I’m often asked the question about “how to know the best time to work with a virtual assistant.”

My answer has been the same for 20+ years:

If you’re asking now, the time was long ago. 

That’s some real truth, right there. If you get quiet and honest with yourself you’ll know I’m right.

It’s only when we’re in pain that we reach out and start asking questions, like, “When is it time to work with a VA?”

Y’see, we humans, especially those belonging to the breed I call “those-who-think-they-can-do-it-all,” reach out for the help we need and deserve long after we actually began needing it. We think that if we can “manage” better, or “get more organized,” or “buy an app for that,” or “learn a system like GTD,” we can keep doing things alone.

That promise land really doesn’t exist, because we’re good at what we’re good at, and we will not get measurably better at what we’re not good at, even with an app or system, or waiting and wishing.

Unfortunately, all of that sinks in only once we’re in real pain and that’s when we reach out—tentatively—and start asking questions, like, “When is it time to work with a VA?”

The thing is, asking that question, especially tentatively, is just barely scratching the surface of what’s necessary to handle the need. Most times, even after hearing the answer and admitting its perfection, people continue to try to do it all, hurting themselves, their families, and their businesses in the process.

Why? Geezie, how I wish I knew! Maybe we’re all just masochists at heart. Maybe we believe we only deserve support as a last measure. Maybe we ardently believe we’re meant to suffer along, working about as hard as we can (since most of us don’t know actual “hard work,” anymore).

Whether we’re indoctrinated with this stupidity or are born naturally so, the truth is that waiting to get help is stupid. Stooooopid.

And I’m talking about virtual assistants, but this could just as easily apply to house cleaning, tree stump removal, house power-washing, someone to support you with care for your mom or baby, or any number of things people need help with and can’t really seem to do, or manage well on their own. Why don’t we ask for help sooner and HIRE help sooner?

Maybe it’s money—a fear of “not being able to afford it.”  Maybe it’s time—a fear that it will take time we don’t have to make it happen. Maybe it’s fear—that we don’t know who to turn to find the best person, or how to manage the process so that we minimize our time and maximize the money spent.

But that’s why there are companies like Angie’s List—to help you find qualified people to fix things. Or Care.com—to help you find qualified caregivers for those you love. Hubstaff Talent—to find great freelancers of all sorts. Or AssistU—to help you find well-trained, professional administrative and ops help through WorkWithaVA.

In truth, there’s very little any of us have to figure out alone, anymore. There are soooo many people and companies lighting the way, and using their considerable standards and talents to make things easier for others

And all we have to do is reach out and there will be hands reaching back with real solutions for us and our fears.

Which brings me to a question for you. If you don’t yet work with a VA, what’s keeping you stuck in doing-it-all mode? And how much does it have to hurt before you’ll get the help you need and so richly deserve?