Barber & Associates Financial Group

It is the old adage, I only want you to tell me what time it is. I don't need to understand how to build a clock. That's your job. You build a very good clock.


Kelly Meng  00:11

Why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself?

Mike 00:16

Okay. Well, I’ve been in financial services for 47 years. So obviously, it’s something I’m very passionate about. And I’m always willing to look forward down the road, take risks, try new things, and do pilot programs to recognize not everything works. But that’s kind of what brought us to meetings several months ago.

Kelly Meng  00:44

So let’s elaborate a little bit more about that, what prompted you to reach out to me?

Mike  00:51

Well, I worked through an upline marketing organization. And I count on them to bring me cutting-edge things that advisors need to be paying attention to. And of course, much of that, in today’s world involves technology, the internet, Zoom meetings, all these different applications that are out there. And I’m pretty old school, you know, starting a career, 47 years ago, it was knocking on doors, don’t do that anymore. So I contacted you through a gentleman we both work with, who has expertise in LinkedIn marketing. And I found I really, really benefited from and enjoyed the training, and how the real world operates now. And we got started on that. What he was doing was very effective. But I quickly came to realize, that I feel like I’m getting behind. I don’t understand all of this technology. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. And I need to find somebody that can help me do that. And so you’ve been the mutual connection. This all started with a conversation, where you asked me those very questions, you know, why? Why are you here? What are you reaching out for? And so I very quickly identified that you hold the expertise in the areas that I not only don’t know, I don’t want to learn them. At this stage in the game, I don’t want to become an expert on something that is so detailed, that is far better to pay someone very experienced and knowledgeable. And so I very quickly made a decision. You are the person I wanted to help me with that.

Kelly Meng  02:54

So, talk to me about your experience so far working with me. How do you like it?

Mike  03:01

Well, I love the experience. You know, I kind of flipped that question Kelley. I asked my clients that same question. Because I need to understand what the experience of working with me looks like to them. And it makes me realize how much they value and appreciate my wisdom, my training, my expertise and what I do. And all of that communicates to they trust me to help them manage their money. Well, I feel the same way. If I asked the question about working with you, I don’t know these things that you are very experienced in. And so as I have learned from you, mostly by watching you work, and experiencing that, like me, you focus on me as the client, just like I do on my clients, it’s all about them. And I think that’s one of the skill sets that really makes a good working relationship is when the person that is leading you in that case, you are really concerned about how is this working for me? what do we need to do to keep it working? And so I have felt every step of the way, that you’re just where you should be right in front of me with knowledge and awareness. I don’t have. But looking back to me, how is this working? What direction and path do you want to take? And it’s just it’s been a wonderful experience.

Kelly Meng  04:31

That’s so great to hear. And it’s truly been a great experience working with you as well. You touched on this a little bit. But what if anything surprised you about working together?

Mike  04:47

Well, I had worked with a virtual assistant coach before and so I had a foundation to know that paying someone to do the things they knew how to do You better than me, paid off unbelievable benefits. So I paid this former coach to set up all the systems, in my practice, and do procedural manuals. And then she took over and trained my two employees. And then it’s been running smoothly ever since. So I became aware, once again, that I’m entering into an area of marketing, where I don’t know the rules. I don’t know how to play this game. I don’t know what works and what doesn’t. And learning that this is your expertise. I would say every time that we’re in a project, I’m just sitting back. And while I didn’t know that, I didn’t know this tool was out there. I didn’t know you could do this. And you just so seamlessly and efficiently cool things together and comes across to me, Well, here’s the end result. And it’s exactly what I needed to know. It is the old adage, I only want you to tell me what time it is. I don’t need to understand how to build a clock. That’s your job. You build a very good clock.

Kelly Meng  06:11

And it’s so kind of you. Thank you, Mike. So we’ve been working together for about two years, But we’ve been together for two months now that we were able to hire you a very skilled virtual assistant, her name is Daya. Talk to you briefly about what that experience working with her has been like.

Mike  06:37

It’s been a wonderful experience. And again, I don’t have a clue how to hire somebody which seems to be the downfall of many small business owners. We’re not good hiring managers, we don’t manage well, we need to other people to give us that expertise. So when you told me this is one of the things as a virtual assistant that you do for your clients is you find specific virtual assistants that are trainable. And that between the three of us we can partner together. So as Daya has come in, once again, I’ve been amazed by her proficiency, and how quickly she catches on. And what she gives back to me in reporting exactly what I needed to see, because you already understood that. And you just helped train her in the background, so that she could truly be a virtual assistant. I mean, literally, she lives on the other side of the world. We’re never going to sit down and have coffee together.

Kelly Meng  07:49

That’s true.

Mike  07:51

But in today’s reality, you know of where the talent is. That’s been such a blessing to me, I would never never have known how to find someone like her.

Kelly Meng  08:03

I’m really glad to hear that. And Daya is absolutely wonderful. So she was a great pick.

Mike 08:09

Yeah, we’re just getting ready to integrate her into a bigger extent of my practice. So I have two employees who although we all work out of our homes, do get to see each other occasionally. And we have those personal relationships, and they’re very efficient in what they do. But in business growing and becoming your opportunities. The reality is I’m going to hire someone because I can’t put any more on their plate. So they’re looking forward to what you and I have worked with Daya so that they’ve got someone to put things on her plate that she can do for all of us.

Kelly Meng  08:58

Would you say that ultimately helps scale your business? 

Mike 09:01

It does. You know, I believe in many small businesses, payroll and labor are one of the highest expense factors. And learning to manage that well, is very important. So I’m very, very glad that we found a common starting place with Daya that she needs a few hours a week. But we both hope that through her work that’s going to increase and she’ll become more and more and more and more time to assist me in my practice. Yeah,

Kelly Meng  09:42

fingers crossed from all of us. Well, lovely. I have one last question and then we can conclude. What would you tell someone considering working with me?

Mike 09:53

Well, matter of fact, I’ve already told two people so you know friends should do everything together business. And I have two friends that are in different businesses. But I know enough about their challenges, which pretty much are the same as mine. So I started sharing with them very early on that I had met you and what you were doing. And they’ve come back to me Well, how’s it going? Is it still working as well? And so both of them have plans to reach a point where they can engage with you. And let you do your part, understanding who they are, what they need, and move them in the same direction that you have for me.

Kelly Meng  10:42

That’s awesome to hear. 

Mike 10:44

And I will continue to refer you.

Kelly Meng  10:47

I am eternally grateful, Mike, people like you are the reason why I love doing what I do and can’t wait to wake up every day and do it truly.

Mike 10:56

Yeah, I can tell that about you.

Kelly Meng  10:59

Well, I thank you for your time. And is there any else that you would like to add before we conclude?

Mike 11:05

No, we covered it. 

Ready to start delegating?