This diagram shows Matt’s model for the roles you need to build a black belt practice with you (the thought leader) and two other team members.
Your role as the thought leader is make up - you make up everything in the practice. The IP, the packages, the pricing etc. The business manager does the set up - sets up the sales, the venues, the packages etc. The PA does the clean up - what’s left. Interestingly in this model, the PA isn’t your assistant, he’s the business manager’s assistant.
At white belt its just you. I’ve made the mistake in the past of bringing on a PA while I was still at white belt thinking that would free me up to make more income. It was too early, and didn’t work.
Around Green belt you put on the business manager - you still do the clean up, and you make her cups of coffee.
Around red belt your business manager gets her personal assistant.
Given I’m at yellow belt fast approaching green belt, I've started the process of hiring my business manager. I initially asked Matt for his thoughts about the process, but upon reflection I realised the importance of this decision for my practice, so I decided to go right to the top. I spoke to Elle. I asked her what differentiated a business manager from an executive assistant, and what I should be looking for. Here’s what she said:
- A good relationship. The most important thing is a good working relationship.
- Not afraid of change. Needs to be someone who isn’t looking for routine.
- Not attached to the work they have done. You can spend three months working on a project only to discover the market doesn’t like it, and it gets dumped.
- Lots of initiative. The Business Manager runs the practice, so they can’t need direction all the time.
- Willing to sell. Not scared of closing a sale (although Elle did say that was something that she learned).
- Willing to take advice / mentoring on how to perform the role better.
- Doesn’t want to run a thought leaders practice themselves - isn’t interested in the limelight, being on the stage, running the workshops etc.
It's a great summary of what to look for. I’ll keep you informed of how I go with my search.
I'd love to hear your thoughts. Please leave them below.