Margaret sent me this thoughtful question:

My marketing coach recently suggested to me that I create an evergreen freebie out of six hours of audio content from an intro program I did. It was to be edited and then dripped over a 21 day period and consisted of one email each day with a link to the audio and other useful info on corresponding pages on my site.

My VA, who does support me in all things, said she had some reservations she wanted to bring up in case I hadn’t considered them. Chief among those were the costs to put it together—both for me, her, and my audio guy, and the costs of running it in an evergreen manner—with the possibility of people missing days of the follow-up sequence emails, asking us for help accessing the site content, etc.

My coach doesn’t think any of it will be a problem, and if it turns out to be, that my VA will just handle it. But she also asked me why my VA even brought it up, rather than just doing what I tasked her to do.

What are your thoughts on that?

Margaret, your coach, is your partner when it comes to marketing strategy. Your VA is your partner when it comes to administration and operations.  Your coach should have your ear about your marketing. Your VA should have your ear about all things about the running of your business. Both people are important to your business, and both of them have information for you worth listening to.

In my view, you should want your VA to tell you what she sees from her perspective.  Otherwise, you may as well offshore your work and get your tasks hammered out for $4/hour.

A VA's perspective is worth it's weight in gold. It's like having another brain that processes things differently, and another set of eyes that sees what you're blind to

Sure, you pay for her for her time, and you use that time to get stuff done, but more important than that, you pay for her soft skills. And she, probably more than you even know, wants to use them to help you (in the relationship sense, not the legal).  Her perspective is worth its weight in gold. It’s like having another brain that processes things differently from yours and another set of eyes that sees things you can’t see.  What she’s doing when she steps up is offering you the information you can use to make complete decisions. Why would you not want her to stand up and tell you what she sees?

Think about it another way. You’re driving in your car. She’s your front-seat passenger.  Because she doesn’t have to drive, she’s able to look around and notice things differently than you’re able to. Now, say she sees a sign that says the bridge is out up ahead, and she quickly realizes that you missed both that and the turn for the detour.  Would you rather have her say something, or let you keep driving because you didn’t ask for her help with navigating?

If you said you want her to let you keep driving, see my comment about offshoring your work.

But if you find value in working with someone who has your back, and who wants to make things easier and better for you, then not only should you want your VA to tell you when she sees something, but you should encourage her, and proactively ask her what she sees, what you’ve missed, what she thinks, and if she knows something you should be considering before you make a decision. Use her beautiful brain, Margaret.

As for your coach, given that she didn’t understand why your VA mentioned it, it could be that she doesn’t hold VAs (or maybe it’s just your VA?) in the light that I do (high-level professional specialists and no one’s underling or minion).

And that may be something to address with her so that she comes to see your VA as the integral and valuable partner she is for you, and can coach you to get more, not less, from the relationship.