These are some of the most commonly asked questions that I get about what I do...
Do you get up early or sleep in?
The short answer: It depends. The longer answer: I often work on special projects in different time zones around the world; so sometimes I’m up all night while other people are sleeping. Depending on how long the project will last, I sometimes need to travel overseas for extended periods of time so I won’t have to be a vampire and be up all night.
What do you usually do after you get up?
Coffee! I’m a pretty serious coffee drinker. I don’t drink any of that $50-a-cup stuff, but I do like gourmet. After the java is handled, it’s email time. I get 100 to 200 emails a day – and sometimes more. It really depends on what is happening. In addition to the placements of personal assistants, estate managers and executive assistants, I’m also consulting clients on special projects. When I have time, I also do career coaching.
Do you eat healthy, or do you love junk-food?
For the most part, I do eat healthy. I don’t mind the occasional trip for fast food, but I do generally eat healthily. If I don’t, my energy goes way down and it’s harder for me to put in the hours I need to get things done.
Is your day carefully planned, or are you shooting from the hip?
I typically have an outline. It’s really difficult to pin down the exact times that I will call people because my schedule is so unpredictable. I have to do rolling calls a lot, which means there is always a lot of phone tag going on. Of course I use a lot of asynchronous communication, but I often need to have real-time phone or Skype sessions with people, and that’s not always easy – especially with the time differences.
What takes up most of your time each day?
Again, it does depend on what’s happening that week. But I divide time between reading and replying to emails, looking at resume submissions, talking to clients and candidates by phone/skype, and working with vendors.
I just got a message this week that someone I’m connected to on LinkedIn is going to be restoring a castle in the UK, so I want to help in any way that I can. Another contact of mine has an employer looking to buy another mega-estate, which will need staff and an estate management system.
In short, there’s always something exciting going on.
What might a normal day look like?
First and foremost, messages have to be checked. I have to know where my schedule stands the moment I wake up. If appointments have been cancelled, for example, I have to start juggling the schedule. When I know what things look like after the dust has settled, I start prioritizing the tasks in order of importance.
That is very difficult to do because how can one say which clients or candidates are more important than the other. Essentially, it all comes down to how urgent the deadline is. If something can wait, it’s going to either have to be dealt with at the end of the day, or it will be rescheduled for the following day.
On really busy days, how do you decide what's most important?
I can answer this with an example... I recently had one candidate who needed to get on a plane to go meet the Principal. Because the candidate was going to have to move out of the country to work with the VIP, all of the initial interviews took place on Skype. It’s my policy, generally speaking, that the last interview must be in person. That way the employer and candidate can both be absolutely sure it’s a fit.
Because the employer was investing so much money to fly the candidate out first class and put them in a luxury hotel, a lot of energy went into that situation and some other things went on the back burner because of it. That client was a super-star and was paying top-dollar for the placement, so I put a lot of energy into it.
Do you exercise?
Yes, I try. It’s been really hard to do that with the pandemic. I used to go to the gym to swim, but now I have to do other things to make up for it. When I was in my 20s, I was a personal trainer, so I know how to exercise but I’m often too busy to put the kind of time into it that I should. Lately, I have been doing a lot of stretching.
What are your most important daily habits?
I try to make many things habits: spending time with my wife and daughter, eating healthy, doing a little pro bono coaching, posting on social media, networking on LinkedIn, etc.
What time do you normally have dinner?
We all have dinner together at 5:00 pm. That’s a priority. My phone and computer are always blowing up with messages; but no matter what, I want to be able to sit down at the dinner table and eat together “like the olden days.” A lot families don’t do that anymore, but I think it’s important.
Do you have time to eat lunch?
Not always. I have a lot of healthy snacks right next to my computer, so if I have some really pressing issues and I don’t have time to have a proper lunch, I will just grab a banana or an apple do lunch that way.
What is the most productive time of the day?
Tough to say; but if hard-pressed, I would say that I like working at night the most. I love it when it’s really, really quiet. I know that might sound a little strange since I live such a fast and loud existence visiting all of the big cities around the world, but I really do love the quietness.
What is the last thing you do before you sleep?
I spend time with my daughter. She is almost six. We will either talk, read a book, or pay an educational game on the iPad.
What advice do you have for people who are unemployed during the pandemic?
We have all been though hard times. I would say that people need to write down a plan. I’m always seeing posts on LinkedIn about candidates sending out 100 or 200 resumes with no results.
Well, simply put, that means something is wrong. Even taking into account that the job market is very difficult, if someone is sending out dozens or even hundreds of resumes with no response, a big change has to be made.
Not having an agenda is like getting on a plane with no flight plan. The pilot has to know the exact trajectory, or they won’t meet the destination. Jobs are no different.
Written by assistants working for celebrities, billionaires and royalty