On this episode of Investing for Freedom, Mike talks to Daniel Ramsey of MyOutDesk about his business. Daniel explains the kind of person he looks to hire, and Mike offers his own experience working with MyOutDesk, admitting that at first he was reluctant but is now delighted with the service. Enjoy!
“If you can build a system and process, you can test and tweak and kind of refine it and then when you give it away to somebody you get that time back.”
0:00 – Intro
2:03 – Daniel’s wrestling coach has had a great impact on his life
5:38 – Never being afraid of taking action is what has had the biggest impact on Daniel’s success
9:06 – Daniel speaks about his greatest setback and what he learned from it
14:36 – Daniel gives us the piece of advice he finds himself sharing the most
16:53 – Daniel had an offer on the business last week, but felt he hasn’t become the person he needs to become
17:52 – Mike asks Daniel about his background
22:20 – Daniel explains how real estate and health care are targets for his business, among others
23:45 – Daniel explains his Go Remote Guide, that he created during COVID
32:43 – Daniel shares what he predicts will happen next and what advice he would to businesses this year
36:08 – MOD Virtual sorts through hundreds of candidates and narrows it down to just a couple
38:20 – As Mike raves about the quality of service for MOD Virtual, Daniel explains he has a passion for excellence
42:10 – Daniel wants to give everyone listening a copy of his book which you can get by texting SVP to 31996 and you can get a free copy on kindle or pdf
44:32 – Mike talks about the fear he felt before getting his own virtual assistant and what got him to take the plunge
FIND | MYOUTDESK:
Mike Ayala: Thank you for joining me on the Investing for Freedom podcast. Today, I’ve got a friend and business acquaintance in studio, and I’m super excited about this conversation, a little pre-talk, and just kind of interested in where this is going to go. It might be fun. But today we have Daniel Ramsey who is a real estate investor. He’s become a friend, but he also owns a business called MOD Virtual. It’s www.myoutdesk.com is what it stands for. And I don’t know, probably six months ago I reached out to Daniel and, and became a client of his, and it’s really changed a lot of things in my life. And even just the way I think that, and I’ll let Daniel get into some of this, but I’m really surprised at the way that teaming up with MOD has changed my philosophy in the way that I’m thinking about life. And but anyway, enough about me, Daniel. Thanks for being on the show.
Daniel Ramsey: Yeah, my pleasure, man. I’m excited to you know, just talk shop. I’m a big fan of real estate. I’m a big fan of passive income. And funny enough, my wife, she calls it house porn. Like, because I look at MLS and I’m looking at real estate deals every night. I go on our Costar, which is the commercial version and I also go on the local just regular real estate MLS for houses and she calls it my house porn. So yeah, I’m excited to be here man.
Mike Ayala: Yeah, I’m really excited to have you, so let’s dive into the four questions and then we’ll just kind of see where this takes us. So, who’s had the greatest impact on your life, Daniel?
Daniel Ramsey: Personally, my wrestling coach, funny enough, I grew up in a trailer park as a kid, so I’m literally from the trailer hood and my wrestling coach in high school. He was just a good dad and a great coach, a good human being. And so, as a kid, an impressionable, like 14, 15-year-old, I got to see what a good family man looked like. What a guy who showed up every day for work, who gave back to his community. Like, and so wildly enough I was dating his daughter, so that’s weird too, but I really saw him as a father figure growing up and he had a big impact on my life.
Mike Ayala: That is awesome. So, did you have a dad in like, was your dad around?
Daniel Ramsey: Yeah, totally. But the thing is when you grow up poor, you and this is, I don’t know if anybody listening will relate, but when you grow up poor, you think, well, I need to find role models. And for me, my parents and my family, they weren’t the financial role models. They didn’t like give back and the community, we struggled. My dad worked hard, and he worked, you know, blue-collar jobs and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. It’s just, I early on knew that I didn’t want to have that path. So, I was in hunt of other role models, people in my life who had success, you know, had good families, gave back and were good human beings. And so, you know, he was one of my role models. I remember my economics teacher in high school said if you grew up poor, you’re basically going to be poor. And I, you know, stupidly as a little kid, I raised my hand. I’m like, I don’t think that’s true. And the economics teacher is like, well, Ramsey, you know he was kind of a direct guy. He was a business owner. He’d been an entrepreneur and bought and sold some businesses. He goes, well, Ramsey, the stats say that I’m right and you’re wrong. And that moment impacted me. Cause in my head, I said, F this guy, I’m going to win. And you know, so I started my own business when I was in my early twenties. I was a real estate guy, started a real estate brokerage and just got early on, on a path of owning my own thing, building my own wealth. And I don’t know those two people, those two moments in my life they are pretty impactful.
Mike Ayala: Yeah. It’s so amazing. I was just having this conversation a couple of weeks ago at the GoBundance event in Austin. And, you know, we can learn as much from the negative experiences, which is what, you know, the things we don’t want to see. So, there’s mirrors, there’s good mirrors in our lives, but there’s also negative ones. And this has just been such a ringing conversation in my brain the last couple of weeks. And that’s what the wrestling coach was to you. By the way. I lived in a trailer park too.
Daniel Ramsey: I love it. Yeah. We call it the trailer hood man, where everybody’s on some sort of government assistance, you know.
Mike Ayala: It’s so crazy. We lived in a one-bedroom, one-bath, single-wide in 1976, mobile home with five of us. And you know, sometimes in my house today, the kids are, you know, banging against walls and being loud and we’re like hey, be quiet. And I can only like my parents just, God bless their hearts. Like five of us in a single-wide crazy.
Daniel Ramsey: I love it.
Mike Ayala: If you can narrow it down to one thing that has had the greatest impact on your success, what would it be? Virtual assistants? No, I’m just kidding.
Daniel Ramsey: I love that. That should be my answer. You know, I’ve never been afraid of just taking action. You know, early on I got a business degree, went to work for a bank. And when I started my real estate brokerage, I didn’t work for somebody else. So, I just started my own business. And in California you had to, you know, go through these series of class and get a license. And so literally the person who put my internet in the office, because back then you had to have, we’re a completely virtual company now, but back then you had to have an office to be a real estate broker. So, I had an office and the guy who hooked up my phone lines and internet said, what are you going to do here? And I said, I’m a real estate guy besides the fact that I’d only done three transactions by the way. So, I’d done three transactions and he says hey, you’re a real estate guy. I need to get refinanced. I’m thinking about refinance, do you do that? And I said, absolutely. I do that. He leaves, I call a friend. I said, how do you refinance a mortgage? Like, what do you do? And he says, buy this, you know, it was called calyx point. It’s a software program where you actually can fill out an application and then send it off to the bank. So, I’ve bought Calyx point, $600 bucks later and fill out an application and did my first mortgage, literally never knowing how to not knowing anything about it. So, I think if you were to boil it down, I just, I constantly move forward. And I screw a lot of things up. I don’t, you know, things don’t always work out perfectly. But I never stop. And I think a lot of people get scared or nervous or want to have it turn out perfect. Fortunately, perfect is not in my vocabulary.
Mike Ayala: I like it. I think it was Jim Collins’s book I read years ago that you know, good is the enemy of great, like it’s kind of reminded me of that. So many people are frozen. They’re so worried about the mistakes they’re going to make and, you know, perfect is the enemy of done type conversation. That’s huge, powerful what a lesson.
Daniel Ramsey: Well, and, you know, in starting this company, literally I was at a conference and a friend of mine said hey, I’m thinking about hiring some people I heard about this outsourcing thing, and I know you’re doing it. And I said, well, who are you thinking about hiring? And he tells me the company and they were literally charging $35,000 a year for virtual assistants. And I looked at him and I was like, hey man, I got seven. I’m not paying that. I probably could find you some virtual assistants. And he goes, could you really? And he’s like, yeah, yeah, yeah, I need five. And so, I said, okay, I’m going to get you five, but I’ve got to charge you something because it’s a pain in the butt. I got to interview a hundred to get to the five. And it’s a lot of work and he’s like hey, if you find me five good people, I don’t mind if you charge me something. And literally MyOutDesk was born because I had a need for talent in my own business. And then a friend said, could you get me some? So, I think the idea of taking action and moving forward, it’s only created positivity in my own life.
Mike Ayala: That’s so good. I love it. That’s awesome. What was your greatest setback and what did you learn from it?
Daniel Ramsey: I think we all go through a leadership journey and I’m pretty an intense person when it comes to people. So, you know, I have learned to lead softly. And so, I’m an aggressive guy. I like to win. I was a wrestler, you know, I’ve done some crazy stuff, jumped out of planes, just crazy, but the way I live and the way I operate, it’s not normal. And I’ve learned that it’s not normal, but I had to be a little bit older and have had experience a little bit more, a little bit of wisdom. So, I think if I could say is, you know, in my earlier days, I wish I would have been softer when it came to our people. I wish I would have loved on our people a little bit more. I wish I would have realized that my world is just not the same, the way my brain works, the way I’m driven, what I do is doesn’t always line up with everyone else. And just having a little bit more grace around those conversations I think probably is my biggest learning as a leader and a business owner.
Mike Ayala: So, on that note, because I resemble that remark a lot. Have you, I mean, obviously you’ve changed, and you’ve grown, and you’ve matured, but have you also like found yourself in different positions, like found your true place?
Daniel Ramsey: No. So, somebody put it to me this way, like the way I operate and the way you must operate also, it’s unique. It’s different. And because it’s just who I am. I thought everybody thought like me or acted like me or had the capacities that I do, but you know, the analogy that I was told, and it was a great analogy. You know, when you go to a basketball game and you’re sitting floor side, the people are huge, right? The basketball players they’re like giants, even to a guy like, I’m a big guy, I’m, you know, I’m 220, you know, 5′ 10”, I’m not small. But I go down on the basketball court and these guys are like 6′ 8”, you know, 275 pounds and their hand size, like, you know, their hands, their hands are massive. And so, what I had to realize is that as an entrepreneur, first of all, the path is very hard. The path is hard. 96% of entrepreneurs never break a million dollars. 96%. Never get to a million dollars. And most entrepreneurs tell the IRS 60% that they made no money. So, the fight to be an entrepreneur and have a high level of success. It’s the same as comparing yourself in basketball to an NBA basketball player. They’re going to make you look funny. You know, they’re going to make you look funny on the basketball court. So, what I had to do is as a leader is, I had to realize in this business game, I’m as good a basketball guy. You know, I’ve scaled a big company. And so, the people that I hire around me, they may, or may not be basketball players. And if they are, it’s a rare thing. And so that’s probably the best analogy that I could explain.
Mike Ayala: That makes sense. So, are you still on the front lines with the people or have you…?
Daniel Ramsey: Oh dude. Every day. And you know, what’s funny is I called clients today. Cause its month-end, we’re closing. My job is to serve my agent or the sales reps in our company. And really the best way that I can is by having those conversations, to help clients get over the hump. And then, you know, I could have passed you off. I mean, we have eight salespeople. You know, I could have said, hey, Mike talk to this guy, but I talked to you because, I find it to be a higher level of service when you and I can connect and I can talk through what your concerns are, or needs are or help you develop something that’s new. And so literally today I was talking to two different clients over contract stuff. They had questions about our contract. So yeah, I’m a fully engaged, crazy CEO and very proud of it.
Mike Ayala: That’s cool. Yeah. Even before this Yan who I got through you and she’s amazing. She asked me, she’s like, have you ever actually met Daniel? And I’m like, yeah, he was my sales guy.
Daniel Ramsey: Yeah. And that’s the thing is like, and, you know, it makes a difference. I was talking to a commercial real estate broker in Minneapolis right before this call, because he had a question about digital marketing. He and I were texting back and forth. And I was like, I’m just going to call the guy. And, you know, he’s a very successful, you know, been in the game 30 years and he’s building his own team and he just broke off a large international commercial company. So, he’s building this little special thing and he’s got three team members. Those are the kinds of, those are the conversations here at MyOutDesk that we freaking love. I’m really passionate about it. You know, help people find talent, build and scale business and help them like really win. It’s tough.
Mike Ayala: Yeah. What is the piece of advice you find yourself sharing the most? It’s going to be good.
Daniel Ramsey: Yeah. Oh my gosh. Well, first of all, its system is a process. So, I’ll break this down. 96% of businesses never crossed the million-dollar mark. Only 4% of businesses live in the 1 to 10 million mark. And only 17,000. So, 17,000 total ever get to $50 million or above. So, you got, you’ve got below a million, 1 to 10, 10 to 50, and there’s 28 million businesses in the US. So, there’s a lot of businesses, right. And only 17,000 have revenue of above $50 million. Well, here’s the kicker, the ones that do when you ask or speak to them or talk to them, their CEO, or talk to their team members, they live and die by their systems and their people. So, I’m consistently like every single day, what’s your system and process who’s on your team. How are you winning? What do we need to upgrade? You know, what’s your tech stack look like? Like it’s all, I mean, literally the formula, it’s not rocket science. I mean, thank God, you know, a business isn’t rocket science. If it was, I wouldn’t be here. But it is very systematic, man. Somebody says I want to win. I’m asking them great. Tell me about who’s on your team and what the system and process is.
Mike Ayala: Wow. I mean, we could quit there and be, you know, and not to get into my personal stuff here, but when you’re talking about those benchmark numbers, I mean, I exited a business in 2014 that had us, you know, in that third range, but I’ve got this idea, which we briefly touched on the scales up into that. And I’ve been stuck a little bit. And it’s because of what you said. I mean, in order, like who do I have to become in order to get to that next level? And it’s me as a leader, but it’s also me, you know, you’re talking about systems and people and man, that’s powerful.
Daniel Ramsey: That’s great on that last week. And I know Yan on this call, our virtual assistant and we have a bunch of people that may or may not listen to this thing. But last week we had somebody say hey, made me an offer for the business. And when you start having a certain level of success, what happens is people start noticing, and then they start trying to say, can I buy in, can I jump on the boat? And my answer to them was like, I’m not yet done becoming the person that I need to become. And so, there’s just, no, I’m just not ready for that yet. We haven’t fulfilled our mission. We haven’t been to a space where we’ve gotten massive scale and there’s just so much around who’s on the team, what the system and process is, what has to get created in order to get that special wow! And become, you know, more than a $50 million company, that’s kind of the path that we’re on right now.
Mike Ayala: Wow. That’s amazing. That’s awesome. Well, I would love, obviously we want to talk more about MOD Virtual and all that, but I’d love to hear just kind of you background. So, take me where you want to take me.
Daniel Ramsey: Yeah, no, I love it. So, you heard I’m a real estate guy. Drives my wife crazy. You know, I’d be driving through the neighborhood and see an open house and stop. There’ll be a vacant commercial building. And I’m like, Ooh, let me check this out. Last weekend, you’ll love this. We’re on our way to Tahoe. And I was like hey babe, I’m thinking about investing in this winery. That’s in grass Valley, which is in Northern California. And the reason is because we’ve had these smoke, these fires, that’s ruined all the Napa Valley grapes. Like Napa Valley has been on fire, but grass Valley hasn’t been, and there’s this particular area where you can buy grapes in grass Valley. And it’s still California wine, which is huge in Asia and Europe. And so anyways, a friend of mine says, he wanted some capital. And I was like, hey babe, do you mind if we go check out this winery while we’re on our way up to Tahoe, to our cabin. And she’s like, Oh God, do we have, I mean, do we really have to? Come on, we’ve gone to our cabin. Like, why do we have to do this? I’m like, you know, there’s live music. There’s a food truck there. It’s outdoors don’t worry. And it’s only like a 40-minute detour so we can stop and get a little lunch and check it out, and she’s like, well, how much do they want? You know, and I literally, I’m just doing a loan, like a regular note on the property first deed of trust. And so, we drive out there and the whole way, she’s like, so how do you know this guy?
Are you sure you want to do a wine place? You know, like this is another one of your dumb ideas. That’s what she’s basically saying to me, right. And we get there and she’s like, oh my God, this place is amazing. You know, there’s like an event place and there’s 40 acres, 23 of the acres is actually planted and they’ve got huge amount of variety, 160 acres next to it that they have farming rights too. And so, I’m like, this is a, and it’s a half a million bucks in terms of a loan and you know, the banks aren’t giving any interest right now. So, you know my interest was last year for our, all of our accounts combined, we made $13 in interest last year from our bank. So, I’m like, I got to find a place to make a little interest. A little passive interest money. So, the whole way up there, my wife’s poo-pooin’ the idea saying no, I don’t want to do it. This is dumb Daniel. And we get up there and she’s like, Oh, this is a really good idea. I think you should do this one. So, I tell that story because I’m consistently looking for opportunities. I love real estate as a passive income vehicle. I think as a business owner, I’m always amazed at businesses that don’t own the real estate that they use. And I think that’s a big deal. And, you know, we have a trailer park in Florida. I’m invested in a hotel in San Antonio, although, you know, that might not be a great, you know, with COVID going on, that wasn’t a great one. I’m still crossing my fingers on that. But I’m a real estate guy through and through who loves leverage, who loves building and scaling companies. And, you know, I was on my honeymoon. I don’t know if my wife knows how much I talk her. That’s the funny story, you know, like I don’t think she listens to any of these. So, one day I’m going to have to send her one. But I’m literally on my honeymoon closing a real estate transaction and the bartender took my phone and started making fun of me in Spanish. Stupid white guy. What’s wrong with him, beautiful bride back in the bungalow. And it’s like a Francis Ford Coppola resort in Guatemala. So, like in the jungle, monkeys are swinging in, there’s like Lake in front of us. And as this guy’s making fun of me, I’m thinking this isn’t what I got into business for. I wanted to own the business, not have the business own me. And so, my story is, it was at that moment that we started hunting talent happened to be in the Philippines and we’ve just slowly built. You know, now we’re at 1300 virtual assistants. Serving businesses like yours across the US and Canada.
Mike Ayala: That’s awesome. So, who’s the business targeted toward? I mean, is it any small business owner? Is there a certain niche?
Daniel Ramsey: Yeah, I mean, I’m a real estate guy, so we started with that niche. But we’ve been recently, you know, healthcare is a big push for us. We have over a hundred healthcare clients like the in-home health care and, you know, doctor clinics and aestheticians, like some weird businesses, the health and beauty kind of world is one of the areas. Insurance is a big vertical for us tech, investors. The reality is our vertical is anybody who’s growing and scaling a business who needs talent. If you find yourself, you know, without an assistant, not working out, you need more time with a family. You can’t seem to get everything done. Like that’s what we do. We help in those scenarios.
Mike Ayala: You know, what’s interesting. This is just an observation, but when COVID hit, I don’t know we’re in November, I think. I don’t even know…
Daniel Ramsey: No, it is October.
Mike Ayala: Yan is so good at managing my calendar, I don’t even know what day it is now. But no, I noticed just because of the business you’re in your people are so good at tech and the digital side of the business and zoom and I mean, Yan is a Rockstar. And I think it’s just inherent to the fact that you’re dealing with virtual assistants. So, it’s, for those of us that are, you know, weren’t virtual pre-COVID. I mean, this is a great transition.
Daniel Ramsey: Yeah. We actually during COVID one of the things that we did is we created a go remote guide and if you’re good, we’ll give it away to the audience. But we put 13 pages together of all the tips and tricks and everything that we’ve implemented. And it was really, I mean, look in March and April, it was like, Whoa, that’s big deal because it was 13 pages of, no, you need to have this kind of a Zoom. You’ve got to have lighting. You need a good camera. You got to have. I mean, like these little things that we’ve just always done, cause we’re a virtual company were actually really, really valuable. There was a time when you couldn’t get a laptop, like in California, you couldn’t get a laptop or a camera if you wanted one, you know. So, we threw out a guide and helped a lot of our clients actually make the transition selling from zoom. We’ve been doing it for 13 years. Like before zoom, we use Skype, before Skype, it was, what was the name of that go-to meeting? It was like a; it was a go-to meeting. Yeah. It was a go-to meeting. I think they’re gone now. Maybe they’re still here. I’m not sure. So, we put together that guide and it’s really cool. And we have some technology to our people log into a thing called my time in. So, our customers kind of see when they log in, know what’s going on and have a little bit of controls around like internet speed and location and computers. So, we have the technology and our people typically tend to be, you know, highly educated and very motivated because these are good jobs for their customers.
Mike Ayala: What percentage of your clients like, and I don’t know if you know the exact percentage but get an assistant with you and then keep adding on. Is that a big number?
Daniel Ramsey: 25%, Yeah, 25% of our clients add on. And it’s a huge number of our new business because what happens is, and I tell people, this is a funny, I tell people that we’re like crack, you know, and you know, it’s a very harsh description, but literally once you, and here’s the process, to one of your questions. My advice creates a system a process, get through the iterations of making sure it works. Test it, tweak it. You can do it with a virtual assistant, or you could do it ahead of hiring a virtual assistant. Then once you give that job away, you get that time back. I mean, we’re in the time freedom podcast. So, we call that compound leverage, you know, just like compound interest. You, you know, doubles every seven years. The thing is business owners, they think, and I’m in this, dude, I’m in this world. I was like a helicopter delegator. That’s what I was doing on my honeymoon, working on my honeymoon. I’d give a job away and that’d be like, are you done? Are you done? Are you done? What does it look like? Give it to me now. I want to see, I want to review, you know, like, and why, or I just do it myself. So that obviously didn’t produce the result that I wanted. So, if you can build a system and process, you can test and tweak and kind of refine it and then you give it away to somebody, you get that time back. And with that time that you get just purchase back you know, as long as you focus on growing your business, then you’re going to get a space where you’re growing and scaling and hopefully doing fun, cool stuff too. I mean, you know, for guys like us, we don’t want the repetitive stuff. We don’t want the stuff that you put into a system. We want the new, interesting, hard problems to solve.
Mike Ayala: Yeah. And that’s such an interesting point because, you know, I thought at one point in time that because I hated doing certain things, repetition, certain tasks that everybody hated that. And that’s just not the case. Yeah. It’s kind of crazy. So, what would you say this was a big road, I’ll just say it, like you said it. So we’re on a sales call and you’re like, Mike, you’re either going to do it or you’re not .because I’m making all these excuses about the time to put it in place and you were basically like, you’re just making excuses. Like you’re either going to do this or you’re just going to put up, I deserve what I put up with. And so, what would you say? I know there’s a lot of business owners out there and even people that are in the, there’s a lot of people that listen to this show that are still in a W2 job and they have some level of passive income and they’re scaling and they’re stressed out. My wife and I talked to them all the time. They’re overloaded. They might be working twice as much as the other person. So, I know there’s a fear factor around assistance because people feel like we need to have everything together, which is what I was feeling before they hire someone. So just talk us through that. What’s your advice for that person? Because I know it could go either way.
Daniel Ramsey: Yeah. I mean, look, and that’s kind of why I said, build a system, a process and integrate it and you can do it before your virtual assistant or after. The thing that I would do if I was on this call considering hiring a virtual assistant, the first thing that we love to tell our clients to do is a sticky challenge. And I may have told you about this when we originally talked, but it’s where you just follow yourself around with stickies. And then you write down the time that you’re spending and then whether the task is dollar productive or non-dollar productive. So very simple. Are you talking to clients, are you growing the business? Are you adding value to the business in a sales marketing capacity way, right? Or are you doing administrative work? Are you doing something that is repetitive? Something that should be in a system or process, something that may need to get done, but just isn’t super valuable. So, you just do this sticky challenge, and you write down how many hours you spend doing it. And wildly enough, like wildly enough, what happens is people typically aren’t doing as much dollar productive activity as they think they are. They realize it’s 10 or 15 or 20% at best. They do the sticky challenge. And they’re like, Holy moly. I’m spending the majority of my time being an assistant. Like I’m a highly educated person or I’m really super successful. I’ve got all this opportunity. And when I break it down, after two weeks, 70% of my day is in stuff that doesn’t really matter. Or that I can pay somebody $10, 15 bucks an hour to do. And so, you know, step one is just know where you are, figure out what you need to do in order to get to the next step of your business evolution. Whether that’s quitting a W2 and starting a business, or having a business and growing it, you know, start with why and where you want to go. But then do the work of figuring out, you know, what you’re spending your time on. I would guarantee that if you haven’t done this before, this might be the most impactful study that you do in your business career.
Mike Ayala: I Love it. That’s so applicable to everyone. So, you’re not the company. Like if I want to hire somebody for two hours a month to do work for me, right?
Daniel Ramsey: No, that’s the thing. There was a big timeframe where we toyed with like, part-time work. We did 10 hours a week. We did 20 hours a week and 40 hours a week. And what we found was that most of the customers, they were doing 10 and 20 hours a week. Just, they weren’t as satisfied. They weren’t as happy, meaning they got some value out of it, just not as much as our full-time customers. And so, we squarely focused on full-time folks, folks that have enough work, that it makes financial and viable sense to spend the money to hire somebody. And it’s been a, you ask challenges for business. It was hard to walk away from the part-time money. Because as a business, it generated a good, it was like 20% of our total revenue, right. 20%. So, we literally stopped doing that four years ago and just walked away from 20% of our revenue and said, we’re not doing that anymore. People looked at me like I was crazy. But we squarely focused on companies who, you know, are trying to grow and scale and they need the support, and their time is valuable. And they realized that, you know, time is the only thing you can’t buy more of. There’s a finite amount of it. It’s going to run out at some time. And so those are the folks that we add the most value to.
Mike Ayala: I love it. So, I’m really interested to get your take on this, I think with your business experience, real estate running MOD, all this, what do you see coming in the next couple years? And I’m not looking for a crystal ball on the economy, but what do you see coming? And what would your advice be, you know, to business owners and real estate investors and all of that. What’s some of the most important things we can really work on.
Daniel Ramsey: Yeah. I love it. I mean, honestly, I might not be the best guy for advice. You know, COVID happened, our business blew up, you know, it just like exploded. And in 45 days we had, it’s something like 140 of our clients raise their hand and say hey, I need support. I need to cut hours or change something or cancel. And so, in that first month of COVID literally as a company, we were, we were concerned. We didn’t, we had no idea. And then right after April, what happened, our business just shot. It went nuts. Everybody was like, oh we’re still in business and we still need help. And so, we’ve seen our sales increase now. It’s like, we’re running on 55% increase year over year, which has been huge for us. But you’re, you know, so I don’t know if I’m the guy for advice. But you know, you can’t ignore 2% interest rates. Like you just can’t ignore that. So if you’re in the real estate game, you’re a W2 guy or you’re a gal who’s thinking about quitting their job, interest rates are so low that it’s, it feels like it’s a time to borrow, like as much as you possibly can as many ways as you possibly can and find a home for that money. In the real estate world, I mean, there’s always pockets of challenge, meaning, you know, watch out for office right now. I would not be buying movie theaters or malls right or hotels in cities. But you know, industrial still strong. You know, apartments strong, you know, mobile homes, storage unit, there are these glimmers. So, yeah, I know from a cash perspective, what we’re doing as a company is just really conserving as much cash as we possibly can, because if there is a shift in the market, like everybody’s kind of predicting but worried about, but not sure about, you know, talking about stock markets and all that stuff. We’re just in a kind of a hold pattern. And I think a lot of people are too. And so, we’ve just gotten really good with managing expenses and knowing what our cash position is and getting ready to pull the trigger when it makes sense.
Mike Ayala: Well, and I think your business, I’ll say it, maybe you thought to say it and just didn’t, but I think your business is actually something that we all should consider. My team has another assistant from you guys, and they love him. I was just talking with Tyler about it and I mean, he’s killing it for him. And this is in a position that we’ve struggled to hire for. We’ve had two full-time people that couldn’t keep up with this position and we hired a virtual assistant from you guys and he’s killing it. And so, you know, just with everything that’s going on right now, I don’t think there’s a better time to not have some virtual assistants on your team, from a company, MyOutDesk, you guys do a great job. The whole process is super simple. It’s not necessarily overnight. It might take a week or two to really get through the process. And then you guys narrow down the process, which is also super valuable. Cause I don’t have to, you said it early on, but you guys sort through the hundred to get us down to two or three candidates, right?
Daniel Ramsey: Yeah. And literally that is the number. Wildly enough, so it’s interesting. As you think about what’s the future looks like, what we’ve done is we’ve brought this ability to get, you know, low costs to help in your business. That’s really, they’re educated, they’re hard workers. They love the job; they love making impact and they want to be a part of your team. Like they literally want to be a part of your team. Wildly enough, that isn’t the experience for all of your employees. So for us we believe in something called a blended model where, you know, you have people that are, you know, here and there typically the licensed person, the person who’s got the experience, you know, in the role or the industry that you’re living in or serving. And then there’s an army of virtual assistants behind them doing all the stuff that need to get done but might not be the licensee’s work or the expertise work. And when you do that, you know, you’re going to have, you’re going to see growth.
Mike Ayala: Well there’s so many of, we’ve got so many limiting beliefs around assistance and one of mine was, I need my assistant in my office and it just 95%, 97% of what my assistant does. She doesn’t need to be in my office. And so that’s another, we’ve got all these roadblocks to success and you know, hiring and it just hasn’t been the case. And so, you know, Yan is in the background and she’s listening to us right now, but there’s all these limiting thoughts that we have that hasn’t been my experience with MyOutDesk. And these are just thoughts. It shouldn’t be this way, but if there’s any roadblocks out there that have hindered you from thinking this, I just want to share it. I would put Yan on any phone call with any client, no matter how big or small it is, like she’s very educated. I think sometimes like the tech support from, you know, certain companies that you can’t understand, your tech support when you’re trying to get your credit card unlocked has basically influenced me in a bad way, but that’s not the case with MyOutDesk. Your people are phenomenal.
Daniel Ramsey: Well, and it’s because I’m an entrepreneur and I got stupid high standards when it comes to communication. So as a company, we just, aren’t going to onboard somebody that you can’t have a conversation with that doesn’t have high speed internet that doesn’t have, you know, speaker and phone and a computer that works. We do all of the screening upfront, you know, even English. I mean, it’s their primary language. You go and most people speak English. And so, you know, it’s just, it’s the easy button for talent. You said a week or two, but dude, I don’t know about, if you’re listening right now, the last time you tried to hire somebody in the US like that process takes three, six months sometimes, you know, dude, It’s just, it’s hard work to get somebody to come and be an employee and find the right fit. And even then, you know, you might hire wrong. So yeah, we’re really excited about the future. We believe in the blended model; we think there’s a lot of growth potential in this market.
Mike Ayala: I love it. You have and I don’t know, maybe we don’t want to talk about this, but you have some tech that you guys use that you’re offering to companies too, is that live?
Daniel Ramsey: Yeah, so forever. So, here’s the thing. One, when you have, you know, five employees, like you don’t really have to, you know, keep a hold of where they are, you get to 50 employees, you get to 500. And in our case, we got to 500 and I was like, wait, what do you mean Mike’s out today? He’s supposed to be working, where’s Mike, you know. And so, we had to build something that told us when our virtual assistant was here working and good internet connection, you know, in the right spot. So, we have this technology, excuse me, it’s called my time in and all of our people log in on it. And, you know, we can, we basically can make sure that everybody’s, you know, doing their things like they’re supposed to. And it’s a really big deal when you get to, in our case, we’re at 1300. So, it’d be really tough to do that in a spreadsheet or like, or in a, you know, on paper. So, we just had to build this, and our customers get access to it completely free as part of our service. And so, it’s just a good tool.
Mike Ayala: Is that something that you’re going to offer to clients outside of MOD?
Daniel Ramsey: We are working towards being able to offer that outside of MyOutDesk. It’s one of those, it’s one of those things it’s right now it’s built specifically on top of our platform. So, it like has a lot of weird business logic that would only make sense if you have 1300 people in the Philippines and your customers are in the US. So, we’re working towards being able to make that available for everyone right now. And it’s a fun puzzle because I think, and the reason I say we’re working towards it when COVID hit, the whole world became remote. And all of a sudden, the market went from 3% of the US population to like 70%. And so, with that kind of dramatic growth, we were like hey, wait, we got this platform. People actually need this now. So, we’re working towards that. We hope to have something launch soon.
Mike Ayala: Well, you have so many clients that are fans. I’ve actually had three of your clients tell me that you have this time platform that we can just buy. So, that’s why I was even asking it. I thought it was live just because you’ve been referred. So, it’s cool.
Daniel Ramsey: I love it.
Mike Ayala: Amazing stuff. Well, what else do you want to want to leave us with? I mean, how do people find out about MyOutDesk? I mean, it’s behind you, but not everybody’s watching the video.
Daniel Ramsey: Yeah. If you’re listening or watching, I want to give everyone a copy of our book. I’d sent it to you when you first signed up. It’s really, I mean, it’s basically 13 years of my heart and hard work put into like 130 pages. And the idea was to give our clients like a guide that was specific, that were actionable, like every single technology that you need to work with a virtual assistant, how to manage them, how to train them. What’s important when you’re connecting with, you know, people who are remote versus physical, like what’s that different? What’s the cultural difference, right? So, it literally is how to scale your business with modern virtual professionals. That’s our, that’s what we, the MyOutDesk, MOD family. And so, if you’re listening, you can get a copy by texting SVP so scale with virtual professionals, SVP is in the message section. And in the number section, you can put 31996, and you can download a free copy on a Kindle or PDF version. But if you’re considering hiring a virtual assistant, I would get the book period, whether you hire us or somebody else. I mean, I don’t want you to hire somebody else, but if you do it, don’t screw it up, get the book. So, you know exactly what the steps are that you need to take to be supported and to do it right.
Mike Ayala: Totally. And so, if they’re interested, they’re ready to pull the trigger and start going through the process, just www.myoutdesk.com. Is that the best place for it?
Daniel Ramsey: Yeah. And I mean, when you download the book, you’ll start getting our emails and some information. I mean, the other day we had a client ask, so what do I do once I hire? And we literally have a blog post about it, you know, how does, how does somebody like Yan support you, Mike? Well, we have a blog post or a video series about, you know, digital marketing and how somebody can help them. So, a lot of our content is on our website at www.myoutdesk.com. And once you to grab the book, you’re in the family, man. We’ll make sure you get all the love every week.
Mike Ayala: I think there’s actually a lot of fear around taking these next steps. I know I experienced it and being on the other side of it, it’s great.
Daniel Ramsey: What would you say about that fear? I mean, it’s interesting to hear you talk about that.
Mike Ayala: For years, I’ve heard about virtual assistants and we just have all these preconceived ideas and limiting beliefs about how much work it’s going to be and how much work it’s going to be on me and I’m going to have to, and they’re just great. The whole process is great. It’s the fear of the unknown. I mean, it’s no different than getting into real estate investing or anything else. It’s all these ideas we’ve built in our brain. And I would say, just take the plunge, start the process.
Daniel Ramsey: What do you think what caused you to take the plunge? Like what was it?
Mike Ayala: Well, so number one, it was a trust factor. Cause I’ve had, I’ve had several people tell me how great your service was. But then number two, you know, we’re in GoBundance together, which we haven’t really talked about. And just hearing people’s experience through that, which is a referral, but that’s not enough. So, for me it was a trust factor, which we can’t develop just over, you know, a podcast here, but that’s why I’m taking the leap. And maybe it’s more, I had gone through two assistants physically and made the wrong hires. And so, I was a little, little gun shy there.
Daniel Ramsey: So, you had enough pain, there was a referral source. And then our interaction caused you to say, okay, I’m going to try it.
Mike Ayala: The other side of it. And I don’t want to make this sound like it’s ever a short commitment, but it’s not like when we hire somebody, you said this already, but the pain, the blood, the sweat, the tears, the onboarding, the HR, health, like all that stuff is a nightmare. It’s like a seven-month process. This is easy and I’m not saying it’s easy to the extent that you should just test it out for a couple of days, and you can let it go. It’s not that easy, but also this is not like our normal hiring process. You guys do all the vetting. You do all the work. There’s not a lot of risk in this and I’m blown away.
Daniel Ramsey: There you go, man. I told you, I’d interviewed you on your podcast. Did we talk about that? I think we did talk about that.
Mike Ayala: Good stuff. Anything else you want to talk about?
Daniel Ramsey: No, man. You know what, if you’re listening and you decide to move forward with the book and Mike, you said a little bit about this. What we do is a very comprehensive kind of initial conversation where we break down, who’s on your team today. What’s your revenue this year? What is your goal for next year? You know, what’s your tech stack look like? So, we literally, we’re not like Upwork or Fiverr. We call those companies dating sites where, you know, you can kind of date somebody or get a project done. We’re a marriage site. So, what our intention with doing a consultation is one verify that you have the right ideas about how a virtual assistant can actually help you grow, right? Verify that you have all the systems in place, verify that, you know, whatever support you might need and whether it’s training or systems or your tech stack, that you have the right resources and guides so that, you know, when you do this, there’s a higher likelihood that you’re going to win. So, when somebody comes in to do a consultation with us, we’ll break down systems process. Who’s on your team Now, what your goals are, what the revenue and my favorite question is like hey, what’s your, and this might be a great way to end actually is if I waved a wand that’s my sensitive way, or put a gun to your head. And you had to double your business. You like had to, it was imperative for your lives or the lives of your loved ones. What would you need to do? Like who’s on your team? What do you need to do? What are your three initiatives? What are the three problems you’re going to solve in your business? Or what are the three opportunities that you’re going to take advantage of? And so we’ll go through that process with somebody breaking down, you know, whether or not their concepts of working with a virtual assistant would make sense, you know, that we could help them, that they have the right systems and process. So, we do all of that as a consultation and it’s completely free. And every month, like we’re working towards 500 right now, a month consultation where people come to us and tell us hey, here’s what I need. And we say, yay or nay, or yes, you can do that, but you need to add this. And so, most of the time, we’re basically creating custom solutions for business owners who need support and need talent. And all of that is completely free.
Mike Ayala: Well, for those of you that are listening, you heard kind of my, again, limiting beliefs, the roadblocks that I was having. And so, for anyone out there that, you know this, I don’t pitch anything on my show. Daniel’s a friend of mine and I’ve gotten great experience from his business. And so if you have any questions or you’re experiencing roadblocks, I mean, obviously you can reach out to them, but if you have any questions and want to talk to me about my experience, just to, you know, push that along, happy to do it, just shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and just you know, say Daniel Ramsey in the subject line or MyOutDesk, whatever you want. And Yan, my amazing assistant will work with me to get in touch with you and help you along. But that was my roadblock. Like I was just concerned and I’m happy to help because it’s been amazing for me and appreciate everything, you’re doing out there Daniel.
Daniel Ramsey: Yeah. Thanks for having me today. It’s been fun.