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Reclaimed my vision to do the right thing, in the right order.

Reclaimed my freedom to invest in the right people and resources for my business

Have you spent lots of money and time to hire and train someone... just to be disappointed with the lack of results?

There are several factors at play, such as:

  1. mismatched expectations,
  2. the classic case of "they over-promised and under-delivered" and
  3. not having hired the right person for the job in the first place.

I can untangle all 3 points for you, as I do with my clients. For today, I'll simply focus on the 3rd point: getting clear on who you need to hire for what type of job, so that you feel connected, fuelled, and championed to become the type of liberator who liberates others.


In the marketing arena, picture two axes of support: Creative / Strategic axis and Execution / Take Initiative axis.

Virtual Assistant • A VA is on the Execution side of the spectrum. Tell them what to do, and they'll do it. Don't tell them what to do, and not much will get done. This works great if you're a control freak, hehehe.

VAs usually straddle both Creative / Strategic worlds, a Jill-of-all-Trades type of person. Or... they may have neither strategic nor creative bones in their body, but will execute your command to perfection!

Online Business Manager • An OBM is on the Take Initiative side of the spectrum. Let them tell you what to do next, let them chase you down for a blog article or interview deadline. This works great if you're overwhelmed and FINALLY ready to let go and trust the right someone to run the show EVEN better than you can.

OBMs also straddle both Creative / Strategic worlds. In my experience, no one sits exactly on the line. Everyone has a penchant for the more linear strategic / chess playing mind or the creative / splash paint in everywhere mind. Think of an OBM as your day-to-day Operations Manager.

Branding Strategist • A branding strategist is on the Creative side of the spectrum. They'll lead you through exercises to extract your identity, your story, and match it outwardly online. They're much more branding than strategic, as their primary role is to deliver a branding deck or brief to showcase your online identity.

Branding strategists straddle both Execution / Take Initiative worlds. In my experience, their primary talent and passion is capturing the brand and generating ideas for brand recognition, not executing on those ideas, running lead generation campaigns or bringing in the money. <-- Just this insight will save you a ton of irritation, disappointment, time and mis-invested money.

Marketing Strategist • A Marketing Strategist is on the Strategic side of the spectrum. They'll assess all your products, services, funnels and assets and devise a plan based on your goals for reach, income, influence, and/or contribution. They are masterful marketing "chess players". 

Marketing strategists straddle both Execution / Take Initiative worlds, based on your work agreement. Some give you the plan to execute, others execute for you. In my experience, coming up with campaign or design ideas isn't their forte, but once your branding and campaign ideas are clear, they will make them soar!


Obviously, no human is a stationary point on an axis. They're a little of this, a little of that.


Creative Director • A creative director is in the Creative / Take Initiative quadrant. This person holds the brand and vision for the company and guides the others to execute strategically and creatively on all tasks.

You'll be tempted to take on this role if you're the dreamer, idea generator type. So make sure you hire your yin-yang complement. Hiring or partnering up with another dreamer, idea generator type can spell hours and hours of fun and laughter, but very little will get tangibly created and sought through to the very end.

Strategic Director • A strategic director is in the Strategic / Take Initiative quadrant. This person holds the plan and the end goals for the company and guides the others to execute strategically and creatively on all tasks.

You'll be tempted to take on this role if you're the doer, taskmaster type. So make sure you hire your yin-yang complement. Hiring or partnering up with another doer, taskmaster type can spell hundreds and hundreds of tasks completed, but very little play, joy and colorful experimentation.

Lead Generator • A lead generator is in the Strategic / Execution quadrant. If your brand is clear, your message is solid and your products/services outlined, this person can offer done-for-you solutions to flood your business with more leads and potential clients/customers than you know what to do with.

To save you a lot of mis-invested money and emotional suffering that result from disappointment of unmet expectations, clearly write down in a contract what numbers / results they can / can't / will / won't promise and deliver.

Campaign Manager • A campaign manager is in the Execution / Creative quadrant. If your marketing funnels are in place and bring you evergreen profit, this person can be a dream come true because they'll come up with brilliant ideas AND execute them for you, to position you as thought leader and increase your influence and impact in the world.

This is not the ideal person to hire if you need to cashflow your business. Thought leadership takes some time to establish, so be sure to set your expectations of engagement level, subscribers, followers, dollars, euros, pounds, etc. accordingly.


I often remind my clients that freedom isn't free. Nothing comes for free on a freedom quest. If you rely on free apps (which I did for years because I couldn't shake off the "cheap Asian" running through my veins), you will eventually pay the price.

Nothing comes for free on a freedom quest.
– Ellany Lea

Eg. Migrating my mailing list from Mailchimp (only chose it because it was free) to AWeber (because it had customer tagging function), then AWeber to (because it was finally an all-in-one solution I could get onboard with / see How to Avoid Multi-system Chaos).

Eg. Migrating my accounting from Wave Apps (again because it was free) to Zoho Books (paid for it because it had so many features without being a clunky beast), because Wave is slower than a sea cucumber.

All these migrations required undivided attention, time/space, horsepower, and money for tech / finance / VA support when solo horsepower wasn't enough. It's normal to start with the equivalent of "free apps" when hiring your first support members. Remember the bigger cost you inflict on yourself when you lone wolf it with free or cheap apps/people. ;)

Once in a while, you get lucky. Eg. I have a grandfathered plan and plan for free in perpetuity because I jumped onboard early as the first 10% of users. But 90% of the other free tools I've used, mainly and/or just because it was free, I've had to trash and upgrade to a robust suite of freedompreneur tools. Similarly, I found my VA (via a colleague Natalie Sisson) but she's no longer taking new clients.


Have you noticed I've not once used the words "social media expert" so far? It's because social media is an expertise/skill that the above 8 roles have to varying degrees. Hiring a social media expert without knowing the bigger picture of why you're hiring them and what major role they'll play is moot.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: you'll fast track your success and liberation by doing the right things (which you are doing), in the right order (which you likely aren't doing).

Hire people who believe what you believe and they'll work with their passion, creativity, soul and dedication. Don't hire people who need a job and they'll work for money and deliver the very minimal.

Pursue a common dream, rather than fame, and your soul is guaranteed to feel fulfilled. In my 7 years of building a boutique coaching business while traveling 100+ countries, my only regret is that I myself didn't do things in the right order.

What's the right order?

STEP 1 • Do the soul digging work to answer these 3 questions in one sentence:

As a lifelong learner, what are you here to teach?
As a freedom seeker, who are you here to liberate?
As a creative trailblazer, why are you here?

STEP 2 • Capture your brand

STEP 3 • Set up a clear multi-step funnel for your ideal client/customer

STEP 4 • Fill it to the brim with ideal clients/customers via content marketing, amplified by lead generation

Easy, right? Lol. No. 

If ever you need a loving hand, book a Clarity Session and I'll be your spiritual windex (<-- a client called me this the other day!) 

With infinite grace,

xo, Ella

ellany writer fountain penInspiring Stories of Surrender,
Reclamation and Freedom

Practical tools on how to navigate identity crises, creativity and lifestyle freedom through joy, grit and grace.


Author • Ellany Lea is a success coach, master freedompreneur, and modern mystic. She writes about collecting the 4 types of knowing as a pathway to total freedom.