I launched my side hustle business in 2016 and this website (goburrows.com aka leaderassistant.com) was one of the first pieces of the puzzle. Through several years of trial and error and plenty of ups and downs, the business has grown from a bare-bones website, to a thriving community, an extensive resource hub, and a profitable business.
The best part? I’ve had the honor and privilege of helping thousands of assistants all over the world lead well, resist burnout, cultivate confidence, and automate before they’re automated. I still can’t believe it, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve the community I love – Leader Assistants of the world.
Over the years, many people have asked me what tools I use for the business and I’ve been meaning to compile a list but just kept pushing it back. Well, today I found an email I wrote to myself in March 2020 where I documented the idea of writing this list of tools, so I figured it’s time.
Whether you’re wanting to start your own side hustle, full hustle – or want to help your executive do the same – the following tools are the foundation of my business.
The first thing you need when you launch a business is an email address, and better yet, an email address with your own domain name. I’ve been a Google Suite/Workspace user for so long that I honestly don’t think I could ever convert to the Microsoft world. Side note: I’ve been using domains.google for registering domain names, but they sold that part of their business to Squarespace, so I’m not sure what I’m going to do now with the way-too-many domain names I own. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
A majority of the internet is run on WordPress, and although it was a bit of a learning curve, I’m glad I figured it out and set up my website using a legitimate, trustworthy platform. I will say, though, it is good to know web developers who can come in and help you fix your WordPress website when you break it. And yes, I’ve broken my website many times over the years. NOTE: My website is built using the Avada theme, and my site is hosted on WP Engine.
As an entrepreneur, I’m constantly coming up with ideas for a new website, hosting webinars that require registrations, or selling tickets for paid events, digital products, and more. LeadPages is a simple landing page (one page website) tool that I’ve created hundreds of quick websites with. For example, leaderassistantbook.com is built using LeadPages. It’s one of my favorite tools, and I love how fast the web pages load, and how quickly I can create a new one using their templates.
An email list is the core to any successful online business, and ConvertKit is the best email management software I’ve ever used. It allows me to automate email sequences, tag readers based on what topics they’re interested in, and much more.
Websites can be daunting to navigate, but AI-powered bots like the one at the bottom-right corner of this page can be a huge help. In today’s age of conversational AI, chatbots are a must-have for most websites, and Capacity is a great option. Yes, I work at Capacity, but I also love to use the product. 🙂
Stripe is the back-end, secure payment processor platform for all of my various paid products, coaching, events, and services – no matter the front end software.
I’ve been a Circle.so user since the beginning. They’ve improved the product so much since I started, and I’ve appreciated the team’s innovation and progress over the years. My forums, online courses, live streams, group chats, articles, and premium membership are all hosted within The Leader Assistant Circle Community.
Tools Specifically Used for The Leader Assistant Podcast
I recently upgraded to the Shure MV7 USB microphone for my podcast recordings, Zoom calls, and other video and audio webinars, and it’s amazing. Pro trip, get this replacement windscreen as well to make it sound even better.
I’ve been using GarageBand for Mac for a long time, so it’s been hard to switch to a different software to edit my podcasts. It’s a simple tool to learn, and does the job, and it comes with Mac computers, so it’s a no brainer for me.
Once I’m done editing my podcast in GarageBand, I upload it to Audacity, add a few effects to the file as a way to “master” the audio, and then I export the file as an MP3 for uploading to my host, Buzzsprout. Note: some people use Audacity to edit podcast episodes, instead of GarageBand, but I personally prefer GarageBand since I’m used to it.
When you host a podcast, you don’t upload your audio files to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, etc. You have to host them on a podcast host platform, so I use Buzzsprout. I’ve found Buzzsprout to be very simple and intuitive to use, and it’s only $12/month, so it’s been a great host provider for The Leader Assistant Podcast.
I used to use Skype to record podcast interviews because the audio quality was better than Zoom, but it got to be more of a pain than it was worth since oftentimes people didn’t even have Skype. So now, I use Zoom to record all of my podcast interviews.
Other Products I Love (Just for Fun)
I’m a huge electric vehicle fan, but specifically Tesla EVs. There’s never been a better time to purchase an EV with the federal and state incentives available to you. I highly recommend checking out the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y. You’d be surprised how affordable they are compared to just a couple of years ago. You can even order a Tesla via my referral link to get a discount.
I’m always getting food stuck in my teeth, so I like to have floss picks nearby at all times. But I realized I was using too much plastic, and went on the hunt to find a better solution. I was thrilled to discover these plastic-free dental floss picks on Amazon. I keep some in my laptop bag, at my desk, and in my car. My dentist is happy, too. 🙂
I hate a cluttered desk, and this simple laptop stand for my kids’ laptops is an office space must have.
The best way to send your congratulations, sympathy, or “just because” bowl of soup, cookie, or other gift to a friend, colleague, or family member.
Virtual Assistant / VA Outsourcing Firms
My top pick for a virtual assistant provider would be BELAY Solutions.
Here are a few more good options to look into:
*Affiliate Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, and I may get a small commission if you make a purchase via the link provided.