Your Second Brain: When to hire an Online Business Manager


Step back into my life about 5 years and you’ll see me working my ass off as a Virtual Assistant (and making peanuts). Fast forward a few years and I made the decision to become an Online Business Manager or OBM for short. Every journey to becoming an OBM is different, and I believe that it’s my crazy backstory that make me a great fit for my clients.

There was a time when I wasn’t quite ready to be an OBM but because of fear that my VA business would not grow, I moved into the role anyways. I charged too little, and my confidence was low, two things that always seem to go hand in hand. As I realized I had been managing businesses for years, and had helped manage several successful ‘departmental’ businesses (Information Technology, Office Management and Human Resources in my day job), I finally threw in the towel and fully accepted that I was an Online Business Manager.

Here is my list of what I feel an Online Business Manager is:

  1. Owners second brain.
  2. Looks at the big picture, AND the fine details.
  3. More than just a task ticker.
  4. Higher level skill-set than a Virtual Assistant.
  5. NOT paid to say YES.
  6. Manages projects and staff.

Making the decision to hire an Online Business Manager isn’t something you should do on a whim. Quality Online Business Manager’s charge between $50 and $150 an hour, and if you find one for less you may want to ask about what types of businesses they’ve been running before hiring them.

So how do you know when to hire an OBM? First, if you find yourself feeling like your business is in too many bits and pieces, and could use some higher level automating, that is a big clue. The second is if you find that you are in a growth spot and have no idea what to do next. You’ll usually find yourself thinking “If I only had someone to bounce ideas off of that really understood all the parts of my business and cared about it as much as I do!”… Yep that’s a clue!

One question I get asked about all the time is, what comes first the OBM or the lower level staff? In my opinion an OBM is the first stop in placing the right people within your business. They can help you grow, hire, manage and just generally make shit happen.




Business Gut Checks, Do you do them?

This month has been explosive for my business.

First, I’ve (FINALLY) built a dream team of higher level monthly clients, that I’ve fallen completely in love with.  I have room for one more so I’ve been chatting with my waiting list, and a few other potentials and I think I’ve made made my decision. In reality, I could take on 10 more (And be pretty well off) but the quality of my work is important to me, and my business model isn’t setup to just be service related offerings. I can’t trade ALL OF MY HOURS for dollars, so the name of the game is LEVERAGE.

I tend to look at my business as several chunks that make up a whole cookie.


On the creative front, I’ve booked in three websites this month. I’m excited, and honored to work on these projects. If you want to talk about a future web project, get in touch. More on that later, and for now I have a ton of even more FUN things coming up. Speaking of creative…..

Today I’m featured over at A Freaking Great Company’s blog as their Playlist Guest DJ.



Seriously, how freaking cool is this??!?!? See when I said this MONTH was MY MONTH. I meant it. InI was also asked to write for a famous newspaper and I’m just digging to find the time to do all of this!

Whenever I find myself feeling like my walls are expanding, I always try to do a business gut check, which consists of:

  • Doing a check in with myself, and my business or marketing plan
  • Making sure my decisions in the past few weeks have kept my big goals in mind
  • Making sure I celebrated every little accomplishment
  • Making sure I learned from every little mistake
  • Looking at my work billed, income and spending to make sure it’s in balance

Doing this often helps my business so much.

On the last business gut check, I had to make some decisions such as letting go of older clients who didn’t fit within my latest business model. It had been over 3-4 years since I had began working with some of them. I carefully approached each one and proposed a future working relationship. I let them know what I wasn’t going to be doing work wise, where my rates were going and how our relationship would change. If my business changes weren’t ideal for them, as sad as it made me, I needed to go ahead and accept this. This process was heart wrenching for me, and in the past, I would have avoided it and compromised my big goals. Doing this basically lead me to be broke and exhausted. Something I’ve promised to never ever do again.

So tell me, no matter where you are in your business or blog adventure, do you ever do gut checks? If you don’t I highly suggest it. If you do, let me know down in the comments below how they work for you.



Business doesn’t have to be gory, but it does take guts!

Sometimes I can’t believe I’ve managed to get such a cool business off the ground. While it’s been pretty bumpy, it’s also been 5 years of mad personal growth.

Yesterday was one of those days that reminded me of why I do this. I mean, of course it’s also because I get to work with some killer people, and make an infinite amounts of money. That’s great stuff, but yesterday I locked my whole family out of the house, and let me tell you, it became pretty stressful. While it was happening I went into a panic thinking oh my god what is going to happen while I’m away from the computer ( and my phone was about to die). Then it happened. I realized that I had plenty of room to breathe and deal with it, which was nice.

Five years in and I can tell you that my business looks nothing like it did when I began. I’m stronger, it’s stronger, and together we make nothing but pure rock and rock.

Over the summer, I toyed with several ideas of how I thought my business should continue to evolve. I replayed the times I went running from my desk in tears, over and over again in my head. I asked myself, how do I avoid this in the future? The funny thing is, the answer was always inside me. I just didn’t have the guts to figure it out.

I’ve been both the driver, and the passenger in my business, but it’s always been my car.  Anytime I pulled over to rest, it was well deserved, and even the times I felt like I was going to have a business breakdown, I knew I had to keep going.

Strip it all away and I have worked bloody hard to get here.

[Tweet “‘I have worked bloody hard’ – Richard Branson “]

So tell me, right now, right this second, how do you feel about your business?