Eryn Anitavi has been an entrepreneur since the young age of 10. She’s co-founded multiple companies and also has experience as an executive assistant and operations manager.
In this episode of The Leader Assistant Podcast with Jeremy Burrows, Eryn talks about the real cost of an executive’s time, the trending transition from EA to chief of staff, and how relationship management is an under-utilized skill for executive support.
Build a life you don’t need a vacation from.
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- Eryn on LinkedIn
- The Power of Full Engagement (Recommended book on energy management)
Eryn Anitavi has been an entrepreneur since circa age 10. She co-founded her first ‘real’ company when she was 16 and participated in the sale of that company when she was 19. Sapphire Partners is her fifth venture.
Seattle is home as the clan mom to a collection of young adults, including but not limited to her four natural children, although not all of them call Seattle home too.
She’s involved in a number of local organizations and when she isn’t working, you can find her casually adventuring in the mountains, doing archery, patronizing garage sales in pursuit of cool swords, thinking about her next business endeavor, skating, reading, or doing cosplay.
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Eryn Anitavi 0:00
Hello Jeremy, I’m Eryn Anitavi from Seattle, Washington. Our leadership quote of the day is build a life you don’t need a vacation from
Podcast Intro 0:16
The Leader Assistant Podcast exists to encourage and challenge assistants to become confident game changing leader assistants
Jeremy Burrows 0:31
are you tasked with ordering food for your office? Let me tell you about ezCater with over 100,000 restaurants to choose from nationwide and 24/7 customer support. EzCater helps assistants like you and me succeed at work and makes our lives easier. Visit ezcater.com/leaderassistant to find out more. Hey friends, welcome to The Leader Assistant Podcast. It’s episode 232. You can check out the show notes for this conversation in this episode at leaderassistant.com/232 Leaderassistant.com/232. And today I’m very excited to be speaking with Eryn Anitavi and Eryn has been an entrepreneur since the bright young age of 10. And she’s co founded her first real company she says in her bio when she was 16 and participated in the sale of that company when she was 19. So definitely business minded from a young age. Eryn, welcome to the show. And please tell us where you’re joining us from.
Eryn Anitavi 1:43
Yes, indeed, Jeremy, coming to you from Seattle, Washington. And yes, summer, and we have our three weeks of sunshine and then it’ll be rainy for the rest of the year.
Jeremy Burrows 1:57
I was in Seattle, I think I’ve been there once or twice. And one of the times I was there. It was raining the whole time. Except one day it was sunny and it was just like the most beautiful city ever when it was sunny.
Eryn Anitavi 2:09
That’s how that’s kind of how it goes the I’m trying to talk the family into checking out bio luminescence which requires the sun and so we’ll see we’ll cross our fingers.
Jeremy Burrows 2:22
Nice. So tell us a little bit about your family and your hobbies. Before we jump into the professional side of things
Eryn Anitavi 2:31
all of the all of the fun things the I mean businesses business and personal and especially in executive support man doll blends together right so Oh, all the all the fun things. I think we learn a lot in business with our hobbies and the things that we love. And so I do as much of that as I can myself now hiking and waterfalls, I love waterfall, questing and do archery. And I like cosplay and top hats. And oh my gosh, anything that scares me. Like, yeah, that sounds like a good idea. We’ve all of that into the world of the entrepreneur, because it all it all blends down. The epiphanies that come by staring at a waterfall you’re like, oh my god, this is the missing piece. This is what I needed to know. This is what? How Yes.
Jeremy Burrows 3:44
Yeah, it’s funny. Yeah. It’s like all my ideas come when I’m on a walk or taking a shower or hiking or veering off into the distance. Oh,
Eryn Anitavi 3:55
this is the best the best things I tell you. Yeah, I got into read a book on the energy management, then that flipped my world upside down. It was like energy management, not time management. And so then I was like, went back to the drawing board and like I have to rewrite everything now.
Jeremy Burrows 4:16
Do you remember what that book was?
Eryn Anitavi 4:18
Yes. Called the power of full engagement. They recommended 150%. Yes, it is absolutely an incredible book. But it talks about energy and recovery and the the holistic existence, right of who we are that it’s work. But it’s also you have to be mindful about recovery. And you have to focus on where you’re spending your energy, you know, you can have all the time in the world or none of us at all. But if you’re not watching how you’re using your energy, it doesn’t none of that matters, right. Yeah. So yeah, so those
Jeremy Burrows 4:59
it’s Funny how you meant bring this up because I just had a conversation with some assistants, I do a weekly assistant zoom call. And we were talking about kind of tracking your time and tracking what we do for executives. And then I was talking about this conversation that I had with my CEO on a different podcast, but then I actually share that conversation on this podcast, which let me look up real quick. That was episode 227, for those listening, if you want to check that out, Episode 227 conversation with my CEO, but he talks about how, you know a lot of people talk about time management, but reality is, you know, energy management is more important. Yes, and no, it
Eryn Anitavi 5:46
Jeremy Burrows 5:47
It’s funny that you brought that up. And I’m gonna definitely share the link to that book in the show notes so people can check it out. Leader assistant.com/ 232, but energy management, big, big thing. And I want to talk a little bit about that in a minute. But But first, I have to know, you know, I read read your bio, and I kind of teased it out a little bit at the beginning. And I have to know, you know, your young entrepreneur journeys, you know, what kind of things were you doing at the age of 10? And what was your first real company, as you said, in your bio, I gotta hear, I got to hear all that entrepreneurial journey story from Ted on so why don’t you?
Eryn Anitavi 6:34
Oh, well, let’s see here, I, my mom is a bit of a bit of a farming human. And so we we had chickens growing up, and I was the I was the egg lady. And, and I got to keep 25 cents out of every dozen that I sold. And so I’d go out and you know, I’d have bags strapped on my shoulders, and then walk the neighborhood and sell the eggs go door to door, and plotting and planning how to utilize my revenue. She usually ended up in the form of a bag of candy from the general store. So and then, then I would if she paid me like 10 cents to iron, like the household shirts, and stuff like that. So it was always kind of like attaching business. And you know, if you do this, and then this happens, and you’re like, oh, okay, all right. That’s the Oh, Pavlovian. I got that I can do that reward. I like that. Yeah. And then I was homeschooled for till up till seventh grade. And I really wanted to go to public school. Finally, finally talked both of my parents into letting me do public school, and loved it. And then when I was right before my 16th birthday, they moved me from the big city up to this tiny little town in Montana. And as an angry teenager, like, Oh, you’ve ruined my life. And they, I went into the high school there, and I was like, alright, it’s, I don’t I don’t like your school. I’m angry. A man, I don’t want to go here. I only want to take a couple couple of these classes. And they were like, Yeah, city girl, you get to enroll all the way or not at all. And I was like, Fine, not at all just gonna get my GED. And my parents agreed, let me do that. So I, like went to jumped into that and then fell in love. And he was like, Oh, I’m gonna start a company. And I was like, Oh, I’ll help you with that. I can do that. I know how to run you know, admin, and I can I can handle that. So yeah, so when I was 16, we co founded a Window and Door Company. And the running joke was just don’t tell anyone how old you are. So I started learning operations and accounting and how to manage employees and reading blueprints and working with vendors and all of the different things that go along with that. And then, then we sold that company when I was 19. Ironically, on the same day that that my firstborn son was born Yeah, the he was a little early and the doctors were like, Yo, you really shouldn’t leave the hospital and I was like, I have ribbon cutting and papers to sign in eight hours I have to go eight hour, baby and be Like we had it out, and I was like, man, and I ordered all the catering. I’m not gonna miss this party. Are you kidding me? You know? Yeah, so that was that was the sale and then I worked there for I think another year I think it was while he went and started another company. And then I left the window and door and then went and joined and did the same thing, all operations and management and kind of managing the books and all of that stuff. For smart homes and audio and video and engineering. Yeah, learning so many business, so many things.
Jeremy Burrows 10:42
Yeah. That’s great. So when did you when did you, you know, kind of doing that? I’m sure that you did a lot of things that, you know, maybe if you’re even if your title was an executive assistant, you did a lot of things in a small, essentially, executive assistant tasks. So when did when did you? I was looking at your LinkedIn, you know, you were in executive assistant, that a couple different companies. So when did you maybe decide to do that? Or did you decide to do that? Was it just kind of a phase that you went through? Did you like that role? Well,
Eryn Anitavi 11:20
like you said, operations is very so you know, the chief of staff concept and learning how to navigate the business, you have a creative visionary who wants to achieve something. And it’s that entire back end. And so yeah, you know, it may not have been that title, but it certainly was that all the way, all the way back. And when I moved here to Seattle, I was like, Man, I’m tired of being an entrepreneur. I don’t I don’t want to do this anymore. I just want to be an employee started working so hard. And I thought, Okay, well, executive support like that, that works. I know all of the things that go with that role. It was like, No, that’s what it was called. But yeah, it’s that works. So I worked as a as an EA here in Seattle. That was just shy of a year. And I went to this networking event, and someone was like, Hey, can I hire you? Like five hours a week? Wait, what, five, five hour? Yeah, like freelance executive support? And is that a real job? What is that? And so I tried doing that. And I thought, oh, yeah, this uses all the same skill sets I can handle. And that led to referral, which led to referral. And then that kind of as the summary goes, two years later, I’m running payroll for eight people. Oh, my gosh, I did it again. Entrepreneur, again, I wasn’t gonna do this. So then it was at that point that I had to decide if I was going to actually take it seriously, or go do something else. And obviously, I decided to take it seriously. So now we’re just passed our fifth anniversary. So pretty significant, like crossing a state line, you know, it’s like, nothing really changes. But you’re like, now everything’s changed.
Jeremy Burrows 13:28
Right? Yeah. Wow. So how many employees you have, and it’s essentially virtual. chief of staff and executive assistant.
Eryn Anitavi 13:38
Yeah, real remote. The word virtual has some connotation to it in our modern world, but that’s a little sticky, kind of like it’s been commoditized. So it drives the value low. I but they remote fractional chief of staff is such a vital role that is manifesting today. It’s it’s a special role, because it is it’s this holistic thing, right? You’re taking a creative visionary, and you are building this foundation in this framework to help them achieve everything that they want out of their life. And it is a delicate balance of psychology and energy management and time management and your own personal skill sets and Oh, so much. It’s I think it’s one of the most special roles that exists inside of an organization.
Jeremy Burrows 14:37
So how, how big is your team then how many chiefs of staff and executive assistants
Eryn Anitavi 14:41
so we have we have 14 now? Yep. And most of our folks are US based but I do have, I do have a handful that are outside the US. I’m hoping to expand on the path of being an entrepreneur you go through many many experiences. And I had a number of mentors tell me that when you hit 10 people, the wheels fall off. And so I was like, okay, all right, I’m going to be ready for this, I’m going to be ready. You know, I know it’s coming. I know it’s coming. And in November of 21. We were at 28 people, and, and then the wheels fell off. My systems were just not robust enough to handle the rapid growth and the operations and everything in it. It just oh, man, that was hard. That was really hard. So it started kind of dropping off a cliff. And I went back, and I was like, wait a minute, no, I need to assess everything. And so I did a whole complex analysis on our systems and our operations, like we have to fix everything that isn’t working. And, and it took us took us about six months, and we built the scaffolding and the framework and everything. And then in June of 22, I restarted the engine, and, and now, now it is everything that I want it to be, and more. So now it’s like, we’re kind of going back up to where we were halfway there. All right, we got this rolling, guys.
Jeremy Burrows 16:27
So what what’s maybe one example of something that you had to just totally change? And whether it’s a software or a procedure, you know, what was what’s an example, team training,
Eryn Anitavi 16:41
team training, I love to hire people with unique backgrounds. I think that in the in the world of being a chief of staff, executive assistant leader, Assistant, it’s not your experience, it’s your soft skills. It’s the emotional intelligence, it’s everything that goes around to that holistic self, you know, what are your hobbies? What are you like to do? What is your what are your goals? What makes you happy? And how are you building a life you don’t need a vacation from. And I love to bring people with psychology backgrounds, so like, burned out therapists and burned out social workers. Quite amazing. Because there’s a lot of psychology, and I’m sure you you probably find that everyday. Just love psychology involved in the work. So having folks like that is kind of a leg up. Because the tasks right, you know, email management, calendar, management, structure operations, all of these things are these these things can be taught. And, but navigating the human mind and the complexity of creativity. That’s a whole other ballgame. So yeah, so burned out psychologists, therapists and then burned out journalists, and film producers and media, because they’re used to so many people think, Oh, my God, timelines, timelines have to do this have to do this. And like, wait, you only only have one executive gonna holler at me, this is piece of cake. So yeah, so when I was running through everything, I kind of hung my hat on the assumption that these folks would just be able to figure out the day to day of executive support. And that was, that was an incorrect gamble. So they had all of the things but then they defaulted into what they knew. And then I realized that the training needed to be far more robust. So we we actually, we actually built a school, quite on accident, but it happens. It’s the Sapphire Academy. And it’s an entire curriculum. It’s about 40 hours, 10 modules. And it’s part of what it takes to I, my current, my current theory that I am constructing is that if you go through the Sapphire Academy, I can turn you into a high level executive assistant. So you know, come back in a year, and let’s see if I was right.
Jeremy Burrows 19:41
So that’s for is that for anybody that wants to go through that or is that just your contract?
Eryn Anitavi 19:47
Now it’s a it’s a it’s an anybody. It originally it was internal. And then it became too big, to be internal and too Just too intensive, right? So you hire somebody, and that’s a lot of training and a lot of material. So I decided to take it and turn it into a product. And so I’m working on a whole plan, you know, for sponsoring and training other admins and bringing people with those unique backgrounds and people who are on a career pivot and people who have strong backgrounds and operations and media, it’s like a, you know, any of these different fields. Right. Okay. What does it take to be? What does it take to be a leader assistant? What does it take to be in executive assistant or chief of staff? And it’s so far, it’s pretty amazing.
Jeremy Burrows 20:48
Awesome. Well, speaking of chief of staff, and, you know, you mentioned that you have executive assistants, remote executive assistants and remote chief of staff, talk to us a little bit about the trending transition from EA to chief of staff, and what are your thoughts on the differences and that whole? Like, even when you’re looking to support your clients? How do you say, oh, you’re a chief of staff, you’re gonna support this person in here and executive assistant, you’re gonna support this person?
Eryn Anitavi 21:19
Yes, my favorite conversation. The i 100. And some years ago, right, you have your corporate executive, and you have the secretary, and the Secretary is the most important person, right, they are the Guardian at the gate, they are outside that CEOs office, and if they don’t like you, you’re not getting anything done. That person is they are the ones right. And, and the CEO relies upon them, they, they manage all of the things, they manage all of it. And gradually, you know, titles shift, Secretary all of a sudden doesn’t mean you know, the Secretary it means something else administrative support a titles and kind of goes through a little bit of an upheaval and and then we have executive assistant that kind of rises up and becomes that person, right, you know, the the need of a CEO to have their their like their external hard drive, or that person who’s joined at their hip. That need doesn’t change. And so it’s just, it’s the title, right? What do you call that person? And executive assistant was the title and then about, I don’t know, years ago, a few years ago. With the rise of virtual support, kind of outsourced virtual support, which is primarily a linear task management system very, it’s very straightforward. It’s very step a step B, Step C, it’s not really executive assistants, right? As we imagine it, right. This is this is a role that is relatively low level, as an executive, you surround yourself with leaders, you surround yourself with your managers and your directors, right. So why would your executive assistant not also have a leader mindset, right, you have to have that person in your there, they’re the ones that handle everything. So they have to, they have to have at least the same mindset. As the other directors and managers and people that are around you can’t be a low level position. But then the problem is, is when everybody started going remote. This outsourced virtual assistants, they started referring to themselves as executive support. And that’s not it’s not it’s not what it is. So the industry as a whole now, again, this is my theory, right? And as I’m just kind of like watching this whole thing happened over the last five years, the industry as a whole pivots. And we start seeing this new title pop up chief of staff, chief of staff, and I was like, wait a minute, what, who, what? And as I started looking into it, like don’t this is executive support, why is it have a new title? And also it’s primarily private sector or public sector like government and like, that’s where the chief of staff is. So what is it doing in the in the private sector? So I just kind of I was like, oh, okay, all right, what what’s happening here, and I planted my flag on the hill, that said chief of staff is the new executive assistant. Like that’s where it’s going, that’s what’s gonna happen. For, for my company in the way that we think of this critical role for any executive. It’s all continue to use both. But I’m ready to tip into chief of staff because that’s what’s going to happen, right? All of these creative minded people. If they ask their teams, I need an executive assistant, and they get virtual support that’s not there, they end up frustrated, they’re like, this is awful, horrible experience. This is what I want. Because they need somebody with a leader mindset. And yeah, so we’re still in the middle, but chief of staff still has an identity crisis. And it’s like, okay, what is it?
Jeremy Burrows 25:33
It’s funny, because like, I’ve talked to several people about the title and the role and on the on the podcast and not on the podcast, but it’s, you know, seems like everyone has a different definition of what it is or, like you said, the identity crisis thing, you know, exactly what it is, you know, so it’s, I love to hear your perspective. And it’s very interesting. And yeah, definitely another unique.
Eryn Anitavi 25:59
You meet with so many, so many executive assistants, are you seeing the same trend? Where it’s like, okay, well, this is, you know, chief of staff, like there’s, this is what we’re doing this is the high level stuff. Are you seeing a similar similar push, and
Jeremy Burrows 26:16
I think I’m definitely seeing that. However, the the one thing that I would say, is maybe a slight, maybe it’s not that different from what you’re saying, but maybe a slight semantic, in how, you know, how he’s described it, or whatever. But I would say, you know, one thing I liked, I can’t remember who I was talking with somebody on my podcast. But basically, they said, you know, an executive assistant, a strategic leader, Assistant, is also thinking of at the high level, and they’re leading in there, that executive support and whatever, but they’re primarily focused on supporting that executive. And the chief of staff can also be strategic and have that leadership mindset, and that executive support, but they may not be as ingrained in the specific executives, day to day and, you know, support, but more of that, maybe the leadership team or the executive team support. And so yes, yeah, I see, in a way I want to, and I’m like, Well, I think you might be right, that, like chief of staff is the new coat, the new executive assistant. But on the other hand, I still think that there’s always going to be that direct executive assistant support, especially at the highest levels, like SEO, for example, to where I think that a chief of staff for the leadership team, but an executive assistant on that team for the executive is always going to be needed at those high levels.
Eryn Anitavi 28:06
Yes, yes. And it is it is depends on the size of the company, you know, the bigger the company. So the I recently did a kind of an analysis into what is the difference between the chief of staff and head of operations, because there’s a little bit of blend right between the two. And with a chief of staff, it’s a communication and relationship role. Where operations is a strategy and structure role. And in small companies, that can be the same person. So that’s kind of where you get the chief of staff doing executive support. So there’s the split, right, a chief of staff, their direct reports will be executive assistants and the admin team. So they will, that’s the only person who will ever report to chief of staff under you know, the kind of this theory that I’ve that I’ve created. Whereas operations can have a number of different roles that report to it. But your chief of staff is your administrative person, and they are all communication. They are like in psychology, right? You have the myelin sheath, which is you know what, your superhighway between your neurons, right? It just like connects everything. So prevents departments and people from siloing. And so in a small company, your chief of staff is synonymous with that executive assistant, and they can do email management and calendar management, right? They’re not they may not have broken out into that. But then as the company grows, and that person does need to work with leadership, and they do need to have direct reports with the other individuals. Those direct reports are based on how can we speed things up? How can we improve the communication and the blocks and How do we get the CEO? His goal or his or her goal? To take, you know, that leadership team and get all of that information to the rest of the organization? How do you bring all of that together? And that’s your chief of staff. And when they can no longer do the whole thing, then they hired the executive assistant to do some of the more daily minutiae, like the email management and the calendar management kind of structuring that. So it has, it has a growth potential that you see between the start and finish. It’s such a cool role.
Jeremy Burrows 30:42
Yeah, welfare. So let’s talk about relationship management. And maybe even your opinion on okay. This is general, generally a chief of staff thing, or a generally executive assistant thing, or maybe just a skill that both need to have. But that was one of the topics you suggested we chat about. And I really liked that that term relationship management because I do think that there’s a lot of political, cultural navigation that that we as assistants have to do. And that’s a, I think, relationship builder might have been the one that I the phrase I use in I made this little animated video with like, 10 traits, and I think relationship builder might have been one of them. But yeah, what’s What is relationship management? Maybe a tip on best practices when it comes to relationship management? And then you know how that should be an assistant
Eryn Anitavi 31:48
skill set? Yeah, yeah. The well i So communication and relationships, that’s your your chief of staff, your executive assistant and any of the anything that falls inside you know, that Venn diagram, right, the crossover between the two, and relationships, drive accompany they drive value, they drive creativity, they drive the strategic plan for the organization? And how do you get people to adopt how do you how do you get the the client satisfaction and vendor relationships and your your team culture and everything that goes into it, right? It’s just all relationships, everything’s all relationships. And your executive assistant with a leader mindset is that person who is paying attention to everyone on the team from the lowest paid employee to the highest paid employee, right, everybody in between? Where are the blocks? What is happening inside the organization that needs to improve? So that’s like, on the internal side of so it’s a culture driver, you know, hey, this person needs to talk to this, you know, they could use a direct report, or they could use a one to one with this person on the company or that person, you know, they’re having a hard time dealing with this situation, maybe we need to pay attention, right, you know, turnover prevention. And, and creating just that cohesive goal, where everybody in the company knows where you’re driving. So the relationships and then keeping the CEO connected, right? Because if you have a CEO who is not accessible and is too far out of scope, or out of sight, then everybody in the company loses rewear Where are we going? Right, they lose that and the CEO ties it all together, it all it all plays. Now, I will preface that with my personal specialty and favorite right is in the small to medium company. And when you get into enterprise, this shifts and and this paradigm doesn’t necessarily apply. So like my expertise, and where I love to my playground is in the small and medium business. So the CEO has to be connected, right? That vision has to be transparent throughout the company. So your relationships that go along with your departments and the people that are working in that company, right. Your your chief of staff, your executive assistant has an eye on that, right? We see everything, no what’s happening. Oh, wait, we see what’s happening. And if there is a structure in place to call out things that need to be addressed or bottlenecks or people who are toxic or people who are struggling or people who are overworked you know your resource management, all of that stuff, right that is within visibility of a connected leader minded executive assistant. So that’s kind of an untapped superpower, any executive, you’re like, Hey, what’s going on with the HR department, you know, somebody, they’re having a hard time getting ahold of people, they’re not responding, like what’s going on? Oh, well, yeah, this and this and this, right, we do this, then we can make this happen, I’ve already yet got it handled. And then on the external side, as leaders, as creative individuals, as visionaries, you can only keep so many names in your head. And, and who those people are, in every relationship is connected, there’s a whole river of, of connection, you know, that this person leads to this, which leads to this, which leads to this. And your executive assistant can take that entire capacity, and with the right tools, help that executive maintain more meaningful relationships with the people that are in their network. Oh, hey, I had a meeting on, you know, Tuesday with John. And that was, it was a great meeting. And you know, he’s taken his family on a, you know, a vacation, and they’ll be gone, you know, till they’ll be gone for like six weeks. You know, it was cool, whatever. You know, six weeks later, you have an email and the executives draft created, Hey, how was the vacation? You know, we talked about that was a great, you know, how’s the things? And all of a sudden, John feels seen? Like, oh, wow, you remember that? Like, that’s really cool. Thank you, you know, yeah, it was a great vacation. And then anybody that feels seen and feels heard inside of a CEOs network, they make referrals. They give testimonials, they stay connected, they drive value, they, you know, you never know where that river is going to go. But if you just blow it off as a random relationship, you’re missing so much impact, or potential impact.
Jeremy Burrows 37:16
Yeah, well said, Well, you’re in this has been a great conversation, there’s one more topic I’d love to chat about. And that’s the real cost or value of an executives time. And I know you have to kind of prove that out to executives in order to, you know, convince them if you will to hire a remote chief of staff or remote assistant. And I also know that executive assistants, we often are saying, oh, you know, we’re managing the most valuable asset of the organization, which is our executives time and energy. But it’s sometimes hard to really quantify that real real costs. So what are your thoughts on the real costs? Or the real value of an executives time? And how do you maybe quantify it or, you know, persuade executive teams to really place the value on
Eryn Anitavi 38:16
Think strategically? When you hire somebody in marketing, or you hire a salesperson, you know, that’s that ROI is easy, oh, salesperson is responsible for X dollars and sales, yes, they paid for their salary. As an easy one. With executive support, it can be mistaken. And I do use that right intentionally it can be mistaken as a liability. But it is absolutely an asset. It is it is not. It is an overhead roll. But it is not an overhead roll. Because your your executive is responsible for driving that vision. They are responsible for the creativity. And another like quote that I do or use, I think it comes from like video gaming is death by 1000 cuts. And the worst thing an executive can do is oh, this will take me two minutes. This will take me three minutes, five minutes. I’ll be there in a second. Hang on. I just need five minutes. It’s not five minutes. It’s about two minutes. It’s this and then the little rabbit trail that goes after it and all of a sudden you’ve blown 10 hours in an entire week. During that 10 hours that you’ve been doing those two minute death by 1000 Cut tasks and things that you have no business doing. What epiphany did you not have because you weren’t managing your energy and going to take a walk and thinking about something that the company needs. What meeting did you not have with the person on the team that you needed you the most. And now next week, they’re going to put in their notice because they don’t feel seen and they don’t feel heard. What strategic plan did the leadership team come up with that is now getting back burnered for a third week in a row, because Oh, I forgot I was gonna look at that I’m so sorry, I didn’t get to that, give me another week. All of those different things are not getting done, because they’re too busy focusing on things that they should not be focusing on. So for your executive assistant, that’s kind of where you want to drive that value. That’s kind of where you want to focus on it. Okay, you’re not doing that. Instead? These are the things you know, what, where is that, that that’s the value. As the executive, you know, if you’re, say you’re valued 1000 An hour or 500 an hour, 10 hours, you should, you should have had a $5,000 idea, you know, you should have had a new product line, a turnover, how expensive is turnover in a company, How expensive are unproductive, unhappy employees, very expensive. And if you have an executive and their leader, Assistant, their chief of staff, their high level executive assistant, if that person is paying attention to the value and the things that they are doing, to allow that creative visionary to drive, you want to tap into that. And that’s how you flip the role from a liability into an asset. That executive cannot live without that person. They just can’t in a small company, okay, maybe fine. But at the moment that you hit your is when your energy management is now tapped, and you’re too tired to do the things that you need to be doing the most. That’s the the, what is that? The words escaping the opportunity cost is massive. And it snowballs every week that you don’t snowballs. And now, right? We’ve all we’ve all been to those board meetings, we’re like, oh, well, we only got, you know, one of our q1 goals finished out of the five that we plan for. So we’re gonna bump those to q3. Now, what would have happened if q1 goals had been done in q1? Like, what are your executive assistant can drive that? So now at the end of q1, and you’re gonna analyze it, you’re like, oh, my gosh, look at what we did, right? And executive assistants are not naturally going to be the ones who step up and say, yeah, that’s, I did that you like you did that because I was available. It’s a background role, right? They’re not that kind of person. One of our, one of our tips like that we do is all everyone on our team keeps a weekly journal of their wins. Because everyone forgets how much right? They just they forget. And so if you keep a journal of all of your wins every week, you know, relationships that you managed clients that renew their contract, or staff that had a change of heart or teams that felt support, right, you just track all of those wins, and whatever categories you want to track them. And at the end of the quarter, you can revisit that and see, well, what happened because you did all of these things, what was made possible for the company because you did all of these things. And and then there’s your ROI. You know, you take the value of the strategic team. It’s mind blowing. Yeah.
Jeremy Burrows 43:53
Yeah. That’s great. Great tip. Well, Eryn, thank you so much, again, for being on the show. Where’s the best place for people to reach out if they want to learn? Either just say hi, and connect, or if they want to learn more about Sapphire? And maybe they’re, you know, they have an executive or friend that needs to hire remote assistant or chief of staff? Or maybe they’re even thinking hey, are you hiring a remote assistant, you know, down the routes? Or training? Or the training? Yeah,
Eryn Anitavi 44:23
yeah, definitely. It’s our probably our website, which is www.choosesapphire.com. Choose Sapphire. And company is Sapphire Partners. So yeah. Best way to get a hold of us.
Jeremy Burrows 44:42
Perfect. I’ll put that in the show notes at leaderassistant.com/232. And best of luck to you. Thanks so much for sharing your insight. It’s definitely fascinating. The whole chief of staff EA conversation going on and I loved your unique perspective. that you brought to the conversation so appreciate you chatting
Eryn Anitavi 45:04
wonderful Jeremy Thank you