Transcript: Thanks Allan, this is David Brower with Your 20 Minute Podcast. Our special guest today is Andrea Rozman, a virtual assistant expert from the state of Michigan. She’s down-to-earth, engaging, and an interactive speaker that will help teach you about the virtual assistants world, or virtual assistant world. I can’t even speak today Andrea, what’s wrong with that?
Andrea Rozman: You know, maybe it’s the weather, I’m not sure.
David Brower: Oh my gosh, well, welcome from Michigan to Colorado. I hope you’re having a good day.
Andrea Rozman: Thank you so much, David. I am having a good day and Colorado, how fantastic is that? It’s beautiful out there.
David Brower: Yeah, I’m pretty blessed, that’s for sure.
Andrea Rozman: Yes, absolutely.
David Brower: So just what is a … some people know, I think most people don’t, just what is a virtual assistant.
Andrea Rozman: You know, that’s a really tough question now. Several years ago, that’s an easy question. A virtual assistant is somebody who works for a business but they do it remotely. And the tasks can be anything. Nowadays though we have Siri and Alexa and all the little gadgets and they’re being called virtual assistants. So we’re getting a little confused but originally, it’s a real human being, helping someone else out remotely.
David Brower: Nice. And so are Siri and Alexa competition to you or just by definition, they’re competition to you?
Andrea Rozman: Oh no. Just due to the fact that they’ve sort of usurped the name. I have my Dot and I love her. I could live without her now.
David Brower: See, I told you, you should have trademarked “Virtual Assistant”, you didn’t listen to me.
So if I’m a small business, and I am, lots of small businesses, how can a virtual assistant as you describe it, help my business grow?
Andrea Rozman: Wow, it all depends on the business but it’s really about, for me personally, I wanna take away all those little things that you shouldn’t be doing. You’re a business owner, you need to be concentrating on the big items. You do not need to be worrying about “Oh, you have to send out that email. Oh, I should really do that Facebook post. Oh, I need to do some research on finding some new clients.” None of that it what you should be doing. You have to do the big picture things. You should be engaging with your clients that you currently have and growing from there. All the little admin office, nick-knack stuff that just bogs you down ’cause you know you have to do it but you can’t find the time to. Those should all be pushed to a virtual assistant.
David Brower: Wow, I just … I’m just fantasizing about doing that actually. I never thought about that before I … Well, I take that back. It was several years ago but I hired a telephone secretary for lack of a better term, answering service, I guess, right? So I did that for a while but I didn’t get enough calls to worry about it so I quit doing it. But the way you describe it, it’s kinda interesting. It kinda piques my interest a little bit. And it comes across all types of businesses, I would think.
Andrea Rozman: Absolutely. Me personally, I have helped so many different types of businesses, musicians, lawyers, doctors, digital marketers, public speakers, you name it, everybody needs help and it’s little things. Sometimes maybe you just need … I always say “What if you could take an hour a day, what would you do with that hour, if you could give that hour of work away to somebody else?” That’s five hours a week, that you could breathe and concentrate on something you really, really want to be doing.
David Brower: I would be walking my dog and riding my Harley.
Andrea Rozman: That’s great, absolutely. And that’s it too. We don’t really think about it, it’s like “Oh, I’ve gotta give you this work so I can do other work.” Why not just “Here, I wanna give you this work so I can relax.”? And that’s what my team is for. I don’t want to do everything, here. You do this so I can concentrate on my life.
David Brower: Well, yeah and at the end of the day, we all … a lot of of us talk about having balance in our life but some many of us don’t just because of the circumstances that you’re talking about.
Andrea Rozman: Absolutely and I think virtual assistants really understand work/life balance. I work from home, it’s a very relaxing time for me. If I wanna go out to lunch, I go out to lunch. If I wanna take the day off, I can. If I’m gonna sit here and work in my jammies, I’m here in my jammies. And so we really understand what other entrepreneurs are trying to achieve. And we want to get them there.
David Brower: Absolutely. And I do the same, which is kinda terrifying, especially the working in my jammies part. It’s just not right. But-
Andrea Rozman: As long as you’re not video conferencing, it’s okay.
David Brower: That’s right, that’s exactly right.
So you’ve got a team of people that help you get this accomplished, I’m sure it’s not something that you just do for everybody by yourself.
Andrea Rozman: Oh, I would be completely overwhelmed if I didn’t have, I have three team members. They are fantastic and I couldn’t do it without them.
David Brower: So Chicago Bears fan, seriously? I’m sorry.
Andrea Rozman: You know, everybody has to have the-
David Brower: I’m sorry, we’ve been disconnected. Just kidding, just kidding.
Andrea Rozman: Somebody’s gotta love them.
David Brower: That’s right, that’s right. It could be worse, could be the Cleveland Browns, so it’s all good.
Andrea Rozman: That’s right.
David Brower: So you’ve been there, done that as far as corporate America, IT projects, healthcare, I mean you’ve had quite an extensive background in work and in previous lives. So how did you go from all of that to creating Gal Friday.
Andrea Rozman: It was a happy accident.
David Brower: Really?
Andrea Rozman: You know, when the economy took it’s big, big, big downturn 10, 11 years ago. I lost my job.
David Brower: That would be 2008, I remember losing my job on April 30th, 2008.
Andrea Rozman: Exactly. I lost mine just before Christmas. My whole department was gone and I wasn’t planning on all of this that I’ve been doing. I went, what’s the first thing you do? “Oh, I better get my resume together.”
David Brower: Right.
Andrea Rozman: And I was applying and applying, hundreds of jobs. And as I’m sitting there, I’m thinking “I wonder if I can help somebody online because maybe I can just keep my brain active. I don’t care what it is. Let me just do something.” And I found somebody that needed some help. It was nothing major, just an hour a week. Okay. And then I found somebody else and I kept finding other people that needed help. And I thought “This can’t be a business, people don’t do this, right?” But they do. And it just grew from there and so ten years later, here I am, still doing it.
David Brower: I love stories like that. And my experience was exactly ten years ago too. I worked for myself from home, I’m a voice actor, a voice over coach and I do podcasts because it’s fun. I learn things, I educate people and help pay things forward and those kinds of things. So, wow, that is really cool. And speaking of people coming to you, there’s no such thing as a coincidence, you know?
Andrea Rozman: I don’t think, maybe. You know, there’s some coincidences, there’s some accidents, there are some people that are running to me and there are some people that stumble over me.
David Brower: There ya go, I like it, I like it. So you’ve been doing this ten years.
Andrea Rozman: Right.
David Brower: That’s a track record. Wow.
So how many businesses do you work with, let me rephrase that. Do you work with businesses on an ongoing basis or a “just come in, help me fix it” basis? What do you do?
Andrea Rozman: All of the above. I have clients that I work with daily. I have clients that, maybe it’s a few times a month. I have clients that I don’t hear from for an entire year, they just have yearly projects. I have clients that I haven’t heard from in three years but then they come back and say “Hey, I need this project done.” And I’m good with all of it. We’re here when you need us.
David Brower: That is great. Well, the other nice thing about that for you and your team is it makes every day different.
Andrea Rozman: It’s always different and that’s probably one of the best perks of this is it is different and working with so many different types of businesses. I learn so much and I get to meet so many different amazing people. So it’s really great.
David Brower: Well that’s cool and let’s see. I’m looking at your list of you mentioned earlier “We help everyone,” oh my gosh. Artist, photographer, digital marketer, investment banker, business coach, doctor, lawyer, PHD, home electronic, baby product, business ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba. That my friend is a list, health medical support, content developer, communications marketers, consultants. You have a vast array, so what do you find in dealing with this incredibly varied resource of businesses, what do you find constant? Or are there constant things that carry over from one type of client to another?
Andrea Rozman: The constant is that everybody is overwhelmed and needs help but they just don’t know how to ask for it. And really, it’s hard because the time they get to us, they’re already overwhelmed. And I’m trying to make sure people are getting to us before they get to that point so you don’t ever have to feel that chaos and tension because that’s a terrible feeling.
David Brower: It is. Well and sometimes, if they’re that overwhelmed, it might be that they don’t know what they don’t know about what they need.
Andrea Rozman: Exactly. I’ve had clients come to me and they’re just so flustered and everything’s just so chaotic for them that we can’t help them. And that’s a terrible thing but because they don’t know what to do and how to give away work, it’s a struggle for them. And I’m always “Come back. Take some time, relax, come back. We’ll work through it. We’ll figure out.” And maybe it’s just one thing. What one thing can you give away? And it’s hard to give away things. When I first started I was all alone and when I had to give work to a team member, that was hard because it’s my baby and I don’t want you … Don’t you hurt my baby.
David Brower: Well yeah, I mean at some level we’re all control freaks when it comes to our business right?
Andrea Rozman: Absolutely. Right, and you just don’t wanna give it to a stranger and say “Okay, there ya go.” But once you do, and once they do a good job, you take that deep breath and go “Oh my gosh, why did I wait so long to do it?”
David Brower: Well and what a great idea.
Andrea Rozman: And then you can let the rest of it go.
David Brower: Yeah, what a great idea just to start with one, to build that credibility and trust and integrity and all of a sudden they go “Oh, this does work.”
Andrea Rozman: “This is good. I like this. I have free time.”
David Brower: I know, let’s do some more of this. So some of the basics that you do, and you have a great website by the way, it just answers every question imaginable.
Andrea Rozman: Thank you.
David Brower: Data entry, internet research, customer service, customer invoicing, audio and video transcriptions, podcast transcriptions, I’ll send you this one after we’re done, meeting minutes, blogging, social media content, social media monitoring, personal assistant tasks and a whole lot more. And then of course, you have specialties as well so there’s really no stone left unturned that you can’t help some business whether it be a solo entrepreneur or a small business of virtually any size, probably.
Andrea Rozman: I’ve worked with a team of one to a team of twenty, so it’s really a little bit of everything and I always tell everybody pretty much the only thing I don’t do, I don’t do web design. But I can put you in touch with somebody that does.
David Brower: There ya go. I remember when I was in radio a very long time ago and my friends used to tease me, they’d be looking for something or trying to find somebody, a web designer or whatever it was, lawnmower, doesn’t make any difference. And they say “Call Dave, he’s got a guy.” ‘Cause I don’t do squat but I always have a guy or a gal. So it’s cool when you can refer people and help them grow their business as well.
Andrea Rozman: Sure.
David Brower: Fascinating. So what’s a normal day for you like, or is there such a thing?
Andrea Rozman: I like routine, which is crazy in this business because everything’s always changing. But I get up at a certain time, my son, I have a teenage son so he’s gotta get up and go to school. So I get up, make my coffee, I sit down, I do some work, I take a break. I like breaks during the day, mentally it’s just good for me. If it means hoping on a bike or taking a stroll outside, whatever. Just to, even 15 minutes, just to clear your head and then jump back in. And it’s really a lot of people ask “How can you be working with three or four or five different clients at one time?” The work just sort of, you mentally make a list and you go “Okay, I can get this done in two hours, this is thirty minutes.” And you just make a list and it gets done during the day.
My prior work, I was in IT product management and that’s chaos. There’s no organization and it’s chaos. You’re doing 20 projects, they’re all due yesterday, go, go, go, go, go. So I’m used to being thrown a ton of things all at once and “Okay, go do it.” So, it’s my normal. Most people would probably freak out and say no way, but for me it’s just a regular afternoon.
David Brower: Yeah, I hear ya. Well that makes this job and trying to figure out balance in your own life and have control of being able to organize your day, man, that’s gotta be a calming influence on everybody around you compared to the other chaos.
Andrea Rozman: I hope so. I like to think so.
David Brower: Well, if your son lets you get him up in the morning, that’s a tell tale.
Andrea Rozman: It’s a start. If I can get him to school, I can do anything.
David Brower: Absolutely right. So if people want to learn more about you, obviously go to your-gal-Friday.com. And folks, literally, I would honestly believe that every question you could have is probably on here and if not, it’s easy to reach out to you, right?
Andrea Rozman: Absolutely. And for your listeners, if they put a forward slash y2p on that, they will get to a page just for them and a nice little special deal for them.
David Brower: Well, how nice, how nice. So where would they put that, when they email you or what?
Andrea Rozman: They do your-gal-Friday.com/y2p.
David Brower: I gotcha, I gotcha. Well, that’s very cool. I’ll be sure to plug that along as they say.
Andrea Rozman: Thank you.
David Brower: So somebody has a question and in your world and in mine, there’s no such thing as a stupid question or a dumb question.
Andrea Rozman: Never.
David Brower: But sometimes people feel that way and so if they have a sense “She’s not gonna help me, I don’t know. Nah, I’m not gonna call her. This is stupid.” But for whatever reason they pick up the phone or drop you a note on your website and get ahold of you, how do you get that person engaged to establish some pretty quick credibility and trust, to get them to open up to you?
Andrea Rozman: That’s a tough question. I’m really open and honest about work I can and the work I can’t do. I have told people “I can’t help you, but I know somebody that can.” I cannot do everything. I’ve done a lot but I will never tell a client “Sure I can do that for you,” when I know I can’t. Because that’s terrible, it’s a struggle for me and then I’m upset. And then I don’t do good work and then the client is upset. So I will never, I just can’t do it. So it’s always gonna be-
David Brower: Integrity is critical.
Andrea Rozman: Yes, I’d rather say no and have them walk away happy than say yes and have them walk away miserable and tell everybody else how miserable they are.
David Brower: Right? Yeah, that word-of-mouth is just not a good thing.
Andrea Rozman: Right.
David Brower: That’s awesome, man. I’m glad you’ve had a great ten years and you are having great success and your team is enjoying their work. Have you had the same team for a while?
Andrea Rozman: I’ve had one person on the team for, it’s sort of a blur after a while, I’m gonna say six or seven years but I could be wrong. One is about a year and a half or two years now and then the third one, I just hired her in December.
David Brower: Nice, very nice.
Andrea Rozman: And I’ve had people come and go.
David Brower: Well sure, yeah, that’s part of the deal. Well congratulations on growing such a great business and being able to help other business grow, even if they don’t know they need it, they really do need it, guaranteed. They just need to find out from you that it’s okay to let go of a little thing here or there, right?
Andrea Rozman: Absolutely.
David Brower: Okay. Hey, this has really been nice, thanks. Andrea Rozman, from Your-Gal-Friday.com/y2p and you can get ahold of her and any of her assistants. And they are Elaina, Lynn and Frankie. Hey Andrea, thanks so much, really enjoyed the conversation. I hope you have a great rest of your week.
Andrea Rozman: Thank you so much David, you too.
Allan Blackwell: Your 20 Minute Podcast with David Brower has been brought to you by Audible. You can listen to any of David’s podcasts anywhere podcasts can be found, including I Heart Radio, the Spotify Mobile App, and the davidbrowervo.com/your20minutepodcast. Until next time, thanks for listening.