You may be shocked to learn that Bottleneck Virtual Assistants is an ‘anti-virtual assistant company. Stay tuned, as we share several stories that will open your eyes to a brand new way of thinking in the world of the traditional virtual assistant company.
Tom Kulzer, CEO of AWeber was incredibly transparent and I, for one, applaud him for his authenticity. He has made the difficult decision to make his company remote first.
He recently wrote a post on his company blog where he shared an email informing his staff that AWeber is now a Remote First Team.
While he still believes that teams in offices collaborate differently and better than remote teams, he is making his company remote-first in spite of it. He will be hiring and operating remotely and no travel for the rest of the year.
I have seen many studies showing how much happier and productive individuals are working remotely. The power of the ‘Hybrid Model’ as described below, is something I highly recommend you learn more about.
Articles about remote productivity:
The Genesis of a Category King
My name is Jaime Jay and I am the CEO and Founder of Bottleneck Virtual Assistants, LLC.
Our mission is to help business leaders build deep personal relationships with real human beings from the Philippines so our clients can get their time back.
The first experience I had in hiring a remote team came in 2006. My business partner and I started a real estate advertising agency in Stockton, California.
As a graduate of the Leadership Stockton program class of 2006, I learned that Iloilo City, Philippines is a port city located on the southern shores of Panay Island on the Panay Gulf.
Iloilo was adopted as a Sister City by the Stockton City Council Resolution on August 2, 1965.
Times, They Are a Changing
Many people are turning to Bottleneck to learn more about whatever this ‘new normal’ is all about.
Here is a recent comment by a good friend and listener from our ‘Live with Bottleneck’ livestream:
Our world has changed drastically. The new normal is slowly rearing its head and we are seeing what our future is going to look like.
If you pay close enough attention, you will start noticing new trends and great, new and informative articles like our friends wrote at FluentWoof.com providing wonderful insights into how to navigate these uncharted waters.
Recently, my team and I had the amazing opportunity to sit down with Christopher Lochhead. He literally wrote the book on Category Design.
If you do not know him or what category design is, you should. He is a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO, and entrepreneur. For crying out loud, he coined the term ‘Customer Relationship Management’ (CRM).
Christopher is the host of two amazing award-winning podcasts. The podcasts are Follow Your Different™ and Lochhead on Marketing. Lochhead authored two amazing books that you MUST read named, Play Bigger and Niche Down.
I have learned a lot from Christopher and the other influential people in this article, as you will soon learn.
Virtual Assistant MegaTrend?
The ‘Big Aha’ I took away from this amazing conversation was that we have been practicing social distancing before social distancing was a thing.
In Play Bigger, Christopher mentions the ‘From – To” theory. It is where we move the world ‘from’ the way the world is ‘to’ the way we want it to be.
Consider ‘from’ as a transactional technology assistant and the ‘to’ as a relationship with a distant human being. These two things would seem as opposites of each other. But putting them together results in a whole new dynamic – Intimate Distant Assistant.
With the onset of technology, the world is much smaller. We may have never known one another, but now we have the opportunity to build an incredible and intimate relationship.
Christopher shares an example from Henry Ford. He created the ‘horseless carriage’.
It is critical that you meet the demand where it currently is so you can tell them about where the category is going.
A Megatrend is on the horizon. We need to exercise radical generosity by sharing everything we have learned. Physical distancing is here.
We may not all be working from home, but a very large percentage will be working from everywhere.
Distributed Workforces; Do They Work?
Matt Muellenberg wrote an article called the ‘Distributed Works’ Five Levels of Autonomy‘. He shares an incredible interview on the podcast ‘Making Sense with Sam Harris’.
Matt is one of the founding developers of the WordPress platform. In 2005 he started Automattic which drives WordPress.com, JetPack, WooCommerce and Tumblr.
He has nearly 1,200 employees in 75 countries who work in a ‘Distributed’ capacity in 2020. Matt recommends building, growing and operating a company in a fully distributed capacity. He has a ton of experience with regard to growing a company efficiently.
Is Remote Work Better Than Working in the Office?
Tim Brennan from TalentSorter™, recently introduced me to a couple of amazing people.
He sent me a video wherein the CIO, Guy Vardi, of Silverstein Properties, leveraged Artificial Intelligence (“A.I.”) to segment company teams into a hybrid model.
I was impressed with the what happened and I had to learn more. I reached out to Guy and he introduced me to the co-founder of Dojo, Dan Goldstern. We had an amazing conversation on the ‘Future of Work and the Workplace” on my show “Live with Bottleneck”. Among many other amazing concepts we discussed, the ‘Hybrid Model’ stood out.
This model determines two factors when setting up an office environment:
- Collaborative Workforce
- Remote Workforce
A software company was studied using artificial intelligence. The findings were pretty alarming.
With the onset of the employees working from a remote location, there was overwhelming data that showed individual developers were much more productive. Developers were writing a lot more lines of code.
On the flip side, new software introduced to the market place fell off dramatically. Teams were not able to collaborate effectively, and so the solutions weren’t able to go to the market.
The collaboration decreased, while individual productivity increased.
Enter the ‘Hybrid Model’
While there are certain aspects of every company that can leverage the power of the remote workforce and saving money on overhead are at the top of many leaders list.
There is a certain, much larger segment of the workforce, that are able to save time being face to face. Dojo.co uses the data to identify what departments work better in a collaborative environment while others can thrive from the comfort of their own home.
There are many examples of companies leveraging the power of a distributed workforce. If you are looking for other examples, please reach out to us and learn more.
Don’t Do Business With a Virtual Assistant Company
If you are still reading, then you deserve to know why. After years of working hard creating a service we could be proud of, I have to admit that I missed several key areas in building this business. So many other entrepreneurs were successful… how did they do it?
What was I missing?
During the meeting with Christopher and the Bottleneck team, it came to me. The messaging was off. Everything we were saying was just adding to the noise that was already too loud.
COVID-19 has created an environment of social distancing and physical distancing. Two things that were not around before 2020.
It wasn’t necessarily the brand, it was the category. I just did not know it yet. It comes down to this question, “What problem do we solve”? While the product or service is very important, it only works if it addresses the PROBLEM.
The Difference Between Branding and Category Design
Branding is about ‘us’ or the ‘company’. Category design is about the ‘customer’ or the ‘client’. Category design is about introducing the world to thinking about a problem or an opportunity in a new or different way.
“In category design, pay attention to what things are called. The name of sh*t matters. The reason we have words is because you can tell me what the f*@k you are thinking.”– Christopher Lochhead
Words create actions. Category design, in a nutshell, is the difference of ‘capturing demand’ and ‘making demand’.
“There are people who play the game, and there are people who invent the game”.— Christopher lochhead
Enter the Dedicated Distant Assistant
Ask yourself, “are your daily tasks getting in the way of you doing your best work”? This is how, with incredible insight from Lochhead, we have identified our Provocative Point of View.
My intent is that you, as a successful business leader, will see Bottleneck Virtual Assistants in an entirely new way.
Welcome to the world’s first Dedicated Distant Assistant company. We feel the ‘Distant Assistant’ is the new model. Believe this or not, together yet distant, Bottleneck Virtual Assistants is an anti-virtual assistant company.
What is a virtual assistant? Google it. You will most likely see the first several results are related to artificial intelligence. And if is not run by A.I., it is often more of a transactional-based relationship.
If this is going to work, guess what, we MUST say we are not virtual assistants. We are distant assistants that are human beings. We are not A.I. and we are not transactional. Adding the word ‘Dedicated’ to Distant Assistants destroys the message of normalcy.
A major challenge I found with the industry is that to keep overhead low, one had to assign a virtual assistant to many clients. I get it; you can get more if you charge more clients for less virtual assistants. But do these companies truly have their clients best interest at heart?
I am here to challenge the status quo – I am here to challenge you.
Will a Dedicated Distant Assistant Work for You?
It’s a gamble knowing whether the time you invest in an assistant will work.
What if you could find a ‘Dedicated Distant Assistant’? A highly-skilled and talented person that would work with you and you alone?
Would it be difficult or challenging in the beginning? Of course. Was it easy for you to start your own business? Surely it wasn’t. Otherwise, we would have a lot more entrepreneurs in this world.
It will take time, but the more time you spend with someone, the more the bond between you grows. Pretty soon, there is no one else in the world that gets you like your Dedicated Distant Assistant.
Virtual assistants are a mistake. They are the machine we are raging against! You want an intimate relationship that is closer to an actual workplace than a quick transaction when needed.
Let’s Get Intimate
Now wait, before you think I have gone too woo-woo, let me elaborate. We have over-rotated in the VA space on technology. At Bottleneck, we rotated it back to ‘Human’. We, here at Bottleneck, aim to create intimate-distant relationships”.
A ‘Dedicated Distant Assistant’ (DDA), is someone that you have a deep, intimate relationship with digitally. This is the opposite of a virtual assistant. It is an intimate-based relationship, not a transaction-based relationship.
A Dedicated Distant Assistant is a committed partner. Who happens to be physically distant, but relationship-wise, happens to be very close.
Why Virtual Assistants are No Longer The Best Choice
Virtual assistants sound good at first. But the reality is, it is about savings, technology and worst of all, it is about transactions. Legendary assistants are not about appointment setting.
Dedicated Distant Assistants should be a powerful relationship and perform mundane tasks/jobs so you can do more of your work!
I want to take this time to invite you to learn more. We have completely turned the world of virtual assistants on its head.
Consider how Bottleneck Virtual Assistants may be able to deliver a fresh perspective to grow your business. Win back your quality of life and build a relationship with a Dedicated Distant Assistant.
Special thanks to my good friend and mentor Christopher Lochhead. Your wisdom and guidance will never go unnoticed as we embrace category design forever.