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September 29, 2008


Let’s say I am your average entrepreneur and I spend much of my time doing things that don’t add unique value to my business. These things are administrative and operational, and they take time away from the more strategic efforts I could be (should be) working on. So let’s say that I recognize this problem, and decide to off-load some of the task that I am unnecessarily doing. Good step, good progress.

However, the challenge is that I do things in my way, and my way is NOT efficient - it is just what I am used to. And now, I have the headache of trying to train someone else in the methods of my madness and that someone is remote no less. So, the incredibly productive breakthrough in thinking (hiring an assistant) has now been spoiled by the stress training someone in your own insanity AND trying to find new ways to share information – date sharing, filing, storing, etc…

Productivity and efficiency aren’t things that occur naturally. But like many bootstrapping entrepreneurs, getting the most of what you already have is a key success strategy. I am someone who often looks for ways to trim time and increase output (especially now in this economic climate). However, I also am guilty of going with what I know rather than investing the time that it takes to change a process or system…especially when that process seems to be more trouble than it is worth.

But this will be NO MORE, thanks to
Secretary in Israel !!

Ever since I got a call from Sarah Leah Gootnick in spring of 2008, I have been a big fan of her business. I love the social mission (creating well paying jobs for educated American women who are living in Israel and faced with a poor job market) and the innovative business model (connecting this talent with needy, time- and money-starved American entrepreneurs; the matchmaking element – which makes it easier to find the right person and get started; the low and flexible minimum usage – 5 hours a week; AND the productivity training that accompanies the service).

I don’t have a need for a remote assistant at this point (due primarily to our wonderful office manager Donna who keeps everything together and moving smoothly!!), so it is this last element – productivity training – which has been particularly interesting to me.

So, when Sarah Leah let me know that she also offers productivity training (which she will do for just you or for you and your in-person assistant), I jumped at the opportunity. She told me that there were probably tons of easy things that I could do that would save me lots of time each week, and that I might prevent grey hair if I learned these tings now! And, she was right, well, at least about the saving time part (grey hair delay is still TBD). In my hour with her, we focused on several things that I think take up a lot of time. Many of these new tricks are internal things, but one that you all will see right away is the new event RSVP system.

Here are some of the things that I liked best about Sarah Leah’s approach:

* One size doesn’t fit all! Sarah Leah wasn’t trying to peddle one right system, or the system that happens to work for her. She made several suggestions about each topic we discussed and listen carefully to my preferences.
* Focused on delivering immediate value. Sarah Leah asked me where I feel that I waste the most time and focused her energies there. I wasn’t learning about things that I would barely use.
* Budget conscious. Sarah Leah suggested services and products that were all free or very low cost
* Simple and straight forward. Sarah Leah’s suggestions and recommendations were all things that were easy to implement and maintain!! Who wants a system that makes things more complicated?

I began implementing my new system immediately and I am so grateful for the time saved. Now, time to focus on those things that are really important…

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