“Breaking free from email was one of the most important steps I made as an entrepreneur. Now I want to help spread the word about InboxDone so more entrepreneurs can experience the same freedom.”
– Yaro Starak, Founder & CMO of INBOXDONE
Listen to the complete episode here:
Get To Inbox Zero with Yaro Starak
Today we’re excited to talk about inbox zero and to have Yaro Starak on the Service Business Mastery podcast. Yaro runs an amazing blog on entrepreneurship and also owns a lot of companies.
Join Tersh Blissett and his co-host as they talk with Yaro Starak (Founder & CMO of INBOXDONE) about how INBOXDONE was created, who it helps, and then the kinds of tips and support we can use to manage our email boxes. Let his nuggets of wisdom goals guide you in owning a thriving, profitable, and ever-growing business.
(“Yaro Starak is the CMO and co-founder of InboxDone.com, an email services company with a team of more than 25 people that serve clients such as restaurant owners, venture capitalists, accountants, doctors, lawyers, real estate agents, car retailers, and online trainers, among others.
Yaro has made over 30 angel investments in tech startups such as Steezy, LeadIQ, Fluent Forever, FitBod, and Nutrisense, as well as property investments in Canada and Ukraine and has built a 3.6MW solar farm in partnership.
Yaro sold his first firm, BetterEdit.com, in the mid-2000s and went on to build an online education company, Blog Mastermind, selling over $2 million in books and online courses while traveling the world and living in 26 different locations.
Yaro has been featured in hundreds of media sites and events, including SkyNews, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Foundr, and hundreds more.”)
In this episode of the Service Business Mastery Podcast, Yaro Starak discusses his white label email management service, InboxDone.com, which is designed for busy professionals and entrepreneurs.
- By using proven customer service and sales processes developed over years of managing email, InboxDone was created to assist people in breaking free from managing their email.
Do you also have to deal with a crazy-large inbox? Join us as we sit down with Yaro, and let’s talk Inbox ZERO! To learn some tips and tricks on staying organized, sane, and having a little less “arrrgghh” in admin, tune into this episode!
Yaro explains that one of the reasons he created the company was to have a little more freedom.
[00:16:00] “So it was inspired by my audience at the time, and it worked.
And it was even more amazing because those two test clients were opposed to me. One was like a libertarian podcast host who sold all kinds of services based on that. The other was a mental health disorder, not a physician, but more like a consultant in that space. So, finally, the whole thing worked,” says Yaro Starak.
[00:35:00] Yaro Starak also talks about email privacy and some example of financials in venture capitalists.
[00:36:00] “We have the basics, such as using a VPN to protect data, LastPass to protect passwords, and sharing and allowing access to your email account and sharing passwords, as there’s a reason for those kinds of barriers. Family members may email personal information about family situations that you don’t want others to know, right?” says Yaro Starak.
[00:37:00] “Therefore, if there are any situations in which you simply don’t want other people involved, do not delegate those tasks. It may not even concern a personal matter, but you simply don’t want anyone else dealing with those messages. We will create a folder for those messages, and then we will not look at them again,” he further adds.
Yaro discusses the tools that you can use to control who opens an attachment to your email.
- We don’t want to take the chance of making a mistake, so we use such as doxing, which allows you to control who opens an attachment to an email, and other similar things, so we can put barriers in place.
[00:39:00] In this show, Yaro talks about why their company isn’t the cheapest virtual assistant company.
- “The hiring process consists of ten steps, including testing, vetting, training, and an internal course created by my founder She was our first email assistant, so they review all of that. Then they’re paired with a junior-senior situation, so they can learn from someone who has already done it.
- So, we have a wonderful, progressive progression until they feel comfortable in their work They know how to connect with clients And, to be honest, this is a human-to-human business Human beings are the variable here Working for others is limitless and complicated, and we try to match things like personality, which is as absurd as sending a Democrat-leaning email assistant to a Republican customer. right?”
KEY HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE SHOW:
- The good news is that “The email management system” no longer requires you!
- How to Improve Your Inbox Management System or even make it perfect!
- How to save several hours per week by doing just email?
- How to set a timeline, testers, and pricing structure for a new business.
- How to make sure that a client of yours is fully protected?
- Learn how to handle your inboxes and email inboxes and how to make it a pleasant experience for all.
To find out how Yaro’s vast business knowledge can help you start, grow, and improve businesses, here are some Key Resources from his interview:
- Find more about Yaro Stara here.
- You can follow Yaro on Twitter
- Connect with Yaro Sarak on Linkedin
- Follow Yaro on Instagram
- Subscribe to his YouTube channel.
- Blog Profits Blue Print by Yaro Starak
Listen to this podcast and get equipped with essential business advice from this impactful conversation.
So, what’re you waiting for? Tune into this episode right away and get one step closer to becoming the successful owner of your dreams.
Subscribe to Service Business Mastery on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, our website, or wherever you get podcasts to hear more such fascinating and insightful stories.
About the Guests:
Yaro is the co-founder of InboxDone.com, an email management company with a team of 45+ serving clients including restaurant owners, venture capitalists, accountants, doctors, lawyers, real estate agents, car retailers, online coaches and more.
Yaro has made 30+ angel investments in tech startups including LeadIQ, FitBod, Steezy and Nutrisense, has property investments in Canada and Ukraine, and in partnership built a 3.6MW solar farm.
During the mid-2000s Yaro sold his first company, BetterEdit.com, then built an online education business, Blog Mastermind, selling over $2 Million of his books and online courses, as he traveled the world, living in 26 different cities.
Yaro has been featured in SkyNews, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Foundr and hundreds of media outlets and events.
For more visit: www.yaro.blog
For a complete transcription of the interview, Read More
Get To Inbox Zero with Yaro Stanak
Tersh Blissett: Hello everyone out there in podcast world. I hope you’re having a wonderful day. You listening to or watching Service Business Mastery Podcast? I’m your host. Tersh Blissett sitting along virtually with my co-host, Joshua Crouch. We are going to talk about one of the things that is the bane of a lot of people’s existence today. Josh and I, we both we can we take this with a badge of honor. But sometimes if you if you actually listen to the podcast or the the book, Ari Meiselas, replaceable founder or any of Ari’s books, one of the things that he really focuses on is don’t lose this just to do it and get rid of it, because you’re going to be hugely in a lot of pain. But that’s that’s our inbox, our email inbox and figuring out how to make it not a horrible experience for everyone. A few things. And let me preface [00:01:00] this with I haven’t passed any of this by air yet, so I might be telling you something right now at the beginning of the show that I need to change at the end of the show by the end of the show. But one of those things is the.
Tersh Blissett: Whenever we when I go through my inbox, I have a lot of rules set up. And so like if it comes in, it has this person’s name, blah, blah blah, it goes into this folder or it. And one of the things that we, Josh and I both did whenever we got we finished reading Ari’s book was we I created an optional folder. Josh fancied it up some and created a different folder. And if it says if anywhere in the the body of the message, it says unsubscribe or manage your messages and stuff like that. It automatically goes into that folder. So then you’re not bogged down with blog posts and a bunch of other things that you really want to see, but you’re not really sure. But then you’re important stuff. It actually [00:02:00] stays in my inbox and I went ham on this. So I was like, Oh, well, if it came from our CRM, I’m going to automatically send it to the Crm’s folder. If it comes from my bookkeeper, I’m going to send it to her. But her folder, if it comes from Julie, it’s going to go to her folder and then then my.
Josh Crouch: Crm, I go.
Tersh Blissett: Oh, that was horrible. I mean, it was so organized. I was like, I was inbox zero. I was like, done, no inbox, no message.
Josh Crouch: So you didn’t answer something that was important.
Tersh Blissett: That’s exactly what happened. And, and Christina, she’s like, Hey, I’ve been emailing you like three times a day, and this is an important thing. And like she called, she doesn’t call me. She does the voice to talk on the text messages. And so she’s like, I hit this message and I play her her voice. And all of a sudden she’s like, I’ve been taught calling you. I’ve been emailing you three times a day for the past four days. I need [00:03:00] this information because we have to do this for taxes. And I’m like, I didn’t get an email from you. And then I went and clicked on a box and it’s like a hundred unread emails. I was like, Oh crap. Well, I don’t have anything in my inbox, but I also don’t have anything to reply to. But I thought that I was like, Oh, we can’t do that. You over.
Josh Crouch: You over optimized.
Tersh Blissett: Over optimized. So like we have an admin at Service Emperor dot com and that email goes it automatically forwards to everybody in the company or everybody in the office. And it’s a lot of just not junk, but just repetitive stuff that I don’t really need. So I set it up to automatically forward it into its own own folder. Well, I didn’t think about the fact that there were clients that would reply to the CRM because the CRM says, like [00:04:00] when it emails, invoices and estimates and everything else, it says that it came from admin at Service Emperor dot com and they would reply to that email and then it would come to admin and it would go straight into my other folder. And we had a client that had six systems that one had replaced on their roof, but had questions specifically for me. And he said, Hey Tersh, would you call me about this? Blah, blah, blah. All the girls thought that I seen the email, so they didn’t reply to it. They didn’t say, Hey Tersh did you see the email? They just let it be. And that was like for two weeks. And we called them back the other day and he’s like, Oh yeah, I figured you got busy, blah blah blah. I was like, Thank goodness that we have a relationship.
Tersh Blissett: Yeah, we have a relationship together, the whole. But yeah, so over optimization is a major, major issue for me. But also one of the things that I did set up which a lot of our listeners have have taken this and kind of run with it too is [00:05:00] for years I’ve had an auto responder that says, I check my email, only check my email twice a day. So if it’s an emergency, please give me a call, call the office or call my cell number and I give them the office number. But I say call my cell. So if they really don’t know I don’t know if they know my cell number, they’ll call it. If they don’t, they get to call the office and see the gatekeeper. And I did that on purpose. And that’s been great because if I do respond immediately, then they’re like, Oh, I didn’t expect you to respond until tomorrow. And so it limits that expectation. But and I don’t know if that’s a good thing to do either, but we’re going to hear we’re going to hear from Jared with its inbox done. So this is one of those things where we have hiring a VA like you get on five or get on. What’s some other ones? Fiber’s kind of my go to Upwork, [00:06:00] right? I used to use.
Josh Crouch: There’s a couple that came can’t what they are right now but those are the two big.
Tersh Blissett: Ones and they’re good for certain things. But then there’s certain things where it’s like. I don’t know if I don’t know how to do this. Like, I don’t know how to explain what I want.
Josh Crouch: And then it’s training them right the way you want because a lot of.
Tersh Blissett: Times training them. And then as soon as they get trained.
Josh Crouch: We don’t even have a process for it. We just do it right. We don’t have a process to designate where we just do it. So I’m very interested to hear kind of your story about why they decided to start this business, who it helps, and then what types of maybe tips and other things that we can start looking for. Because email inbox is constantly an issue. Like, I woke up this morning, I cleared I cleared a lot of stuff up last night, and I woke up and I had like 60 more emails this morning. I’m like, Oh my God. Like, just doesn’t stop.
Tersh Blissett: So after, after creating that optional folder for me in one week, I get over 1000 emails that go to the optional folder.
Josh Crouch: Oh, my God, [00:07:00] that’s insane, right?
Tersh Blissett: Yeah. Yeah. And a lot of them a lot of those emails are just emails that are stuff that I would like to read, but I don’t I don’t necessarily need to read right now. They’re like blog posts and stuff like that. And, and I’m the world’s worst at saying I definitely want to read that. But not right now and then never go back and read it.
Josh Crouch: They’ll sit in my inbox. They just sit there and eventually I will read them on like a Saturday night. But let let’s get.
Tersh Blissett: You read whenever you go going to the pooper and just.
Josh Crouch: Yeah, well, let’s get, let’s get Jarrod on here and get his take so we can all start cleaning up our inboxes, have a more productive or run a more productive business. Welcome, Jarrod.
Yaro Stanak: Thanks, guys. That was great. You’re just talking about all the problems before we talk. I’m sure.
Josh Crouch: We covered. We only covered like a portion of them.
Yaro Stanak: Yeah, that was.
Tersh Blissett: Good. Welcome to the [00:08:00] show, man.
Yaro Stanak: Thank you. Thanks for having me. Both of you guys. I love the phrase you used before that Tersh. You have a receptionist for your your phones, but no one thinks about having a receptionist for their email as well. Like, like they do what you do folders and filters. But we like to think of ourselves as basically a receptionist for email because we’re, we’re being a gatekeeper. We’re defending you from all the time, wasting emails. We’re making sure you know about the important ones. And ideally we’re replying to the majority that don’t need your top level sort of management guys the more day to day routine stuff. But yeah, you covered everything cool.
Tersh Blissett: So tell us why you why you originally started it.
Josh Crouch: Yeah. What, how did you realize this was a big problem and needed to be solved in the market?
Yaro Stanak: Just like the story you two sold told there? I had a company. We’re going back about 15 years ago when I first realized [00:09:00] email was like the main pain point. Like before there were concepts like a four hour workweek. Thanks to Tim Ferriss. I was going for that life. I didn’t want to be able to travel. I wanted to be able to take my business with me and run it wherever I went. But for that to happen, I needed something that was a on the Internet. Makes it great because you can take it with you obviously. So step one. But then there had to like one of the things I thought was pretty scary for entrepreneurs was this idea of a 12 hour work day. They were running their own business, but they’ve created a job that was worse than working for someone else. So.
Tersh Blissett: Well, 12 hours, man. That’s. That’s part.
Yaro Stanak: Time. That’s part time. Yeah, right, exactly. So you’re having a holiday.
Josh Crouch: So true.
Yaro Stanak: So I was like, how do I avoid employment? But how do I avoid this sort of self employed life that could be even worse? So, you know, I was choosing at least the Internet for starters, and then a business that ideally I could hire people [00:10:00] and build systems and get myself out of mostly. And I’d done that. I basically had this online editing company and I hired contractors like Upwork back in the day, wasn’t called that, but that sort of thing to deliver the editing services. But my job was sitting in that inbox and it was especially bad because we would get a job from a client that says, I need this back in 4 hours, and of course we’d love to do that because we charge you three times as much for the express turnaround, right? But for me to be able to confirm with the contractor, A, they can do it, B, they can get it back in time meant I was glued to that inbox because I had to get back to that workload.
Josh Crouch: For the next 4 hours.
Yaro Stanak: Well, I was all day long because any time an email like that could hit the inbox and I had to really rush to find out if we can do the job. So I loved it, but I also hated it because I traveled, for example, just down to I live, I grew up in Australia. And I. The.
Josh Crouch: The. [00:11:00] So. Elizabeth.
Yaro Stanak: For a conference.
Josh Crouch: Hey, Earl, you’re a. Is it? Pause on your end.
Tersh Blissett: No, it’s. It froze up just for a second. I got a note to fix it. Oh, there you come. You’re back. Can you hear us?
Yaro Stanak: Again. I don’t know where he dropped. So I shut up.
Tersh Blissett: He said, you’re the last thing that I heard was you’re from. I think it said you said Australia.
Yaro Stanak: Australia. Yeah. Yeah. So. Okay. Despite the Canadian accent, I was born in Australia and I traveled from my hometown of Brisbane to Sydney for a conference and I barely got to attend it because I was in and out [00:12:00] of back then. It was internet cafes that I’m dating myself here before we had like Blackberries or iPhones and so on, and it was just not conducive to the kind of lifestyle I wanted. So straight after that conference, I went back and looked for a solution and it was weird because probably like a lot of people, I didn’t think email was something anyone else could take over. I just hadn’t contemplated that. That’s something I outsource. Even though my entire company was delegated, I delegated the service we sold. I had a website person designing the website. I had a copywriter doing the copywriting. Like I outsourced all these other tasks, but this kind of main job, which was customer service. But then there was also questions direct to me as an owner. I had never thought of hanging that over, so I did. I hired a friend at the time who was a stay at home mom, just had a first baby, and I spent a month just teaching her how to do the role that essentially I was doing. I basically handed over 95% of what I was doing to her, which was [00:13:00] mostly answering emails and forwarding jobs between our our contractors and our clients. So and it worked incredibly well. Like I woke up, I remember on a monday after that month of training and turn on the computer, it was next to my bedroom at that time and there was nothing in the inbox. And I thought something was broken, you know, it was like, what’s wrong with our website? You know? And I didn’t realize she’d gotten up and cleared the inbox, done all that, and I had a bit of an existential crisis, to be honest, because I no longer had a role. And I was like, what I do with my life a little bit at that time. Yeah.
Josh Crouch: It’s crazy. Like, that’s my first thought is like, what am I going to do? I don’t have any emails to get back to.
Tersh Blissett: Well, I mean, I almost feel like it’s it’s an ego ego driven thing too. Like, can anybody do this as good as I can? And yes, the moment that you realize that you’re replaceable, it’s like, all right. Might be not as important as I thought I was.
Yaro Stanak: Yeah. Or you can, like, write a book or go exercise.
Tersh Blissett: Or actually do something that you were wanting to [00:14:00] do with. The whole reason you started the business is to have a little bit more freedom.
Yaro Stanak: Or grow it bigger. Like a lot of people think, Man, if I want to do this thing, I could double the size of my company, but I’m too busy in the trenches just making it run. So yeah, and that’s the origin story. You know, fast forward many, many years. I had the idea of in the back of my head to do that for other people, but it was stayed on the back burner. And then about five years ago I finally felt that I was the right place to start a new company. And my co founder, she was actually one of my email managers at the time. She showed leadership skills. I was running like an online teaching coaching business at the time, and she managed my inbox along with two other people and we won like 20 for our reply. So I had three inbox assistants at the time and I said to her, Listen, I don’t know if this will work. We have a system to manage my email now. It’s well and truly developed. It’s like a decade of working on it. [00:15:00] Let’s see if we can take that and apply it to other small business owners and see if we can help. Whether you’re like myself at the time, an online coach style business, or maybe you’re running an agency or even mainstream, are you a doctor or a lawyer or a dentist? Any business you can think of, does it work in those fields? And then do people want this? Do they are they willing to delegate email? Do they see the value in it? Can we charge for it? So we rolled out a behind the scenes sort of test, found it to clients as an entry point.
Yaro Stanak: They came from my my audience at the time and it worked. And it was amazing too, because those two test clients were polar opposite and very different to me. One was like a libertarian podcast host who had sold, you know, all kinds of services around that. And then the other one was basically a mental health disorder, not not a physician, but like a consultant sort of in that space. So very different, different [00:16:00] audiences. But taking the process of how to delegate email and applying it to them, it worked. They benefited. They were willing to pay for it. I mean, they were super happy to pay for it because even at a I thought a high price at the time, you were talking $1,000 a month, $2,000 a month, that in ROI for them was well worth it, because if they get 4 hours a day back, that’s a huge return. And what they can do at that time is just massive. So it became a clear value proposition for the right people who are willing to do the delegation. And we’ve grown it ever since. So, you know, we’re a team of 35 now doing that for all kinds of clients and things like that.
Josh Crouch: So I’ve got a question for you. So to a fault, I answer emails quickly. I try to get things done because I don’t want to be the roadblock, right? I don’t want to be the reason why progress is stopped. Like I would hate to have an email sit there for two days accidentally and be like, Oh shoot, I never got this to the next person [00:17:00] to get this done. So how do you train? Because especially with these your smartphone that you carry with you, you can get email like instantaneous, you get the little ding or the notification. It’s like, oh, I got to answer that. And how do you get clients like myself that are they try to answer everything super quick to just back off, like, just don’t do it anymore. Like, just hang on a second. Somebody’s going to do this for you. Don’t answer everything immediately.
Yaro Stanak: We just take your phone off you. It’s a simple.
Josh Crouch: Solution, Josh, you know you can have it.
Yaro Stanak: Yeah. You know, it’s. I will be honest with you. There have been a very, very small percentage of people who simply can’t let go. And obviously, you find that out pretty quickly when you realize you’re just addicted to the messages and just it’s a control issue.
Tersh Blissett: It’s a dopamine rush.
Josh Crouch: And it is. Yeah, that’s my.
Tersh Blissett: You hit that. You get that instant hit and then you want to come back to it. And it’s an [00:18:00] addiction. I mean, for me, mine’s the red dot. I had the red dot addiction. If I have a red if I have a red dot on something, I’m clicking it, I click it, click. I got to get rid of that thing and I know that. So there are certain things that I know I’m going to get a lot of notice. Facebook’s the worse. I absolutely will not allow notifications to come to my phone for Facebook because I knew I’d be on Facebook all day long clearing those notifications out. Yeah. So yeah, for me, definitely as a as a business owner, I know that I would have to be like, all right, I’m going to just going to delete the app off my phone completely. And if you need anything, you can text me. And then next time I get to my desktop, I’ll look at the email. I know some people who do that anyways. Like my buddy Jesse Cole, he he has taken all anything like that, anything work related off of his cell phone so that he only can do it at his laptop or his desktop. And that way he’s not out with his family or anything like that. [00:19:00] And then all of a sudden an email chimes on his phone and it takes a distraction from doing that.
Yaro Stanak: Yeah, they’re they’re I call them poison sticks sometimes on mobile phones because it’s like spitting out radiation. It’s trapping your mind. But I’m the same. I mean, I loved the ding of an email because sometimes it meant I made a sale. So it’s like it’s a money stick as well, you know, as a business owner, it’s that part’s awesome. But I mean, you mentioned to Tersh earlier at the intro when you were talking about how you set up all these folders to kind of get yourself to invoke zero. It was funny. I was just saying that story. I was thinking, it’s like when you’ve got dirty dishes, but instead of washing them, you just shove them all into different cupboards everywhere. And you’re, you know, your kitchen is really clean, but then.
Tersh Blissett: Eventually you just run out. Yeah, you can’t.
Yaro Stanak: Do anything work.
Tersh Blissett: Because.
Josh Crouch: That’s like when your in-laws come over for the holidays, you just shove shit in the closet and you just like, Hey, our house is clean.
Yaro Stanak: Super clean. Yeah, exactly. So, like, zero. I’m living the dream, right? Yeah. And that that’s actually those two kind [00:20:00] of situations. You guys both describe Josh with instant replies to messages whenever they hit your phone and Tersh kind of organizing redirects and folders. It’s almost like you’re putting a Band-Aid on a problem that it’s not you’re not really solving. You know, you’re you’re ignoring it or you’re trying to do it quickly, but then it’s going to keep hitting you all day long and it’s taking away from other things. So and this is why, you know, our company inbox done focuses on a human being solution that we give you assistance to actually replace you in those situations. Because anything else, whether it’s software workarounds with redirects, it doesn’t really eliminate the problem. It just tries to kind of move things around or use software to potentially eliminate a couple of emails, but it’s not going to reply for you and actually solve the problem. So for me, it was a I had to say to my assistant, I need this to be something I don’t do and I have [00:21:00] to believe that you’re going to reply to these messages and maintain this inbox better than I will, I ever will. You’ll actually become the ninja at this role where I was kind of doing it because I have to. But, you know, it’s not my core role. I was doing all the other things as well with the company.
Tersh Blissett: So how do you how do you. So I know that a lot of people are thinking this and as they’re listening to this, this show, how do you get my brain out of me and how I would respond and put it in someone else’s mind or put it on on some. Sort of workflow that if this happens, then you respond this way. But if this happens, you respond that way. How do you how do you know that process and how long does that. Interview take because that’s going to take time, like your initial setup. That’s going to take time. And we all know that there’s a lot of entrepreneurs that will throw money at a problem. I’m guilty of doing that myself in the past, so I’ll [00:22:00] throw money at a problem thinking that’s going to solve it. But then come to find out, Oh, now I have to spend time doing this to set it up and do all this other stuff. And then it’s like, Oh.
Yaro Stanak: Yeah, yeah. And you also highlight a common scenario where you do make the choice to delegate your email to an assistant, but then you go hire from whatever Upwork five, or you find a $5 an hour or a Philippines or Indian outsourcer. And then you begin like you say, Hey, go do my email. Of course, they just can’t go do your email. And then you start teaching them and you realize, Wow, this is more work to fix their errors and then actually doing it yourself. So you kind.
Josh Crouch: Of give up, then you run the risk of them totally messing up a big deal or something with a current client because they didn’t understand the instructions behind that.
Yaro Stanak: Yeah. So dude or you go to jail because they set the wrong email, you know?
Josh Crouch: So what [00:23:00] is that process like?
Tersh Blissett: Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. We can’t cross over that one right there. You got you got to give us a back.
Yaro Stanak: Story of oh, you know, I know no one at the jail because I’m sending the wrong email. But I’m just saying, like you can imagine, there’s certain people who work and we’ve come across this with our company. We’ve got venture capitalists as clients who are doing potentially like big multimillion dollar deals where the financials are going through their email or you’ve got a doctor where someone’s expressing private medical information. I mentioned one of our first clients had a mental health business, so you’ve got people writing to her saying, Oh, this personal stuff about their mental health. So it is a very personal, private place too. You can’t just say, grab this complete stranger, throw them into the inbox and hope it works out for all those potential reasons. So that’s all to say. What we did and what we do to to clone you as as you kind of mentioned before, it’s not a there’s two sides to this. It is a process we have it takes a month. [00:24:00] We call it the handover process, even longer than a month, depending on how complex your email is. And we actually place you with two people from our team because we want to have redundancy. We hate the idea and I’ve experienced that you guys probably have too, where you train someone and then they’ve you’ve delegated everything to them. Then they say, Hey, I’ve got to take two weeks off and suddenly you’re back doing that role. Or even worse, they just leave, you know, I quit. I’m not going to be here next week and you have your back to square zero. You have to retrain someone and it’s just really frustrating. So we.
Tersh Blissett: Never wrote down that process and that person left with your.
Yaro Stanak: Process, the system. Yeah. So we have not just systems building, but we actually give you two people, they both clone you, they both learn how you work and build the system together so that when one has a holiday, the other one’s backing them up. When one retires, the other one trains the replacement. So we’re ideally not bringing you back in over and over again to keep retraining them. But what they do and I [00:25:00] want to say this without trying to insult anyone, what all of us do in email is not as magical as we think it is. It’s not as you know.
Josh Crouch: Oh, man, you just bruised my ego. I thought that was great at that stuff.
Tersh Blissett: Yeah. Yeah, that was important role in my in my position. Yeah.
Yaro Stanak: Yeah. You know, the world ends with you guys don’t reply to those emails, right? So but I say that because besides, you know, there’s always going to be 5%, 2% of emails that, yes, there’s a relationship or some unique knowledge that only you have that we can’t necessarily extract easily. But 99% of it, we can either learn it because you’ve already answered those questions in your email. We can go to your send folder and see how you reply. We can potentially ask other members of your company or the bookkeeper can answer a question. We can work with the bookkeeper or the website master and make sure things go to them rather than to you as an intermediary. Outside of that, though, if there are situations we hit where we can’t solve [00:26:00] a problem, we’ll just ask you. Extract that knowledge, put it into what we call it, a knowledge base. So we over that hand over cloning period, they’re building a system of templates which are like a starting point for dealing with with common situations. More often than not, we’re actually eliminating a lot of the folders. Tersh You gave a great example as to why you can create 100 folders, move all your emails into them, but then you’ve just created 100 inboxes that you never deal with.
Josh Crouch: So we often think a great way of putting that because I probably have about 100 folders myself.
Yaro Stanak: Yeah. And it feels good to put them in there. But then it’s where emails go to die, basically. So yeah. So we usually bring that down to like the five or ten you actually need where we will need to use. We do a thing called triage as well where we are asking you. Are there certain emails like it’s from your your husband or your wife or your your mother?
Tersh Blissett: Yeah, that’s what I was going to ask. Like, what happens if you have some people who kind of have mixed business and pleasure and it’s like you [00:27:00] come in, it’s like, should it be should we just restart this whole email and email inbox thing here? Or is there a painstaking process of actually replying to that person and saying, actually send your information to this inbox over here? Because like with our podcast before Josh and I, we got a new domain and we set everything up and I have an email specifically for the podcast. A lot of people were podcast were sending podcast related emails to my business page. So my like Tersh at Service Emperor dot com instead of Tersh service business mastery dot com. And so but like I’m constantly replying to people and saying, here’s the answer you want to your response to your question, but in the future would you mind please emailing me at Tersh it service business mastery and most people are like, oh yeah, more than happy [00:28:00] to do that. But then some people are just like. They don’t get the message of like, hey, stop emailing me in this account because I’m not going to respond to you, especially not in the timely manner and vice versa. So what do you do when you have someone that’s basically like what I just described in mine?
Yaro Stanak: Well, the email receptionist story I think is or example is, is a good way to deal with that situation because you can’t control how people interact with you. They’re going to send you stuff wherever they feel like it at that moment. Right. So but putting someone as a barrier to that, they’re going to be the filter. They’re going to process and answer the everyday questions. They’re going to be the one who executes the system. So as I was saying, before we build a knowledge base, and that’s not just templates, it might be onboarding new client. So person buy something then all these things have to happen. Accounts have to be updated, CRM has to be updated. Maybe other team members need to be informed trigger processes [00:29:00] with them so that we do as well. It’s kind of like completing the to do list that an email generates and when you feel comfortable knowing that someone else is doing that, then you’re left with just a very small amount of actual emails that are for you. It can be even none. Like we have a client who says, I never want to go into my inbox again. So the one or two things that might be needed for them, we will let them know in a Slack message and they’ll just say, Oh, answer it this way or something like that. Or maybe they’ll batch process it once a week and just there’ll be a folder with ten emails in there once a week. They’ll do that on a Friday and that’s their email. So when you.
Tersh Blissett: When that’s the case, how do you how do you have a clear expectation or limit their expectation of the person that they’re going to respond to if they’re going to batch it like once a week? Do you say, hey, look, you know, Tersh is not going to check this email for one week or expect a [00:30:00] week to get a reply. Do you do something like that and does that ever like just completely turn someone off to where they’re like, you know what, screw it. I don’t need.
Yaro Stanak: It. Yeah, not. Not for the like usually. Not for one week. Just because, you know, it doesn’t sound like great customer service.
Tersh Blissett: Yeah, exactly. Right.
Yaro Stanak: Right. So it’s more often than not it’s a, you know, there there’s a person who’s going to give a reply, even if that reply just says, Hey, Tersh has your email and we’ll get back to you. We’re going to make sure they know about it. That’s step one. So that’s just customer service one on one. Make sure you acknowledge receipt of a message, but after that, you know, that’s how we do triage. So if we were working with you, Tersh, and we’ve set up that, we’ve gone through a cloning process with you, a handover process. During that process, you’ve told us these types of emails, potential big new clients that have to go through me can’t be handled by anyone else. I need to know when that happens. Maybe it’s you have to make sure [00:31:00] it’s booked into my calendar and double confirm with me that I know about it. It could be like that. Or it could be. No, no. Tell me. The instant it comes in, send me a text message and I’ll get back to it then. And that’s one out of every 1000 emails. But you know, that’s your critical one. It’s like the dying patient in the heart attack. We’ve got to get the doctor straight there. Right. Right. So so your your your assistance will know to do that for those emails. But the majority are not those emails. The majority are messages that you could probably get back to. Well, actually, the majority of messages you don’t need to be involved with at all, most of them are like, where do you find a resource? How do I buy this? How do I get a refund? How do I book in for something? Where do I find my booking information? How do I change this website, all that sort of stuff so that you don’t you’re no longer involve with and even better, you’re no longer the middle person.
Yaro Stanak: So you don’t have to like, say, take this information, then tell it someone else to do it. It’s just let’s get you out of that and let your assistant do it. And then, yeah, you’re left with [00:32:00] whatever it is. Like, I do my email once a month. I go into my folder and I’ll see a few messages there that I might reply to that are not like mission critical. I’m going to lose a client type emails. They might just be like, I do some angel investments. I might get an update from one of the angel investment business owners. I want to read that, but I don’t have to reply to it. I don’t have to do anything with it, but I do want to not miss it. I don’t want that to be filed away into a folder where I never see it. You know, it is important to me. So that’s the kind of system we build. It’s obviously living and breathing, though, because you hit new situations all the time.
Tersh Blissett: Yeah, I’m thinking to myself.
Josh Crouch: That was my question.
Tersh Blissett: There’s times where like, I get an email, I’m like, Well, that’s a first. I never got that email before, you know what I mean? I never had that situation before. And so I’m thinking if that if that arises, I would imagine that they’re going to reach out to me and say, hey, this isn’t in our workflow. You know, this isn’t our knowledge base. How do you want to handle it? Is that correct?
Yaro Stanak: Or [00:33:00] because they’ve been doing that job? As like more than you have after a few months. It might not be. How do I handle it? It’s like they come to you and say, Listen, I’m handling it this way. I just want to double check that that’s okay with you.
Tersh Blissett: If you’re better. I love that. I love that.
Josh Crouch: I saw ya. I got a question for you. So, I mean, most I shouldn’t say most people separate their business and personal emails because a lot of times I get stuff in that’s that’s both. How do you what do you guys do to protect people’s privacy and stuff like that? Just like I don’t want to bring up like the email scandal with Jon Gruden and the Washington Redskins, all that kind of stuff. But like protect the privacy.
Tersh Blissett: What are you talking about? I don’t know about that.
Josh Crouch: Oh, well, Jon Gruden was the coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, but he back when he was an analyst for ESPN, they did this big investigation and some emails leaked where he said some some racially insensitive stuff. And he got he got he pretty much got fired. And [00:34:00] so I was just curious, thinking of email privacy and the stuff that because sometimes people send stuff to you and you’re like, dude, that’s off color, I just delete it or put it in spam or something.
Tersh Blissett: But do you remember when when email used to be like the Facebook messenger, like every year? Yes, I would get like these, these whatever videos and like every single morning it was like for this, for this, for media.
Josh Crouch: Yeah. Yeah. Some of those were pretty insensitive too at the time.
Yaro Stanak: Yeah, I forgot about that. No, it’s a good, good question. Josh, I mean, my first answer is probably don’t write racial.
Tersh Blissett: Right? Of course, avoid being a racist. Yeah.
Yaro Stanak: But step one, be a good person. Step two Yeah. There’s obviously always going to be emails, though, that are more sensitive to your company than others or situations.
Josh Crouch: Like you mentioned the yeah, you mentioned the example of financials in venture capitalists like stuff like that where it’s, it’s maybe it’s not insensitive, [00:35:00] but it’s very sensitive company information and making sure that that doesn’t get out or when people are going back and forth on like your secret sauce type of stuff, right? Like the stuff that people don’t want anyone to know about how to, how to how would a client of yours make sure that they’re just protected? I guess if they if they worked with you.
Yaro Stanak: And also are you like, how do you get comfortable with this, too? Because this is an interesting thing. We’ve noticed some of the people who hire us like that, we’re separate from their actual company. We’re an external.
Tersh Blissett: Person. Yeah, yeah.
Yaro Stanak: That’s good. Yeah. They don’t like having say that e that works with them face to face, seeing their email, they’re happy having a third party do it. So there’s a reason to have those kind of walls up. And like you said, family members might be emailing personal things about family situations that you don’t want other people to know. So we have basics, like we use a VPN for protecting data, we have [00:36:00] LastPass for protecting passwords and sharing and access to your email account. But at the end of the day, you are letting another human being into your inbox. They are going to see what’s going to hit that. So you might decide we call this siloing If there is certain information that needs to not be seen by us, for example, then we can create a separate email account and make sure that those types of emails are siloed. And only you go in there and only you reply to that. It could be family, it could be medical information, it could be legal information, especially with doctors and lawyers type clients. That’s become important. You know, we have an NDA and we can obviously sign one from, you know, tailored to your company. But what I found, and I’ll say this from experience, the best way to do this is to enter the world of having someone handle your email in a way that you feel comfortable. So if there are some situations where you just don’t want people to be involved with, don’t hand over those tasks, let that [00:37:00] maybe it’s not even personal, but you just don’t want someone else to deal with those messages. You know, we’ll create a Josh folder, we’ll put those ones in there and we won’t we won’t touch them.
Yaro Stanak: We don’t want to risk making the mistake. There’s other tools like doxing which allows you to control who opens up an attachment to an email and those sorts of things so we can put barriers. But from my experience, the way I went through this was I handed over day to day emails first to my assistant. This is my other teaching coaching business. And then after about maybe six months when I was like, okay, I’ve seen how you reply to messages, I’ve seen how you communicate with me. I like the brain that you’ve got, like the attention to detail, the emotional empathy, the way you think and how we communicate. I start to trust you to do this role. Then I go, You know what? I feel comfortable enough. I’m giving you access to my PayPal account now because I want you to be able to process refunds, do upgrades, look into customer records. I had another system. It was an email CRM sort of system as well. [00:38:00] They want I might not hand over the. He said that because at the end of the day, they can see every single customer record potentially, yeah, wreak havoc in there. But once I feel they’re part of the team and the trust has been built, then I will start to integrate them into that space as well. So, you know, you go as far as you’re comfortable with. Everyone’s different. Some people never feel comfortable with certain aspects. Some people from day one, they say, Here’s my credit cards, go buy stuff. That’s me.
Tersh Blissett: So yeah.
Yaro Stanak: But the important part is, and this is why our company isn’t the cheapest virtual assistant company, we take everyone through a ten step hiring, testing, vetting, training, and then an internal course that my founder created. She was the first ever email assistant, so they go through all that. Then they’re paired with like a junior senior situation with like I told you, we have two people per client, so they’re going to be learning from someone who’s already done this. So there’s a very nice, gradual progression [00:39:00] to the point where they get really confident in what they’re doing. They know how to work with the client. And honestly, I can tell you guys, this is a human being to human being business. The variable is with human beings. Working for other human beings are infinite and complex and we try and match things like personality, like this is as crazy as do you put a a Democrat leading leaning email assistant with a Republican client? What’s going to happen in that situation? You know.
Tersh Blissett: Right.
Josh Crouch: I can’t imagine that going badly.
Yaro Stanak: Yeah. So we have to consider those elements too. Even something as simple as are you the kind of person who likes, doesn’t like the niceties, doesn’t want the please. And thanks to you, it’s just like, go do this now, go do this now. And that can be like hurtful for a very sensitive person who might want those kind of gentle attacks.
Tersh Blissett: That’s a really good point. Yeah.
Yaro Stanak: Yeah, it’s a little nuances like that. My our team, we’ve got a matching manager. Her name is Laura and that’s what she does all day, is trying to make sure that people aren’t going to be emotionally [00:40:00] scarred from this interaction with each other.
Josh Crouch: So interesting. Wow. This is this is very cool. I’m glad we were able to get you on the show and talk about this because email is such like I literally was just complaining about this to my wife yesterday because I’m like, oh my God, I just answered all these emails and now I got a whole more a whole nother set. And what happens then is if I get kind of tired of it, it just sits there and I just I’m like, I don’t want to deal with it right now, so I’ll just move on. And then now I’m stunting progress for clients for, for other parts of our business. Right? And having someone that doesn’t have that emotional attachment to the email inbox where it’s not like, oh my God, they these won’t stop coming. It’s like an onslaught I think is a very interesting topic. So I appreciate you being on the show and sharing what you guys do.
Yaro Stanak: No problem. You nailed probably the main benefit. It’s just the mental relief of knowing it’s someone else’s job. And I don’t have to worry about missing something important. I don’t have to worry about dealing with the mundane [00:41:00] day to day. It’s so.
Tersh Blissett: Yeah. You’re not sleeping or dreaming about email replies. Yeah, exactly. It’s like it’s not the top of your mind. When you.
Josh Crouch: Wake up in the middle of the night going to the bathroom, you’re like, Oh, email, I got to check this and try to write it when my eyes are half.
Yaro Stanak: Open.
Tersh Blissett: Yeah, yeah. 100%. Oh, yea, yea. We really appreciate you being on the show. If there’s any. When people want to reach out to you, where’s the best way for that to happen?
Yaro Stanak: Yeah, in Boston.com, just head to the website. You can read about how we work, what we do, and then just book a discovery call and we’ll do a zoom call and talk about your needs and you’ll be probably talking to me.
Tersh Blissett: Cool Deal I appreciate that. Anybody that’s listening to the show, if you found value in this show, please help us out to leave a five star review and and share your thoughts. If it’s going to be a three star, don’t leave it. If it’s a four star. Five star. Yes. If it’s a three if it’s a four star, you can leave Josh’s name. This is a five star you can leave on. But yeah. So we really appreciate everybody checking out this episode. And I know [00:42:00] this is kind of a pain point for people, but we really it’s something that we’re thankful that there’s people out here like you are that can solve that and really take care of a stressor that we’ve created. We built this stressor on ourselves and and you’re here to solve it for us and solve that problem. But yeah, we appreciate it and we look forward to talking to you again soon.
Yaro Stanak: Appreciate the time.
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