Episode: Bonus: Michael’s EA Spills the Beans!
Michael Hyatt: Hi, I’m Michael Hyatt and this is Lead To Win and we’re bringing to you today, a bonusode, a special episode. You know, if you listen to this show that Megan Hyatt Miller is normally with me on these episodes, but today I have a very special guest, my own executive assistant, Mr. the one and only Jim Kelly. Hey Jim. Welcome.
Jim Kelly: Thank you so much, Michael. It’s great to be with you today.
Michael Hyatt: Okay. So we just launched this new executive assistant course and sort of in celebration of that… And by the way, we’ll tell you more about the course at the end of this episode, but we want to talk about the working relationship that Jim and I have. Here’s how it’s going to work, I’m going to ask him some questions and then we’re going to turn the tables and he’s going to ask me some questions. So you guys are going to get a behind the curtains view of how we work together. And I hope, it’s our hope that this inspires some ideas for you guys and helps you to see what’s possible. And I’m sure that we haven’t fully realized the potential of our relationship, but honestly, it’s pretty dang good. We’ve got a great relationship. Okay, Jim, are you ready?
Jim Kelly: I am ready. Michael let’s go.
Michael Hyatt: Okay, buddy. How long have you been my executive assistant?
Jim Kelly: I’ve been your executive assistant for just over six years.
Michael Hyatt: What?
Jim Kelly: Yes, March, 2016, I got the job as your EA and fun fact, and Michael you know this, but some other people might not know this, that I applied for a different role, it was then Intentional Leadership. Then we became Michael Hyatt and Company, and now Full Focus. But back in the day, when it was Intentional Leadership, I applied to a role as a customer service, a director of customer service. And thank God I didn’t get that job because I don’t think I would’ve been very good at it. I got pretty far along in the process and thankfully they liked me enough, I think to say, “Hey, we don’t like you for this role, but I think you would be good for another future role.” And that was the role that became available as your EA.
Michael Hyatt: Man, I’m so grateful that you didn’t take that job. Now I had to say on the last episode, the regular episode, I said, you’d been my EA for a little over five years, so I was wrong. And which just is one more proof of why I need you. Because like I can keep the facts straight.
Jim Kelly: Yeah, six years, man. We’ve been through a lot. You’ve seen my kids grow up. You’ve seen us before we had kids. Now we have two kids, man, you’ve seen a lot.
Michael Hyatt: Let’s be honest, I practically raised you.
Jim Kelly: Pretty much, pretty much. It’s you, my mom and my dad, I owe a lot to.
Michael Hyatt: Yeah, which explains why we have a biweekly call, the three of us and we conspired together. Yeah. Okay. So let’s get serious. I have another question here. In your experience because you are, and I’ve had some outstanding executive assistants and I could name names, but I’ve had some outstanding ones, but you my are the best of the best. You’re the best I’ve ever had. And I want to ask you, because you have a unique perspective, what three characteristics make for an outstanding executive assistant.
Jim Kelly: Yeah. Well thank you so much. Those are super kind words. And I know you’ve had an amazing executive assistants in the past, Susie and Trisha, just to name a few. I’m very humbled by that. In terms of the three characteristics that make an outstanding EA, I would say really you need to anticipate needs. I think the three things would be anticipate needs, have high follow through and then high level of integrity. I’ll explain a little bit more what each of those needs please need. Yeah. Anticipate needs, means that you’re always several steps ahead of your executive. You’re thinking before they even can think about something that they need, you’re thinking about that thing. And one of the stories that I come back to is a few years ago, you were at best year ever.
And you were suffering from this really bad cold plus on top of that, you were speaking for three straight days at our best year ever live event. And at the end of the second day, man, you were struggling with your voice. And so when I went home that night, I saw a bunch of cough drops in my medicine cabinet and I said, “You know what? I think Michael might need a few of these tomorrow.” So I just packed them in my pocket for the next day. The next day rolls around and sure enough, in that morning session, you were struggling and you got off stage and you said, “My voice is just killing me.” And I was there. I had a cough drop in hand. I had some tea and I said, “Here you go. I hope your voice feels better.”
You never asked me to do that, but I just anticipated that you were going to be feeling rough in that third day of presenting, so anticipate needs, that’s the first thing. Follow through, this means that when you give me a task, Michael, you never have to worry about it again. You consider it done. Once you give me a task to do you consider it done. And that makes an all star EA that you’re able to check things off and that your executive never even has to worry about that thing ever again. High level of follow through and then integrity, just because we deal with so much confidential information as an executive assistant, that person needs to have a high level of integrity, because they’re going to be dealing with passwords and social security numbers, credit card information. If the person doesn’t have high moral fiber, they’re not going to be a great EA. Anticipate needs, follow through, integrity.
Michael Hyatt: That’s so good. Yeah. And one of the things I love about the way that you do follow through is you keep me apprised of your progress. When you do it, you don’t leave me with this open loop. You close the loop and you say, “Hey, the thing you asked me to do…” Like last week, I had to get new licenses for my jet skis. And so I ask you about that. Somebody had pointed it out to me that it was in my lake house. And so you closed the loop, you said, “Yep. I got it. And I renewed it for two years. And so you’re all set to go.” And by the way, they came this morning, so I’m in good shape. So, that was awesome. But if it’s been a delay, you’ll keep me posted too so that I don’t have to give any brain cycles to thinking, okay, where are we at with that thing I gave to Jim two weeks ago? Because you’re keeping me apprised along the way. I love that.
Jim Kelly: Yeah. And one of the things that I think I learned in the first few years of working with you is that, because we talked about this maybe within the first year of working together that you said, “Hey, I need to be in the loop on things and I need loops closed.” And from my standpoint, I thought, when you handed it to me, you just considered it done. But you really like that loop back. Because if I don’t loop back to you, you have all these open loops in your mind and you’re not able to rest. When I do that follow through, that was one of the things that really helped in our communication, I think early on was, oh, I had this expectation that you didn’t want to be looped in. You had this expectation that you did want to be looped in. So when we communicated that together all was well after that.
Michael Hyatt: It was so good. Yeah. As good as we are together, we still can’t read each other’s minds. Sometimes you just had to be explicit. Okay. Next question. Where do you think you add the most value to me in the company?
Jim Kelly: Yeah. I think I free you up to do only what you could do. For the business, that means creating content, presenting content and then leading alongside Megan. That’s the business side of things. And then I think I free you up to do only what you could do on the personal side of things. Gail only has one husband, your children only have you as their father and now you have 10 grandchildren, I want you to be freed up to focus on what only you could do as the leader of this organization, as the presenter of our contents and the creative of our content and then the father, husband in your family.
Michael Hyatt: Yeah. I already confessed in the last episode that Megan and I did together that you ordered Mother’s Day flowers for my mom and for Gail. And that was awesome, because again, somebody else can do that and I have the intention, but I don’t always follow through on the intention, but you do, which frees me up to just be present with them, enjoy them, encourage them. Those are things that you can’t do, well like you could do it, but it’d be weird, but you can do these things that only you can do. And that’s amazing. Okay. Describe how you protect my schedule, because I talked about this with Megan, but I want to hear it from your perspective, how do you protect my schedule?
Jim Kelly: Yeah, I think there are a few things I’ve gotten pretty good at. One of them is creating several, what I call no templates. I have like four or five different go to no templates that if a request comes in and someone says, “Hey, can we have Michael at this event? Can I take Michael to lunch to pick his brain?” I have like four or five different templates that I use that I’ll use probably a standard one first. And then if they push back, I have this other template that I use that then I’ll send second. And then even if they push back even more, which they normally don’t-
Michael Hyatt: It’s the nuclear option.
Jim Kelly: … but if they push back… Yes, it’s the nuclear option. Like, “No, we will not do this.” I say it all in respectful ways, but I hold your boundaries very tightly because I want you to focus on what you’re meant to do within this company and on this earth. That’s the first thing I would say. And then in terms of your calendar, we’ve worked really hard on creating your ideal week. What does an ideal week look like? What time do you start your workday? What time do you end your workday? When do you want to have your meetings? When are you at your peak performance? Because we want you to do your creative thinking most of the times in the morning, because then that’s when you’re freshest. A lot of the times I’ll save your meetings to the end of the day, because you might be dragging a little bit, but usually when you have a meeting like a podcast recording, we’re doing this in the afternoon, right now, if you have a podcast recording or an external meeting, you’ll have that in the afternoon.
It’ll kind of give you a boost of energy because you might feed off of someone else’s energy. We’re super, super crystal clear on the ideal week. And then for my personal process I use is I do a calendar proofing process on Wednesdays for the following week. I’m looking ahead on your schedule one week in advance, sometimes 10 days in advance. If I proof on a Wednesday, I’m looking ahead for Sunday to Saturday, the following week. So sometimes 10 days in advance, but I’m just making sure that you have everything that you need for your appointments, whether that be driving time, agendas for meetings, everything that you need, everything that you could think of.
Because the last thing that I want you to do is get to the meeting and say, “Hey, I don’t have this agenda,” or “Hey, you didn’t afford me enough time to get to this meeting. So I’m going to be late.” I want you to just look at your calendar, know exactly where you need to be at what time, and then everything else, all the details are in the rest of the calendar and you don’t have to worry about anything else.
Michael Hyatt: Okay. True story, when I go on a trip like I’m going on a trip next week and as has become my practice since having you, I will not look at the itinerary. I will get on the plane, I will sit in my seat and that will be the first time that I will know usually where I’m staying. Now, next week, I know where I’m staying because you asked me, you wanted to double check with me and make sure I wanted to stay at this place.
But normally I literally don’t know. I don’t know how I’m getting from the airport to the hotel. I assume it’s Uber, but I don’t know what hotel I’m going to. I don’t know what the itinerary is, but you give me a detailed what we call a travel brief that has all the minute by minute so I know exactly what to do. It might say something like, go down one level, pick up your luggage and then wait on the curb and there’ll be black car service. So there’ll be somebody that’s picking you up or whatever. I just only have to focus on the next step and it takes so much of the anxiety out of travel. It’s awesome.
Jim Kelly: Good. Good.
Michael Hyatt: Okay. Describe how you handle my email inbox.
Jim Kelly: Yeah. I didn’t create this system. I think you created this system, which is fantastic. We use an email platform, software called Spark. What’s the link to that, we could put in the show notes, but I think it’s, if you just Google Spark email, it’ll come up.
Michael Hyatt: They’re Ukrainians by the way.
Jim Kelly: Where you could use it with Outlook. They’re Ukrainians. Yeah.
Michael Hyatt: It’s a way to support Ukraine.
Jim Kelly: So if you could go to… Exactly, exactly but it integrates with Gmail and Outlook as well. Even if you have Gmail or Outlook, it integrates with those systems. But the reason I like Spark, the biggest reason I like it is because of its comment feature. And I’ll talk a little bit more about that after I explain how we set it up. But the comment feature is the best part of the Spark that I think, but the way we do things is, Michael has two email accounts. He has a public email account and a private email account. The public email account, he’ll give to pretty much anybody. If anyone on the street comes to and says, “Hey, Michael, I would love to email you.” He would give them that public email account. The private one is only for people and his family, his executive team, and me.
Because so little people have that email address, he’s not getting many emails in that account. He’s really getting emails in that public facing that public account. What happens is Michael’s only working from that private email account and then I’m working from that public email account. I’m looking and vetting all of those emails that come in. I’ll either respond to an email, I’ll archive it if it’s not really of substance, or I’ll say, “Michael, I need your help on this.” And what we do in Spark is, I’ll comment, I’ll tag Michael, I’ll tag his email address, his private email address. And then I’ll comment and say, “Hey, Michael, I think you should really reply to this.” Or, “Hey, Michael, I’m thinking I should reply this way. I just want to make sure that you’re okay with that.” And then we go from there. That’s kind of our system, our workflow of how we handle emails. Is there anything else that you wanted to add on Michael?
Michael Hyatt: No, I would just say that what that does for me is it takes my email load from a hundred plus emails a day down to the four or five that I need to answer. And oftentimes you may not even be aware of how often you do this. You’ll give me a recommendation as to how we should handle it. And sometimes you’ll say something like, “Look, I think we should say no to this, but I know that you’re close to this person. And there may be a reason that’s not visible to me, but my recommendation is that we say no.” So you at least give me the option of saying no. And usually, nine out of 10 times, I go with your recommendation.
Jim Kelly: Yeah. Yeah. The biggest compliment or one of the biggest compliments I could get is, I think I did this maybe twice within the last month, that I drafted an email for Michael. Someone was asking for some resources and it was an email that I was able to respond to, but I think it should have come from Michael. Before Michael responded, I said, “Hey, Michael, here’s a draft.” And it was a pretty lengthy email of the response that I think you should give. And what was your response? Do you remember what you said Michael? I remember it, I think, but-
Michael Hyatt: Well, I think I just said something like, I wouldn’t change a word. This is better than I would’ve done or something. I don’t know, do you remember?
Jim Kelly: Yeah. You did say something like that. And I think you also said like, “If I were ever to pass away, I don’t think anyone would realize it because you would just write my emails for me and it would sound just like it was me.” So I was like, “Well, that’s a little morbid, Michael, so I hope you don’t pass away, but thank you for the compliment. I really appreciate it.
Michael Hyatt: That’s awesome. Okay. Dual question, what’s the hardest part of your job and what’s the best part of your job?
Jim Kelly: Yeah, so I think the hardest part of my job is towing the line between being flexible and being rigid. What I mean by that is, part of my job is to be your gatekeeper. And part of that role is to be a boundary protector, to be almost rigid, say, “Hey, you’re not going to get to Michael because I’m protecting him.” That’s part of my role. But then on the flip side is, we are a very fast moving company. We need to be flexible if we’re not hitting certain goals that we’re trying to seek out we might need your help on certain initiatives. And because of that, I need to be flexible. Towing that line between being rigid and saying, “No, you can’t get to Michael.” And then also being flexible within the company and working with our team to still meet our goals and objectives.
That’s the hardest balancing act, but it’s just, you said this to me before, it’s a tension to manage. It’s not something that I’m going to be able to solve, but it’s a tension to manage. That’s the hardest part of my job, I think. I mean, the best part of my job is I think recently you’ve taken more of an interest in doing some coaching, whether that be our business accelerator clients or some one-on-one coaching that you’re doing personally. And I get to take session notes on those calls. And it’s the most fun that I have because I get to hear you kind of behind the scenes coaching these high achievers that are doing amazing things in the world and the questions that you ask and the way you phrase things and the solutions that you provide, I just feel like I’m getting a master’s degree.
I feel like I’ve already gotten my master’s because I’ve been with the company for six years, but I’m getting like a doctorate in leadership just by witnessing you and the way that you do your coaching, as well as our other business accelerator coaches. I love our business accelerator days that we have together, but that would be the most fun that I have in the job. Oh, Michael’s muted.
Michael Hyatt: Well, that’s awesome, Jim, and that’s all part of our training to make you my clone so that if I pass away, nobody will know for a couple of years.
Jim Kelly: Wow. This is really a big plan. I’m not sure I was in, on this plan about being your clone, but all right. Sounds good.
Michael Hyatt: Okay. Let’s turn the tables and have you interview me?
Jim Kelly: Yes. Yes. Yeah. Do we want to do that last question, Michael, that seventh one or no?
Michael Hyatt: I was kind of thinking we’d probably gone long enough.
Jim Kelly: Okay, cool. Perfect. And another thing that I thought of, and we might need to redo it is, I mean, I said my favorite thing was being in on your coaching calls, but I don’t know if we’ve ever made known that you’re doing like one-on-one coaching.
Michael Hyatt: I actually don’t mind it.
Jim Kelly: Okay. Cool.
Michael Hyatt: Personally.
Jim Kelly: What do you think, Joel? (silence) Okay, Cool.
Michael Hyatt: I think it gives me also credibility when I talk about our one-on-one coaching program, I’m not just ivory tower.
Jim Kelly: Perfect. Perfect. Sounds good.
Joel: [inaudible 00:20:44].
Jim Kelly: Awesome. Thanks Joel.
Joel: [inaudible 00:21:11].
Jim Kelly: Bye Joel, see you. All right. So you want me to set it up?
Michael Hyatt: Yeah. I think you ought to say something like, “Well, hey enough about me.”
Jim Kelly: Okay. Cool.
Michael Hyatt: I want to interview you.
Jim Kelly: The funny thing is this part’s going to be a lot about me, so it’s going to be just like you saying amazing things about me.
Michael Hyatt: Yeah. Well, you know what? Here’s what you can say. Hey enough about me, let’s have you talk about me.
Jim Kelly: Yeah, that’s good. All right. Sounds good. All right. All right, Michael. Enough about me, let’s have you talk about me. How about that? Sound good.
Michael Hyatt: Perfect.
Jim Kelly: Okay. Okay. Perfect. All right. My first question is, describe what your life was like before hiring your first executive assistant?
Michael Hyatt: Okay. I’ll give you the word and then I’ll expand upon it. Chaos, frustration, regret, overwhelm, these were all words that describe my existence because when I was in the corporate world and I talked about this in our last episode with Megan in that corporate world, I had two full-time assistants. I had two full-time assistants, but then when I started this company, I thought I don’t need any assistance. I want to simplify my life. And that was the dumbest thing I’ve ever done, but it gave me a huge appreciation for what an executive assistant does because now all of a sudden that was on my own.
And I didn’t have time to do any of the things that would drive the business forward, that would produce revenue. And I was so caught up on the administrative stuff, which I don’t have any passion around and I’m not very good at. And so it was frustrating. And I wasn’t enjoying my life. When I’m doing the things that are in my desires, on the things that I love, people can tell around me because I’m lit up, time goes quickly, I can’t get enough of it, but when I’m doing all that other stuff, time just drags, but you solved all that. So you were a huge help when you came into the picture.
Jim Kelly: Oh, thank you. I appreciate that. What’s the one thing that I help you accomplish that you can’t live without?
Michael Hyatt: I think it’s anticipating my needs. I used to think that the primary function of an executive assistant was to come behind me and kind of sweep up, make sure that all the things I committed to were fulfilled, that everything was nip and tuck. But what I realized, and this is the thing that you’ve done, that’s so extraordinary and is such a game changer and so different is that you go in front of me like that experience of the cough drops, but that’s just one of the myriad of experiences where you’re anticipating my needs, especially on travel or making sure that I get a nap every day. You know how important that is to my energy level and to my performance. And so I perform at a higher level because of having a world class assistant in that seat.
Jim Kelly: Thank you. Thank you. You asked me what characteristics make an outstanding EA. And as a little refresher, those three characteristics that I said were anticipate needs, follow through and integrity. Anticipate needs, follow through, integrity. If you can, I know I’m putting you on the spot, would you be able to give an example or a story of a time that I may have exemplified all of those characteristics? Or you could pick your favorite one out of those?
Michael Hyatt: What was the second one?
Jim Kelly: Yeah. Anticipate needs, and then follow through and integrity.
Michael Hyatt: Well, I want to give an example about follow through, and this isn’t a big one. This happens probably 10 times a week, but I was talking to a friend of mine last night, who we were recording a podcast for another show. And I mentioned to her that we had just recorded the full focused goal setting course. And she said, “Oh my gosh, that sounds like something I could use in my work.” And I said, “Well, let me have Jim give you credentials for it.” And so I just shot you a quick note and it was done. Or I was on the phone with a couple clients last week and I thought, it would be nice for them to get a care package of all my books and I want them to have reference to it. And I just mentioned to you, and the next thing I know, you said, “Hey, those are going out tomorrow,” or whatever, you just let me know that it had already been handled.
It’s that kind of follow through. That kind of thing could languish before you on my to-do list forever. Again, I’d have the intention, but more pressing more important issues would keep those little things from happening. And it’s often those little things that make all the difference. I like what Oprah says. She says, “Love is in the details.” And I think that’s the thing that communicates to my clients and the people I care about that I really do love them.
And it’s not because I follow through, it’s because you follow through and make me… And this is another thing I was going to say that I would add to your list is, you make me a hero. You do that with my family. And I know I’ve heard you state in other contexts that’s one of your objectives, but you make me look like a hero with my family. You make me look like a hero with my clients. And particularly as in Enneagram 3, that’s kind of important to me. And so I appreciate that.
Jim Kelly: Yeah. I was thinking about that this morning, when you sent that Slack message about, “Hey, can you set this person up with the goal setting course, can you give them access to it?” I thought of myself kind of as like a one stop shop. You come to me with all of your requests and then I go to the different people. Because I wasn’t the person on our team that set that up. Emmy on our team helped me set that up, but I could have either said, “Hey, Michael, go to Emmy and you ask her,” or you just come to me and then I figure it out and then I follow through that task [inaudible 00:27:10].
And the same thing with the books. I wasn’t the one that physically mailed the books, but I know who on our team helps with mailing the books. For all of our executives out there, if you have an executive assistant, you could just delegate everything that you have to them and then they could be the ones that figure out how to get it done.
Michael Hyatt: That’s so good. Yeah. You’re like the human clearing house for all my requests.
Jim Kelly: Yes. Exactly. Exactly. Now some people may be hesitant to give information to their EA. It’s two part question, first off, how did you ever overcome the mindset hurdle of giving access to confide… I’ll start that again. Some people might be hesitant. Okay, cool. Cool. These weren’t my own words. These were my questions I gave to Joel, I got to… Yes. Cool. Yeah. Michael, some people may be hesitant to give information to their EA. Now, first off, how do you overcome this mindset hurdle of giving access to your executive assistant because it’s confidential information? That’s my first part question then on, once you answer that, I’ll give you a second question.
Michael Hyatt: Okay. I would say for most executives on their executive assistance, this is something that happens over time. So as that person proves themselves trustworthy, then you give them more and more. Now I am a trusting person by nature, probably too trusting. I’ve been burned a few times, but honestly, very little. And this is the kind of stuff that I don’t typically worry about. Maybe I should worry about it more, not with you, but with other people, but you have access to everything.
Social security number, date of birth, all my credit cards. I mean, literally everything, every account you could get into, you truly could steal my identity and become me and I’d be just left out in the cold. But I just have enormous confidence in you because you’ve proven yourself trustworthy. And I would say that of the executive assistance I’ve had in the past, ever since I started this company, every single one of them I’ve given access to all that, because I realize they can’t really do their job unless I do that.
And so there’s technology that also helps with this too. Not in your case, particularly, but in other cases with people in the company, we all work with the team edition of one password. So we have all of our passwords to all of our accounts, to all of our access points in there. And if somebody leaves the company, we can just turn off access to that, and they no longer have it. If we want to, we could go in and change all the passwords, but they don’t have access to one password after they leave our company. There’s some things that are built in and I just have never stressed about it.
I always think to myself, what’s the worst that could happen? I think that, if you use an outside agency, like BELAY Solutions or somebody like that, usually those people have been vetted. There’s been a background check. Of course we do background checks on all of our employees as well. And you know, there’s ways to vet people, but you got to get to the place where you’re willing to turn that information over. If you don’t do that, the person that you’ve hired to make your life easier, really can’t perform at an optimal level because they don’t have access to everything they need to do their job.
Jim Kelly: Exactly. Yeah. So you already answered my second part of the question. The second part was, what do I get access to? What do you hand over? But you answer answered it great. To piggyback along what you said before, yeah, I have access to all of your daughter’s birthdays, all of their mailing addresses, because then it frees you up. So when I want to send them a thank you card or a birthday card or flowers or something like that, I have access to that birthday information. I have access to those addresses because if I didn’t have access to it, I would need to be pinging you on Slack and getting you to send me that information and it’s just a distraction throughout the day.
Michael Hyatt: Totally.
Jim Kelly: Yeah. Yeah. What’s the right dividing line between personal and professional help?
Michael Hyatt: If you’re a business owner, I think there’s not one. And I think that one of the things that we’re committed to that we talk about a lot is a concept called the double win, where you win at work and succeed at life. These are reciprocal relationships. How you’re doing in your personal life is going to impact your professional life. How are you doing professionally impacts your personal life? And so there’s things that you do in my personal life, like buying gifts for family members, doing cards for family members, like I said earlier, getting my jet ski licenses, all that kind of stuff. And I think I made it clear when you started, you can tell me if I did or I didn’t, but that there would be no dividing line so that there was the expectation built in.
Now I could never do that in the corporate world because it would be construed particularly in a public company as you know, a misappropriation of corporate resources. But when it’s a company that I own and I own Full Focus, so I don’t have to worry about that. There’s no accounting I have to do. There’s certain things you don’t do because we also have, Gail has an assistant at the house, but I don’t ask you to pick up my dry cleaning or some of those kinds of things because Susan who works for Gail does that type of thing.
Jim Kelly: Yeah. Yeah. I don’t know if you’ll remember, but what do you think the craziest thing I’ve ever done or any EA has ever done while serving you? Do you have a fun EA story?
Michael Hyatt: No. Do you have one?
Jim Kelly: I have a few, but it-
Michael Hyatt: Whoops you froze Jim.
Jim Kelly: … doesn’t pertain… Oh, can you hear me? [inaudible 00:33:14]. Oh, shoot.
Michael Hyatt: You’re back.
Jim Kelly: Okay, cool.
Michael Hyatt: Do you have one?
Jim Kelly: Yeah, I heard Michael’s question. I do have a crazy story, but it didn’t pertain to you. So when I initially got hired on at Intentional Leadership/Full Focus, it was as Michael’s EA and Megan’s EA. I was serving with Megan for a while as well. And the craziest story that I have with her was, she got a brand new iPhone, I think it was like the iPhone seven at the time. So we’re up to 13, but so this was several years ago, but it was the iPhone seven. And she was at Percy Priest Lake, just outside of Nashville. And her boy, I don’t know if it was Moses or Jonah-
Michael Hyatt: It was Moses.
Jim Kelly: … but there… Okay. It was Moses. So Moses was playing with her phone and then it accidentally fell out of his hands, I guess. And it went to the bottom of the lake, that’s quite a predicament. She had AppleCare on it, which is great. But you need a phone to get the money back for AppleCare. We’re like, “All right, what do you do?” Do you just buy a new phone and say, “Ah, man, cut her losses.” Or do you hire a scuba diver to go to the bottom of a Percy Priest and get that phone?
And we hired a scuba diver to go to a Percy Priest and got that phone. We got someone for like $50, which was amazing. It was like only $50 that we found this person. I don’t know if Susie found him or Mandy Raf who was with us at the time, found them. I might have found him, but we found him and he got it. And it was like still working, which was the most incredible part. We were like, “Do you even need a new phone Megan, it kind of still works.” So she was like, “No, let’s get a new phone because I have AppleCare.” But that was the craziest story that I’ve ever had as an EA.
Michael Hyatt: That’s a great one. I probably tend to forget these stories. They probably happen typically out on the road and by the way, there’s another example of you anticipating my needs. You’re tracking my flights when I’m traveling. And I’ve never asked you to do this, but you track my flights, even if it’s on a weekend and I don’t ask you to work on the weekends and you don’t work very often on the weekends, but you track my flights and I’ll get a ping from you. And you’ll say, “Oh, by the way…”
And I learned from you before I learned from the airline, you’ll say something like, “Hey, your flight’s been delayed by two hours. And by the way, I booked a hotel right outside the airport, just in case this gets canceled. Again, we’ll cancel the room if we don’t need it. But I just want you to know you’re set.” Well, that makes me relaxed. Now I’m not having the anxiety of being on the road and trying to figure out all that stuff, because I don’t really know who to call, but you’ve got that all dialed in, you know exactly who to call.
Jim Kelly: Yeah. Yeah. And there’s so much anxiety that goes along with travel. It’s nice to have someone that’s kind of your right hand person that you could just rely on. And because it gets kind of lonely, especially if you’re traveling by yourself to be like, “Oh man, there’s no one here to help me.” But to know that I’m there just in the background saying, “Hey, we got this, whatever happens we can make it work.” Hopefully eases your anxiety.
Michael Hyatt: It totally does.
Jim Kelly: Yeah. All right. Last question. Now, what do you say when business owners say, they can’t afford an EA or they just don’t have enough money for an EA? What do you come back with to them with that?
Michael Hyatt: Well, you can’t think of it as an expense. It’s an investment in your own productivity. Here’s the thing, if you can’t learn to scale yourself, you can’t scale your business. You can’t buy more time, you probably can’t… Maybe you can add a little energy or you can add a little bit more focus or attention. But the great thing about an executive assistant is that it enables you to get totally locked into and fully focused, no pun intended, fully focused on the things that only you can do.
I would say this, if you’re serious about growing your business, if you want to maintain it, disregard this, but if you’re serious about growing your business, you can’t afford to not make this investment. It’s that critical. And so literally an executive assistant was the first person I hired at Full Focus. And as you pointed out, it wasn’t called that back when we started, but that was my first hire when I went out on my own. And I don’t regret that for a second, I would do it all exactly the same way if I was doing it again.
Jim Kelly: Awesome. Well, those are all the questions. Thank you for humoring me with my questions. It’s fun to turn the tables and thank you for your kind words. Again, it’s been such a pleasure working with you as your executive assistant. You’re the best boss I’ve ever had. It’s truly a pleasure to work as your EA.
Michael Hyatt: Thank you. What Jim’s not telling you is I’m the only boss he’s ever had, but I digress.
Jim Kelly: That’s not true.
Michael Hyatt: Okay guys, we have a brand new course that I’m super excited about it. And starring in this course is the one and only Jim Kelly. And Jim, who else from our team is in this course?
Jim Kelly: Courtney Baker, who is our chief revenue officer, she’s in the course as well as Alicia Curry, who used to be our chief content officer, chief product officer Joel Miller’s EA. And now she has another role within the company working for our business accelerator team. But can I pitch to the course just one second, Michael?
Michael Hyatt: Yeah, please.
Jim Kelly: Just to pitch it? So the great thing about this course is we worked on it and we pitched it to our executive assistant. We showed it to them and we said, “Hey, we have this executive assistant course, what do you think about it?” And after we kind of detailed the course to them. They said, “You know what?” And they had this idea, we didn’t have this idea. I didn’t have this idea. We really need two separate modules. We need a module for executive assistants, but then we also need a module and a path for executives because what we were finding, what we found out was, when we were just doing it to the executive assistants, that’s great.
You can learn how to be a great executive assistant, but you need your executive on board as well. The executive needs to be on board as well. With that, we have an executive track and an executive assistant track. The executive track is pretty high level, how to work with an executive assistant and then the nitty gritty stuff. The more granular stuff is what will happen in the executive assistant track. It’s an amazing course. I’m really excited for it to be out in the world. We’ve been getting this for years. Ever since I started with the company, people have been asking for it. So I’m glad it’s finally birthed.
Michael Hyatt: Well, maybe this will make our clients stop trying to hire you and just get their own. But the course is called Executive Assistant, a course for executives and assistants to maximize results. And it’s $100 off during the launch. So this course normally retails for 297 and that’s what the price is going to be after May the 20th, but for this limited launch window, it’s $197. And you can learn more about the course at leadto.win/ea like executive assistant. leadto.win/ea. Okay. Jim, any final words?
Jim Kelly: I’m just grateful to be on this Full Focus team. I’m grateful to learn from you, Michael. And yeah, it’s a pleasure to serve and I’m so excited for this course to be out because I truly believe when we have executives and executive assistants working together, companies thrive. The executives will thrive with their personal life as well as their professional life. And then we just have so many people that are servant hearted out there in the world that could lift up more leaders. Yeah, that’s my final word.
Michael Hyatt: That’s fantastic. Well, Jim Kelly, thank you so much for joining us today, this has been outstanding. Guys, thanks for joining us for this special bonusode, but until next time, Lead To Win.