Hello, everyone. Today I want to talk about hiring VAs in the Philippines, and why this could be the best move for building a strong team for your business.
This is a place where I see a lot of really successful CEOs getting in their own way of building a strong team that really rocks it out for them and really builds their vision for them. I’ve been building teams in the Philippines for about ten years now; my current operations manager, Leonna, was one of my very first hires when I was building a strong team for myself way back when. Still, when I first started hiring in the Philippines, I made all the mistakes. I’m here today to tell you how to avoid making those mistakes and how to start building a strong team that will be key in carrying out your vision for your business.
Making Mistakes and Learning Lessons
When I first tried building a strong team by hiring in the Philippines, I ended up with the same problems that I hear so much of the online world complain about. I hear so many of the CEOs I talk to say, “Hey, I had really bad experiences hiring in the Philippines. I had a VA totally ghost me, drop everything that I had given them to do, and I never heard from them again.” Or, “They made a mistake that cost me thousands of dollars, and I don’t feel like I can really trust them. I don’t know if I can manage them. They’re so far away. How do I know if they’re doing their job?”
Most US-based business owners end up believing that VAs cannot handle more than busywork because they’re hiring VAs through agencies, and most of the agencies end up hiring VAs for three to five dollars per hour, then turn around and charge the US business owner about fifteen dollars or more per hour. The agencies often hire unqualified VAs because they worry more about their profit margin than getting you and your business a quality VA, so a lot of their problems—and maybe the experience you’ve had hiring VAs in the Philippines—is simply because you don’t really understand the process that you need to go through to find and connect with high-quality candidates, or how to set up the process of managing and training them and supporting them while building a strong team. You also have to understand that their culture is a little bit different than in the US and how to work within that to make sure that you get top-quality employees.
Building a Strong Team Anywhere
The first thing to understand is that no matter where you look in the world to start building a strong team, there are going to be people who are flaky and don’t really do their job. All of the concerns that you have about hiring in the Philippines are probably the same concerns over your US-based employees and team members as well. While building a strong team, you are always going to run into people that show up that just don’t do a good job, but we don’t decide, “Hey, I’m never going to hire an employee again.” We still need to have people help us build our vision.
The reality is that I had all of the same problems when I was hiring through agencies. However, at the time, I simply could not afford to hire people in the US because my business had gone almost belly-up. Overnight, I lost my profit margin and couldn’t pay myself. I was really struggling to keep the business afloat, and what saved me was actually pivoting and rebuilding my business is a completely different way, which is really where the 7 Figure Freedom method was born from. Throughout that process of building a strong team up again, I really tapped into working with VAs in the Philippines. I replaced my team over a short period of time with people in the Philippines that were just amazing, and it’s transformed my whole business.
Finding the Best Team Members
Like I said, my current operations manager was one of my very first hires way back when, and one of the things we’ve changed about our process for building a strong team is that we only hire our team directly. We don’t ever go through agencies. This year alone, we filled over thirty-five positions for ourselves and for our clients. Out of those thirty-five people, we maybe had three or four that weren’t the perfect fit. We’ve hired executive assistants, graphic designers, bookkeepers, operations managers, event planners, funnel builders, project managers, social media managers, podcast production experts, web designers, and many more roles. This idea that your VA in the Philippines can only post your captions and images on social media or tackle the mundane busy work in your business is simply not true. There are highly skilled people anywhere in the world.
Having a Team You Can Trust
My team is my most important asset in my business, so I’m always super committed to taking good care of them. And in return, they’ve shown up in incredible ways for me. I’ve developed a process of finding and hiring and training top-notch talent in every industry and every role, and in fact, my team has become even better than me. I think my team is probably the best in the industry at the whole hiring process and building a strong team for me and for others.
Not only that, but my team has supported me in amazing ways. This past summer, I was traveling in Europe. I was in a different time zone altogether. I was dealing with some intense life situations that required my undivided attention—you see, my mom got really sick when I was in Europe. For the very first time in all of the years I’ve been working, I literally took ten days off completely from working just to care for my mom, because she was in a life or death situation. I was in Europe for three and a half months, and while I was there, my team was basically running the company. They were overseeing big projects with my clients. They were meeting with my clients. They were managing the day-to-day of the business. And when I came back, I actually had new clients on the roster. I signed up three new clients in the first week.
We are still growing. We are still having lots of success in that area. And my team? My team has my back like nobody’s business. I don’t think I’ve ever had a team that had my back like the team that I have now. They’re an integral part of the vision and the execution of how we are doing things in my business.
Don’t Be Afraid of Hiring in the Philippines!
I’m really hoping that one day the Philippines will open up their borders so that I can actually go there myself with my team. We want do a team retreat on the beach in the Philippines on one of the beautiful islands someday so that we can all be together. I would love to make this a yearly thing so we can start celebrating the wins that we created for this company.
All in all, one of my favorite pieces of advice for CEOs? Don’t be afraid of hiring outside the US. My team is incredible; I wouldn’t trade them for any other team in the world, and I wouldn’t have them if I hadn’t looked outside the US to build my team.
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