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.
- 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 AmyPorterfield.com/10, 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 AmyPorterfield.com/10 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?”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 HireYourFirst.com.
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 AmyPorterfield.com/35 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.