Out of all the things I do with EcomCrew and in ecommerce in general, the one thing I get asked about the most is our Philippines office. I’m not sure if it’s because I talk about our Filipino employees so much or there are so many entrepreneurs out there who want to find high quality virtual assistants but just don’t seem to get landed with one, no matter what they do.

I definitely get the sentiment if it’s the latter. Once upon a time, I hired my first Filipino VA. But instead of freeing up my time, that hire resulted in the exact opposite–I felt like I spent so much time daily just getting him to do simple tasks and it came to the point that I can’t do what I want to do simply because I spent too much of my time with him. I eventually let him go and thought to myself that I won’t ever get a VA again.

Some time later on a plane ride back from China, I decided  to give hiring a Filipino VA another go. I’m so glad I did, because in that second attempt at hiring I found Mia.

Mia is the cornerstone of our PH office and without her, there would be no PH office. She was the one who found the rest of our Filipino employees, from virtual assistants to writers to graphic designers. She started as a virtual assistant and has morphed into a director managing 11 employees in just under two years.

I had the chance to get Mia on the podcast during our visit to the Philippines last month. She didn’t want to do it, but just like most of the challenges I threw at her, she stepped up and did her part. In this episode we highlight the changes that have happened over the course of a year, particularly the growth of our PH team from just a handful of people to 12 full-time awesome employees.

We also discuss the following in detail:

  • Why I decided to hire a VA again after my initial disappointment
  • How we found Mia
  • How I knew she could handle becoming a manager
  • What life was like during the first few months with our first hires
  • Why being very slow to hire has worked out to our advantage
  • How close our employees have become, and what Mia did that contributed to this
  • Why we prefer our employees to come to one office instead of working from home
  • What we do differently that sets us apart and makes us more attractive to high-quality employees
  • The strategies we use to reduce communication problems between two time zones
  • Our entire hiring process
  • Tips to weed out incompetent applicants

If there’s just one advice we can give you when you hire a VA, it would be this: don’t hire in a hurry. You might have so many things on your plate right now and would want nothing more than to unload as much of that as soon as possible, but hiring the wrong person would cost you so much in the long run. Be patient for the right person to come because it will be so worth it in the end.

Resources mentioned:

Amazon Launch Strategy webinar
E96: Our Philippines Team – Hiring and Maintaining a Team of Rockstar VAs

Thanks for listening! Have you ever hired a Filipino VA? What was your experience? Comment down below and get a chance to win this EcomCrew mug!

Full Audio Transcript

Mike: This is Mike, and welcome to episode number 142 of the EcomCrew Podcast. You can go to EcomCrew.com/142 to get to the show notes for this episode. And today we’re continuing our Filipino week with Mia our manager of the Philippine office. Mia has just been an unbelievable resource for us. For those of you who have listened to the podcast in the past, you know that Mia was our first hire in the Philippines.

And we now have a team of 12 people there. And bottom line it’s all because of Mia. She has found everyone there, hired them, managed them, kept them in check, done a good job with everything from training them to managing them to making sure that they’re advancing to making sure they’re a part of the company culture. I mean just the list goes on and on.

She is just amazing. She just recently won our employee of the Year award. I couldn’t be more proud to have her on our team and call her a coworker. And right after this break we’re going to get into an interview with Mia just talking about how she’s helped build that office there, and I hope you guys really enjoy it.

Mike: Hey Mia, welcome to the EcomCrew Podcast.

Mia: Hi.

Mike: We’ve been talking about doing this for a long time and you’ve been kind of hiding in the corner. And it’s the end of the trip. We’re over here in the Philippines right now as a part of a one week trip to visit the office. And I’m going to title this podcast the Philippines office one year later. It’s kind of crazy. It’s actually completely hard to believe at this point that a year ago almost the day, we came over here for the first time and it was just you, me, and Michelle.

Mia: Yeah, the three of us.

Mike: So let’s give people some more back-story. We talked about this on the podcast before, but for those who haven’t listened to the other episodes we’ll give some back-story. But basically as we continue to grow as a company, we knew that we wanted to hire some people in the Philippines. We had talked to other people that had hired people here and had really good luck with people in the Philippines.

And I tell a funny story about this because I had hired a Filipino I don’t know like maybe two years before we hired you Mia. And it didn’t really work out that well. I was kind of frustrated with him because I felt like I needed to spend more time showing him how to do something than he actually got anything done. So it got the point where unless I could put him on a task that he could do for months at a time, it was just too frustrating for me to have him to do daily tasks. And eventually, we just kind of parted ways, and like we’ll figure out something else later.

And I kind of just wrote this whole thing off for a while. And I remember almost like vividly being on an airplane back from China, and kind of having this epiphany of we really need to make this happen. And it was a combination of two things. I was watching a digital marketer presentation from a Traffic and Conversion Summit where one of the people was talking about how they have a VA for every employee.

Every employee they have in the United States, they have like a one on one VA or two or three even. So for every employee in the US office, they have two or three VAs supporting that person because it makes sense. It’s expensive to have someone in the United States and labor obviously comparatively everything is all relative is cheaper in the Philippines. So there was that, and in the fact that I also was thinking about how we’re over charging products all the time.

I was actually on a plane back from Asia and our business basically is trying to buy something cheap in China or cheaper than we can buy it for in the United States and then selling it to a customer in the United States and making money off of that, basically it’s retail arbitrage. And I was like you know what, we need to do this with labor because it’s a globalized world. We should be taking advantage of either we can do to get an edge in our business, and this is something we should do.

So when I landed in California, the next day I went to the office and I told everybody like I have a new decree, we’re going to get a VA for everybody. And at the time we had Dan and Martina were the full time employees in the office along with myself, and Michelle. And Dan found someone named Heidi who worked for us for a couple of years and did a great job for us. And Martina had found Mia. So that’s how we came across Mia.

And Mia was working for us for about a year I believe doing the amazing job to the point where we got confidence. We were just talking about this last night at dinner what made us like do it at the exact time that we did it. And for me it was finding somebody that I really had the confidence in, that I knew could actually run an office here and letting that play out.

And once that kind of that timeframe happened, I skyped Mia and said I have a proposal for you. I would love for you to become the manager of our office here. Here is kind of what it entails. I want you to draw a circle around your house. I don’t want you to have a long commute. Try to find every office place that’s viable within that 30 mile or 30 minute range and set up some interviews and we’re going to come to the Philippines and we’re going to kick this thing off. It’s going to come with this percentage raise and everything. And if you’re interested, great, we’d love to have you do it, and if not no pressure we’ll move on to plan B. And your answer was…

Mia: Yeah, what I said was yeah I love my job so much that whatever direction you think is best for the company, I’ll gladly follow. That’s briefly what I said.

Mike: And I was obviously really excited because I had I don’t know I felt like there was probably a 20% chance you’d say no. I don’t know exactly what the percentage was but I knew that you were working from home and that that was something you perceived to be a benefit, and I didn’t want to take that away from you. I mean the job would have still been there had we went another direction. But it would have taken another year because I would have had to find someone else to be here, or wherever they would have been.

We would have picked anywhere in the Philippines. It just happened to be a year in Cebu and this is where we set up our base. But I was certainly really happy that you said yes. And then yeah, a year ago we got here and I think we toured five office spaces, is that about right?

Mia: Yeah.

Mike: They were not viable options. So we went out and looked at five different offices, and we had — you have to help me remember, I forget how many interviews we had. I think maybe five as well.

Mia: Maybe five or six.

Mike: Five or six okay. And we had I think three different positions open. We were looking to kind of build the initial staff of one general VA, one graphic designer and one content writer is that right?

Mia: Yeah that’s right.

Mike: So that was kind of like what I thought we could build like this initial team with. And the whole idea was to make sure that we were hiring the highest quality people possible. We kind of sat down and talked about what it was that we were looking for. And I thought that it was important for me to be here to help with the initial sort of interview so you can kind of see that process that we go through to hire our employees in California as well that you could help because I knew that was something new for you.

Mia: Yeah.

Mike: So the five or six people that came in, we hired two, is that right?

Mia: Yeah that’s right.

Mike: Two of the five or six. So we basically started off on day one with three people is what it kind of came down to. When we opened up the office here we had three people within a couple of weeks of Michelle and I coming here the first time. And now a year later we have 12 which is his crazy to think about how that’s progressed. So I want to kind of just go through the timeline of all that because again the reason I wanted to have you on the podcast today, to not only thank you for the amazing job that you do, but I get asked questions about this all the time.

It might be the thing I get asked the most about. It’s kind of crazy of all the things you would think people would ask, you would think that it would be something else besides the team in the Philippines. But maybe it’s because I’m talking about you guys all the time. I think it’s a part of like every podcast where it was like — and the progression here has been just amazing. I think back at the last year and how things have progressed, the types of tasks that are happening on a daily basis and the things that I’m most impressed with are the things that we don’t ask to be done, they just get done.

And it’s like a bunch of little stuff. But all the time like back in California, I’m talking to the team there about like you won’t believe what the Philippines office did this time completely unprompted and it’s really, really cool. So we’ll get into some of that, but let’s kind of dig in to how you initially kind of trained the team. You had this initial team of the three of you. What was life like the first month over here as they started?

Mia: Well I think a little bit about this last night at dinner, and I told you like the first few months would never be a struggle. I was still in VA mode because there was just me and Laura, the other VA answering the emails, and there were still a lot of e-mails coming in. So I was still not like manager mode, I was still VA mode. So there definitely was a transition, but yeah for the customer service side because we didn’t get our employees like not all of them at the same time, it was one by one.

So I got more one on one time with them. I got to train them on customer service and just them how I did it when I was answering the e-mails or answering the messages in social media. For the writer position, I actually had experience being a writer for three years. So I just took my experience. And for Diana, she’s an amazing writer but her experience in writing was more on by contributing to online magazines or to like newspaper articles, stuff like that.

So it wasn’t like every day that she would sit for eight hours and have to churn out like two articles. So that’s what I have experience on. So I just shared with her basically my experience on that. And for the graphic designer, since it’s more of the same like the writer is a creative role, so I just gave them like a little bit of freedom really on how they do their thing. So I’m not too — I’m a bit lenient with them compared to the other guys in the team because I know that creatives search things differently. You can’t force them to like you have to sit in front of your computer and produce this. They have to have some type of freedom to be able to give all their best product or the best output, so yeah.

Mike: And some days you’re more creative than others so then obviously that’s a part of it as well. So yeah I mean I guess the next person we did hire would have been a graphic designer. So we kind of filled the team up with the initial roles that we wanted. And I think that we waited a couple of months before we started making the next hires just to kind of — and that’s been kind of the thing the whole way. It’s been hiring in phases or sometimes it’s easier to find people than not.

But I think I’m curious what your assessment is on this. But for me I feel like part of the reason we’ve been so successful here, probably the number one reason is that we’ve been very slow to hire. It’s very critical, we’ve said no to way more people than we’ve said yes to. And it’s frustrating obviously because like you spend a lot of time interviewing and then you get some to the very end, we’re are like no, no, no. But most of the people you bring us we do end up hiring.

I know that behind the scenes there’s a lot of candidates that just don’t make the cut. But what’s kind of materialized here is this team of 12 people now that the best way that I can explain it is that they’re all like siblings. I mean it’s crazy how bonded everyone is here and how well they work and gel together. And I think that hiring process has been a big part of that.

Mia: I think one thing that also underneath to that is you offer like a one free lunch in their first week of working with Terran. And that you said it’s a tradition that you had in this [inaudible 00:13:53] in Escondido that you wanted us to do that too. At first it was like, oh free food. That was just all that I thought about, but I though it’s also really important because I took them to lunch. I was the one who paid for their lunch here, but for these lunch outs we had time to talk to each other aside from just the basic tasks that I was going to assign to them.

So I think this was also important in building that bond and this was their first week. So in their first week some new employees they don’t talk that much in the office, but because of that one week that I get to spend time with them, so that really was a chance to build that bond. So I think that was really important too.

Mike: Yeah, I mean I think that for whatever reason people don’t think about treating others like they like to be treated enough in life in general. And if you think back to – if you listen to this podcast, you think back to last time you started a new job, the first day, the first week is uncomfortable. It’s not probably as uncomfortable as the first day of high school, but it’s something akin to that where you’re going into a new environment where you don’t know anybody.

You’re worried about who are you going to have lunch with and who are you going to talk to at the water cooler and where — there’s even where do you even go for lunch. I mean if it’s a new area because lunches are very localized things, so like where is the good food even at. All these different little idiosyncrasies that you just don’t think of that you take for granted. And to me this is all a part of again treating people like I’d like to be treated. So I’m only ever had to start one job.

It was a company that – actually I guess it was two now I think about two. Both companies were companies that I had already been going to because I was a consultant. Both of them hired me but I can still remember the day that I started officially there was different than when I was there as a consultant even though I had spent a lot of time there as a consultant. And it just — it’s that weird awkward feeling that you have even if you’re a confident person like I am and I don’t really need to worry as much about it, even still it’s nice to have someone to like go hang out with at lunchtime.

And like you said, it kind of helps build the bond, you get to know them more because when you’re at lunch you’ll end up talking about if they’re married or not, if they have kids and what they like to do on the weekends and stuff like that, which is important because like…

Mia: You get to know them.

Mike: Yeah you get to really actually know who they are and treat them like a person not just an employee. And yeah I think that that’s definitely been a really good tradition that we’ve done for a long time now through other companies as well. And it’s obviously helped pay off here too. So yeah I mean like I said, everybody here it’s like family. But the other method of the madness [ph] I think that’s worked out really well where I think people miss on this in the Philippines in general because it’s — the whole idea is you have this remote staff.

And they can work from anywhere and you can work from anywhere and there’s like this whole 4 Hour Work Week thing and location independence that people get into. And that’s all fine and dandy, everybody works in a different way. But the thing that I’ve noticed consistently over 15 years of running businesses that the best teams that we’ve had have been centralized.

So having all the Filipino staff in one office I think is another method to the madness that has really started to pay off, because now the graphic designer can go talk to the content person, and they can talk to the support person and they can kind of just collaborate with each other because they’re all in one office. It also allows us as the CEO to be able to come to the Philippines and see everybody in one spot at one time rather than having like Island hopper trying to find 12 different people if we were trying to do that.

And I’m big on relationships and people, so I knew that that was another thing. And I think now looking back especially the last like three to six months, I feel like having everybody in one place has also really made a big difference.

Mia: Yeah and I don’t know, Filipino culture also, we’re very big on like camaraderie. And the biggest factor that a lot of Filipino employees consider if they want to leave a place is their coworkers. That’s what I’ve heard a lot. So if they don’t get along with their coworkers, even if they get high pay, if the office is really like cool office place, but if they don’t go along with their coworkers, then most often they leave. And so that’s the one thing that I’ve tried, consciously actually to develop here in the team.

I want them to feel really at home like we’re a really big family and not like strangers to each other. So that’s that the type of culture that I’ve been consciously trying to develop here in the team in the Philippines.

Mike: Yeah and I think that’s great Mia. I think that’s something hopefully that we at least it may have been subconsciously. I hope consciously we talked about at some point as well because I think that that’s important for me as well. And I’m glad to hear that that’s something that’s on the top of your mind. And it’s good to know that that makes a difference because that’s also important to me.

Let’s talk about some other things that I think that maybe helped make a difference here. Maybe it isn’t as impactful as I might think, but I’m just curious from your point of view. I mean one of the other things that I was just really adamant about and conscious of as we were making the team here is to treat people the way that a company here would treat people.

So it’s not — I think things that people get in trouble with is in your jurisdiction or wherever you live there is customs and ways of doing business whatever that might be and you just expect that’s the way it is in the rest of the world. But there’s so many intricacies in the Philippines that don’t happen in the United States like we don’t get All saints’ Day off. What’s some of the other – Saint Pedro’s Day or I don’t know what the heck some of the holidays you have. But I’m like who the heck is that guy. And we get three — we’re going to be off for three days because some dude colonized here 300 years ago and he’s no longer even – and it’s not even the same people here anymore but we still celebrate it whatever.

I mean the thing is that I think that probably equally as ridiculous for you is like the 4th of July or something where it’s just like why would you have a 4th of July off, it doesn’t mean anything. So that’s one thing that we really wanted to instill when we hire people here that it would be – you’d be treated as if you were working for a local Filipino company and not have to worry about like American holidays because they don’t mean anything here for your travel or your kid’s plans or whatever it might be.

That’s one thing and then another thing is the 13th month pay. This is something that is a completely foreign concept in the United States. I’m sure that our employees back in the United States right now if they’re listening to this would love to get a 13th month pay in December but this is…

Mia: Some even get a 14th month pay.

Mike: Really?

Mia: Some companies do that.

Mike: Mia is making up a new thing to try to convince me that. And it’s like, oh let’s do a 14th month. But certainly a 13th month which we do, do is again a completely foreign concept in the United States. You would maybe give a holiday bonus, but it’s certainly not an entire month pay. It might be 10% or 5% or something of what someone’s salary might be, maybe something really generous like 15%, that’s really about it. So that’s something that we strive to do here.

Also I think another big thing is working Filipino hours. I mean who the heck wants to work from 10:00 PM until 6:00 AM or something on a night shift. And was it your husband who works a night shift?

Mia: Yeah and he needs his job.

Mike: And he needs his job. So I mean we want people to be coming in here and liking their job. I mean it’s something else that it’s one of our core values as a company. We want to put people first and maybe some of it is self-serving. I think obviously some of it is if you have happy employees they’ll do a good or a better job for you. But you can achieve the same thing two different ways.

You can be someone that treats people completely awfully, pay them poorly, extract every little bit out of them because it’s been proven to work. You can squeeze people and just treat them like awful because people need a job and they’ll come do it and they’ll do the best that they can because they need a job. Or you can get the same result by treating people like human beings and making sure that they enjoy what they’re doing, and they’re doing it because they want to not because they have to. And that’s more the way that we try to operate our company. Hopefully that makes a big difference here.

Mia: Yeah it definitely does because especially here in the Philippines where it’s like a major BPO country where there’s a lot of call centers, and that’s what they’re not doing. Most of the employees need to work the night shift.

Mike: Yeah it’s the only option.

Mia: Yeah, that’s the only option and they don’t get the Philippine holidays off, and they get the American holidays off. Yeah imagine we got…

Mike: I mean it’s not the 4th of July, Memorial Day etc.

Mia: Yeah so it really is a big difference. And we do get a lot of applicants who are attracted to the time schedule that we operate in and they’re surprised, some of them are surprised when they find out, oh it’s an American company but you work the day shift. So then I explain to them the reason behind it, and then yeah it’s definitely a big factor. And also during the night shift, it’s just different like you’re sleeping during the day and awake during the night, you’re not as productive.

Mike: Yeah, it’s against human nature or biology, I mean you’re not made to do that.

Mia: For some people it works for them.

Mike: But they often are depressed or have other issues. There’s actually been a lot of studies about this.

Mia: A lot of health issues.

Mike: Yeah, a lot of health issues and other problems. And there’s actually medicine that people start taking because like they were not sleeping properly and all those other like crazy stuff. And yeah I mean that’s something that we want to try to avoid. I mean yeah it’s easy to so think how beautiful it would be to have everyone here from whatever the hours would end up being 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM is the one I just threw out.

But whatever it would match up to be like nine to five in the United States would be awesome, because like there’s lots of times throughout the day where I feel like, man, I would love to Mia that question right now, but she’s sleeping. And it would be great if she was working or anybody else on the team. But we’ve gotten disciplined about this.

We know that they’re going to be in and we have an overlap which is one thing I want talk about real quick of one hour or two hours per day depending on — unfortunately the Philippines does not do daylight savings time, or you can look at the other way which would be unfortunately the United States does do daylight savings time because that’s an old dumb practice at this point. There’s actually some states and United States that don’t do it because it is kind of ridiculous.

But in any rate, it does favor this awkward situation where for half the year we have two hours overlap per day, and then the other half of the year it’s one hour overlap per day. But it’s really enough to do what we need to get done. I mean you just save up your questions for that hour, or you put them in Basecamp. We’ve gotten a lot better at putting everything in Basecamp and communicating that way using Skype or doing screen shares when need be to communicate something during the overlap.

And everyone here is responsible and knows which questions to ask, and generally like will get the task done within the due date, and it doesn’t matter that they’re doing it what will be two o’clock in our morning. We wake up and it’s just ready in there when we get to work the next day.

Mia: And also another thing that I’ve been telling them is that not to like bombard the Escondido office with a lot of e-mails especially for the VAs where there are some customer service related questions or shipping related questions that we might send to someone in the Escondido office. So what I tell them is save the email until the end of your shift so that in that way for example Brad in Escondido office when he comes in, in the morning, he doesn’t get like ten emails from the same person because that might happen.

One VA for sample asks a question about this issue and then she answers another email and she asks a question about another issue. So I ask them to save it all until the end of the shift and just send them just one email out.

Mike: Yeah it makes a lot of sense definitely. So we only have a couple of minutes left. This went by a lot faster than I thought it would. It was probably easier for you than you thought, right?

Mia: Yeah.

Mike: It wasn’t that crazy.

Mia: Not bad.

Mike: But maybe like if we can give another couple of tips or something for people that are looking to build a team over here. What are some other things we haven’t talked about that people should know? Now I’ve put you on the spot.

Mia: Yeah.

Mike: Let me ask this because I had a couple of questions I was going to ask anyway. So I have backup questions for you, I’m always prepared. What is the hiring process, how do you go through, what is the filtering process to find the perfect VA — it’s not just the VA but the perfect employee here? We hire people that are way more than just VAs, but we’ve talked about onlinejobs.ph on the podcast before.

The question I get asked all the time is I put a job posting up on onlinejobs.ph and I’m finding nothing but crap, and then like they just kind of give up. And I know it’s tedious, but like explain in your own words what that process is like and how you ultimately find the winner.

Mia: So when we post the job ad on Onlinejobs, what we do is there’s a keyword that they’re supposed to put in the subject of their e-mail when they e-mail their application to us. So that should be anywhere [inaudible 00:28:15] not in the first paragraph, because everybody reads the first paragraph but not all applicants read through the entire job ad.

So what a lot of them do is they just read the title of the job ad and then the first paragraph, and then they send in their application which is a general application for a lot of companies that they’re going to be applying to. So what I do is I insert somewhere in the job ad. I put in please put in this keyword. It’s funny I’m trying to remember the keywords that I’m asking them to write. One time I asked them to put in lemonade in the subject and then orange, just something that’s not related to the…

Mike: Prove to me that you read this job posting, that you’re not just spamming me with your resume.

Mia: So that’s the first, so any application that doesn’t have that keyword, I’m not going to waste my time reading that because it just means that person didn’t read through the entire job ad.

Mike: So I’m just curious how many resumes do you get? You put a job on onlinejobs.ph for let’s just say a VA, how many resumes do you get?

Mia: It depends. It’s not consistent but — and here’s the thing, when you first post the job ad on onlinejobs.ph, it gets a lot of exposure. And then we get a lot of applications after like a day or two after that. And then three to five days after that we receive lesser and lesser applications. So what I do is I edit just one word just so it would appear again.

Mike: Got you. But just pick like I mean in general like is it 100, is it 1,000, I’m just kind of curious like how many total come in.

Mia: I can’t keep count though but maybe a day like 15 maybe.

Mike: So over the course of a couple of weeks you’re getting maybe 300 total applicants.

Mia: Maybe.

Mia: Or 200 or something like that maybe?

Mia: That’s a high number, that’s like maybe the most that we get.

Mike: Got you and then I’m curious like how many people of that 150, 200, 300, what percentage of them are actually lemonade or orange people?

Mia: Only a small percentage, like 10% maybe are putting that keyword in the subject.

Mike: got you. Okay so you get 10% of people, so let’s say we’re now down to 15 or 20 people at that point. What do you do with those people at that point, what’s the process from there to get them ultimately hired?

Mia: So the next step will be to read their application letter. And if there are any grammar errors then…

Mike: Right out of the door.

Mia: Yeah.

Mike: So how many, I’m curious again? Now we’re down, we had 20 people let’s say that are lemonade or orange people, how many of those people have a typo?

Mia: Half or more than more than half.

Mike: More than half, so now you’re down to eight or seven, or six people before you’ve even done any – you haven’t even talked to them, you’re just down and like not many people left.

Mia: Yeah, so the next step would then be to look at their resume, if they have like good enough experience for the position.

Mike: And so I mean so that now will probably cut them in half again?

Mia: Yeah.

Mike: So you’re down to — basically what it is, what I’m hearing at the end of the day is that you might get one or two people that are worth getting on the phone and interviewing, and you probably, the reality is that you’re having to repost the job ad multiple times before you even find one person is really what it comes down to. And it’s just a pretty laborious and being on haystack process?

Mia: It is. At first it was really a struggle because I want to hire someone and then all the applications that I’m getting are these just like crap applications, they are not any good. And the good ones that — some of those that look good on paper, when I interview them they’re also not that good, so I’m like disappointed, I’ve invested in this person, I’ve been rooting for him, oh this is the one and then it’s not. But yeah it’s definitely hard and consuming but it has worked to our advantage because we’ve never lowered our standards. That’s why we only have the best in our team.

Mike: Yeah, I think that that makes sense. And it’s a similar process to what we do in California when we hire. And I’d rather not hire someone at all than have to deal with it later because it’s actually — what ends up happening, what I’ve learned over time is that it’s more complicated and harder on the team etcetera if we have to let them go later because you made a bad hire. So it’s better just to wait it out and wait for the right person to come through the door and get the perfect person.

Mia: Yeah.

Mike: Cool. Well, I could talk to you for another half an hour about all this, but first off you probably want to go take a deep breath because I know you hate doing this. But also we try to keep the podcast to about 30 minutes. So Mia again thank you for everything that you’ve done here to help build the team. It is, again it’s crazy to think that a year ago pretty much to the day we had nobody here, and now we have 12. And what these 12 people contribute to our team is incredible.

I mean there’s more people here than there are back in California. So I mean it would be literally impossible to think about what our company would be like if we didn’t have those people. So thank you again so much, and I look forward to doing this again in six to 12 months and doing an update.

Mia: Doing it again?

Mike: Doing it again, yeah we can do an update.

Mia: Okay.

Mike: Awesome thank you Mia.

Mia: Okay thanks Mike.

Mike: Bye.