John Corcoran 10:35
Got it? And kind of as an aside from this, I’m curious about what it was like growing up with immigrant parents. I’ve to I’ve interviewed a bunch of people that have either, you know, immigrated to the United States, or to Canada or different countries. And oftentimes that really drives who they are, especially as an entrepreneur, so what was it like, you know, for you becoming an entrepreneur, being a child of immigrants, what was that like?
Linh Podetti 11:05
Yeah, when I came to Australia, my parents were kind of like, completely fresh, meaning a lot of my Aunties have been here since the ’70s, ’80s, etc. So when we came in the 1980s, it was like, my parents go, Oh, my God, we have nothing, you know, everyone’s got a house. And they’ve already established. So they kind of went into this mode of like, we got to work really, really hard. And we got to catch up. And so they went straight into sewing at home. And sewing at home meant that it’s a business 24/7 Business that you can actually work as much as you can, whenever you want. And so they work from 7 am to midnight. And at 10 years old, I was like, Can I help you? It looks fun cutting some tags. And, you know, can I help you see some targeting? And I thought it was arts and crafts. And when they started teaching me, I started learning and I did it well, they actually got me to work with them. From then on from the age of 10, I was kind of forced into working for them after school before school weekends up until I was like, you know, like a teenager.
John Corcoran 12:09
Now, for those who are watching this on video, you’re actually smiling while you’re saying this. It sounds very painful, though.
Linh Podetti 12:17
Because I just think it was like, I can’t it’s it’s just an amazing story to you. And obviously, I’m healed from it,, I still have nightmares to this day of waking up, like panicking, like Oh, my God, I still have work, I have to do but as a child, then I was crying. I mean, I’ve sewed in my fingers. I said, I don’t want to work, I can see my own friends not having to work their their kids, you know, why do I have to work? And I couldn’t see all that at the time. But they’re like, Yeah, we have to, you know, because, you know, we were new here. And but it still felt like, Hey, this is child abuse, child labor. This is not right. However, I ended up rebelling and ran away from home. But now that I look back, they’ve definitely instilled hard work, you know, resilience, and it’s like, even if you don’t want to do something, you got to do it. And so I have brought that along in all aspects of my life. Even after running a business for over 10 years, you’ll still see me everywhere online, and really kind of just passionate person. And, you know, working out doing anything around my life. I’m just for you know that that kind of hard-working mode. And I got to thank them for that.
John Corcoran 13:25
It seems like just to read into it a little bit, that kind of the takeaway for you was the work ethic was good, but you don’t want to be the one who’s operating the sewing machine. You know, you want to kind of have other people that are operating the sewing machine.
Linh Podetti 13:40
Yeah, so one thing I learned from them is that work should not overtake your whole life. Like they literally just thought that if we just keep working hard, working more, we’re going to eventually be happy. But along the way, the family suffered, like the one thing they tried to do was build a great family through their work. But they have kids that are running away from home, and fighting, and my parents were upset with each other because they’re constantly working. There was no break. And so now that I run my own business, I always make sure to integrate holiday breaks. And you know, this is where I came to realize that I’m semi-retired at this point in time. And I guess, unintentionally, I was just wanting to make sure I don’t relive what my parents did when they had their own business that there is a boundary you start you stop you have you know holidays and you don’t know you control how you want to live your life; don’t let work control you.
John Corcoran 14:32
Yeah, another thing that you have done that’s kind of integrated into your business is having a deeper purpose behind it. And so you’ve integrated charitable work into the purpose behind the business. Talk a little bit about that inspiration and how that came about.
Linh Podetti 14:49
Yeah, so when I organically just started this outsourcing business, to be honest, I didn’t really see what I was doing yet i What I wanted was flexibility for myself and to raise my mind My child, but when I went to the Philippines, you know, a few years into my running my business, I just saw the way the Philippines were, were functioning, you know, all the people that I was hiring actually were living in provinces and don’t technically live in the city, and those who live in the city, there is just really, it was chaotic, it was really hard to travel back and forth, I’m talking about three hours there three hours back, and I just realized that I’m making a difference in these people’s lives, I’m not just creating jobs for people that are living in a, in a developing country, I’m also helping these people have a life, you know, being able to be at home be with their family, and a lot of our our team members, even if you think you’re paying them a good salary, they also have to support their family as well. In Asia, it’s very different. It’s like you take care of your parents or take over the siblings who are relying on you, because they’re, you know, whatever is happening in their life. And so apart from the business model itself is doing something great. So every time a client hires a VA, you know, they need to know, they should know that they’re actually making a huge difference in these people’s lives. But other than that, we were introduced to these volunteers in the Philippines. So one of our team member’s cousin, he was kind of, he used to be an ex-gangster who turned into this, like, Oh, my God, I, you know, I was bad person, I found Jesus Christ and basically reinvented himself to be giving back to the world. And him and, you know, his people, without having a charity kind of organization where it’s all about, like raising fundraising, they just doing this out of their own time. And so they would track up the mountains by away for hours track, and give back with rice and school supplies. And so we were able to, you know, work with them, you know, it’s about us creating money here, to then fund some of the projects there. And because, you know, we’ve got basically soldiers on the ground to actually do the real work. And for every dollar we give them, it literally goes to the people and there’s no like kind of organization or admin that we’re funding to. And so it this is just part of our business every month, we are we always get to receive all these photos, videos of things that we’re doing. I go there at least once a year, when there wasn’t wasn’t COVID I actually go and visit all these water wells that we’ve been able to help. And you know, I would say we’re not a big business at all, and the money that we give out in the millions, and yet, it’s a huge difference to the communities there.
John Corcoran 17:33
Huh? Yeah, I want to ask you about content creation, because that’s a big priority for you, you create a lot of content. Yeah, as you mentioned, videos, audio, stuff like that you speak. But before I get to that, you mentioned you met your husband through YouTube, or your husband found you through YouTube.
Linh Podetti 17:52
Yeah, I wish I realized the power of content back then. Because it was powerful. Like, I literally made two or three videos when I started my marketing agency. And that video attracted an audience from Sydney, like him. And he was looking for something online, online business or something. And he came across my video. And then he invited me for a business meeting. And I happened to be single, he’s single, and we got married eight months later. And so I knew videos were really great. But I was like everyone else afraid, like afraid to be judge don’t know what to talk about. Well, I am not that great at video at that time, either. So of course, it’s like, oh, you know, it takes forever to really do a video. So I didn’t, I stopped, I didn’t make any more. And then when I would try again, I’ll make a few. And I just like, look at it and like oh my god, cringe not the way and it will. And I regret that, you know, because four or five years ago, I realized that what’s my purpose in life, it’s not just about making money, it’s about making an impact is about like sharing my wisdom, sharing what I know, because I don’t want to die with all that information. I want to help other people. And so I looked at that. And I said, well, I need to get over myself, you know, stop worrying about people judging me. And, and, you know, look at people like Oprah who is my idol, it’s like, she makes a huge impact on people by being in media by creating content. And so I just went, you know, that’s it, forget about what I want, do what I want to help people with. And so that was when I committed to it. And I really went through that phase of like, struggle of videos, you know, consistency, as well as shyness. And the more you do it, the more you love it. And when people tell me now it’s like, hey, yeah, you’re of course you’re good because you do videos because you’re good. They don’t realize that no, I am good because I persisted.
John Corcoran 19:44
Yeah, for sure. So, let’s talk about outsourcing as a strategy, and let’s talk to businesses out there that haven’t outsourced or, you know, I was talking to some business owners earlier today who were saying, you know, the clients they hire me, I couldn’t Imagine them not talking to me, because I’m on the business. And I had to kind of explain to them, you know, well, that’s not necessarily a good thing, you can actually deliver a lot better service when you have a team of people, which it took me years to get to that point. But what do you say to businesses like that, that that, you know, haven’t done a great job of delegating and outsourcing?
Linh Podetti 20:22
Yeah, look, it comes down to just limiting belief. You know, we believe that only we can do it that we’re the best that, you know, it’s faster if we do it. But what I realized is that when I started hiring people, I realized I am not the best, I’m not the smartest, you know, like, like my managing director right now. He’s way smarter than me. But if I didn’t hire him, I wouldn’t be where I am. Because he basically looked at my tools and helped me automate. Even though I had a team as well, I didn’t realize that I was doing a lot of things manually. Now, if I thought that I was the smartest, I wouldn’t have hired this person, right? And even back then, I thought that I was the best recruiter because obviously, I went through all this making mistakes with outsourcing. So only I would be able to find these great VAs because I’m like, maybe my charisma, the way I’m interviewing them is so great. But when you realize that in order to grow, you need to spend time on sales, or you need to spend time on strategies, you can’t help to have to let go of the things that you’re doing, because there’s no time. And so I just basically got my, you know, second in charge of virtual assistant, who at the time was helping me maybe sending invoices or managing the team to like, hey, you know, what I trust you the most in you know, me, and you know, what we want in this company the most? Can you just like, Shadow me in what I’m doing in recruitment? And I’ll take, I’ll just teach you, you know, at the time, I didn’t have a path, I just thought I’m gonna offload to you. And so I got her to sit behind watching me recruit, or watching me interview, and then then then she learns, and then then I watch her do it. And then eventually, she was doing it without me. And then after that, you have a process and you document it. And then she then went on to teach the next person. So that made me realize that the very one skill set that I thought was very soft skill, and it takes me years to learn, I realized that there is a process in it, and anyone, anything can be trained. And then when you step away from that original role, it helps allow you to explore new roles. And then you realize that you actually love something else more than that. So I used to love recruitment, I love being the project manager behind the scenes, because remember, I was afraid of content and videos. But then when I stopped doing that and doing content, I could do content all day. And now it sucks my energy if I have to sit there and kind of focus on the details. So you actually don’t know who you really are at all, until you explore outside of your comfort zone
John Corcoran 22:48
evolves, doesn’t it it changes, like you might really enjoy doing one thing, and then you realize, oh, I don’t want to do this anymore. And so then, you know, if you haven’t delegated, if you haven’t put a system in place, then you’re gonna be miserable, or you’re gonna give up on it right? You know, those sorts of things tend to happen. Now, one of the things you discovered is that with the business is that a lot of businesses weren’t even ready to hire a VA virtual assistant outsourced staff yet, because they hadn’t put systems in place. They hadn’t put workflows in place. And so one of the things that your business has been doing has been helping businesses with putting those in place. So unpack that a little bit for us and how that works.
Linh Podetti 23:27
Yeah, so an example is myself, you know, for a few years, we we grew our sourcing answer to a million dollars within three years of kind of pivoting to that model. And I had, like, I don’t know, maybe 1015 internal staff at the time and a bunch of VAs at work for clients. Even though I had that kind of team, I was still stuck in it, meaning, you know, first of all, the staff had to do a lot of manual work about copying and pasting, and it was very inefficient. I too, was going to the end or, you know, people would come to me and ask me for approval, and I was kind of stretched in multiple places. And it wasn’t until I hired my operations manager who had a background in technology, and also workflow processes that he was able to go hang on. Why are you using Skype? And we don’t really know where the conversations are going. And it’s really hard to really pinpoint, you know, the thread of the conversation, we need to go to Slack. And it was like, Oh, my God, Slack, you hesitate, like any business owners do when you look at technology, like oh my god, I don’t know if I want to do that. But it was the best thing we did. We went into Slack and created these channels, but not only creating channels. We started automating things, and it’s like okay, well, every time a salesperson come in, we want the whole team to know that it popped in and then we want to know that that person gets to book in a discovery call immediately upon paying the deposit. And so we were able to do all these automations that meant that it reduces the human error, but it also means that we became more efficient the staff member doesn’t have to do Monday. Same things. So an example of what we used to do is just because I have VAs were very affordable, I used to have templates, scripts that they would send out when a client comes on a client, you know, buys, and then there’s all these thank you emails, people are doing it manually, this poor person would actually go here, send an email, I have to remember to send another email. And so those are the kinds of things that we can systemize and automate and also get the tools to talk to one another, that not only are we doing things faster, we are happier, because it’s like, things just work without us. And so now, you know, we’re able to free up myself and free up the team in many ways. And so we realize that, what, that’s what we want to do for clients to you come here for a person, but we’re going to come here, you’re going to get a free up business, a business where you, you and your team don’t feel like you’re stuck in it, or at least you know, we try to automate as much as possible so that you could free up some time to work on your business.
John Corcoran 25:58
Yeah, I want to wrap up, but before we do, you mentioned earlier that you realize that you’re partly retired. And one thing I’m curious about is how one comes to peace with that, you know, we should all be so lucky, but you’ve seemed like a very driven individual, you said that you learned a hard, you know, work ethic from your parents, and from other inspirations? How do you become okay with, you know, not being partially retired at a young age? And, and, you know, not working when you could work into late into the Yeah, yeah, sure.
Linh Podetti 26:35
So I believe in life for happiness. It’s not just about your work life, it’s about your family, your friends, you know, it’s spiritual Southside and time for yourself. And you need to put effort and work towards all of those areas. And so, even though I’m semi retired at work, I am still, you know, busy trying to make sure that I’m there for my family there for my friends there for myself, and all that thing. So I’m still busy in that way. But what helped me to realize I was semi retired is that my husband has a manufacturing business. So he’s eager to kind of, like, get out of here or try to, if he wants to ever work in a business again, he wants something that’s a bit easier and not stuck in a in a in a factory. And so he was like, you know, I want to retire soon, you should retire too. And I’m thinking, Why does he want to retire? Hang on, and it just wasn’t sitting well with me. And then when I was posting all these photos of myself traveling a lot, and I do I travel almost weekly and go to events that friends in America saw these photos, and this guy goes to me, Wow, you’re living like a retired life. And I was like, you know, when things just pop up the word, retire, retire, I got curious, I Googled up, what is retirement? What What does catch-up to say about retirement? And it comes down to being able to work part-time and spinning whatever you like on the other type of time, right? Spending time with your family, traveling hobbies, whatever. And so I realized, Oh, my God, I’m doing that I’m leaving that. I think the turning point for me was a year ago when I realized that I didn’t want to do any more startups, because even though I have this main business along the way, I’ve started many little businesses along the way, because I just wanted to keep busy, you know, I thought that I wanted to, I have all these ideas, and I think it’s going to be a success. And I just keep getting myself into more stress and more, more hard work. And you know, and even though I have a business that had a team, I could actually just focus on that one business, you know, spend time strategizing audit, but in that minimal time, and that could grow a lot more. It’s like this machine’s already working, why not put minimal effort into it, make it really work, then try to spread yourself thin and all these other business ventures, and then you don’t get the freedom that you want? And so I think I would say, Yeah, the last year or so has been the life of a proper semi-retired person.
John Corcoran 28:55
That’s great. Man, this has been great. I want to wrap up with a question that I always ask in my interviews, and I’m going to put you on the spot because I usually warn people beforehand. But I’m a little rusty because I haven’t been doing interviews for a few weeks, I took a little bit of a break over the summer. So I forgot to ask you before and so apologies, but I’m a big fan of gratitude. And I’m a big fan of expressing gratitude, especially to your peers and contemporaries, in your industry, others who you’ve leaned on, you know, when I asked that question, a lot of times people will default to mentioning their family or their team. But that’s not really what I’m getting at. What I love to hear about is really others that you consider your peers. Maybe maybe people that have kind of helped you maybe even a mentor along the way, who would you want to shout out and just thank for being there for you.
Linh Podetti 29:45
So I have a lot of people that I want to thank but for the purpose of Beaven II Oh, like I want to thank Lisa Moore. She’s a friend who convinced me to join EO and I just feel like she’s really opened up my world to another The level right like the amazing people, the community that I’ve got, but also just having her there as almost like my big sister to guide me along the way of this journey of EO. Yeah, I’m so blessed to have her and because we join EO we get to see each other even more. And so this positivity and we’re just basically growing together and so I’m grateful for you, Lisa. Beautiful question, by the way, thank
John Corcoran 30:26
Outsourcing Angel, the name of the business where can people go to learn more about you, Lynne?
Linh Podetti 30:31
Google my name, Linh Podetti or Outsourcing Angel and we’re across all different social media and websites as well. So yeah, connect with me. I’m friendly.
John Corcoran 30:41
You certainly are. Thanks, Linh. Thanks so much.
Linh Podetti 30:44
Thank you so much for the opportunity, John.
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