THE BENEFITS OF HIRING AN ONLINE BUSINESS MANAGER

The benefits of hiring an online business manager with Anja Riemer-Grobe

  • Most business owners really underestimate how much work it is to do a launch or to create a program, right? An online business manager can help.
  • The first thing people need to learn is to get into the habit of protecting their time.
  • We practice time chunking. I ask people to put categories in their calendars instead of timeframes. For example, this is my two hours where I'm working on my emails.
  • Follow-up is oftentimes what people forget to schedule.

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THE BENEFITS OF HIRING AN ONLINE BUSINESS MANAGER

Most business owners really underestimate how much work it is to do a launch or to create a program, right? An online business manager can help. 

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Doug: Welcome back, listeners, in the episode of Real Marketing Real Fast. I think you're going to enjoy our conversation today with my guest. She's somebody I've gotten to know through a mastermind that we're both parts of. Her name is Anja Riemer-Grobe. I'm so excited to have her join us on the show. It's amazing hosting a podcast being able to speak to people all over the world. She's joining us live from Germany. Now Anja is the founder and CEO of a company called Management Made Easy. It's an online business management service on OBM, and she focuses on building trust in client relationships. And she does this by leveraging virtual tools, remote work, and then online operations, which helps to create a consistent client-focused service experience for her clients.

Doug: Her business motto is that “We take care of managing your business so you can keep doing what you're an expert in.” With her unique approach, she combines well-organized structures, processes at the back end, and strong trust-building client experiences in the front end of the business. She inspires and supports her clients to bring more authentic humanness into the business world. So I'm super excited to welcome Anja to the real marketing real fast podcast today. Hey, Anja, super excited to have you on the show today. So welcome to the Real Marketing Real Fast Podcast.

Anja Riemer-Grobe: Yeah, hi, Doug. It's great to be here.

Doug: So I'm really excited to talk to you today and let you share with our audience. I've got my notepad [inaudible 00:01:31] you take a lot of notes because you have a superpower of organizing and helping people get things done efficiently and staying on schedule. Is that about right?

Anja Riemer-Grobe: Yeah, that sounds right.

Doug: So why don't you share in your own words, instead of my made-up introduction, what it is exactly that you do?

Anja Riemer-Grobe: Oh, well, I'm an online business manager. And that basically means I'm in the back end of a business. Hopefully, an online business but a local business is also fine. The main thing is that they are doing their daily operations, virtual in some form or another. And I'm really helping the business owner to streamline it, to set everything up to manage the projects and the tools and the people behind that. So just to make sure that the business owner doesn't get dragged down and all the daily operational, technical, and whatever tasks, and instead has time to focus on their expert work.

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THE BENEFITS OF HIRING AN ONLINE BUSINESS MANAGER

Most business owners really underestimate how much work it is to do a launch or to create a program, right? An online business manager can help. 

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Doug: So you said a couple of things I just made note of. One is that you helped manage the projects. So you're kind of like the project manager. So you're negotiating people's time to help out and you're also helping to manage the staff.

Anja Riemer-Grobe: Yeah, that's right.

Doug: So can you break those two things down? So in terms of project management, so you're saying this is all done remotely. So what sort of tasks would somebody outsource? So if they say, “Hey, Anja, I'm overwhelmed, I'm buried with work. I can't get everything done. I need some help with some projects.” So what would that look like from the person that's delegating that?

Anja Riemer-Grobe: Well, basically, what I'm talking about are initiatives like doing a big launch or creating a new program, writing a book, whatever those big initiatives are, that you might want to grow your business, to get more visible, or to do your marketing in a number of effective ways, right, most business owners really underestimate how much work it is to do a launch or to create a program, right? They may usually keep telling me, “Well, I'm just doing that and I want to have it done in the next two weeks.” And my answer is, in most cases, “Well, no way. That's not working.” And so yeah, I'm helping them to map out a strategy, basically, get it chunked down into doable and trackable tasks, and then see who on the team can do what and in what timeframe? And or who do we need to hire or get on the team to actually get it done.

Doug: Okay, so that makes sense. So you help them map out the strategy. So I want to go from here to there, whatever the here to there is, I want to write a book, or I want to do a launch for a new product. So when you do that, do you normally use software that the client is using? Or are the clients using software project management software to do that? Or do you bring that to the table as well? So what does that look like in most of the cases when you're working with people?

Anja Riemer-Grobe: Well, in some cases, people are already using some form of project management. But the typical case is that they are not using anything, they are tracking their things in a Google Sheet or something like that. And then I'm usually recommending the software suite that I am using, which is Trello as the main project management board, combined with slack as the well, you could call it the communication hub, where you really talk about the tasks and the projects and the progress that you're making and involve whoever needs to be involved in that conversation.

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Doug: Okay, that makes sense. And I think that I was surprised. I mean, you said that a lot of your clients are tracking in Google Sheets, which is great. My experience has been lots of times clients are tracking it in their head, which makes it very difficult to have anybody else to be part of the conversation when you always have to go to the CEO and say, “Okay, so what were you thinking?”

Anja Riemer-Grobe: Yeah, that's true, but basically, the project management part of my work often begins after I'm working with the client for some time already. And at that time, I'm making sure that they get personal management done really like getting rid of unnecessary tasks to being the master of their own schedule, a very important thing. And actually I get them in the track of thinking about not how they get things done, but better who gets things done for them or with them?

Doug: Wow. Well, that sounds amazing. Yeah. So you've got project-based as one, which makes sense. Okay, I want to do this, I want to go to an event. I want to speak at an event. I want to launch a book. I want to whatever. But you've mentioned something else that I thought was really interesting. So being the master of your own schedule, so do you want to just expand on that? What does that mean when you say that?

Anja Riemer-Grobe: Yeah, well, most of the people, when I start to work with them, they are telling me the same things as I'm overwhelmed. I'm the bottleneck because everyone relies on my decisions, and I'm working 60 to 80-hour weeks, which, by the way, for me is like, I can't even imagine that, right? But people are doing that. And the first thing that they need to really learn and get into the habit of is to really protect their time. And I'm usually working with them on that by categorizing their tasks into, this is something that actually needs to be done by you, yourself. And this is something that you can easily hand off to someone on the team. This is a task that might not even be necessary and you're just doing it out of some habits.

Anja Riemer-Grobe: When we are finished with that, we practice more or less time chunking. So I usually asked them to put categories in their calendars instead of timeframes to make sure okay, this is my two hours where I'm working on my emails. I'm reading my emails, I'm answering them, I'm archiving them, whatever I need to do with them. And then I'm done for the day and don't touch my emails anymore, because they are distracting me from other things.

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Anja Riemer-Grobe: And I'm really, this is a process that usually takes two to three months, and I need to nudge them and remind them and really go deep into these types of things with them. But once it's clicked, and once they realize how freeing that is, they are automatically starting to do that by themselves. And then I know okay, now we can move on to part number two and talk about project management and all these other types of things.

Doug: Yeah, I mean, I like your approach in terms of protecting your calendar because I was looking at my calendar last week and this week, and I'm thinking, “Man, I've got way too much stuff going on.” What was I thinking? I know tomorrow I've got basically three hours of meetings, they're all stack one upon the other. I'm thinking, “When am I going to get a chance to get a cup of coffee or get some lunch?” Who did that? And the answer is I did. Because, to your point, I allow things into my calendar. And so my personality style is, “Oh, I can do one more thing. I can do one more thing.” So I just keep adding them. And it's like, “Hmm, that wasn't a wise decision.” So maybe next week, it'll be a little bit better week.

Doug: Now in terms of helping people to delegate, what I wrote down was a note here that what is mission-critical. And it's taken me a really long time to accept that there are people on my team that will do things better than me. And there are people on my team that will do things that like 80% of capacity with the way that I would want it done. And I just needed to get to the point where I had to decide what's acceptable. If it's not mission-critical, is for example, if somebody's scheduling my social media, if they're scheduling in a way that is 80% as effective as me, I'm better to leave them to do it than to do it myself.

Anja Riemer-Grobe: Yeah, that's true.

Doug: So you said that you help them to get their schedule in order. To protect by category, so give me an idea of what that means. So I'm trying to visualize what does it look like when you're saying a set of categories?

Anja Riemer-Grobe: Yeah, that's, for example, a lot of people, as you said, allowing their clients to just book themselves into their calendars. And that, in most cases, that means I have two meetings on Monday, one on Tuesday and the other one on Wednesday and free on Thursday, things like that. But if you ever had a meeting, you know that it needs preparation, you actually have to take the time to be in the meeting, and it will also take some time afterward until you can start to do other things in your day. So your days are basically scattered by both meetings. When I tell my clients, “Well, you need to set boundaries then and tell your clients, ‘Okay, I'm available for meetings on Mondays and Wednesdays, and the other days of the week are not open for any client meetings,' they are usually very reluctant to do that because they don't know it any other way.”

Anja Riemer-Grobe: But for me, for example, that works really great. I'm open to client meetings on Mondays. That is where we do our weekly planning and talking about the goals of this week, what projects need to be done, and so on and so forth. And that gives me the freedom to use the other four days of the week to do other things that are equally important than the actual client meetings. There is client delivery work, there is work that I need to do my admin, my bookkeeping, and all that kind of stuff. There is a time where I need to do my marketing when there is a time where I'm on masterminds or being interviewed on podcasts as you know.

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Doug: That's right.

Anja Riemer-Grobe: And just making time for that by planning in categories is really a great thing because you don't have to put into your calendar on the first day from 10:00 AM to noon, I'm doing this and that specific task. It's enough to put in okay, there's a time block for from 10:00 AM to noon where I do client work, and throughout the week and throughout maybe the workflow that you have, you will know once the first day at 10:00 AM scheduled meeting or scheduled appointment or time block arrives, you will know that what client work fits in and needs to be done by then.

Doug: Yeah, I think that lots of times that's obviously an issue that you don't block time. So like you say, you don't set aside time for marketing, set aside time for client work or administration, you're busy doing other work, or doing other tasks that aren't necessarily what you need to keep your business moving forward. And I think the biggest lesson that I learned in terms of being more efficient with my calendar was when I first started my podcast a couple of years ago, I went and I spoke in an event and I got overwhelmed with the response. I thought, “Man, I can't do this. I don't have the cycles.”

Doug: So when I went in and I set up a calendar, it was really kind of empowering to go into that my booking software. I use a software called YouCanBook.me and say, “Okay, so I'm going to do all my podcast interviews on Wednesday afternoons and Thursdays.” And these are the times I'm going to run and that's it. So I don't do them on Monday, I don't do them on Friday. I don't do them on Tuesday, because, as you said, I have to prepare. And that really forced me into starting to get some systems set up because I really want to have the podcast and I needed to get organized. And so now I've got a whole bunch of different calendar links that I share out for people. “Hey, I want to have a general meeting with you.” “Fine, here's my link.” And there are some meetings I take where I'm only available two hours a week. And once that time is booked, it's booked. Very cool.

Anja Riemer-Grobe: Yeah, that's a very [crosstalk 00:14:35]

Doug: I have a really long way to go, but to your point in terms of meeting prep, as well, I mean, so you've got to if you're having a client meeting, or I'll just use my podcasting example, pull up the guest sheet, make sure that they're registered so they can log in or go look at all their social media platforms, read some of their blog posts. If they've been another podcast, listen to the podcast. So that might be an hour of prep, and then there's 30 minutes or 45 minutes of the actual interview and then there's a follow up that happens after that.

Anja Riemer-Grobe: Yeah. And it's definitely the follow-up part that's what I realized is oftentimes people just forgetting to schedule for that as well. It sounds like oh, it's just a two-minute email or five-minute email as a follow-up and a thank you. And it actually takes way longer, because if the person responds, and you don't want to lose the connection, then you will respond back, and so on and so forth. So it can get really time-consuming just to do the follow-up.

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Most business owners really underestimate how much work it is to do a launch or to create a program, right? An online business manager can help. 

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Doug: So let's shift gears a bit and let's talk about now you helping to manage a team. Yeah. So can you give an example? I'm not asking you to name your client or reveal any secret information, but can you give an example of a client where you help them with their team, and what that looks like for you?

Anja Riemer-Grobe: Yeah, basically, again, going back to the basics, because I do have clients who already have some people on their team. But when I'm interviewing them to find out what they are actually doing and what their role is, it's very revealing. And it happens more often than not that people are not even clear about what their role is and what their responsibilities are and things like that. And that, in itself, leads to work not getting done because nobody feels responsible, and our work is done two or three times over because everyone's working on that at the same time.

Anja Riemer-Grobe: And just by clearing that up and doing a virtual org chart, and just really focusing on role clarity, really helps my clients to see, “Oh, okay, I have this team of people, but I'm not using them effectively or not to an extent that I could use them.” And suddenly, if you have to clear roles, you are also discovering, “Oh, I have a gap there.” To give you an example is I'm working with accountants, for example, and they usually have people on their team that are accountants as well, and that are bookkeepers. And what they're really lacking is someone who does admin work or someone who does client outreach and marketing.

Anja Riemer-Grobe: And sometimes, depending on the personality of the people on the team, sometimes it gets covered a little bit. But oftentimes, those tasks just get neglected or added to the normal eight-hour workday, that's why it's resolving in 12 to 14-hour days. And once they have that clear, and they are seeing the gap, they can actually build that team intentionally and fill those gaps that need to be filled.

Doug: Yeah, I'm just this thinking here as you're saying that. I mean, you're right, and I think one way that I experienced having better, more clearly defined org chart and team responsibilities and roles was when I started hiring remote staff. So, with the staff that works with me in the office, it's very easy for someone to say, “Hey, I've finished this,” whatever the project is, “What you'd like me to do now?” And I could blurt out at 100 miles an hour, set of instructions for the next … The next thing as I'm walking to my office, go and shut my door, and I assume that the quick download that I've been thinking about for weeks, I shared in two minutes that the team members got it. And that's I learned really quickly that's definitely not the case.

Doug: But working with remote staff, I've learned hey, I need to slow down, give better instructions. Maybe I'm taking a task off my desk that I do myself. Say, “Hey, I can do this faster. It's quicker for me to do it than to teach somebody.” It's like, no, I can do a screen capture. I can do the tasks that one time captured on video and then I can share that with my team, and now they can see how it's done and not have to do it anymore.

Anja Riemer-Grobe: Yeah, that's true. And another very freeing, let's put the word freeing on it, is once my clients start shifting from, okay, I need to … Well, I'm delegating a little bit, but I still need my staff to come to me for decisions. And once they start shifting their mindset around that and really delegating not the actual task but the result they want. That's when delegation is really effective and frees up their time because if they just are telling the staff, “Okay, get some …” To get a word example out, right, get some flowers for the front desk. And they don't care if those flowers are red or yellow and if it's three or five flowers. Then they get the result that is they want to have some flowers on the front desk.

Anja Riemer-Grobe: But they are expecting their staff to buy two red flowers and three yellow flowers and put the whole bouquet on the front desk. And they are not communicating that the staff will pick up their phone once they are on the flower store and ask them, “Hey, what color do you want? And how many flowers do I need to buy?” And that's not been keeping uptime. That's just keeping yourself busy.

Doug: Yeah, and what's the budget so yeah, it's like, I don't want to have any part of that. That's funny. I know there's often some people that work with, and they just don't like it when I say, “You decide.” “Yeah, but I want to discuss it with you.” It's like, “No, this is the outcome. This is the budget. I don't need to be part of the decision. I don't need to follow the process. That's the outcome.” And they're like, “Are you serious?” “Yeah, that's fine. Just go do that.” Something that's interesting. I think that, for me, and I think especially now, kind of looking how the world is that by having time in your schedule, I mean if you're the CEO, or you're the visionary or the entrepreneur in your business, that freeing your schedule and managing your team does a couple of things.

Doug: First of all, as you said, you need to have time for marketing. And as a marketing guy, I'm going to say, “Hey, you should spend lots of time in marketing.” But people will get busy doing the work and talking to their clients and don't set time for marketing. So they don't have a new business that's always coming in the door. And a lot of people do that but the bigger and more important thing is that we started a business, we had a certain vision and mission that we wanted to achieve. And when we get over-busy, we don't have, at least I find, I don't have any thinking time.

Anja Riemer-Grobe: That's true, yes.

Doug: It's so noisy. There's so much stuff going on. There's always someone banging at the door. There are phones ringing, they're getting text messages. I'm getting Slack messages, the email's going, when do we have time to actually sit back and think about, “Hey, am I going in the right direction? Like, hey, I'm making really good time going this way. But is that direction that I set out to have my company going?” I don't want to, you know, five years later figure out yeah, this was fun. But this isn't the direction I want it to go.

Anja Riemer-Grobe: Yeah. And that's why having a gatekeeper is really important. And usually, I'm taking on that role, at least in the beginning, until my client maybe decides, “Okay, someone on the team should do that,” and I'm fine with that as well. But it's really important to have someone who kind of protects you from day-to-day. Just you need to make those strategic decisions, and strategic decisions take inspiration, take learning, and take time. That's just how it is.

Doug: Now, do you help your clients directly to start developing systems, written policies, procedures? Or do you help guide one of their team members to do that?

Anja Riemer-Grobe: That really depends on the client. For smaller clients who don't have a team yet, or not that many team members I'm starting on that and do it, actually doing that for them and with them. But if the client already has, let's say, four or five people on their team, there's usually someone amongst them and that's why I'm interviewing the team members.

One of the first things I'm doing is interviewing the team members to see okay, what are their personalities, what are their working style, things like that. And chances are that if you have four to five people on your team already, that one person is a more structured thinker, does follow processes by themselves already, even though there's nothing written down, and that person is most of the time really suited to do that type of work if they enjoy that.

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Doug: Okay, yeah, fair enough. So where do you think the biggest opportunity is for people to get started? So for our listeners that are going, “Okay, that sounds really cool. Or maybe it sounds really scary.” And they're nervous to take the first step, what is the first step look like?

Anja Riemer-Grobe: Do you mean in terms of outsourcing or …

Doug: Yeah, in terms of outsourcing so somebody says, “Okay, hey, I love this conversation, Doug, that you're having. It sounds a bit scary. However, I find myself working on these hours. My schedule is plugged up or I don't have a clear definition of my team or everybody comes to me. So, you know, I need to take the next step.” So I'm assuming the next step is they would reach out, have a conversation with you.

Anja Riemer-Grobe: Yeah, that's definitely the first step. And the step afterward is that I'm actually putting them through a very uncomfortable exercise but …

Doug: You're not supposed to say that because people want everything to be easy with no pain.

Anja Riemer-Grobe: Yes, I know. I agree with you, right.

Doug: No, no, this is right. Be honest. It's going to hurt. Okay, so what are you doing?

Anja Riemer-Grobe: Yeah. I'm sending out kind of a yeah, it's a Google Sheet. And I'm calling it business systems, assessment or business systematization assessment, and where it has a lot of very uncomfortable questions on it. For example, how do you do your marketing? What do you use for tracking your numbers? Who on your team does watch? All those types of things really going down into the details of their daily operations. And no matter who my client is, most of them are telling you afterward, “Okay, that was very scary but very relieving. At the same time, I'm feeling relief because I now know exactly where I have gaps and what I don't know and what I need to fix.” And that's the position that I am usually thinking, “Okay, great. Now you're ready. Let's go.”

Doug: Yeah, that's really cool. I mean, I guess it's also freeing, too, because as you write it down, then as the author of that document is responding to you, I'm seeing the gaps. So there's going to be some of the gaps that I already know in my head. But there's got to be a sense of relief. It's like, okay, now somebody else knows that I'm struggling with this. Maybe they can help me.

Anja Riemer-Grobe: Yeah, that's exactly the thing that I keep hearing then. If you're asking the question, I assume you already have a strategy on how to solve that. And in most cases, I can tell them that I not only have one but a few possibilities on how to solve that. Let's have a conversation about that. Because it needs to fit your business and your values and basically, what you want to achieve, right?

Doug: Yeah. So what is working with someone like yourself as an online business manager, what does that relationship look like for the company? Is this something that you say, “Hey, I'm going to block out …” it's probably going to pan but I ask the question anyhow on behalf of our listeners. Is that something that you do? You say, “Hey, I'm going to give you this many hours a week or this many hours a month.” Or how do you structure your relationship with a client that's going to get started in this direction?

Anja Riemer-Grobe: Yeah, I don't do any fixed amount of hours per week or per month. Because especially, if you're managing someone or a team or like a whole business, you can't tell how many hours that will take you. But what I'm doing is that I'm setting up a workflow between me and the client that works for all of us. And what I'm also doing is having really strong boundaries and really strong line of communication with them, so that everyone is clear, “Okay, this is my role, and this is your role, and I can do or I can help you and support you to that extent, but not more. If you want more on even deeper work, then you need to either have someone on your team or to hire someone.”

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Anja Riemer-Grobe: And what I'm really making clear from the get-go is that I'm not necessarily the doer of the tasks, so not the person who's doing the task. But I'm really the person who is in between the business owner and the people who are doing the task, really kind of the gatekeeper. I'm strategizing with the client on how things get done, and what the strategy of the implementation should look like. And then I'm chucking that out to the different team members or contributors, and make sure that everyone stays on track. So I'm more of a high-level strategizing person than the actual doer. I can be in the doer role, of course, but that's something that really needs to be communicated between the client and me on a regular basis, more or less.

Doug: Oh, that's really cool. So we can just kind of hand you the keys and go on vacation, we'll come back and everything will be running just fine.

Anja Riemer-Grobe: Well, it's not quite that. I actually have to go to get my clients some [inaudible 00:30:08]. It requires a lot of work and preparation before that.

Doug: So looking back on your clients and the work that you've done, is there a specific example that you could share with us that there was this radical transformation for a client, whether it's the client had freedom and more time for their family and other activities, or whether it was a major breakthrough in business?

Anja Riemer-Grobe: Well, I'm not sure if that is a really good example, because it ended in the client actually giving up her business. But I was working with a client for I don't know how long, for three or four years, and we build up her systems, the processes and we hired some team members together that helped us look at the work done. And one of her most important values was actually time freedom. She liked to go hiking and she did vacations regularly, things like that. And once she got to the point that she basically, as you just said, handed over the keys to me and said, “Well, I'm away for the next six weeks because I'm traveling all through the US. And you can reach me at key times, but anything else, I'm just keeping in your hands.”

Anja Riemer-Grobe: That was great six weeks, I was basically running her business for her. She could go hiking and doing sightseeing and whatever she did during her road trip. But when she got home, she basically says, “Okay, and now I lost my vision for my business.” And it ended in her closing her business, but that was not through to that it was a catastrophe or the business didn't run. It was really just her having the time to think through everything and to think through what she wants to do with her life. And she realized, “Okay, this business is not it.”

Doug: But that's a huge win. I mean, so many people live with regret. They don't like what they're doing or when they get to retirement, they look back in their life and there are all these things that they didn't have a chance to do. So I think that's a huge win. That's just as important as having your business go the other way where it transformed and grew big to say, “Hey, this isn't a fit for me.”

Doug: And the note that I made when you were sharing that story was that it makes your business more saleable, too. I mean, how difficult is it to sell your business when you don't have any systems if everything's in your head, and you don't have all the team in place to do that. If you're the doer, it's pretty tough to put a dollar value because you're going to say to somebody else, “Hey, you can buy my business and work 60 hours a week. You can be just like me,” which probably isn't what they're probably looking for.

Anja Riemer-Grobe: Yeah, let me think. That's not really compelling.

Doug: No, it's not a compelling sales offer, “Hey, you could come work for a little bit of money and work an insane number of hours.” So when you're out and about whether it's online, I guess it's all online now, what's the bad advice that you hear when people are talking about outsourcing to remote staff or working with an online business manager?

Anja Riemer-Grobe: Oh, well, now actually a lot of people out there who got burned trying to delegate or outsource things, to service providers, the ace, whoever it was, and I'm hearing that a lot in it actually makes me really sad. Because well, I don't want to step on anyone's toes. But in most of the cases, I think both parties were partly responsible for that, for that feeling of getting burned, right. And clients are hesitant to outsource and delegate anymore because they got burned once before. And on the other hand, the service providers are not … I don't want to say not willing, but they are reluctant to do work and then afterward send out an invoice for that because they have been burned in the other direction, right?

Doug: Yeah. For sure.

Anja Riemer-Grobe: Yeah, and it always makes me really sad to hear that because if you have the right key person or the right support for your business, it can be such an amazing kind of … Yeah, have someone having your back is really such an amazing thing to have. So that you're not feeling alone, especially if you're working online. And just giving that no chance, because you had one bad experience is it really makes me sad to hear that.

Doug: And the pushback I typically get is there's this instant distrust if you can't see the person sitting in the office, that they're not working. And I know that's not the case but I know that that's the pushback I quite often get from my clients like, “Well, I need to see him in the office.” It's like, “Why?” “Well, because,” or, “Why? You want me to spend an hour driving to the office and then … Like why, I can work just as well remotely, or the team's remote and the teamwork,” so like you said, if you have proper systems in place, and you hire and train the right people, they'll do a good job.

Anja Riemer-Grobe: Yeah, absolutely. And my experience actually is a little bit of the opposite. Because if people are working remotely or virtual, and they don't need to be in the office from nine-to-five and get some more flexibility around when they work and how they are working, the productivity goes up quite a bit. Because I know it's true for me and I know it's true for a lot of people that I know and work with. I know that the best time, my best focus time where I'm most productive is in my mornings. Well, I have my clients or most of my clients are in the US and Canada. So if they would need me to be present when we are awake, I would not be able to do that much output because that's my afternoon where I usually have an energy slump.

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Doug: Yeah. Yeah, that's a whole different conversation that took me a while to figure out how to pay attention to when I'm most productive, least productive, and then what to do to mitigate that. So two more questions and I'll let you get back to doing what you do best. One is who's one guest that I absolutely have to have on my podcast that you could introduce me to?

Anja Riemer-Grobe: I don't know if you know her, but I really like, from a marketing perspective, I like to work with Kamila Gornia. That's her name. And she has a brand name that really speaks to me. It's called Heart Behind Hustle. I like that because of it well, just projects really great message, and I'm part of her marketing academy where she has monthly training and things like that. But the overall framework that she is teaching her clients is that no matter what marketing activity you do, it should be aligned with your business and your goals.

Anja Riemer-Grobe: And then she gives you a couple of strategies of how to achieve that. So she's not one of those marketing people that tell you, “Okay, there's one way and if you follow it you will be successful. And there's only this one way because I'm telling you.” She's really great. And yeah, she has a very feminine approach to marketing but that's actually what speaks to me because I also like that approach very much.

Doug: That's really cool. If you make an introduction I'd be happy to invite her on the show to be a guest.

Anja Riemer-Grobe: Yeah, I'd be happy to.

Doug: Now, Anja, where can people find you? So if they want to connect and say, “Hey, I've got some questions for Anja. I want to learn more about what she does and how she can help my business,” or maybe have a call where they can have this discussion with you, how do you want them to find you?

Anja Riemer-Grobe: Well, I have my website up obviously. It's Anja/Riemer [foreign language 00:38:59]. It's German, so it might not be as easy to find, but you can always just type my name into LinkedIn and you will find me there. I'm not that present on Facebook, but I do have a Facebook site as well. Where you won't find me is Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and all those other types of social media channels, because that's another thing that I realized for myself very quickly is if I'm on all of those channels and constantly producing output there, I don't have time to do my core business. So I'm really focusing on LinkedIn and a little bit on Facebook.

Doug: No, good for you. I mean, that's a key element of marketing, like you said. So working with Kamila she's saying, “Hey, find what speaks to your brand.” And your vision and spend time there. I mean, so there isn't any one way. If there is anyone way for marketing then everybody will be doing it. There are a million ways. So super good. So I'll make sure that I have a link in the show notes to your website and yep, you're definitely on LinkedIn so you can find Anja on LinkedIn. I just want to say thank you very much for taking the time and giving us a glimpse into your business, what you do, and how you can help people to get organized, to protect their calendar, get some time back in their day, and to scale their business.

Anja Riemer-Grobe: Yeah. Thank you for having me. It was great talking to you.

Doug: There you go, listeners. If that didn't get your juices flowing, I've got a whole page and notes, and thinking, “Man, I need to delegate more stuff so I can get some more time back.” So I really enjoyed this conversation. Anja, I hope you enjoyed it as well. We'll make sure the show notes are transcribed. We'll have all the links for her website and as well to her LinkedIn page. I just want to say thanks for tuning. We look forward to serving you on our next episode.

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Links to other related podcasts and or blog posts:

HOW TO SET UP A VIRTUAL OFFICE

HOW TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS WITH VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS