EFP 80: The Virtual Assistant’s Not Weak – YOU’RE Weak!

Justin Cooke

January 30, 2014

There’s quite a bit of complaining when it comes to Virtual Assistants. We tend to put a lot of the blame on them because after all, we’re paying them to get the job done! Shouldn’t it work smoothly?

Why You Might Be Setting Your VA Up for Failure

Today, Joe and I talk about how some of the flaws that come with VA’s may not entirely be the agent’s fault but your fault as well. We’ll cover signs of when it’s your fault and when it’s actually the VA’s fault so you can find a better way to work with your staff. Ultimately, the responsibility always comes down to you. You can delegate tasks, but the buck stops with the entrepreneur.

This is a good one to listen to even if you haven’t hired a VA yet. If you’re thinking of dipping your toes in the water, let this episode be a guide for your future experiences.

Check Out This Week’s Episode Here:

 Direct Download – Right Click, Save As

Topics Discussed This Week Include:

  • VA’s flaking and when it’s your fault.
  • Reasons your VA’s are making mistakes with work.
  • How to avoid VA’s working for someone else.
  • How to deal with assistants not being able to understand a concept.
  • The amount of workload for your assistants and how to gauge balance.



  • “It takes time to get someone up to speed. If you think you can throw over a task and it’ll be done, good luck.” – Justin – Tweet This!
  • “No one cares about your money, your life, your business, or anything else as much as you do.” – Uncle Joe – Tweet This!

How do you deal with the problems we talked about in this episode? Leave us a SpeakPipe message or comment below to let us know.

Photo Credit: Forge Theater – Flickr

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Leave a comment
  1. Bryan Bigari says:

    Great show – been listening for 6 months or so, first time to comment. I was wondering what you should do if you don’t see having 40-50hrs a week of work for one person? For example, if you are ramping up you might want two people (for the flake factor protection) yet not have 80hrs of work a week, so each VA only gets 20-25hrs.
    Any suggestions on how to handle that situation?


    • I would dig deep to find those low priority tasks you been putting on the back burner for a long time. Certainly there is some internet research (i.e. prospecting) that could be done for you business to occupy their free time. Every business could use a large amount of warm leads sitting on their desk each morning!

  2. Vic says:

    Hey Guys,

    Been listening to your podcast for the last year or so, thanks for all the info. Question, what is the best way of finding quality job candidates here in PI? I’ve needed to hire for a while, but finding a good worker seems so daunting here. Getting simple daily tasks completed is frustrating enough, I just can’t imagine how the F I’m gonna find someone competent enough to delegate business tasks to. But I’ll admit I’m a weak ass manager :)



  3. Tung Tran says:

    Training is a must, and never assume anything. I learned this lesson the hard way :)

    I’ve just hired a professional writing coach for my writer and it was well worth it…

    • Justin Cooke says:

      Totally agree, Tung!

      A professional writing coach, eh? Not bad – I have a coach/editor for the blog here myself. Which reminds me…I have to stop commenting and get back to my post so I can ship it to her tonight! hehe

  4. Sudheer Yadav says:

    This will also help my blog http://www.guruofmovie.blogspot.in

  5. John Gibb says:

    hi guys

    what a wonderful podcast!

    I used to make silly mistakes over a decade ago myself… when hiring others was new to me. Now, I have a manager handling this task.

    I think for maximum efficiency, you should hire your VA for less than 6 hours a day, and teach him or her to work in bursts of time. Take a 15 minute break every 90 minutes or so.

    What do you think?


    • That will put you under the 40 hours needed. I agree with short sessions and frequent breaks, but try to keep your VA’s busy for at least 8 hours a day (maybe 9-10 hours with breaks and lunch) and 40 hours a week. That way you become their number one priority.

    • Justin Cooke says:

      Glad you dug the show, John!

      As much as we like to think we’ve moved on, we still find ourselves making mistakes with teams – I think it’s something you can seriously improve on, but probably never get “perfect”, eh?

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