Transcript: How to Hire Your First Project Manager (with Laura Roeder)

July 24, 2014

AMY PORTERFIELD: Well, hello there! Amy Porterfield here and thank you so much for tuning in to another episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. It means that world to me that you’re here. 

So as I record this specific episode, I am completely surrounded by boxes. We are officially moving  next  week.  We get  the  keys to our new home  which I think is our dream home in just three days. So let me tell you this before we jump in. 

For the last four years, Hobie, my husband and I have  been working toward buying our dream home.   And when  I first met  Hobie I owned  my own condo when  I was a single girl. I used to say it was my single girl condo.   And then shortly  after I bought it, thinking  that I would be  there just  for a few years. Shortly after  I bought it, I met Hobie. 

So because the condo was big enough for our little family, we decided to actually stay here and save money for a house. Well, I didn’t really think it would be four years  until we actually bought a house  but I was still in corporate at the  time.  I quit Tony Robbins. I started my business and as we all know, those first few years are a little scary and it takes a while to ramp up. 

So for a little while, money  was  really tight  and  then  finally, we started to build the business and be able to save and buy this home. So it’s pretty exciting. After four long years of trying to do this, our dream is finally a reality and I feel really blessed because we worked really hard at this and also, I’ve been able to create a business that’s valuable to my customers and is constantly growing. And that’s why I’m just  so passionate about  building online businesses and  why I love to do what I do. So you make it possible. You let me talk and talk and talk about online marketing and teach all these great social media and Facebook stuff. 

So thanks again for being here. And if you’re a part of my customer community, thank you so much  for  putting your  trust to  me  and allowing  me  the opportunity to do what I love and also, add value to your life even if it’s in just a really small way. So thanks again. 

  1. So enough about the boxes and moving in and all that good stuff, we are switching gears. And today, I have invited someone that I kind of consider an old friend because I’ve been great friends with her ever since I left corporate and her name is Laura Roeder. You might already Laura. She actually was on the show in episode 10. So if you go to,  you can  check  out  the episode where we talked all about selling with social media, probably one of my favorite episodes. It’s really good.

Now, while Laura and I do similar work where we create online training programs about social media, she has  also entered the  software world just really recently and she created a tool called Edgar. I’m not exactly sure why it’s called Edgar, E- D-G-A-R. I love the name because it’s kind of intriguing but Edgar is actually a social media scheduling tool, and it’s really, really cool. So I’ll link to it in my show notes so you can go check it out. 

But I’m always looking for the  best  of the  best  tools  to make  my life easier  as  I grow my business. Edgar is definitely  going to be one  of those. I’ve just  started and I’m loving it. 

So now,  in addition  to Laura creating online training  programs and  now having her first piece of software, she also is just a master, and these are my words, a master in processes and systems in growing a business. So what’s so cool is she recently created a program all about hiring your first project manager. 

Now,  I’ve gone through the   program and   I loved  it so  much,   I  thought, “I wonder if she’ll share some of the   stuff  in an  episode on  my podcast?” I had   to  pay  for the program but  I thought I could  talk  her  into  giving away  some of that   really good stuff for free. And she said yes. 

Now, I love the training   so  much  because it’s interesting that   she   talks  about hiring  a project manager versus hiring  a  VA. And we’ll talk  about   that  when  I get in the interview. 

But here’s the  deal. When I left corporate, I knew from day one that I never wanted to manage a large team again. I don’t really want to build a huge business where I had people in an office and I had people all over the world managing them and working together. To me, I just don’t  want to  do  that anymore. So I’ve always  wanted a really lean  team but a mighty team as well. And that’s what I finally have been able to create. 

So I hired a project manager about a year ago, one of the  best  decisions  I’ve made in my business. So because it has worked for me so well and it has worked for so many of my peers, I wanted to have Laura on the show today to help you better understand what  a project  manager does  and  how  they  differ from  hiring a VA and how a project manager could truly help you optimize and expand your business. So I think you’re really going to love this interview. Let’s go ahead and dive in. 

So Laura thanks again  for being here.  I really appreciate it. 

Laura: I’m super happy to be here, always like to talk to you. 

Amy:  And last time you were  here,  we talked  about  social media  and selling. That episode was a huge hit. Anybody that wants to listen to it can go to to grab that episode. But today, we are totally switching gears and we are talking about hiring a project manager. 

Now, tell me this. You are so well-known for your extremely valuable social media trainings, what made you want  to go and create a program all about  hiring a project manager? 

Laura:  Yeah. Even  though it’s not  exactly  the   type  of  training   I’ve done   in the past, I felt like, you know the phrase, “Money is burning a hole in your pocket?” 

Amy: Yup. 

Laura: That’s how I felt about this knowledge. Like this knowledge was burning a hole in my brain. I knew that people needed it. So often when I talk  to entrepreneur friends,   the big road  block that   they’re  hitting  with their  company is team staff. Team staff is such a huge challenge. And I knew a lot of people are interested on hiring a project manager. It was such a huge turning point for me 

in my business. So I really just  felt like I had  a lot to share   so I wanted to get  it out there. 

Amy:  Cool. I mentioned this  in the   intro  but  I have   always  been   a fan  of yours and  you’ve taught me  so  much in terms of growing   my  business as  a  social media trainer but also, you are wicked smart when it comes to  systems and processes. You’ve always had a really streamlined business. I feel like from day one, that  was  just  your  strength right  there.  So I’m really  glad  you  did this  training.   As I mentioned, I’ve gone through the training. I thought it was  great. That’s why I’ve invited you to come back on. I want to talk about it. 

And I want  to  talk about – I want to  start at  the top.   And specifically,  some people are going to ask, “OK, what’s the difference between a VA and a project manager because everyone here is, “I need to  hire  a  VA.”  But  what is  the difference between that and the project manager? 

Laura: OK. This podcast is going to get controversial. 

Amy: Oh, I love it! 

Laura: A VA and a project manager, it can be very different. But it is confusing because sometimes their duties can really be the same. But a lot of people hire a VA thinking that they are going to be a project  manager or often,  even  calling them a project manager and paying them like a project manager. But they’re not really doing project manager duties, because most VAs need to be assigned things from you. That’s kind of what  they  do. Like you give them  a task  list of what needs to be done and then  you check it over. 

A project  manager, the big shift is that they’re the one doing the assigning. They are the one doing the overseeing. And I see  a lot of people  say, “Oh, I want  my VA to be more proactive. I want  them  to do that  kind of stuff.” But they’re  not really training them in that way and they’re not really treating them in that way. 

And another big difference is I highly suggest hiring a project manager who works just for you as a project  manager. And that  doesn’t even mean  they need  to be full time. This can be a part-time gig. There are so many people   out there looking for extra hours, looking for side jobs, so many parents looking for a flexible schedule. 

What happens with VAs is that they  have  their own business because they  have  a VA business, right? 

Amy: Yup, yup. 

Laura: And in order to grow that business just like me  and  you  with  our businesses, they need to either add on more  hours  or charge more  money  or both usually. So that means that your rates are  going to increase over time. They’re going to add more clients to their workload. And what happen, I see so often with VAs is that people start  out with a VA. The relationship is going great. But then  that  VA grows their business and just honestly  takes  on a little more than  they  can handle  is what  happens a lot and  you kind of see  the  quality of the work slipping, 

So I would really recommend looking for people for your team  even if they’re not – they don’t need   to be  full-time employees. They can  be  freelancers. But maybe they  don’t  have   a business doing  what   they  do  for you.  It’s just  something they do for you on the side. 

Amy: Oh, I like that. There’s a really big difference between these two especially having a business on the side versus the other way you explained it. So I’m glad that we kind of got that  clear  because I want  to  dive  in to  specifically  the  roles of a project  manager and  what  it takes  to get  one  trained and  hiring and  all that good stuff. 

But I want to also first talk about what’s holding most people back from hiring a project manager because there are some issues,  there  are some mindset issues or things  going on that  a lot of people  just haven’t  really taken  that  leap.  So what do you think that’s about? 

Laura: I mean there are  a few things. The first one is just people not really believing that it’s possible for them, that they’re not at the right level yet.  I remember – I mean this is something I still struggle with, a lot of limiting beliefs, comparing my business to others. Marie Forleo calls this comparison despair. 

Amy: Yes! 

Laura: I always think about that phrase. I think it really describes the emotion of being in comparison despair. And I think a lot of us we have this idea like, “I’d love 

to hire  a project manager.” But then  we  think,  “Oh, that’s  for a real business, that’s for a big business. I’m not  ready   yet.  I’m too  early  on.” But of course, the  sooner you take these kinds of leaps, that’s  where you  can  find  big  growth in your business. 

I mean  you see  this teaching people  about  like Facebook  ads.  A lot of people are really scared to spend money. They do free social but they’re scared to spend money. But actually, once they start spending just a little bit, that’s this huge leverage point that really skyrockets their business. But they think, “Oh, I’m not – I don’t make enough money to spend on ads yet.” It’s like, well, spend $10. It’s the same thing with the project manager. Like I’m not asking you to hire a W-2 employee and figure out health insurance. Like find someone to help you out for a few hours to do these things. So that’s one big one. 

Amy:  Oh,  I think  that’s such  a  great   one.   And I think  there’s   something to  be said about when you’re looking at  your  business and  one, comparing, I’ve totally been guilty of it so I get  it. But also  thinking, “Well, I don’t  really  have a  real business yet.”  Maybe you’re working in corporate but  you’re growing  something on the  side.  Even then,  if you look at your business as  a real business and  treat  it as so, it will grow as a real business. But there’s a huge mind shift block when you’re looking at it thinking, “It’s not really real.”  Well then,  it’s never  going  to be  real.  So I’m glad you bring that up. 

Also, I loved what you said about there’s a lot of highly skilled underemployed people out there right now. 

Laura: Yup, yup. 

Amy: So true. Tell me about that. 

Laura: That was such a huge wake-up  call  for  me  when I  started  sort  of discovering  that world.  I mean   one  of the  big ones   – and  this  is really  important to me.  Honestly, as  a woman too,  there   are  so many  women   out  there   that have been just  absolutely pushed aside  from the  normal working  world because what  happens, these women have  these great careers, they  have  a baby,  they want to work either part-time or a  more flexible schedule. As  you  know  from someone who has been in the corporate world, there’s no advancing part-time. 

Amy: No. 

Laura: It just doesn’t happen. So one of the first people that I hired, she was incredibly experienced in like marketing and PR and she had done all these advanced, amazing campaigns. But now, she was just looking for some way to be able to work from home  and have  a flexible schedule and  use  her brain and not be doing some  sort of like call center job that  would just be super  soul-sucking and boring.  And you’d be surprised, it’s mostly women but of course  now, more and more men too who want a more flexible schedule with their family. And like there are no options  for them. It’s really crazy. There  are  so few options for a really fulfilling job where you really get to use your intelligence. 

So companies, smaller companies like ours are  able to offer these opportunities and people aren’t looking for this huge salary because like they’re just happy to have something where they  can have  the  work from home  and  they  can have the flexibility. 

Amy: The flexibility, working from home is really worth a lot of money. Meaning, quite honestly, you can pay less if you can offer that type of flexibility. So I think there is something to explore there. And we’ll talk  about paying  a  project manager and  getting into all that  in a minute. But I want  to talk about   how  do you know if you’re in the right place right now in your business to hire a project manager? 

Laura:  So I think  the   biggest   sort  of telltale   sign  that   you’re ready   is that   you are feeling overwhelmed, you are feeling burnt out, you’re feeling emotionally exhausted. And this is kind  of  an  interesting  thing  that came up  as  I  started talking about this more. I think a  lot  of us  feel like  we’re  not  allowed  to  do something in our business just because we really need it emotionally. 

Amy: Yes! 

Laura:  And that’s  the  point  a lot of people   are  at with a project   manager. It’s like, OK, maybe  in theory  you could do this all yourself  but like you are  losing your mind right now. 

Amy: Yes! Oh my gosh, you’re speaking my language. Yes, you’re totally right. There are so many people  out  there  that  are  doing  things  that  yeah,  you do it well and you can do it. But how  much stress are  you feeling  right  now  and  how much overwhelm? 

Laura: Right. It’s just  not  sustainable. It’s not  sustainable to be  working  all the time to be super stressed out every day. It’s not going to lead to the type of business you want. And people that the best candidate for hiring a project manager I find that your business – you definitely have money   coming  in the door, you have some clients or customers but you have all these ideas,  you have all these projects and it’s that never  ending  to-do  list. You try to make  out plans for when  things  are  going to happen in a year but like they never  really panned out because you get too busy and  stuff falls off the  rails. Like you need  someone to come in and  keep  you organized and  keep  your plans  on track.  That’s where a project manager really shines. 

Amy:  I think  a  really  good  little exercise   you  could  do  is look at  your  goals  or your calendar maybe in the last six months that have  just passed and  how many things  did you hope  to get to that  just were  like. “There’s no way. I can’t do this. That’s not  going  to  happen. We’re  not  doing  that promotion.”  Things  like that, that’s when I realized, “OK, I need to …” 

I hired a project  manager because too many  things  were  just getting   passed over  because I couldn’t get   to them. So looking at a calendar could really help that. OK. 

Laura: I think that’s a great idea. 

Amy:  Oh, good. I’m so glad  because that’s  when   I was  like, “OK, aha   moment here. We have a problem.”  So here’s the  deal.  One of the  biggest  questions I get and I don’t even teach this  project management hiring  stuff  but  I still get the question from  a  lot of  my students in my  programs is,  “How do  I  know  how  much to pay a  project manager?” And you  had  some really  great tips  inside  your training. Can you share some of those with us? 

Laura: Yes. So this is a  really  juicy question. And first of all, I want  to  talk  about a little mindset shift  thing  again. I see so  many   entrepreneurs out  there   that   are just coming from this perspective of, it has to be cheap, it has to be as cheap as possible, and I’m not considering anything else. 

Amy: Yes. 

Laura: And like I understand where you’re at. I have a bootstrap business. It’s not like the people  listening  to this are  just  sitting  around with their  trust  fund just like trying to figure out  like how to spend   all the  money  they  have.  I definitely get it. But you have to sort  of see the  irony and  someone who runs  a business like we all get frustrated when people pull that on us. And we’re like, “Really? You want – I’m selling for a $100 and like it should be worth thousand and you’re too cheap to pay it.” Like we see it from our side but then we just cheap out so hardcore. 

Amy: So true. 

Laura:  When  we  look to  hire  people. And the first thing  is that   you  just  have   to get out of that mindset where you’re just  going  to  – everything has to  be  like bottom of the barrel because like no surprise, if your only criteria is as cheap as possible,  you’re probably  not going  to get  like the  most  qualified  smartest people out there. You’re going to get people who are just starting out, who are  working – willing to work for really, really cheap, who aren’t valuing  their  own  time  and  their own skills. So like step one, get out of that. Get out of that as your only criteria. 

As far as pay range, I last hired a full-time project  manager actually  about  exactly a year ago now because we just had her yearly review. And when I accepted applications for that, the people that were like actually  qualified and  actually could have  done  the  job,  it actually ranged from down  to about  $35,000 a year to just over a $100,000 a year to what people were asking for. 

Amy: Pretty big range. 

Laura: A pretty big range. So on the one hand, I know that  you hear  that  and you’re like, “OK, well, that’s not helpful.” But on the other hand, it actually  is because you actually can find people at that entire range. So you really can – I would really suggest you look at your budget and you can translate that to hourly. You can do the math like the hourly rate corresponds to that pretty  well. 

You need to look at your own budget and kind of say, “OK, what’s the most I can afford?” Because you generally  will get  higher  quality people.  Like I can  afford  to pay someone  over $100,000 a  year  in my  business but  that’s  not  sustainable for me  right  now.  But I could afford  to get  someone really great. And what  I found  is sort  of that like golden   ticket  on hiring is to  get  people   that   are   really smart, don’t have like tons of experience but have some. 

Like my project manager had been doing this for a few years in a totally different industry. She had actually been working at a ski snowboard resort managing everything for them. So she wasn’t in like the digital media industry or like the startup industry  which maybe  is going to pay a little more so she wasn’t used to that kind of pay  scale. And she  hadn’t  been doing  it for like 15 years but  she had been in charge for three or four years  which is enough to really solidly learn that skill. 

So I just saw her  as someone who is still young,  is still up and  coming  but  has the basics under her belt that could really grow with the  company. So that’s the type of person I would recommend looking for. 

Amy: I love it because a lot of us are thinking we have to find the perfect fit, someone that’s already   really familiar with let’s say, the  online marketing world and has used  all the tools that  we use and has a thriving social media  account and all that.  And sometimes that’s not the  most  important factors. Those  aren’t the most important factors when you’re looking for someone to project  manage your projects. So I like that you kind of put that spin  on  that in terms of experience. 

Laura: Yeah. And I want to actually add to that about the  tech  because that’s a huge mistake I see people making. I see so many job listings where they’re like, “You have to have used  Infusionsoft and MailChimp and WishList Member before.” And you miss out on so many great people like you need to be tech-savvy enough to be able to figure that stuff out. 

Amy: Right. 

Laura: But as long as you’ve met that criteria  like there’s lots of people that haven’t had an opportunity to use WishList Member. And you’re just ruling out so many people that could do such a great job for your company. 

Amy: I’m so glad you said that. Totally agree with that.  As long as they  have  the skillset to learn something and  as  long  as  you  take  the time  – another thing  I really loved  that you said was  they’re  not  going  to  ever  be  able  to  read your mind and you do need to  take the time  to  train  people and  document those trainings and  really  put  the effort  in.  That’s probably, if I’m totally  transparent, where I struggled because in my head, this is so, so detrimental to my business so 

I have  to  be  so  careful of this  is, “If I can  just  – if I have to spend the time teaching her how to do it, I can just do it. Let me just do it.” It’s so dangerous. 

So I’ve had to stop that. It’s not fair to the person I’ve hired and it’s not fair to my business overall. So … 

Laura: And it just doesn’t make sense. I mean I’m glad you brought that up because that’s one of the  most  common  ones.  But the  thing is, if you’ve taken the time to do it yourself anyway, just do it out loud. 

Amy: Yes. 

Laura:  Like that’s  really  what   training   is. It’s like you’re  setting   up  the   campaign in MailChimp. Literally, all you  need to  do  is like you  can  make a video.  You can get  on a Skype screen share. Obviously, if they’re  there  in person, they  just  sit next to you  and you’re like, “OK, I’m just  going  to  record myself  doing  this  and  I’m going to say out  loud what  I’m doing.  Take  notes. Make it into  a procedure.” Like now  you  have  the  training. You were  going  to  do  it anyway,   just  talk while you do it. That’s all you have to do. 

Amy:  Exactly. It seems so simple when  you say it like that  and  there’s  just like this weird mind block with that. So definitely do the work.  Take  the time. Document it. It makes a huge difference. 

Now, speaking of money and what to pay somebody, you also had some really great tips. And you don’t have  to give it all away because in this training,  you’ve got some good  stuff in there. But you had  some  great tips about hey,  if you don’t have the money, here are some ways to get it. And the best tip I have to – I hope you’ll share  it is the  money  we spend  on training  and  consulting. 

Laura: Yes, oh my God! 

Amy: Oh, so good. 

Laura: I’m so glad you brought that up.  So this is another big excuse  I hear  from people especially if you’ve been  a cheapo in the  past  like I mentioned before  like, “I can’t afford  to hire  anyone. It has  to  be  as  cheap as  possible.”  So I find people all the time who are like – like graphics  is a big one.  Like I see  they’ve made  this super ugly banner on their site and they’re like, “Well, I don’t know how to do it. I 

just had  to use  PicMonkey and  it turned out – I know it looks terrible  but like I can’t afford a designer.” 

And it’s – but then they turn around and they’re spending money on training programs like mine and yours like I’m talking about this stuff that I’m competing. They’re spending money learning how to do things. They’re spending money on coaches. They’re spending money on consulting. I cannot tell you how  many people I’ve met that will gladly spend $5,000 on a coach but will not spring 

$200 to make something look nice and make something look professional. 

And that  I have  to say,  I really think this is like a big – this is a big dividing line. This is a big mindset shift between people who are kind of like struggling in their business and the people that really see things take off because I’m all for training obviously. That’s how I make my money. I’m all for coaching and consulting. I have spent   tens   of thousands of dollars  on it myself  and  continue to do so all the time. And you have to get stuff done. Like you can’t think and  learn and brainstorm. You need to  be  implementing all that stuff.  So you need to  be putting at least, at least as much  money  in getting  stuff done,  if not way more than you are like learning how to do stuff. 

Amy: Yes. The whole implementation like if I could take  every training  that  I’ve paid for in consulting, it’s funny  we’re talking about  this because you’re right,  this is how we make our living, but  if I could  take  all of that  and  if I would  go back and implement three things from each of them, I would never  need  to probably take a training  course  for the rest  of my life because most of us don’t implement as much as we can. 

So if you take the knowledge you already have and  work with your project manager to get it done, implement that stuff, I feel like you’re going to see  an instant shift in your business. 

Laura: Absolutely. 

Amy:  So it’s such  a great  point.  I love that  you said that.  So we’re going to wrap it up soon. I wanted to just  really dive into what  is a project   manager and  what are  some of the  details that you need   to know in order  to wrap your head around why you would want to hire a project manager. But I know one of the number one things  that  people  are  going to ask is, “What the  heck do I have them do all day?” And this is just something that we can’t ignore. Again, I don’t 

want  you to give it all away  because your training is so fantastic. But tell me  a little bit about what a project manager could do for your business. 

Laura: Yeah, yeah. There are so much in the training  so I’m not … 

Amy: So much. So we  won’t  – we’ll  really  not  interfere  and get  in  the way because there’s a lot. 

Laura:  Yeah. So the  main thing  that  your project  manager does  is they  keep  the ship running every  day.  And I know  that   sounds a little bit vague. So the   things they  do for example is – the biggest   thing  is they  translate your  goals  into  the daily tasks. So let’s say like that it’s just – let’s say that it’s just you in your business because you’re going to hire a project  manager just  to manage you. And actually, that’s hugely valuable. 

So I know sometimes when I talk about  a bigger  team, it’s a little harder to relate to. So if your business is just you and  a project   manager, they  would sit down with you, look at what you want to accomplish for the year and make a really detailed plan of all the tasks that need  to happen. And then  on a daily basis, they’re checking in with you making sure all those things are done. 

So maybe  they  are  like reviewing  your to-do  list at the  beginning or end  of each day. They’re looking  for  where things are stopped  up,  like  they’re  solving problems. When  you have  a project   that  was  supposed to be  done  a week  ago and it’s still not  done,  they  are  the  one going  in and  being  like, “OK, is our  copy late and why was  it late.  Is  it because we  redid  it? Is it because you’re not  happy with it? Did the  graphic  guy  say  that  he  was  going  to  do this thing?  Do we  need to chase   him down?  Do we need   to pay  someone that  hasn’t  been  paid yet  so that got  stopped up?”  Like you  know  how  it is running  a business. You just spend so much time in this minutia of little details trying to get things moving. 

So to be  really successful with a project  manager, you release all those   things  to your project manager. You have  them  assigning  work.  So maybe  you’re doing  like all the copywriting for  your  promotions, have   them   literally assign   you  exactly what  needs to be written.  So they  write out  a long list of like, “OK, we’re going to need to write  ten social media updates and  we’re  going  to  need to  write  five social media ads. We’re going to write a promotional blog post, a series of three 

emails.” And they  are  actually  like dolling that stuff out to you. They are  checking it and making sure it’s done, making  sure it’s proofread. So you get  to like actually just sit down and do the work. They are handling  the details  of making sure the work gets done. Does that make sense? 

Amy: It totally makes sense because in my case with my project manager, sometimes I feel like she’s my boss because has definitely kind of – she is definitely driving all the deadlines and the  tasks  and  checking  in on me. But here’s what’s great. Because my strength is creating my trainings and doing the work in terms of creating the programs, now when I sit down and right now, I’m redoing  my Facebook  ads programs. So when  I sit down and I work on it that  is all I have to think about in that moment. I don’t have to think about   if the designer is working on the  sales  page  or if it’s programmed right or what  about the  order forms in Infusionsoft. I used  to do all of that.  Now, it’s like not even  in my head, which makes me better at creating content. 

Laura: Exactly. So yeah, you are able to just for example, sit down and make the video and not worry about  when  is it going  to be  edited  and  how  is it going  to be edited and who is going to do it and how are they going to load it into the program for customers to see it. Like yeah, you just make  the  video. They take care of all that other stuff. 

Amy: Yes. It really changes the quality of your work, not just how much you’re getting done. So I think that’s great. And one thing that  probably  the  biggest lesson I took from what you taught about hiring a project  manager is this whole thing with when you are training your project  manager and explaining  how you want things done, you must explain the why. 

That was like – it seems so simple but a huge aha  for me because a lot of the times, I’ll explain or at least in the past,  I’ve explained  to my project  manager, “This is what I want done.” It comes back to me and it just doesn’t look how I thought. But she had no idea the why. So when she was  faced with some decisions in getting it done her thought process was so different. 

Laura: Yes. That’s such a huge one. I mean that’s one of the big sort of keys for managing people and  working  with  anyone  is  that we  often get  frustrated because yes, stuff comes back  and  it’s not  how  we  want it.  And  one  of  the biggest things   that   I like to remember   is like no one  – they’re  not  – no one  is trying to screw up the work. 

Amy: Yes, so true. 

Laura: Like unless you’ve hired someone that is actually out to sabotage your business, which should be a really rare  case  and clearly, you need  to just get rid of them immediately. People  in general, they  try to do a good job. They try to make it right. So you really need to – so when you get something and you’re frustrated because you’re like, “Oh, this isn’t what I wanted. Why did they do it this way?” Instead of thinking,  “Oh, they just messed it up.” Take a second  to think, “OK, what – actually, what were they thinking?” They made a choice for a reason. Why did they make this choice? 

And it does  usually come  back to you didn’t communicate how this was  going  to fit in to the bigger  picture  or like yeah,  some  part  of your vision behind  it, who you want it to communicate with, how – there’s a lot of different little factors but remembering that has been so huge for me. They’re not just like being, “Oh, I’m going to do this badly and opposite of what Amy wants.” There is a reason they’re making  these choices  and you need to get to the  bottom of that  reasoning and get aligned with them. 

Amy: It’s so true. I’ve got to tell you a quick story where when the  Profit Lab Program that I did last quarter was over, we sent  out a survey.  And I told my project manager, “I want you to use Survey Pop. I created an account. I paid for it. Here you go. Here are the rough questions, run with it and make it happen.” 

So the next day,  the  email came  out  and  it was  Survey  Monkey. And I’m not  a huge  fan of Survey Monkey as much  Survey Pop because I like how Survey Pop looks. But really, what I wanted to  do  is  I  wanted to  test out  a  new  survey company  and  I  like how  Survey  Pop  kind of – is that what it’s called?  Am I saying… 

Laura: I think it’s called PopSurvey. 

Amy: I think you’re totally  right  because I remember I even  got  the  name  wrong when I was telling her.  So PopSurvey.  So it was – I like how it swings  by on the screen like swishes by. 

Laura: Yeah. 

Amy:  And I feel like you  aren’t  as  overwhelmed with  the   questions because you don’t  see them   all. Anyway,  I just  had  this  idea  in my head   like I really  want   to try and see if we would  get  more responses with  a  different type of survey company da, da, da. I explained none of that. All I said was,  “Use PopSurvey.” Actually, I said, “Use Survey Pop.” So she didn’t use it. 

And so when the survey came  out,  I’m like, I was so frustrated like really just kind of have that angry feeling like why isn’t she listening to me? And normally, she does. And so I went back to her and I said, “Why did you use this?” And she said, “Oh, because the questions that we asked weren’t  short enough to  fit in PopSurvey so I thought the questions were most important so I used  that.”  She had no idea that I wanted to  try something new.  So she would  have  shortened the questions if I had explained the why. 

So it was  just  a huge lesson for me where we’re all in a hurry,   we all think people can read our minds.  And I love what  you said that  it just kind of comes back to people want to do a good job and  they want  to make  us happy  and they’re doing their best. So let’s give them the  benefit  of the  doubt  and look in how we are actually training and communicating. That probably could use a modification  before  we actually try to make  the  project  manager change who they are or what they’re doing. 

Laura:  Yes. That’s just  such  a great   story.   It illustrates so much.   And one  little thing  that   I want   to  point  out  from  that   story  too  is  the   big  mistake   that people often make is – so  something like  this happens.  There’s a miscommunication in  intent and  then we  just instantly  go  into  micromanaging mode and we  take all the   power   away  from  our  team. And then   that’s  when stuff  really  goes wrong  because what’s  really  cool about that story  and what shows  that  you  have  a great   project   manager, she  just  made   decisions   to  get it done. She is like, “OK, Amy wants this survey. Here are  the  questions. Like you know  what? She said  PopSurvey but  I’m going  to  make an  executive decision here so that we can get this project done.” 

And so many of us, we say that’s what we want. We’re like, “Oh, my team isn’t proactive. I have to tell them  every little detail.” We say we want  them  to make their own decisions but then when  they do, it backfires  on them  because we’re like, “I didn’t tell you to do that. I told you to do this.” And they’re like, “Fine. You 

know what? I’m just going to do exactly what Laura says and  if she  doesn’t mention it, I’m not going to do it.” We are training them to do that. 

So when someone on  your  team   makes   a  decision   on  their  own  like praise them   for it and be like, “Wow! I’m so glad  you just  took  this  and  ran  with it and made it happen.” Like here is – like obviously explain, “OK, I actually wanted to use PopSurvey  so  next  time,  we’ll do that. But I’m so  glad  to  see  that  you  just  made it happen.” Focus on that side of it. 

Amy: Exactly. You’re totally right. And praise them for moving forward and taking initiative. It’s so true. I didn’t even  think of it that  way. So yeah,  good lesson  for me and  I definitely learned a lot. And I now can appreciate the  fact that  I don’t have  to make  all the  decisions and they’re going to get done  one way or the other. 

And one more  thing and I promise  we’ll wrap it up because I want  you to talk a little bit about where  people  can  find out  about   this  program and  then  a little bit about what  it’s all about. However,  I want  to say that  when  she was working on this and she made the decision to use something else, and at first I was frustrated and  then I  was  able  to  be  like, OK wait,  the  great   thing  is,  she  made a decision  and  the  worst  part  about  it is if she  did it and  sat  on it and  waited for my answer and I actually happened to be out of town and that’s where everything starts to break  down.  So you’re right,  I would much  rather her make ten decisions a day and maybe three of them  aren’t what  I wanted but we can learn from that. So you’re right. I just love that. 

Laura: Yeah. 

Amy: OK. So you got to tell me, first, what  is the  name  of the  program? 

Laura: Hire Your First Project Manager, so you can find it at 

Amy:  Great.  And you get  in to so much  more  than  even  what  we explained here. 

Laura:  Yeah. The  whole  idea  is like I am  literally going  to  tell you  everything that you  have ever  wondered about like we  talked about how  do you  keep   people from stealing your ideas, like just anything related to all the fears and concerns 

that you have around this and step by step   job descriptions, job listings, the whole process for getting someone hired and trained and on your team. 

Amy: Awesome. I highly recommend it. I thought it was fantastic. I went  through it with my project  manager just  so we can fine tune  some  things  we’re working on. So it even helps if you already have a project  manager or you have someone on your team kind of working in that capacity but you want to optimize it and streamline it and make it better. That’s how I used it and  it made a huge difference. 

So, Laura,  thanks so much  for being  on the  show.  I always  love you  coming  on the show because you know your stuff  and  you offer so much value. So again, thanks for being here. 

Laura: Yeah. Thank you, Amy. 

Amy: Take care. So there  you have  it. I hope  this episode has  encouraged you to think about expanding your team  with a project  manager. Listen, I know it’s super scary  to  jump in there   but  it’s worth  pushing   past  that  fear  and  going  for it.  Like I said, I hired a  project manager  over  a  year  ago  and it  has helped me immensely. And I don’t have  that  many people  on my team. So you definitely can keep a small team when you hire smart. 

So make  sure  you to check out the  show notes   at for links to all the different resources and webpages we talked about in the show. So thank you so much for spending the last hour  with me. And I can’t wait to do it again soon. Have a great week. 

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