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Building a Team with my Marketing Virtual Assistant through Outsourcing to Business Success // Suraj Ethirajan
Episode 1430th November 2023 • Six Figure Business Mastery • Kirsten Graham & Jeanne Willson
00:00:00 00:19:37

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In this episode, join us as we dive into the fascinating world of video mastery, social media wizardry, and team building with the incredible Suraj Ethirajan. Known for his expertise in these domains, Suraj shares invaluable insights, tips, and secrets that have propelled him to success.

Whether you're a content creator, aspiring social media influencer, or someone keen on building and leading a high-performing team, this episode is packed with actionable advice to help you unlock new levels of achievement.

1. Video Mastery Unleashed:

   - Suraj unveils his strategies for creating compelling and engaging videos.

  - The importance of storytelling and visual aesthetics in video content.

  - Tips for overcoming common challenges in the video creation process.

2. Social Media Wizardry:

  - Suraj breaks down his approach to conquering the ever-evolving social media landscape.

  - Insights into building a personal brand and standing out on crowded platforms.

  - The role of consistency, authenticity, and adaptability in social media success.

3. Team Building Triumphs:

  - Suraj shares his experiences in assembling and leading successful teams.

 - Strategies for fostering a positive and collaborative team culture.

 - The balance between delegation and hands-on leadership in achieving team goals.

4. Navigating Challenges:

 - Suraj reflects on challenges encountered in his journey and how he overcame them.

 - Practical advice for handling setbacks in video creation, social media, and team dynamics.

 - Turning obstacles into opportunities for growth and improvement.

5. Tools of the Trade:

 - Insightful recommendations from Suraj on essential tools and resources for video creation and social media management.

- The role of technology in optimizing team collaboration and productivity.

As we conclude this episode, you'll leave with a wealth of knowledge from Suraj Ethirajan's journey, armed with practical strategies to enhance your video creation skills, dominate the social media landscape, and build a stellar team. Don't miss out on the chance to unlock the secrets to your own success in these dynamic fields.

Helpful Links:

Grounow

The Marketing VA Advantage 

Six Figure Business Coaching 

Mastering Online Marketing for Entrepreneurs

Double Your Income with a Marketing VA, even on a tight budget

Transcripts

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Welcome to the six figure business mastery podcast, where every week,

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Kirsten and Jeannie dive into the essential topics to fuel your business

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growth, from copywriting to course creation, mindset to video marketing.

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They've got you covered tune in for expert guest interviews on all things,

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marketing and business, and learn how to work on your business, not just in it.

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So get ready to unlock your business potential and take it to the next level.

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So we are so excited and I'm happy to introduce our amazing guest today.

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His name is Sue Rich, Ethi Rajan, and I got that right.

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And his company is Grow You Now.

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He's a career coach and founder of Grow You Now, and he helps tech

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professionals enhance their skills.

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Become more employable and achieve the rewards they deserve.

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He coaches both corporates and individuals and he customizes the coaching they

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need and provides role playing exercises to prepare them for the real world.

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So welcome, Sue Rich.

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We're so happy to have you.

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Possibly, um, coming on into our program, The Marketing Being Advantage.

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Your journey as an entrepreneur and really growing your business.

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So thank you so much for being here today.

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Thank you for having me.

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It's been an incredible journey because I've never done anything like this before.

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I've been on the corporate side.

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So doing it now on my own was great learning, both in actually setting

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it up, but also the do's and don'ts.

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For example, I did lead a global organization that went and trained.

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Billion dollar customers all over the globe.

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And we train those engineers.

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We're talking about hundreds and thousands of engineers.

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And in some cases we had to build a learning management system,

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create educational videos.

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We had our own YouTube channel.

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We were doing everything.

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And once I started my own company, I found myself as a

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single warrior doing all of it.

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And it, I took pride that I brought in high quality, but I was getting

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burnt out and I was doing it all.

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And there's only so much you can do in 24 hours.

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So it came to a point where I developed enough collateral, I developed enough

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speaking points and value propositions for the business, for career coaching, and

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I needed someone to actually scale this.

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And that's when I started looking out for opportunities, and people

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were reaching out to me for services.

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where they could actually scale what I was doing.

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I love video editing, but is that going to be the most important

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thing I can do to run my business?

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Actually not.

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And as a business owner, you've got to let go of some of those things that

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you might love to do because there are other important things to do.

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So that's where I was hunting for people who could actually take

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off some of the workload off of me so I could figure it out and do

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other things that are important.

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For example, how to engage in a sales conversation.

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It's not about selling, but I've never done it before.

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And it sounds cliche, but it's not.

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So learning how to speak public speaking, negotiation and things like that.

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I had to spend more time doing that than actually creating videos.

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So I needed help for that.

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I think when people start a business, we always say, business

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owner wears a lot of hats, right?

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But the reality is, I think when you start a business, you have no idea how

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many hats there actually are, right?

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Again, learning how to sell or how to have a sales conversation.

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Again, you're developing and you're growing and you're learning

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all these new skills that you didn't even know you needed.

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When you first get started, and it can be a little bit overwhelming, it was

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great that you saw the value in bringing someone on to help you do those things.

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And you said something that's very important.

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You said you really like video editing and it's the same for Jeannie.

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Jeannie is a very creative person.

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So she can build websites and she can edit videos and she can do graphic design.

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But the question is, is it always the best use of her time?

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And I think it's also really important if you especially are a creative.

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So you don't give up being creative.

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See Rich, I love video editing, but it is so time consuming and maybe I'm slow,

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but it just took too much of my time.

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And then all of a sudden it was like, when am I going to have time to get all

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the other things I need to get done?

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I'm so grateful that we have our VAs who do that for me.

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So that's really exciting that you saw early on that

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I'm at a point in my business.

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That I need to bring on help and so that's when you and I connected

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get an amazing being like you guys said with your guys's help.

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I had a great coursework and in my past life, I led organizations where

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I also taught how to put presentations together because I was formally trained.

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Output slides, how to story tell and things of that nature.

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And now I actually offloaded content creation in terms of

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coursework and slideware to the VA.

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And instead of doing what I used to do, which is teach how to have your three

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takeaways, how to have your presentation outline, how to build a course.

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I took a leap of faith and asked the VA to come from one direction.

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And I met her from the other direction.

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And the reason why I thought this was important is I wanted the VA's creativity.

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I wanted Anshuli's creativity to surface.

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Because if it's her creativity, it's more natural.

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If it is mine, then there are going to be some rough edges.

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And she would have to redo things because it just isn't natural.

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I had to let go of what my wants and likes are and rely on this other

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person who could add a completely different dimension for creativity.

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And I think as business owners, we've got to let go a little bit.

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So, in terms of video editing, I'm actually...

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Ended up doing the base off of a Word document that I would

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put together my thoughts.

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She also read it, the website from scratch and is going to do that one more time.

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So I just thought this was a really good way to let go of things that you love

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to do and do other more important things and leverage help with someone who can

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be creative and let their creativity shine and blend in with your business.

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That I love that because I totally get that you do have to let go and

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just trust and they're not going to do it the way that you did it and

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that's okay because it's going to be different and it might be better.

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Sometimes the VA's come up with something much better than I could have and I love

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that you also gave her ownership of it because you asked her for her creativity.

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She's going to be more and more vested in the outcome and how it looks

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and she's going to have to be proud of that and have pride from that.

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So you're a phenomenal boss.

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Thank you.

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And this is where I do want to give credit to you guys because

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the program that you had in place.

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You are able to bring in that same like minded people into the

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program for us to select as VAs.

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So that is the unique secret sauce that I saw that was unique to you

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guys, because you walked the talk.

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Like you guys actually embody the same principles that I'm talking about, and

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I think that's why we connected as well.

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So the people that you bring in for us to choose from also have these

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innate qualities that you cannot teach because you attract them.

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And I thought that was unique, and I want to give you guys credit for that.

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Thank you.

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Thank you so much.

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Yeah, it's so funny because going back when we first started outsourcing 16

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years ago, we did everything wrong.

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We were probably the worst bosses on the planet.

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And we were probably, we've made some really hires.

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We probably made some great hires, but we were bad bosses.

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So that didn't work out because of that.

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And we just don't think about how much of a skillset it is to be able.

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As an, as an entrepreneur to be able to hire and to be able to onboard and

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to be able to train and have all the standard operating procedures and then

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really figure out what hard skills.

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Do you want them to have?

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What soft skills?

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Do you want them to have?

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And I feel like that's something that we just really worked on.

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Really hard over the past few years, and I think that our team understands what

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we're interviewing and vetting people.

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And before we even invite them into our paid internship that we do

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want them to have that core value.

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We want them to really want to go to work for an entrepreneur.

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And know that they're going to work for them for years and know that

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they're going to be a value asset and they're gonna be part of that team.

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They're not just going to be this person halfway around the world that someone's

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going to throw a bunch of tasks to and expect you to do them that you're

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going to have an opportunity to bring your skills and bring your opinions

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and feel like a value part of the team.

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So we didn't really set out to make that part of our hiring process.

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It just evolved into that and then, so it really happened organically for us.

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I think there are a lot of battle scars that you guys have and you don't

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show it because it seems seamless.

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How you onboard, not just the VAs, but also onboard us.

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For instance, I happen to have some technical background.

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That included some part of social media because of my previous role,

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but then there are others who are not necessarily familiar with technology.

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And what I really appreciate was, regardless of the scale in which

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we come in, we're able to onboard us as business entrepreneurs.

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To work with systems that you have in place and they're methodical

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with the Trello boards and then the instructions and how to migrate

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your step-by-step coursework, and then more offerings that you have.

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It onboards any scale of a business entrepreneur, whether they're

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familiar with the technology or not.

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And I think that discipline, you make us fit to a particular discipline

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schedule without feeling the pains.

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So you guys took the battle scars so we can have it easy, is what I feel.

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Thank you.

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Thank you so much.

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You have really, you've had your virtual assistant that we

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placed with you for how long now?

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More than a year.

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As of this month, a year completes.

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Yeah, that's fantastic.

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And what do you feel are some of the lessons?

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Like, I know we talk a lot to you guys about communication and building a

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real relationship with that person.

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And I know that's who you are as a person.

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When you think about having a real relationship with your virtual assistant,

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what do you see as the benefits and what advice would you give to other

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people when it comes to having that person be a part of your value team?

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I think there's some common denominators, how you treat other people.

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I'm going to skip that for now because I want to be very specific with the VAs.

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This is something that you guys taught me and it served me well, which is

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to ask some questions and encourage them when they do something right,

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because they are, they're very given more giving than we can comprehend.

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And unless you take a moment to realize that you're not going to

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understand where they come from.

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Even if they make mistakes or when they do good things.

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So it's to communicate and just remind them what they're doing.

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And if they're not doing something right, let them know

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clearly and they can take it.

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They're very mature people, but they definitely want to

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give more and want to do more.

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So you've got to be very careful as to making them feel balanced

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and communication is key.

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And since English is not necessarily their first language, let's take a moment.

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And for the most of the people that are part of the program,

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distance owned producers who do work, they seem to exhibit that.

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And I think you have been reminding us, they might have a power outage,

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or they're very God fearing, so they might not necessarily challenge us.

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So we've got to create a safe space for them to catch our blind spots.

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So all the advice that you held definitely was helpful in being more

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engaging and of course that led to more results and faster results too.

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More results and faster results, and you've gone on to build your team.

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So you have two virtual assistants now, is that correct?

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That's correct.

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And your first virtual assistant, has she played a key role in

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onboarding and helping you with your second virtual assistant?

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She is completely responsible for bringing the second person in.

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And going back to the thing, they're a very strong community.

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They're very, um, religious.

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Uh, in that prospect, perspective, they don't necessarily impose that

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on me as a business owner, but they do it in a very healthy way.

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So the person that she onboarded was part of the same community,

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church community, and another stellar, uh, addition to the team.

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And at least my, uh, way of organizing the businesses with the first person being so

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good, even if the second person is not as good, it cannot mess up the team dynamic

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at any cost because skills can be taught.

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But behaviors and personalities and how we engage with each other

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cannot be, so that was imperative.

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We did interview two other people, but it was pretty straightforward

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that this person would be a much better fit for the company.

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So their roles and responsibilities are very different.

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With Anjali, it is a much more senior leadership position.

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She can be fungible to do website.

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She can be fungible to create coursework.

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And the second virtual assistant reports to the first one.

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So I made sure that sense of ownership for Anjali was there.

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So she's not just an employee, but she's actually a pivotal piece of this company.

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The company's hers as well, not just mine.

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I love that.

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And then you went on to get an opportunity to bring on interns.

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It's so funny because people think you get this opportunity to have free labor

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to bring on interns and they think, oh, it's great, but it's not free

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labor because you have to spend time.

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You're the person.

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The purpose of having people come on for an internship is to educate

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them and to teach them and to let them learn what it would be like

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to work in a business like yours.

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So it is time consuming for business owners, but you've been able to

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bring in several in terms over time.

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Is that correct?

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Yeah.

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That is correct.

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And I like how you started it because it is not free labor.

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I may not be compensating them in currency, however, when it comes to time

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and contributions, I take pride that I spend more time growing the intern than

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what the intern did for the company.

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The intern did amazing things for the company, but I utilize this opportunity

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to grow my skills as a career coach, to create another better human being

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and a future leader that will hit our economy and market and our society.

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So those were the things where I contributed back to the intern.

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For instance, I love how I worked with the intern and we figured out a solution as

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to what project that person would have.

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Now, I do teach people, career coaching clients, the two minute

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message, how to get what you want, ask for a promotion, things like that.

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But I taught the intern also how to do that with the person's parents.

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Now, the project that we had in mind was For him to be a scrum leader.

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And we're like, how do we make this exciting for a high school student to

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actually be excited about being like a scrum leader or project manager?

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And we found out that he actually loves playing video games with his friends

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and they have this multi role playing game that they would all connect over

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the internet and play with each other.

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But they would only do it over the weekends.

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So I said, okay, how many hours do you play?

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Give or take an hour or two.

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All right.

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So what if I could get you to play for seven hours a week, one hour every

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day, would that be exciting for you?

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He said, of course, that would be exciting.

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So we said, let us turn that into a scrum project.

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But let us also approach the objections that parents would have.

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What would they have?

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You're playing video games, so you're not being physically active.

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So let's address that.

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Before you start playing your video games, you do a hundred jumping jacks.

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You and your friends, you get together.

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Okay.

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Then you're not learning a few other traits.

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Let us try to have like a dog, one person who's in charge of documentation.

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Another person, person who's a doctor who Instructs everyone,

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everyone do the jumping jacks.

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A person who is the scrum master of the project, which happened to be him.

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So everyone had roles and responsibilities that they would do.

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And then we added another mix, which was very important to me, gratitude.

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And this person would now be in charge of making sure that every single

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person sent three gratitude notes to their family members every day.

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So unless they did all of that, they wouldn't start playing video games.

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And then they could go ahead and play video games.

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Then we put together all these items where the two minute message or

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any other negotiation techniques.

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To then capture all these statements and then go deliver that.

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So a lot of these sessions where I'm teaching the intern were recorded

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and they're turning that into social media content as well with the VAs.

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The fact that now we're growing as a company.

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It allowed me to realize that I could take on more and then scale.

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So you have to give before you can get.

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And that's been the journey in hiring more.

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I love that.

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I love that you made this project something that he'd want to manage.

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And you also, that whole asking your boss for a raise isn't different

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than convincing all of these kids parents to let them play video

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games every night of the week.

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I love that.

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That's, that's awesome.

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Those are.

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Powerful skills that they've all learned negotiating skills.

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That's wonderful.

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I love the fact that you're going to use this as content.

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Everything can be content, right?

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I love that this because that's real life coaching and you

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took it in such a unique way.

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So that has been a fantastic internship.

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For him and what did you learn out of this experience?

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Because obviously coaching adults is very different than coaching,

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you know, high school students.

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So what was it?

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Did you walk away with something that like an aha moment in

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this process with these kids?

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The biggest aha moment is intelligence can come from anywhere.

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We might call them kids.

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But they are super intelligent, super motivated.

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I think we need to connect with them.

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And same thing with the VAs, right?

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I think everyone has their niche and favorite things that they like to do.

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So even with the second VA, not like the first, so I had to find out

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what really stimulated that person.

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Or the intern.

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And now I have a second intern who's currently working.

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Everyone is so unique and the same recipe doesn't necessarily work

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the second time in terms of how you go about doing it, except for the

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foundations, which is understand, ask questions, things like that.

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Great ideas have come outside of me and I've been a lucky recipient of it.

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That's my takeaway.

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Oh, that's so beautiful.

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We have been absolutely thrilled to have you as a client.

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We're so grateful for you and I'm so grateful that even though we had

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a hurricane in Florida, you waited that week to actually meet with me

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and we got to have a conversation.

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You've been just an amazing person to work with and to get to know.

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You're a wonderful human being.

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We adore you.

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And thank you guys for always leading the way.

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You guys always bring us together on Tuesdays.

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The efforts that you put in, it's priceless.

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I think we get a lot of benefit from just interacting with you guys, being on

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top of new trends, the do's and don'ts.

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The other podcast that you introduced us to, I was interviewed by a

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psychologist from Canada last week.

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And it's just incredible exposure that is so very much important.

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And I think we are a community and a tribe.

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And we are helping each other out.

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So thank you for doing this, not just for me, but for so many other businesses.

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You guys are making a dent in this world.

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Thank you.

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Thank you so much.

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And if you want to learn more about Sue Rich and his company

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Grow You Now, it's G R O U N O W.

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com.

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So go to his website and obviously he also has an amazing YouTube

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channel for Grow You Now.

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So Sue Rich, we just can't thank you enough.

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Like Kirsten said, we love spending time with you.

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We love talking to you.

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You're, you are just an amazing human and you are contributing

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so much to the world as well.

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So thank you again.

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Thanks for listening to the Six Figure Business Mastery Podcast.

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If you enjoyed listening to this episode and you are ready to leverage video

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marketing on all online platforms, or maybe even start your own video podcast,

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then you need to check out the Done For You and Done With You program.

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at themarketingvaadvantage.

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com and take your business to the next level.

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