Changing the Rules

Episode 38: Entrepreneur Pivots to Success, guest Emily Morgan

Episode Summary

A recent college graduate with an English degree, Emily Morgan promptly turned to entrepreneurship that had nothing to do with English. A desire to be at home with her new baby, she dove into a new business as a remote assistant. Her former boss became her first client and the rest, as they say, was history. Today, Delegate Solutions vets, hires and trains remote assistants to work with entrepreneurs. "It's and art and a science," says Emily. Recently named one of the top 100 fastest growing businesses in Philadelphia, Emily had to navigate the curveball of COVID-19 and pivot from a newly designed strategic plan to meet the challenge. Listen for more. The Luckiest People in the World

Episode Notes

Delegate Solutions: www.delegate


Diane Dayton  0:01  

This is Changing the Rules, a podcast about designing the life you want to live, hosted by KC Dempster and Ray Loewe, the luckiest guy in the world.


KC Dempster  0:11  

Good Morning, everybody, welcome to Changing the Rules. This is KC Dempster. And as our announcer, told you at the very beginning, this is a podcast about changing the rules and designing the life you want to live. And we like to talk about changing the rules, because we have discovered that when people decide to take control of their lives, and to design it to be the way that they want and need it to be, oftentimes, they do have to change rules. So some people need permission, for some reason to do that. So that's what we're here to do, we're here to introduce you to people who have given themselves permission to change rules. And as a result, they're living exciting and interesting lives.


Ray Loewe  0:55  

Yeah, and we need to capitalize on these people, you know, being one of the luckiest people in the world is, is, it's, it's a special person, because these are people who first of all, take control of their lives and design them. And that's not an easy thing to do. And in fact, it's an ongoing kind of a thing to do. And one of the things that we hope you're going to get out of our podcast, is by get being exposed to many of the luckiest people in the world, one every week, we hope you're going to get excited and motivated. And you're going to get new ideas about how you can go with the flow. And one of the things that we're going to talk about today is one of the special things. You know, we talk to you about the luckiest people in the world designing their own lives. But we're also going to talk to you today about one of the luckiest people in the world, knowing where they're going. But being prepared to pivot. So we're going to take a short station break just to let you know where you are. And we're coming back with Emily Morgan.


Diane Dayton  2:03  

You're listening to Changing the Rules with KC Dempster and Ray Loewe, the luckiest guy in the world. We will be right back with more exciting information.

KC Dempster  2:13  

Welcome back, everybody. And I am delighted this morning to introduce our guest, Emily Morgan, who is the founder of a company called Delegate Solutions. And we got to know Emily because Ray is availing himself of what Delegate Solutions provides.

Ray Loewe  2:34  

Yes, they are running my life for me as a matter of fact. So Emily say hello, first of all, no, nothing more, just say hello,

Emily Morgan  2:42  

morning. Hello,

Ray Loewe  2:43  

you had to make it different Didn't you change the rules on us over here, which is exactly what we expected you. So long ago, and oh, so far away. Because I've been a customer of Emily's for a while I needed help, I needed to figure out how to get some strategic strategic assistance. But I no longer had an office, I no longer had a place to put employees and I no longer, you know, had the need for full time person. So  Emily was recommended to me out of a coaching program, and we had a chance to meet because she is a South Jersey, Greater Philadelphia, native local person, local person. And what she does through a company called Delegate Solutions is to provide premium virtual assistant support. And that's what I'm availing myself off. And there's also some delegation coaching that goes into the process. And she is one of the remote workforce thought leaders in the country in the whole country. And she's had several accolades. There was a time when she was one of the Forbes fastest growing 50 companies in the whole country. And even now, with all this stuff going, she just got another accolade of being one of the top fastest growing companies in the Philadelphia area. So ah Emily, welcome, welcome, and welcome. And tell us a little bit about the strategy behind Delegate Solutions.

Emily Morgan  4:20  

Thanks, guys, very excited to be here. So the strategy behind our business is really to create help people create freedom to do what they love. So a lot of what you're talking about Ray is changing the rules. We're all all about creating freedom, so that you have time to do different things that you like in your life, whether it's growing your business, or spending more time with family or pursuing some kind of hobby. It's all about finding ways to strategically clear your plate to make room for extra time. So the way that we tackle that is really through delegation. And part of the one of the things that makes us different is that we're not only here to for you to delegate We help our clients figure out what to delegate and how to delegate processes together to make sure that successful

Ray Loewe  5:07  

No, and you do all the hiring and screening of people too, don't you and talk for a minute about I know you took a lot of time to match my need. And, and, and me personally personal instinctive way I do business with the assistants and I was going to work with. So want to talk a little bit about that if you will.

Emily Morgan 5:29  

Yeah, part of what we do is, is an art and it's also a science. You know, when we're looking at pairing our clients with team members, it's really about understanding, you know, what your specific needs are? What times of day do you work? how responsive Do you need someone to be? What type of skill set are you looking for? What type of personality Do you work really well with or have had challenges with, we use a tool that I know Ray you're familiar with called the Kolbe test. And we use that to validate our team's ability to do the work. And then we also use it to inform how we go about supporting our clients based on their Kolbe scores,

Ray Loewe  6:10  

I have to come in on this, excuse me, because it's an entirely different world of working. So I have a strategic assistant who happens to live, you know, a couple hundred miles away. And I have had other people that I've worked with from time to time from across the country, and I've never personally met them. And yet, we have meetings and we'll sit down and all of a sudden, my video monitor in front of me opens up and I get this great smiling face every week. And the smiling face or the body behind the smiling face, solves all my problems and makes my life simpler. So it's, it's a little different. But it's it's wonderful. It works. And you use teams now too, don't you? You just you just don't help a person with one strategic assistant, you actually have background teams. And I know there's a lot of support that goes on in the background. So take a minute and talk about that please.

Emily Morgan  7:12  

Yeah, I mean, the administrative world in general, I think it's a pretty high turnover industry. And that can be really painful, when you've handed something off to someone and things are moving along really well. And they quit or they don't, they don't come to work that day. So we've taken the steps and made our team our employees. So we, we take all the responsibility for managing them, hiring them, vetting them, all that type of stuff. But for us, it's about creating, creating a team approach for clients so that they always have somebody, you know, present and active and aware of what's going on in their world. And we pull on the strengths of two different types of people. So one person is really there to be the project manager to do the delegation strategy. And then the other is there to handle all the execution on the task level, to create a level of redundancy for fines,

Ray Loewe  8:12  

and then there's a lot of backup beyond that, because when I know I as an entrepreneur needs some special skills, and maybe my, the person I'm working with doesn't have them all. There's a whole background team that you bring into force. And it's a lot easier than me having to do that research and going out in the marketplace and finding support people. So thank you for that. Of course. Okay. So so there's a story behind this. And I know, I guess 12-13 years ago, something like that, that you started Delegate Solutions. Yeah. And you started it. You were a student at Penn. Is that correct? Or were you beyond that when you start a delegate?

Emily Morgan  9:02  

I was beyond that. But I when I worked at Penn, I was able to go to school there for free. So I graduated from UPenn with my bachelor's, basically for free.

KC Dempster  9:14  

Yeah, but boy, that's the way to do it.

Ray Loewe  9:16  

Yeah, that's, that's a couple hundred thousand dollar tab they're going on right now. Okay. Okay, so, so where did this idea come from? And how did it evolve? And how did you put it together?

Emily Morgan  9:28  

Yeah, I think, um, I worked at University of Penn, like I shared. So one of my first clients when I started the business was my old boss at Penn. So they were a client from the very beginning. But I started the company when I was I just had had my son and I was not interested in commuting in and out of the city and trying to have a baby at the same time. So I knew I had the administrative skill set to do admin work. I recently learned that you could do this remotely, what I didn't know was anything about business. So I am a self taught entrepreneur, I never went to school, my degree is in English, not in business. So, you know, basically how to figure out how to start and grow company, which that was 13 years ago.

KC Dempster  10:18  

And I think that that leads us to something that it's important for our listeners to understand is that your remote assistants are all working from their homes. So you're providing an opportunity for an entire workforce, to be able to stay home, get their work done, and still balance family and work and all of those stressors that that we find in our lives, especially during the past six to seven months.

Emily Morgan  10:45  

Yeah, I think I shared in the beginning that our mission is to create freedom for people to do what they love. And that's not just for our clients, that's for our team members as well. So, you know, we really have created an opportunity where people can do work that's professional and fulfilling, but more on their own terms.

Ray Loewe  11:02  

Yeah, and, and you were working remotely from the beginning here and look at how important that is today. I mean, so all of your people are fully engaged, and they're working. Okay, where other people that were coming to work may or may not have been working.

Emily Morgan  11:19  

Yeah, you know, it's interesting. I feel like for 13 years, I fought this battle around remote work, why it works, how it works. And overnight, you know, the world had a reckoning around, we need to figure this out. Um, like, for us, where the challenge came into play is that so many of our team members are mothers. And mothers were significantly impacted by this in ways that other demographics were not. So we've, we've had to deal with that as we navigated this, like, we all knew how to work remotely, there was no change for us there. It was really just about now, these women are trying to do this with kids not in school, or homeschooling on top of work.

KC Dempster  12:01  

Right. Right.

Ray Loewe  12:02  

Yeah. And I know you did some really unique things for your your team, because talk a minute about the invention of daycare camp, or whatever, you know, I'm not gonna get the words, right. But tell us about it.

Emily Morgan  12:16  

Yeah, we did something called Virtual kids camp. So you know, things were going crazy. Everybody's kids were home. So we said, You know what, it takes a village and we put on a virtual kids camp where we basically created like a Google spreadsheet. Everybody would volunteer for different time slots across the day. And we invited our clients, children, our children, some of our clients, like volunteered to teach some of the sessions. But we did it for like, probably five weeks, where we were just running camp for kids. And we would, you know, I was teaching, we would make cards for first responders. My mother was teaching hula, one of our clients was teaching Mandarin.

Ray Loewe  13:00  

Want to be invited to see mom to hula? So So, you know, I want to think this through a little bit, because I think there's some really unique stuff here. So your business model was not only great for the entrepreneur, your ultimate client, because I know I was disrupted a lot less than probably many of my counterparts. I didn't have to worry about people not coming to the office, I didn't have to worry about putting in this emergency remote system. I didn't have to worry about my staff taking off time to babysit and take care of kids.

KC Dempster  13:41  

It's because your staff is old

Ray Loewe  13:43  

well, you know, agent has some value to you know, but but but i think i think the whole business model really is interesting. And from the point of view of entrepreneurs, I think that it's something worthwhile putting into their system. Talk a little bit about your solo entrepreneur program, because I think there are a lot of people out there that would be interested in this and that and you have it and you have it. You have it down pat.

mily Morgan  14:13  

Well, we're always working to make it better. For sure. Um, so our program basically we sell time for money. So clients come in and they purchase blocks of hours that they can use across the month and the team builds out a delegate strategy that brings the most return on investment for those hours sold. And that looks different for everybody, a lot of that is personal stuff, so we're working on not just the professional side of life, but also on the personal side. So those hours can be used for anything you need to better leverage your time.

Ray Loewe  14:54  

Yeah, and and i think people that are going into retirement, you know, even if you're not working you know, to to all of us sudden have a staff that you use to do a whole lot of things. And all of a sudden that's gone. Mm hmm. So you're saying that this, the staff kind of thing can be used for personal use as well as business use. And that just expands what people can do with this.

Emily Morgan  15:15  

Yeah, and our entry point is about an hour a day of support. So it's 20 hours, 20, excuse me, 25 hours, a month, an hour a day of help.

Ray Loewe  15:24  

Yeah, cool. And I know, that fits me pretty well. And I also know that I have the ability to expand my hours when I need it for special projects. So your system works great. And now I want to get into something a little different, because one of the traits of the luckiest people in the world is knowing where you're going. And when we had kind of our pre interview, you added something to this, that I'm stealing By the way, so it's no longer yours. It's mine. Okay. And that's knowing where you're going, but being prepared to pivot. So talk a little bit about some of the things that happened during this virus thing to you, and and why this why it's important to know where you're going, but also why the pivot comes into play.

Emily Morgan  16:13  

Yeah, so we follow a program called EOS, the entrepreneurs operating system. And as part of that program, we have a 10 year vision, a five year plan, a three year plan, a one year plan, and quarterly plan. So we have a vision or where we're going and what we're going to be doing each year to get there what it looks like, you know, three years from now what does the company look like, but nowhere in that plan is there COVID, or the impact of that on my business, which was, you know, not just work the mothers that I employ being affected. But our clients are small business owners, so they were deeply impacted, freaked out, we weren't, we lost about 25 to 30% of revenue in a matter of a couple of weeks, which I know is not a significant, as my friends experienced, but it was still really scary and terrifying for us to go through that. And so we we had just going into COVID, we had just had our quarterly planning session for q2. So we had just said our plans and like, right is all happenings. So we really had to change a lot of our priorities for the quarter to be able to address the energy that had to be put in to deal with everything that was happening in the world, as it impacted the business.

Ray Loewe  17:36  

So So what do you think's gonna happen going forward? So why, you know, I hate the word new normal. So we've adopted this thing called normal 2.0, which is where we're going and and maybe we'll even get to normal 3.0 and 4.0 and 8.0, or whatever. But But, you know, you've learned a lot from this experience of pivoting. Okay. And and where do you see changes in the way you do business going forward? And the way some of the people that you work with do business?

Emily Morgan  18:11  

Yeah, I mean, overall, once you get past the shock and awe of what happened in March and April, and May and June, um, it's been very, it's, we're very busy right now. So we're selling more than we ever have. Because now I'm not fighting that battle of trying to educate people why remote work, like remote works, because it needs to. So we're growing very quickly, because of that. So we're pretty much back to where we were pre COVID revenue wise. But one of the ways that we're impacting you negatively is one of my value propositions and hiring was, it was a remote admin job. But now, most jobs that are administrative are going to be remote. So I'm going to be feeling it on the talent side, trying to find what makes us different from other employers and be able to express that to, you know, ideal 15 members.

Ray Loewe  19:08  

I don't think so, Emily, you have kids day camp.

KC Dempster  19:14  

You know, I was just good. I've been thinking while we've been talking and about 14-15 years ago, I was working with Ray but I did not come into the office every day because I lived in the city and did not have a car. So I worked several days from home. And at that time, it was a bit having people work from home was a big problem to a lot of managers, because they were afraid that the their employees weren't really putting in the time or that they were, you know, doing their home chores, and you know, maybe not even sitting behind the desk. And so I think for a lot of people, this was a very rapid indoctrination, not only for the employees who had to learn how to be Little bit self disciplined, but also for management to accept the fact that people are going to work from home and they're going to do the job.

Emily Morgan  20:07  

Right. I think it's worth noting, like, none of us were doing this with kids home.

KC Dempster  20:13  

Right, right.

Ray Loewe  20:14  


Emily Morgan  20:16  

It's different. And so this isn't like normal remote work. This is like crisis remote work. So there is a difference between what you know, before we went into this till now, on our side?

Ray Loewe  20:28  

Well, you know, unfortunately, Emily, our time is up already Time flies when you're having fun, but but in in a closing comment over here with you. You know, one of the things that I've found is, I didn't have to worry about this. Okay. And that was the beauty of not trying to do the remote stuff myself, but to have an experienced team behind me, who was going to worry about all these problems for me, who had many of them solved before, and, and figured out how to do it and my life just kind of went on the way it did you know I, I wrote your check every month, and I bought so many hours, and my system showed up with a bright, shiny face, you know, one on zoom and, and all of a sudden things were done. And, you know, thank you for making my life consistent, and continuous and happy.

Emily Morgan  21:26  

Ray, We love working with you.

Ray Loewe  21:27  

So Emily Morgan delegate solutions. Emily, give us your website if people want to reach you, and we'll post it on our on our podcast notes, too.

Emily Morgan  21:38  

Yeah, it's www dot delegate.

KC Dempster  21:43  

Easy peasy.

Ray Loewe  21:44  

Easy enough. So Emily Morgan, thanks for being with us. And you are one of the luckiest people in the world. You exude all of the things that the luckiest people do. And it's been a pleasure to be associated with you. And if this COVID stuff goes on, maybe we can actually go out and have a drink again, or something like that. Right. So So I have a great day. And let's take a quick break and come back and kind of close up.

Diane Dayton  22:11  

You're listening to changing the rules with KC Dempster and Ray Loewe, the luckiest guy in the world. We will be right back with more exciting information.

KC Dempster  22:20  

Welcome back again. And thank everybody for listening. This this whole thing that Emily is doing with Delegate Solutions is it's I think it's cutting edge. And I hope that the listeners got some really good information and might even be availing themselves of her services.

Ray Loewe  22:41  

Yes. And we will be back next week with another guest another one of the luckiest people in the world. And we hope you continue to listen. And we hope you continue to look at these luckiest people and figure out why and how you can steal things from them and make your life luckier and luckier and luckier. So see you next week, everybody.

Diane Dayton  23:04  

Thank you for listening to Changing the Rules, a podcast designed to help you imagine your life the way you want, and give you what you need to make it happen. Join us in two weeks for our next exciting topic on changing the rules with KC Dempster and Ray Loewe the luckiest guy in the world.