Barry O’Reilly welcomes Le-an Lai Lacaba to this episode of the Unlearn Podcast. Le-an is the CEO and co-founder of 2xYou, an outsourcing company that specializes in hiring, managing, and growing remote executive assistants for solopreneurs and small business owners. She has been working from home since she was 15; she published her first book at 18, and became CEO at 20. At 23 she partnered with her boss to start 2xYou Executive Services, and aims to help 10,000 entrepreneurs grow remotely, and 1 Million Filipinos to work from home. Le-an also has her own Youtube channel, where she trains Virtual Assistants on how to work from home. She and Barry talk about entrepreneurship, and she gives advice to solopreneurs and small business owners on how to scale their business. Listen to Scaling 101 for Small Businesses with Le-an Lai Lacaba.

Building Systems

Le-an describes her early career as being an “outsourced CEO”, as she was running her clients’ businesses on their behalf. This was a major lesson she learned from that time, so her mission with 2xYou is “to empower executive assistants to empower the entrepreneur”. In the process of building a business, Barry remarks, you learn what works and solve problems. This is part of building your system. He commends Le-an’s expertise in this regard. Le-an explains that she was able to develop and refine her processes over 3 years of hiring, interviewing, and training others. “There was a lot of testing and a lot of rediscovering things that I already knew, and then looking at different ways that it could be better,” she tells Barry. [Listen from 2:55]



Scaling Remotely

What are some key things to unlearn when you want to scale your business to working with remote teams, Barry asks Le-an. She shares three tips:

  • Don’t expect your team to know everything right away. Delegate the right task when you’re onboarding, so that they are not overwhelmed.
  • Make sure your workers document and report what they are working on. This ensures continuity in case someone else needs to take over their task.
  • It’s your responsibility to build a solid relationship and clear communication with your employee. If your workers are not sure about what they need to do next, it’s your fault. [Listen from 7:25]

The Importance of Mentorship

“I believe that you can always teach people anything, but it has to start with their character,” Le-an states. She describes the important role her mentor played in developing her leadership skills, and how she now uses what she learned to mentor her own team. She focuses on training her team to think like an entrepreneur, so it’s easier for them to help their clients. Mentorship also boosts her team’s confidence, she comments. “It was actually really beautiful watching the VA community they started because of the way that I was coaching and teaching them. They started coaching each other, and it became this thing where they were helping each other out,” Le-an says. “So it’s become three pronged: they have me, they have the team, and they have all of the tools and resources and the standard operating procedures to be able to confidently keep moving forward.” Remote work has exploded over the last two years, she and Barry agree. She is excited about the increasing number of resources and communities now available for remote workers. What also struck her, Le-an tells Barry, is how easy it was for companies to turn remote. [Listen from 13:10]

(Listen to Bridging the Mental Health Gap with Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas)

Looking Ahead

Barry is excited about the explosion of entrepreneurship around the world, and what it means for Nobody Studios. He asks Le-an what excites her about entrepreneurship and remote work as she looks ahead. Empowering different people to have multiple streams of income makes her happy, she responds. People now have a choice in how they want to work and how they structure their lives. Remote work has made this possible. Barry believes that companies who embrace entrepreneurial-minded workers will benefit the most. Le-an agrees: “It’s just that fun balance of finding people who have the entrepreneurial mindset but they also know the mindset of having multiple streams of income,” she adds. She shares tips for business owners who want to hire remotely, as well as individuals who want to find remote work. “Look for someone who can complement you,” she advises business owners. “And the only way you know how someone could complement you is by looking at what you’re currently doing and then finding the pitfalls and the things that you miss, and then finding a person who won’t miss that.” [Listen from 20:00]

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