In this episode, Trivinia Barber (CEO of Priority VA, and former assistant to Michael Hyatt and Amy Porterfield) shares advice on working remotely, running a company of VAs, and much more.

Trivinia Barber leader assistant

Trivinia and I talk about the dehumanizing interactions assistants can have, building a culture with virtual team members, how to say no in a kind and professional way, how to find clients, what her company looks for in assistants, and whether or not VAs should specialize or be generalists.


Check out this episode’s sponsor Savoya for secure, reliable ground transportation for your executive. Learn more at


If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

– African Proverb

Trivinia Barber Leader Assistant Podcast

Trivinia Barber is a straight shooter who uses her talents to help entrepreneurs maximize their time by effectively outsourcing. Founder of the staffing company Priority VA, host of the Diary of a Doer Podcast and a mom of four, Trivinia has mastered delegation and teaches others how to achieve success without doing it all alone.


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Trivinia Barber 0:00
I’m Trivinia Barber today’s leadership quote is an African proverb. If you want to go fast go alone if you want to go far go together.

Podcast Intro 0:11
The Leader Assistant Podcast exists to encourage and challenge assistants to become confident game changing leader assistant. Hi

Podcast Outro 0:26
thank you for listening to The Leader Assistant Podcast.

Jeremy Burrows 0:29
Hi friends. Thanks for tuning in to Episode 54. I’m very excited to share some tips on remote working virtual assistants from Trivinia Barber but before we jump in, wanted to share a word about my sponsor for today’s episode, which is Savoya. Savoya provides best in class executive black car service and their purpose built to support today’s executive assistant. They know that changes to your executives schedule set off a flurry of activity in your schedule. That’s why they’ve created solutions that keep everyone seamlessly connected from booking to final destination and beyond. Because ever changing plans are a big deal. You can go to or call 866-916-3081 to book some ground transportation for your executive. And just to reiterate, especially in these times where all Coronavirus stuffs going on and people are worried about cleanliness and safety and security. Savoya does a great job getting your executive to and from their destination with clean, safe ground transportation. So again, that’s sAVOY, or call 866-916-3081 to learn more. Alright, let’s jump into this episode. Hey, everyone, thanks for tuning in to The Leader Assistant Podcast is your host, Jeremy Burrows. And today I’m excited to chat with Trivinia Barber. Trivinia how are you?

Trivinia Barber 2:12
Hi, I’m doing well. Jeremy, thanks for having me.

Jeremy Burrows 2:15
So Trivinia, you are the founder of priority VA Tez. Tell us a little bit about what you do with Priority VA.

Trivinia Barber 2:24
Yeah, so we help entrepreneurs basically clone themselves, right? We want to help people find their perfect match assistance so that they can grow and scale their businesses with momentum. So we’ve been in business about almost eight years, got about 83 subcontracted virtual assistants that we placed with clients all around the world.

Jeremy Burrows 2:41
Awesome. And what made you kind of decide to start your own business and specifically in the VA world?

Trivinia Barber 2:49
Yeah. So you know, I actually started this about 16 years ago, when I worked in corporate, worked for an anesthesia group and started talking to my bosses about working from home, which they thought was a terrible idea until I got pregnant, and I was gonna take five months of maternity leave, and then all of a sudden working at home became a viable option. And so I started that did that for many years, when my husband and I adopted our third child, we, we decided I needed to be part time and all virtual. And so I did that that worked for many years, until they got bought out by a national company. And when they asked me to come back into the office at that point, I knew now it was, it was time for me to break out on my own. And so that’s how I got connected with another company who actually placed me with some clients. Through that I started working for a little bit with Michael Hyatt, through him met Amy Porterfield. And the rest is kind of history. From there, everyone started kind of knocking down my door asking for virtual support. And that’s when the entrepreneurial light bulb went off. That said, I think I might be able to have a business here.

Jeremy Burrows 3:51
So what was the maybe the moment that you, you know, you said, you thought a light bulb went off, where it’s like, oh, I think I might have a business here. What was the moment where you’re like, Okay, I really do have a business here,

Trivinia Barber 4:01
you know, so it was really interesting back when I worked for the anesthesia group, I would onboard physicians into the medical practice, right, and get them connected with the hospitals and stuff. And I’d come out of an office, and the doctor would leave and I’d say, well, that guy’s not gonna work. And they’d be like, what, what are you talking about? And then sure enough, a few months later, you know, he’s like, in a parking garage of a hospital with a needle in his arm addicted to fentanyl, right. And so everyone would be like, how did you know that? And so really, that’s what happened was I started using those kind of spidey sense skills. When people would ask me, Do you know anybody that can support me and I started just asking them deeper questions about who they wanted on their team, not simply what they wanted done. And that was that light bulb moment of like, people are asking the wrong questions. They’re trying to just get tasks done. But if they want to build a team that’s going to let them go far. They need the right person on their team. And so that was really the moment after I did it about three or four times for free for people. I started thinking like, what if I charged for this when I started charging out It was really low, I charge like $47 to match people. Now we’re in the multiple 1000s To do that, but it was a really eye opener for me that you could actually make money doing something you were really good at.

Jeremy Burrows 5:12
That’s awesome. So let’s take a step back a little bit. What was your very first job? And what skills did you learn in that job that you still use today as you run your own company?

Trivinia Barber 5:21
Haha, my first job was so lame. I Slone burgers and nachos at Colorado National Speedway is like a race track. And yeah, I was like helping sell nachos and make cheeseburgers for people. And what I learned from that is that if you looked people in the eye, they tipped better. And I just sounded so weird, right. But I would hand someone their burger or hand them their nachos and be like, have a great race, you know, and just really look him in the eye. And they’d always be like, Nah, keep the change, keep the change. And so how does that work? For me in my business now, I think the biggest thing is that I still treat people as people. You know, I think as we’ve grown our business, it’s really easy to put everything on automation and to try and like extract yourself so far from the business, that you lose relationship. And it’s been honest, honestly, to my detriment, sometimes that I go all in on relationships, I get burned sometimes in doing that. But what I found more than anything, is that, that looking people in the eye, whether it’s virtual or not, right, but just putting a real impetus on the relationship has served me so well.

Jeremy Burrows 6:28
So that’s interesting. So kind of good transition to a question I wanted to ask you. So you worked with you said Michael Hyatt and Amy Porterfield, who are both fairly well known, especially in some circles, of business and online world. So you, I’m guessing, I’m gonna assume, because of their online presence, and, you know, kind of your role that you probably didn’t get to look, a lot of people in the eye, it was a lot of online interactions. So how did you keep kind of that human relationship element? From the online side of things?

Trivinia Barber 7:09
Yeah, I think it’s all in the way that we communicate and whether it was in an email or in a loom video. Now back in the day would be making QuickTime videos because they didn’t have a loom yet. But making videos that just answered people’s questions, it said, Hey, Bob, I know you’d really like to meet with Amy, this weekend. She’s unfortunately, you know, completely booked up. But here’s what I can tell you, right. And then I would give them a little bit of value, based on something that they had asked in their question. And so what that did was it that helped them feel heard, because that’s honestly what anybody wants, whether it’s a customer service chat, that you’re reaching out to some bot on Facebook, or it’s an actual email or human to human interaction on Zoom, we just all want to be heard. And so that was the biggest thing I think that anyone can take away than their business, especially when you’re saying no, you’ve got to make sure that you model that you hear them that you acknowledge their request, that you help them understand why it can’t be met without giving them fluffy excuses of Michael’s too busy because No, Michael is probably not too busy. He, you’re just probably not high enough on the totem pole to actually get a meeting with him. You know what I mean? So we if we just honest about it, and help them understand how they can still achieve value without that face to face interaction with some high profile client that helps them feel like they weren’t just blown off or ignored.

Jeremy Burrows 8:29
So what’s maybe a practical tip on how to say no, in a kind way?

Trivinia Barber 8:37
I think again, there’s this model that we, that we look at, and it’s called care. If we, if you go through each of these steps of the care model, and you just show concern, you acknowledge you respond quickly, right. So this isn’t leaving someone hanging for for days and days. And then you just encourage them in that process. I think it helps them to, again, just feel heard. I’ve said no, a million times over whether it’s being with Amy at a conference and having people come up to her, you know, can you take my book, Can you can you be on my podcast, whatever. I’ve had to say no, a million times. And I think the way that I was able to still say no, but be respected in the process was when I least showed them that I heard them and I knew that their desire to meet with her was really important. And that let’s see what else I could do to try and you know, acknowledge them. So it’s like, say yes, in one way to something that you know, you can do while you’re saying no to the thing that they really want. It’s a tricky process.

Jeremy Burrows 9:41
So, speaking of being in a conference with somebody like Amy who had, you know, was probably speaking at that conference or running that conference, what I’ve had a lot of assistants reach out and I’ve experienced this as well, where you can kind of be done humanizing at times when people keep coming up to you, and, you know, humans keep coming up to you, but they don’t want you they want your executive. So, you know, I kind of did an informal little social media survey and had hundreds of assistants reach out, and, you know, post and comment and a few of the main examples of the way that they felt dehumanizing interactions at times where I’ll just share a few of them. So people ask how your executive is doing, but they don’t ask about you, people befriend you to get closer to the to your executive, so called friends are nowhere to be found when you switch companies or get a new executive. So is there anything like that that you experienced? Or any tips on maybe a story about something you experienced? Yeah, Rome, and then how you can kind of help others deal with it?

Trivinia Barber 10:53
For sure. Jeremy, I was at Traffic and Conversion Summit. I remember it was. So I think it was like in oh, gosh, it was like March, right? If I, if I remember correctly, and I literally stopped working for me to go all in on my own business in February. So it was I mean, we were just weeks out of this transition. And I went to traffic and conversion as a student for my business. Right. Amy was there as a guest. And she was coming as a student too. And she had you know, her, her team around her. And I was at traffic and conversion. And all of these people kept coming up to me, trivia trivia, Hey, how are you doing? Where’s Amy? And I was like, I don’t know where she is. Right. So we had made the announcement that I was leaving and stuff. But yet people were still very much recognizing me and wanting her. And I ended up posting on Facebook and Instagram, because a lot of Amy’s followers would then follow me. And I just posted a picture of her and I said, I don’t know where she is. I was so irritated and a little wounded, honestly, because it was, it was that exact feeling that people weren’t interested in building relationship with me. I was just I was one step closer to Amy. But here’s what I learned from that. There were people that absolutely came up to me. And we’re like, I heard that you were leaving Amy, like, we’re so sorry to see you go, what is coming up next for you. And those few now out of the probably 50 people that came up to me at that event, maybe seven or eight of them said this, okay. But those seven or eight, were absolutely, definitely interested in what I was doing. And they were like, How can I help if there’s anything I can do? Like they were interested in me. And so that’s I think the balance there, there are 100% going to be people that they don’t give a rip about you, they just you are one stepping stone away from the executive, that is all that they care about, then you just got to kind of know that some of this is building a little bit of a buffer around kind of your heart a little bit, right, you’ve got to guard your heart a bit, just so that you can not be totally devastated by it. Another thing that I think I’ve seen happen is that people who were friends with me, while I was in that season of my life, they still follow me online, and they’ll still comment online, it’s not as frequent, right? It’s like, it’s like when you meet someone in high school, and you’re really great buddies with them. And then after school, you kind of fall away. Similar thing we just gotta like not take it personally. And just realize your people are going to stick with you whether if they were there for you, they’re going to follow you wherever you go.

Jeremy Burrows 13:25
That’s great. Great advice. Love it. So okay, let’s chat about virtual slash remote assistance. What are maybe a couple of cons to having remote workers that you’ve seen?

Trivinia Barber 13:39
I’d say the biggest con is that building a culture takes way more intentionality than it does when you’re in an office. Right? So there’s these natural ebb and flow moments that come when we’re in person with someone you’re working late together. It’s like, Hey, do you want to go get a drink after? Right? Like, hey, I’m gonna go to Dunkin Donuts and get some coffee, do you want to come with me? There are these natural moments, but when you’re working remote or distributed, that is much more challenging to do. And so you have to be incredibly intentional about building relationships. And so one of the ways that we do that at priority VA, is when anyone onboards onto our system. We ask them a whole bunch of questions, simple things, like if you found $15 in your purse, or in a you know, jean pocket or something and you had to spend it on yourself, like what would you buy and still get silly answers. Like I might buy a new album on iTunes, I might buy a dozen donuts, whatever that thing is. And we try to build in those things of sending random gifts that are 15 $30 or less, right? Where we can create culture. We even have silly little things like zoom rooms, where we’ll just kind of CO work together. So the con is not being able to have built in relationship time. But there’s definitely a way around it if you’re intentional.

Jeremy Burrows 14:56
So should virtual assistants spend realize, or should they be more of Jack or Jill of all trades?

Trivinia Barber 15:05
You know, this is such an interesting question. I have a 16 year old daughter right now and she’s in this sort of panic time of her life. I was like, I don’t know what I want to be, and I don’t know what I want to do and, and she’s got all of these opportunities around her. She’s a great photographer, she loves animals, she’s really good at English, whatever. And I look at this sort of how I look at the virtual assistant space. And when I told my daughter, and this is exactly what I tell, Bas that are coming to me for mentorship is my daughter is getting ready to do an internship right now at a veterinary clinic, so she can kind of get her hands dirty and see like, Is this something I really like? Or do I just like taking pictures of cute puppies, right? Do I like slinging the poo when I’ve got to clean the kennels. And because it’s all inclusive. And so I tell VAs the same thing, like try a few different things before you go all in and spend two grand on that program that’s going to teach you how to be a specialist of XYZ. dink around a little bit in it and see not necessarily for other clients, but just on your own time. So that you can see like, what do you really enjoy doing? Are you a copywriting? Va? Are you kind of do you sit more on the stabilizer role of managing calendars and emails and life for people. So I think you’ve got to play around. And then yeah, definitely go all in on whatever fills you up. Because if you’re hiring or if you’re working for a job, simply because you’re interested, you’re affordable to that person, and you’re available to start right now, that’s very different than going in for a position where you are passionate, where you have a purpose in that company and you are proficient to do the things that the executive needs, it’s just a very different situation. And that lends itself to more long term collaborative support. Instead of you just being a cog in a wheel. It’s like checking a box, because then as soon as they can get someone to check that box for cheaper, they’re going to do it.

Jeremy Burrows 16:50
So are you just kind of saying that most assistants, most people should try to do a little bit of everything, and then kind of let that inform where they should then specialize?

Trivinia Barber 17:02
Yeah, absolutely. Unless, you know, you’ve got an amazing skill set from the get go. If you aren’t like Tech Ninja and you know, WordPress and you know, you can code and do CSS and PHP, then oh my gosh, go do that, if you enjoy it, right. But if you’re not sure, if you’re like, do I want to? Do I want to be setting up events for people? Or do I want to be managing a whole team of customer service people for a large executive with, you know, $500,000, or whatever, like, you’ve got to kind of figure out what you want to do. And I don’t think you get to do that if you just go down one lane and never look over your shoulder, you know, if you’re just like driving right ahead. least that’s what I found, in my own experience. And with the 83 contractors that we have working for us. We’ve got some that came to us initially, with a very wide skill set. And then through our training and our processes that we put them through, they’re like, oh my gosh, this is my lane, like this is where I shine. And I want to do nothing but book travel and complex itineraries for executives that do nothing but travel all day, like they sort of find what fills them up. Awesome.

Jeremy Burrows 18:06
So do you think it’s easier to move from a traditional in office, full time EAA job to a VA job or vice versa?

Trivinia Barber 18:17
challenges that I’ve seen moving from a traditional EA role to a virtual role is often the technology, right? We use a lot of different apps and software’s and services. And then I’ve got people that are coming to me from Oppenheimer funds. And they’re like, I’m only Microsoft Office based, you know, I typed 90 words a minute, but I’ve never used Google Drive in my entire life. Right? That’s where it becomes a challenge. I think that you can go virtual into a more corporate office, I think it works. Again, in that case, though, it’s almost the reverse, right? Where you don’t know the corporate software, and you just you know how to do all the virtual stuff. So I think, I think it’s a balance. I’m looking at hiring somebody right now who’s worked for a corporate executive for 12 years. And she’s like, but I don’t know anything about like, we use Dropbox. And that’s all that’s the only in the cloud, anything they use. So that’s gonna be a little bit of a mountain for her to kind of get up to speed in our world.

Jeremy Burrows 19:13
Makes sense? So how do you find clients for your VAs?

Trivinia Barber 19:19
Yeah, I love that question. Because most people asked me, How do you find EAS for your clients? So yeah, clients historically for us, have always been referral based word of mouth. Now I have tried Facebook advertising, you guys, I’m it could be that I’m not good at it. And I just don’t have a very great methodology for targeting. So that hasn’t worked for us historically. So clients come to us typically by word of mouth, or I’m on podcasts, or I go and I speak at multiple events during the year. And so that’s sort of what gets the lead generation going for us. I do spend a little bit of time on LinkedIn but not a ton. I should put Probably at my game there, but I just don’t right now. But I’d say most of our clients come from happy clients who tell people about us.

Jeremy Burrows 20:09
So can you share a couple of tips for VAs who manage multiple clients or multiple executives?

Trivinia Barber 20:17
Yeah, one of the things that we did initially early on in our business was we required all of our clients to have a five hour per week minimum for us. And I did that very intentionally, because I felt like I knew other virtual assistants, that sometimes they had 20 clients, right, it was just an hour here, 30 minutes here, very onesie twosie types of things that they’d be responsible for. And I just thought, somebody is going to be the low man on the totem pole, right, somebody’s not going to get the service that they deserve, because you’re busy. And you’ve got, you know, 18 other requests coming in that day. And so we started with this five hour per week minimum, and I think that helped us, and then we increased it to 10. Because what I found even more so is that in our business, we wanted our primary goal to be to get clients someone that they could trust, right, so while we have this ridiculous vetting process, that’s actually pretty challenging to get through, we wanted VAs to be able to have training so that as a client moved from LeadPages, to click funnels, their VA wasn’t sort of scrambling to try and figure out how to make that transition. So we offer training for them. But then we felt like the base of this was we wanted to be able to get our clients traction, because I could get them at five hours a week kind of their head above water, right, they could kind of stop drowning from whatever was weighing them down. But they were not able to get traction in most cases with just five hours a week. And so we increased it to 10. And here’s what that has done for us. My EAS have two or three clients, right, they don’t have to have 20 clients that are all vying for their attention at the same time. So they’re able to treat their clients like they are the priority, instead of just another person on the list that they need to get to. And so that’d be my biggest tip. If you’re going to have clients and you’re getting them on your own or you’re working with an agency or staffing service like mine, make sure that you have a minimum amount of work that you can do for them, it will kind of ease the hits a Dave Ramsey’s security gland of like how am I going to pay the bills, right? So it helps with that. But it also helps you stay incredibly focused. And then I’d say that finally, the other tip that I would say is, make sure you have a really robust project management software that you use so that you don’t drop balls, because you whether you get a text message or a Slack message or whatever, it’s easy to forget. And so you’ve got to make sure that you’ve got a place to brain dump all the things you’ve got to do.

Jeremy Burrows 22:36
What’s one of the project management tools that you recommend?

Trivinia Barber 22:40
I love post it notes. No, it’s been I’ve been the worst person ever to adopt a project management software. We have tried Trello we have tried teamwork. We tried Monday, like we tried so many things. And what I ended up going back to begrudgingly was Asana, it just works and now we have a sauna integrate with ever our which is a time tracking software. So it’s made it very seamless. So you’re not having to go to toggle or you know slim timer or something and track your time. It’s just everything is all built in. So, reluctantly, begrudgingly I use Asana because it works.

Jeremy Burrows 23:17
Awesome. So when you were an Assistant, what was maybe one of the biggest mistakes you’ve made in your role of as an assistant and what did you learn?

Trivinia Barber 23:28
I will humbly say that when I started, I really struggled in a remote capacity of owning my my crap, right? I mean, because I’ve made mistakes I’ve done. I’ve done things that maybe weren’t timely, or I was I was too busy. And my priorities were a little bit messed up. And I struggled, I always just wanted to kind of like, look good. And that was a hard lesson for me. No, I mean, it was, you know, 16 years ago. So I was I was a young baby. But I learned that if you own it, you can fix it. But if you if you kind of try and skirt around things or make yourself kind of look good in the process of when something’s not gone well, it I think it just it takes away from that trust factor. And people want to be able to trust you and so that’s that’s just been huge for me as I’ve grown just as a as an adult as a leader is just own your stuff quick and then bring a solution to the table and most everything is fixable if you do that.

Jeremy Burrows 24:32
That’s great. So can you think of a time think of a mistake?

Trivinia Barber 24:37
Remember, yeah, I remember one time. I mean, I own this one. I was bawling like a baby. But one time I sent an email out via Infusionsoft for Amy, and it was this promotion that we were running. We were super excited about it and I double checked it and I made sure the links were I mean I was so I always used to get so nervous sending things out of Infusionsoft as broadcasts And so I sent this email, and then I get a text from Amy. And she said, I just got a reply to one of our emails to my personal address. And I said, That’s weird, you know, so kind of happened. And I started looking around. I sent the email from her private email address and Infusionsoft. And then all of a sudden, she was getting hundreds of responses back to this email, because they were super excited, like Amy was talking to her. And it wasn’t the like, info at, you know, Amy Porterfield email address, and I was dying. I couldn’t go back on it couldn’t fix it, you know, and it caused such a mess for us, we had to, you know, change her email address, so that, you know, 200,000 people wouldn’t have her private email anymore. Oh, it was terrible. But here’s what I learned from that actually was all about leadership. I made a mistake. It was rough. And obviously, no one died. But it was less than ideal. And Amy’s leadership through that taught me so much. She’s She didn’t freak out. She didn’t yell. She was like, Oh, crap, you know, I mean, there was a little bit of curse words that happened as a result, because it was a pain. But she said, You know what, I’ve totally done something like that before. And I pretty much can guarantee you, you will never do that again. And she just was such a gracious leader in that. And it taught me so much about how I show up to my team, when they make mistakes, because I often say now, like there will be spilled milk, your assistant is going to mess up, they’re going to not hit the bar at some point and how you handle it is going to be huge.

Jeremy Burrows 26:31
So talking about the executives a little more, do you have tips for executives who struggle to give up control of their calendar or their inbox or their travel booking etc?

Trivinia Barber 26:43
Yeah, I think that it is it is absolutely control. And I think that if you want to get where you say you want to go, at some point, you’ve got to hand over the keys to the car, right in being that helicopter CEO or needing to have your hands in all the things is simply just going to slow you down. And so I like to look at it. In this way, we all want to be able to maintain Inbox Zero. It’s like a goal, right? We love seeing that, like no new emails, like nothing to handle. But what if we looked at it as if our goal was zero inbox? What if you didn’t have an email inbox that was vying for your attention all day long? How much more? Could you get done? Right? How more? How much more present? Could you be with your children at the soccer game? Like how much more available Could you be when your EA actually does need your input on something. And so that’s what I like to sort of reframe it for executives, if they have to have control of all of the things, then they’re always going to feel connected to their business and tied down by their business. And if you have a good executive assistant, they’re going to make sure that you still feel connected, but you will be alleviated of that feeling of feeling tied down by it.

Jeremy Burrows 27:57
Love it. So what do you think executives should look for in an assistant? And what do you all look for when you’re hiring assistants.

Trivinia Barber 28:05
This is where we get a little bit bespoke, because every executive needs something different. In an assistant, there are some executives that absolutely need this, like hard driving, charging kind of Mama Bear. Right? There are others that really just need the mom who’s going to know where everything is in the kitchen, they’re going to be Here’s the file, here’s the thing, here’s your itinerary. Everyone needs something different. And so I think what I tell executives, is, if you’re going to get the most out of any team member that you’re gonna hire, you will do that by knowing yourself more than, than you know them. And if you are really honest about who you are, and how you show up and what you need, instead of sort of having that whole martyrdom, Sis, you know, sort of idea that we have in our heads, that we can do it all, then I think you’ll get exactly what you need. But there’s some core things, right, like we need someone who’s responsive, that’s got to happen in any executives life, they’ve got to have someone that they can trust. I think that they need to have someone who is passionate about what the executive is doing. And then you’ve got to have someone that finds purpose in what they’re doing in your business. And then of course, they need to be proficient. But I think it would start first with knowing who the executive is first.

Jeremy Burrows 29:20
Awesome. So what would you tell anyone who’s listening who is a full time EA, maybe in office, that has these dreams and aspirations of becoming a VA working from a beach or the mountains or, you know, this kind of dream scenario of wake up in the morning? Drinking the most, you know?

Trivinia Barber 29:43
Yeah. I don’t mean to burst your bubble. Yeah, is not want that lifestyle. It’s still work. And I think that that the industry has sort of jaded that a little bit. Now, I have worked from a pool in St. John. I have done that. I have worked from Fiji, I’ve done that too. But it’s still work. And you still have to show up exactly as if you were in the office serving an executive who is standing right in front of you. And that I think is the difference in VA is that are doing this as their little side hustle, want to make a couple of extra dollars to executive virtual assistants who look at this as a career. It’s just a very different outlook. Now, I love that my team can go offline and go to their kindergarteners field trip like that is why I wanted to create this space. Because I felt when I was a young mom, that I had to choose like, am I going to be a great executive assistant? Or am I going to be a great mom. And yes, you can do both. But it is still work. And it still takes a lot of balance and a lot of juggling. And if you treat this as a side hobby that you is just going to make a couple extra dollars. So you can go skiing on the weekend or during the week when it’s less busy. It’s it’s not going to serve you or the executive well in the long haul.

Jeremy Burrows 31:04
So what makes an assistant, a leader?

Trivinia Barber 31:09
I think leading from where they are, you know, I think I had a lot of opportunities when I was an executive assistant to lead to lead customers down a path that we wanted them to take, and to lead my executives down the path I wanted them to take because ultimately, and I can say this now because I have an EA right like I stepped out of that virtual assistant role. And now I have virtual assistants that serve and work alongside me. And I want to be led, I want them to tell me what’s on my plate for the day. And I think that’s often something that gets muddy or overlooked or EAS don’t sort of take their kind of rightful place as a leader for their executives. And oftentimes I tell my EAS to just have the conversation. And sometimes a lot of the times it requires me to be in on a call with the EA and the executive. And then myself and I just asked them, I asked the client, like, do you want your ad to show up and run the meeting for you? Or do you want to lead the meeting? You know, do you want them to ask you what you want done? Or do you want them to tell you what you’re going to do? And I would say 97% of the time, if not 100% of the executives are always like, Oh no, if I can just show up to the meeting, and they’ll tell me what I need to do next. Like that makes my life so much easier. And so you got to step into that role as a leader instead of waiting for it to be handed to you. We have a thing in our business called 25 little things and it’s just 25 little sayings. And one of them is don’t ask for it, take it, we often wait as EAS to be told what to do. But our leaders are desperate for us to just take things off of their plate. And so that is leadership in a nutshell for me.

Jeremy Burrows 32:59
Love it. Well chiminea thanks so much for taking time out of your day to share your tips and wisdom and love talking to different sides of the whole assistant world. Talk to recruiters. I’ve talked to assistants, I’ve talked to folks like you that run a VA firm. So I’m really just excited to have spent some time with you. Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for having me. And I just wanted to take a couple minutes to let you kind of share what you’re up to where we can find you online. Maybe some links, you’ve got a podcast I hear. Just kind of tell us how we can support what you’re doing.

Speaker 1 33:34
Yeah, well, thanks for that opportunity. You can find me online at trivinia everywhere. If you are a virtual assistant or want a virtual assistant, you can find me at For that my podcast is called Diary of a doer. And it’s really meant for those who are in the trenches of building their business or who have been in the trenches and come out the other side. And I love telling stories on that podcast, I go into the the good, the bad and the ugly of all things business ownership and leadership. We talk about remote distributed support as well there. But I What’s next for me, I’m creating a online digital course called the momentum method. And it’s really based off of a methodology that I have taught my private coaching clients for two and a half years now to get momentum in their business without losing their sanity. So that I’m excited about that too.

Jeremy Burrows 34:23
Awesome. And you have a couple of kids maybe a lot of kids

Speaker 1 34:28
I have a lot of kids I have four daughters. Yeah, anywhere from age six to 16. And that is a treasure in and of itself. It’s definitely got me on my toes. I often say I didn’t need maternity leave when they were baby. I need it now that I have three pre teenagers and one full blown teenager like I need maternity leave now.

Jeremy Burrows 34:49
Awesome. Well, thanks so much again for taking time out of your day and have a great rest of your day with your business, your podcasts and your handful of daughters.

Trivinia Barber 35:00
Awesome. Thanks. so much Jeremy.

Jeremy Burrows 35:02
Thanks again for listening and thank you Troy Vineya check out the show notes at for a link to show videos site and LinkedIn and her podcast as well as link to our sponsors Savoya to get some ground transportation booked for executive. Until next time, keep leading well.

Speaker 3 35:37
You on Apple podcast


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