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or women entrepreneurs like us, traveling for weeks or months on end is our #newnormal. And yet when people hear I’ll be in Europe until August I still always get the question, “Who’s going to pick up your mail and take care of your pets?”

pa-quoteWell, the reason I’m able to keep my home life together while on the road is simple: I have a personal assistant. I don’t consider this a luxury, but a smart solution that supports my desired lifestyle and empowers me to work from anywhere.

Now you might imagine that in my absence, my PA has little to do and is mostly chilling on a beach somewhere. You may wonder, does it really make sense to keep a PA on your payroll when you aren’t there and they don’t have their regularly scheduled tasks?

What I’ve found is that with the right PA and the right structures, the answer is YES—it makes total sense and can be a win-win for everyone. Here’s why. First of all, letting your PA go every time you leave town would make the role unattractive and prevent you from ever building an effective, reliable working relationship.

Rather than setting up a revolving door of temporary PAs, the key is to find someone you can build trust with, who has a varied skill set they can put to use no matter where you are. Ideally, you’re not hiring someone the week before your trip, but boarding the plane with complete confidence that your PA has your back and that your home will be fully taken care of.

How do you find an assistant who’s truly responsible enough to take care of your home, help out with your business and anticipate everything you’ll need when you get back? Read on as I share the structures I’ve set up with my own complete rock star PA, Rebekah—and check out this week’s Ask the Assistant story to hear her take on how to find your dream PA.

Timing is Everything

pa-1As busy entrepreneurs we all need support managing the demands of both our businesses and our personal lives and I’ve found that the ideal PA can help take care of both. The good news is that consistent, reliable and talented help does not have to be full time. Our PA Rebekah is a college student, so working four hours a day has been perfect for her schedule and ours. We totally trust her and she’s really become part of the family.

 

The Right Fit

pa-2Beyond availability, we chose Rebekah because of her warm, friendly personality, domestic talents and intelligence. She’s fully capable of taking care of our household and handling tasks on the business side as needed. Before you start looking for someone, figure out what your unique needs are. Do you want someone who can cook and take care of your kids? Do you need social media assistance? It is fully possible to find multiple skills in just one person.

 

The Domestic Goddess

When I’m home in Santa Barbara, Rebekah’s routine revolves
around my home life and every day errands. She keeps our fridge
pa-3perfectly stocked, preps meals, deals with essential maintenance tasks, runs errands and is always anticipating my needs of having my green juice or latte at the office when I arrive. Whether I have a photo shoot, a trip coming up, or important meetings on the calendar she makes sure I’m fully packed and prepped.

The Domestic Goddess

pa-3
When I’m home in Santa Barbara, Rebekah’s routine revolves around my home life and every day errands. She keeps our fridge perfectly stocked, preps meals, deals with essential maintenance tasks, runs errands and is always anticipating my needs of having my green juice or latte at the office when I arrive. Whether I have a photo shoot, a trip coming up, or important meetings on the calendar she makes sure I’m fully packed and prepped.

 

Holding Down the Fort

pa-4Once you’ve built trust with your PA and they know your home and business really well, you’re ready to leave them in charge. Not only can they handle the mail, maintenance and pet or child care—your time away is the perfect moment to have them take on projects like cleaning out the garage or organizing the closet. On my current trip Rebekah has even taken initiative to find things around the house that need to be organized and improved without me even needing to ask her!

 

Independent Study

pa-5Along with assigning organization and home improvement projects, while I’m away Rebekah also works fabulously with my magazine team. She’s great at working on research, helping out with social media and handling tasks and errands back at the office. Since there’s less to do at the house and no grocery shopping to take care of, having her work on our business is a great way to keep this essential player on our team.

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