Hi, I'm Ramit Sethi, the New York Times best-selling author of I Will Teach You To Be Rich and the founder of IWT and GrowthLab.
What can an assistant actually do for you?
I'll break down my whole system in a bit, but first I want to give you a taste of what it's like to have a great assistant helping you out.
Jump to the area in your life you'd love to have the most help with:
She checks me in for flights and texts me reminders with any maps and details I need to know — the weather, how I’ll get from place A to B — and puts it all in my calendar and app. All I have to do is pack and enjoy the trip.
She adjusts my calendar around the trip. When I arrive at my hotel, she’s already had healthy food delivered to the front desk. It’s waiting for me.
All I need to do is tell her what I want and she takes care of it. Plus, she tracks the items I like, so requesting more is a 3-word email.
Me requesting more contact lenses. I don’t need to tell her which contact lenses — she already knows. “TY” is “thank you.”
Canceling something is just as easy.
She also keeps track of my gift ideas so when holidays come, I know exactly what to send to friends and family.
Notice how my assistant provides me options. I get the final say, but 99% of the time, since she knows my preferences, I select from one of her recommendations. This lets me focus on other areas of life.
Sometimes it’s pure curiosity. When a random question pops up, instead of going down the Google rabbit hole and getting distracted, I just send it to my assistant.
Like when I wanted to know how much caffeine I drank. Who has time to research that? So I just emailed Jill…
…and a little while later she sent me the answer.
Bottom line: Don’t drink more coffee, dude.
End result, my calendar is always up-to-date and every item is filled with all the details I might need: phone numbers, addresses, maps, talking points, reminders, and more.
I'm just scratching the surface here.
My assistant also…
Schedules appointments (one-off and recurring)
Buys and ships gifts (over 25/year for me now)
Returns merchandise and checks on refunds
Tracks birthdays and anniversaries
RSVPs to invites
Handles social media
Orders and delivers food
Provides customer support
Coordinates speaking engagements
Maintains contact details
Researches weekend activities
Makes sure plants are watered
Reviews HARO requests
Processes email (triages or literally responds for me)
Screens calls (calls customer service or waits on hold)
Organizes follow-ups for networking contacts
Gathers info and reviews
Selects, buys, and ships items
Handles thank you cards
Deals with insurance & utility companies
Coordinates with service providers
Sends out media releases
Buys event tickets
Checks in for flights
Coordinates with the bookkeeper
Tracks media hits and metrics
Collects headshots and release forms
Just close your eyes and think about the last two weeks. How many tiny tasks did you spend your time on? (Really, close your eyes for 5 seconds and think about it.)
If those tasks just vanished — but they still got done — how much time would you save? How much energy would you have to focus on the things in life that you truly care about? Imagine translating that energy into performing well at work, being present with your family, or even into pure leisure. Now THAT is a Rich Life.
Hiring an assistant was one of the best decisions I ever made.
But if it’s so obvious, why doesn’t everyone do it?
(In fact, some people actually shouldn’t hire an assistant.)
The answer isn’t what you might expect.
If you think I’m going to convince you that you need an assistant, let me stop you right there: Some people genuinely don’t need one. If your life is in order and you’re running on all cylinders, you might not need an assistant.
But if you’re busy, and you realize that you might need help — or that you’ve been spending your time reordering detergent when your time is better spent on excelling at work, or building your business, or even simply spending time with your family — then an assistant could be an excellent investment.
Which is where most people say, “But I don’t know what my assistant would do for me!”
I hired my first assistant when I was working at a startup and running IWT on the side. My assistant was part-time, about 10 hours per week to start, and the biggest challenge I faced was that I didn’t think I was the kind of person who would ever hire an assistant!
Yes, this guy hired his first assistant.
In fact, I remember the first couple times I mentioned it to my friends (we were all in our early 20s at the time). “Ooh, an assistant, so fancy!” they teased. It was also a subtle recognition that I was doing something out of the norm and possibly pretentious.
I wasn’t a diva. I wasn’t some world-famous CEO. I was just a guy who had too much to do and I needed help.
(Changing that part of my identity was really hard. Thinking back to growing up, my parents raised 4 kids with no assistant or nanny. Who was I to need to hire help as a young single guy?)
But it took less than a week for me to see how much time I’d save.
Yes, it was awkward at first. I didn’t know how to find a good assistant, and when I found one, I wasn’t sure how to work together. Should we talk on the phone every day? Do we need to meet in person? What if I don’t have work for them to do?
Looking back, I figured all of that stuff out. But the most valuable thing I learned was to focus on my strengths. That means getting help for the things I’m not strong at and aren’t worth becoming strong at.
As my time has gotten more valuable, I’ve learned that money can buy you back your time. And I’ve found many new areas for my assistant to help me in. But the biggest challenge was rewriting my identity from someone who did it “all on my own” to someone who actively, and proudly, asked for help.
In the early days, my assistant’s biggest help came from coordinating all those tiny items that end up consuming hours: scheduling meetings, ordering pants and returning the wrong size, getting something repaired in my apartment, deciding on a place to eat for a group of 4 next weekend, shipping a book to a friend, and on and on.
Now, my assistant handles much more: She knows all my travel preferences, down to my favorite seat and flight. She knows which frequent-flyer program to use for work trips vs. personal trips. She proactively reminds me of birthdays coming up — with 3 ideas for gifts already selected (I just review and say “Yes, this one”).
Most importantly, she’s allowed me to take a “big-picture” view of my life, while she handles the details. For example, I live in NYC and want to take advantage of all of the exciting and diverse cultural opportunities here. My assistant keeps track of possible events and helps me prioritize them in my schedule.
It’s one thing to book a dinner reservation. But what about sharing your home address with your assistant?
Or your bank account information?
Or your social security number?
These can get really scary, really fast.
The simple answer: Trust is earned, and you give it to your assistant very carefully.
I’ll share an example from my own personal experience. Years ago, when I was interviewing a candidate for my assistant role, she was poised, professional, and had great prior experience. But within 2 weeks, I could tell something was not right.
I would send her emails and not hear back for days — sometimes ever. I started getting emails from business contacts saying, “Are you getting my emails? Are we meeting on Tuesday?”
I called my assistant and had a difficult conversation. She promised to do better. The next day, she sent me an email and quit.
No warning. No 2 weeks. Just gone.
The worst part: I logged into her email account and saw hundreds of unread emails she’d never gotten to. No wonder she hadn’t replied to my requests. She hadn’t even read them.
Imagine the horror I felt in the pit of my stomach. I never want to feel that again — which is why I created a series of “greenlight benchmarks” your assistant has to do in order to demonstrate their skill and trust.
I expect my assistant to respond to my emails within 1 business hour. Within 21 days, I expect them to be handling my travel and basic email. And on from there.
So if you’re wondering how to find someone you trust, don’t worry. You’ll always be in control.
If you decide you don’t want to share your social security number, you don’t have to. (You can simply have your assistant prepare documents for you, and even send you a pre-stamped envelope, so you simply add your social security # and drop it in the mail.)
If you don’t feel comfortable having your assistant email certain people, that’s fine, too. (One of my friends told me he hates to coordinate with my assistant, so I coordinate with him directly.)
You don’t have to hope or wish that you find an assistant you can trust. Just follow the playbook and you’ll know exactly when you’re ready to give them more and more responsibility.
OK, I know I’m not the only one who’s said this:
"I'll have to spend way too much time explaining what to do. It's easier just to do it myself."
Honestly, I even thought this while I was working with my first assistant!
But I knew some people had figured this out. If they could do it, there must be a way to do it — and I could figure it out, too.
I learned 3 things along the way:
You might think you need to get everything organized before you hire an assistant. But if that were true, why haven’t you already done it?
More importantly, it’s time to change your frame of mind: You don’t have to do this. You just have to cause it to get done. Now, it’s your assistant’s job.
I'd like to introduce you to my assistant, Jill. She has saved me 20 hours a week, every week, for the past 5 years.
That's 5,200 hours saved!
Meet Jill, my assistant.
Thousands of hours I was able to spend building my business, working out, watching Netflix, going to parties (often ones that she planned), hanging out with friends and family, sleeping, and most of all, not stressing out because I knew that I had a trustworthy, dedicated assistant to help me make my life effective, efficient, and enjoyable.
And Jill is remote: She doesn’t even live in my state!
Plus, Jill helps me with my personal life and my business.
And like every great assistant, she's also helped me get better at partnering with an assistant. Together we’ve tested, refined, and perfected an entire system for peak productivity and white-glove treatment.
And this whole system isn't locked inside Jill's head. It's all documented in easy-to-use, easy-to-update, easy-to-share Google Docs. (What if you could get access to that playbook? Read on…)
I get asked all the time about how to find a great assistant — especially from people who've been burned by cheap VAs. (And once you’ve found one, how do you leverage your assistant’s skills for peak productivity?)
If you truly want to know how to work with an assistant — and start saving 1.5 hours every day — I suggest learning from the busiest people in the world: CEOs and their executive assistants.
That's why I partnered with my executive assistant to develop a fun, new program that SHOWS you how to find a trustworthy assistant, start delegating tasks to them right away, and partner with them to create a more effective and enjoyable life and business.
Don’t just read about it. Get the actual playbook we use to hire, to run our weekly meetings, to schedule travel, and so much more.
Working with a great assistant was one of the best decisions I've ever made.
Let me show you how you can do it, too.
Delegate and Done is our online course that gives you the systems, tactics, and tricks you need to find and work with a trustworthy assistant.
Follow along as we crack the biggest challenges of using an assistant:
And that's just the beginning.
The Delegate and Done course includes 5 videos that SHOW you our complete system for finding and partnering with an assistant. You'll also get a full collection of bonus word-for-word scripts, turnkey templates, and easy-to-use guides to make implementing the strategies and tactics in this course fast and simple.
This is not a PDF on how to hire an anonymous VA who just creates more work for you. Not all assistants are created equal — and hiring the wrong one can cost you.
This course is a behind-the-scenes look at how the busiest people — and their experienced assistants — get more done than anyone else, save hours every day, and still have more time to relax, hang with friends, and have more fun than anyone else.
And that's not all you get when you join Delegate and Done…
Delegate and Done includes an entire video on how to find a great, trustworthy assistant. And to make finding your assistant even easier, we've also included two powerful guides to make this process turnkey-easy.
11 ready-to-use interview questions to find a perfect assistant — including notes on why each question works and what types of answers you're looking for
This is the actual job description I use to help attract a top-tier assistant. Copy it and use it yourself.
Use these extra delegation ideas and this onboarding agenda to start handing off work to your assistant immediately.
What can you actually hand off to an assistant? Check out these 5 real-life examples from business owners in different industries to give you extra ideas for your own One-Day Audit.
Use this agenda during your Onboarding Call with your assistant to make sure you’re on the same page from day one.
Here are two advanced tactics you'll receive when you join. Each will help you optimize your productivity and save even more time.
Here’s the agenda my assistant uses for our twice weekly 1-on-1 calls. It helps us work together efficiently, track progress, and ensure nothing falls through the cracks.
My assistant and I developed this shorthand to help us be more efficient in our communication with each other. If you’d like to save time with your assistant, we recommend you start using shorthand too. Share this Decoder with them so they know exactly what to do!
Get the deluxe service. These bonuses will help you receive the best, most personalized white-glove treatment from your assistant.
The Preference Sheet is essential for helping you and your assistant work together efficiently. It has all the details your assistant needs to take care of routine tasks without having to come back to you with questions. (We’ve even pre-filled this document to give you an idea of what you can put on your own Preference Sheet.)
Here’s the checklist my assistant uses whenever I have a trip coming up to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. Share it with your own assistant and ask them to tailor it to your own travel preferences. Any time a new travel task comes up, have them add it to the list!
Imagine always finding amazing gifts to give your family and loved ones — and have them arrive on time — without interrupting your schedule. Use this checklist to get a gift-giving system set up with your assistant.
No. Many successful business owners get assistants because the demands on their time are so high, but anyone can get an assistant. I got my first assistant back when I worked at PBWiki, before my book and before IWT took off.
If you're busy, if you have a family, if you're building a business, if you want to devote less time to mundane tasks and more to your biggest goals — an assistant could help you.
No, you don't need an assistant already to join. Delegate and Done will show you how to find and partner with a great assistant. Everything you need is in the course.
Yes! Delegate and Done gives you all the advanced systems, templates, and subtle tricks that my assistant and I have developed to streamline how we work together and save me even more time. This course will make your assistant even more effective.
We’ll show you how to find an assistant within your budget. One strategy is to hire a high-quality assistant part-time. We do believe in paying for quality, so we recommend having at least several hundred dollars per month in order to pay for an experienced assistant. If you want, you can scale up from there as you see fit.
Yes, the systems, tactics, and templates in Delegate and Done work for every kind of assistant. The reason we differentiate between "executive" and "virtual" assistants is because the quality level of assistants varies widely. This course will show you how (and where) to find the best assistants, whether they call themselves "executive" or "virtual."
You have access to the entire course as soon as you enroll, but you can go at your own pace. To go through the course material and complete all of the exercises, expect to spend 10-15 hours total.
If you're ready, I can show you how to find a trustworthy assistant and work with them to get more done while spending more time on the things you love.
We've packed a lot into Delegate and Done, and I want to make sure that you not only get all that content before you fully commit to this — I want to give you 60 days to let it digest, integrate it into your business, and make sure this is really working for you.
Try the entire course. If you don't LOVE it, I insist that you get 100% of your money back. I'll even eat the credit card processing fees.
It's simple: Join the program and try it for yourself. If this course doesn't help you find a great assistant and start saving hours every week within 60 days, I want you to email me. Show me you did the exercises, and I'll give you all your money back.
This guarantee lasts 60 days, which completely covers the course. That means you can try the ENTIRE course and then decide if it's right for you.
We’ve included an extraordinary bonus in this course especially for you.
While I was creating this course, I hosted an advanced, in-person intensive on how top entrepreneurs leverage trusted assistants to get more done, save time, and relax. We called it Better Than Done.
The live class was co-taught by me and my executive assistant, Jill. We limited it to 10 people so we could dive deep into the advanced delegation and productivity systems, tricks, and strategies my assistant and I have spent years developing.
These students happily paid $997 and flew in from around the country to learn this material. There was a 100% satisfaction rate.
As a Delegate and Done student, you'll get access to the actual video recordings of the event.
Of course, I won't be able to give you the live interaction that the attendees of that intensive received, but you WILL get the actual recordings of the event (not available anywhere else).
The results of this program have been priceless:
This is my gift to you as a new member of the Delegate and Done program.
The right question, at the right time, can change your life.
You may have heard me share one question my parents regularly asked me: "A year from now, you'll be a year older. What are you going to do?"
That question has driven me forward for years. I believe we're all capable of great growth if we're willing to work for it.
But for some people, especially intelligent, ambitious, and successful people, that growth comes at a price — overwhelm.
Here's one final question that just might change your life: "How much is your time worth?"
Stop wasting it on minutiae. Forget the random productivity hacks. Don't let the small tasks overwhelm you and keep you from your big goals — or your friends and family.
Learning how to find and work with a trusted assistant changed my life.
Are you ready to change yours?