An amazing guest joins Dean in today’s Freedom In Five Minutes Podcast episode — someone near and dear to his heart who has made a huge impact in so many people's lives, Patrick Reis from Encounter Ministries. Patrick became very good friends with Dean has become a constant inspiration and challenge in pretty much every facet of Dean’s life.
Today, they talk about the pains on the business side of non-profits during this global coronavirus crisis. Learn how Patrick avoided these pains and how he is thriving during this tough time because of some very different choices ahead of time despite having people against him.
Overview & Episode Content
- How Does Finance Impact a Minister’s Influence?
- Becoming Fruitful with the Help of VSAs
- The Right Expectations and Its Impact on Successful Onboarding
- Task Management Accountability and its Impacts on Productivity
- How Can a VSA Truly Impact Your Business?
How Does Finance Impact a Minister’s Influence?
In the long history of Christianity, there has been such an unnecessary division between a good minister and a good business person. There is a false notion among Christians that a good minister can never be good with money. Or, that a good minister does not have the ability to handle finances or manage employees while running a fruitful ministry.
For the longest time, there is a misconception that money and ministry do not go together. And nothing could be further from the truth.
Patrick says, “Christians must understand that money is essentially a form of influence. If God has called on us to influence the world around us, then we have to be responsible with money.”
Remember the Parable of the Talents. The third servant had merely hidden his talent, burying it in the ground, and was punished by his master.
The funny thing is, the third servant had a mindset where his master was harsh. Because of that, he has grown to be fearful of his master and it prevented him from being fruitful.
So, keep in mind that we serve a good loving Father Who wants us to bear fruit. And then, realize that our reward for being fruitful and prudent with finance is greater influence.
Becoming Fruitful with the Help of VSAs
Before Patrick knew about VSAs, he was spending way too much on people just doing administrative tasks who were not even doing their work well — going through three employees in one year.
Now, the work was piling up on top of Patrick’s exceptional technical automation skills. It was an awful year in terms of administration and it hurt the curriculum work that Patrick does and the time he spends in prayer.
Patrick recalls in the Parable of the Sower, “The seed is the word of God. If you are a minister or a simple Christian, and God has given you the word and put it in good soil — the seed that fell on good soil will bear fruit a hundredfold.”
This is something that Patrick has meditated a lot on. The reality is, we do not have more time and our resources are limited. What does a hundredfold increase in your word look like in our life?
For Patrick, that means multiplying the time and resources that he has so he can be even more fruitful.
“I can either have a scarcity mindset and do things the traditional way or go after the hundredfold increase,” says Patrick.
Later, he found a way to get all the administrative tasks done for the ministry when he connected with Dean and hired Nice, his first VSA from ProSulum.com. The learning curve was exponential and as a leader, Patrick was able to focus on working on high-value tasks.
The Right Expectations and Its Impact on Successful Onboarding
When getting a VSA to be part of your team, it is important to be the driver of the whole process. Setting the right expectations and being clear on what needs to be done as the executive director is vital.
Just step up and do it. 70% of leaders pay so much to be trained on how to manage VSAs but do not implement their learnings onto their businesses. So much money was being wasted. And going back to the Parable of the Talent, these leaders just bury their talent!
Now, Patrick wasted no time and followed my coaching at ProSulum.com and FreedomInFiveMinutes.com after hiring his first VSA, Nico. Immediately, he noticed a big difference in work output. Schedules and appointments were finally set straight and emails were responded. Patrick was able to focus on his creativity, prayer, and other high-value projects.
The same thing also reflected with the rest of his administrative team where they were able to focus on their zone and start delegating things over to Nico, the new VSA, so they can operate on higher-level projects. And on top of that, developing a relationship with Nico from being on edge around him to being connected with him on a personal level.
Task Management Accountability and its Impact on Productivity
“I had a problem with accountability. We use ASANA to set deadlines and clear accountability,” tells Patrick who is overseeing half a dozen employees — the other half dozen is being managed by his associate director.
Now, they developed a culture where it is okay to not hit deadlines. And it is not okay.
“How can I trust you to hit future deadlines when you think in your mind that it’s okay to miss them?” says Patrick.
It is vital for staff members to have the ability to shift expectations when deadlines cannot be met. That was just not happening for Patrick’s in house team. The lack of clarity and communication had a negative impact on the execution of things that God has called them to do.
To combat this unfavorable culture, Patrick enlisted Nico’s help to create a monthly report through weekdone.com and post a monthly ranking of staff members for the whole team to see. On the first monthly report, Nico got a 1% overdue completion rate with the second-highest amount of tasks. The next best had a 20% overdue completion rate.
This motivated everyone to step up and it gave Patrick the increase in productivity that he has always wanted. The next month, Patrick saw a significant decrease in overdue completion rates among his staff members. 20% became 0%. 40% went down to just 6%. And Nico’s 1% became 0%.
Just having one VSA, Nico, who had a high level of productivity and work ethic impacted everyone’s motivation. It was a huge productivity win for Patrick’s ministry.
How Can a VSA Truly Impact Your Business?
A lot of prospects ask me what a VSA can really do? Do they just do strictly admin tasks?
In terms of the business side of the ministry school, Patrick has automated admissions and taught Nico to follow protocols and identify who to accept, flag for other teammates to look into.
The best thing for Patrick was how Nico knew nothing about multimedia and yet he was able to get a hang of the skill quickly after Patrick taught him basic editing using Adobe Premiere Pro.
Patrick is able to mold Nico into doing financial, admissions, administrative, text support, and multimedia tasks. And it was never about replacing his in-house staff with remote-based VSAs.
“Do I value what my staff is doing for the ministry? Should they be spending this amount of time doing the busy work and minutia? You know what, I love what they are doing but I think we can create a system where Nico is able to do all of these,” thought Patrick.
They were able to unlock the ministry’s in-house staff’s potential and boost their productivity by having them delegate the busy-work to Nico. The best thing about it is that Patrick’s plan worked! And that resulted in huge wins and massively fruitful results in their ministry.
Accountability is a core value and if you honor your work, you have to honor the deadlines for each of your tasks.
And if met with skepticism about unconventional decisions, it is important that your team understands where you are coming from and arrive at a decision where everyone is on board.
Resources and Links
To learn more about Patrick and his organizations, visit EncounterMinistries.us and click the “Partner” tab on their website to learn more about their partner program.
This has been Dean Soto of Freedom In Five Minutes with Patrick Reis! And I will see you in the next Freedom In Five Minutes Podcast episode.