Yeah, so I’m a military spouse based in the us. So my market just by nature has been military spouses and that’s how we’ve start, started to grow.

And I think this demographic is amazing and untapped, you know, we’re all displaced. We’re all for the most part in kind of rural areas. Some are in cities. Spaces. Uh, but we’re for the most educated, don’t have to be though, as a virtual assistant, I have VAs that are, have their master’s degree. I have some that have PA you know, physician assistants, degrees.

I have three of those. It’s crazy. I’m like, you don’t wanna go do that all walks of life. That just kind of come in. Um, and I’m a huge networker. I think that if you don’t walk your talk and get out there and be proud of what you’re doing, you know, I, I go to a lot of personal development conferences and I just share what I do and it attracts.

The kind of people that I want to be able to be powerhouse virtual assistance to then place to our clients. Um, so that’s my kind of two tactics that I’m currently working on and, and yeah, it’s going really well.

Tim Melanson: Okay. So your first tactic was really just figure out who you are yeah. And play

Molly Rose Speed: on that, play on and own it.

I mean like attracts, like if you’ve heard that, so yeah, having that. Confidence and sharing your story and your struggles and, and being a, a mentor to people. It just calls in this environment of people. And this is any position. This is any, this is for entrepreneurs listening and you’re selling your services.

And this is for assistance, trying to get hired by entrepreneur, anyone that’s.

Tim Melanson: Good way to do that. And, and I think that the only reason why people don’t do that is, you know, fear, I guess it’s, it’s, it’s being yeah. Afraid that you’re not gonna be able to pay your bills. So you’re like, okay, I’ll take any work for anybody anytime.

Like, whatever you, you know, I remember, you know, even just. Getting started. Someone would ask you, you know, who, you know, who do you help? Who’s your target market? Anybody , that’s like the wrong answer. Always.

Molly Rose Speed: yes. Yes. In fact, if you niche down and, and you’re just work, you just trying to work for, let’s just say real estate agents.

You’re probably gonna get accountants and attorneys and financial advisors and very few real estate agents. It’s like by showing that expertise in something, people like build trust in you and all of that, but yeah, the anybody thing. Oh man. You’re .

Tim Melanson: Yeah, you’re gonna have a hard time with that and for it.

Yeah. And you are gonna find yourself in that position that we just talked about, about, you know, attracting the wrong people, because you are going to be attracting people that just don’t get along. Like meaning, you know, we’ve all been in that. Place where there’s just certain people that you really get along with just for some reason and people that you don’t mm-hmm so that’s gonna happen to your business too, and it’s okay.

Molly Rose Speed: Absolutely. It’s okay. It’s just business .

Tim Melanson: Yeah. Ex exactly. And you know, and especially when we’re talking about working from home, I mean, all of our business is done from home, which means that they don’t have to be local. They can be anywhere in the world. So think about how many people are like you around the world.

You know? Absolutely. You don’t need to stress out no.

Molly Rose Speed: Yeah, Nope, absolutely. Yeah. I such a good

Tim Melanson: point. Important. Awesome. So now what about the instrument? So, you know, we, we live in a, an era where there’s tons of tools that we can use to get success in our business. So tell me some of those tools that you use.

Molly Rose Speed: So my number one tool for anyone working virtual is a project management tool. My pick is a sauna. Probably have talked about this on the show before, but a free tool. There is a paid version, but it manages all your to-do lists, your priorities. Who’s responsible for what? And when you’re working virtually, it just shows all on a team.

It shows complete transparency. Like there is a due date. If you didn’t get it done, you can comment why, and it’s, it just holds everyone accountable. I run my team meetings in Asana. I use it instead of email, you know, everyone’s inbox. Bursting at the seams and keeping it all in this tool, just it’s a time saver.

It is organized. People are productive. Um, there’s several out there that can do this, but Asan is my, my pick, um, working on virtual teams, something I notice, and this is kind of basic, I suppose, from a tool perspective, but you’re getting approached via email Gchat, uh, text message Voxer, um, You name it like phone calls just comes at us Facebook, you know, clients, Hey, can you do this?

Can you do this by picking one communication channel to communicate with your team is super, super important. So if it’s not a sauna, I really like using the walkie talkie app called boxer for communicating it’s that one channel. And then if there’s something that comes up, it’s an SOS, then you pick up the phone or you shoot then a text message.

Having those barriers, not only for the client, but especially for the assistant is super important sets boundaries. When you’re on the clock, you go to your boxer and get to work. So I think. Those are two big things I see in my space.

Tim Melanson: Wow. Yeah. I, I think this is really, really important because, uh, especially with email and even social media, like I know that a lot of, uh, people will use that for work.

And there’s, like you said, there’s just so much distraction coming into those channels all the time. And so it’s very easy to. Sidetracked and even us on something that is work like mm-hmm , you could have a, you know, maybe somebody, a client potential client that might message you. And all of a sudden you’re off doing something that you’re not supposed to be doing at that particular moment.

You can have time where, you know, that’s sales time and you’re out there doing sales at that time. But if your, if your work tasks are mixed in with your sales tasks, then you’re gonna get. Pulled back and forth. Right,

Molly Rose Speed: right, right. It’s that whole squirrel concept, you know, you’re like, oh squirrel, I’m gonna go over here.

And then an hour passes by and you’re not productive. It just doesn’t. Mm-hmm

Tim Melanson: yeah. Hey, rock stars. Do you need a website online store or just maintenance on your existing site? Well, then you have to check out creative crew agency.com. Creative crew agency is your full stop shop for graph design, web development, web maintenance, web hosting, and any general tech.

Go to creative crew agency.com and click let’s chat to book a free consultation and let our experts maintain your online business presence. So you can focus on building your business. And, and I mean, there, there is something to be said for being responsive to sales, right? Yeah. Uh, but. Uh, depending on when, um, maybe your role isn’t it isn’t that too.

So maybe that might be something that is not even on your list, but if you don’t get the work done that the, you know, the work that you’re hired for done, because you’re too busy doing sales, then you’re gonna eventually drop clients. Mm-hmm and it’s gonna cause you problems. So, you know, having some blocks of time would be useful, right?

Yes,

Molly Rose Speed: absolutely. Absolutely.

Tim Melanson: Awesome. So, so Asana is your tool of choice for that kind of stuff. Cuz it keeps everything in one place,

Molly Rose Speed: absolutely game changer. And everyone I introduce to it’s like, wow, where has this been? You know, you can see it visually, you can see it as list. There’s lots of different ways depending upon how your mind works.

Um, but definitely my go-to.

Tim Melanson: Yeah. Yeah. I like it. I think that’s a good, so some good advice and it gets people, uh, in your team, like you said, when you’re on the clock, you’re in.

Molly Rose Speed: Yep. And everything’s there, you know, and, and it’s a great also celebration tool, cuz you can see everything that was done for the week.

So it’s just accountability 1 0 1. And when you work virtually you have to trust your team. You have to trust the new hire that comes in. And this just adds that element.

Tim Melanson: So let’s go back to when you started your business, like did you know all this stuff already? Like where did you learn how to do everything that you do?

Molly Rose Speed: Yes, no. Okay. I said, yes, no, I did not know any of this. I don’t even think, well, Sana probably did exist, but it wasn’t like it is now. Uh, so I started with what I knew, and that was social media, which is still in high demand for those that are interested in doing that. Email management and bookkeeping. So invoicing collecting expense category, very basic admin tasks, but so incredibly valuable to a client.

And I didn’t realize that at the time. And I just started with what I knew, landed a client that was. Posted a job posting in, in one of the groups that I was a part of that, and I had a connection with him. So that worked out very well. And then it just snowballed. I got in into this whole world of, wow.

Okay. We’re we have a lot going on. How do I task manage all of this? Let me research task managers. Intro Asana or, wow. We need to really start email marketing. We need to get some list building going, started learning active campaign and, uh, convert kit over the years. Our InfusionSof, there’s so many different tools and you just have to be open and willing to.

Okay. There’s a way to make this more efficient. Let’s go learn this tool or let’s. I wanna learn web development and website creation or auto scheduling and create automated schedulers, or be a master travel. Book, uh, travel Booker or negotiate speaking engagements for clients. I mean, there are tons of things I’ve done that I had no recollection that I knew how to do when I was 23 years old.

So I think that that’s a huge awareness for anyone that’s starting. You start with what you know, where you’re at and don’t discredit your professional experience or your personal experience. You know, we’re all on our phones. We all for the most part, no social media. So just add, scheduling into your thing and see where it takes you.

Tim Melanson: All right. Yeah. So now. Yeah, cuz it is a very much a, a learn as you go type thing. Now I’m wondering though, like, do you participate in any type of like masterminds or do you hire coaches or anything like that?

Molly Rose Speed: Yeah, so it took me, well, I started hiring coaches about. Five years, way too late into my career.

And it completely changed the game. So I mentioned earlier, like attracts, like, so by elevating yourself into these conversations with coaches or mentors, um, it just upleveled my game. You know, I made the investment, so I was accountable to myself or showing up and using this time and asking the right questions and doing the work and listening to what my coaches were saying.

Um, but it. At, you know, linked me to this huge community. So just one coach I hired in 2019, she’s actually the, the president of the former president of chicken soup for the soul, the books that we probably all grew up with several of us. Yeah. Very well off woman and hired her to be my mentor Mo biggest investment I’ve ever made.

And now I’m her VP of operations and she’s funneling business into my virtual assistant management company. On autopilot, cuz she’s got this huge network. So by being open to that, it led to, wow, what can I do for you? What can I help you with? And she’s just upleveled me and introduced me to people that I never thought would be possible just by.

Introducing myself to the world of mentorship and paid coaching.

Tim Melanson: So you mentioned that you hired the coach way too late. Mm-hmm what held you back? What, what

Molly Rose Speed: was it? I think it was the investment. I think that, you know, we were hours for dollars. So everything that gets spent is like our money. Um, realizing now that actually spending some money on your business really helps you with taxes and it helps you grow in more ways than, you know.

Um, but yeah, it was just that, and, and I. Belief in myself, you know, I, as a virtual assistant, starting out, I was like, oh, you know, it’s just my little business. This is what I do. I wouldn’t introduce myself the way I do today. So there was a lot of confidence there, blockage and limiting beliefs in what I really had and what I was actually doing for clients.

I had a conversation yesterday where the game really is changing. Virtual assistants need to wear a different lens. We are truly the point person on several of these people’s businesses and the word assistant just doesn’t really do it anymore. So I think I, I held that for several years.

Wow.

Tim Melanson: Yeah. I think that’s really relatable.

Cause number one, uh, you know what you said about the not being serious about your business yeah. Is like, I, I think that’s fine though. I mean, I think a lot of people really do start it as a side hustle and it’s just this little thing and it grows and grows and ends up being something, right. Yeah. Uh, but when it comes to the investment of, of, you know, spending some money on a coach, I mean, it.

It is incredible that people spend so much money on a university degree. Mm-hmm with no plan at all. Yeah. It’s just like, well, I’m supposed to go to university, so, you know, what are you gonna major in? Oh, you know, maybe I’ll major in this, you know, maybe I’ll like what I know. And then when it comes to your business, you’re like, Oh, should I spend a few hundred dollars on a coach?

Mm. I don’t know. That’s a lot of money, you know, and it turns out that like, when I talk to people, like sometimes when you spend thousands of dollars on a coach, that’s when you really get a massive breakthrough and people are scared to spend a few hundred, right? Yeah. Yep. Absolutely. So I think it’s a matter of like, maybe just kind of like flipping it around a little bit and you, you know, when someone thinks about going to a career and they go and spend some money on a degree, you know, that’s not a big deal, you know, you go and take a loan for it.

And here we’re worried about taking a little bit of, of your extra income and putting it into a coach. Right.

Molly Rose Speed: It just needs to be a part of your, your, you know, if, if you wanna break it down, you make, you know, 10% of this goes to personal and professional development and just put it aside and don’t look at it and use it when you need it.

You know, something like that. If you have a blog really big block, I think that’s. A super important key to growth and scaling and really taking ownership of you as a business person.

Tim Melanson: Yeah. I like that strategy taking some money and putting it into a category of personal growth. Mm-hmm uh, cause I mean, I’m not, I’m speaking from experience as well.

Like I, it took me forever to hire somebody , you know, mind you, you know, I was out there and taking free course after free course after free course, but really I’ve found that things really. Expanded a lot faster when I put some money into it. And I think it’s just probably a skin in the game type thing.

Mm-hmm you don’t think things seriously when they’re free, right? Oh, yep.

Molly Rose Speed: Yes. I’ve learned that

Tim Melanson: yeah, right on. Well, you know what? It is time for your guest solo. So I wanna know more about what’s going on and what’s exciting in your business.

Molly Rose Speed: Yeah. So with the pandemic, you know, prior to the pandemic things were.

Status quo. We get some placements here and there we are bombarded right now with, so entrepreneurs, business owners, even corporations needing virtual support. It’s just snowballed tenfold, no longer our companies needing the person inside an office, the high expense, the benefits, all of that. They’re, they’re looking for contractors.

I call it fractional virtual assisting. You know, they can buy a portion of your time, which lends really well to. People needing flexible work. You know, a lot of our community and students are stay-at-home moms, kids go to school, they can plug in, do four to six hours of work and be present for their kids, go to the soccer games, go to the field trips, all of that, or their tra world travelers or their military spouses that are displaced constantly.

Sometimes they wear multiple hats. And so this is just, it’s been a big year of supply and demand and, you know, just like everyone. Going through town and you see there’s help one and science everywhere in the world. Um, virtual assistants are in high demand. So I, I run a, an academy, a training academy for people that are starting to become virtual assistants or those that have a little experience, but they’re really trying to step up their game and we certify you as virtual assistance.

And then we place you with clients through our management team. You can certainly go through my program and. Paying clients. It happens every day. Um, but we also provide this path for you. So you’re not going at it alone. Um, I’m really, really proud of the work I do. It’s it’s the most gratifying thing I’ve ever done.

And I had no idea that this was coming into my, my world when I started becoming a VA. So it’s just wherever you are and where you wanna take it.

Tim Melanson: Wow. I, I think this is a great path, cuz if you’re wanting to start a business and you don’t know what to do, then a VA is a great way to start, right? Yeah, absolutely.

Mm-hmm and, and I like what you said about how this doesn’t necessarily mean that you are gonna be going out there and finding others, solo entrepreneurs and working for them, you can actually start a business. And work for other businesses. Mm-hmm doing, doing this as well,

Molly Rose Speed: right? Yeah. Majority of our clients are, are marketing companies.

Yeah. Companies not, I mean, we’re talking 40 people, staff, not one.

Tim Melanson: Well, and, and I mean, this trend is huge. I, I remember when I like, cuz I used to work at a cubicle for a, a big, one of the biggest companies in Canada and. Near the tail end of that. Like they ended up going bankrupt , which is, you know, but, uh, but what was happening is that they were hiring more and more contractors.

They were hiring. They, they weren’t interested in hiring employees anymore. Mm-hmm so, and I remember for myself, when I started my business, I was interested in contracting because I didn’t want one client. I didn’t want to work for one business cuz if they went bankrupt screwed. Yeah. So, you know, having multiple.

Clients was attractive to me, cuz if I lose one, that’s fine. I got a few more that I don’t lose all of my income. And so, uh, you know, doing something like this and, and going and finding a few different clients, uh, Because they don’t need somebody full time. That’s a benefit to you, right?

Molly Rose Speed: Oh, completely. Yep.

A benefit for both everyone wins and the, the tribe that is in the VA world, they appreciate flexibility. They wanna be rewarded for their work and they want. Just have a purpose, but, and I always say to my VAs, um, you are creating your work around your lifestyle, where other people create their lifestyle around their work.

Like that’s the golden ticket.

Tim Melanson: So love it. How do we find out more about this? Yeah.

Molly Rose Speed: For those of you wanting to become virtual assistant virtual assistant academy.com is my training program. Fully take care of you, really excited to have anyone interested in that. And virtual assistant management.com is our placement agency and I’m Molly rose speed.

And I’m on all social channel.

Tim Melanson: Thank you so much for rocking out with me today, Molly, this has been a lot of fun. Thank you. I loved it. Cool. So the listeners make sure you subscribe right and comment, and we’ll see you next time on the work at home rockstar podcast.

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