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November 21, 2022

Take It Easy Group on The Startup Talk Podcast

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Show Notes

Take It Easy Group on The Startup Talk Podcast

Talking with Tarra Stubbins founder and CEO of Take It Easy Group the Virtual Executive Assistant company about the ways their virtual executive assistants help startups grow, raise funding, focus on what matters most, and keeping good mental health.  All this and more on this episode of the startup talk podcast


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Automated Transcripts of Take it easy group – Startup Talk Podcast

Mon, Nov 21, 2022 11:01AM • 42:19

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

founders, executive assistant, fractional, people, business, startup, investors, clients, managing, entrepreneur, build, eas, toronto, hear, biggest, high ticket items, bootstrapped, hire, thinking, easy

SPEAKERS

Announcer, Craig Major, Tarra Stubbins

 

Announcer 

Direct from the sixth world renowned Canada’s largest city, with Canada’s biggest thinkers, visionaries and hustlers. This is startup talk featuring the founders, funders, innovators and community leaders who’ve led Canada’s startup ecosystem right here in Toronto. You’ll hear the challenges, the failures, the successes, Toronto StartUp podcast gives you the full story direct from the entrepreneurs and influencers who’ve made a difference. Now, the host of startup talk, the founder of Toronto starts this startup coach.

 

Craig Major 

Welcome back to startup talk. I’m your host and startup coach, founder of Toronto starts one of the largest startup communities in Canada. And with me today is Tara Stebbins, founder and CEO of take it easy Group of Companies. Welcome, Tara.

 

Tarra Stubbins 

Thanks for having me. I’m excited to be here. Tell us about take it easy group. Yeah, so take it easy Group. We are a team of fractional executive assistants. And we specialize in helping seed and series A startups usually scale for success. So we help with data group management. And fester raises just getting like messy startup founders organized and really able to like build and as I said, scale, successfully. As an entrepreneur, myself, I’ve been an entrepreneur for a million and a half years, and it’s been something that I’ve always wanted to do. And that’s to be able to support other startup founders. And I knew that I could be able to use like my executive assistant background and being able to help them really, like organized and really be able to bring their businesses to life. I always say that I think startups are changing the world. And I’m just so excited to be part of all of the ones that I get to be part of.

 

Craig Major 

So you say you’ve been an entrepreneur for a million years. Let’s go back before that. What were you like growing up? Were you a handful for your parents were you studious in the music, sports socializing.

 

Tarra Stubbins 

It was a little shy actually growing up. But then I kind of found my voice and my rebellious side when I was about 15, as I think a lot of teenage girls do. And then I was a bit of a handful. I got I have a fun story. I used to ride motorcycles. And I rode a motorcycle I went to I also went to a private school. And I decided that it was raining one day and I wanted to park my motorcycle inside the school lobby, so it didn’t get wet. Well, I got kicked out of the school. They did not appreciate that. I went to boarding school, but then my parents like lobbied for me to go back to the private school for my graduating year, which I did. And then I decided that I wanted to actually go into film and television production, I thought that it would be really cool to be on the back end of all of those things. So I went to Humber College, I graduated from their film and television production course. And then they had a, like a friendship kind of connection with two universities. One was Simon Fraser out in BC, and the other was the University of Western Sydney, in Australia. And you could take your three years of Humber and put it towards a bachelor program. And I’m like, I’m going to Australia. So I went I almost never came home and got my bachelor degree there and was there for two and a half years after I graduated as well.

 

Craig Major 

At what point did you know you want to be an entrepreneur and run your own business?

 

Tarra Stubbins 

So I have a really fun kind of like aha moment that happened to me while I was in Australia, I actually kind of fell into working as a personal assistant for some local bands. So I was working, you know, like just getting them water and coffee and all that fun stuff. And then I actually spread my wings and started working as a personal assistant to some large events. I got to work with the Red Hot Chili Peppers as they toured across Australia. And then when it came back home to Canada, I worked with a number of other bands and I finally ended up with the Rolling Stones. As Mick Jagger’s personal assistant for about eight years. I did two world tours. In that time, I was bouncing around with other bands as well. And one of the rock stars that I was supporting, had a very fun, interesting request and that was every time his toothbrush came out of a suitcase after it traveled. He wanted it to be sanitized in the hotel dishwasher. So I And obviously done this many times before, a lot of the people that hotel staff knew and could see me coming. But I was in a bear a new hotel we had never been in, in Singapore. And I was trying to explain. And I obviously couldn’t speak their language. But I needed this toothbrush sanitized in this dishwasher. And we just were not getting anywhere. And I just remember standing there with this toothbrush thinking there’s got to be more to life than this. And that was kind of my like, Aha moment. I love helping people, I’ve always said, I’ve been put on this planet to help others succeed. And maybe I can help more than one crazy rock star at a time with some bigger requests that are helping the world in different ways, then, you know, rock stars are helping the world, they do definitely entertain us, and they’re great. But I thought maybe I can just help a little more people. So I came off the road, and I opened up my first business, no business background, nothing, I had no idea what I was doing. I just wanted to help people. So I opened up a personal concierge business, which is still actually going strong. So that was kind of like how I became an entrepreneur.

 

Craig Major 

Great stories, I can see you with the toothbrush. And so I like to say that opportunity cost is infinite. And it sounds like you’ve done a number of different businesses, what led you to take it easy group versus any other opportunity that’s out there.

 

Tarra Stubbins 

When I came off the road, and and was open, I was operating Take it easy, personal car shares, which was my current shares, business, I was, you know, way back in like 2007, where there weren’t opportunities like you have provided today for startups, like I remember, there was one guy who would do lunch and learns, and then North York Civic Center on like, Tuesdays. And like that was it. And I because I had no business background, I was constantly like, wanting the community wanting to learn from someone.And like, it was hard to find until the first co working space opened in Toronto. And I think I was like the second one to sign up, I was so excited to be part of their community. Like I volunteered at the front desk, I was just like involved with everything. And I started meeting entrepreneurs, founders, listening to their stories, and I started hearing, you know that they would get to a certain point of scale. And then they couldn’t get over that hump. You know, founders are doing everything, that they can’t really do anything, because we’re just caught up in trying to keep all the balls in the air. And because of my executive and personal assistant background, I can see that they just needed a little help. And I wanted to be able to provide like the skilled executive assistants that I knew to them. And I knew that they couldn’t really afford, you know, a 10 year plus scaled executive assistant, so I wanted to offer it on a fractional basis. So that’s how I take it easy group was formed.

 

Craig Major 

And what exactly does take it easy group? Do we talked about fractional executive assistants? But what does that mean?

 

Tarra Stubbins 

Is it building and scaling startups, we’ll talk about that specifically, because I know that’s mostly our audience. You know, again, the new founders are busy doing so many things. So a fractional executive assistant can come in and help you build that business as like a strategic right hand partner, right beside you. So we’re not sitting there waiting for tasks to be delegated to us, we’re actually very strategic and how we help off board tasks from your everyday to do lists. We’ve done, you know, a million investment rounds. So we know kind of the process so we can help you through that. We’ve managed board meetings and difficult boards of directors so we can help through that. Managing events and conferences and follow ups and just everything that businesses are trying to do. founder CEOs is like themselves, we can help take off their plate and be that like right hand strategic partner with them.

 

Craig Major 

That sounds like there’s a lot of great experience to leverage there. Why hire a fractional executive assistant versus a full time employee?

 

Tarra Stubbins 

Yeah, so as I was mentioning before, a lot of new founders don’t have the runway to hire a very experienced executive assistant. You probably hire someone who’s great right out of School or maybe a virtual assistant at, you know, an hourly fee. But they’re just going to be able to do those tasks, those delegated tasks for you. If you really want that like strategic person to be able to be proactive and really drive your business forward, you need someone with a little more experience. And that’s why we can offer the executive assistants on a fractional basis so everyone can afford us.

 

Craig Major 

So what would you say the main difference is between what a fractional executive assistant does observes versus a virtual assistant?

 

Tarra Stubbins 

Yeah, so I’ve hinted at it a few times. And it’s mostly like our strategic and proactive thinking. So we are really involved in helping businesses grow. That’s what we want to do for our clients, we want our clients to succeed just as much as the founders. So we are in there, we’re in the weeds, we’re making suggestions, we’re really that strategic partner. Whereas if you hire a virtual assistant, a lot of the times they’ll just, you know, wait for a task, which is great. Sometimes businesses need that, you know, like, send eight LinkedIn requests for me on a daily or manage my inbox or something like that, that’s great. But if you’re wanting something a little next level, that’s when you would hire an executive assistant. Also, we operate on that very popular fractional model right now. So there are a lot of talk about fractional CMOS, CFOs CTOs CIOs. So we’ve kind of brought that into the executive assistant space. So we don’t count hours, we don’t block you into we only work Mondays and Wednesdays, we are kind of on all the time for you. And just base our packages off of, you know, what you have going on how many things we’re supporting, how quickly you want to grow, that sort of thing.

 

Craig Major 

Typically, I see founders reluctant to delegate and end up doing a lot of things they shouldn’t be doing. So this is a multifuel fold question. Do you find this a barrier for startups getting a fractional executive system? And secondly, how do you change their behavior? To start delegating?

 

Tarra Stubbins 

It’s a great question. And I actually do a lot of workshops on delegation and how to let go. And it’s not just a new founder problem. You know, a lot of seasoned CEOs and executives have that issue as well, they just don’t want to let go. But I do know, as a founder and entrepreneur, myself, you’ve built something and it’s your baby, and you just don’t want to let it go. Because if it goes wrong, you know, then it’s like not something that you can necessarily control. Another thing I hear a lot as I might as well just do it myself, I can do it faster than having to explain it to someone, which is true, sometimes it does take a while to explain what you have going on. So someone can take it and run with it. But you should only have to explain it once or twice, and then that person can take it and run with it. So you’re saving time in the long run. I also think about and I talk a lot about time management. And time management to me is being able to build your days with meaningful moments so that you can create the life you want to live. So if you’re creating your business and your you know, your startup, and you’re trying and you’re scared about delegating, but you can’t really get to the next level, you should look about look at how you’re managing your time. And is this really how you want to, you know, live your life on a, you know, full time basis is carrying all these balls doing all of these things. Maybe there just is one aspect that you can start handing off slowly, and then move on to something else. I always like to think about like the high ticket items. So you know, if I’m gonna spend my time doing podcasts, doing workshops, I obviously also can’t run my business. But the high ticket items for me is being out in the public and being able to speak to people. So what’s the high ticket item for you? And like what’s holding you back from being able to do more of that?

 

Craig Major 

Do you find those conversations easy with founders or do you find it difficult?

 

Tarra Stubbins 

Depends on the founder. So sometimes people are like, take it all. I don’t want to see any more of this. I just want to concentrate on my high ticket items. Some people are a little more reluctant. Maybe they’ve had a bad experience in the past. Maybe they’ve heard of friend who’s had a bad experience. So it does take some time. We like to just work through it with very open communication. You know, we’re, we’re going to do this for you, how do you feel about that? Or, you know, what if we tried to change up your days a little bit, so you concentrated on this, and I concentrated on this, or give examples of how we’ve successfully managed an inbox for someone or been able to reach out to investors without people without the founders having to, like get involved. So we just kind of show examples and take it one step at a time for people if they need it.

 

Craig Major 

I think people definitely need help. Because a common mindset in founders is if I’m not doing it, it’s not getting done. And it’s, you know, just because you usually start by yourself, and then you bring on a person or two, and it’s hard to break out of that mindset. What are the HR implications of a fractional EAA?

 

Tarra Stubbins 

That’s actually a great question. And we actually offer fractional HR services as well. So there,I don’t know if there are any HR employment implementations for it. We can help founders and small businesses build out their employee handbooks, we can build out, you know, remote work culture, we can build out kind of all of the onboarding processes that are needed. One really good thing about hiring not in house, and hiring someone that like protect, we pretend to be in house, because we do embed ourselves in every company that we’re part of, is that you know, you don’t have to pay payroll taxes, you don’t have to think about the benefit, you know, that you have to provide the the employee, you don’t have to think about retention, like that’s all on us. You don’t have to think about sick days or vacation. Again, that’s all on us. It’s like bringing in kind of a consultant who manages their own, you know, operates as their own entity, but embeds themselves in the business.

 

Craig Major 

Where are your EAS generally located? And are there any time where they meet physically with fractional employers?

 

Tarra Stubbins 

Yeah, our clients. Um, so our EAS are based across North America, we have a handful in Canada and a handful in the US. Our clients are also based across North America as well. And yeah, like we were just in Vegas at money 2020. And we saw a number of our clients there, which was really exciting. And also, we were at founder TechCrunch, where we saw a number of our clients, there is also one of the biggest things we do, it seems, besides managing inboxes is helping with all team events, or like all hands or retreats, like yearly retreats. So we will plan those, and then we’ll usually fly out to execute them as well. All of our clients are remote first.  Some of them are going to a hybrid model, but they’re like mostly remote, so it’s fine that we are remote as well. And not necessarily meeting every day in person.

 

Craig Major 

Fundraising is a big part of what startups do. And you’ve mentioned it a few times as we as we go here, how often are founders aware of the help you can give them in that area,

 

Tarra Stubbins 

It is something that we have to train them on. Because a lot of people still are stuck in like the virtual assistant aspect of this world. And they don’t realize that as their, you know, strategic partner we want to get in, and we want to help them raise as much as possible with them. And it’s actually really interesting, because we have our hands in so many investment rounds with our clients, we actually get to know the trends. So, you know, partnering with us, not only do we get to help you go through the rounds, not by yourself, but we can also say like, Hey, we’ve heard that investors are actually looking for this now. And they are completely like overlooking all of this. So let’s concentrate our time on statistics, money flow, right now, economics, and, you know, product development they don’t really care about right now, or whatever the trends are. We’re seeing a lot of investors spending a lot of time right now in data rooms, going through every single detail because they want to make sure that the businesses are legit, and that the businesses are going to somehow make them money in the future that they have have all their I’s dotted and T’s crossed. Before in the height of everything, people would just blow through it, they would see like a couple of things that they wanted to see. And then they would make their decision. So we know that data rooms are super important right now. Um, so I kind of find that really interesting that we can really help the startups and the founders along by, you know, offering kind of our inside knowledge because we’re like, on the ground with all of these different startups.

 

Craig Major 

Yeah, when you mentioned data room, I think a lot of founders don’t even know what that is until they start raising and people start asking them for their where’s your data room? Where’s your Where’s all this information?

 

Tarra Stubbins 

Yeah, exactly. And actually, when we come in is one of our first questions we asked. So we’ll say, you know, are you wanting to race 98% of the time? It’s Yes. And then we asked, like, where’s your data robe? Where’s your investor list, and sometimes they’ll look at us like we have three heads, and then we can help them to the process of getting an organized and setup.

 

Craig Major 

It’s funny, people don’t realize what a slog getting investment is, like, if you’re looking for 1,000,002 million, $5 million, you need to talk to 100 investors, in probably about a five week period, maybe eight weeks, maybe four weeks, depending every founder that’s got funding that I know of, it’s pretty much been that 100 pastors that they had to meet with over a few week period of time, because there’s not one person that writes a check, you got to get that first investor first. And then they help you with the other ones that people don’t kind of realize the whole process. And it’s not easy to schedule those meetings with investors to find the right investors to schedule meeting those because it can’t be just random people, it’s got to be people investing in your industry in your area. And that is a lot of work that founders don’t realize how much it is until they get into it.

 

Tarra Stubbins 

Yeah, and managing, managing the follow ups too, are can get really complicated, because you have you know, 16, Dave’s writing you saying I need this, I need this all from different investors, groups and VC companies. And it’s just really hard to like, keep everything on track. And also keep the emotions up to because you know, you’re talking to 100 people and you’re getting alot of no’s And it’s really, really hard to just go into every single meeting and hear another No. So we’re like, you know, the back end cheerleaders over here be like, Nope, we got this, let’s tweak this, let’s try this. And really helping our founders lift their spirits as well .

 

Craig Major 

That’s a very good point. And a lot of founders are asking for the big checks early on. And one of my suggestions is try for the smaller checks early. Because you know, this, those little wins really help carry you. And you get two or three investors willing to give you 1025 50k. Now they’re talking to other investors, they’re helping you got investors, it just makes the process easier than trying to get that 500k Or a million dollar check right away.

 

Tarra Stubbins 

I agree. I agree. And you actually said something really interesting. I talk a lot about motivation. And a lot of founders think like, you know, what am I doing wrong, I don’t feel motivated for my startup anymore to continue. And they think that motivation is something like lightning strike that’s gonna hit you, and you’re just all of a sudden going to be motivated. But like, that’s not, that’s not the case. Motivation is small continued wins over time, that builds up excitement and energy for you to keep going. So you know, at first you have this idea, you’re so excited you like major email, you’ve made your domain, you have a website, you have all of these like little wins, and then it gets hard, then you start hearing the nose, then you start getting into, you know, like budget issues. So it’s yeah, it’s just kind of creating that motivation to is what we do as well.

 

Craig Major 

What is the process like for a startup working with you? And how long does it take to get set up and running within a fractional executive assistant?

 

Tarra Stubbins 

Yeah, so you can get set up pretty quickly. We like to match our founders with EAS as best as we can. Because we know it is a very personal relationship, like we’re digging into some things that sometimes founders haven’t shared with anyone else before. So like the personality needs to match. Their skill level needs to match. You know, we have EAS that are trained paralegals we have EAS that are trained in massive event management. We have EAS that are trained in bookkeeping and accounting. So depending on what each founder needs, at what specific time, we try to match according to skill as well. And we also say that, you know, we work very closely as a group so sometimes you know, if my client needs something legal, I will go Go to the EA on our team. And I’ll be like, Hey, can you just read this for us for me quickly, so we like we help each other out as well. So you’re not just gonna be one EA, you’re getting the whole group of us. But yeah, a lot of founders will say, I know I need help, I don’t know where to start. And because of that, we have created a three week discovery period. So we’ll go in, we will do any work that you need to do that you need help with. But we’ll also take a lot of notes, we’ll have a lot of meetings, we’ll really dive into your company and figure out how we can work together moving forward, and really like what we can take off of your plate and how we can start working together. People love that discovery period, almost every client goes for it. So we usually dive into that. And then it’s just a month to month plan. So there’s no long term commitments, we also have a diff a couple of different packages. So sometimes companies want to start on the lower package. And then when they raise, they want to go up to the their higher package, or they just raised, they have a million 1000 things to do. They need to start with the higher package. And then when we get them organized and set up for success, we can go down to the lower package.

 

Craig Major 

And speaking of pricing, what are these packages costs?

 

Tarra Stubbins 

Yeah, so we have different pricing, depending on if you’re bootstrapped or not. So with a bootstrap discount, were hover anywhere between about 2800 all the way up to about $7,000 a month, depending again, on how much you need as if we are doing special projects. If you need HR and EA support, you know how quickly you want your projects to be pushed forward, that sort of thing.

 

Craig Major 

Everyone talks about hustle, what are you doing to get traction and build your audience?

 

Tarra Stubbins 

It’s actually interesting. So I talked about being a new founder way back in 2007. And I remember Googling, like, how do I become successful? What do I have to do? And because I have a very like, tactical strategic brain, like tell me do this, this and this, I will do this, this and this. And I kept reading, hustle, entrepreneurs need to hustle. And I’m like, What is hustle? Like? Can someone explain this to me, I will hustle just like lay out what a hustle is, like, do I have to send four emails a day, or I have to send 400 Who am I sending them to? So I kind of have a love hate relationship with the word hustle, because I still think about like, I still don’t know what it means, like, I know we’re driving, we’re doing things but like, I need a better explanation for herself. But I do know that we all are busy. And we’re trying to, you know, chase that next investor or build that next part of our, you know, apps and beat the competition, or you know, trying to do that. So, again, I talk a lot about time management, I do a lot of workshops and keynotes about it. And one of my biggest takeaways out of those workshops, three priorities a day. So I think founders, really anyone can get lost in their long to do list, you know, like, where do I start? What’s the most important? I want to hire 1000 people? Where do I start with that? Who do I hire first. So I always like to do a brain dump of like, everything that’s kind of in your brain, and then try to to pick out like the priorities. So today, I’m going to concentrate on these top three priorities, not going to concentrate on hustling, or being busy just to be busy. Or I actually remember when he started working for a couple of like new startups, I would see their calendars were just like back to back to back to back meetings. And I’m like, I want to be that I want to be that person. Then there was that person and I was like, I don’t want to be that person anymore. Or I remember another person I used to work with in person and follow actually around doing a ton of speaking engagements. He was constantly on the phone and like, emailing on the go and like taking calls right before he went on stage. And I was like, I want to be that I think that’s hustling. And then I was sad. And I was like I don’t want to be that either. So it’s really being able to like set up your day and really be able to drive whatever priorities you can forward that will help your like overall goal. So I think that we don’t need to concentrate on how busy we are. But it’s more how productive we are during the day.

 

Craig Major 

Hustle in general is mostly related to getting business so you know, get it you know, getting whatever it takes to get new clients.  You know, the other stuff is just work. What is your funding situation? Are you bootstrapped? Are you precede what’s happening? Yeah, so we

 

Tarra Stubbins 

You are definitely not in any investment we are each dropped. We have a wonderful, we actually have a wonderful problem right now where we have a little bit of a backlog and clients wanting to start with us and not having enough EAS. So if any EAS are listening, please send in your resume. Yeah, no, we have a, I built up a really wonderful network from what I did in my past. So I was able to leverage that. So yeah, totally bootstrapped.

 

Craig Major 

I like to share both successes and failures. So there’s a chance that someone listening might not make the same mistake. Can you tell us a time where you messed up and made the wrong pivot or startup decision?

 

Tarra Stubbins 

I can tell you a million times.I think any founder that has been a founder for more than like three weeks, has made multiple mistakes. And I used to think that but you know, I’m not cut out for this, like, Why? Why am I not succeeding? Why is my business not growing as fast as I wanted it to? I also think that like social media, and we also hear a lot about these unicorn companies that you know, raise a billion $11 billion in, you know, three weeks, and we’re like, why are we not them. And we kind of compare ourselves to them. But I always like to say that I was in business for a good like six years before I could even take any sort of salary off of that I had no business background, I had no idea what I was doing. So I felt like all the money that I was putting in was kind of like, putting myself through business school. But I remember very clearly, again, way back in 2007, when the yellow pages were still a thing, I saved up like all my money to run a fairly large ad in the Yellow Pages, because I thought that’s, that’s what we did. And I remember the day they were like being delivered to everyone’s houses, I sat by my phone, thinking that it was going to ring off the hook. Because everyone was going to see this ad. And so obviously, lesson learned, it doesn’t happen that way. And throwing you know, money at advertising, or, you know, trying to get a quick fix is usually not the best way to go about it. I’ve also, you know, I’ve hired too quickly, that’s been that’s been a problem. And before I’ve hired too slow, that’s also been a problem before, but I just really think that like, as entrepreneurs, we can’t beat ourselves up about making mistakes, because every successful entrepreneur is made a bazillion mistakes, and it’s just something that you kind of have to get used to along the journey.

 

Craig Major 

Absolutely the whole mantra of fail fast, meaning you know, make your mistakes early versus late in the game to your you’re spending a little bit of money making these mistakes, not a lot of money.

 

Tarra Stubbins 

Yeah, it’s true. And like, as we were talking about, and you know, getting all the knows in the investor rounds, like, don’t let it get to you just kind of brush yourself off and be able to move on. I think that’s what makes a really, really good entrepreneur and successful entrepreneur.

 

Craig Major 

Yeah, and get feedback and make your pitch better every time. Like it. I talked to founders, if they pitched 100 investors, it’s been 100 different pitches almost because you know, it’s changes, changes, tweaks, tweaks, tweaks, so you know, nothing, don’t if you’re failing all the time, change it up.

 

Tarra Stubbins 

Exactly. Yeah.

 

Craig Major 

What’s your favorite book for entrepreneurs?

 

Tarra Stubbins 

I have a love hate relationship. I have love hate relationship with hustle. And I have a love hate relationship with books for entrepreneurs. And the reason why is because I come again, from the mindset of like time management, and a lot of CEOs and entrepreneur books will tell you, you have to do these 20 things in the morning and everyone’s going to be successful. So and they like kind of contradict each other chill. But if you actually like dive into it and start thinking about it, it’s like weird because they’re like, Okay, you have to sleep eight hours, you have to read at least 20 pages a day, you have to eat three good meals a day, like homemade healthy meals, you have to have time for friends and family you have to work out like at least an hour you have to have dinner with your friends or family like sitting down not being around your computer. You have to like there’s all these things and it’s like we don’t have time to do all of this and run a business and be successful like that. Just like it makes me angry. I’m getting a little heated I’m sorry. But anyway, so I do like the motivation that you know these the books have and a lot of people will get a lot of things from it. years ago, Keith I can’t pronounce his name, I think it’s for Rosie for Ozzy wrote a book about coming to dinner. And it’s amazing because it really talks about leveraging your network, and really being able to like, manage your time as well. So he talks about traveling the world and, you know, for speeches and business meetings, and you know, every time he’s in like New York, has leveraged his LinkedIn, and he’ll he will write people and be like, Let’s go for dinner like so. And it’s like, really about managing those personal relationships, which I find, as, you know, the most important thing when you’re building a business, excellent advice, building your network, it always pays you in the long term. I agree. And people don’t want to do it, because it’s slow. You know, there’s no instant gratification in building your network. You know, you hear a lot about give a lot like at networking events, make sure you like connect someone or make sure and people are like, but like, I need something. Now I’m at this networking event, because I need a client or I need this. So it’s, it’s a little hard, because if you think that if you read the blogs out there and everything, you’ll see that, you know, people will say go if you need a client, or you need more money, go to networking events. But like, it’s very rare that you’re going to get immediate money revenue, a client out of that the long term effects are, you know, speak numbers speak volumes.

 

Craig Major 

Yeah, I mean, you’ve got to go with that in mind that, you know, hopefully, you’ll make a client or a good connection or whatnot. But it’s the long term, it’s the people who reach out three, six months down the road. And I think there’s a book I read long time ago, and you don’t need to read it. But the whole concept is, you know, Never Eat Alone. So you know, you’re having lunch of, you know, you’re having lunch every day, you know, you might as well have it with somebody, but people you know, it’s worth booking, that it’s worth just thinking about stuff to say it’s worth because you know, it’s a networking thing, and it’s a business. So and people don’t want to work. So you know, I’m sure if they had an executive assistant who could book those lunches and do all those things, with the strategic business partners, that would be wonderful and help along the way. But definitely building your network is so valuable. Great. Yeah, have any tips for founders,

 

Tarra Stubbins 

I have a million texts, I feel like all we’ve been talking about our founders. And I think the biggest tip that we’ve touched on here, was don’t be too hard on yourself. Don’t compare yourself to others. Like there’s stories that you hear out there, they’re very rare. It’s just like social media people are, you know, just showing the best that they can, but not kind of the real story. And I always like to make sure that people have a good plan. So you don’t necessarily need like a formal business plan. But some sort of goal that you can break down into smaller tasks. So you know that every day, you’re waking up and doing things, that you’re actually doing things that are driving your business or your goals forward. So whether that’s making three phone calls, or getting on, you know, 100 different investment calls, or whatever it is, just make sure that you’re always doing something to drive towards that goal, or else you’re just going to spin in circles, and you’re you’re gonna burn out for sure.

 

Craig Major 

It’s true motion doesn’t equal progress. And if you don’t focus on the big rocks, you know, you’ll get your time all tied up with little details that aren’t going to move your business forward.

 

Tarra Stubbins 

It’s true. And also make sure that your yourself investors want to invest in you. They don’t want to invest in the person that you’re trying to pretend to be because you read it in a book or you read an article about it or whatever. So you’re you, be you and just make sure you never give up on yourself.  So what is next for you and take it easy group? Yeah, so we’re actually moving into the Chief of Staff space. It’s been a great debate over I think about the last year or two. But you know, what’s the difference between a fractional executive assistant and a chief of staff are a fractional strategic partner and a Chief of Staff and in our mind, they’re kind of the same thing. Chief of Staff can just be for a little larger organizationsand almost more of a CEO o slash Chief of Staff. So we’re moving into that space. We’re also very excitedly opening up a our own community of executive assistants launching very soon. One of the other reasons why I wanted to open take it easy was not just to support startups but to also support EAS. So it’s kind of a lonely role. You can’t really no one really understands what we go through on a daily basis unless you’re in this space together. And a lot of people think of being in the EAA as a stepping stone to something else. But I’m very passionate about letting people know that it is a career that a lot of people want to have and succeed at. And we’re building this kind of community and hub for people who are passionate about this space as well.

 

Craig Major 

If people want to find out more about you and take it easy group, where do they go to find out?

 

Tarra Stubbins 

Yeah, so Alright, take it easy. group.com We’re on socials. Take it easy group as well. I’m at Tara’s time on Twitter. And Tara underscore crunchy airs on Instagram a little throwback for my personal car shares space. Sometimes, if you follow me there, I will throw fun stories of my celebrity clients, which I still have as well. So you can tune in for that. And we’re on YouTube. We’re everywhere. Just Google take it easy group and you will find us and all those links will be in the show notes.

 

Craig Major 

So if you miss them, just check your show notes in the podcast app. Thank you very much, Tara for taking the time to talk about fractional executive assistants and take it easy group.

 

Tarra Stubbins 

Thanks for having me.

 

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