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Why You Should Take the “Fire Yourself: Delegate Your Way to Freedom and Success” Course

I have been a virtual assistant for four years and I was previously in administrative positions for more than 10 years. My virtual clients have lived in New York, Texas, Minnesota, California, Alaska, Canada, Hong Kong, and quite a few places in between. Each has had a different method of delegation, and most have asked me for input on what I preferred, which often led to a great working relationship. This is all to say that I have a lot of experience on the receiving end of delegation by clients and bosses.

Based on my experience, you would think that I knew a lot about delegation. However, I recently completed the course “Fire Yourself: Delegate Your Way to Freedom and Success,” and I was suddenly aware of how little I actually knew. This course was taught by Amber L. Gray, Founder and CEO of Trusty Oak. While I am a freelancer with Trusty Oak, all opinions in this review are my own and have not been influenced.

Why Fire Yourself?

When I saw the title of the course, I didn’t feel like it would be worthwhile for me to take. I was excited that Amber had created it and immediately sent her an email to tell her so. But I didn’t need to fire myself. I’m the “delegatee,” not the delegator. Eventually, I realized that there must’ve been some reason that Amber had shared it with the Trusty Oak VAs.

Although firing yourself sounds a bit shocking, I think that’s the point. As business owners, and I include myself in this list outside of my work with Trusty Oak, we have a lot of responsibilities. Not only are we in charge of the business side of things, but unless we have staff or contractors, we also need to run the marketing, communications, and fiscal sides of our businesses. That’s a lot for one person, especially if you’re scaling your business and trying to have a life outside of work. Not only is it a lot to do, it is a lot to master and can be difficult to keep changing your focus.

Firing yourself means taking stuff off of your plate, and handing it to someone else, oftentimes a virtual assistant, like myself. This may include social media and marketing, calendar management, invoicing clients, or a ton of other parts of your business that aren’t the heart of your business. You need to be responsible for the heart of your business, but you can fire yourself from the little things that take time away from you doing what you need to do.

About Delegation

Early in the course, Amber explains all about delegation. Did you know that there are 5 foundational elements of the delegation process? We all know about the delegator, delegatee, and the task or work to be completed, but Amber took it to the next level and added two necessary forms of communication to the process. She compared the delegation system to a flywheel (which honestly threw me – I’ve heard the term but had no understanding of what it was). Luckily, she quickly changed analogies to one that could be universally understood: a door.

Throughout the course, I felt like I was learning. From the delegation matrix, to the five levels of delegation, to the idea of smart trust and beyond, there were so many things that I didn’t know or wouldn’t have recognized as important. Amber’s explanations were easy to understand, and her examples were relatable. I was able to see myself in some of the examples and reinterpret situations with past clients to gain a better understanding of what went wrong.

Sharing and Receiving Feedback

I really enjoyed when Amber spoke about the importance of feedback – when to give it, how to give it, and why you should ask for it. She doesn’t follow the idea of annual or biannual reviews (thank goodness!) but instead shares six preferable times to give feedback with which I am completely on board. I remember having annual reviews at jobs in the past and they felt intimidating. Even when I knew I was doing well, I still worried that something may have gone wrong that I didn’t know about, and that the review wouldn’t be positive.

I probably had those worries based on the methods of providing feedback that many people employ. You know when someone talks about all of the good stuff and you’re just waiting for the “but”? Or when someone is talking to you about things as if they’re faults with you instead of faults in your work? Feedback is critical to providing valuable help, but it’s only worthwhile if the other person is receptive to the feedback you provide. Just as with everything else she shares, Amber gives tips on making feedback most effective and well-received.

Before she shares how to give feedback (in ways that resonate with me), Amber suggests that you also ask for feedback from your virtual assistant to build trust and create a culture of feedback and improvement. As a VA, this is big. I find that the clients who are open to feedback and improvement have been the ones with whom I work best. They recognize that I may have other things to bring to the table and could help them improve their processes, become more efficient and effective, and grow their businesses. In turn, I welcome their feedback as well because I know that it will help me to improve myself and help us both grow in our working relationship.

Overall Thoughts

When I anticipated taking “Fire Yourself: Delegate Your Way to Freedom and Success,” I wasn’t expecting anything revolutionary. As a seasoned virtual assistant/freelancer and former employee, I’ve been on the receiving end of delegation for most of my life (although one could argue that, even as a child and teenager with chores and responsibilities, I was the delegatee well before I was ever hired as an employee). Although I was right that the course wasn’t revolutionary for me, it was thought-provoking, outlined for impact, and filled with quotes, studies, and research to show that Amber L. Gray is an expert in the area. She has been on both sides of the delegation process and ensures that what she shares is to the ultimate benefit of both the delegator and delegatee.

Can you get the information elsewhere? Probably. Would it be easy to gather the research and resources to learn everything that Amber shares in the course? Probably not… especially if you’re in the position of delegator since you likely wouldn’t have the time available to research delegation on top of all of your other responsibilities. Whether you are in a position to hire staff, freelancers, or work with an agency, such as Trusty Oak, or you are that staff person or freelancer, this course would be worthwhile for you.

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Kristen Rattanamongkhoune

Kristen has a natural aptitude for proofreading and has an inability to read without keying in on grammatical and spelling errors. She’s edited four books for publication and many blogs, emails, and social media posts for clients. She is trained in Pinterest strategy and management, enjoys content repurposing for social media, helping with website updates and design, and taking care of the small details. [more about Kristen]

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