All right. Hey, Richard. Welcome to the show. How are you doing today?
Richard Phu (00:05.249)
Thanks for the dossier, I’m pretty doing alright. Bit early in the morning man, but hey man, I’m not as late on your end of the world, but I’m excited to be here man.
Thank you so much. We’re grateful to have you and thank you for making some time for us. Really appreciate it. I wanna start us off with a very different thing that I usually don’t get to hear, but kinda hear for the very first time when we were doing some research on you. So you describe yourself as a business freedom designer. Can you tell us a little bit more about what exactly does that mean? The stuff that you’re doing with Outsourcing Angels, so how does that correlate with each other?
Richard Phu (00:42.873)
Yeah, I mean it is a funny term. I still can’t remember how I came up with it. Right. But I think of it like this, right? I think of it like every business owner wants to create a business, not because they want to make a job for themselves, not like they because, you know, they say they have other missions and stuff like that. But I think at a deep, deep down core of it, right, is we just want to create freedom for ourselves. You know, we…
Richard Phu (01:11.065)
And I think it’s because it’s a perception of, you know, hey, you get a job, you don’t have freedom. You know, you have to live by someone else’s rules. And when I talk about freedom, it’s not like, you know, I can go and work whenever I want. You can nowadays, right. But it’s more about like living life by your own rules. And that’s how I think most people want to live life as I guess, in terms of freedom, you know. And so, you know, for me, it’s about creating that flexibility. And so I think.
Richard Phu (01:39.849)
We start out creating a business to create that flexibility for ourselves, whether it’s for family travel, whatever it is. And then sometimes as it gets bigger, they forget, right? They forget off how, how much they start integrating or sorry, not integrate, they start ingrating themselves in the business so much that then it starts to like be really hard to get themselves out and be able to do what they want to do, you know, because you don’t just go from, I’m going to start business. And then.
Richard Phu (02:08.949)
have the freedom that you want, right? If you want to grow it and be successful enough where you have that financial freedom, that time freedom, you need to create a team, you need to create the processes, the systems, right? And that takes a lot of time. And sometimes people just build it around themselves. They build it around themselves and then become a bottleneck. And so for me, I kind of want to come in, I kind of want to unshackle them from their own business. I want their business to run without them. And that’s kind of how the whole…
Richard Phu (02:37.633)
business freedom designer came up was like, you know, I want to recreate the business. I want to redesign your business so it works without you. And that’s kind of like what we get to do now. And that’s where outsourcing was transforming into is, you know, originally in a VA company, right? But now we want to build it around three pillars of, you know, VA’s technology, right? Which means automations, systems and tools. And then we have processes, you know, so redefining their processes, streamlining it.
Richard Phu (03:05.185)
so that it all operates together. So then you can have that, I guess, freedom business or being free from your business.
Gotcha. Was, you know, listening to some podcast a couple of months ago and this exact topic that somebody commented like most people have this flawed, you know, sense of freedom. Like most people think that, okay, they’re starting their own business. That means they can have more freedom. They can like do whatever they want. But what ends up happening is they’re just, you know, changing the job. So they’re becoming self-employed now. So they’re like not reporting to somebody else, but they’re just becoming self-employed.
Richard Phu (03:42.434)
Thanks for watching. Bye.
They’re putting more hours, if not exactly the same hours, and it’s a constant grind. I think for a lot of self-employed people, or you can say entrepreneur at the beginning, because at the beginning you’re really, really small. So it’s just like a constant grind. So that is very helpful, I think, from this particular perspective. One thing that I want to ask you, when somebody build their own business, I think there has to be a period when they still need to do that.
They still need to have somewhat of a chaos. They need to have all the things up there in the air because they’re not sure. Most people are not sure what they’re doing when they start the business, right? So what sort of clients do you help out with? People who are just starting out or people who are in their journey maybe a few months down the road, maybe a couple years down the road, that kind of stuff. What are your thoughts on the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic?
Richard Phu (04:24.481)
Richard Phu (04:36.274)
Yeah, it’s a really good question. I like to explain it like a metaphor, right? It’s probably the easiest way for people to understand because I can be like, look, it’s like people who are over six figures do this and do that have a team of this size. You look, I think of it like this, like what we do at Outsourcing Angel and you know, the whole program, you know, where we try and unshackle the business owner from.
Richard Phu (05:01.237)
being trapped in their business, right? It’s called the systemized scale up or SNS we call it. And you know, we get a bunch of different types of people coming in, right? We get people with big teams, right? Coming in, we also get the solo printers. We get pre-revenue people, right? Who don’t, who haven’t sold anything yet, right? And they’re like, I want to build a team and I want to build a machine that works. And then it’s like an ATM, right? So then it just works without me. And I’m like, that’s great. But it’s kind of like this. It’s kind of like what SNS does is,
Richard Phu (05:29.601)
we lay down like a six lane, seven lane highway, right? Through anywhere. And the thing is, is like, if I come up to your house and you’re like, hey, Mudassir, I wanna lay down this SNS program in my backyard, right? Which is my business. And then I look at your backyard, I’m like, Mudassir, what the hell’s going on, right? This is a whole jungle. Where do I point this highway to go to? You know? And so if you’re new in business, then you just see a jungle right now.
Richard Phu (05:56.569)
There’s nowhere to go through it. And if you wanna go through somewhere, you have to bring out your machete, right? You’re gonna hack through it, find a way through, right? And I say, for those people, I’m like, look, your pre-revenue or your really early stage, you haven’t gotten a proven system to repeat, whether that is to go attract people, to sell to them, to them deliver to them, right? You haven’t got that yet. So that’s why it’s a jungle and there’s no path. What we wanna do is then,
Richard Phu (06:25.821)
see for a business who have a repeatable system, a repeatable way to make money, to sell money, to deliver properly, right? And what I mean by repeatable is not like you do it two, three times, I’m talking like if you’ve done it 10 times, 20 times, right? You kind of, by then you kind of know what you need to do. Right, you kind of know, you got to get this person on call, you got to ask for their credit card, you got to do this, and then you got to do that, you got to onboard them, and.
Richard Phu (06:54.229)
What that looks like is in this jungle context is you now have a dirt path through the jungle. Yeah, I don’t need, you know, if you’re taking me through, it’s not like you have to go out and get your machete again and clear out the path of a head. No, it’s a dirt path because people are going back and forth on it. Right. And that’s what we’re looking for. Like I’m looking for business owners who have a dirt path. Yeah. Who know this is exactly how I get a customer. Right. We go out, I do this, I go networking, then they, they go to discovery call with me. And then.
Richard Phu (07:23.873)
We have a strategy call, I send a proposal, the follow up, and then they buy, and then when they buy, the delivery team starts, and that’s what that looks like. And that’s what SNS, and this is what the whole business freedom design is all about, is we need to find those dirt paths to turn them into road, tarmac roads, and then from there, level them up into a super highway. So then it’s just like, what if we just pumped up more?
Richard Phu (07:53.333)
more people coming down this pathway here and pumping it instead of becoming people, we make it cars and buses and whatever. And then it then supercharges the business because there’s a proven way to sell, to deliver, right? And then to support the customers. And if that exists, then it’s about scaling all of those pieces together. So then you just keep expanding the business from that way because then you have the supporting systems.
Richard Phu (08:22.681)
and tools and people that you feel you, yourself with us here, we can then go, I feel confident I got the right team behind me. I’m just gonna go out and sell more, attract more. And that’s pretty much what we’re looking for on that end. Does that make sense?
Yeah, it does make a lot of sense. One interesting thing that you mentioned, and I am from a startup world, so a lot of time there’s a buzzword that we get to hear that is scale. Everybody wants to scale. Even, you know, you started out like yesterday, and today you want to scale without anything, doing anything, finding anything. So have you had people coming in, because I know a lot of people, a lot of founders, they just want to, they just.
Richard Phu (08:43.308)
Richard Phu (08:47.373)
They just have a fancy idea, and the next thing they want to do is, I want to scale like today. I want to build a team or something like that. So if someone were to come to you, like somebody who’s just starting out, and then all they want to do is build a team and all that. So how would you talk to them? Okay, this is not the right time for you. How do you do that?
Richard Phu (09:27.649)
Yeah, that’s a good question. We’ve had some people where, like I’ll tell you, one lady came to us and she was, you could call her a startup, right? Where she’s basically, you know, got an idea. It was like a digital market agency. She was doing it and then people started asking her to do more, right? And they were buying from her. And what that led to was basically her doing everything and she was stuck. You know, so we help these kind of startups, we call them also like solopreneurs, right?
Richard Phu (09:56.149)
So I would say she was, she was still trying to hack through the, the jungle, right. With the machete. And so she came to us and I’m like, look, okay, look, because we’re beta testing, we will help you. Yeah. And so what we do usually, right. Is people who want to scale going from one person being yourself to two. Yeah. We look at how do we free you up from delivery? So if you look at a customer journey, life cycle, right. It’s like, you know, how do I attract a lead? How does that lead?
Richard Phu (10:25.069)
get in contact with me, become qualified, how do they then sell to them and then how do I close them and then how do they become a client and then how do I service them, yeah? And then you’re doing pretty much a whole journey if you’re by yourself. And usually what we say is, as a solopreneur or a single person operation, the easiest way to start expanding yourself and scaling yourself is to start looking at how do you free yourself up from the back office? How do you free yourself up from the admin? How do you free yourself up?
Richard Phu (10:54.477)
from the delivery at works, especially like if you’re a coach or whatever, and it’s a service, right? Like if you’re a consultant, very hard to free yourself up, but there is still supporting activities below you that you could farm out, whether it is through an automation that sets it all up, right? For example, like let’s say if I have a new client, Modassia, and then every time I onboard a new client, I need to create.
Richard Phu (11:20.757)
you know, like a special client folder, invite the client to it so then we can share resources. I can do that manually, people probably do, but then you can set up automations that automatically create a new folder, send the invite to the client, right? Even though it only takes me probably like five minutes, it’s why should I have to think about that? You know, if I can set it up and automate it, yeah? And if you don’t know how to automate it, that’s fine. Then you can get a VA or virtual assistant and they can do it for you. And the whole idea is to free yourself.
Richard Phu (11:48.053)
more up from delivery because there’s always these cycles. So like, when you’re really low in sales, it’s probably because you have a lot of delivery work to do because you’re focused on the back. But then once you start clearing out that pipeline, then you go back and then you’re like, hey, heck, I’m not making as much money. It’s because I need to go back out and do sales. You go back and do sales, sell a bunch more, then realize, oh, sell too much, now I gotta go back down and knuckle down and deliver. And so we need to free up the delivery so then you can go out and sell more because then.
Richard Phu (12:17.581)
when you can go sell more with the delivery that keeps maintaining it, that’s how you can grow. And so that’s what we usually wanna do. So with this lady, she was doing everything by herself and we came in and we redesigned how she did onboarding. We redesigned the reporting that she had to do for her clients. We redesigned how she delivered whereby, she got to a point where, if you’re freelancing or a solopreneur, sometimes you just leave it to the last minute, right?
Richard Phu (12:46.709)
of things to deliver because it’s like, ah, it’s okay. And so we were like, you need to redesign it so that the VA can do your client’s social media in a week or two weeks in advance. So you’re not stressing on the day of like, oh my God, what are we gonna post today? It should be created in a proper system so that you don’t need to have to wake up and think about what to do today because it’s already done. And on top of that, what we also look at is
Richard Phu (13:16.445)
sometimes a lot of solopreneurs or startups, they’re like changing their mind of how they sell. You know, they’re customizing the products, right? All the services that they’re doing. And they’re like, but Richard, each time I sell, it’s always different. And I’m like, that’s great, but you’ve sold enough now you can see what 80% of the people want. You know, and so for this lady, I’m like, she’s like, I’m selling different types of packages. And I’m like, we need to standardize. The system needs to be standardized around products. If you keep changing your product,
Richard Phu (13:45.449)
all the time and the pricing, it makes it very hard to then systemize the process, to then have the team deliver. And so we worked with her to be like, hey, let’s create a menu. We call it like a menu, right? It’s like, you know, you get the main course, but then you can have all these little extras on the sides. Right, so like for her, she used to sell social media content. So it was like, hey, sometimes she would do three posts a week, other times she’d do five posts a week. Right, and I’m like, let’s just do a standard where you say.
Richard Phu (14:15.405)
Five posts a week costs this much. If you want it to be three, if you want to, sorry, if you want to do another two more a week, it’s this much extra. If you want me to come out and do a photo shoot, it’s this much extra. Right, if you want me to go and do videos, it’s this much extra. Right, but your base is this, because that’s what people want. And then from there, it makes it easier for us to serve the projects from that end and then the team and then the V and train of the VA, because they know when a project comes in at a base level, it’s this.
Richard Phu (14:44.141)
plus any of these add-ons.
Yeah, you know, a follow-up question on that. Do you think not having systems is one of the core reasons why people are not able to scale their business? Like somebody who’s doing probably a couple hundred K in consultation, and you know, looks like great, or like whatever, but then they just figure out, oh yeah, you know, there’s a room out there. There’s definitely something that I can do. I could go up to, I don’t know, a million, or 10 million, something like that in sales. But just because they’re like not organized, it’s just…
they just don’t have enough systems processes installed. That is why they’re not able to scale.
Richard Phu (15:20.969)
What a big question, man. Like honestly, it’s one of the reasons, yeah. It’s, we make it out as yes, it is a core reason. It’s one of the easy things as well that can be worked on. Yeah, when I say easy, it’s tangible, it’s visible. Yeah, all the systems up in my head. I don’t know how to train people. I don’t like documenting. That is one of the core reasons and that’s one of the things we deliver on. But.
Richard Phu (15:47.189)
I don’t want to hammer in purely that because most people probably will get it. I get it that look, I know it needs systems and all of this. The thing, one of the other things that I don’t think is often talked about that keeps people, I guess, stuck or in that little bubble that makes it hard for them to scale out is also mindset. And when I talk about mindset, I’m talking like as a business owner, as an entrepreneur, you often get into this idea of like,
Richard Phu (16:15.037)
I’m the saviour, right? I’m the hero. I’m the one that solves everything. And look, it’s kind of, it’s part ego. Yeah, you know, you get what I mean, right? It’s part ego, right? I love it, right? When people come to me and they’re like, Maudassir, how do I do this? And you’re like, bam, this is what we do, right? And it’s part ego. It’s part like impatience. It’s part what I would also say like a control thing too. So let me talk about each of these, right?
The alpha feeling. Yeah.
Richard Phu (16:43.765)
It’s the ego part of like, hey, I love it when my team or my small team comes to me and I’m just a problem solver. Like that’s ultimately what an entrepreneur is. And there’s that adrenaline that gets injected into you when you’re able to solve someone’s problem and help them. And it’s a great feeling. But what that creates is a dependency, whereby your team will keep coming to you, Mudassir, how do I do this? Mudassir, how do you do that? And you’re like…
Richard Phu (17:12.133)
I think of entrepreneurs as like cowboys sometimes, right? They’re just like, I don’t know man, bang, we’re gonna do this, bang, we’re gonna do that. We’re gonna try that, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, right? It’s just shooting from the hip is the easiest way for me to describe it. It’s like, you’re not aiming. I’m trying to solve it right now. Then and there, bang, we’re gonna go do that. Yeah, and that’s kind of like a mad ego boost, yeah? To know that, oh man, Muddassir is so awesome. I can go to him with any problem, right? And he’ll find a way.
Richard Phu (17:40.993)
but then you make them addicted to you and that’s how you create bottlenecks whereby they don’t wanna make any decisions, they don’t wanna do any accountability because they’re like, why should I do that when Modessio clearly loves it? And he’s okay with it. And that’s where people then are like, why is my team not capable of doing stuff when I leave? It’s because you create that addiction. You don’t train them up to be like, hey, what do you think we should do? And then…
Richard Phu (18:09.837)
put them on the spot and then, you know, if it’s the first time they come back, they’ll say, I don’t know, right? Literally their first answer is what’s gonna be, I don’t know if you’re trying to break this addiction, right? And so I always say, cool, good that you don’t know it here, but let’s pretend we’re in a parallel universe and you do know the answer, man. What would it be? And you know, they just come up with something and then the idea is you wanna coach them through it. Yeah, and this then ties into the second part, right? Which is the impatience is.
Richard Phu (18:38.977)
because I love this ego boost so much of being so helpful, that then I’m impatient to teach them. Because I don’t wanna, it’s not that you don’t want to, it’s just you feel like, I’m gonna spend 15 minutes now with Mudassir to coach you, to explain to you why I wanna make it, do this versus just telling you in two minutes. And this is the trap that people fall into too that adds on is I shoot from the hip and I tell you what to go do because it’s quicker.
Richard Phu (19:07.041)
because I’m in a rush because I’m busy and I’ve got other stuff to do versus, hey, Mudassir, let’s sit down. So, okay, your problem is this, yeah. Then tell me two approaches you wanna take. And you’re like, I don’t know. And then I go, pretend you know. And you’re like, maybe we can do this and maybe we can do that. All right, cool, which one sounds good? You know, and then you’d be like, oh, maybe approach B. Cool, you like approach B. Tell me about that and help me understand why you like it. You know, and then you explain.
Richard Phu (19:35.433)
I listen, let’s say approach B was wrong in my mind. Yeah. As the owner, I’m like, that doesn’t make sense in my head. I don’t say that to you. I go, cool. Good try. Mudassir here. Can I help you, man? And you’ll be like, yeah. And I’ll be like, okay. So the reason why I probably, I personally probably wouldn’t go with approach B is dot dot dot dot dot. This is why I would do approach a dot dot dot dot. What do you think about that? And then you see, right, whether that person gets it or not. And like, Oh, okay. Makes sense. Yeah. I didn’t think about.
Richard Phu (20:03.597)
you know, I had to think about those things. Okay, now your approach makes sense, Richard. All right, I’m gonna go and do A. And I’m like, cool, good on you, man, go do it. You know, and you see me just even explaining that, that takes extra long time, right, to train up. And because, and this is what I do, is because I’m investing in the future of me saving time. So, you know, I wrote an article that’s called about time stealing, right? Where it’s about investing the time in your people, your processes now.
Richard Phu (20:32.349)
so that you save time later. So next time you come again to me, you’re like, hey, I got a similar problem. It’s this or this. But now I wanna see if you’ve learned, you know, and if you got closer. And that’s the idea here for me. It’s not about, and I say this to my team, it’s not about, yes, results are important, but what’s more important for me is the trajectory, the trend of the progress. Yeah, I wanna see you keep getting better and better. And eventually we’ll get to the result because sometimes we can’t always get the result that we want. And so.
Richard Phu (21:02.197)
I often think impatience is the thing that’s also holding back a lot of business owners from scaling is that impatient to train someone. And when I talk about impatient, they’re like, Oh, but Richard, I spent like two months training this person up. Cool. Right. How’d I go? And how did you, how did you train them? And they’re like, I don’t know. I just, just like sat there and waiting for them to come to you. No. Right. You got to create, you got to follow up, you got to engage them as well. You got to push in.
Richard Phu (21:30.545)
to see how they’re going and train them up that way too. And so like that’s the main to that link in together. And the third part is really about the control where let’s say you do those things, but then it feels like this. It’s like an adult who has a child, child becomes a teenager, teenager now is an adult and they’re becoming more independent. And you start feeling, and look, I don’t know, I’m not a parent, right? I only have three cats.
Richard Phu (21:59.477)
right now, right? But I imagine and I seen another people, I imagine you as a parent, you start feeling like, hey, they don’t need me anymore. Yeah. And this is what happens to the owner too. When you start doing these activities where you’re training up your team, you’re putting the right processes, you start feeling like lost because you’re like, the team doesn’t need me anymore. I don’t get this. What’s going on? What do I do? And then, you know, this is kind of what happened in outsourcing engine when I did this for Lynn, our founder, she got lost, right? I’m like Lynn.
Richard Phu (22:28.705)
You step out operations, you leave it to me, I’m gonna build a process and the team around it. And then she started coming back more in and touching other stuff like marketing, like sales and causing chaos there for them. And then to the point where they’re like, hey, Lynn, can we get Richard on our teams as well? Because we’re just chasing you all the time. And then it’s all about this need, internal need for control because hey, look, you built your whole business the way it was, everyone needed you.
Richard Phu (22:58.209)
You’ve decided everything, but now you’re giving that control, the decision making to other people. And then now you’re wondering, what the hell do you do with yourself? And this is a thing I’ve spoken a lot with Lynn about is, when we start freeing up some of these business owners, it’s like, we need to coach them to the next phase of like, what do you do as a business owner now that you have a virtual system? Now you have a virtual team. Now that you have automation that freed up your time.
Richard Phu (23:24.521)
And then that’s where people start going into the micro stuff, right? Becoming micro managers because they don’t know what else to do. You know? And so then it’s about, you know, understanding from your own mindset of how do you let go of that control, be okay with it, let people make some mistakes. Yeah. On that end. And then go find something else that’s actually more beneficial for you to go do, whether that is leisure stuff or strategy stuff for the business. So this is kind of like the main three things I think about when.
Richard Phu (23:53.793)
people getting stuck.
Yeah, totally agree to that, 100%. Do you think, because I think so, most entrepreneurs are not good teachers. They are not able to convey the knowledge. You can say that, train people proper. So everybody’s a good hustler, grinder, you can say that. They know how to do, take things from zero to one. Most founders are good with that. So what they do is they have an idea. They know they can put 18 hours work.
every day, no weekend, no introduction, or nothing like that, and they can take something from nothing to something. So they’re good with that. The moment they hire one person, two person, three person, they don’t know how to transfer that knowledge, and because of that, because of the ability to not be able to teach people and train them, they found themselves always in that, in that work, whatever you wanna call that. And that is one of the reason, because they’re not good enough to train people, and when…
someone like you guys come in and then you’re like, okay, you can do this thing, you can do that thing. The founders, they don’t know. They actually have no idea, honestly speaking. They have no idea what to do next because every single time it’s just like, I’m doing product, I’m doing sales, I’m doing HR, doing finances, doing marketing, anything else you can add to that. And all of a sudden it’s just like, there’s somebody who’s taking care of product marketing, sales, finance, HR, like whatever.
what the hell am I gonna do or something like that? And that’s when the micromanagement thing creeps in. It’s just like, okay, I’m gonna manage everybody, I’m gonna just see how they spend eight hours every day. So do you think like most founders, entrepreneurs, businessmen, whatever you wanna call them, solopreneurs, they’re like not good teacher, not good trainers, and that’s one of the main reason why they get in this route?
Richard Phu (25:27.649)
Richard Phu (25:42.651)
Such a good question, right? And I’m so afraid to answer it because it is like, hey, I’m going to get like emails like what the hell are you talking about Richard? You don’t know jack crap, right? I’m a consultant. It’s what I do. Look, generally speaking. Yeah, I think it’s not that they’re not great teachers. I think it’s that most on true entrepreneurs, when I talk about true entrepreneurs, there’s
Richard Phu (26:04.845)
There’s also, I guess, a group of entrepreneurs who think that entrepreneurs, but deep down they’re actually not. Right. And I was one of them. Yeah. I know that because I’m like, Hey, I’m going to get run my own few businesses first. And then I realised, man, I really suck at going from zero to one, which is creating, right? I suck at that. What I’m better at is improving on what’s already there, innovating on what already is there, meaning going from one to 10 to whatever. Yeah. And
Richard Phu (26:33.321)
I think if you’re a true entrepreneur and you’re really great at ideas, creativity, you know, being resourceful, that type of stuff, going from that one to zero is you’re really, typically they’re really good at yet executing themselves for themselves. Yeah. And this is what’s important is you can execute for yourself, right? Through chaos and all of that, just few through pure will. And I think it’s not that you’re not a great teacher. It’s that I think these entrepreneurs.
Richard Phu (27:02.061)
fall into the trap of being so visionary and the reason why I find that they struggle to communicate to the team of what they need to do is because they’re sitting at like 30,000 feet up. They can explain, this is the vision with us here. We’re going to go to Mars and do this stuff. And then when you hire someone, it’s like, cool, we’re gonna go to Mars. And then the person’s like, cool, what do we start first with doing it? It’s like, I don’t know, we’re just gonna go to Mars.
Richard Phu (27:31.965)
on that end and they struggle to translate it down to the 100 foot high level, right? And commanding at that level and that’s the real challenge I think for most true entrepreneurs is that they’re just so up there and then that’s where people on the ground in the dirt, like I used to be and I can be is like, you’re so fluffy, I don’t get it. I don’t get it. You’re so fluffy. And that’s where you hear that term fluffy a lot.
Richard Phu (28:01.353)
it’s unclear of what the next step is. They’re unclear of what the next step is because they can’t get tactical enough. And that’s where you either need to train yourself up to be that so then you can manage on that end, or you need to hire the right people in there. This is the thing, right? If you’re going from one person to yourself, it’s okay to get an assistant to help you because that assistant can then work with you to figure it out.
Richard Phu (28:30.977)
But by the time you get to, I reckon about like, you know, four, five, maybe even 10 people, if you’re lucky, you’re going to need that second person to translate from 30,000 feet up, what you want to do into that a hundred feet down and into the ground. Yeah. So that the ground team know what they need to go do. And so it just comes down to like recognizing what you’re good at. So some entrepreneurs are probably able to do all of it, you know, on that end there.
Richard Phu (29:00.565)
And you could say like, you know, if you go ask like our founder, Lynn, and she talks about me, she’ll be like, Richard can do all of that. Right. I can do all of it. I’m probably more suited to doing that tactical stuff, but I can do some of the strategic $30,000 feet view stuff, just not as much of coming up with new stuff, you know? And so that’s why it’s like, if you’re starting out, you’re doing well and you, you’ve got a small team around you. Start.
Richard Phu (29:29.517)
keeping an eye out for that person who can understand the strategy. And this is like, you know, if you ask me then Richard, what do we look for, right? For someone, if we wanted another, if a founder wanted another Richard, it’s just looking out for someone who understands the business acumen, right? Of what it means to take strategy and then translate that into execution, you know, and executing with a team. Now, how do you find someone like that? You pretty much…
Richard Phu (29:59.781)
look into your network and start watching them, start talking to them, seeing what they’re doing. Like for me and Lynn, we knew each other for probably about three, four years, and then we tried to do some work, where we’re doing joint venture work, where she’s like, Richard, I’m getting people who want podcasts done for them. I see you run a podcast show. Do you know how to do that? I mean, I’m gonna sell this service. Would you like to service it? Like, yeah, sure, Lynn, right? Let’s see and try something out. And then she got to see how it kinda worked.
Richard Phu (30:27.657)
even though that thing failed, you know, she saw how it kind of works. So then when I closed up all my businesses, right, when I was living in Singapore, Singapore, and then coming back home to Sydney, I’m like, Hey, Lynn, I love virtual assistants. I love what you’re doing where I love your mission. Is there anything you want me to do that I could help you out with? And that’s how we kind of then that’s how I joined Outsourcing Angel from that point there. And so that’s kind of what I think about is, you know, everyone can be a good teacher, but once again, it also comes back to
Richard Phu (30:57.133)
do you have the patience? Right? Most entrepreneurs don’t have the patience. They just want it now, now, now, now, right? Next shiny thing now, now, now. And so it’s heavily around the patience game and that willingness, I think when I talk about patience, to let your team or whoever you’re coaching really fail at the same time. So like one person we recently got in, I was talking to her, now she falls under me and I’m managing her and I’m like, hey, so.
Richard Phu (31:26.985)
I see that you kind of get caught up in these things. What’s happening. She’s like, I really just don’t want to be, it’s just something inside of me, Richard, where I just don’t want to be last. I don’t want to be the one that fails. You know, I wanted to be right. Like, look, I’m going to tell you right now, the fastest way that you learn is by failing yet. You don’t learn fast by being right all the time. Yeah. And so I’m like, you need to fail. So then you learn.
Richard Phu (31:51.673)
quickly and I’m not gonna give you a million dollar project and then for you to fail, no, I’m gonna give you smaller things so that you can fail and if you fail, not even a big deal, we can go fix it. And it’s creating that safety net in your team so that they’re willing to push themselves into those new areas so that then they can grow on that and knowing that I’m in the back and me and my team are supporting them through it and that we’re not coming and going.
Richard Phu (32:19.457)
would us, yeah, my God, a company you’ve failed that, that, that, that, that, that, that, right. It’s, hey, it’s okay. Let us come in. We’re calling it up. And it’s like, let’s debrief after. What, what did you learn from that? And then what can we apply going forward? And so, yeah, it’s just, I think it’s not just, it’s not a capability thing. It’s just a pure will, I think, of how patient can you be with someone? So, yeah, I think it’s just a pure will, I think, of how patient can you be with someone? So, yeah, I think it’s just a pure will, I think, of how patient can you be with someone?
Yeah. How important do you think is self-awareness?
Richard Phu (32:47.99)
Oh man, like man, I think of it and I’m like, either I’m listening to too much Gary Vee, right? A lot of that stuff, right? But like everything, every time he talks about stuff, I’m like, man, that’s like, that’s it, right? That’s really like the stuff I get it. And man, like for me, everything’s about self-awareness. And when I talk about this, I think of it like, look, so let’s say we’re talking about being patient with your team, you go, you.
Richard Phu (33:11.713)
get them and they screw up, right? Like they massively screw up with us here with a client and like, how the hell can you get this wrong? And so I’m about to go to the zoom meeting with them and I’m like, hey, okay. I’m gonna send to myself and be like, checking on myself and like, all right, remember we’re just trying to understand, yeah? And this is the thing with me is like, I am self-aware to know that even though I feel like, how can they get this completely wrong? How stupid are they? I go, but there’s always another perspective. There’s…
Richard Phu (33:41.089)
always another viewpoint. There’s always another reason that I just can’t see right now. So for my first job when I’m, when something’s not going right, I’m trying to sit down there and I’m fighting myself real hard, right? With that said to not like yell at you or anything like that. I’m just like, okay, so that’s it. Help me understand how did we get here? And then, you know, I’m listening in and I’m trying to tune into empathy and really understand where that person’s coming from. Because this is the case, right? I mean,
Richard Phu (34:09.653)
Most people were like, it’s obvious Richard, they’re trying to rip off the client or whatever. I’m like, I don’t know, right? I’m just like, let’s just assume, because it’s easier, better for me to live my life by assuming people wanna do the right thing. And so I’m like, okay, let’s just assume that they just didn’t know something. So help me understand, and what I’m trying to do is understand, are you acting in whose interest first? When people are making mistakes, they’re acting from either, you know.
Richard Phu (34:38.237)
self-interest or the right interest, but they just didn’t execute it properly. You know? And so when I’m saying, are they acting in self-interest? I’m like, are they trying to protect themselves from being told off by the client or being responsible by it? Or are they acting in the best interest for the company where they’re like, look, I’m really sorry that we didn’t, we didn’t fulfill this right for your client. I’m sorry about this. And we’re trying to do this and look as we’re trying to win back the client, maybe they offer too much, you know,
Richard Phu (35:06.241)
too much refund or offered too many additional things that is like making it a loss now or whatever it is. I’m just trying to understand where are they coming from first before I go in and blast them. I can have my assumptions of I think it’s this, but I just want to, it’s like a hypothesis. I’m just, it sounds wrong, right? I’m just testing to understand if my hypothesis is true. And then after I understand how they got to the situation that they got in, then it’s like,
Richard Phu (35:34.557)
asking them, so, okay, we got here. What do you think you would do next time that you didn’t do this time? And then to see if they get it or not. If they start going down the whole blaming route, oh, it was Bob’s fault, oh, I was this fault, it was that person’s fault. And I’m like, okay, cool, that’s fine, but what’s something you control? What’s something that is in your area that you could do as a person to be better and that you wanna apply going forward? And there’s this very good case, right?
Richard Phu (36:03.745)
with us here where we come in. So sometimes people get virtual assistance with us and we support them and we do these facilitated calls where it’s us in the middle, you got the VA, you got the client and then it’s kind of like counseling, right, it’s like, hey, VA, tell us, what do you feel? And then client shut up for a second, right? Don’t say anything, even if they say they hate you and all that, let’s just clear the air, you know? And this was happening when the VA was saying, it’s all my fault for this miscommunication, right?
Richard Phu (36:31.977)
And then I came in and I go, okay, cool. So what do you want to do? The VA didn’t make sure this doesn’t happen again. And she gave a very vague answer of, you know, I’ll try harder, Mudassir. All right. And then I’m like, okay, clearly my answer, my question didn’t hit the point. And I circled again, right. And I wanted to see if the client would ask anything. They did it, they didn’t. And I go, okay, cool. So I appreciate what you’re trying to do here, but can you explain, can you give me an action that you want to do going forward? And then she’s like getting flustered.
Richard Phu (37:01.269)
And she goes, look, I’ll just be more open with my communication. And look at your face. You’re like, what does that mean? Right. And that’s what’s going on in my head. I’m like, what does that mean? And so I’m like, try again. Third time. Gotta try again. Right. It’s like, cool. Good shot. How would you do that? And then she’s she’s she’s she’s getting really worked up. Yeah. Inside. And she’s like, I’ll just I’ll just I’ll just talk more. Right. And I’m like,
Richard Phu (37:30.969)
Okay, still not there, right? Cool, what does that, can you explain, what does talk like more, like how would you do that? And then she broke down, she started crying, she turned off her camera, right? And then the client’s here with me and I got a few of my team members watching me as well, right? And then I’m like, okay, so, hey, VA, you did really well. Is it okay if I help you? She’s like, yes, okay. Then I’m like, okay, the thing I wanna look at here is, when you said,
Richard Phu (37:58.845)
you’re sorry about this misunderstanding. This was caused because you sent a chat message, right? To the client saying something about your shift time shifting and you talk to us about it. That’s why the client was a bit annoyed. The client’s like, how the hell would you Richard know about my work shifts? How do you have that authority to do that? We don’t have any authority, that’s not us. She just said she talked to us and then we said go talk to your client. And so I said, for something as important as that,
Richard Phu (38:27.853)
perhaps what I would suggest is you just message a client to go, Hey, can we talk about this? Right. And when I say talk about this, I mean a zoom call. I don’t mean let’s talk about it over Slack. Yeah. And I, and now I’m like, that’s what I’m talking about when I’m talking about the action that I want you to understand is this is the action I’m going to take is anything important as, as important as that should be communicated over zoom chat. And then I said, you do that.
Richard Phu (38:55.449)
client, you’re okay with it, right? If I told you client like, yeah, this is an important call, you’re going to make time the client comes in like, look, I agree with what Richard said. It’s like, yeah, we will always make time for you. You just need to let us know on that end there. We don’t be afraid of us. And then afraid to give feedback. And then after the VA left, right, the client was like, Richard does really helpful, right? Really, really powerful stuff what you just did there, because it’s demonstrating like the patience of walking, waiting through and building that up, you know.
Richard Phu (39:24.841)
and creating that self-awareness. Like she wasn’t self-aware. And this is the thing that people will experience when they work with, whether it’s virtual assistants or local people, whatever it is. A lot of people are afraid to look at themselves in the mirror. Yeah. And that’s normal. And it’s for us as leaders to be like, it’s okay to look at yourself and be like, hey, that part of you sucks, but that’s okay. It’s not that bad. We can do this, you know? And that’s…
Richard Phu (39:51.673)
Luckily the VA is still working with the client right even after I made her cry in front of everyone right but People understand it later on that that it’s not because I’m here to belittle you I’m not here to make you feel horrible yourself It’s this is the thing that we can do to make you better in your job, right? And as a person and you know that self-awareness comes through there And that’s what I find is what I’m trying to teach them is just be a little bit more self-aware and don’t
Richard Phu (40:21.357)
rush. Right. And I think this is the thing with us here, self-awareness is great, but it’s like people like, Oh, I looked at myself in the mirror already with us here. It’s all fine. Right. It’s sit there and really like look at yourself and just analyze what’s happening. What thoughts are happening in your head? You know, and, and I spent a lot of time with myself before when I was younger, where I realized, you know, that little voice in your head that talks to you, right. That’s the, that’s the person you spend the most time with in your life.
Richard Phu (40:50.901)
And I’m like, how come this person in my head doesn’t sound very nice? And I thought about it, I’m like, what if I could change that person to talk to me a little bit nicer? What if I could make that person my best friend? My best friend doesn’t mean, they only say nice things to me. It means it’s accepting and loving and warm to me. And so that’s kind of like what I wanna teach more people is like,
Richard Phu (41:17.985)
they’re really afraid to look at themselves because the self-talk is really strong on that end. And it’s about realizing when that self-talk is a lie, when I say it’s a lie, it’s like our brain is configured to protect ourselves. So when we’re pushing ourselves to do something new, it’s like, what does he do? Don’t do that, right? Why would you do that? Why would you charge $20,000 more than normal? You’re gonna die, man. You’re gonna die if you charge more, right? You’ll say stupid stuff like that. You’re like, okay, cool. And then you block it out. You know, and you just try. And it’s like, it doesn’t work. It doesn’t work.
Richard Phu (41:48.193)
You know, you’re not going to die really from doing that. And so it’s just about that recognition that whatever’s being said is just because we’re wired to try and keep ourselves safe. No way we know how to be safe is by knowing what the outcome is on that. And so, you know, we want to challenge that, especially as entrepreneurs, you have to challenge that for yourself. So, hmm.
Yeah, interesting, very interesting. I forgot to ask you at the beginning, but now seems like a good point. Why the hell you’re doing all these things? How did you come across this thing? Like, okay, I just need to help more people run business, get some more freedom, live a happier life, coaching people, you mentioned something about mindset. Yeah, a whole bunch of things.
Richard Phu (42:28.505)
Why are you doing like what exactly inspires you to do all of that? Like of all the things that you could be doing in this world, like why this thing?
Richard Phu (42:44.649)
Oh man, and good question that you asked, because I don’t get to often self-reflect on why am I doing it, aside from that I love doing it. And so why am I doing it? All I know is there were reasons why I didn’t like doing other things. So for example, I used to work in the corporate world. I was at KPMG for like six, seven years. And
Richard Phu (43:11.981)
helping big companies make squalling the dollars, 5,000 of the people, and probably getting it paid about the same right now as I’m getting paid here, right? Doing a lot less. But for me, I’m like, how am I helping the world? How do I tell? And I think about it like this. I think about how do I tell my kids how later on, right? How dad helps people, how dad helps the world, you know? That’s what I think about. So then when they go to school and they’re like, my dad does this, right? Not that I’m doing it because I wanna sound cool.
Richard Phu (43:41.309)
It’s just like, it’s not, it’s not the thing I want to be like recognized for, you know, I feel like I needed a purpose. And so that’s where I went down this whole personal development front, spent a lot of time with like T. LaVeca, Tony Robbins, right? To the point with us here where I’m like, I’m going to be Asian Tony Robbins, right? Paid everything to go get trained up, learn how to clap like Tony and stuff like that on the stage, all of that.
Richard Phu (44:07.213)
That’s where I even left Sydney to go to Singapore. I wanna bring this whole personal development Asian man thing over to Asia, right? And let’s make it happen. And you get this, right? You’re like Asian too. It’s like, Asian men don’t know what the hell they want, right? They’re just like out there chasing the money most of the time, because that’s what we’re told, right? And so I went through the whole journey there and that’s where I was trying to be number one, right? Trying to be the founder, trying to be the entrepreneur.
Richard Phu (44:36.993)
But I was trying to be that for other people. And I realized inside that, like I should shot like 300 videos, man. I shot, I did like 120 podcasts or something like that. And it was always like me putting on something, a mask. Yeah. On that end. And I always felt like it wasn’t truly me until there was a point where I interviewed one guy from his name, Dan Priestley. He wrote key person of influence, right. And like the founder of dent.
I love him. I know him. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
Richard Phu (45:07.509)
Yeah and so I’m like damn what makes an amazing entrepreneur and he said this thing to me right Mudassir he’s like Richard the most amazing entrepreneurs aren’t the ones in the spotlight they’re the ones that control the spotlight and shine up on other people in their team and that Mudassir made something go off in my head I’m like holy shit that’s me man right like I’m like I am much better supporting someone else from the backstage than being on the stage I’m great on the stage too but
Richard Phu (45:36.001)
I’m like, what if I’m a genius at this, you know, backstage stuff? And I’m like, hang on a second. Could I turn that into a business? And that’s how I kind of went into the whole systemizing the VA consulting stuff there, tried it myself, realized I still suck at sales and marketing. And then I, I, I engage with some partners and they’re like, Richard, you’re really great with teams, organization processes. How about we just work together? You know, and that’s how we start up an agency.
Richard Phu (46:03.197)
And then after a year we had like, you know, 15 people across six different countries, right? And this is all work from home before like COVID, you know, was rocking the world. And then I decided, like, I realised my partner is one of the greatest partners. So that’s how I left that agency. And then I decided for myself, I’m like, I am so tired of trying to be a founder, right? Even co-founder on that end. I just want to go work for someone. And this was really hard for me to make that adjustment, right? I was like.
Richard Phu (46:33.161)
I’m an entrepreneur, I’m a founder to then be like, you know what, what if I’m just better as a number two, number four, number 10, number 30, you know, in an organization and I’m like, let’s just go try that. You know, now that I have a clear idea versus like going to a job and then just doing it because I’m doing it and what everyone else is doing. I’m like, I have a clearer purpose of how I want to support someone. So then that’s when I reached out to Lynn and I’m like, hey Lynn, I’m quitting my other stuff. I don’t want.
Richard Phu (47:02.457)
to run our business anymore. Let’s chat if you want help with it. But I think I can bring a lot of good stuff to you. And that’s where we spoke and then she created a role for me, right? And I’m like, cool. I looked at businesses that I wanted to work for. I wanted to work for like smaller businesses, not the corporate ones. And then, you know, she was one of them. And I just looked at the values, what she wanted to do, the mission. And for me, like Mudassir, all I wanted was to be like, okay, I only had.
Richard Phu (47:31.137)
two requirements really, right? I just wanted something where I have a bit of, you know, autonomy and freedom, meaning I can work wherever I want, right, and that supports the flexibility that I want as well, meaning that I don’t have to go to an office, right, and so we were talking like five years ago, so that’s where everything was still office-based, right? And so our company, fully remote, there is no office. The only office that’s listed is like, you know, Lin’s place, right, and everywhere else, anyone else is working from home.
Richard Phu (48:01.153)
You know, and I’m like, that’s what I want because when I start having kids, right, and a family, I wanna be there for them, you know? And so I think about that freedom. We talk about freedom, if anything, I think a lot of people in the world today are looking not for freedom, right? They’re looking for flexibility is actually the word that they’re looking for. I just want my workplace to be flexible. Let me go pick up my kids. Let me go do, go visit the doctor at a normal hour of the day, right? Versus after work, you know?
Richard Phu (48:30.933)
I want that flexibility and that’s what I was striving for. And that’s what I wanted to build. And that’s why I built, you know, what we have here now is that’s what I’m looking for. And I want to create that freedom and flexibility for business owners, right? Why? Because I think they should, that’s their dream, right? Even if they say that’s not really their dream, that’s the number one dream is I want that for myself, right? And then I want that flexibility and freedom for employees like myself, right? Like these virtual assistants.
Richard Phu (49:00.529)
I want them to have a workplace where they can go, hey, I can go work here, work from home and still do a good job and still get good money and be happy with myself, you know, and have the flexibility wherever I want to travel and go work, I can, you know, on that end. And that’s what I want to create is that whole freedom and flexibility. That’s why freedom is one of the biggest, like, we don’t call it a value, but one of our driving missions, you know, our ways to create that freedom for everyone being the business owners.
Richard Phu (49:30.301)
employees, our team, our virtual assistants. It’s about creating that freedom. That’s what I want is more people to feel like they have that freedom and flexibility in their life, which for a long time, most people didn’t feel like it when they were working. And so that kind of like is what drives me a lot.
Yeah, I love it. Love the story. So this podcast thing, that was an idea back in 2019 actually, on the same lines. So I actually wanted to start this thing back in 2019, but that little weird asshole in my mind kept going like, hey, don’t do that. Don’t do that. You don’t know how to do that. I was in Phoenix at that point in time and then it was like…
Richard Phu (49:54.233)
Richard Phu (50:02.104)
Who’s gonna come to your show? Who’s gonna come to your show? Are we gonna host that? You don’t have a studio, you need a studio. I was like, okay. So I just figured it out, I can print a studio or whatever. And then the next thing is just like, oh, you need to know this camera setup thing because you just need to have three point camera setup, or sorry, three camera setup, three point lighting system and this. I was like, okay, you’re looking at probably.
Richard Phu (50:31.833)
10 grand, 20 grand in just operation cost. I was like, okay cool, and then you just need to have these good sound systems and this and that. You need, I was like, okay, I mean, the logistics are gonna kill me, but the next thing was, like logistics is easier to put up, it’s just like a one time cost, you can buy equipment or whatever, and you’re good for a few years at least. The next step was like, you need to build a team actually, because you need to find somebody who’s an editor, because I was…
Richard Phu (50:55.701)
I’m going to go to bed.
working as head of product with a startup. So obviously that was pretty crazy because you’re putting in a lot of efforts and a lot of work. So you need to find somebody who can do the editing stuff. Then you need to have somebody who can do the other VA stuff, posting and this and that. So all of a sudden it was like, nah, man. You know, that person inside me, it was like, nah, man, this is not for you. Maybe some other day. So 2019 went by, COVID came, 2020, 21, 22.
Richard Phu (51:23.842)
So I left that company, started another one. And then it was a few months ago, from right now, I have a baby boy. And he fell down from the stairs here. And then he hit his head on the floor pretty hard, bumped it probably. There was a bit of bleeding or something like that. And I did not even know what the hell has happened. No idea at all. And then I get to.
We didn’t know that because we were going through this fundraiser or this whole process in the company. So we were meeting everybody, doing sales, talking to the team. It was like a constant communication thing going on, like 10 hours worth of calls every day. So I got out of the office. I have the office in the home. Got out of the office and I was like, what the hell happened to him? So it was like all bandaid and whatever. And my wife told me, oh, so you know.
Richard Phu (52:23.043)
Richard Phu (52:38.87)
He fell down and that happened. And I was like, oh man, what am I doing? I mean, like what exactly am I doing? And it didn’t realize, you know, so you have these moments in like one or two or three of them and you’re like, yeah, okay, you’re like, whatever. Stick with you for like a few days maximum and then you’re like back at it. You’re like, yeah, okay, you know, that has passed. So I was just like back at it again, doing the same thing over and over and over again.
Richard Phu (52:50.627)
Richard Phu (53:02.945)
And there was this one day in like, I don’t know, 30 years of my life, that was like the first time I got up, I was like, I don’t want to work today. I’m done, man. I just don’t want to, you know, go to the same office, talk to the same people, figure out the same problem. Like, I’m just done. I just don’t have that anymore in me. I came back, so I just, you know, told my, you know, partner, co-founder friend, Aaron, I was like, man, you know.
Richard Phu (53:32.281)
I just need to do something else. Because I’m just not interested in whatever this thing is, I just need to do something else. And he was like, I’m gonna help you do it, whatever you want, I’m gonna help you do it. And then that was kind of a self-awareness, sort of a moment, went to the gym, cleared my head out, I was like, okay, so what exactly do I want to do? Because as you mentioned, so Asian men, especially, I think that’s especially a worst case in Asia, is just like,
Richard Phu (53:42.392)
Richard Phu (53:47.381)
were brought up with these traditional faiths or believe whatever you wanna call them. Is just like, if you do not make it to, I don’t know, pick a number. If you’re like not worth half a million by 28, you’re not worth a million by 30, you’re a failure, you’re a colossal failure. If you do not get up to, I don’t know, a C level exec or something like that, trust me, you haven’t done anything in your life. And then you.
Richard Phu (54:33.129)
So you need to get a degree, you need to get masters, and you need to get this thing, you need to get married. So all of that thing is just already planned for you. The moment you’re born, things are planned for you. This is that out you’re gonna take, and there’s no question about that. That’s out of the window. And then I kind of did the same thing. So I was just like, oh, okay, why not? So I did that, checked all the things, like engineering done, masters done, MBA done, okay. Cool job done, corporate thing done, done, done.
Startups done, okay. And like you know, along the way you realize, oh man, this doesn’t make me happy. Like this is not something that I wanna do. Like I’m just too tired to do it anymore. And then it was like, okay, let’s just, you know, start doing these other things. And the other thing started with this exactly the same thing that you’re mentioning. It’s like find something that you love. So good to hear that. I wanna ask you on the processing side of the things.
How do you guys identify which part of the business needs to be automated, which needs to be outsourced, which needs to be systemized? I mean, it’s just not like, there has to be something that a person or an entrepreneur or a businessman, he needs to do himself, but there are other things that he can do. So how do you guys define that? Like, okay, that’s the right thing to be outsourced.
Richard Phu (55:44.715)
Richard Phu (55:55.377)
Yeah, that, yeah, that’s a hard, hard thing to like this deal because each business is like its own type of thing sometimes, you know, and each business operates very differently from its other, other businesses, even in competitors, right? And so for us, the way we look at it, we look at it in a, in a space of let’s define the whole customer journey. Yeah, not into the most granular levels, but
Richard Phu (56:25.537)
the basics of what needs to be done at each stage. And then we want to understand how do you do each of those stages there? Right? So like sometimes it’s at front end, right? Meaning how do we get leads versus how do we qualify them and sell to them? And then how do we onboard them? How do we deliver? And it’s mainly those stages we’re looking at there. And when it comes to identifying what to automate, it’s a bit of like experience of like what we can do. So, you know, some people,
Richard Phu (56:53.453)
When I talk to them, I’m like, how many leads are you getting? If you’re getting a fair few leads a week, then it’s like, how are you keeping track of them? Yeah. And then, you know, they’d be like, oh, not really. You know, if they buy, they buy. But then, okay, cool, would that say it. But then, aren’t there people who like, say either come back in a few months or let’s say they just ghost you for whatever reasons, right? I mean, do you follow up with them? And, you know, it’s…
Richard Phu (57:19.965)
It’s kind of like, I try to apply what we do here in our way that we know kind of works and understanding what they are not doing. So like for us, it’s like, if you have a CRM system, I’m like, cool. How do you enter in that data? You know, how does your salespeople enter in that data? And then if they’re doing it manually, you’re going to run into some issues because salespeople by nature don’t like to document, you know, they just think it’s admin and so it’s like, how do we free you up from doing that?
Richard Phu (57:49.417)
right, or for your team up and we make it automated. There are very easy ways for us to automate it, you know, and some people are like, oh, but they come in in 10 different channels. Great. But then they all need to go to the CRM eventually. Yeah. And so now we just need to put a filter there or funnel so that every salesperson knows they have to go through this, let’s say for us, like, you know, like, you know, how we got here, right with us here. It’s like, I booked in Calendly. So for us, it’s like, in order for you to,
Richard Phu (58:17.461)
to start talking to us, you have to go through a Calendly system to book a time to talk to us. We don’t just call you, you know, whenever we’re free, we want you to be like, pick a time that works for you. And then automatically that data gets sent into our CRM HubSpot, you know, and we create a whole deal around that. And then the team understands what they need to do with each step along the way. And it’s about mapping out those steps. So like automating ways, we look at things like that.
Richard Phu (58:43.777)
Right. We’re trying to simplify things, even if people are like, Oh, but it only takes me five minutes with us here. But yeah, that’s great. But then do you know, you stopping for five minutes to do something also costs you on average, 18 minutes to go back to whatever the hell you were doing before. Right. And that’s what we’re trying to save here. So we’re looking at those things. So that’s like front end, right. In terms of like onboarding, most people were like very poor with onboarding. There’s like, don’t really care. They paid money. Good on you. Let’s get going. Right. But it’s like, how do you,
Richard Phu (59:13.673)
And we want to try and improve that client experience of what I always think about is like when you pay with us and start working, it’s a big commitment. Some of these people are buying big commitment things. And it’s like you get that instant feeling of, oh, shit, what did I just buy? Right. Kind of thing that almost regret. Right. And then I’m like, we need to put something in place in there for you guys so that it’s like you’re catching them with a pillow. As one of my old partners used to say, right. In business, they want to catch them. Like
Richard Phu (59:42.741)
with the pillows and then they feel safe. They don’t feel like, you know, they just made the, like what did they just buy thing, right? It’s like, yes, this is the right thing I’m buying, you know, for myself. And so we look at customer onboarding. We look at the whole customer experience side of things to then try to make it easy for them by, you know, automating what we can. And if it needs that personal touch, then it’s like, cool, we will template up the emails, template up.
Richard Phu (01:00:11.821)
the responses that are needed, right? To add to the client experience based off what they’re already doing. And then from there, so then we would then streamline the process. So then it’s like, then the question is, do you need to do it? Or can a virtual assistant do it for you? You know, like even if it has to be from your email, yourself, right? Because some people are very like personal, like it needs to be me and they talk to you and all that. It’s like, cool, but do you think they’re gonna get really annoyed when they say, hey, you say, hey,
Richard Phu (01:00:41.461)
my assistant’s gonna email you this, like it’s not that big of a deal. What’s more important, if you’re a coach, for example, that you’re still on the call, right? Cause they’re getting coaching from you. You try and outsource your coaching to your assistant, then there’s a problem there, that ain’t gonna work. Right, cause even Tony Robbins, you know, if you go to a Tony Robbins event and he never shows up the whole event, you’re like, what the hell did I pay for? You know, even though he trains people and they’re really good trainers too, it’s just like, it’s a Tony Robbins event, I pay for Tony, if I don’t see Tony, it’s bullshit. Right, on that end. And so it’s like,
Richard Phu (01:01:10.797)
figuring out what really needs to happen. Does the proposal have to come from you when you’re sending it to them? Or can it be like, my VA, my assistant’s gonna email you with the proposal that we just walked through here, and then where you can start to pay to think for us to get started. It’s not necessary that it has to be purely you all the time. It’s working through where is it that does not need to be you and that’s where we come in and we ask the questions. Because…
Richard Phu (01:01:39.801)
you know, people just doing what they’re doing, because that’s all they know. And it’s like, is it really necessary there? If they want it, they want it, right? And I’m not gonna change it because they know the business best. But that’s kind of like how we go in and define those areas. We also ask, what don’t you like to do with us here, right? And that’s a very, very easy way for us to start automating, start, I guess, delegating, start, you know, processing those areas because you don’t like it because, for example,
Richard Phu (01:02:09.601)
podcast, right? I’m sure you, when you’re doing yourself, you didn’t like doing the editing and all of that stuff. And then the publishing and then running up the show notes and all of that, right? It’s like, cool. You don’t want to do that. What do you love to do? And you’re like, I just want to rock up and talk to guests. I always want to be like Oprah, right? It’s just my talk show. And then that’s all I do. And then, so we go, cool, that’s great. That’s where we’re going to build the processes around of how do we get it from your video to, you know, the transcription to then the show notes to then, you know,
Richard Phu (01:02:38.549)
all of this other stuff here. How do we do that and get that off your plate? So literally like on my show, all I did was I just get them to do the research for me. I read it beforehand, right? Probably what you did with your team here. And then it’s just like, bam, go on the show. And we talk and I’m gonna make them look like a superstar. And then I’m done, team, go pick it up and deliver the rest, you know? And it’s about figuring out what that person who we’re working with loves to do and just trying to find or create that extra space for them to be more in there.
Richard Phu (01:03:08.437)
or at least lessen the noise around them so then they can enjoy themselves more. So it’s a bit fluffy, right? My answer there on that end, but it’s really custom for each person to really understand what do they like to do. And then, you know, some people are like, oh, I just want to get someone else to do sales. Sure. I’ll tell them, I’d advise you, you know, it’s always hard to get someone to sell stuff for yourself. Yeah, especially at the start, right? Unless you get a little bit bigger and you need someone else to go close for you.
Richard Phu (01:03:37.025)
they’re not gonna close as well as you because why then one, they don’t care about your business as hard as you do. You know, so they’re not going to sell this part on that end. And two, this is your baby, right? Like you will only, you will know it best and sell it best, right? At that point. And so, yeah, and that’s kind of like how we start looking at those things. Obviously we try and automate as much as we can, but that’s in reasonable budget terms. If it’s something like a $10,000 a month thing, I’m like,
Richard Phu (01:04:06.305)
with that said, do you really think you want to pay $10,000 a month for this automation? Because I don’t think you need to, you know, on that end there. And so we’ll automate to within reasonable budget ranges on that end, based off where you’re at in your business. But in saying that we also try and look at cost savings. So some people are like, let’s say, for example, when these software companies don’t like it, when I say this stuff, sometimes like, for example, like infusion soft, right? Like, you know, or keep as it’s known now is like.
Richard Phu (01:04:34.749)
very complicated, got a lot of awesome things that you can do with it, but if you’re not utilizing most of it, and you’re just like, Richard, I’m just using it for email marketing, like why do that when you can use something much cheaper, reduce your budget on that end, and it’ll do 80% of what you want, right, on that end. And so, yeah, it’s kind of like those things that we’re looking at to try and streamline things and make it affordable for people.
Okay, so yeah, okay. So, Tony Robbins, did you get to meet him ever? Like, you know, did you work with him?
Richard Phu (01:05:25.641)
I didn’t get to work with him one on one. I didn’t have that much money back then, right? On that, on that. And it’s also, it’s cause like, if you want to do more, man, I don’t even know, you have to go through all these other programs, right? So I, what was I, there’s like a, cause like I paid for some programs where like, you know, date with destiny and stuff like that. That’s like $10,000 on its own, right? And then there’s a trainer’s stuff and then, yeah, you get.
How much does he charge? You know, just…
Richard Phu (01:05:52.805)
his platinum club, I think he’s like $60,000 a year, right, type of thing. And I’m like, I can’t afford that either, right. As a, as a, as much as I did well in corporate, right. And I’m not going to burn all that on that end, but you know, I did shake hands with him, you know, where you go to like, you know, those events and you get to shake hands with him and stuff like that. Um, I did do a lot of T Harbaker stuff, right. And the reason why I like T Harv, the guy who wrote secrets of the millionaire mind, right, his courses were really good because
Richard Phu (01:06:21.749)
initially started out as his personal brand stuff. And then he did a very good job of transitioning away where you wouldn’t be pissed off if T Harv didn’t rock up on a training because the training was that good on that end, right? And that’s why I like T Harv’s thing more because he systemized it so it’s not actually on him. While Tony’s thing is still very heavy, like Tony’s presence on that end.
Richard Phu (01:06:46.793)
Yeah, well, it literally I’m not joking when you go in and you know, like if you go to UPW, right, unleash the power within these like five days and Tony does like two days, right? The other three days, you don’t see as many people rock up because they’re like Tony’s not here. Right. Like, you know, even though he’s he’s trained as a really awesome to write. People want to see Tony, you know, because that’s how it is. But I like T-Hawk because he’s like, like this guy systemize it where he’s not there at all sometimes. And people are still here. And it’s really good stuff.
Richard Phu (01:07:15.609)
And so that’s where I started going in and doing more of his stuff. Because I’m like, how did he do this? Because this is so awesome. And I got to meet him and he worked with me as well. When I remember I was doing the stage presentation stuff and he gave me feedback on that end there. And so it was really good experience on that end. So yeah, one day, one day eventually I’ll probably get to Tony’s island on Fiji and maybe get to hang out with him.
Absolutely. I want to ask you a few things on personal branding. So this is what I think. So you and the team were, again, as you mentioned, the team were doing this research on you and then you were featured on Big Big Magazine. The future was there, you know, entrepreneurs were there. Big podcast, YouTube, you already do have your own podcast. What was that about, by the way? Like what your own podcast is about?
Richard Phu (01:07:49.965)
Richard Phu (01:08:12.209)
That was when I was like, running like the men’s coaching stuff, right? And I used to that for that podcast was called Forge Your Life, where, you know, all built around the brand of like, we called it the ultimate man, whereas all I wanted to do is help men define what their own definition of the ultimate man is. You know, didn’t care about what society thought about, what your mom thought about it. It’s just what do you want to be right as your own ultimate man? And so
Richard Phu (01:08:40.917)
That’s where we create the Forge Your Life podcast where I interviewed like, you know, people about talking about what it means to be an ultimate man kind of thing. Um, that’s, that’s kind of like how that one started.
Okay, so yeah, coming back to it, and you have done pretty well from personal development standpoint, personal brand standpoint. How important do you think is that to build your personal brand, especially nowadays in 2023, maybe from podcast standpoint of view, maybe from YouTube standpoint, like whatever media that you pick up, how important is it to build your personal brand now?
Richard Phu (01:09:05.461)
Richard Phu (01:09:15.449)
First off with us here. You’re very kind man I know I literally think my personal branding is pretty corrupt right because and the reason why I say is crap when I stopped doing My other businesses I and I joined outsourcing engine. I literally even a few years before that I’m like I stopped doing all that personal branding stuff and like you know what it’s making me It tend to be someone who are not more you know and so I switch a lot of that off Still see my website like my website needs to be refreshed and it’s crap right it’s crap as hell
Richard Phu (01:09:45.097)
And so you’re too kind, sir, when you say, I’ve done well with it. And personal brand is a lot, you know? Personal brand means, you know, especially when you’re starting out, it’s everything, you know? And ultimately it’s about how you wanna be seen as. And I think about this, whether they’ve seen my stuff or not, like, you know, literally, you know, in 15 minutes, I’m gonna go on a client call. They don’t know who the hell I am, right? And I’m like, I’m gonna build this personal brand so they get to feel exactly who I am.
Richard Phu (01:10:13.897)
and what I stand for. So when they talk to me, they get it, you know? And for me, it means a lot because I want people to engage with me, enjoy who I am and know what I’m about and understand that, hey, this is the real deal. You know, if I say I’m gonna do, literally if I say, Mudassir, I’m gonna be back in a minute, it will be a minute. It’s not like the 10 minutes that some people say, right? Hey, give me a minute, give me, and then you don’t see them again for a long time, you know?
Richard Phu (01:10:43.161)
Like my word is my bond. And that’s what I try and live up to is like, if I say I’m gonna give you something, I’m gonna give you something. If I say I’m gonna do something, I’m gonna do it, right? On that end for you. And so for me, personal brands, not just how you come off and what you post on there, it’s also how you show up in these things here. And so, you know, one of the things this year was to try and drive out more of my personal brand, you know, on that end. That’s why you see me now, right? On podcasts and going out there and talking more, because it’s just a way for…
Richard Phu (01:11:13.349)
us and Outsourcing Angel to get more awareness, you know, of what we’re doing here. And, you know, I just get to have that fun on that end there.
Yeah, OK. So one very interesting topic, everybody’s word of mouth, is AI. And you work with a lot of VAs. So one thing that came to my mind is, with all these new emerging technologies, especially AI, do you think it’s a threat to your business, especially to the VAs? Because most of the time, what AI is doing today is making people more efficient, making people more productive, so to speak. And it’s automating a whole lot of
Richard Phu (01:11:30.879)
Richard Phu (01:11:39.63)
things that were done manually. So do you think AI is going to be a threat to outsourcing angels or anybody who’s doing a VA business around the world?
Richard Phu (01:11:55.683)
Richard Phu (01:12:03.065)
I think it is, but at the same time, I think it’s gonna enhance it more. It’s going to create actually more demand because, you know, business owners, as much as they would love the AI stuff, you still need to sit there and prompt it, you know, on that end. And so right now internally, we’re having a discussion. We’re trying to work out, you know, ways for us to pretty much supercharge our VA’s with AI power to teach them how to use it better, you know? And that’s the thing here is like.
Richard Phu (01:12:32.621)
AI is not at the point where I can just ask it a very basic question and then it’ll give me a detailed answer. It’s like talking to a VA. You have to give details in that end. And so it’s like, what if we could superpower or supercharge these VA’s with AI that is in the way it is so that they can actually get more done. And then that allows the business owner to figure out more deeper, or the marketing manager, whoever it is, more things that they can be focused on.
Richard Phu (01:13:02.625)
And so I see of it as just another tool to make life better on that end. It does challenge VAs in the sense where you can’t just sit there and go, give me the tasks, Mudassir, and I’ll be fine. You know, it’s now like you have to level up your own thinking, and that’s where we’re in a place of like trying to, how do we train up some of these VAs to be better and adapt to this change because this is not going away.
Richard Phu (01:13:31.429)
it’s really serious of how it’s changing the whole industry on that end there. And yes, it does open it up for solopreneur startups to go do it themselves more and delay getting a VA or another person in board on that end. In saying that, you know, right now, like AI is not in the place where it can do the whole automations and process streamlining it does, right? But you still need that person to then tailor it.
Richard Phu (01:13:59.029)
You know, all it does is it creates a template, I think, right? For the most part. And then you still got to tailor it. If you’re too lazy to tailor it, then it’s not going to work for you really well. Then you can give up on it very soon too. And so I’m excited about it, man. I mean, like, look, I don’t even know enough about the AI stuff, but it’s just because of how much information is going on in there, you know? And so I’m just excited on what we can do with it and how that’s going to help more people.
Okay, amazing. So we have this ritual on the podcast. So what we do is we ask every guest a question for our next guest without knowing who the next guest is gonna be. So we have a question for you, and after that I’m gonna ask you a question. Obviously it’s not gonna be part of the show, so that’s the way that we keep it. So the question for you that I have, the previous guest left for you without knowing who’s the guest today is gonna be. If you were to post
If you were to forced to pivot to something, what would that be?
Richard Phu (01:15:02.329)
I was forced to pivot to something right Then if I was forced to pivot into something I think it would be like going back in and Probably pivoting myself back into coaching like if if the whole VA thing died and I had to pivot I’m like I push myself to go back into like something coaching not for like a
Yeah, and what would that be?
Richard Phu (01:15:29.213)
end consumer thing, we’re probably like a leader leadership coaching, right? Or remote team leader type of thing. That’s where I would probably try and play into it. Yeah. On that space, I would probably also drag in, you know, Lynn, right? Cause I’m like, Hey Lynn, you know how to sell, you know how to market. Let’s go do this thing together. I’ll deliver it. You know, and me and you literally, we just do this, right? You go out, you pump you and you, she does it now where she goes to places. She’s like,
Richard Phu (01:15:57.425)
Oh, people ask her, so how did you build the team and make it work and all of that? And she’s like, literally, she points to me in the audience like, I didn’t do it. This guy did it for me. Right. And so you should ask him. And so like, that’s how I would pivot. I pivot into something like a leadership coaching thing, right? More centered around remote teams, not because it’s a cool thing, right? That’s because it’s what we’ve been working on for like the last five years in OA. And then before that, I did remote teams.
Richard Phu (01:16:26.201)
three, four years beforehand. You know, and I think I do really well in that space. That’s probably where I would pivot to.
Okay, great. I was hoping that you’re probably gonna say I’m just gonna go do some Tony Robbins stuff, but that’s just fine. Yeah, just kidding.
Richard Phu (01:16:45.056)
Not old enough for that yet.
Yeah. Okay. Awesome. Awesome. All right, Richard. Thank you so much for coming to the show. Really loved talking to you. So yeah, I appreciate the time, man.
Richard Phu (01:17:28.353)
Thank you so much, man. I’m excited, mate. So thank you so much again. Mudassir, man.