When you think of your journey as a startup founder, what image springs to mind?
You might picture yourself locked away, fully immersed in the relentless pursuit of developing the next groundbreaking idea in complete isolation…
But at Mindmaven, we believe this is not only unnecessary but also highly ineffective.
From our experience working with and coaching hundreds of successful founders, CEOs, and entrepreneurs, we can tell you this…
Hiring an Executive Assistant (EA) isn’t a luxury but a strategic necessity that can revolutionize your startup journey.
In fact, the question is no longer whether you should hire one – the question is simply when to hire an Executive Assistant.
Does a CEO Need an Executive Assistant?
Before getting into the enormous value of why and when to hire an Executive Assistant, we must start by dismissing the myth of scrappy entrepreneurs.
If you believe as a founder, you need to sit in the bullpen next to all your other employees – think again.
Our founder and CEO, Patrick Ewers, has spent nearly two decades coaching some of Silicon Valley’s most brilliant minds and defines the role of founder as this …
“Your job as a founder is to guide the product vision and convince people that you are onto something big.”
What do we mean when we say “people”? We mean the best talent you can possibly find – and convincing them to join you at a time when most would deem you too risky.
What are the benefits of having an Executive Assistant?
Hiring an Executive Assistant (with the intention of turning them into a rockstar Engagement Manager) is the key to becoming resource-effective.
In fact, our founder and CEO, Patrick Ewers, states that one of the earliest and most important investments you can make is to hire an Executive Assistant.
Take the investment of an Engagement Manager (EM), for example. By learning how to work with this resource in a very effective way, you can now increase your time budget by 50 to 100%.
Within this newly freed-up time, you can almost exclusively use it to focus on relationships – from staying in touch with top talent to building relationships with those with unique access to valuable industry knowledge and investors.
80% of all breakthrough opportunities come from your network.
Therefore, this ability to leverage your network will have one of the biggest impacts on the valuation of your company. As founder and CEO, this is your key to becoming truly resource-effective.
What Does It Mean To Be Resource-Effective?
Being resource-effective is the ability to build and achieve more with the least amount of resources.
“The holy grail of some of the most celebrated founders in Silicon Valley is that they’re capable of building companies out of mere nothing.”
As a founder, you have three resources: capital, time, and your network.
However, because of the way startups are built, most founders are incredibly busy in the early years – causing one of the most valuable resources to get put to the wayside.
Of course, we’re talking about your network – the only one of all three resources that is infinite.
At this point, you will have already invested a reasonable amount into building your network. But most startup founders take too long to realize how important it is to take care of their network.
Your network will provide almost anything else your company needs, from capital and talent to access to distribution channels.
But the reality is there’s only so much time to go around, and most choose to spend that time prioritizing the product.
This ultimately causes an imbalance where you finally have the product but haven’t taken care of your network to reap the rewards of your meaningful connections.
And so the question remains: when should you hire an Executive Assistant?
When To Hire an Executive Assistant
In almost all cases, we strongly recommend hiring an Executive Assistant way earlier than you think – as soon as you have something to show.
One of the main reasons is that it requires time to learn how to work with an Executive Assistant or Engagement Manager. It isn’t a plug-and-play thing.
“The most in-depth, most intimate working relationship you’ll ever have is with your EA or EM.”
You have to figure out how to work with each other in a very deep way. That takes skill, and developing that skill takes time.
Keep in mind: It’s not ideal to wait until you hit a big milestone like going to scale before you start thinking about hiring an Executive Assistant or Engagement Manager.
We recommend having the skills and the person in place when you need it most for maximum leverage.
How To Pitch Hiring an Executive Assistant – Reframe, Reframe, Reframe!
Pitching the idea of hiring an Executive Assistant to a board can often be hit with some undue concerns.
Patrick acknowledges the optics challenge, noting, “A lot of people equate an EA to a luxury item of somebody who’s letting you be more lazy. A lot of people think it’s a status symbol.”
His advice? Reframe the discussion.
We recommend highlighting the Executive Assistant’s unique ability to leverage you as the founder.
Remember, this is about making a strategic investment that pays dividends in the long run, impacting your company’s valuation like no one in the cost category.
Something we call the valuation efficiency …
“There’s no doubt that this resource has the highest valuation efficiency of any hire you will ever make for the company.”
Consider this: An Executive Assistant can have the same amount of impact as the VP of Engineering. But in terms of their cost compared to the cost of that person, the VP of Engineering will be a distant second!
Lastly, we highly recommend investing in how you connect with this resource for your Executive Assistant to truly live up to the fullest potential of this strategic partnership.
You can learn more about our executive coaching sessions, including unlimited hours of training for your Executive Assistant, here.
Radical Delegation: Unlocking the Potential of Your Executive Assistant
By now, we hope you agree that the leverage provided by Executive Assistants has the scope to be a transformational standard practice across Silicon Valley.
It’s a game-changing strategic hire that offers far more than administrative support – unleashing your full potential as a founder, CEO, and leader.
If you’re ready to optimize your resource effectiveness for unparalleled productivity, we invite you to explore our new book, Radical Delegation.
Radical Delegation is our most powerful content yet – delivering insights, strategies, and tactics to change the way you work with your Executive Assistant for maximum efficiency.
Throughout this book, you’ll be given the framework to:
- Free up 12+ hours of raw time every week,
- Break free from the cycles of urgency and reactivity,
- Remove yourself as a bottleneck,
- Strategically invest in the relationships that drive success,
- Consistently attract and win top-tier talent to your firm,
- Create a positive and empowering company culture you can rely on, and
- Deliver powerful, authentic, and meaningful experiences to your team at scale.
If that sounds intriguing, we’d love to invite you to join our Advance Reader Program.
By joining, you’ll be amongst the first to gain free access to the opening chapters of Radical Delegation before its official release.
Within these chapters, we’ll be wasting no time – diving deep into unleashing your Leverage Superpower and eliminating everything from your plate that doesn’t expressly need to be done by you.
Together, we will redefine your responsibilities, think unconventionally, and free up time for what matters most – relationships.