Andrew: Hey, they’re freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of Mixergy, where I interview entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses for an audience of entrepreneurs who are building their businesses. I’m so freaking proud of that. Um, that people aren’t just hanging out.
They’re doing something with what they’re hearing here. Anyway. about to interview someone that many of you who’ve been listening to me for a while. I’m going to say another one. Um, I’m looking at your face late. I like you. And I feel like sometimes you’re giving me the eyes like, dude, that’s how you’re gonna introduce me.
This is what you’re saying.
Laith: No, no, I love it.
Andrew: but I’m open about this stuff. created a company called assistant Lee as the name implies. They offer virtual assistant services and other more than just assistance, but essentially it’s that I can’t believe. That, let me see. You started this. When in 20, 20, 20, 20 20, dude started the business and there was still an opening to do this.
I’ve been recording interviews with entrepreneurs who built these types of businesses for at least half a decade. And God knows they’ve been building them for about a decade. is he doing it.
To me? That is one of the most amazing parts about this interview. That a space that feels mature, that feels like if I wanted to come up with an idea in this space, I’d say, ah, it’s already been done.
Go pick another idea. Leif comes up and says, oh, I think I could do it. And he does. And I invited him here to talk about that and his other businesses. I think the whole collection’s interesting. We’ll talk about that. Thanks to two phenomenal sponsors. The first, paying people, boy, the new year is a great time to switch the system, software and company that handles the way that you pay people.
And I’m switching to Gusto. I urge you to check them out and switch with me if it’s a good fit for you get them for free. If you go to gusto.com/mixergy. And the second, if you’re doing marketing. Whether it’s a search engine optimization or a pain paid advertising or social or anything else, is the way to go.
And if you go to mixergy.com/semrush, you’ll get to use them for free for a limited time. first ladies, good to have you here. I’ll talk about those advertisers later.
Laith: Cool then. Yeah. Thanks Andrew. Thanks for having me super excited to, uh, to, to answer any questions you have and kind of talk about my story and, and see how I can help other people.
Andrew: You know what I asked you before, if you’d be comfortable talking about your revenue, said I’m an open book, let’s jump right into it. Give me a sense. Tell me where the revenue is. Persistently.
Laith: Yeah. So, so we started in 2020, but we, we didn’t technically really start the ball rolling until like January 20, 21. Like I would say that the company was established at 2020, but we didn’t really start. You know, hitting clients until 2021. So I, I kind of say we’ve been since January of 2021, but since January, we’re about one and a half million dollars in revenue.
Um, and again, the year’s not over, so that’s, that’s, that’s the great part about it.
Andrew: Yeah, I should say we’re recording this in early December. What, um, what’s the profit.
Laith: Uh, it’s going to be probably 40% of that.
Andrew: Wow. We, So.
w what’s the deal here? How is it that I could have interviewed entrepreneurs in this space years ago? It felt like a mature market. It felt like something that almost when Tim Ferriss wrote four hour workweek, what over a decade ago was already discovered. Why do you think there’s space for you in this, uh, in this area?
Laith: Yeah. So speaking about Tim Ferriss 20th, starting a VA company, I should have probably read that book first and I have it on my desk. I just haven’t even opened it yet. Um, which would probably give me.
Andrew: if you’re an audio file, the audio version of the book, he picked somebody who’s got real personality either going to love the personality or not, but I’ve got to say the person read the book, spectacularly added the whole like emphasis on here’s, how you can do like the hacky atmosphere.
Like here’s the hack for life. Don’t go through it and try to figure everything out. We got it. Anyway. So Yeah, you were talking about Tim Ferriss and why there’s room for you in this space?
Laith: Yeah, yes. I’ll listen to an audio book. Definitely because reading for me is a little unique, but, uh, as far as the space goes, I mean, does VA the VA for like the virtual assistant space has been around for a very long time? Like, you know, I would say since like 2008, it’s been like maybe 10, 15 years. Um, there’s thousands of VA companies probably.
But the thing is like when creating a business, I don’t really worry about being like the new person to come in and do something super innovative. I just worry. I just I’d like to take foundation and just make it better. That’s all. I just want to be different. I have a differentiator in my business.
Andrew: at assistant.
So if you ever go to our website or you see any of our branding, it’s the, we find unicorns aspect of it, right? So obviously like a lot, there’s a lot of virtual assistant companies that will help you with like admin marketing sales, social media, which we do help out with. Um, but a lot of people come to us for.
Positions that they don’t think they can outsource. And we outsource to the Philippines. Um, but people like, you know, they, they come to us with obscure positions, like, you know, a research analyst and they’re like, Hey, can you find a Filipino that can, you know, become a research analyst for my company in comparison to hiring somebody in United States.
Yeah, we can go find somebody out there and I’m not saying we could find everybody, you know, we we’d definitely say, Hey, we’re going to try to find, you know, you know, as many people or as many candidates as we can for your position. Um, but like we found like Mandarin speaking, business development representatives, we found data research analysts, um, you know, we’ve found game testers in the Philippines, like all like, kind of high-level positions that you really wouldn’t think you could outside.
Andrew: Uh, got it. All right. So if I wanted, I’ve got a great pre-interview, but if I wanted to pre-interview her, someone who could talk to my guests, go through a set of questions, you would find, I like that. Now your eyes light up. what? I don’t understand how some podcasters do their podcasts without turning video on.
I could totally see when somebody is excited about something I’m saying, and someone’s like a little disgusted that I’m bringing something up. necessarily back away from the disgust and stuff, but I want to know. Where it is. All right, I got it. And the way that you started this was you are suffering.
You are actually running the previous business immersive, which does marketing for real estate professionals in the Southern California area. And suddenly because of COVID, the business blew up, what type of marketing and.
Laith: Yeah. So, uh, mercy is a real estate marketing company. I mean, you know, we service a lot of listings here in Southern California. So when it comes to like photos, video, virtual tours, um, our team kind of does it all, but our main focus was virtual tours at the time. Um, during the pandemic, obviously open houses were pretty much shut down for a long period of time.
So the virtual, you know, the, uh, the demand for virtual tours, like Skyra. Um, but what was happening was we were getting like too busy, which I guess is a good problem to have, but we were getting too busy where like, you know, my, my partner and I, and our team, like literally couldn’t handle the volume and our customer service was lacking a little bit.
Um, and we were just kind of all over the place really disorganized because we weren’t expecting this like massive, massive increase in business. Um, which. To a friend of mind, or like he was a client of mine at the time saying, Hey, you need to hire a virtual assistant. You guys like need somebody. Like you’re sending invoices late.
You’re not responding to emails. And I’m like, dude, I’m swamped. I’m sorry. Like I can’t do it right now. And he goes, just hire a virtual assistant. I’m like, what is a virtual assistant? Is it by, by the way this company was started a year ago. About a year ago. I didn’t even know what a virtual system was a year ago.
Andrew: do you not know what a virtual assistant is?
Laith: Just I did. I mean, yeah, I’ve, I’ve never, I’ve just never heard of when I thought a virtual system at the time was like a robot. I’m like, when you, when you talk about virtual, is it like a AI? Is it? And he goes, no, it’s like an actual person, like it’s just off shore. And I’m like, okay, well connect me with somebody.
I would love to hear more about it.
Andrew: pause there for a minute, because just like you don’t, you didn’t know what a virtual assistant is. I think a lot of people don’t know what a virtual tour is. We’ve been looking at houses here in Austin, and I fully appreciate how significant this is. I don’t understand why everyone doesn’t do it. What is a
Andrew: for people who don’t know? And then how has it done?
Laith: Yeah. So a 3d virtual tour is like an immersive experience into like a property. So, um, the tech, the technology used to create a virtual tour is called Matterport, which I’m sure a lot of people are familiar with now. Um, it took a long time to get there. I’ve known about it for quite a while, but I think every listing should have a virtual tour because.
Um, one, like it provides an immersive experience where like, you don’t really even have to leave your couch and you can like pretty much be inside of a property walking through it. So like, you don’t have to go dry. Like, for example, if you live in Texas, let’s say you live in Dallas. Like you don’t have to go drive down the street and go to all these open houses and spend all this time when like probably 98% of them won’t even work out.
So it saves a lot of time.
Andrew: here, here’s the thing that it does. It’s like, you get to see every room looks like. You can click in and
Andrew: the front door, then decide, do I want to go left or right. If you go left, you can see maybe the dining area. If you go right, you see the living area and you just kind of a walking through. I don’t know why people have that. I don’t understand also why they don’t even have just Florida. I think, just need to see a collection of random rooms. I want to get a sense of how they all fit together. And for some reason, people don’t list them. I, I think it’s critical.
Laith: Yeah. I mean, it is critical because like I said, like you can literally put yourself in the house and like click through the house, like as if you were walking through it in person.
Laith: you could zoom in, you can zoom out. Um, you know, you could pan around, like, if you’re looking around, um, there’s a floor plan view of it.
So like, you can actually see what the floor plan looks, you know, you know, it is like from like looking from above there’s this cool feature called the doll house, which looks like this futuristic thing where you can kind of like twirl it around to see like the 3d model of it. I mean, yeah, it’s, it’s super critical.
Andrew: why I think a lot of real estate brokers didn’t do it. hunches that a lot of them really don’t want you to say, I’m not going to drive all the way from Houston to Austin to take a look at this place. They want you to see the. Pictures of the walls or the bed or whatever thing they want.
They want you to walk in then you know what? This place is not for me, but I’m going to sign my name to this real estate brokers sheet. Or if you’re on Zillow or Redfin, fill out the form that says, I want to go take a real tour. And then they get your contact information and they could sell it.
They could buy a house for you beat by being your broker and collecting the fee, or they could help you find, um, a loan and then they could get a fee on that. Right. So I think that they were disincentivized for a long time.
Laith: I think it’s two things, like you said, it’s lead capture and agent representation. It’s just relationships, right? Like they, they want somebody to come in the house to be. Hey, I see your son in the house for one and a half. Oh, we were interested in selling the house. What you know, or potentially you’re a buyer like, oh, do you have an agent that’s representing you?
And you have, you’re probably going to say, no, I was just looking around, well, do you need an agent? So, I mean, I see that kind of from a perspective, but I feel like we’re so switched to like digital technology where I think it’s just easier for people just to like, know what they want. And it’s like, essentially, if you look at a virtual tour and you like it and you go to the house, that’s a really, that’s a really warm lead.
You’re like, Hey, I checked out the virtual tour. This house has. Like my wife and I loved it. And like, you know, we just wanted to see an in person just to make sure that this was the perfect fit for us. So,
Laith: you know
Andrew: other thing that I learned about this is I did my marathons around the world, I got myself a three, a 360 camera, right? So you can shoot
Andrew: and it’s, it’s just great without figuring out exactly where You want to position the camera. From what I understand. One of these cameras and a good selfie stick or a good, like a selfie stick that is more of a tripod. You can just go and place the camera, multiple spots in a house. And then I’d say within what half an hour, up with all the photos that then Matterport can put together and create. virtual experience that you just mentioned. Am I right about that?
Laith: You can create. So, I mean, the cameras that we use are like the MetaPort cameras are typically around. Like now they’re cheaper. I mean, another like 2200 $2,200. Um, they used to be like up into $3,500. So they got became a lot cheaper, but yeah, I mean, you could create a virtual tour for as low as a hundred bucks.
Now you just get one of those Ricoh, theta cameras. They’re like a hundred dollars. You put it on like a little tripod. You just put it a couple of times in the house, like anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes, you, you can like literally have a full on virtual tour. Uh, just depends on your, if you’re a person with like, you know, what quality is it?
Andrew: Okay. So the idea of immersive kind of makes sense to me that you saw this 3d technology. It seemed to make sense. If anyone wants their house to stand out, this is a good way to get more people, to pay attention to it, share it with their spouse and others. Right? If for no other reason than just say, look how cool this thing is that you can do. so. I wonder how you came up with the idea for it. And then I think the business model makes sense, right? You, you somehow got customers and we’ll figure out how, and then you’d, uh, get photographers to go and do that selfie stick thing that we just talked about. Right. But had you figured out the idea.
Laith: Yeah. So, I mean, a buddy of mine actually showed me this, not a port technology while we were in college and I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. I was, I was very, I was like, this is going to be the next big thing. I don’t know why I’ve never seen it. I don’t know why anybody’s using it. So, um, I scrapped as much money as I can to buy a camera.
Um, the camera’s very expensive at the time. This was like 2017.
Andrew: it? Ben?
Laith: I think it was like five grand,
Laith: which is a lot, which is a lot for somebody in college. Uh, you know, for me, I was, you know, that’s, that’s like depleting my entire account, so, um, and. I just saw the need for it. Like I, I picked up the camera and I learned it.
Like, I learned that whole technology within 45 minutes. Like, I would’ve thought of super complex, but I’m like, oh, this is easier than like, this camera is amazing. So I just started doing my apartment, like just as a test and kind of seeing how it works. And, um, I figured out, I just said it a couple of times.
I’m like, okay, I get it. And again, around that time, virtual tours were not big. Like nobody was really utilizing them. Um, and then like I got hired out of Chapman. I went to Chapman university in orange. Um, and I worked in escrow, which was funny enough. I was a sales rep in escrow. So, um, I built, I had to build a lot of relationships in real estate by visiting open houses and broker previews, and trying to pitch your escrow services.
But I needed a vow. I needed a value add, like, I didn’t think escrow was that special. Where it was a kind of a really hard sell cause like, all I was able to pitch was we have the best security I’m like people don’t really, I mean, they, they don’t, they care, but they don’t. So, so I was like, I needed another value added Matterport, 3d technology.
Andrew: I’m sorry. They don’t care because escrow is ESCO. It’s safe enough, right. It’s not like you’re going to steal my money. Right,
Laith: Yeah. I mean, we weren’t in the crook business, we were in to make a bit, make sure to take your business, like, you know, your, your money was secure, but like there’s so many escrow companies and there was no value added. Uh, so my boss I’m like, let me please like start pitching Matterport services. Um, and I, then I, then I started like literally educating people on a virtual tour technology going into real estate offices and showing the benefits of it and how it can help them out.
Cause like, obviously in orange county we have a lot of foreign or international buyers and like they don’t always have the time to like come here and view the property. Same thing with people out of state. This is a great solution. Plus it’s a differentiator and a listing presentation that you use is top end technology.
So like Ottoman for like there’s, I would say. 10% of agents were like, yeah, like this is cool. They didn’t really get into it. And then I would say like a little bit before the pandemic, they’re like, Ooh, we should have probably listened to later when it came to the technology 3d toward technology.
Andrew: And then they came back to you.
Laith: Yeah. So then I, then again, I was like the 3d techno, like, you know, I was a virtual tour, like advocate. So I was doing like a whole bunch of presentations across even, even like across the United States on this like 3d tour and Matterport technology. And, um, people would just hire our company to do 3d tours here in Southern California.
And then obviously we had additional services, so we got the 3d tour business, plus the photo and video business. And then we built a client base really fast just because I was, you know, educated people on virtual tour technology and why they should be utilizing it. So, um,
Andrew: Before the pandemic, what would you say your monthly revenue was with it?
Laith: Uh, probably 30. It wasn’t anything crazy. It was about 30,000, um, for, for like the virtual tours, like very smaller scale.
Laith: ever since like the pandemic, it just doubled.
Andrew: 60,000. And then do you hire freelancers to go and do the, the camera
Andrew: Do you teach them?
Laith: So we have a team. I mean, so we have a team that we, we taught everybody to do the Matterport. I mean, my partner obviously knew how to do it. Um, but my, our team, like they didn’t, they weren’t educated on, you know, Matterport and how to do it. So we taught them how to do it. They have their own, you know, they have cameras and then they also know how to do like photos and drone.
And so they’re, they’re pretty like Swiss army knife, fish, where they can do multiple things, which is really great. Um, but yeah, I mean, we’ve been servicing like many. Agents hundreds of agents across Southern California for a couple like about couple of years now.
Andrew: I guess once you learn how to use this, the hardware for matter port to do a drone is a little bit different, but it’s still doable. And, and then video is fairly easy. Um, photos have always been around, so you might as well get the person to go do everything and just do the package. What does a package of all that cost?
Laith: Uh, like if you’re going to do, like, let’s just say we did like, you know, a virtual tour photos and drone for like an average, let’s say maybe like a 2000 square foot house. Um, it’d be 5 99. So it’s not thing like breaking the bank. It’s yeah, it’s, it’s pretty like, it’s pretty, it’s pretty affordable. And then you kind of have all your bases covered.
Andrew: And so that business, frankly, to me, even as it is, it’s a pretty cool business. Even if the, um, the pandemic hadn’t hit you hit 30,000 before eventually things were moving towards better photography, more interesting technology for photography like drones and, and 3d. So eventually you would have gotten to 60 and then eventually maybe to a hundred. Um, am I right about that? That seems like a pretty decent business there.
Laith: Yeah, it’s a great business. I mean, my partner and I do really, I mean, we do well in it. We, we enjoy this space. Um, the only thing with the businesses, like, you know, it, it’s hard, it’s harder to scale because like, we’re, you know, we’re very, like we’re located in orange county and you know, we’re located. So in California, our team’s located some in California.
So like to grow from territory to territory, um, it’s a little tougher compared to like, you know, the, the virtual assistants. Um, where I can have clients, like most of my clients aren’t even from California and I have clients international. So it’s like, all I need is this, all I need is zoom and I’m good.
Andrew: Well, couldn’t you then turn it into more of a marketplace where anyone can hire a professional to do this from anywhere in the country. the professionals who want to get into this space could maybe go and shoot video for free for somebody locally, just so they could show some and what their work would look like.
They could price it themselves. And then the more, you know, the more work they get, the more star ratings they get on your platform. And suddenly you’ve got a marketplace where you’re not managing people.
Laith: There could definitely be a marketplace and that’s, you know, and I’m not too knowledgeable if there is a marketplace yet that does that, but I’m sure that, you know, there could be a marketplace that can be built where you can hire pretty much like independent photographers or photographers at different companies and say, And just kind of go and see who has the best ratings and see their portfolio and see like the quality of the work and see their prices and just say, Hey, Andrew looks great.
Andrew’s $300 and he is quality is great. I’m going to go ahead and contact Andrew. And I’m going to go ahead and book him for my next listing. Um, that could definitely be done. You know, that’s that’s, I think there could definitely be some great technology built around that platform. Kind of like a. But like, uh, for, for like photographers and, you know, Matterport, photographers and videographers could be done where you see the ratings and stuff.
Maybe you just take transaction fees. Maybe we create a business together. And we, we started, I don’t know.
Andrew: My S my hunches that you don’t think that way, because you’re not super into the tech of it. You’re into the people. Am I right? Or am I just
Andrew: on my research?
Laith: No, I I’m a people person. So like I like to build personal relationships and, um, I really love, I really love the space. Um, but I guess what would happen is like when I entered the VA space, I had even more for love for the VA space. So I kind of like, we kind of kept you immersive, like going, immersives going, it’s doing great.
But I think the focus kind of transitioned to really building assistant early, um, because the system we just was very caught fire. Like very, very quick. So the kind of focus was transition there. And then, um, I just thought it was more of a scalable model faster.
Andrew: All right. Let me take a moment. Talk about, um, my first sponsor and then we’ll come back and see what happened that led you to create a system and how’d you get it going? My first sponsor is a company called Gusto. The thing is. When the new year starts, a great opportunity to switch your payroll software provider.
And the reason I’m going with Gusto is I need something that’s super easy. I find myself like randomly at, I don’t know, coffee shops. We work slightly different Airbnbs late because we’re trying to figure out where to live in Austin. I’m trying to figure out what kind of life I want to have here and where I want to work. And what I discovered is that it’s important to me to have software that makes it easy for me to pay people. On a monthly basis, just make it automatic. It, set it and forget it. But also allow myself, if someone sends me a bill, like person, frankly, the woman who pre-interviewed you, if she sends me a bill, I want to easily quickly send her payment. Because extra month that I get to hold onto the payment, doesn’t really do much for me. It’s not like I’m going to earn interest on it, but the wow factor of Andrew pays me fast. I get to go and handle my business because of that. significant. And so Gusto does that makes it easy for me. On the other side for her, she’s going to have a website that makes it easy for her to access and see what’s coming up and where, the money is. And then finally, if I need to, I could expand with them. They’ve got HR professionals that I could work with. They’ve got extra tools that allow me to offer benefits. They work with 10 99 employees and W2, 10 99 contractors employees. Anyway, service. If you’re out there and you want an easy way to pay your people, and then also an easy way to 10 99 them, or to send out the paperwork when it comes to tax time, do your research.
If you like Gusto the way that I do, I did my. Um, I’m going to let you try them for free. And I think, as I said, beginning of the year is a great time to get started with them. So if you go to gusto.com/mixergy, they’re going to let you try it for free. Just walk around the site, you know, virtually and experience it and see for yourself why so many businesses that I’ve interviewed have loved and use Gusto.
So it’s G U S T o.com/mixergy. and get started with them. Now they’re basically. Offering this with me just through the beginning of the year, because that’s when they, um, that’s when they bought the ads and that’s when they get the most conversions where people are willing to switch. All right. So they, I see how now the business was starting to grow. your buddy said to you go get a virtual assistant. You didn’t know what a virtual assistant was. Your friend said, let me hook you up. And then a short time after somebody called you your area code, And who was she had had your friend find this person?
Laith: Yeah, my friend knew this person. Just cause I bet he utilized her for his business before. Um, again, I’m looking at an orange county, so she called me off of Newport beach area code 9, 4 9. And I thought, you know, she called me, she asked me, Hey, you know, um, I heard you’re interested in a virtual assistant.
Would love to hear what you need. Do you want to hop on. And I’m like looking at my schedule and I’m like, damn, I’m busy today. Sure. Let’s like, let’s just kind of get this over with. Uh, so I hop on a zoom with her and the first five minutes she’s asking me what, you know, what I need and what I need help with.
And, uh, I don’t know, after five minutes, I’m like looking at her and I’m like, man, you were very positive. You really good energy. Like it just like, I, you know, and it’s really refreshing when you’re stressed out. Uh, so I I’m looking at her and I go, you know, she’s laughing, she’s smiling. I go, are you located in Irvine?
She goes, yeah. Uh, oh, you know, you know, I go, you know, this guy go, but you’re not located in Irvine. She goes, no, I go, oh, are you like in San Diego? LA, she goes, no, I go, oh, I’m from Sacramento. Are you from Northern California? She goes, no, because you’re not from California. She goes, no, I go, how about Texas?
New York, Florida. She goes, no, I don’t, I don’t live United States. I go, you don’t live in the. I go, where the hell do you live? She goes, I live in the Philippines. I go, you live in the Philippines. Like you speak better English than I do. Holy crap. I go, what time is it over there? And she goes, 3:00 AM. So I go wait.
So you’re in the Philippines. Your English is super awesome. You have great energy. 3:00 AM I got. How do you have this much energy? Are you, how much coffee did he drink? She goes, none. I go, what the hell? Uh, all right. So, okay. So now that I understand this, uh, what have you done in the past for your clients?
And she started listing out like all these different tasks, like, you know, invoicing and, you know, email, counter management and, you know, uh, data entry and, you know, social media, like all this different stuff. And she goes, oh, I did it for, you know, for this client and his entire team at 15. You did. And I, then it’s just started triggering me in my head.
I’m like, man, I have so many agents and brokers that I deal with on the immersive side that always ask for help. I can’t help them. I’m too busy. And I always like, it’s, it’s good to have a solution to be like, Hey, if you need it, you know, if you need somebody, here’s, you know, here’s a solution I have for you.
So I sorta thinking, while she telling me this, I go, let me ask you this question. How many people are like you in the Philippines? And then she said, ah, I dunno, like tens of thousands. I go, there’s tens of thousands of virtual assistants that like, are out of your quality. She goes, oh yeah. And I go, okay, now I go, I want to start a virtual assistant company.
She goes, wait after 45 minutes, you decided you just want to start a company. And I go, yeah, I think there’s a massive need for it. And again, I’ve never heard of virtual assistance, which means a lot of other people have probably never heard of virtual assistance. And, you know, we kinda got into the economics of it and, you know, specifics of what they can do.
And I was like really interested. So then I just asked her, go whatever you want, tell me whatever you want. And you, you will become my director of operations and we’re going to figure this thing out together. So that’s what I did. I brought her onto my eyes, my director of operations, the first people I hit, where my immersive clients.
You know, I would say a decent amount of ’em started signing up. Um, then I had a buddy that was in the commercial space and then he started telling everybody about, you know, virtual systems for the commercial real estate space. And we started growing there. Um, so then we were growing in residential commercial, and then, um,
Andrew: I, I hear that you knew that this was a possibility because your real estate clients were asking you for more work. What other work were they asking you to do?
Laith: Yeah. So it was more work as like, they always complain like, Hey, can you input my listing? And I’m like, well, I can’t employ your list. I don’t want to do that. Like, you know, can you put my listing or can you create me up, you know, flyer or brochure? Um, or do you know anybody that can organize my CRM or, you know, do you have anybody that can kind of be my right hand?
Like, do you know, like they always ask me questions. Like, do you know anybody that I can hire as an assistant? Or, Hey, can you do like the inputting of the listings and creating the collateral? And I would say like, no, no. And no
Andrew: Meaning putting the listings into, into
Andrew: Emma. Got it. Okay. Got it. So it makes sense, right? You’re taking the photos. Why wouldn’t you do this other thing for me? Why wouldn’t you do these other, uh, projects that are related to it? And of course, if you’re in the space, maybe, you know, somebody got it.
All right. And so that’s why you knew that it would work. hired her. Did you ask her to hire other people or did you say forget about your other clients are going to be my first. You’re going to be my
Laith: Well, I just, yeah, well I said, yeah, I go, you need wherever, wherever, whoever you’re working with for an hour and a half to stop that. Um, and she did, and she started working for me. And then, you know, she was in charge of. The operations recruiting. Like she was in charge of a lot of stuff at first, because like, she was pretty well versed with, you know, the people in the Philippines.
And she had a lot of connections of like, if anybody, you know, she had a lot of connections with like, if I need, if I had a client and they had like a specific needs, like she was able to go out and find those types of people. Um, and then we just started very basic. Like I asked a client like my, one of my Mercer clients, like, what do you need?
And she goes, I need help with like, she was a Coldwell banker agent. She goes, I need. So my CRM management and helping with my email and scheduling showings and confirming showings. And I go, okay, cool. All right. I got that. I go it now I go to Emma, Emma, this is what she needs. Go find out, go find a person that can do it.
Emma will come back with two or three people. I’ll say, Hey. Here are the two or three candidates. Which ones would you like to interview? She interviewed one and it’s funny because, uh, she was one of my first clients and it’s been, uh, it’s been a year of, uh, almost a year with that virtual assistant and she absolutely crushes it with Stephanie.
So, um, yeah, I mean, it’s just very simple,
Andrew: it’s not like you have any set services that you offer and the assistants can switch off. It’s just a one-on-one.
Andrew: So, you know what? I interviewed someone who had a similar business and all the business, all the payments went through his company. And what he found was that eventually would say to the virtual assistant, can you just lead the service?
Let’s work directly. I don’t need them. And that’s the end of the margin. What do you do about that?
Laith: Which is why I created unicorn finder. So unicorn finders, when I was kind of mentioning before unicorns, there’s going to be two types of. There’s going to be a person that’s going to hire from it like an so so-called agency like myself. Um, and they want that like white glove service, you know, they want the client success manager and, you know, you know, uh, you know, the training and like the support in, and if they ever need anything to, you know, to contact us and we pay, we do with the contract, like they just want to work with their VA unicorn finders opposite unicorn finder is pay us an upfront fee.
We’ll give you your VA. You pay them, you deal with it on your own. So those are the types of two different types of people. You’re going to have premium people that like will do it. And people that are like, I’m going to go find a VA on my own anyways. So here’s another solution for you. So that’s why that, and this, this unicorn finder is going to be probably launched by next week.
Andrew: So it just so people understand in your space, in the recruiting space, a unicorn is somebody who is an amazing find the tech startup space. Unicorn is of a billion dollar startup, right? you’re saying there’s some people who just don’t want a middleman. They want to have a direct relationship with their person.
What happens when someone starts out saying, I want you to manage the whole relationship. And then they realize, Well, if I cut, I cut, laid out, I’m going to be great. Has that
Laith: Well, yeah,
Andrew: I’m seeing a smile of recognition.
Laith: no, I mean, people, people will like, so for example, let’s say, I mean, we have a three-month commitment, you know, that’s, that’s our, our, we have a 90 day commitment. Very, very. Um, in the contract that states like you can hire your VA independently, but it’s a crazy, ridiculous price because it’s, and the reason it’s like that is so they don’t do that.
Um, if, for example, if a client, for example, is like, I don’t want, I don’t want my VA anymore. We take that VA. Obviously we do a performance evaluation. And if they’re still, obviously, if there’s good, they’re just, maybe there was a financial problem where they just didn’t want to deal with it. We placed that virtual system with somebody else anyways.
So we don’t really, there’s no really opportunity to go steal your VA. Cause w we’ll know about it. You know, and, and I’ve had a client that has tried to do something like that before, but again, in the VA said, Hey, this person’s trying to hire me independently. They just wanted to let you know. And I go, that’s what you call great communication right there and trust.
Andrew: Okay. What does it cost to get a virtual assistant?
Laith: so like what do we charge our clients?
Andrew: Yeah, if I wanted to get someone, what would it cost me?
Laith: So on a part-time basis is it’s 9 97 a month and part-time is 20 hours a week, 80 hours a month. So that could be like an eight to 12 and nine to one at 10 to two.
Andrew: a thousand bucks, I get 20 hours a week, which is like Half-time. right.
Andrew: Thousand dollars a month. Okay.
Laith: And for full-time it’s it’s 40 hours a week, 160 hours a month. So like my team, they work nine to six PST. It could be eight to five, whatever schedule you like, and that’s 1799.
Andrew: Okay. All right. That’s an price. So,
Laith: does a good, good price by like, we’re not the cheapest and we’re not the most expensive we’re like right in like the middle, like right in the middle. So it’s not going to like break the bank.
Andrew: And you go beyond just virtual assistance, beyond book a flight for me, et cetera. Okay. I get that. Now, some of it, some of the first clients came to you because you went back to the people who you talked to in the past and who are already using you on the real estate side and saying, do you want, you want this type of service, the other seem to have come to you from CBD and the gaming space what’s CBD.
Laith: Um, like the cannabis space. Um, so like, you know, CB, like cannabis space, the gaming space, the, we work with law firms, health, um, property management, like we work with all sorts of different.
Andrew: system for that?
Laith: Um, well, I have a good advisor. Uh, he, he definitely has, he’s really well connected in, in this space. So he, he has connections kind of all across different industries, which definitely helps because he makes intros or
Andrew: what’s his role?
Laith: so he just,
Laith: he’s like a pretty, uh, he’s a, he’s a pretty well-known, um, business coach slash like, you know, he’s helped real estate companies.
Like he he’s. Companies, you know, in the past. And, um, I don’t, I don’t want to disclose his, his name here, um, just for, for, um, privacy.
Andrew: Is he nationally known.
Andrew: Okay. So a nationally known real estate person. Can you tell me in private, after we’re done with this?
Laith: you got it. Um, I’ll tell you who it is.
Andrew: And then he ever financial interest in the business or is he just doing it as an adviser?
Laith: Uh, he, he has a financial interest in the business.
Andrew: Got it. Okay. So he’s got an ownership in the business.
Am I right?
Andrew: Okay. So he has the ownership and he has an incentive to help out. And the more open more doors he opens up for you, the bigger the business grows. How’d you hook up with him?
Laith: Exactly. Um, from another buddy of mine that I was in, he was in the commercial space. I just, I just know, like I, I started building relationships very fast and he connected me to him. And, um, I didn’t even know who he was at the time, you know? And if it, even if I did know who he was, cause he’s like a pretty big name.
I still wouldn’t have treated him any differently. Cause I don’t really care if you’re big or small or medium, it doesn’t really matter. Um, but I, he needed like a social media manager. Um, I helped them, like the whole thing, you know, I helped him find a social media manager, like after 24 hours. And they started working like the next day.
Um, he loved the experience. He loved his virtual assistant or his virtual team. And then, um, he just said, Hey, you have a really good, great thing going on. I would love to introduce some of my clients and people that I know to this, you know, to your company. And I said, yeah, let’s do it. And then just kind of went from there.
And again, we were heavily focused on real estate to start off with like still 50% of our clients are real estate focused. But again, this is where we got into like industries, all sorts of industries.
Andrew: Okay, going to talk about my second client because my second sponsor, because I think you could use them. My understanding is one of the problems that you have in your businesses. People don’t know how to use a virtual assistant. don’t know before they have a virtual assistant. They don’t know.
After I know for me, there were lots of things that I could have had my virtual assistant two years ago that I just was, am I allowed to do that? Is this a thing that I should, I even be thinking about? For example, passing off my email to us, to my assistant, which I did for years. Should I be thinking about. Giving her, all my kids except for social, so that she can go and apply for schools, even though it’s a work thing. Is that like, she’s, I mean, she’s working for my company. Can I ask her to do this personal stuff? I wasn’t sure. My hunches that if you started writing more articles on this stuff, that more people who are curious about virtual assistance would discover assistants and then some of them would end up signing up and becoming customers.
The problem with how do I write content for it? You think about what your customers and the people that you’ve talked to are asking for and not what the kinds of customers that you’re striving to get would be wondering, what does a CBD person thinking of? What is someone in the gaming space thinking of when they’re thinking of a problem that would then need a virtual assistant as a solution?
Well, that’s where SEMrush comes in. is all about helping you understand what people are searching for on Google. What they’re looking for content wise on social media, and even what ads are going to perform for you. All they do is focus on helping you make your content and your marketing better. Frankly, costs money, but they’re making it available for free partially because the person who bought these ads about a year ago, actually almost exactly a year ago a Mixergy fan. And unfortunately she’s not there anymore. And SEMrush still has to live up to this free offer that they made a long time ago.
And they’ve been very generous about it. But every once in a while we run out of promo, uh, coupons and people like, uh, the latest person was Kenneth who emailed me and said, Hey, Andrew, I can’t get any more of these SEMrush, uh, free months, or I can’t get a free month from SEMrush. I thought you said it was available. I said, yeah, but I also said jump on it soon after I mentioned it. And so I emailed SEMrush. I said, can you reactivate the account seminar said, yeah, absolutely. We’ll make more codes available if you like, Kenneth Edwards want to try SEMrush. The only way that I know of to use it for free is this URL.
So here goes mixergy.com/s E M R U S H mixergy.com/seminars. I had to put on my own, my own domain because they don’t even do redirects like this. They don’t make these kinds of offers. Uh, it’s a great service that people are happy to pay for. They don’t usually offer it for free like this, but if you want to try it, the year’s almost over. going to pull out. I have no connection with the new person there. as I’ve tried to with Constantine Federer, of he has no interest. I think in getting to know me. He’s just happy that things worked out there and he has other, um, other friends that he wants to spend time with. E’s helping out with this, but this will expire.
If you want to try it, go right now to mixergy.com/sem rush. Let me ask you, like, you’re a pretty friendly person, especially remotely. If you wanted to build a relationship with this guy, like I want to, with Constantine from SEMrush, what would you do? How do you, how do you build
Andrew: the guy says, you know, maybe this ad work, let’s give it another shot for now.
Laith: I’m in it. If, if, if I was in his shoes and somebody approached me and said, Hey, um, I want to, you know, do some sort of partnership with your platform or affiliate or, Hey, I can direct a lot of traffic to your platform. I would be all over it. And I think it’s just telling that story. Hey, I, I mean, I, and I don’t know.
I would think he would have, he would have heard of your, of your podcast, um, you know, and you get to speak to thousands of thousands of people. Hey, I speak to thousands of thousands of people. I’m a fan of your platform. I utilize it for myself. I think it’s fantastic. I think a lot of my clients or potential clients or people that listen to my podcast would definitely, definitely benefit from it as well.
If, if we could do a, a SEMrush slash you know, mixer G or mixer G slash friggin SEM rush. That’d be great. Like, can we hop on a call just so you can know a little bit about me and then I, you know, if there’s anything new that came out with your guys company that could, that we can benefit from. I mean, that’s, that’s typically how I approach platforms like that.
And I do partnerships all the time.
Andrew: Yeah, my my sense is. The big conversion we’ve found comes through because it’s free to try and then people will keep signing up that leads to a profitable relationship for them. But I don’t think SEMrush wants free offers out there. They don’t even want a free introductory offer. They want to be so good that people pay from day one and get results from day one. And so hunter. Anything
Laith: I don’t agree with that.
Andrew: really? Tell me about that. That’s what they were saying to me from the
Laith: No, I don’t. I,
Andrew: don’t think people are gonna use a URL unless you give them something that’s really dramatic.
Laith: I mean, I use like really great artificial intelligence tool called Jarvis, which people may or may have not heard of,
Andrew: I know
Laith: uh, I love it. I use it like every day. It’s awesome. But you know, the pricing is unlike the pricing super expensive, but the fact that they gave me 14 days free, I was able to go in the platform, check it out, use it.
And the thing is, even though it was 14 days free. And the first day I went in, I literally just signed up for a subscription because they at least gave me the opportunity to go check it out and see if I would like it or not. Um, and I think a lot of big platforms should do that.
Andrew: want to know more about that. Jarvis was created by a guy I’ve known for forever. Dave Rogen, Moser. I
Laith: you know, Dave? Yeah. That’s cool.
Andrew: You know
Laith: Yeah. Yeah,
Laith: no, no. I mean, I’ve talked with him.
Andrew: forever and I always get his last name.
Laith: I don’t know how to pronounce his last name, but he’s a really, he’s a really cool guy.
Andrew: Great guy. He created proof before he, um, anyways, he came over for scotch, sent me gifts for my family. and then helped me also figure out where to live here in Austin. I still don’t know where I would use Jarvis in my life. If I was
Andrew: more copy, I could see it. Where are you using Jarvis?
Jarvis is the automated, uh, writing.
Laith: Yeah. I mean, it, it, it’s great. It’s an artificial intelligence tool where like, so if you write copy, it’s great. If you don’t, it’s not like I write, like, whether it’s cold emails or blogs, um, or like Facebook ad text or ad tech. Um, or like, if you have a piece of content that you want, like to be probably improved, um, you could stick it into Jarvis and like, you know, you can put like a sentence or two in a Jarvis with like a ton of, I’ll give you a great example, like a cold email.
Maybe I want to, you know, I want to, you know, send a marketing email for, you know, our virtual assistant or virtual team member service. I’ll I’ll type out like two sentences about what we do. Hey, we are virtual, you know, we find unicorns. I’ll put the tone of voice in. So like the cool thing about a ton of voices you could put, like, I want to sound professional.
I want to sound witty. I want to sound funny for me. I like, I, you know, you could also do people, like, I like to sound like Gary Vaynerchuk, so I put Gary Vaynerchuk as an option in there, and then I’ll just literally click out like output and then like, it literally writes three emails. Like I get write three personalized, cold emails that I can just like copy and like put into our, um, into our marketing platform and, uh, same thing with blogs,
Andrew: And use it straight up, by the way. I didn’t think of using it for cold email. And I didn’t think for some reason, I didn’t think we
Laith: blogs to.
Andrew: to do it, but blogposts made sense to me, but we weren’t doing, we weren’t, doing a lot of blog posts here, but. That’s phenomenal. I didn’t think that you’d also use it directly out of the software.
I thought it would give you almost a first draft that you can fight against and adjust and
Laith: If you could do as many drafts as you like, and sometimes I’ll make tweaks to it. Uh, you know, but I mean, the thing is like I have writer’s block. So like, I think of something, but I don’t know how to expand it into words. And this gives me the opportunity to expand it into. And to words, and like, I’m like, oh, that’s exactly how this is even better than I would have thought it was.
But again, the whole reason was because they gave me a free trial. And even for our business, we give everybody, uh, you know, we, we try to, you know, enforce that, you know, with a lot of our clients, especially with our new offering is you get to try a virtual assistant for free. Because there’s no better way to really get, you know, in the virtual assistance based in like, you know, learn about your virtual assistant and have them learn about you and understand how great they are until you try somebody.
So it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s a lot easier to sell to. I can’t just, you know, we, we think our virtual systems, our virtual team members are so great. Um, we’re gonna give you a week. Like if there’s a, you know, if you know, w we are confident everything’s going to go well, but if for some reason it doesn’t let us know and we’re happy to, you know, offer you a replacement.
Um, so I think offering a free trial definitely helps businesses.
Andrew: By the way I was asking you about your friendliness. I wonder how much of it comes from working for your dad in the grocery store as a kid that as a kid, you’re usually most kids are isolated to talking to other kids. But when you work in a store, you have to talk to adults on a regular basis. You have to watch your dad talking to adults and you get this sense of, of being a part of the world that most kids don’t get.
They think they’re part of the kid version of the Katy table, equivalent of the world. right about that?
Laith: Yeah. I mean, I I’ve been working since I was eight years old, so I, I, you know, my dad has a middle Eastern grocery store located in Sacramento, small market, like 2000 square feet hole in the wall. Uh, great food fan. Food’s fantastic. You know,
Andrew: to buy from him.
Laith: uh, I mean, like he, like, he has like groceries, but then he has takeout in the back and it’s like, you know, kebabs and rice and.
Andrew: makes kebabs to
Laith: Oh, yeah. His Como, like all his food is phenomenal. Like that’s what he’s known for. It is marketing. So if you were in Sacramento, hit up international food market, um, that that’s a it’s, it’s a, you’ll really enjoy the food there, but like, I started there when I was eight, my dad just kind of took me to work.
I was, you know, eight. I was like, yay high. And I was doing the cashier and you know, I was cleaning and I was stocking and I was helping him with the deli and helping him to food and the butcher stuff. So like, Anything you could think of in a grocery store. I was doing at eight years old and yeah, I had to deal with.
People that were young, old, like all different ages and all different walks of life. And I was like a really shy kid. And then it kind of shaped me to become more confident and more personable. And my dad is a very personable person where like, he likes to make people laugh. So like people will come in, he’ll tell a joke, you know, like he just, he’s a very funny and very relatable.
Um, and, and people come there and he has such a loyal client base customer base because, uh, people just really love him as a human being. So I started seeing the way he interact. Is customers, which made me want to interact with customers the same way. Um, and then like I kept growing and growing and then it’s like the same people that would come in.
So then like a lot of those people would be considered almost like family. And then, um, you know, the good thing too, like when you’re young, I had to deal with like awesome, great people that are like really cool and appreciative. And then that you gotta deal with people that are like a pain in the bus sometimes.
So like, there’s going to be a whole bunch of different people you’re going to have to deal with on a regular basis, which helped me mold. Dealing with like stressful situations and people that give you a hard time and people that give you, you know, that people that are, you know, great to talk to. So I was, yeah.
Instead of like playing at the playground, I was like, you know, playing with the cashier. So, uh, it’s, it’s a little different the way I was raised, but I liked the way that I was raised when it comes to like helping him with the grocery store, because I think it really helped shape his shape me because wanting to become an entrepreneur and want to help people, um, And even when I go back to Sacramento, like I’ll go there and help them for a couple hours and still assist.
That’s like still the same store as if I was eight years old. It’s like, nothing’s changed in that store.
Laith: So, um, my dad, I believe he’s 54. Um, yeah, he’s still, you know, he’s still,
Andrew: a lot
Laith: he’s still hustling. Yeah. He’s, he’s still hustling. He works like 14 hours a day. Uh, six days a week, um, he used to do seven days a week.
He finally gave himself a day off on Sundays. Um, so that hustle also like, you know, was rooted for my dad is like his work ethic and his hustle and grind. And so, you know, I, I’m not like so much the physical, I’m more like, you know, I’m more on my computer, but digital.
Andrew: He, uh, he was, born in Palestine. Am I right? Did he tell you any stories about what life was like for him there? Did he help his dad had a store have been equivalent, uh, childhood.
Laith: he was he was a farmer. So he had a, he has a family of 13. Um, there were farmers and farmers in Palestine. So like talk about like, even more of a grind than a grocery store, like, you know, in the farm fields or, you know, and then like sleeping in like those little sheds and like with his brothers and then going back to work in the morning and then, you know, just, you know, like they did a whole bunch of fruits and vegetables and.
So they were farmers. Yeah. Strong. Yeah. He, I mean, hot, strong. I mean, it’s hot out. It’s hot as hell over there. Um, you got to work all day. You’re sweating, you’re sleeping, like pretty much outside. You’re working with your family. So like really, you know, very labor intensive and then he immigrated. When he used 20 with his brothers and then they opened, um, uh, you know, he did limousine driving.
He did it like all like that kind of stuff did like, had like a, um, like a grocery market liquor store in San Francisco. We, they moved from Palestine and San Francisco. So that’s where I grew up was in San Francisco.
Laith: and then just did a whole bunch of different jobs in San Francisco. And then just came, we came to Sacramento.
Tennis? No, no, sorry. A sevenish
Laith: sevenish. I might, I got family there. Yeah. So we, um, we went from San Francisco to Sacramento when I was seven ish and then seven or eight. And then that’s when he opened the grocery store and then he’s had it ever since and I, and I’m 25. So, so that was that 17 years. 17 years?
I think 4
Laith: Yeah. 16.
17. Um, by the way, your business grew immersive did because of the pandemic. How’s the pandemic affecting the team that works for you in the Philippines.
Laith: Yeah. I mean, everything has been pretty. I mean, it’s been good for the most part, like with my team. It’s great. Obviously like in the Philippines, there’s going to be power outages. There’s going to be typhoons. So that’s stuff you can’t control what the, with the pandemic, obviously the Filipinos don’t have access to as many resources as we have here.
Like we can go get a COVID test on the streets. You know, we’re there, it costs almost like a hundred dollars USD. Um, like we have, you know, we’re, we were able to get the vaccine if we want to very easily, where there it’s a little tougher, they have to do a drive. So, um, you know, people there, obviously they get COVID and, you know, they don’t have the resources, but like, it hasn’t been anything that’s been super crazy in our business.
You know, where it’s really affected our business at all, but there’s been a couple of onesy twosies that like get COVID, um, you know, or like they get the vaccine and it really puts a toll on their body. Um, but it’s not, it’s not like a massive impact on the business.
Andrew: We’ll ask Ari to edit that part. Actually, no, we don’t need our edit out your back. You’re saying there has been one of these two Tuesdays
Andrew: have been sick and then, uh, we’re out. Um, okay. I’m glad to hear that. It hasn’t been a huge issue and partially it’s because there isn’t a big office for them to work from.
They can work from their homes, right?
Laith: That that’s it. That’s, that’s where we’re headed is everybody loves to work from home, which is why the company was also created because I loved the opportunity to give people. Jobs just from working from home, you know, like they can work at the convenience of their bedrooms or their office or their living room, as long as stuff gets done.
It really doesn’t matter where you work. Um, and for me, like I come in an office cause like, that’s just my field, but I also work from home as well. Um, but yeah, I mean, they get to be around their kids, which is great. They don’t really have to leave it, you know, except to like go get food and stuff and they come back.
So like, there’s not, I don’t, I don’t have a big office with five, 600 VAs, like, uh, you know, like, like the BPO industries. And I think that’s why we got so many applicants for jobs. Cause everybody’s like, I could make this more money working from home. Why would I not do that? I don’t have to drive or, you know, commute or any of that stuff.
So, um, yeah, it’s been a good opportunity for a lot of Filipinos, like to be hired on as virtual assistance and they really enjoy it. So.
Andrew: What do you do about bad internet remotely? I, and I’m not saying this because they’re in the Philippines. I just feel like bad internet is still a worldwide problem. Frankly, in San Francisco, we had the worst internet of life here in Austin. The internet is much, much better. Right? Cause they had Google fiber came here, I think first
Laith: Oh lucky.
Andrew: It pushed everybody to go
Andrew: do you do me? By the way? cool thing that I discovered is I can work off of hotspotting off my phone, even for podcasts like this, because
Laith: oh, nice.
Andrew: Uh, I’m using Riverside. Riverside will record my side of the conversation from my computer, your side, from your computer.
They also give us each backups. So, on their servers, they have a copy of it. And then there’s another backup and another backup. And so it’s, it works pretty well. Have you found interesting workarounds to deal with that internet, internet?
Laith: Yeah. I mean, I’ll, I would say almost all of our virtual team members or virtual assistants have they, I mean, they have their main source of, uh, of internet. So like they have their first, you know, it’s their first source and then they have a backup and then they all, or, you know, so they have. Maine to a backup in three, like a personal hotspot.
So, um, obviously it’s going to happen. And I wouldn’t say like, it’s so much the internet connection. It’s, it’s, it’s typically the weather affecting the internet. Um, that’s typically where like during, uh, you know, because like, you know, they have like more, sometimes they have extreme weather conditions, like heavy rain, um, where lots of wind and like even here, like, you know, at my place, if there’s heavy rain and lots of wind, the wifi kind of goes in and out.
Laith: So, I mean, they have a backup and like, we don’t really run into that issue that, you know, that often we’re, um, the internet connection is very poor, but, um, you know, a lot of them are on the highest speed that they can possibly get. They don’t have Google fiber fiber there just yet, but I don’t even have to go fiber here and we’re waiting for it.
Um, but yeah,
Andrew: have better internet, especially like, all
Laith: so bad.
Andrew: Southern California, not, but at San Francisco and the bay area should have the highest speed internet. And you know what? It’s random. It’ll be available from Sonic on one block, but not on another. And you
Andrew: Yeah, inconsistent. All right. One thing that, uh, I want to close off with is for growth use. You’ve said to ours, uh, to our producer, that you’ve got a scatterbrained add approach to business. You need somebody to keep you focused. Did you ever find a chief marketing officer who is more organized and can, help you guys grow?
Laith: It’s why we grew our CMO. Joyce’s like the best person on this planet. I mean, if I didn’t have Joyce, he probably wouldn’t have grown even close to where we were, where we are today sheet, you know, I I’m very add scatterbrained where I have all these ideas and different things we should implement and, you know, She helps me prioritize.
What’s important. What’s not important. And that she helps turn those ideas into life, you know, because I’m at a creative, I’m a, I’m a person that can sell. I’m a person that can, you know, talk to people. But like when it comes to design work and implementing and finding these platforms, like I’m so not good at that kind of stuff, um, where she’s like, Very seasoned.
And she understands like how we can approach things and like what can work and what can not work. Um, so having her and she’s, she’s located in Los Angeles. Um, so she’s close by and, you know, even today we have like, we have our weekly Wednesday meetings, but she works remote too. Like she, I mean, cause she doesn’t need to be in the office.
Um, so she like, yeah, she’s, she’s like the best. She helps me with everything and.
Andrew: Give me an example of a marketing effort that happened because of her, but wouldn’t have otherwise,
Laith: Just like all our email marketing campaigns happened because of her. Um, you know, like our, our, the reason our website is so good is because of her, like her idea to bring things to life, um,
Laith: like all our.
Andrew: Is she the one who set this type of thing up? Who said, Hey, you know what lady, you should go on podcasts.
Laith: Uh, yes. Yes. That’s another one. That’s another version. Yeah. I need to, you know, publications, podcasts, interviews, like she was the one that’s like, you need to go do this. Um, because I, I mean,
Andrew: to do
Laith: yeah. I mean, I,
Laith: I absolutely, um, because I get to talk to people like you and, you know, we, you know, there’s a lot of people that, you know, tune in and they’re like, oh wait, like maybe I need a virtual assistant.
Right. So then they’ll hit us up and we like to help them out. But yeah, I mean, podcast, I love, I love good at getting on podcasts because I love kind of telling the story and, you know, seeing how we can help other business owners or entrepreneurs or anybody that just sees a need for it. Um, so yeah, she’s, she’s definitely helped me, you know, cause I’m only 25.
There’s only so much. I know, like I, I, I’m learning every day and I’m learning what works, what doesn’t work. I learned from my mistakes and. I, I’m not a type of person where I enter the room and I, and I’m the smartest person in the room. I try, I don’t have that mentality. I like to learn from other people and see what, you know, what works and what doesn’t.
And I, again, I, I try to read books, but I, what I do is I read people. That’s how I learned. Um, I learned from other people’s actions. That’s typically the way I, I evaluate.
Andrew: Well, I’m glad I got to meet you. I’m also glad that if you’re going to do podcasts that you fricking put in the effort and get a good mic, like you’ve got the Yeti nano. It’s not a super expensive mic, but everyone could hear it
Laith: Oh, yeah,
Andrew: Right. And I don’t understand why people would say I’m going to do podcast interviews everywhere and then not get themselves a fricking mic.
We buy it for a guest, but shouldn’t even have to buy it for someone who’s
Laith: I know that was very generous by the way.
Andrew: Did we
Laith: was very surprised.
Andrew: did we
Laith: No, no.
Andrew: or you got, you got that yourself?
Laith: So my setup, I was like, I have like a really expensive camera for my zoom. Like I have this. Yeah. I have a, I mean, the lighting is bad, cause like I like to work in the dark, but I have the Yeti nano. Like this is just like my typical setup.
Um, because I like to have a clean setup when I get on zoom calls, especially with like VIP corporate clients. But like the Eddie nano, like you said, it’s not. It’s super inexpensive. It sounds great, but it was very generous. I like Andrew’s team reached out and said, dude, we will buy you a Mike, if you don’t have one.
And I was like, what the hell are you going to buy me a mic? Like, I don’t need one, but that’s a very nice offer.
Andrew: Yeah. And I appreciate that you had your own set up like that, that if you’re going to do it, it really doesn’t cost much in a little bit of effort, a little bit of effort. All right. Um, I’m appreciative that you’re here. I think for everyone who wants to go and check you out, I think though, we didn’t even get to talk about the, uh, the unicorn business.
That’s where you get to help people find unicorns, but it seems like the best starting point is assistant. And the
Andrew: assistant lead.com. Assistant lead.com. Right.
Laith: WWF, assistant.com. First week is completely free. Um, so like no risk guarantee, you know, you can go through the process, pick a virtual assistant out of that fits your needs. Um, first week you get to work with them, see if they’re a great fit for you. If everything goes great, then the 90 day commitment kicks in, but we want to make sure that you’re comfortable, that you’re happy with your virtual assistant or a virtual team member.
Um, and you know, we just wanna make sure you’re taking.
Andrew: All right. And I’m appreciative of the two sponsors who made this interview happen. The first, if you’re paying people, contractors, full-time employees, part-time, whatever it is, go check out Gusto, see if it’s a good fit for you for 2022. Like I think it is for me. if you want to try them for free. Gusto.com/mixergy. And the second, if you want, um, marketing, uh, software that will help You improve the content, improve the other marketing that you’re doing. Go check out SEMrush. the URL is actually on my domain. Uh, mixergy.com/semrush and appreciative to them. you lay the and to everyone else?