Ever find yourself screaming out, “I need an assistant!” You start your day and are faced with about 200 emails, three different meetings by noon, travel arrangements to be made by 3 and personal errands to be done by 4. You feel so overwhelmed that you’ll probably never get any of your tasks done unless you were cloned. Well before you become frazzled and distressed, take a look at this inventively aiding business.
At 29, entrepreneur Pam Sherman has derived a business that serves to assist anyone that needs a hand anytime. Born and raised in Chicago, IL, Pam Ann Sherman credits her own experiences and hectic schedule to tremendously assisting in the launch of her company. “… working long hours and worrying about finding the time to run my errands inspired the idea. I realized I was not alone and a lot of people like myself would be interested in a resource to help them get from Monday to Friday. I just had to create it!” Subsequently, Chicago Anytime Assistants provides flexible assistant service to the ever so busy Chicagoan. Currently working with a staff of about four (three assistants and one professional organizer/bookkeeper), CAA is constantly receiving clients and is always available to lend a helping hand. “I hire my staff based on their unique qualifications and strengths. I purposefully staff varying skill sets so that I am prepared for anything and everything a client may need and can match the right assistant to each client,” says Sherman. Whether it’s full service grocery shopping, reservation/appointment setting, car service or repair drop-off/pick-up, or typing memos/ letters, Pam and her staff will tackle it and get it done. As the economy has tightened a bit, Pam says she has given a more practical approach to how she conducts business. “Instead of drawing people in with the temptation of having more free time to relax and enjoy themselves, my clients are looking for ways to maximize their time spent on work, and outsourcing menial tasks is a smart way to do that. Now more than ever, people really understand that time is their most valuable commodity and they want to be savvy about how they use it. So my positioning has changed from luxury to necessity.”
Though currently only sourced in Chicago, Pam has aspirations of possibly franchising CAA to one day serve people in many other areas. When asked what the disadvantages and advantages of going into business for yourself she concedes,” There are a lot of small changes that had more of an impact on me than I expected. No more team lunches, office camaraderie, and free office supplies! All of the sudden there is no payday—there’s no direct deposit paycheck! That can be scary but it is very motivating and exciting when you start making it happen for yourself. The value of owning your own schedule and being directly responsible for your own success (and failure) is a thrilling feeling that I wouldn’t want to trade!” As a final thought, Pam left me with these encouraging and thought provoking words, “Nurture your dream and don’t let anyone talk you out of it. I received criticism on my idea from its inception and I still do, which is okay. People can be very critical, and it’s usually not because they think you have a bad idea. Sometimes they deflect their own frustrations for not chasing their own dreams.”
If you’re in the Chicago area and need an assistant or just want to reach out to Pam Sherman drop her a line at Pam@chicagoanytimeassistants.com or click here to access Chicago Anytime Assistants.