The goal of Hardly Hustle is to provide inspiration, drive and motivation in a 10 minute read or less. What you see is what you get. This is hot off the press without an editing team.
Paige McPheely is up.
Who are you and what do you do?
Shortly before my first child was born, I started a remote Executive Assistant agency, 33Vincent, with a dear friend who was also a new mom. Our backgrounds were in sales and advertising but we were determined to find a better way to build our careers while being present with our children. Nearly 7 years and 6 children later between the two of us, 33Vincent has continued to be such an important part of my life. About 2 years ago, I formally stepped away from that business as Co-CEO to focus on building Base, which had been brewing as an idea of ours for quite some time.
Years of experience with executive assistants outlined common pain points and needs in their workflow; EAs lacked software of their own, a strong community, and a trusted source for training and resources. With a genuine desire to serve the executive assistant community, Paige turned her attention to creating a solution: Base. With its release in 2019, Base aims to improve workflows for EAs and uplift them along the way.
What did it take / how did you get started?
Assistants can be one of the most impactful hires within an organization because she/he provides leverage. However, executives rarely feel equipped to help their assistants succeed the way they do with their other direct reports. This has negative consequences for all involved.
But after years of trying to solve this through coaching, we knew there was a more effective way to impact this industry – technology. Before Base, executives were left to figure out on their own how to hire, train, and manage their assistants, and assistants were spending too much of their valuable time dealing with inadequate technology, manual processes, and communication inefficiencies.
What does the future look like for you and your hustle?
We’re just getting started here at Base. Over the past year or so, we were able to build the core foundation of our software and community. Looking ahead, we’re focusing on making Base even more impactful for our current and future users while we also work to change the conversation about what it means to be an assistant and to work with one. We believe our work is not done until we see assistants widely celebrated throughout all types of organizations. Until we see high performers everywhere, in all lines of work, receive at least some access to the support of an assistant. It’s a long road ahead, but this is why we exist.
What drives / motivates you?
We believe through technology and thought leadership, we can redefine what it means to be an assistant and receive the support of one – and that high performers everywhere should and will have at least some access to an assistant. Elevating assistants and their executives drives me.
I often say I’m a reluctant entrepreneur. I do this work because I fundamentally believe we are solving a real need, not because I always knew I wanted to build a company. But, I went into this latest venture with eyes wide open and was fully aware of the cost of entrepreneurship. Thankfully, I’ve got a tremendous partner and support network at my side.
What advice would you give someone interested in doing what you do?
Get extra clear on your top 2-3 priorities for your role and focus on them always. If something you’re doing doesn’t clearly fit within the bounds of those priorities, find a way to stop doing it. I’m a huge fan of delegation and assistants (obviously!), but I also believe that most of us can easily get pulled into reactive tasks and projects by the sheer momentum in our roles. Sometimes all it takes is saying a gentle “no” to something to get you one step closer to your priorities.
What has been the hardest part of the hustle?
I continue to get a fair amount of raised eyebrows when people hear of my current life setup - 2 startups in the last 5 years, 2 cross-country moves, 3 kids in the 3 years, and a serial entrepreneur for a husband. There are any number of reasons I should not have started Base, the biggest of them being risks to my family life and personal health. Another one being the fact that venture-backed tech is typically a white man’s game. But more than anything else, I really felt software for assistants needs to exist.
It’s been harder than I ever thought, but certainly not impossible. Ask me again in 5 years :)
What are a few resources that you'd recommend?
The Messy Middle by Scott Belsky and The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker are two of my current favorite books.
Side or full-time hustle?
List the founders
How many hours a week do you work on this hustle?
# of Employees?
11 FT, 3 PT
When did you start?
How much did it cost to launch?
N/A We launched out of a Startup Studio, High Alpha
What were your funding methods and ballpark amount raised?
We raised our seed round last fall, $2.6M
Any call to action?
If you consider yourself a high performer, you should have at least some access to an assistant. It's easier than ever before with remote assistant agencies and a new free offering of Base!