Jackson wrote:

While I can understand your position about the importance of the relationship, wouldn’t it be smarter to do a quick conversation, bring someone on, and just see what happens? After all, if it doesn’t work it’s an easy thing to end, right?

In the corporate world, employees generally begin with a period of evaluation or probation. While it’s commonly known that the employee can be let go anytime within that period, that fact isn’t focused on. Rather, the employee is made a part of the team, given substantial work to do, and the assumption and hope is that the employee will be around, long-term.

It’s much the same way with your new relationship with your VA. While either of you can end it at any time (based on whatever agreement you might create), don’t go into it thinking about that. This shouldn’t be something or someone you’re “testing out.”

Instead, look for your VA very consciously. Invest your time in the process. Find someone you think will be terrific go into the relationship assuming that this is going to be one of the best professional relationships of your life, and treat it that way. it deserves that much. Plan to work through issues. Plan to make the effort to learn each other. Don’t walk away at the first sign of a challenge.

For greater success in your relationship, go in wholeheartedly, determined to make it work, and forget that you have an out.

Unless you were completely hoodwinked (in which case, get out fast), plan to work through issues. Plan to make the effort to learn each other. Don’t walk away at the first sign of a challenge.

If it’s not meant to be, you’ll find out quickly enough; usually, 90 days is enough for you to learn how right (or wrong) your decision was to work with that particular VA.

As to your question about whether it’s smarter to start things quickly, end them quickly, and find someone else, that “hire fast, fire faster” model offers a very corporate, bottom-line way of thinking. It assumes that good people are easy to find, interchangeable, and that you can try them on like pants, without a care in the world about the pile you leave behind on the floor as long as you walk out with one good pair. That’s not my belief or my model, and so no—I don’t think it’s smarter to do it that way, nor do I have any evidence to say that it leads to long-term, satisfying relationships. I think the smart way to go fast is to go slow, go carefully, go thoughtfully, and to choose wisely. Spending more time on the front end of things, in my experience, always creates something far more significant on the back end.

Your turn. What’s your experience with finding and choosing quickly, with an eye on walking away if it doesn’t work out?