AssistPro™ featured in Valiant CEO Magazine. Read the article online here:
Jenna Spencer’s entrepreneur journey begins at a desk, in the corner of her little girl’s bedroom. Jenna was a mom to young children when she started desperately searching for something to fulfill her passion as both a professional and a mom. Compromising family time for a demanding corporate job had hit its expiration date.
Being raised by a Mary Kay Senior Sales Director, Jenna had an entrepreneur’s spirit and knew there was an opportunity out there. Finding the right fit for her was key. Taking a chance on a Craigslist ad, Jenna became the assistant to two EOS Implementers™ in 2014 (St. Patrick’s Day to be exact).
She quickly fell in love with not only the role but the process and culture of EOS®. During a “Visionary Conversation” with her clients just 6 months later, the idea of AssistPro™ was created. With their mentorship, guidance, and promotion, Jenna was able to pay forward the amazing work-life balance she found to others within her network searching for the same things.
Today, AssistPro™ provides top-notch operational and administrative support to 100s of business coaches and entrepreneurs while providing a rewarding work-life balance to the assistants on their team.
Jenna has also created Delegation Mastery, a proven process to help entrepreneurs and leaders delegate everything outside their unique zone of genius, allowing them to experience hyper-growth personally and professionally.
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Jenna Spencer: I am Jenna Spencer and I am a wife and mom to three amazing children. We live on a small hobby farm in upstate South Carolina where we have dogs, cats, chickens, rabbits, lizards, and all sorts of fun animals.
I am a wife and mom first, and a businesswoman second. My company is AssistPro™and we are a boutique virtual executive assistant agency that specializes in supporting business coaches and high-level entrepreneurs. We deliver our services with a 3 pronged approach: The Right Fit Assistant, A Tailored Approach, and Delegation Mastery.
2020 and 2021 threw a lot of curve balls into business on a global scale. Based on the experience gleaned in the past couple years, how can businesses thrive in 2022? What lessons have you learned?
Jenna Spencer: Businesses can thrive by looking for a solution in their industry. Being able to think outside the box, come up with additional solutions, and pivot in times of crisis is really valuable.
I think the past 2 years have shown that people really value their personal lives, and if you can surround yourself with a great team of people, those people will weather storms with your company. They will be devoted to you, and your company will be better for it because you will have really great people wanting to help you move forward.
The pandemic seems to keep on disrupting the economy, what should businesses focus on in 2022? What advice would you share?
Jenna Spencer: Thinking outside the box. What is it that your company is doing? What problem are you solving? Are people not valuing your service when something changes?
If it feels like whatever you’re offering or providing isn’t valuable enough in the moment, what can do to make it more valuable? What is the story you could tell about it? What is something you could change about it? Focusing on providing value and a solution to a problem will always help you stay in business. Think about what’s next and what is coming down the pipeline and prepare for it.
Jenna Spencer: For my industry specifically, we were actually ahead of the learning curve. Eight years ago when we started AssistPro you did not hear about virtual assistants like you do today. But because of the pandemic, overnight everyone became virtual employees. For my company specifically, it actually brought a lot of recognition, clarity, and strength to our industry. It was really challenging before because it was so much on the forefront.
A lot of people didn’t understand it. This shift really strengthened our industry. We did have to adapt some in that we had to start working with people who were new to virtual. We quickly discovered that we needed to provide deeper education to our potential clients as they were now thrown into the virtual world.
What advice do you wish you received when the pandemic started and what do you intend on improving in 2022?
Jenna Spencer: I received a lot of really great advice during the pandemic because I believe in surrounding myself with great mentors. I met weekly with all of my mentors throughout the pandemic and received some really great advice. Two things stand out.
One, make sure that you are financially positioned to weather a storm like a pandemic or like a downturned economy. Have cash to float. Also understand what things you can throw off the side of the ship in a time of crisis. What is a necessity and what is a “nice to have”? List all this out.
And two, be ready and willing to get direct feedback from who you are servicing. Be ready to pivot, and don’t be afraid of change because in times of crisis the people that can adapt and change the fastest will be the most successful. This year I intend to continue receiving that feedback and thinking outside the box.
Jenna Spencer: Including my phone, probably 10 hours a day.
The majority of executives use stories to persuade and communicate in the workplace. Can you share with our readers examples of how you implement that in your business to communicate effectively with your team?
Jenna Spencer: I am a talker. I love to tell stories. My mom taught me at a very young age that you can learn just as much from people as you can from books. I always relate anything that I want to teach my team back to a story.
Sometimes I share my own experience, and sometimes it’s another person’s experience. I think our experiences connect us. For example, we implement this with our potential clients by sharing the successes that we have helped our current clients achieve. They can easily relate to this because they are in a similar position. Sharing these stories makes success tangible to them.
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as the real challenge right now?
Jenna Spencer: Good people are hard to find. The workforce is really struggling right now because people are realigning their priorities. They want to bring their lifestyle to work whereas before people left their lifestyle at home to come to work.
People used to have this desire to immerse themselves in work and to work their way up the ladder but now, through the pandemic, I believe that people have learned to prioritize their life and lifestyle. How do companies provide the kind of environment where they’re getting the most productivity out of people while realizing that the way people used to work is not the way people work now? I think this is the challenge that lies ahead.
In 2022, what are you most interested in learning about? Crypto, NFTs, online marketing, or any other skill sets? Please share your motivations.
Jenna Spencer: Economies go up and economies go down. I am interested in property investment, diversifying my portfolio investments, and Crypto. That said, my motivation right now honestly is being a mom. I am never going to get this time back with my children so I am all in on embracing this season I am in.
A record 4.4 million Americans left their jobs in September in 2021, accelerating a trend that has become known as the Great Resignation. 47% of people plan to leave their job during 2022. Most are leaving because of their boss or their company culture. 82% of people feel unheard, undervalued and misunderstood in the workplace. Do you think leaders see the data and think “that’s not me – I’m not that boss they don’t want to work for? What changes do you think need to happen?
Jenna Spencer: Companies need to understand that people now value their personal priorities more than ever. The big thing that I see in my industry specifically is that dual-income families learned how to operate on one income during covid.
They are not willing to sacrifice family time and engagement for a double income anymore because they’ve learned how to live on one income. How do companies make our people feel heard, valued, and understood? How do we show them that they can bring their whole selves to work? People aren’t willing to sacrifice their personal lives just for a job anymore.
On a lighter note, if you had the ability to pick any business superpower, what would it be and how would you put it into practice?
Jenna Spencer: I would love to be able to see the future. I am a perfectionist and I would love to know what’s coming and how to equip myself for it. It’s not that I would want to be all-knowing, I just think it would be great to be able to see what’s around the corner so I could better prepare myself. The learning curves are challenging for me as I hit new levels of business so I think it would be super helpful to start learning for what’s next ahead of time instead of in the moment.
What does “success” in 2022 mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Jenna Spencer: Success in 2022 to me means that I am a wife and mother first, and a businesswoman second. As a female entrepreneur, it is very challenging to have solid boundaries with your business. I’m never going to get this time back with my kids who are so very important to me.
It means saying no to as many things as I say yes to. I still want to move my business forward so it’s just being intentional in my vision, focusing on my priorities, and making strategic investments so that I can free up more time.