Episode #
025

Distant Assistants and Crossing the Chasm of Work With Jaime Jay | TNN25

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Episode Summary

A good assistant is simply heaven-sent, a remote assistant moreso. A virtual assistant provides various services to entrepreneurs or businesses from a remote location. From digital marketing tasks, scheduling appointments and managing events to personal errands. You can make a virtual assistant do almost anything. Jamie Jay, the CEO and Founder of Bottleneck Distance Assistance believes that virtual assistants, or distant assistants, can make your life easier - you have more time to do the things you’re great at while delegating the nitty-gritty tasks.

In this episode of The New Nomad, Jamie joins our hosts, Andrew Jernigan and Allen Koski in discussing what a blessing a great distant assistant is to business owners.Our three nomads also tackled the things to consider when hiring one especially the cost and the skills as the ways in which a VA can help you and your business are as unique and diverse as the individual VAs are themselves. So if you are thinking of hiring one (or you already have one), this is an episode you don’t ever want to miss.

What You'll Learn


  • Delegating tasks so you can lead with kindness
  • The shift from a an office cubicle to working on the go
  • Transactional relationship vs a long-term partnership

Timestamps

[5:53] The pandemic's effect on outsourcing remote assistants

[8:11] Delegating tasks so you can lead with kindness

[13:42] The shift from a an office cubicle to working on the go

[17:49] Transactional relationship vs a long-term partnership

[19:28] Thinking differently is essential to advancement

[22:07] Why hiring assistants from other countries is a win-win

Show Transcript

Allen  

Welcome to The New Nomad. We have an interesting guest today, Jamie j, who's going to really talk about distance assistants through his firm bottleneck. But you know, it's funny, I was just I said, distance assistance, trying to say that three times fast, and you'll probably run into a problem. 

Andrew  

Yes. But you know, I'm so glad that he'll be joining us on this episode, because he is quite the, quite the man on efficiency on getting it done well. And of course, I imagine that led to the creation of his multinational company that serves everything from clinics to, you know, multi other multinational enterprises. So it is it's a pleasure to have him on today. But I, you know, want to talk about a couple of things before he joins us and that is that, you know, we're, we're in a world where people need to clone themselves. They're often not doing things effectively, efficiently, and in the best manner, but they don't know how to do it better. Do you find that that you often there are in the place that I feel like I'm in that I know that a better way? Yeah, just need someone to show me the way I think there's a song by that title.

Allen  

Well, you know, it is true, sometimes you wish you could like split in half. And if, if two people do the same thing, because we're trying to do two things. At once we're multitasking, we get lots of things on our plate. I can say this. I know very few of my family members would want to clone me, because of the way things are. But there are times I would like to do that. Certainly when you have a difficult project, but I think you know, we're talking today about like having a remote-based agency and assistance in somebody that you could reach out to, and of course, covering time zones and having support like that, Andrew, I know but you I think this is going to be really interesting, because I think this could be the wave of the future, you know, pulling together global talent in a very efficient way.

Andrew  

It really is. So without further adieu, let's bring in Jamie Jay. Hello.

Allen  

Welcome Jamie. It, you know, I gave I noticed quite a wind up there. Why don't you tell our audience a little bit about yourself and about Bottleneck? And then we'll get into some more detailed questions.

Jamie  

Well, first and foremost, I want to say thank you, both you, Allen and Andrew for having me on. Seriously, and truly honor and a privilege. I absolutely love podcasts. And I think this is just a fantastic way of sharing good information, and kind of lending lending help our expertise maybe to someone that that really, really needs it. I think I just love the medium. I think it's fantastic. And kudos to you for taking the leap here. Because I know it's it's it's quite a bit of work. Some people don't realize how much work goes into it. So I want to say thanks for that. And yeah, appreciate appreciate you guys having me. But my name is Jamie j, I'm the CEO and co founder or CEO and founder actually of Bottleneck Distance Assistants. And I'm really happy and proud of the fact that we're the world's first dedicated distant assistant company. And there's a lot of people. I've heard of the term virtual assistant. I think because of the pandemic, that we've experienced, a lot more people have been exposed to a distributed workforce or remote workers or virtual assistants because of the challenges of not being able to go in to the office, you're staying at home. And so people have explored different alternatives. 

Jamie  

And there's a book that was written by Jeffrey Green, Jeffrey A. Green called Crossing the Chasm. You may or may not be familiar with this, but but in essence, he has this little graph that kind of looks like a camel's back. And, and it talks about bringing a product to market and making it viable. And I kind of liken what happened to the majority of people in the world that were exposed to the unbelievable events that occurred during COVID. And that when you first create a product, you're an innovator, right? You're that person that was you're a little crazy. I think we're all a little crazy. We all right, something right? Well, there's two and a half percent of the population that that are considered innovators, according to this book. Of that 13.4% of the people are the early adopters. These are the people that trust us. So if they say, Jamie, you did this no problem. I'm buying it, no problem I'm in you. Just tell me what I need to do. That's a that's a good group of people, right that you want. But is your product really viable at that point? No. It's not And then there comes this chasm, this gap, where you have to jump from your little sphere of influence those who like, love and trust you to 34.1% of the population that don't know you, don't know if they like you, they don't they, they don't trust you at this point. So it takes a little while for you to cross that chasm marketing, sales, content, you know, speaking or doing whatever it is you're trying to do to get the word out there. And then people start identifying whatever that product or service is. And then people that you don't know all of a sudden start buying this product or start referring to other people. 

Jamie  

That Crossing the Chasm is is, is what I like to equate to what just happened, a lot of people did not believe that they could hire somebody remotely and count on them to get the work done. Now, since it was kind of forced upon everybody, they see, well, not only can I hire somebody that works remotely, but they actually do a really good job at it. So, so I'm a big fan of blessings in disguise. And I think what happened over this past year, has really helped people to understand the power and the leverage. And I think brick and mortar, there's still a time and a place to go into the office. But there's, there's certain people within an organization that you can have the confidence now to move forward with, even though they're not. They're sitting right next to you living breathing everything right there in the office. It's just it's been a big change that I've witnessed over time. And so I started to see and I'm starting to see us getting really, really busy. And thankfully, I'm starting to see businesses across the world get, you know, kind of get back to normal. I hope that little tangent was okay.

Andrew  

Absolutely. It was perfect, really. Because, you know, it's it's so many people are not aware of the fact that what they're taking to market is is unique. And that people need to be able to trust them. They do business like you reference they do business with people they know love and trust, or, and that trust factor is is enormous. So you know, you have a series called culture, Strategy Eats Culture for Breakfast, right? Is that do I have it right?

Jamie  

strategy, it's just Culture Eats Strategy. But it was from Peter Drucker, he wrote the book Strategy Eats Culture for Breakfast. I'm a huge fan of him. He actually got fired from Chrysler, because he was trying to preach culture and they didn't agree with that, which is unbelievable to me. But I understand the times were a lot different then but yeah, big fan.

Andrew  

So three tenets to that that you you have you know, authenticity at its finest, discovering the intangible, leading with kindness, can you can you dive into those real quick for us? Because that is so deep, and people need to grasp it to the level that you have.

Jamie  

Yeah, so. Um, so I yes, and thank you. I think one of the biggest challenges we all experience in leadership is finding the right people, and getting out of our own way, as a leader to find those people, and then trust them to kind of do the work on our behalf. Because if we own a company, we build a company. And like when I first started this company, I did everything. I did the sales, I did the development, I did the I did everything. And I was going nuts. And my wife said, Jamie, if you work one more Saturday and Sunday, you had it. So I had to figure out a way so I finally took the plunge and I hired somebody and I wasn't ready to hire somebody. I didn't think I had the money I didn't, I just I wasn't ready. But I took the plunge because I care more about my wife and our relationship than I do about anything else. So I did it. And unbelievable that I was amazed by the changes. And so when you go back to those three things that you were talking about, and by the way, every this a little side note too and I'm a tangent kind of person, so I apologize. But if you every year I come up with a word of the year and this word of the year always helps me to kind of hone in on one certain weakness that I have a couple years ago it was a FOCUS finding opportunities by creating uninterrupted strategy sessions. The next year was LISTEN, listen, listen intently and so fully to engage notably, well this year, my word of the year happens to be kindness, and kindness illuminates natural decency by creating neoteric energy with selfless statements neoteric meaning first time first. You that's the first thing you're paying attention to. So I embrace those, like nobody's business. 

Jamie  

And if you go back to those three things that you were talking about one of the things that a word that came up quite often was trust. So you can lump those three things and incorporate that into one single word trust. And that trust comes from the amount of information I get out of my head and document onto a piece of paper or on a Google doc or some form, so that you can delegate certain tasks and have the confidence and trust that someone when they repeat that back to you, so that you understand they understand you, you now have the confidence and trust to move forward to where you can focus on leading with kindness. And speaking on podcasts like this and meeting really cool people like Andrew and Allen. So that's, that's, I hope that sums it up good enough for you. But that's kind of where those three basic foundational elements kind of gravitate towards, if that makes sense. 

Allen  

Oh, it makes perfect sense. And one of the things that kind of ties into your conversation is, so the word distant worries people, right? I mean distances because it means far, whatever. But it doesn't, in this day and age now that we're working on Zoom, or Teams or whatever, the distance, you know, I laugh, Andrew and I do these do calls every day. And it's like we're having a meeting in London, and in Brazil, and you know, Arkansas, but we've never left our office, because we're having meetings like this. So maybe a couple quick comments from you. And also from Andrew, on distance in the sense that I think it's really unique about the two of you is, I think there's a lot of biases in the United States to the coasts. And I really think is great about both of you, as I know you're in Arkansas. Andrew, I know you you started in Birmingham, Alabama. I think there's some great, there's great ideas that come out of everywhere. And wherever you're creative, you're creative, it doesn't have to be in the Bay Area. And so maybe, if you could just a little bit about distance, and location.

Jamie  

Do you want to take that Andrew?

Andrew  

Sure, I'll start it off. And but I'd love for you to carry it on with with your insights here. Yes, I've worked around the world and often with a home base in Birmingham, Alabama, in and out of Brazil for 20 years. And, and living you know, Ghana, West Africa, Mozambique, working in there in different places. And for me, that is absolutely normal. So when I'm looking at hiring someone, I don't look at where they're from, or where they're working as much as who they are, how they operate their DNA, their you know, their their integrity and their qualifications for the role. So you know, the, the mindset that can be so limiting and you sided Alabama and Arkansas, you can hear it in my accent, even though my accent is quite morphed to be really odd sometimes. Every now and then that southern drawl comes out. It's Hi, I did have fried chicken for lunch today. So my southern drawl comes out. And here I am, good old boy from Alabama.

Andrew  

But we as a globally distributed remote company is are based in Birmingham, Alabama, just because access them different things require you to list a city. LinkedIn requires that you list a city on your company page. While many companies don't have a city, they're remote. And this this has got to shift. You know, recently Coinbase they went public. And it was the first company to be registered with the SEC as an address list company as a as a remote company, and it was accepted. So having this mindset no matter where you're from, is the potential for being able to effectively deal with the new citizen of the world. People are mobile. People are crossing borders that shouldn't be borders and working hours that are insane because they are working for a company across the ocean. But they're willing to and vice versa. You know we're taking calls to Hong Kong because we want to get up at two in the morning to to be on their afternoon. So, so Jamie, what's your take on that you're leading folks in in Colombia and the Philippines and Arkansas and Florida and places in between?

Jamie  

Yeah, and my apologies I'm actually from Springfield, Missouri, but I'm only about 14 miles north of Arkansas. So six of one half dozen of the other misery. I'm

Andrew  

in Missouri. Okay, 

Jamie  

Misery, exactly two gorgeous states. And so I come from I grew up in Alaska, then then we moved to California. Now in California, I was there as a teenager and through most of my 20's I knew in my head at that time, what I thought of the flyover states, the Midwest. I thought, a bunch of rednecks, hillbillies, you know, banjo play, that was what we thought of, because that was how society was kind of, that's how we acted. And shame on me. When I came out here to Missouri, it's beautiful. There's not tons of there's no 12 Lane, you know, freeways going on or anything like that. But the amount of intelligent people, the amount of incredible people that I've met out here is blown me away. And no matter where I go, I have a newfound respect for that certain area. Because that transition from moving from a West Coast mentality, coast mentality to here, I've just opened up my my brain. And I'm very, very humble. And I understand it. To get to make that point that you made Alan, I still no people to this day, that live in states around here that have either New York or LA numbers. So that that looks like they're part of that maybe they're an entertainment or something like that. And so they do put a big, heavy onus on that, unless it's, you know, Nashville, right for me. Yeah. But I know people that have a Nashville number that live here in Springfield, right, because a musician and they want to be thought of in a certain way, so that that bias is still around. 

Jamie  

However, going back to what we talked about before, with everybody having to kind of relearn a work from home strategy that's opened up a lot of people's minds. And I think there's a massive shift moving forward into the future. And I as a matter of fact, the I think the common work place in the future is going to be a hybrid model. It's one of the favorite things about, you know, where I work, it's remote, anywhere, with an internet connection, I can work it doesn't matter. One of the biggest challenges is anywhere with an internet connection, I can work, so I need to be able to shut that down a little bit. But with regards to that specific word distance, I embrace distance. If you look at virtual, what is virtual really mean, in my opinion, a virtual assistant is more of a transactional based relationship. Now, this does not mean that that's a bad thing or a negative thing. There are certain things, there's companies out there like Upwork, you can go there and get great things done for you. There's Fiverr, there's things like this, but it's transactional based. 

Jamie  

With the distant assistant, we're looking for more of a long term based relationship, because if someone doesn't understand your brand, then maintain the integrity of that brand, your voice, your tone, that all comes with time. And people are so excited and so anxious that this day and age, we live in such a now society, and we want to get things done now. And then people get upset because things aren't getting done now. Well, people have to understand they haven't invested the time in developing a relationship. And how in the world can I expect someone, my my assistant, for instance, has been with me almost three years, if you were to receive an email from me or her, it would be in the same tone. It's unbelievable and uncanny how similar our messaging is, it was not like that in the first month or two months or three months that we met. But we had something that we could build on. And it took time. And so people have to slow down in order to speed up in my opinion. So that goes back to distance. So when you're looking at a distance assistant, it's an assistant that's in a distant location, which is kind of normal nowadays, that can support you in such a different and more of a unique way than just a transactional based virtual relationship. Does that make sense?

Andrew  

It, it totally does. And thinking differently is essential to advance. If we keep thinking and operating in the same way we always have. We're actually going backwards. We're not going forward, the calendar is moving forward. But we're actually digressing into failure. So you You said you know thinking different. We've got to discover the different every day and pursue it And it's it's that pursuit I think that that enables business, outsourcing business, you know the the processes being outsourced, so that these results can be multiplied and you know the quality of workers that are available that are outside our geographical area but sitting there saying, okay, where can I get a job many people are sitting there thinking, Okay, I can't find people for these for these roles. But but they're there, they just have to think differently to attain them to get them on board. So you know, for for us, you know, we needed someone for our European operation recently added them in the Netherlands. And it was, it was normal for me. I've lived in the Netherlands, I love it. We just need someone on European soil and he was on boarded last week. It's just one thing after another to where if we can think outside the boxes, where the boxes need a box cutter just to chop them down and say, Okay, let's let's build a bigger box. And not have a veto square. It's, yeah. The importance, cannot be put to words, really.

Jamie  

No. And you know, I've been doing this for 15 years. It started in 2006. I sourced my first 13 assistants in June of 2006. We didn't have Zoom there you know, there's no Eric Yuan there was but he didn't have Zoom built. We our web speeds were our internet speeds were 1. They were terrible! And someone commented the other day, said, Jamie, you've been social distancing before social distancing was a thing. And I laughed after that, but I thought about it. I'm like, you're right. And so how did we get from where we were to where we are now the world is so much smaller now the talent pool has gone through the roof. And you know, you can go in and in pay a medical assistant in the United States right now. $70,000 a medical assistant is about $70,000 that's not the total cuz you got all the other stuff to fight on everything else. But $70,000 get somebody to run your your private practice. You can go and get that same assistant, say from the Philippines, who is an RN, who maybe has experience has college degree or whatever it may be for about half the cost. And then people go, we're not into sweat, labor here sweat, you know, no sweat houses? No, no, do you realize the cost of living there is 75% of what it costs to live here. By giving them a salary over there, you're they're thriving over there. We have we have assistants that have bought homes, bought cars, we have assistance about a second car, like they're making really good money yet to us over here in the US, UK to Australia. It's such it's it's it's an opportunity for us to really kind of embrace this unique distributed workforce, get up to speed sooner for a lot less overhead, and then help out our clients. 

Jamie  

And the thing that a lot of people miss is the help that you're helping out the clients. Take you, for instance, if something we do can help save you time so that you can focus on helping your clients. We've just created the positive ripple effect that is business. And if we can keep doing that over and over again, in spreading out helping, helping, helping, helping, not only are we doing it in our own backyard, or regionally or nationally, we now have a global impact on creating a better life for everybody. And I know that sounds pie in the sky, but I believe in that because one of the biggest things is you hear people bragging, I work 14 hours a day, they're bragging, they're proud of that. Why are you happy about working 14 hours a day, I am happy because I've worked three and a half days a week, and I work about seven or eight hours each day. I make sure on a Friday, that's hockey Friday at 11. We're gone right? But like that's what I want other people to do enjoy life, work your hindquarters off to get to a certain level so that you can start delegating this stuff. I I don't know another tangent I guess but that's kind of what I took from what you were talking

Allen  

Hey tangents are good as a graphic. That's what keeps things interesting on things. And trust me when we do tangents all the time. So that's all good. I'm about ready to take you on another tangent right now. You know, a blizzard of our podcasts have been really interesting in our segment where we ask our guests to discuss maybe an overlooked person, place or experience that you would suggest that To discover, and you know, you're somebody who's very interesting person, would you share with us, perhaps in overlook person, place or experience for people to look into.

Jamie  

an overlooked person, place or experience? I would say an overlooked place. Hey, you got to come to Springfield, we got a Table Rock Lake with us. It's absolutely gorgeous. We're here in the Ozarks of beautiful Ozarks, and it's an unbelievable place. Again, we're in a flyover state here. So not a lot of people either drive through or flyover, but if you get a chance to kind of check it out. It's absolutely gorgeous here.

Allen  

Well, I've heard that as a mountain biker. It's a fantastic area to come out to so I will be a person who will take you up on that when. And one other question before I turn it over to Andrew is as a hockey fan, I understand. The St. Louis Blues are perhaps your passion. Or, and what a great story a couple years back for us to share quickly that the blues were in the middle pack not doing well. And then the song Gloria yeah, dead last Dead Last. And then Could you just tell two second story on Gloria, how a song could change a whole season.

Jamie  

It was I listened, listened to Gloria 500,000 times. Gloria just got the blood pumping. And boy, the St. Louis Blues were dead last place in the NHL. They took the holiday break, came back and ended up making the playoffs just barely. And then they went on to one that went on to win for the first time in franchise history since 1967, I believe is when they came into the league is you know, 64? 67? I think it was 67. That's the first time they won a cup. And it was just an absolutely amazing story. And we are good friends with one of the original players on that on that first year's team on the blues, Bobby plugger, who who passed away later this year. But when I was getting married, I had an opportunity to get him on video and I said hey, can you please wish my wife and I you know, a happy wedding. And he goes, and this is before they want he said okay, Jamie and Sarah want to wish Yeah, you know, happy you know, happy marriage and life. And I know you come to the blues camps. And and here's maybe here's what get you a parade this year for your wedding gift. And sure enough, they had a parade down there. It was fantastic.

Andrew  

Oh, that sounds amazing. That's I can picture it. I can. So tell me, Jamie, I believe you have a book. Can you tell us a bit about it?

Jamie  

Oh, my gosh, thank you so much for asking. So I don't have the book yet because it comes out in September. But I've got the green light from the publisher. I've written the rough manuscript has been accepted, it's now out with the beta readers. And so I can't wait to get their feedback. It's called quit repeating yourself. And basically, it's in three parts. And I've never seen anything like that seen a bunch of sales books, bunch of marketing books. But I've never seen anything that incorporates the three parts, which is culture and leadership, systems and processes recruiting and hiring. And so it's not a huge, heavy read. But what I did is kind of opened up what I did in my business here, and what's worked for us. And hopefully that can help inspire or help someone either a, you know, first time entrepreneur or veteran entrepreneur out in it, looking at their business in a bit of a different way. And building and documenting a system leading with kindness, developing an incredible culture. And then specific strategies for recruiting and hiring. I've been hired over 1000 people in my time. So I've learned a lot about the process. And I just share everything that I've learned. Plus, I've talked with hundreds of different amazing business leaders, and I've taken a lot from what they've done. And I've shared that in the book as well.

Andrew  

Okay, is it is a strange to say, Can you say it again? The title of the book.

Jamie  

Oh, that was good one.

Andrew  

repeating yourself is the name of the book. So it's not strange to say it again. Yeah. link in the show notes. Because when this show goes on the air, that book will be available for purchase. And everyone I highly recommend I can't wait to get my copy. Because I've got to quit repeating myself. And actually, Jamie has helped me in that process. That's why he's on the show today is because he has helped our company in streamlining some processes, from software we're using all the way to other aspects. But he's got a show that many of you should definitely tune into. It's not a podcast, if I can remember correctly. But tell us about that, Jamie.

Jamie  

Yeah, so I've been podcasting for several years. And then I decided to shift over to live streaming, simply because there wasn't as much work but it's really neat. Live Streaming is a different kind of I'm a different animal in a certain way, but a lot of the same elements are included. And we have a show called Live with Bottleneck happens every Tuesday and Thursday at 2pm, central 3pm. Eastern, where I interview, unbelievable business leaders who are much smarter than I am. And I just absolutely love having conversations with them. And then Friday morning, we do a little, a little spin off of it called a weekend review. And that's where my wife and I talk at 10am Central 11am. Eastern, we talked about what we did a weekend review. It's live with Bottleneck weekend review. And we talked about these are the things we did, these are the challenges that we've had, this is how we overcame them. And this is what we're doing next week. And it's just kind of a neat little look into how a husband wife kind of run a business, a remote based business, and we've had some pretty positive feedback.

Allen  

Well, that's great. Now we appreciate it. And thank you for joining us today. And you know, for folks out there to look up, you know, bottleneck descent assistance. Look up Jamie Jay, on LinkedIn and these other mechanisms. I certainly learned a lot today and and certainly I really appreciated Andrew, the conversations that Jamie started about innovators and then jumping to the chasm, which I know we're all aspiring to do at this time. How about some of your takeaways from today's conversation? Andrew?

Andrew  

Sounds like I need to tune in to this live show that they have every week. I've not seen it yet. I'm going I'm eagerly looking forward to that link. I certainly it was already on my list to get his book. But you know, we need to need to watch for those cues in our life for things that need adjusting because so many times we're on this set path to where this is the way I always do it. I always keep a checklist versus using another method it's much more efficient or, or whatever the process is we've got to look beyond how we always do things. That's what I want

Allen  

y'all to get to stop repeating yourself, Andrew, but I'll just leave that that. Very important to make sure

Andrew  

Touché

Allen  

Touché. Well, thank you. It's a great podcast today just want to remind our listeners that the new Nomad is not just a podcast, it's a community of people, ideas and spirit helping you take advantage of that location, independent lifestyle, please tune in again please give good reviews spread the word. We can also be found that TheNewNomad.net or InsuredNomads.com. So travel well stay safe, and we look forward to seeing you down the road. We appreciate your time today. Cheers.

Distant Assistants and Crossing the Chasm of Work With Jaime Jay | TNN25

About the Guest

Jaime Jay

Jaime Jay is the founder and CEO of Bottleneck Distant Assistants. Jaime has been sourcing Dedicated Distant Assistants from the Philippines since 2006. His provocative point of view is the foundation for this company – “Is your job getting in the way of you doing your best work?”. Jaime is the author of 'Quit Repeating Yourself: How Today's Leaders Are Using Systems and Processes to Grow Their Business the Right Way'. This book was written for business leaders, managers and entrepreneurs to help generate a sustainable business model and explores the intersections of culture, leadership, systems, processes, recruiting and hiring. He also enjoys spending time with his wife Sara and their dog Nikita, playing hockey, traveling, boating, playing guitar and country music.