Episode 25

The Secret Superpowers of VAs with Lee Doherty

July 14th, 2021


Today we’re chatting with Lee Doherty all about the secret superpowers of VAs and how hiring VAs can help you to create time freedom in your business.
We dive into:
  • How hiring VAs can help you create more time freedom
  • Blocks that stop VAs from being able to work effectively for you
  • What you need to be across in order to start outsourcing a task
  • Creating time boundaries and being organised to save you time
  • Planning for tomorrow as a way to sleep better
  • Letting your team members support you by talking to them about where you’re at
  • Getting clear on whether you’re looking for a VA vs an OBM
  • Understanding that different VAs specialise in different areas

Connect with our fabulous Speaker

Lee Doherty | Admin & Co.

About Lee
Lee Doherty is an Online Business Manager/Strategist leading a Virtual Assistant Team, a netball tragic, main income stream for local drive-though coffee establishments on the Surf Coast and proud wifey and mum to 3 teen girls.
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Lee’s Website





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Join the Take Control with Nicole Facebook group here.

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Full Episode Transcription

Nicole Smith 0:02
Welcome to take control with Nicole. As business owners we experienced firsthand the fine line between our personal and business life. During our conversations, we will look at simple hints and tips to create time, reduce overwhelm, and help you to navigate through your journey to where you want to be. If you’re looking for smarter ways to work, and create space and time freedom in your day, then you’re in the right place. All right, let’s go….

Hello, hello and thank you for joining me for this fabulous episode of take control with Nicole. Today I had the amazing leader already here with me and we are going to be talking all about the secret superpowers of virtual assistants or V A’s as you may know them. But firstly, I would love to introduce you to Lee. Lee is an online business manager and strategist leading a fabulous virtual assistant team. She is a netball tragic, the main income stream for her local drive thru coffee establishments on the beautiful surf coast here in Victoria, and a proud wifey and mom to three teen girls. Well, hello, Lee, thank you so much for joining me here today and sharing your amazingness with my community.

Lee Doherty 1:20
Thanks for having me, Nicole, I love your energy. And I’m so excited to get invited to do this podcast with you today.

Nicole Smith 1:27
Ah, thank you. That’s so lovely. And I is so important. This one we actually I reached out to you a couple of weeks ago, I think what’s a mutual contact actually, where we were talking about virtual assistants and the wide range of areas that where they can actually support business owners. And it was something that maybe not everybody is aware of. So we decided it was essential that we had this conversation and shared it to the world so that when people are ready to outsource, they know that there’s options out there for them.

Lee Doherty 2:00
Definitely there’s more than the overseas VA, there are so many options out there. And I think the discussion started from from a mutual client that a very experienced person and was just totally unaware that she could have that type of support available to her in a VA option rather than direct hire and direct employee type situation. So yep, ready to answer anything and go for it?

Nicole Smith 2:31
Yay! Firstly, I’d love you to share a little bit about you your business and what makes you sparkle.

Lee Doherty 2:38
Okay, so you’ve given me a really good intro with being an online business manager and strategist with a VA team. So our ideal is that we support mainly female small business owners to become future focused, less overwhelmed and stressed and get back in the control seat of the business that they running, and that they started because they loved. So we review then do and manage the tasks that in your business you shouldn’t be doing. You don’t know how to do or don’t have time to do so that you can create space and time to allow you to focus on the income tasks that you need to do in your business to grow and to keep your business being sustainable and having longevity. So yeah, that’s what I do. I’ve been working since I was seven, eight. So I’m nearing. I’m nearing 50, I’m 1 year off 50. So yes, I’m 49. So I’ve been doing admin for a long time, in corporate world and everything like that was actually the business was actually started five years ago actually born out of becoming ill having to take some time off work. And as I was nearing going back into the office, you know, when when did you want to resume I sort of realised that I had to say more yes to my health and that I wasn’t ready to go back to the nine to five to commute to work to do all that type of stuff. So I’d heard of this type of thing of a VA probably was at that stage, what’s more that you would hear about overseas VA is was very much the thing in the US and things like that. So it started off with basically a Facebook post where I just sort of put it out to I didn’t even have a page I just sort of basically said look, I’m looking to take on some admin work remotely doing it from home as anyone interested and I had my first client within a I think within two days it was actually a previous business that I had worked for a chamber of commerce. And it was just as easy as just doing all updating all their maintenance and events and stuff like that. So I have created a business that I love and basically designed it around me In my life and my lifestyle, so yeah, love it. Yeah,

Nicole Smith 5:05
That is exactly what I’m all about. A lot of those words, I’m like, Oh, yeah, aha, celebrate. Yeah. Oh, I love the review and do Yes, very clear.

Lee Doherty 5:17
Yeah, a lot of the time, we don’t have time in our business because we’re just on the, I think would say the hamster wheel, we’re just doing stuff we don’t have time we know, it sits there in the back of our heads that we should be we know that we shouldn’t be doing this, but I haven’t got the skills to you know, pass on our nor that time you think that there’s no one out there. And there are there are many different options for you to outsource, you know, two hours of your work away to, you know, to 10 to 15. There’s always options, and there’s always people out there. That’s that’s so

Nicole Smith 5:53
true as well, it doesn’t necessarily mean when you’re looking to outsource, you know, it could only be one specific task. So like we were just talking before we hit record that I outsource my podcast production to beautiful soul, Chloe. And that removes that sort of hour and a half that I would see and edit and do all the things I can be doing on you focusing on something else in my business.

Lee Doherty 6:17
Correct. All right. And you might take four hours to do it. And Chloe does it even in the allocated time. Yeah knows exactly how to do it. Whereas you could focus on those other tasks, and you need to grow your business, and that you do best.

Nicole Smith 6:31
Absolutely, sir. freshing as well, when you get to that moment, and you’re like, I’ve got more time. Sorry, as a business owner, we reached that point where we’re like, yep, I’m ready. I’m ready to outsource. I know that there’s these things that somebody asked to be doing better better than me or I don’t really like doing them. I don’t I say bookkeeping, or one of those sorts of things, social media creation, whatever it is. But where do we go? Like, how do I find the person or I know I’m busy. But what can I outsource who out there is available? So I guess as we were talking this, this conversation led off the inquiry around, there’s technical videos out there that can do all of the online space, the web designer, you know, all those sorts of things. So from your experience, where and how, like, Is there a limit on what we can outsource? Like,

Lee Doherty 7:28
there’s no there’s not a limit, there’s no limit, I say to people, you know that you’re ready to, to outsource. When you’re taking work home at night, you don’t I mean, you could be already working from home. But if you’re having to jump on to do stuff, after you’ve done dinner, you’ve put the kids to bed. Yes, that can be your work rhythm and the time that you have available to do it. But if you’re doing a full nine to five day already in your business, and then having to jump on, that is serious, you need to have a look at your time management and look at what you’re actually doing. So I talked about doing a bit of a task audit, do you know what I mean? I’ve literally one day in your, in your day, have a piece of paper beside you. every task you do write it down? Are you thinking when you’re actually I think sometimes we do have those thoughts that subconsciously, I don’t need to be doing this, or I’m sitting here doing this. And I know that I need to be doing XYZ because that’s where the dollars are. That’s where the focus is. That’s what my chargeable hourly rate is, do you know no mean sort of thing?

Nicole Smith 8:36
Well, the other one I find is, but it’s just as easy for me to quickly do this. If I go and try and train someone else, it’s gonna take way too long. But really, yeah, find them, then you don’t ever have to be doing that

Lee Doherty 8:49
again. Correct. And that’s the first thing that I say to people in a discovery school called it is not going to happen 100% from day one, you have to allow some time to train allow just as you would do with a physical person coming into your office or employee sitting side by side, you can’t have them start and then go see you later you go unless you’re employing someone who’s you know, 20 grand or bigger, you know what I mean? They’re in that role, but you can’t sort of expect someone to come in and do something but not hand over the work properly, not designed the job description and stuff like that. So that probably explains a bit of the difference between maybe of an IBM and a VA is that OEMs help like with the having I always said to people I come in and I have an overarching view of your business and what’s actually happening. Trying to identify what you’re actually doing any job that’s actually causing the roadblocks. So I will have I have like in a sort of like a qualifying form. When people come through. I asked what are the tasks that you’re actually doing that you don’t like? Doing do not I mean, they should be the first ones that you get rid off? You know, to me, like, why why do we run businesses? If we’re if we’re spending two, three days a week doing stuff that we don’t? Don’t love? Do you know what I mean? So the thing, so they’re the type of things that you should look at sort of thing. So IBM’s are those? They? Are they your business manager, they use sideways BFF in your business? Do you know what I mean? That you can bounce those ideas off, you’ll find that those people have lots of skills and education and that you’re not their first rodeo, you know? Absolutely. So you’ve got to Yeah,

Nicole Smith 10:40
from a higher point as well, don’t you? So? Correct, correct. We’re just talking before as well, as you know, when you’re in your business, it’s actually sometimes really difficult to see beyond the desk day sometimes and having that I love that your your business BFF on the sidelines there but understanding you your business, where your mind, like what your vision is, yeah, and having that person there to actually go, Hey, have you thought about all you can start to give that to someone else? You don’t need to do that anymore?

Lee Doherty 11:13
Get that? Oh, yeah. Yeah. And that’s supporting the client to become better. Yeah, you know, become more enabled to learn leadership skills, you know, like leadership and management skills off, you know, like, bouncing, I am currently helping a client at the moment who were basically drawn a land line in the sand. She’s that unhappy with her Bs, Monique, with her business, a business is chugging along, right, and everything like that. But she’s not comfortable doing the work she’s doing and stuff like that. So it’s a line and we’ve had those tough conversations. Do you know what I mean? I’ve gone. How are you feeling today? I’m not, I’m not great. Do you know what I mean? All those type of things. So we’ve said, let’s give it six months, let’s change some of these things and see how you said, I don’t think she would have been able to get there without having someone else because she felt that she couldn’t talk to employees about how how the business was going in everything like that. And she had some confidence issues to do you know, I mean, around her leadership and management, but it was more that she probably just didn’t have. She’s a creative. So she had a lot of skills and was really fabulous at a job. But you know, that the leadership and the management was not natural to her. So providing that type of support as well, sort of thing. So yep. running your own business can be

Nicole Smith 12:32
a bit of a lonely journey. That’s something else we spoke about just before we should have pressed record probably about 20 minutes before we did sweet. Yeah. Anyway, we’ll talk about it all now. Yeah, I know, when I started my business, coming from the corporate space for so many years, you’ve in corporate land, you have those inbuilt communities, even if you may not get along with them all. They’re still there, support and guidance. Whereas then start your own business. And there’s all these fabulous things about starting your own business. But what it means is that you’ve got to find your community, you’ve got to find your people. And you’ve got to find the people that are guiding you in the right direction as well. And having somebody like in OBM, or you know, VA in your world that understands you and where you’re headed, is just so sharing,

Lee Doherty 13:25
sharing the journey, sharing his strategy, sharing, sharing those type of things, it’s, it’s, it’s hard sometimes to have those conversations with your partner. Do you know what I mean? That may not understand how do I explain this? My husband is an employee. And it’s very hard to sometimes to explain things that are happening in the business and even though he’s a general manager, and you know, he’s role outside but just someone else to have those share those fears sometimes so you know, to bounce off the ideas, what do you think about this and the good thing about an IBM a VA, as I said, it we’ve probably experienced the same things or no similar situations from working with other clients. Yeah, and we can bring that experience to you for free basically, just from working with us sort of thing.

Nicole Smith 14:19
Yeah, those learned experiences I think around a SAR important you know, we learn every every experience we have we we gain more knowledge, we learn the things to do and the things maybe not to do again, or the systems we love or don’t love, or the different clients we’ve worked in and have, they like to use a different system. So like, you know, I love clickup always, I think it’s amazing. However, not all of my clients like click up so we find the solution that’s going to suit them, you know? And yeah, all of that is from experience working with different people in different spaces. So Absolutely. Okay, sorry vas. If what type of activities can they support us in? day to day, just diary management? And that may have been like the vision of what you see as a VA or scheduling social media. But how far can we go?

Lee Doherty 15:18
So I think I said this the other day, maybe in a in another group or something like that, um, the eyes are just like any other business owner, so they can choose to design and run their business however they like, there are the guys there that will just do general admin, and that and that’s fine. There are vaes, who will nation a certain plugin programme exactly, like click up, you know, those type of cars, they love it, they love the inside and out, I can see you beaming I know, that sets your soul on fire. Do you know how that can? I love that. That’s right. So there’s VA is great, I’ll look, I’ll just love doing Asana setup, so I just love doing it. That’s all, you know, like, websites and Mojang, you know, like just updating, doing maintenance, through to complete setups. There are and there’s different VA structures of how they run their business, they can be solo, and they could maybe only have enough hours to take on one to two clients, that’s their, you know, they might only have 10 hours a week that they can give. And that’s the way that they sort of structured that could be stepping stones because they are, you know, still working another job. They’re trying to establish their business and learn there’s a lot of learning, when you come out of corporate land, as you would know, to move into, I can still remember going where the hell is it? You know? Where is it, I haven’t gone it here sort of thing. So there’s a lot of upskilling that is done by VA is when they decide to run a business. So whether it’s going through, you know, a va industry type course, but there is a lot of upscaling that needs to be done because you do come from an environment that might have used quite a custom type programme to be running in the business. A lot of them, you know, might be using slack or you know, it’s probably more relevant nowadays, probably five years ago, it was either corporate or cloud based, you know what I mean? And it depends on what industry you’re working with. So as I was talking about VA is running their own business, they might only have 10 hours, they might only work with, let’s say allied health providers, they’ve come from a background of being a practice manager, let’s say, you know, in a medical practice, and they go right, I can do the same thing from home remotely as a VA being practice managers, Virtual Receptionist people who just answer your phones and stuff like that. So it’s really very wild, you know, like, so if I go through some of the things that so when we talk about things like tic tacs, these are normally people who are very highly skilled and educated in what they do, however, they choose to run their own business, outside of, you know, they might have three kids at home, they might have moved quite remotely where there is no access to work at a creative agency or gentlemen do all those type of stuff. But that’s what they’re choosing to do. That’s how they run their business. And, you know, then you talk about the structure of probably myself, whereas I get like an OBM. With a VA team, you might have two or three VA is working on your work under my guidance with you if that makes sense. Or during special areas that are needed to do. There might be that the social media is done, you know, the images is designed by someone but someone else does the scheduling. But then someone else does the newsletter that might be done sort of thing. So thank you for

Nicole Smith 18:57
Yeah, really good point, haven’t you that the you don’t necessarily have to so if you’re looking to find someone to support your team, you don’t necessarily need 10 hours with one person that burns the benefit of working in this small business space and having access is that you can you can create a team of specialists that can do the job just like Chloe does my podcast, she’s an absolute on it, that she that’s how I’ve chosen to do that element of it. And it’s just yeah,

Lee Doherty 19:29
it costs the cost savings in bringing in, you know, VA or IBM’s or those specialists, graphic designers, copywriter, those type of people into your business rather than an employee on a contract and having to house them in an office, the seats you know, you think about how many overheads go along with all the and and also the management of time processing a payroll during superannuation, all those extra costs that are involved with an employee, whereas when it’s VA, or other contractors, it’s just paying an invoice. And just you know, and I think it’s more ownership, that there’s no time wastage. I know that sounds that I’m saying that employees waste time. But but there’s no time wasting. Do you know what your deliverables are your deliverables? Yeah. So that you would do x y Z, and you’re delivering by certain date and time and it gets done. And you know, that if it’s not managed and delivered on time, then no harm no foul, you find someone else to do that job? Sort of. So yeah, but there is Yeah, the, as a sort of a said, a wide scale we’ve moved past the data entry is, is all based do that make sense? Yeah, absolutely.

Nicole Smith 20:51
I guess we’ve created our business from the areas that we love, you know, I love designing processes and systems like that’s, and that’s something I have always done throughout my whole career. And it was only Well, when I decided to launch my business, I’m like, that’s what I’m doing. That’s what I love doing. Absolutely. I love to design and create and hand it over so that you can run it, I like to maintain it, I’m good at maintaining that want to do it. For you to maintain it, and you gotta love it, or find someone who loves maintaining, and I think that’s the same for all of the VA businesses is that they love their specific thing. Yeah, be that designing be that Copy that, creating kajabi course programmes, whatever it is. They love it so much like as much as I love processes and systems. Yeah. So now we’re ready as a business owner to really outsource and how is how can we help increase the awareness of all of these different options that are available to people? Like because you know, sometimes it is very much like, Oh, I only think that they can schedule social media like how as, as a collective as a as this fabulous network that we have, you’ve got a massive network, I’ve got a massive network, and they’re both still growing. How can we get this message out? But there’s more than just?

Lee Doherty 22:16
Yeah, I actually was, I think it was at the start of the year, I was listening to clubhouse. And I heard a US guy, I don’t know, some guru or something, say, say the statement line was because all virtual assistants are flaky. And I was just like, whoa, hold up. Do you know what I mean? Like, is this what the industry that I’m involved in the profession that I’m doing? Is this what everyone thinks about us? Do you know what I mean? So probably from that point, in time, I thought, I have to get out and wave the flag a bit. And, you know, like, educate people about what a virtual assistant is. So any opportunity, so this is a perfect opportunity that I have. So thank you very much for fly the flag for VA industry of explaining exactly what we do. But anytime that I see something, someone asked me a question on social media, about a VA, it’s not always an opportunity for me to jump in and say, Hi, Ma, you know, admin in code tag myself away, sometimes, I will give away that education piece there to say that there’s a few different options you could look at here. Let’s say they’re asking about a booking calendar, you know, programme, so there’s a few different options, you know, there’s calendly, that’s free, there’s acuity. You know, you’ve got to find that with those Comm. workflows, you know, there’s a free version, you can add those things, but it’s just sort of like to go in and sort of fly the flag, if that makes sense. And say that, you know, like, your options for you know, this, you’re, where can I find a VA, you can find really good VA is in my industry group, which is virtually yours, which I, which people pay to be part of those member networks, they’re, they’re passionate about being a VA, they’re passionate about supporting their clients, and there’s a lot of upskilling and education in those things about what’s happening in our areas and finding really good virtual assistant operators that are similar to you and we educate each other in these things. But, you know, using those job lead platforms that are through that go out to industry members is a really good start, you know, so I’ll always fly the flag about you know, and you’ve got an opportunity there to get a reference checked one so like, for myself, I’ve been referenced checked, so you know, like, there’s no harm no foul and going those those things, but yeah, definitely. Rob, I would implore anyone who’s a VA to win you have that opportunity to talk about and to educate for free, go ahead and do it, you know what I mean, show show how much you care about our industry. Because probably, I would say with COVID, a lot of people looked at VA s or running freelance anything, was a really good, easy option. And, you know, kudos to those who did it and took the step and go, right. I’ve been, you know, I know, there was a lot of good admin people, a lot of skilled people that were let go from their positions, and they’ve worked out to turn it around to become a freelance, or, you know, a va typestyle business, and I’m, like, go for it, do it. But I think there was a lot of people too, who are just thinking, it was a really quick way to do it. And it’s, and it’s not, and as we all know, it’s not easy to run your own business, you still have to serve, you still have to deliver, you still have to, I, I hate seeing people say that they can do stuff when I know very well that they don’t have those skills. And that’s, you know, people who work with me have to go through a really rigorous, you know, like, I need to make sure that you’re saying that you can actually do what you say you can do. Because there is nothing worse than just be honest, just be truthful, if you don’t know how to do something. So I’m willing to learn, I’m willing to try new, if I think that you’ve got the right skills, and you know, can do you know, transferable skills and other things. If you can do this, I’m sure you can do this, we’ve just got to put some training and stuff like that. So that is

Nicole Smith 26:37
so so key. So I actually saw a post on Facebook might have been last week, and they were talking about, you know, the experiences of working with the VA and things that may have stopped you doing that. And one of those was that they, the VA would promise but not be able to deliver on that particular type. And I think it is it is about being honest, I know that I say when I want to work with clients, if it’s something that I know that I don’t want to do, or whether or not a good fit, saying no, is the most powerful thing. Because if my clients have a bad experience, then that is can be very harmful. You know, you just say no right now and your client, yeah, those people that want the support are looking for the support that you are passionate about and that you shine. They are your clients, not the other ones over here somewhere. The other thing as well was if we go right back to the start of our conversation about onboarding, in it’s the same when you’re onboarding with her a new consultant or new support person I know that I’ve just brought on cast my new va a few weeks ago. Surprise, surprise, I have a lot of processes already developed in lots of wedding videos. But it’s it’s giving that time knowing that investing in your new support person, if you have the time and capacity to do that. I’m a teacher, I love to impart knowledge. However, if you’re a business, it’s just to get it done, then you’re looking for a different calibre of person right there as well. So really being able to identify who you’re looking for.

Lee Doherty 28:15
Different that’s what Yeah, yeah. And I think that he talked about, if you know that you don’t enjoy the type of work that you doing for a client, and just say no, because it’s going to create anxiety, every time you go, I have got to do this five hours for this client. And I, you know, like, there’s things that I’m very skilled in, and I can do with my eyes closed, however, I won’t do them anymore, because it does not sit my soul. I’m not doing it anymore. And that’s maybe through age and wisdom and being comfortable in what my businesses and what my services and what I can deliver and everything like that. But talking about the onboarding, that is probably the most crucial critical part of especially with me working with others. They new clients get me for the first month, if that makes sense, or checking in every week making sure so I can normally identify what I would like to say to people about working with VA s and OBS or any consultants and stuff like that is give us a chance. And make sure that you give us all the information that we need to know to be able to deliver deliver the service, the blocks that I have found, have been where I’ve realised that a client has not delivered the stuff on time or have any part of everything that needs to happen, or they’re still holding on to one part of it that they said that they’re getting rid off if that makes sense. And it does make the journey a little bit tougher to get to that point. But normally, I’m experienced enough to To get to hell, the hand of the person who’s because it is it’s a it’s a faith, and it’s a trust. And it’s, you know, like, we’ve all grown our businesses. So yeah, I’m probably working with more established businesses. So it is hard to let go of the reins and just giggling

Nicole Smith 30:19
at the moment, because I’m thinking about Cass and my relationship. So far. I’ve been in creation. So I see myself as a creative and a creator, because I’m designing and I’m got all the ideas. And as an entrepreneur, which is most likely your clients, you’re working with us, well, we’ve got all these things that arrive and they’re magical. And that’s what we need to do right now. And Cassie, she’s given her the task, and I’m an over communicator, probably. But she’s got all the information. And I just think I said, Sorry, cast, you’ve joined, right in the moment that I am building this new thing. I’ve launched the membership, and I’m building it and it’s got all the things happening. And I’m just listening to what you’re saying there about having someone there to go Hey, come back. Yes. Bring it back a little bit for clients as well, Mike, that’s fabulous. Butcome back.

Lee Doherty 31:18
Yeah, the bright the bright, shiny object syndrome type thing. And I’m guilty of it too. And I think that Yeah.

Nicole Smith 31:27
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Lee Doherty 32:29
I’ve always worked in you know, like accounting and banking and finance and stuff like that. Yeah, so to be in this type of role, and to be moving across so many different businesses and stuff like that. And to be able to create and have that creativity and we talk about creativity, we talk also about designing processes, coming up with systems, I don’t know that it’s not everyone’s jam. But you know, when you see things like improve, because, you know, you set up that workflow really good or, you know, like, you’ve changed something and you know, the client is benefiting the outcomes of outsourcing to you and something, an idea that you’ve come up with to actually help them improve their business. It just sparks joy, and it doesn’t to everyone, but you know, like 2am on that bandwagon.

Nicole Smith 33:21
Obviously surprised

Lee Doherty 33:24
that you see them visibly, you see them visibly change, you know, like even their language changes, they’re, you know, the sit up a little bit straighter, they’re a little bit more commanding it the way, you know, like, it’s just, you know, beautiful. There’s a new client, for example, that I’m starting to work with that she’s got a fabulous business, but she feels that because she can’t get a website, right, and her emails, you know, setting up, you know, like a landing page and do it, she feels like she’s a failure. And I’m like, you’ve got a fabulous business Don’t think like that, you know, just because you don’t have the skills to do that or know how to do that doesn’t mean that you’re a failure. You know, like, she feels that she’s a total imposter, that she’s not running a legitimate business, because she can’t work that I said, that’s my job is to empower you to be able to do that sort of thing. And by the end of the call, you could see that she was just like, I have found a solution. You know, like it’s going to happen. I’m just like, yes, we can do that. Yes, we can do that. Yes, we can do that. So that. So yeah, that was wonderful. It was wonderful.

Nicole Smith 34:31
I love that that is and that there are so many business successful businesses, you know, like, I support someone still and his business was going for, say, the last 15 years with no digital presence at all. Whereas they were the top of the game in May industry. Yeah. You know, one of the first projects I did was actually bring them into the world. Yeah, do the whole branding and all the things and that hasn’t changed, or are they still sucks That’s for business. They’re just now digitally present, you know, more people know about it. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Love that. So, so good. It’s so good that you can just look. And sometimes it’s not that very far, it’s about putting a post up somewhere or going to virtually always, I always recommend people going there to, to have a look when they’re searching for vas, you know, in their first instance, because it can be a little bit scary of, yeah, I don’t know who this person is, they’re saying I can do all these things will actually work for before, are they actually going to deliver words, right? Going through a and, you know, a place like that, you know, that

Lee Doherty 35:40
There is, and I know that Rosie, who runs it, she will help you to if you were to make contact and you say, I’ve got this job? I’m not 100% sure how I actually would, she will tell you the options. Do you know what I mean? Or I think you’re looking for a social media VA, or a communications VA or you know, and she will help design that, you know, the job ad for you to make sure that you get the right, people applying and stuff like that. And you will find that the members applying for those type of jobs, you know, we sort of have a code of ethics. Do you know what I mean? Same don’t apply for the jobs you can do? Yeah. Like, yeah. Yeah,

Nicole Smith 36:24
absolutely. But education pace, that continuous education, it’s something I’m always passionate about, I think, if you’re, you’re genuinely serious in the business that you’re in, things check, especially technology, my gosh, like, if I just ever look at click up in the updates that are happening all the time, the features, the things, you know, the new ways of potentially doing something are going to be on top of my game to be able to really help my clients when we’re just we’re building that particular system. So that self education, self improvement, all of that is is a really big part of running a business.

Lee Doherty 36:59
Yeah, yeah. And we’re very open to, I would say, with the VA industry is I don’t look over the fence at what anyone else is doing. You know what I mean? I don’t compare myself to anyone. I think a lot of there is enough. Work out there for everyone. Yeah, at the start, maybe I used to, you know, especially when someone actually did rip off my whole social media, and actually posted everything, exactly the same as me, and even my client testimonials. That was a bit scary. But that’s what other day, that’s all that I baby. That’s another subject we talk about. Not ripping off other people. But yeah, yeah, that was quite a bit, there is enough work. And there is enough skilled people out there. You know, if I, if I can’t do it, I will find someone who can do it. You know, I’ll refer it on somebody. For example, there was someone who wanted quite a specialised area. She wasn’t getting much traction, I said, Look, let me see if I can find a couple of people. And I found people who had skilled in that industry. But I had to set a look, I don’t have any time to manage this work to thing. So I’m going to give give it to you for nothing. Here are the options, I asked the VA, could I put you forward and everything like that, but I wouldn’t be involved, you know, with the the running or that sort of thing. They were okay. And that person who, who could have became my client. I just knew I didn’t have enough time to support her in the manner that would that I need to Yeah, with my clients at the time. So I was happy as long as she was happy, do you know, check out and she said, Look, I’m appreciative that you’re open and honest that you know that you couldn’t do it. And thank you for finding those contexts for me so. And that’s,

Nicole Smith 38:53
I love that I’m the same I am. I’m not a very competitive person at all. I think that there’s so much opportunity in space and to celebrate and support each other. We’re all individual, fabulous women and men, everyone out there running businesses, and it’s really about knowing who your client is being honest. And if you can’t serve your clients the best that you want to with this particular person, finding someone else who can do it, it’s so relieving because otherwise, you take them on board, your books are already overflowing, you’re gonna end up having a bad experience. They’re gonna end up having a bad experience, because you’re not and you’re suspicious. Yeah, yeah. Beautiful. Well, I think we have covered most of it. I think, is there anything else you’d like to, you know, share with us before we wrap it up with a fabulous three questions at the end. Oh, okay.

Lee Doherty 39:55
The main benefit and benefits of a VA or IBM or any type of freedom silica specificities, you will guaranteed get more time back 100%. You know, even if it’s an hour, even if it’s two hours, you’re going to get that back, you’re going to eggs fairly. I was just on a nother networking group I’m involved with, they have group mentor calls, you know, monthly calls, and it’s on at nighttime and stuff like that. And I was watching your replay. And they were talking about outsourcing. And so I was like, I think I’ve outsourced too much, because because I’ve actually got time she goes, I this is the first time and she goes, I feel so strange that I’m not doing stuff at night. And you know, but she could see that she was actually happy. You could see that she was happy. You know, she goes, it’s just everything’s getting done. It’s happening when it’s supposed to happen. It’s not me missing the deadlines. Do you know what I mean? That I was supposed to? Like the thing. So here she’s, yeah, it was kicking goals, because she’s got more time and stuff like that, and haven’t created

Nicole Smith 41:02
our businesses to be working all the things I actually saw a post, I think it was an Instagram real, you know, it’s like, Yes, I’ve left my nine to five job was like 40 hours a week. So I can work 60 hours, and I’m now the marketing manager. And I’m now head of it. And now I’m head of sales and dofollow. Yeah. And you’re just looking at, you’re like,

Lee Doherty 41:24
Oh my gosh, that is so true. Like, I am a big I am a big believer, though, that you need to get for the first six months do everything and know the reasons why like know your numbers, know why, you know, you need to do invoicing here and all that type of stuff, know how much it actually costs to do something, your expenses and your overheads and stuff like that. And then you know, when those don’t serve you anymore, you know that you’re all over it. And you know, if you get someone to do your finance admin, or bookkeeper or something like that, and they run your monthly reports, and you get them, you know, what they actually say, you know, what your social media strategy is, you know, what your call to actions are, you know, what, posts that are going to drive better engagement for you or work for you. And then you can easily hand that off which go, here’s, here’s how we do social media, you know, for our business and things like that. So, but yeah, you do have to wear all the Beagle over if you do have to wear all the hats at the start. But you know, once you start getting comfortable making a profit, or you know that it’s holding you back from actually generating income, that’s where, you know, paying someone to do something for two hours, that you will bring in two hours worth of your consulting rate, income, whatever it is, um, you know, it could be your rate could be triple what they actually, yeah, you’re paying, do you know what I mean? sort of thing. So bringing in them, but yeah, that’s my one thing is, yeah, you’ll definitely get time back. Yep. You’ll get free space in your mind to create and think, you know, about the business not just doing the business. Yeah. And yeah, having that is goal. Especially the young, I don’t know how the young moms of young kids are doing it, you know, like, hats off to you. My kids are teenagers. They’re still I mean, we’re in school holiday motor disease now. But I do remember those times, but I was working part time, but I was also studying at TAFE at the same time and going out a cup, but, you know, hats off to you for running businesses and you know, bringing up small little kids who you know, but I can guarantee they won’t, won’t remember you’re not being there. Do you know what I mean? Like I think now that they can say mom, you were there when you know blah, blah, blah, and remember, but I asked the kids do you remember me? going out to TAFE or you know doing other things? I go no not really remember you’re picking your little bit up from daycare and things like that. But um, no, keep going. Keep strong and outsource what you need to to keep your sanity.

Yes, and remember not you’ve would have heard me say this before. But outsourcing isn’t just about your business stuff either. So we’re actually talking about this and stuff here. But like, outsource your cleaners get food made if you mind like that’s okay, whatever it is you need to do you still like because we’re all individuals. I don’t like cleaning so we’ll get that out there. Yeah. Who loves cleaning? My plane is are amazing. They like just my kit. My cleaner is amazing. But I strive I do like cleaning but I don’t have time. Yeah, I know that it doesn’t serve me. I know that I need to Yeah, be doing other stuff. Yeah.

Nicole Smith 44:58
Yeah. And that is Kay, if you’re looking to outsource and you’re doing things that aren’t, aren’t currently serving you, or growing your business or push moving you out of that genius space that you love to work in, it’s time to have a look at who you can find in this beautiful, fabulous world of VA is and OBM is out there. So Oh, awesome. You ready for you through questions? I’m ready. Okay, all right, here we go. What is your go to app that creates ease in your day.

Lee Doherty 45:31
Google workspace is my big one. You know, I live in it, mail, calendar, drive, everything that it does. But probably the lifesaver for me has been calendly. As far as developing that reel. This is how you connect with me, this is how you make an appointment with me. And the workflows or the automations that are set up with that. Each pre qualifies everyone. So you make an appointment. It helps me the time blocking of my calendar. I know that I can only really take client appointments on Thursday mornings, or Wednesday mornings certain times. So I know that when someone comes in and says says, you know, can I book a meeting with you or just easily direct them to that link? And it does, takes out that to and fro email. Let me check my diary. Let me check your diary, you know, all that type of stuff, I will go, here’s the link, book it in here. From here, they get you know, my rights, they get a questionnaire to fill in, and they get a daily task audit, so and ask all those questions. So gives everyone the information of how to work with me, but also saves my sanity in making sure that when someone does take the time and effort to make an appointment with me that I’m on, and then I’m ready, and I’m ready to serve and ready to listen. So yeah, for me, and it’s

Nicole Smith 47:09
a very small thing that you can do. If you don’t have a booking calendar right now, there are so many beautiful availabilities out there for you. But it’s free and paid depending on what you need to do. But having a look at introducing that into your world. I absolutely agree. My old world I was an executive assistant and pray that I was coordinating global meetings with all the different people. Not super fun. I love the booking calendar, because it said it put your boundaries in place as well. Because I would imagine many of us even in the support industry is we’re places we want to help you want to make sure that you’re okay. So by having that calendar in there, it’s like well, these are my These are my times, yeah, and I’m respecting your times as well, let’s find the

Lee Doherty 47:58
place. And when I’m engaged by a client to be available for a certain amount of time and on a certain amount of day I need to be working on their their work and their tasks. So to pop in meetings in between and all, you know trying to flex on, I mean, there is some flex that, you know, that has to happen when they do happen. But you know, like, yeah, definitely, if anyone is struggling with that, that would be my go to is look at an online booking tool, said calendly. Again, I stuffed up this time all the time, isn’t it? Yeah. If you’ve got a Swiss Squarespace website that links quite well, I’ve got calendly linked into my website as well. But I think all of us are on so many different platforms, sometimes it’s very hard to organise things through Facebook Messenger messages, you know, sort of thing. So if you get that sort of risk, normal response, I’ve saved it in notes in my phone. So if someone’s asking about a meeting, I go, thanks for taking the time, you know, literally cut and paste and put it into a message sort of thing that if so that it’s directed that way. Yeah, just we have so many differing priorities hitting us, you know what I mean? ways that people will, the amount of times I’ve gone someone has contacted me about a year somewhere and I need to go through and try and find that. That’s 10 minutes in itself, you know, you’re gonna find that sort of thing. So I I’ve got lots stronger in the last year about this is the way to connect, and this is the way to make an appointment something and that’s not that I don’t love clients. I think it’s exactly what we talked about yesterday. Yeah, boundaries. Yeah.

Nicole Smith 49:48
And it’s actually knowing that this is the tried and true, tested way of being able to truly support your potential and current clients. The best way. So you’ve, you’ve done it for years, this is the way it works. So yeah, I’m all about central locations and lines of communication in and out. People would have heard me talk about that before. So, yeah. Okay, this next one. Are you an online or paper to do lists love.

Lee Doherty 50:19
So I sit in both camps. I miss an Asana girl at the moment, I say at the moment because we, you know, we’ve had discussions and you know, you are forging me to click up at the moment on Asana. So I have all my workflows and my templates, and you know, like the daily reoccurring tasks that need to happen on jobs. I work with Asana with clients that have Asana, so they invite me to their boards and things like that. However, if there’s a main few tasks, I know that I need to focus on per day, you know, I’m writing it off to the side and right hand writing and on the planner, I also have a notebook that I live and die by. So all meetings, everything like that, notes are taken, everything phone calls, everything like that. And I have quite a few of them. I mean, five years in the business, I sort of have been sitting here that I can easily grab, if that makes sense. If I need to go look at what I you know, talked about with someone or all that type of stuff. So bit of both. And sometimes it’s even, you know, typing up a list of go, right, I’ve got to get through this, this, this this. But along with getting through the to do list, it’s turning off everything. It’s turning off the notifications. I actually even work with a old kitchen timer. If I know that, yeah. Cuz some days, some days. I think I’m like, like every one Sunday, she can be easily distracted. When I find that that’s happening. I go, what am I being distracted by? And then I turn everything off, which, yeah, yeah. As you know, we turn off our phones to do this. But you know, like, my phone may stay off for the rest of the day. Do you know what I mean? So think, right. People will know how to get in contact with me and stuff like that. But yeah, definitely a mix of both. Yeah. Yeah, it’s

Nicole Smith 52:11
a very hot like, I’m in that space, too. A lot of my guests are in that space, because I think there is very different functions cognitively so that the right way, like physically writing something down just some I got the words today solidifies it, you know, yeah. Is it real?

Lee Doherty 52:30
Yeah, I did a lot of there’s a lot of that talk about journaling and stuff like that. And then I’ve recently did a business coaching programme, and literally out of someone is guided journaling, where they prompt you with questions and things like that. Yeah. We did an hour long session around that, and prompted questions. My second phase of my business is came out of that, asking, you know, writing it down, sometimes the mind, you don’t know what actually comes out of your mind. And I think that Yeah, a pen to paper is, is good. And I think that the I think there are science studies around your brain of having a big brain dump before you go to bed writing down stuff you need to do the next day will actually help you sleep because yeah, the positive out of your brain if that makes sense. It must I always suddenlink

Nicole Smith 53:24
Yeah, the planning for tomorrow, like the last thing you do, just getting it out there and knowing so that when you arrive the next day, it’s already out, but absolutely, the sleep stuff will, will help you not thinking about it anymore. You know,

Lee Doherty 53:36
I’m sure I’m sure a lot of like a sports programme in the sports psychologists was talking about that, you know, like, a big thing with young athletes and stuff like that is sleep they’ve had, you know, while they’re on all the time kids and stuff like that, but they’re saying you know, that physical brain dump will actually exit everything out. And you should have it tells your brain to go to sleep basically. I don’t know what the technical term but I got what exactly I think that that’s where the word brain dump comes from, you know, to me, like you know, getting it all we talk about doing a daily task order, I think of everything that you do, like whether it’s a formatted thing, but even just writing down what you do, and how it makes you feel. Yeah, like should I be nice? Yeah. Someone else could do this. Someone else could do this. Someone else could do this. That type of thing. So

Nicole Smith 54:35
yeah, I do the same with with sim not a daily task ordered as such, but a similar thing in the first session with my clients is uh, you know, talk at me. Yeah, got me what’s going on now? Where are we headed and all the things and yeah, the more you get out there be like a counselling session that though. Yeah, I love it.

Lee Doherty 54:53
I know. So I said oh, and and people always say it’s okay. It’s okay to say that it’s okay to say that you can’t do this or you can’t think about this. It’s okay. Don’t feel. Don’t feel that you have to do everything and don’t feel like a failure because you haven’t been able to do it. Because physically you are already one person. Yet we only have an infinite amount. And you’ve got, you know, a lot of the time it is a young mother who still follow you know, bless my husband, he cooks dinner, do you know what I mean? But there’s still Yeah.

Nicole Smith 55:33
I’m happy that adeleke

Lee Doherty 55:36
Yes, when I say to I say to people, it’s not that I can’t cook. I choose not to. So the kids are quiet, that actually don’t like it when mom cooks, because there’s always too many vegetables. But apart from that, but yeah, like it, sometimes it feels like a bit of a sits therapy session. You know, like with people, it takes a lot sometimes for them to get to that stage where they go, I need help. Do you mean I need help, but I can’t articulate it. So it’s exactly that that talk to me is, is a perfect opportunity for them to just I just say just let it out. Just go for it. Just Where are you at sort of thing what stopping you what, you know, all that type of stuff. So yeah, definitely just like, you know, how

Nicole Smith 56:20
fabulous that we’ve arrived here right now. Like, look at all the fabulous things you’ve done to right this moment? Yes. Just let’s just take it to that next level. Yeah. Yeah. Beautiful. Okay, well, I’m gonna ask this one, but I’m sure you’ve got lots of space. What would you do if you create a more space even more of this space?

Lee Doherty 56:41
I don’t know what I’m doing it right now. You know, I, I can be a bit of the what is it plumber with the leaky tap type?

Nicole Smith 56:51
That what is it the builder with the house?

Lee Doherty 56:52
Yeah, that type of stuff. So I’m doing it right now I’m getting really and this is through working through with peers and stuff like that. Working on, you know, like, I don’t have to do everything in and educating the client that I’m managing it. But I’m not going to be doing all of it unless it is those specific things like that I have trained in you know, management, and HR and all those type of things. So things that no one else can really do in the business except for me. So I’m doing it right now. And like I sort of said, I’m looking at the second phase of admin and CO and that was I did have some targets to hit by the end of the year, I had a bit of a derailment with some illness and a family member passed away. So that so that took me offline for a bit, but I’m still getting there. But at the moment, I am working on getting stuff out of my head to find another mini me to just do those. Part of the onboarding processes that I do, part of the proposals part of that stuff that I need to let go of to actually grow the next and manage the clients better, if that makes sense sort of thing. So yeah, we’re outsourcing. We’re outsourcing or whatever it is, we’re trying to find another mini les Yeah. But you know, like, I’m willing to train up the right person to be a mini me. So yeah, now I’m looking looking forward to it. Because the business is growing. And like the second phase, we’ve discussed it, I won’t discuss it here. But yeah, you know, what’s, what’s heading So, you know, it will be growing even further sort of thing. So, yeah, it’s exciting, but you’re making sure that the workflows that I do naturally, do you know what I mean? Yeah, are actually documented processes are their thing. And, you know, you sold me on a few things, where we talked about clickup you know, those, those linking of tasks that things automatically happen when other things are done, you know, like, yeah, yeah, so that will buy me time to investigate things like, click up and he’s, you know, ongoing programmes and things like that. Probably the space that I had a little bit more when I was smaller, and it was just me just starting, you know, sometimes I miss those days, you know, the exciting, you know, new growing a business and what am I going to use and what am I going to, you know, like, those type of things, but yeah, no exciting times to come. So I’m looking forward to Yeah, and even just outsourcing, you know, a couple of things that I’ve done recently have gone. That’s not so bad. Yeah, it’s not so bad. Like, I don’t, I don’t really need to do that. Yeah.

Nicole Smith 59:57
The thing is, is that when you’re in a support Roll and you’re so used to supporting others, you’re like, I can do it. I don’t need to. But those same conversations that you’re having with your clients you need to have internally and this is for everybody out there who’s sitting there right now saying, I don’t need to outsource I can do that. Just stopping they do I really need to be doing that can I find in this beautiful world that can help me to do that? I know applying to

Lee Doherty 1:00:26
a website design. I’ve got someone else to do their website. Perfect. Yeah, she was just like, I don’t have enough time. Yeah, I really value the skills and that and this person will do it will have better overarching look at my website and know that, you know, she goes. And it’s not just the technical parts of it, it’s the other things. And she said, You know, I just knew if I had kept plugging along, doing 10 other websites for other people. I know knowing that my back and my website in the background needs work on She goes, I just had to bite the bullet. She goes, it was all done and delivered within the timeframe She goes, I would have never had it delivered in that time. Yeah. So you know, it was she said, Yes, I had to pay for someone to do something that I do. Yeah. But she said the outcomes are. My website is all nice, Shawn, how

Nicole Smith 1:01:18
does she feel now? Because that thing tasks that big heaviness that you need to do a website, you need to do this, you need to do that lol yelling at you all the time, especially if you are a web designer, you know, like I can do? She must just feel breath. Yeah,

Lee Doherty 1:01:34
she’s done. Someone else has done it. You know, I know that it’s perfect and do it because she’s met everything that I asked her to do. And it’s all done and it’s delivered on time. So coming in

Nicole Smith 1:01:47
with finding someone you trust, you know that they’re going to deliver that you love their work they already do.

Lee Doherty 1:01:52
So yeah, I would just like people to say to just when people have that initial conversation with a VA or finding a VA, stuff like that, to listen to their gut, about what the VA is telling you are they there is a difference between us, we sort of said the task orientated VA and the OBM, so to be really clear on what you want from a VA, and whether it’s an OBM or whether it’s a VA, because there are the eyes that are just, I just do, I don’t want to think I just want you to task me up every week and do all that type of stuff. And just having an awareness that the type of person that you do want to work in your business, because it’s really unfair on VA. If you’re looking for manager taut person, and I adjust a task orientated person. Yeah, I do. And there’s nothing wrong with doers. No, nothing wrong with me, all they do is and there’s nothing wrong with overseas vas. And I think Chloe and I have had this discussion, I think on clubhouse with other people, there are places there’s parts and roles for everyone in VA lead, we’ve just got to make sure that when you’re looking for one, that you have a clear idea, it’s just like you would not expect the receptionist in your business to design your website to do the social media to do but people do in real life. I’m finding that people are working or walking away from their, you know, reception jobs because the expectations are put on them to you know, upskill up doing, you know, like the roles of marketing their business. Everyone just thinks that because you’re an admin person that you can do social media. Yeah. On paper don’t hate social media accounts. Yeah, that’s which is okay, which is okay.

Nicole Smith 1:03:50
Yeah, I had social media before my business, but I didn’t do social media, like I’m doing social media. Now. It’s totally different kettle of fish. But that’s a really good point to end on. I know that in all of my roles, it was never just the role that I was employed to do. I was head of HR, I was the it coordinator. I was the developer and designer of all the things I met basically manage the entire business by the end. And I love doing all those things. But being specific and finding someone especially you’ve got the options of finding someone specialists in there to support that is so so key. Okay, wonderful. Well, thank you so much. I love this conversation. I could talk about this stuff all day long, because it’s a real passion of mine as well. You know, being able to create time and space and time freedom, surprise, surprise. But where can we find you? Where are you? How can we all connect?

Lee Doherty 1:04:51
I’m mainly live on Instagram. I’ve just put a post up there that I’m offline because it’s school holidays, so you won’t see a post. For me, I might engage or something like that. But it’s naughty if I am because I’m really trying to put some boundaries in around school holidays and just do the work and do all that together. So Instagram, its @adminandco, and my website, which is www.adminandco.com.au. Facebook as well. But yeah, I’m mainly live on Instagram, that’s my jam. I like the visuals and everything like that there. I enjoy certain people’s who’s always on there doing the stories. I love listening to the call. She’s so present on there. Yeah, I do such a good job a

Nicole Smith 1:05:46
Little bit obsessed with things. It’s really funny. When I started, I thought my platform is going to be LinkedIn really did and that also my clients have changed who I’m talking to are all on Instagram. And I love it. Because it’s back to the creativity. I can be creative on there. The real fun, it’s Yeah, really fun.

Lee Doherty 1:06:07
So I think you’re right, I think that everyone, probably their sort of position would think that LinkedIn is the place to know, Instagram has probably been the most far reaching platform. For me, even though you know, service based business is a lot harder than product based business. But I think it’s just showing up and being genuine and people can actually get your personality and educating through there as well. sort of thing. So yeah, it’s where my perfect clients live. So I have to live there, too. Yeah.

Nicole Smith 1:06:46
And it’s fun. So he was places to live. This Raj. Oh, God, I couldn’t live in tock, tick tock land or Snapchat. I don’t think my clients are there anyway. Luckily, we had Instagram. Who just stayed alive? Absolutely. Okay, so all of those links, every way we can connect will be in the show notes as well. But um, thank you again, thank you for coming and chatting.

Lee Doherty 1:07:19
No worries. Thank you so much for having me to call. It’s been great. Yeah. And I hope that we’ve kept on track. And I hope that I’ve flown the flag for the virtual assistant industry. And you know, like, if you’ve got any questions about outsourcing, you know, ask for call ask me, you know, we can easily answer as I sort of said, you know, that no, no question is silly. That’s it. I’ll just say I’ve, you know, like, it’s really important that, yeah, yeah. Just ask the question will will tell you, you know, yes or no, whether it can be done or, and who can do it? Yeah.

Nicole Smith 1:07:53
Ah, perfect. way to end. That’s fabulous. Thank you so much. All right, everyone, I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day, and enjoy creating space and time freedom by now. Well, there we go. Thank you so much for joining me today. It’s been such a pleasure having you on board. Have we connected on social shares? If not, please come on over. Say hi, I’m on all the platforms at the artisan solutions. So I’d really look forward to seeing you over there. And if you enjoy today’s episode, don’t forget to tag me and I would love it if you could leave a review. And of course, share this with others so others can come and join us next time. All right, Did everyone have a fabulous rest of the week and until next time, see you then.


Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we work and live. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of all communities who also work and live on this land.