Episode 9 Transcription – Monica Adwani Podcast
Misha: Hello, and welcome to the GSD Factor podcast. I’m your host Misha Bleymaier-Farrish And today, I’m excited to have Monica Adwani. Monica was born and raised in Puerto Rico and moved to Massachusetts at the age of 20. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology, Health Management, and Business Management.
Misha: She’s a smart cookie. She found her love for insurance in 2008 when she joined the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety. She has continued to grow within the insurance industry for the past 16 years and within the independent channel since 2014. Today, she’s a successful and new entrepreneur within the insurance industry as Partners of Savvital and her own independent agency.
Misha: Monica, welcome. Thanks for being here.
Monica: Thank you for having me. Thank you. That was a great intro. It’s kinda like, you know like it’s embarrassing because you don’t, you don’t like to hear things about yourself. So thank you so much for having me.
Misha: Absolutely. Hey, listen, you have a lot to be proud of.
Misha: And so Monica, you have a number of different businesses, right? You’re a mom; you’re a wife. You’re really, really busy, but today, first of all, thank you so much for being here, but I really wanna talk about, let’s talk about Savvital.
Misha: I really wanna talk about diving into kind of what is Savvital doing. So first of all, tell our listeners today about Savvital and what your mission is.
Monica: Yeah. So at Savvital we actually provide virtual professional services to small business owners. One of our main verticals is insurance because that’s what I know, that’s what I love, but we also serve other financial services, like real estate, mortgage lending.
Monica: We also have construction companies, so we are expanding because there is help needed everywhere. Right? So, especially now with the situation of hiring and everything. But basically, our mission is to help more business owners work on the business rather than in the business.
Monica: And we are providing that help that is extremely necessary for you to pivot and succeed. So delegation, delegation, delegation…that’s all it is about. The more you delegate, the more we come into play and the, the more successful you’ll be.
Misha: Awesome. So for those of us that struggle with that delegation, right?
Misha: Talk to us about that journey of the decision, of saying, do I need Savvital or do I not? (yeah.) Do I need to delegate or do I not?
Monica: Yeah. I think as, as business owners, one of our biggest faults is that because we have started the business, work in the business, and know pretty much everything from A to Z, we don’t trust anybody else to do it the way we do it. Right. (Yeah) And the question comes like, do you really have the time?
Monica: Do you really have the time to do everything that you need to do on a daily basis to grow your business? And the answer is simple. The answer is no. However, sometimes we think we can, but the answer is really no. The moment you hit a certain threshold, the moment that you said, you know, I wanna grow. You need to surround yourself with the people that are your weaknesses. Like you are really, really good at something, but you cannot be really, really good at everything.
Monica: And that’s when we come into play. You know, people can be very strong, on, let’s say, business development. That’s what most business owners are really good at and do because it’s their brand, it’s their face. It’s their name. Right? (Right). So focus on doing that, but then leave the finance, leave the administrative, leave the customer service, leave the lead generation, leave the marketing to other people that are passionate about that, and that can do a great job for you.
Monica: Nobody’s ever gonna be able to replace you. That’s never gonna happen. Nobody is ever gonna work at the 150 or 200% capacity that you do, but you can surround yourself with people that can help you become more comfortable.
Monica: And that can help you get, you know, to the place that you need to be. So, I think that’s where we come in. We come in, helping more business owners and operations overall Because you’re gonna hit a ceiling. Do I have the right people on the right seat? Do I have the right process? And how do we delegate to continue to elevate the skills of the people that we have in house to do what they like to do, what they’re best at, and then continue feeding them with other people under them that can attach and work on those weaknesses that they have.
Monica: So I think it’s a, it’s a beautiful thing because then you will become whole, right? (Yes). You become whole. So that’s kind of like my short-winded explanation.
Misha: No, it’s no, I love it. I think it’s really important because when you’re thinking about your growth and you’re thinking about your scalability and you’re thinking about what is it that you need to be. Do you need to be the face of the company, and then the rest of the company is operating on its own?
Misha: I think it’s a really important thing to think about. As business owners, as entrepreneurs, as founders, we think that we have to do it all right? And we think we can’t afford help. Or we think we can’t ask for help, or we think that we’re unworthy of having (of help) help us.
Misha: What would you say to that person who maybe has that mental block of, well, I’m not worthy… my business is too small. What would you say that that person listening today?
Monica: I will say to that person that you are worthy, first of all, and second, in order for you to succeed, you really, really need to make that decision.
Monica: Because we were talking offline…it goes back that if you don’t exercise help, you are gonna burn out. You are not gonna be enough to be the mom or, or the wife or the single person who wants to have a date on a Friday night. It doesn’t matter like what stage you are in, right?
Monica: Like, (yes) you need to have time to breathe. Because if you don’t, then you won’t be functional, then you won’t succeed because you are gonna have a mental block at some point, and you’re gonna be emotionally drained. You and I went through this just a couple weeks ago. Like, I lost my marketing head, that, you know, worked with us at Savvital, for a great reason because we always encourage people to grow, and he had his dreams, and we were able to help him pursue that dream.
Monica: But, then I had to go back to square one, and I had to do things on my own for like couple weeks. And I was like, Oh my God, like, I, I don’t, I can’t do this. I really need help. And I was like, let’s expedite that process people, we just need to find the right person! Because honestly, you might not see it, because you haven’t done it, but once you do it and you start relying on other people to help you succeed, it is a beautiful thing.
Monica: It creates a synergy. It creates more capacity for you to, you know, block your day about the things that are most important. Especially if you have a family or if you, you know, need to do self-care.
Monica: Whatever it is that you need to do, you need to create and protect that space.
Monica: As women for us, it’s really difficult (yes) to delegate. It’s really difficult because we think we should and can do it all. Because it’s that sense of control that gives us satisfaction. And that gives us that energy, that like, Oh my God, I was able to accomplish 30 things today! But is it really like, do you like, do you really need to accomplish all of that in order to feel successful?
Monica: You really don’t. (No) So it’s all about your mental capacity and your and your mental health. I know. If you are starting, it’s a little bit difficult because of finances or whatever, but you know, you don’t need help 24 hours. (sure) You can allocate, instead of buying Starbucks two times a day, you can probably afford a person instead of buying Starbucks.
Monica: So, you make certain sacrifices, and it is as simple as that. Two cups of Starbucks a day pays for two hours or one hour of a person’s salary and help for your day. Put it in balance.
Misha: That’s a great comparison.
Monica: It’s a simple comparison. You’d be like, What? Like, really can I do that?
Monica: And I was like, yeah. Like instead of buying breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day at a restaurant, then cut one coffee, cut one dinner, pay a person four hours a day, and there you have it. You’re fine. (Yes.) You can afford that person. Right? So. Honestly, it’s all about making that decision and having the capacity and the bravery to trust someone else. Because it’s all about trust, right?
Monica: Like, I don’t trust that they will take care of my clients the same way I do, or I don’t trust the quality of work. You need to be prepared to invest your time to replicate yourself. Because any business owner, in my opinion, they want a business to run on their own without them having to be present in 24/7.
Monica: And that’s kinda like, what we should strive for. And, and help- help doesn’t mean that you aren’t capable. Help means that it is an opportunity to grow. (Yes) That’s the mindset that we have to shift into.
Misha: I think that’s fantastic. And so many little nuggets there. So, when you’re delegating, it’s being worthy enough to say, I need help asking for help raising your hand and saying (yeah), Yes, I’m, I am being brave to delegate.
Misha: I think the other thing is it’s that if you get some help, it’s giving you that space and giving you that opportunity for self care or family time or friend time. Right? (Yeah) The fact is our days are 24 hours.
Misha: A lot of us, working parents out there, the first place that we go to is we give up our sleep. You and I know this, this is, we’re usually on LinkedIn messenger.
Monica: Still ongoing one o’clock in the morning, right Misha?
Misha: That’s right. But, I also think if I bring on that help and I ask for help and I delegate. Now, I’ve given myself time to rest and recuperate.
Misha: And there are studies out there that say, if we give our bodies the sleep that it needs, our brains have that chance to rejuvenate. And think about the growth and the creativity and the new ideas and the dream bigs that are there if we’ll just give our bodies and brains the opportunity to rest (yeah) and recuperate.
Misha: My team is listening to this, knowing I’m speaking to the choir on that cause…
Monica: Oh, mine too!
Misha: But, I also think to bring somebody on now, this is my practical side coming in… (yeah.) to bring somebody on though, you really do need to invest in a really strong onboarding program.
Misha: A training program. Right. Having been in the corporate space now for 20 years and hired and trained multiple teams around the world. If you spend that time to establish, what are your standard operating procedures? What is a good onboarding program?
Misha: What is a good training program? And then the job shadowing and then the reverse shadowing. They have learned the foundation of what you do. They learned your tone. They learned your voice. And now all of a sudden they are just an extension of you. So, talk to us a little bit about your experience, what you see with your clients and that important task.
Misha: Right? Cause it’s not just saying, Hey, I need the help. Bring me the help. (yeah) There does have to be that second, that second step, right? (yes) of really training them.
Monica: Yeah. So that’s very interesting you ask because a lot of people think that hiring a virtual professional means that this person is gonna be a rock star at working at 200% capacity on day one.
Monica: Well, I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but it’s not true. I did have a client recently. That on day four of the onboarding, she emailed me and she said, Monica, I am so sorry. I don’t think this is gonna work for me. I thought this person was gonna be ready and I didn’t think I would have to spend this amount of time.
Monica: I don’t have time for this! was basically the last sentence. And I, you know, I call her and I said, you know, I am very disappointed to hear this on day four, because we were very specific that this is just like hiring anybody else. You know, I can come to your organization as a C level. You know, suite
Monica: and it’s gonna take me at least four months to understand how this operation works. (Yeah) Same it’s going to be for anybody else that you hire on a frontline in a managerial position. It does not matter. It takes time. So, I think that people underestimate that you really need to spend time with these people.
Monica: You need to mold them to, to who you want them to be. You need to teach them your process. You need to teach them your company. You need to teach them your values. You need to teach them reports. Everything that they need to know. Just like when you are sending your kid to school, are you expecting them to write and read like the second day in kindergarten?
Monica: No, it’s not gonna happen. (No) Same. Different day, you know, different, different industry, different workload. It is really interesting. You do need to be prepared, you know, (mm-hmm). Everyone we hire has Bachelor’s, Master’s degree. They have prior work experience. Like they are excellent at what they do, but they don’t know you.
Monica: So you have to spend that time. (Yes.) You really need to, come prepared with like, this is, this is my process. We will help you through the onboarding, but these are the logins that they’re gonna need. These are the systems they’re gonna have access to. These are all the tools that they’re gonna need in order to succeed in this role.
Monica: So when you come unprepared to the table, I am gonna be the first one. Who’s gonna say, this is not gonna work. Like, I need us to do the homework because it’s an “us” deal. It’s not a “me” deal, right?
Monica: So I think, from an onboarding standpoint, you need to be committed. You need to be committed to make this person succeed.
Monica: Just like they are committed to making you succeed. But you have to spend the time because no one knows the company like you do.(right) Or, you know, if you have other employees that are in charge of that onboarding, (sure) then they have to come prepared to the table and they have to make sure that they schedule time on their calendar to train this person.
Monica: Right. It’s not like, Oh yeah, today, I am just gonna make, you know, 200 calls and we’re gonna, we’re gonna be great! It’s not doesn’t work like that. Learning is one. (Yes) Delegation is hard. Nobody likes to delegate, but you know, eventually, we make it happen.
Monica: And second is time. Second is time.
Misha: You have to think of them just the same way you would onboard somebody in your office or in your company. And even if they are remote, you have to think of these virtual assistants as, or these virtual professionals, right?
Misha: You have to onboard them and train them and bring them. Bring them along on their own employee journey.
Misha: I think that the more time that you spend at the front end (mm-hmm) the faster that they will be able to impact your time, (yes) impact your workload and make you more effective. And, you know, help you as you continue to grow and scale. As the VA role and the VP role have become more and more popular now, (yeah) I think there has been that gap in that people have thought, Oh, these people, you can just turn them on, and they go, but in reality, you’ve really got to spend that time upfront so that they can really make that impact into your organization.
Monica: You know, I understand like the reason you are hiring them is because you don’t have enough time…my partner, Troy, always says, in order for you to move five steps forward, you need to do three steps back. Right? (Mm-hmm ) So, for a very short period of time, you really need to make a little bit of a sacrifice with your time in order to gain hours and hours and hours back into your day.
Monica: So, you know, it brings us back to asking for help. Make sure that you’re doing what is right for you. Because what is right for you is gonna require certain sacrifices, but then it pays off when it’s up and running, right?
Monica: You make 25 calls or 100 calls until you find a pitch that works for you, right? (Mm-hmm) So, it’s the same. It’s like you have to spend that time, you know, and, and invest that time. So, then you can have a perfect recipe to replicate and move forward. So it, it pays off. It’s just not day one. I think that it starts with making the decision like, I need help.
Monica: I recognize that I need help. These are my strengths. These are my weaknesses. Let me find help for these weaknesses and for what doesn’t bring me value. (yes) But that other person can do that brings them value, and can bring value to my organization. Because not because you don’t like it or because you’re not great at it doesn’t mean that it’s not valuable. It’s still a hundred percent valuable. It’s just not worth your time.
Monica: Because that’s not what you are best at, right? So we gotta, we gotta have that conversation with ourselves when we are making that decision.
Misha: Excellent. And I think it’s a thought of; you have to slow down to accelerate. (Yeah) You’ve gotta slow down for your trajectory and for your growth.
Misha: So Monica, tell everybody where they can find you on the internet and talk a little bit about your podcast real quick.
Monica: So I am really good in LinkedIn. I’m always there… love that. You know, everybody has their own platforms…like, LinkedIn is mine. I love connecting with professionals there and just, I feel it’s so valuable.
Monica: So, you can find me on LinkedIn mostly, and you can find me also on Instagram @transcendwithm. I do also have a podcast focused on women empowerment and we actually, share stories, becoming stories of either, you know, women entrepreneurs or, or successful women. And how I like to say it is whatever success means to them.
Monica: Success is defined very differently by everyone. So we have, you know, anything from CEOs, COOs to stay-at-home moms that are running their own businesses at home. It doesn’t matter. But, they have been successful in achieving their dreams the way that they wanted to. So, we are exposing those stories to kind of push other women out there that might be thinking of doing the same, but they don’t have the tools to do it.
Monica: So we just kind of share those stories out there, hoping that we can help one person or two.
Misha: Awesome. Well, thank you for all that you do to inspire women empower women, and it’s such an honor to know you.
Misha: Thank you so much for sharing today about Savvital and for those of you listeners, right. Go out and find Monica on LinkedIn or her podcast Transcend with M. Let’s link out to her podcast. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/transcendwithm/id1534546688 And Monica, thank you so much for being here and we look forward to seeing you again soon.
Monica: Thank you for having me. I hope it’s helpful for everyone listening today.
Misha: Thank you.