Entrepreneurs tend to be afraid of letting go of specific tasks, worrying that someone else couldn’t do it better, or to save money instead of hiring an assistant. But that’s not always the case. Have you thought about how much time you could be saving if you know how to delegate? Penny Zenker talks with the co-founder of InboxDone.com, Yaro Starak, about the importance of delegation of tasks for better results in your business. InboxDone.com is an email management company with a team of 25+ serving different types of clients. Yaro has been featured in SkyNews, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Foundr, and hundreds of media outlets and events. You don’t have to stress yourself too much! Learn how to overcome that initial challenge in delegating, discover the best practices, and grow your business.
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Delegation And Systems: The Most Effective Time Management Tools For Businesses With Yaro Starak
We’re always looking for creative entrepreneurs, business leaders, and anyone who has a passion for working smarter. For sure, our guest is going to open up our mindset and give us some real strategies in terms of delegation, which is an important skill that we all need to practice. We are excited. Yaro Starak is with us. He is the Cofounder of InboxDone.com. It’s an email management company. That’s probably out of all of the experience that he has had through 30-plus Angel investment tech startups that he has been included as part of, as well as starting and selling his own multimillion-dollar business. When you’re growing businesses, you need to learn pretty quickly how to delegate. Yaro, welcome to the show.
Thanks for having me, Penny. I’m looking forward to talking about delegation. That’s always a tricky topic.
Let’s start right there. In your opinion and from your experience, what makes delegation so difficult?
There are many layers to it. For most entrepreneurs, especially the small business owners out there, the initial challenge is letting go and believing other people can do things as well as you can or possibly even better, which most people think would be a miracle. If you get past that, it’s a hiring job. I know from my own experience, I failed at hiring over and over again, which meant that I was spending time on hiring when I was taking away from doing the things. I was getting even less productive in order to get productive by delegating in the first place.
To me, those are the two main things, letting go and understanding that there are other people out there who can do things for you, and then hiring the right people. Maybe the third thing is having the financial capabilities and seeing an ROI from what you get when you do delegate. That ties into what you delegate first because you can delegate all day, but if you don’t delegate the right things in the right order, you’re not making any money back.
Those are all great points. That’s the way we’ll organize the show, into those three segments. You probably saw my face when you said letting go. That is key. I tell everybody that we’re all control freaks. It’s you, me and everybody who is reading. We have to understand that. Part of letting go is way underestimated because in every area of our life, if we learn how to let go, we can have better relationships. We can have more productivity by delegating, but it can also create more resilience. It is so much in our life. Learning the art of letting go is so powerful. I would like to hear from your experience, what was the moment that you got it? Was it like you hit rock-bottom? Sometimes it has to happen that way. Did you learn a best practice? What was your a-ha moment that made you break through and allowed you to let go?
It wasn’t a rock-bottom experience. I knew I wanted to have my own business. Even as a teenager, I was looking for freedom. It’s a bit of a dichotomy where as an entrepreneur, you’re looking for independence. Therefore, you want to do everything yourself. When you go to bring on other people, it goes against the rules of independence because suddenly, you have to rely on other people to do things. You’re not so independent.
I juggled between those two things. I started off as a solo entrepreneur. For me, that was good timing. I was eighteen when the internet was doing its first dot-com boom in the late ’90s. I built a website and then, that was more of a hobby. I did make a little bit of money. It was like a card game online store as a teenager and then in university.
My first real business was an essay and thesis editing service. It’s like a marketplace where I connected freelance contract editors with university students. That was a business where I did go, “I got it to a certain point myself.” I built the website myself. I put up posters on campuses myself to try and get customers. I started doing basic search engine optimization myself, but I realized I was doing most of these tasks not professionally and certainly, not at a high skill level. I wasn’t good at everything. I wasn’t a web designer. I could walk around campus and put up posters. That’s not too hard, but I certainly wasn’t a search engine optimization expert by any means.
I was doing everything badly and that’s when I started to realize, “I need to get good at one thing and become a specialist in an area. In order for that to happen, I need to get rid of the other things off my plate.” I didn’t come up with that idea. I’ll be completely frank. I read The E-Myth Revisited early on and books on small business. They kept talking about systems and people, working on the business or in the business, moving from technician to manager all the way to the owner, investor and so on.
I knew that had to be done. It was just getting the money to do it and believing and finding the right people that it could happen. I did it slowly. The short answer is the first thing I ever did outsource was that web design job. That was the easiest thing to hand over because I was not a coder and I was pulling my hair out trying to make HTML work and make things line up properly. I was happy to hand over that task. That was where it all started.
A lot of people can relate. We get to a point where we realize we’re doing a lot but not getting anywhere with all the work that we’re doing. It’s like I should be getting better results in all these areas but I’m a hack in all these different areas. That is a point of realization. It’s not rock-bottom, but it is that point of realization that I could be much further. I could do so much more. I’m only holding myself back in getting to that space.You want to be an independent entrepreneur; therefore, you want to do everything yourself. Click To Tweet
You mentioned possibly having someone to do it better. You become a specialist in one area and get specialists in other areas. Let’s talk a little bit about that because it’s important that sometimes people think they’re good at something. I used to develop some flyers and things like that. I’m like, “I’m pretty good at this.” I thought, “Just for fun, I’m going to go and have someone else do one, just to compare them to see and prove to myself that I’m better.”
It was crazy how much better theirs was. I could take some of the ideas that I have and I could pass it over to that person, but I was blown away by the cost-benefit of theirs was better and it costs them a lot less time. That allowed me and freed up my time because I spent an enormous amount of time on all the little details and things because I wasn’t a specialist. Did you find that too? What was your experience with that?
I have exactly the same experience. I wasn’t like you in the sense that I thought I could do everything as well as a specialist could. I was very well aware of that. One thing you think you’re good at, but then I knew I wasn’t the best web designer and necessarily the best copywriter. I was getting better by doing all these things, but I could tell it was my main constraint. It was me, which is annoying when you feel like you’re the one holding everything back.
I started to feel the difference when I hired a website designer person. That was stress release too. You get a technical problem with your website. I don’t think we’ll figure out what’s wrong. I just pass it on to this person whose job is to know how to fix this. That was a bigger benefit. It’s not even necessarily the best person doing it. The mental relief knowing that’s not my job anymore was huge. It comes full circle because I work with them. I worked with a copywriter to review my entire website, and that made a lot of sense. It helped improve my sales the way we sold the actual service in that case.
The last step in the piece was customer service because I was still the one answering all the questions any time there were queries coming in. That business was a pronounced problem because as you can imagine, students write essays at the very last minute. They needed it back the next day and I had to make sure that we could find an editor in our team to get it back in time. I had to be on email 24/7 in case the deadline was tight to make sure we wouldn’t miss a job.
I was like, “If I want this so-called freedom, that was my goal.” It wasn’t necessarily a multimillion-dollar venture capital-backed company. It was a lifestyle business and I could travel the world and have freedom. If I’m stuck on email, doing website design and customer service, then I’m not free. This was the hardest jump because that was the role I was doing the most. I was in the inbox and selling my service. I cared about it more than anyone else. I didn’t think anyone else could sell it the way I could sell it or they wouldn’t reply fast enough for the way I would like them to.
It took a while. I hired a stay-at-home mom friend who was about to have her first baby. It was a good fit for her working situation. I attempted to hand over these things. I thought, “I’m not even sure it would work. Can I get someone else to do email?” That’s where I probably was like you with the brochure. I thought I was the specialist and no one else could do it as well as me. I handed it over and it took over a month to teach her how to do everything and then let her run with it herself.
I remember waking up on a Monday and my customer service was done. My inbox was empty. Anytime website problems or changes come through, the customer service email person sends it directly to the webmaster. I’m not part of that communication at all. It’s the same with working with the contractors for any job, whether it was the editing of the service, graphic design and copywriting.
I’m suddenly out of the loop, which was the ultimate goal. I’m no longer being that choke point in the business. I created this delegated team that was doing all these tasks and taking me out of that. That was a pretty special moment. It wasn’t a huge business. It paid me a good salary but it was fairly automated by that point. It took about 4 or 5 years to get there but that was the end result.
It does take time. That’s also something to point out for people who are reading. It’s not just taking the time to get all the pieces together. First, it takes time to come to the acceptance and realization that we’re going to give it away, and then to actually give it away because we try to hold back certain pieces. Finding the right people was the second part, which was hiring.
The cashflow. Let’s face it. I couldn’t hire on day one. I didn’t have enough income coming in too. You have to grow and then grow your team, and balance that spending money to make more money equation.
However, I challenge you there because whenever I have clients or people that I’m working with, they say, “I don’t have the money.” That’s always the first answer before they recognize that they’re the bottleneck, “I don’t have the money to do this.” There are interns and barter programs. The very first thing is recognizing you need to do it. When you know you need to do it bad enough, I’m hoping that people are like me and they’ll find a way. There’s always a way.There's always a way. You can make things happen. Click To Tweet
It goes back to the mindset of letting go. You’re quite right. When I first hired the website person, I was thinking, “I would rather keep the $1,000 a month that I have to pay them. I’ll keep figuring this out but I’ll get to keep $1,000.” I was like, “If I take 25 hours a week I’m spending on the website and give them $1,000, can I then go and double our client base, so I make $2,000 extra, so it equates to more?” In your mind, you have that scarcity fear mentality, which takes a bit of practice to get over.
That’s what it is. It’s getting past that scarcity mentality. I always tell people to value their time, “What would that time be worth if you were spending it in your best area? Whatever that is.” For some people, it might be in the development. They might be better off hiring a salesperson because they love doing the development.
I have somebody that I work with who is that person and that’s awesome. Knowing where your greatest value is and what the value of your time helps you also to say, “I could get an admin assistant or someone to go through this or create these invoices, proposals or whatever it is. That would only cost me $25 an hour where if I was out there selling, it would be worth hundreds or thousands per hour.” That’s an important point.
Let’s move to the hiring a little bit. Once we’ve gotten there and we say, “We’re willing to let it go. We’ve got some clear and specific definitions of what we’re ready to let go of,” what are some tricks with the hiring process? I’ve gone through myself. I’ve gone through people that didn’t work and it’s frustrating. Sometimes it makes you want to give up and say, “I’m not going to delegate this anymore.”
It’s probably my greatest weakness. It’s the irony of running a staffing solution company now because I was solving my own problems. If you fast forward many years from the story I was sharing to my next business, I was in the blogging and podcasting space, selling online courses. That business had grown to the point where I did have a team. I had a couple of websites and several people doing the email and customer service, but I still needed to keep hiring for certain roles, whether it was a video editor and email writer.
I kept noticing that I knew I needed to fill these roles, but I would go and try and find A-players. That’s ultimately what I knew I needed. I needed good people in this position because that would free me up to not just do that role but now I have to check in whether they’re doing that role well. That was my goal. You can spend as much time editing and cleaning up someone’s work as you create it yourself.
I found myself in this bizarre situation where for about twelve months I hired ten virtual assistants from the Philippines. It’s not ten at once. One came and then left. Another one came and another one left. It’s super frustrating. I went through an agency that found me options. I directly tried sites like Upwork and Fiverr. I went to my referral network, which in the past had worked so well for me. That’s usually how I found my web designers and so on.
Even the referral network, I kept finding people with weird stories of, “My grandmother’s house had a tree fell on it. I have to go help her. I can’t work this week,” and all these stories. I was like, “There’s some blockage here. I’m doing something wrong.” I realized I needed to get out of the hiring role. The irony for me was I needed to delegate hiring, which then delegates the delegation process.
In my mind, “I got to find one good person that will be my hiring manager.” That’s when I used my referral network. I found a good person and I said, “Your job is to become great at hiring. I know you may not be great now. You’re good at attention to detail. You came well-recommended for emotional empathy and communication skill. Now, we’re going to build a system for hiring because I know I’m not doing a good job with that.”
Her name was Laura. I still work with her. She was great because she stepped in and said, “I know it’s not going to be a quick solution but we’re going to build a system.” The first thing we did was create a proper jobs page on the website that I have for that business. It wasn’t just the details of the jobs we needed to fill. It was. “What’s the culture of our company? What’s the growth path for you to work with us? Pictures of people who currently work with us. What’s our mission?”
It’s selling the organization you’re going to work with, and then creating an actual multi-step questionnaire testing process that they complete before they even reach the point where they talk to us directly. This is how I put up all these barriers to keep the low-level quality people away. It kept the better people at the top of the pile in terms of the applications, so then we were only speaking to a small percentage of already prequalified people. Laura would take over with a hiring and testing process from there, depending on what role it’s for.
It wasn’t foolproof but it certainly got us a much higher-quality candidate. We were able to fill roles more quickly too because we could then, for example, go to my own newsletter. I had an email list of people who followed my work and I would say, “We have jobs available.” That became the best recruitment source because they already followed me and liked my work, but then we had these open positions and the detailed process. That was huge. The best step was delegating the process of hiring. That’s the number one tip for me.
A lot of people feel like that’s something they have to do themselves. The truth is that they don’t because we’re best doing the things that we’re best at. That’s a great point. I want to highlight some of the things that you did there that made that process easier. You delegated to someone else, but in your system that you mentioned, you had what I call and learn from one of my mentors. You create an ordeal. It’s a hoop that someone had to jump through that access some qualification elements.
By the time people get to meet with someone in your organization, they’ve already been prequalified. That’s important not just for hiring. It’s important for sales too. You’re talking to and spending your time with the people who are ready to move, either ready to move into your organization or move with a sale. Any tip that you want to give people on that aspect of qualification?
For us, there are few sides to this. It’s obviously going to the right pool of talent. I was fortunate in the sense that I had this database already. It’s an audience that followed my work from years of writing a blog and being a content creator. I still relied on referrals as well, sharing it on social media so your social following will see it and all these sources of talent, and not going to Upwork or Fiverr first. I found those our last resort. Laura would often say, “We’ve tried everything else. Now, we’re going into Fiverr, Upwork, and all of the online marketplaces.”
Sourcing for us and making sure the career path is there for people, it’s hard for me because I’ve never been an employee or a contractor working for someone else. I struggled to understand the motives and incentives. I don’t even understand why people want to work for other people. I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur. For me, it was always hard to understand how to even pitch this growth potential within an organization, especially a small one like mine.
I was a niche content creator. We have to highlight the lifestyle and the business I had created because that was a desirable thing to learn about in the team that would come to work for us. Maybe they were a bit entrepreneurial, but they wanted to learn more about it from a person who had done it like me. They might work with us for 3, 4 or 5 years and then start their own thing, or it could be a side hustle. It was finding that alignment of what incentivizes them and what’s important as well.You can delegate all day, but if you don't delegate the right things in the right order, you're not making any money back. Click To Tweet
Besides that, I still think the sourcing and the vetting process has been the biggest. It’s funny now because even with my company, InboxDone, the whole reason to even hire a company like ours is because we do the hiring, vetting and testing process because you don’t want to do that yourself and you just want to go and get a pool of talent. It’s why you’re willing to pay the premium per hour fee that you do for that.
We have a ten-step hiring process. It’s not that I run it. I would be terrible at it, but my cofounder Claire created it. She worked with Laura as a starting point. We took that system that we had at my other company and brought it across for hiring these Inbox assistants. It has been interesting because she went 2 or 3 levels more. It’s not just a survey. It’s like, “Here are some examples of emails. How would you reply to them?” It’s a little bit more about even some things I would never have thought of like, “Where do you lean in terms of what type of city do you live in, more Liberal or more Conservative?”
A lot of this tends to matter when you’re working with a client because there could be clashes if I’m a Democrat and I’m a Republican, and idealism like that. We don’t want to make that a reason not to hire or to hire someone, but it certainly makes things smoother when it comes to placing a client with a contractor, for example. All these subtle things that you learn over time, emotional empathy and attention to detail, there are ways to test for what you can determine so that when you finally reach the point where you’re talking to someone in an interview, you already know so much about them. You’re almost confirming that they are what they’ve said they are through that testing process.
Maybe as a final thing and this was always the dream for me. We never did it for my coaching and teaching business. We do have InboxDone. Claire, my cofounder, created an entire course. New hires get taught through something they would normally pay for that Claire created because she was the first-ever Inbox manager for us. It’s the perfect way to finish the whole recruiting process. Now, we’re upskilling you to get you ready for a client. I wish in every role, you could do that. Most companies where they’re doing something unique should have something like that to give that unique insight into what makes them special.
Let’s shift to the ROI side. Maybe that brings us naturally into that. AI could hire someone myself. They could be part of my team and they could be looking and hiring. Many organizations aren’t big enough and don’t hire that often to have somebody to do that on a regular basis, but I do want to get 1 or 2 good people, maybe once every six months or something like that. Tell me a tip around the ROI side, outside of what we already said, by valuing your time and comparing it to the time of somebody.
I went through this more so in the earlier phases when I was still feeling that fear around spending money and I would rather keep the money. Once I’ve gotten over that, I realized that I need to do a proper 80/20 assessment. Most people now know about the 80/20 rule. You’re looking for the few things that make the biggest impact. I did that but I was also looking at my goals like, “What am I trying to do here? Where’s the problem?”
I love the Theory of Constraints. For those who are reading, if they’ve heard of that concept, it came from Toyota. In their manufacturing process, they look for the weakest link. If they can increase capacity there, it passes on that increase across the entire system. I would always do that. I go, “What is the weakest link in this company that I’m trying to grow right now, and then tie that into the 80/20 rule? What change within this weakest link would cause the largest increase in improvement?”
Basically, it’s what I need to do better and what part of that should I be hiring for right now? That’s how I determine what to hire next. That ties into ROI because the whole idea here is those things are all about increasing sales, capacity or whatever is holding you back. It’s not always sales and marketing. Often, we think that’s the problem. There are not enough leads, so we need to hire a salesperson, an inbound pay-per-click marketer or something to get more customers. That’s certainly important.
Sometimes we realized that the reason we can’t necessarily ramp that part up is we don’t have the capacity to onboard new clients. Maybe there’s an aspect of our software or product that if it suddenly was in the hands of a lot more people, it would start to break.” All these parts could be constraints to growth that do not directly relate to sales. In that case it’s like, “I need another engineer because we need to fix all of these bugs to get ready to do the sales part.” That’s where I would hire next and that would tie into ROI.
To bring it back to my own story, I knew once I placed a basics website person, customer service person and a copywriter, a lot of that is fractional too. I’m not hiring on a full-time basis. I would hire someone. They do the copywriting and they would leave. I wouldn’t be paying an ongoing $2,000 a month thing. It would be maybe $2,000 one time and it’s done.
Finally, I could say, “Where are the real growth buttons I could press?” I brought in this one person. It might be on an ongoing basis or a six-month contract. Take a case in point right now. I’ve been running the Google Ads for my company but I’ve reached the point where it’s time to bring in the specialist. I’ve maxed out the point where I want to bring that skillset too. Do we need to bring one on forever? Probably not.
We’ll bring someone in and pay them $2,000 or $3,000. They might spend three months watching everything, improving and tweaking it, but then they’ll step away and it can keep running. That to me is the obvious ROI because we get better with AdWords and we get more customers. All we need is one customer a month that we get our money back. I like to think of it that way. Look for the constraint and then hire from that point.
I want to highlight something you said because I come across that all the time where people think, “I need to invest in sales.” Their first go-to is, “We need to generate more sales, more leads, more clicks always on the front end.” I had this one client who was focusing on, “We got to make more sales.” We said, “Let’s step back a second. Let’s look at where the bottlenecks are, what’s working and not working. Let’s look at your numbers. What’s your attrition rate? You’re working like hell trying to get new customers in but are they staying?”
We found out that they’re not staying, 85% are flying out the door. “No wonder you’re working so hard. Maybe you need to hire someone or do something around customer loyalty. You can keep more of the customers you already have and then you don’t have to work as hard.” People need to slow down. What delegation makes you do is it makes you slow down, step back and look at where the deficiencies are. What would break if you were to scale it fast? Where are you driving yourself crazy? Where is it stressing you out? Through that analysis, you find out what to delegate. You have to prepare yourself for the delegation and its time well spent. Would you agree with that?
You highlight the insidious nature of this because whether coaches, agencies or any kind of service providers, it’s more customers but then you don’t realize when you do get more customers, all the things you do suddenly magnify. If you don’t have systems in place and if you haven’t delegated roles, one new client might magnify double all these other jobs you do. You went from a 10-hour week to a 20-hour week. Two new clients take you from 20 to 30. It doesn’t take long for your capacity to be completely maxed out despite the fact that you haven’t grown your business very much as well.
Let’s get the system here so when I do ramp up sales and we do get a lot of clients, it doesn’t break everything. I don’t get stressed out, burnt out, sick or unwell, and then there’s no point getting new clients. That’s a vicious cycle. I’ve seen a lot of my friends who run especially service-based businesses, where they have to keep switching from marketing and then service delivery and stop the marketing because they can’t do both at the same time. They feel like they’re on a treadmill. It doesn’t go anywhere.Delegating doesn’t just give you more time. You attain mental freedom as well. Click To Tweet
For sure, but it’s product companies too. I’ve worked with companies that were selling different types of products. The company I was talking about was a magazine and they were selling ads. It’s not a service business. I’ve had some manufacturing companies where leads and sales were coming in, but they couldn’t process them. Their systems broke and they couldn’t process them. They were pissing people off and they didn’t have customer service. There are many other places to look at. I like your approach to that. Tell me about InboxDone. Tell me how that can make my life easier.
It was born from wanting to make my life easier and simpler too. It’s a pretty standard story. We all know people who show you their phones and you open up their email and it’s like 20,000 emails. I don’t know if they’re proud of that or how successful I am. It came about because I was the first customer. I had to break free to do email and travel the world without being trapped in the inbox.
I did it but to be honest, it didn’t turn into a company. I had people doing my email for the next ten years, no matter what business I was running. It was a few years ago where I was at a networking event in Vancouver and the woman next to me was talking about her business. We were all saying, “What are our biggest problems?” She said, “I wake up in the morning, open my phone, I do my email and then I’m at work. Throughout the day, I’m going back to my laptop, reading notifications, constantly getting distracted and doing my email. I go home, see the kids and family, put them asleep, go back and do my emails.”
I said to her, “I only do my email once a month.” She looks at me and goes, “How is that even possible? Everything would completely break down.” I said, “There were three people who were in my inbox replying to all the emails that don’t need me to be replying to.” There are a few that go into the Yaro folder and I deal with them once a month, but they’re big high-level decisions or important meetings. All of the questions, “How do I access this resource? Can I upgrade? Can I get a refund? Cancellations, newsletter, software updates,” all of those things are going into the inbox there.
That was the impetus to go, “I need to test and see if there’s a company here that helps to simplify other people’s lives.” That’s when I launched InboxDone as an experiment. It wasn’t a business yet. My cofounder Claire was one of my email assistants. I saw that she had leadership ability and I said, “Let’s try and see if this works for other people.” We eventually circulated announcements to my newsletter as I always do. I found a couple of clients as a test run there.
It was an interesting test. Does the system we use to break me free from email apply to another business owner in a completely different industry? As with our first two clients, one was a libertarian podcast coaching business, and the other one was a dissociative disorder therapist-type business. It’s very different from my blog coaching business. Thankfully, the system worked. While the content is different, the way we work with it is the same.
Fast forward to the last few years, we’ve gone in and built a team of 25 email executive assistants. Claire is my cofounder. She built the hiring and training system. That’s the big thing we bring to the table, so people come to us with too much email. They’re the owner of the business doing everything wrong as you and I have talked about. They’re the one who is still sitting in the middle of the business and their email is like the to-do list. They have to forward things between team members, get back a piece of content and make a decision.
By delegating the inbox, and when I say inbox, we do email. We do your direct messages and social, so if you’re getting LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, help desk and customer support messages. Anything where written communication is important, we step in and take that over. It has turned out to be a lot of fun to run it and surprisingly, the diversity of entrepreneurs from real estate agents, doctors, candy store owners, venture capitalists and online coaches. Everyone has too many messages coming into all their inboxes. That’s what we help people break free from.
How many hours would it take? I know it varies depending on the business.
It depends on how many hours you spend in your inbox. Are you a regular daily email person?
I’m a daily email person but not a ton. I process things and use systems. I don’t have an email problem per se. The reason I’m asking you this is also because there are a lot of people like the typical entrepreneur. They can relate and they could say, “I could use that service.” Maybe even like me. It’s not a major issue but maybe you could save me an hour a day. Do you provide a service that’s an hour a day?
There are also people that I work with in corporate. They have way worse email issues than some of the entrepreneurs that I know because they have more teams to communicate back and forth with. I said to them, “You’re driving yourself crazy. You could get an admin assistant to do a few little things for you that could make your life a little easier.” I’m curious if you’re starting to see executives and different project managers who are taking advantage of this service.
I think corporate is often in a better situation to benefit from this because they already are used to working with a team of people being on consultants and support services. They know the value of expertise and specialization. Sometimes we work with corporate like a C-Suite person who has an executive assistant, and then we step in and work with both of them. We take the email off the executive’s plate and the assistant’s plate, or we act as the executive assistance right away. The short answer is definitely, for the C-Suite.
The best way to answer this, even someone in your situation is when you’re in your inbox, if it even is 1 or 2 hours a day, what would you do with the 1 or 2 hours a day? Most of our clients were probably two hours a day. That’s what we do for them. We freed them up, but it’s not just the time. It’s that mental freedom as well. I don’t need to worry about, “Did I miss an opportunity? Did I knock it back to a client, investor, my mom or whoever it might be in the inbox?” That kind of relief as well.
There’s a chain of communication that’s developed here too. I want to be clear. We’re taking all the low-level stuff off your plate, but you’re still informed of all the high-level stuff and you react to it how you best want to. We’re fractional price. We’re month-to-month, no long-term contracts. Maybe an hour is the smallest amount. We’re working with a team, maybe 3 or 4 people in their organization.
We can expand and shrink as well, but the sweet spot is usually one individual leader, a professional type person who understands the value of getting that 2 or 3 hours back because they want to write a book, travel or focus on creative growth tasks in their company. Maybe exercise and get back to being healthy, see their family and all those things, whatever it would be that 2 or 3 hours would free up.
It ties into what you and I talked about right at the start. It’s not something where you can necessarily go, “I hired this thing and we get an increase in sales.” There’s no direct ROI connection. Sometimes there is. It might help answer a few questions that are sales-related questions and get you a new customer. If you take all these tasks that are stopping you from doing the growth tasks off your plate because you’re not reacting to your inbox like it’s a to-do list that other people control, suddenly, you’re getting more done each day that is increasing your ROI.
That’s the best way to think about it. Personally, mental freedom is more important to me than directly seeing an ROI. It’s the sense that, “I wake up and that inbox, which used to be the scary and frustrating place, is someone else’s responsibility. They’re in there five days a week. They’re cleaning it out twice. It’s inbox-zero every day. I don’t have to stress about it.”
You said the mental freedom but it’s also the clarity. Going back and forth and constantly going in there creates a fog of this task-switching that’s taxing us mentally. That’s what you’re talking about. It’s an additional distraction that keeps us from being focused when we are doing other things.
You got to go in there and always ask yourself like, “Is it the best use of my time to do what’s here?” It’s that 80/20 question again. I asked that from day one with, “I shouldn’t be the one doing the website, then I shouldn’t be the one answering customer support emails.” All entrepreneurs have to go through that process to delegate and grow. You can’t avoid it because you’re only one person.
Tell us where do we go to sign up and find out more information.
You’ve said the name many times, InboxDone.com. Click the Book A Discovery Call. In fact, you’ll probably get to speak to me. You can tell us a bit about whatever you’re dealing with in terms of email and admin tasks. Even if it is things like sending invoices and data entry, we take over all that thing. It’s like executive assistants that specialize in communication. I love to hear about what you would like to hand over to us. It’s always fun to make that conversation happen so you can imagine, “I won’t be doing this anymore,” and that’s a lot of fun.
Thank you so much for being here.
Thank you for having me, Penny.
Thank you all for being here. One of my favorite things every morning is to delegate something because I know it’s going to make me more productive throughout the day. I want you to check out, take a step back and see, could this be something that could save you some mental energy and give you back some time to do things for yourself to spend it on sales and scale your business the way that you want to? Check it out and make a discovery call with Yaro at InboxDone. Do it and then you’ll see. Take that step back and see what you can gain in terms of scaling. If you’re in corporate, it’s the same thing. Could you benefit from this? Why not have a conversation? It’s worth it. We’ll see you in the next episode.
About Yaro Starak
Yaro is the co-founder of InboxDone.com, an email management company with a team of 25+ serving clients including restaurant owners, venture capitalists, accountants, doctors, lawyers, real estate agents, car retailers, online coaches and more.
Yaro has made 30+ angel investments in tech startups including Steezy, LeadIQ, Fluent Forever, FitBod and Nutrisense, has property investments in Canada and Ukraine, and in partnership built a 3.6MW solar farm.
During the mid-2000s Yaro sold his first company, BetterEdit.com, then built an online education business, Blog Mastermind, selling over $2 Million of his books and online courses, as he traveled the world, living in 26 different cities.
Yaro has been featured in SkyNews, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Foundr and hundreds of media outlets and events.