An excerpt from the book The Power of the Virtual Team, available at:

“There is no such thing as a self-made man. You will reach your goals only with the help of others.”
George Shinn (Owner of Charlotte Hornets basketball team

The reason I feel so passionate about helping entrepreneurs achieve remarkable success with the power of virtual teams is because I have been where you are now. I know virtual teams work. I can teach you how it works. I’ve seen it transform my business and give me the lifestyle I dreamed of when I quit the corporate world and ventured out on my own. I was working 80 plus hours per week. I was trying to run not one business, but three. I had so many projects and deadlines I was overwhelmed, exhausted and my family thought I had moved to another universe! I’m out of breath just even thinking back to that time. Have you got a minute? Let me tell you my story:

My Story

Two and a half years into running my own business, I had an epiphany which transformed my business, catapulted my income beyond the six –figure range and finally allowed me to regain my sanity! It started with a call from my sister asking if I could meet her and my niece for lunch. My response was “No, I’m too busy finishing a project.” In reality I was always having to say “no” to such opportunities as I was working over 80 hours per week and was exhausted, frustrated and overwhelmed. I had three businesses with 17 projects all needing my attention right away! At this point I had one assistant who was trying to help, but she was overwhelmed too.

That phone call from my sister hit home. This wasn’t the life I wanted. Somehow my business had become my entire life and I never had time for anything else. The real kicker was that I left corporate America so I could be in charge of my own time, but as busy as I was, I had anything BUT my own time.

As I contemplated my situation I realized that my unique strength, team building, had been cultivated to my advantage during my years in corporate America. One of my most valuable assets, the strength of team building, could serve me well for my own company! At Motorola I had not really enjoyed managing people. I knew, however, that I had an intuitive ability to envision an outcome and be able to attract key players to participate on projects who wanted to help me achieve that outcome.

At Motorola my team members did not work FOR ME. As their team leader I needed to inspire and motivate them. They needed to go above and beyond ordinary work behaviors and assume responsibility for their individual participation AND overall success of the team. In essence, the team I put together was a partnership under my visionary guidance. The idea of attracting partners to help me create my big vision sounded pretty good to me! My mission became to apply this principle, not just in one business, but in all three!

First I needed to create a team to help me grow the non-profit organization. As President-Elect, I assembled a volunteer team of qualified individuals who came together, and helped me realize a growth of 800 percent in less than one year!

Second I applied the same principle to the networking organization I ran in Los Angeles. I invited a number of successful business owners to join me on my leadership board to create the most consistently, well-attended networking group of any chapter in the entire organization!

Finally, I used this principle of leveraging other peoples’ time to my own core business and took it to a new level. Since my office is located in the comfort of my home, I didn’t want people traipsing through my space. The luxury of checking email in my pajamas was NOT going to go away! This was key to my wanting to work with a VIRTUAL TEAM. I started with 2 people from the virtual world, a bookkeeper and an assistant, who doubled as webmaster. Within that first year, I almost tripled the previous year’s revenue— simply by duplicating MY time and energy through other people.

Now, throughout the country, I have 7 to 9 contractors working for me between 20 and 80 hours a month and 2 coaches who run different coaching programs.

Here is an overview of the roles I outsourced to my virtual team:

- Webmaster and On-Line Shopping Cart Manager
- Program Manager for ULTIMATE Wealth & Success Circle
- Special Projects Manager
- Customer Service and Product Manager
- Marketing Director and Affiliate Marketing Manager
- Personal Assistant and Client Liaison
- Google Adwords and SEO Specialist
- Graphic Designer
- Marketing Copywriter
- Bookkeeper
- Accountant
- Housekeeper (can’t forget that one!)

Why do I share this story with you? For two reasons.

First, because I want you to know that no matter where you are with the concept of leveraging the power of a team, perhaps you can see yourself in my story. Perhaps by knowing that I’ve journeyed from having no team, to a stressed-out, overwhelmed team, to a team that is like a well-oiled machine, that you can do it too. The steps I’ll share with you in the e-book will help you identify that you are ready for a team and how with a few simple strategies, you can build the kind of team YOU want.

Second, because I want to inspire you with what a team can do for your lifestyle goals. Once I built a successful team, I was able to enjoy my life again. In the summer of 2006, I spent three beautiful, relaxing weeks touring the South of France and the Italian Mediterranean.

I didn’t check my voice mail, email or call the office once. My business ran just fine – and I made money while I was on vacation. I’ve done the same thing over and over. In early 2007 I was in Maui and Kona, Hawaii for two and a half weeks. I spent one of those weeks learning how to run a company like a billionaire. I heard many people I know say they couldn’t attend an event like that because there is no way they could leave their business that long!

So do you feel inspired to learn how to create your own team? Are you starting to see why so many entrepreneurs are tapping into this kind of leverage strategy? Let’s get into more possibilities.


We will be using a number of terms that you may be unfamiliar with or that have a slightly different meaning in the context of virtual teams. So, please feel free to refer to our glossary at the end of this book for clarification of any terms or ideas that are new to you.

WHAT is a Virtual Team?

A virtual team is a team of independent contractors who are integral to a team approach in creating a collaborative end result. A virtual team is made up of independent business owners who provide contracted services such as personal assistance, bookkeeping, project management or another area of expertise typically from a locale separate from the business owner.

WHO Needs a Virtual Team?

After working with thousands of entrepreneurs over the last five years, there is one thing I notice we all have in common. We have NO SHORTAGE of ideas.

But we do have a shortage of time. The fastest way to get more done is to leverage your time by outsourcing to people who are more talented in specific areas so we can focus on what we do best.

“To get to the place we really want to be financially, to make our dreams come true, we can’t do it alone.”
Jennifer Openshaw, Author, “The Millionaire Zone”

WHEN Is the Best Time to Start Building My Team?

You will know that you’re ready to start building your team when you want to start making more money, taking more time-off from your business (perhaps to travel with your family), and pursue that THING that you were so passionate about when you first quit your J.O.B. and ventured out on your own. But if you LOVE the drudgery of the day-today grind, wearing ALL the “hats” of the entrepreneur and your family (or lack-there-of) isn’t so important, then by all means, carry-on! Michael Port shared this important insight with me in a recent interview on how to know when you are ready to build a team:

“Generally I think you get to the point where your growth has levelled off and you just don’t know how you could do that much more than you are doing now and you spend the majority of your day doing tasks that don’t have to do with the future growth of your business.”
Michael Port, Interview, “Virtual Team Building Secrets”

WHERE Do I Go to Find My Team and WHERE Do They Work?

We will explore many options for finding team players later on in this book. But if they are “virtual” team players, then it doesn’t really matter WHERE they work. You may have some team members in your city or state, but they don’t have to be situated close to you. You can have team members anywhere in the country or world. Team members can live in Costa Rica and work for you, if they choose, because they are VIRTUAL.

“The use of teams has become a common way to gain competitive advantage in a global environment. The goal is to leverage intellectual capital. The methods by which an organization uses to manage (their teams)….can make the difference between success and failure.”
Deborah L. Duarte, Nancy Tennant Snyder,
Authors, “Mastering Virtual Teams”

WHY Should I Hire A Virtual Team?

The bottom line? Because you can exponentially grow your revenue, your results and make a much greater impact on the world than you can do alone. There will be many jobs you hate to do or don’t do well that if you continue to do them, you will get burned out, make mistakes and miss golden opportunities because you are focused on the WRONG THINGS in your business

It bears repeating, “you’re ready to start building your team when you are ready to start making more money, taking more time-off from your business (perhaps to travel with your family), and become passionate again about the THING you envisioned when you first quit your J.O.B. and ventured out on your own.”

“All time has value: and the way you think about time and think about yourself will affect everything that happens to you inside and outside your business for the rest of your life, in short, you have to value your time before anyone else will.”
Rich Schefren, Author, “Internet Business Manifesto”

Want to learn more? Get your copy of the multimedia ebook The Power of the Virtual Team, available at:

Author's Bio: 

Melanie Benson Strick, The Entrepreneur’s Success Coach, teaches entrepreneurs how to stop feeling overwhelmed so they can create more money and more freedom.

The Entrepreneur's Secret Weapon to Revolutionize Results and Get on the Fast Track to a Freedom Based Business.