How to delegate your to do list

There’s no shortage of ambitious business owners that feel they have too much to do, in too little time. Or, like most of our clients – just want to focus on key activities, with more efficiency, in order to fulfil their own potential and business goals.

As Passionate PAs, we offer a tailored freelance PA service to suit the needs of each ambitious business owner or entrepreneur we work with. To us, your industry, target market, business structure and growth model are important, but what we really want to know, in detail, is how can we help you?

When potential clients are asked this question, there are a ream of responses;

“Ah, I’ve got this one niggling task, let’s do that first!”


“I hate doing X, can you take that away?”


“Tell me what you can help with, we’ll start there?”


“Here’s my to do list – crack on!”

All are valid responses that we, as freelance PAs, will happily work with. However, at the beginning, we encourage all of our client to assess their working patterns, task lists and priorities to understand where we can add real value, remove stress and anxiety, increase efficiency and profitability – and also inject a little fun! Who doesn’t want more fun in their work life?

So, at our first discovery meeting, we’ll always ask new clients if they have the time to do this exercise. It usually takes about 40 mins (but depends hugely on the size of the to do list and the new client’s propensity to go off on a tangent 🤪).

The result of this activity usually brings about a clear set of tasks and responsibilities that can be handed over to their new Passionate PA.


Request your free Delegation Tool today to help you take control of your to do list. 

Meet The Team

Each of our Passionate PAs has an extensive skill set and varied business background. We are all business owners and come together as #TeamPassionatePA with a shared ethos; to make a difference to our clients’ lives through our unwavering motivation, striking efficiency and remarkable ability to simply ‘make things happen’.

Meet the Passionate PAs


Further blogs from The Passionate PA: 

Starting all over again – Jenni’s Story

Jenni is our Passionate PA based in Dorchester. She joined us in January 2018 and after a rollercoaster 5 years of personal and professional development, is delighted to share she will be a Passionate PA for a further 5 years!

This is Jenni’s very personal story of finding “a constant” during a tremendously turbulent period in her personal life, and why the decision to remain with #TeamPassionatePA was actually pretty simple.

Our franchisor, Kate Chastey, said “I have watched Jenni blossom as a Passionate PA over the last 5 years. She has found herself again, and strength I don’t think either of us knew she had at the beginning. Jenni is a wonderful woman and an incredibly Passionate PA, I’m beyond delighted she has renewed her Franchise Agreement. She is an asset to her clients – and she’s an asset to us!”

Starting all over again – Jenni’s Story

Around 6 years ago, my life reached a point where I knew things had to change. Having once had a thriving career, like many women, I had put “professional me” on hold to bring up my children. But in 2017 my children were 15 and 12 and growing up fast! I was needed by them less and less and my part-time job as a Facilities Co-ordinator for a well-known chain of travel agents was giving me little to no job satisfaction. My marriage was stalling too, and I was heading into my 40s feeling like my life was in freefall.


But what could I do? 

Even though my children were growing up, my daughter was a national level competitive swimmer, so I had the responsibility of 4.30am starts and late evenings by the pool as well as competitions at weekends all over the country. I knew that a full-time employed role would be unsustainable, especially if it involved a commute.

I threw myself into my volunteer role as the Club Secretary for my daughter’s large swimming club and this gave me the satisfaction that I craved – but for no pay! By using the skills I had garnered over 20 years of my professional career, I was able to work with a small team to turn an ailing swimming club into a profitable organisation and we guided the club through many many challenges – I needed to use every ounce of energy and passion I had to keep the club going. And whilst I loved the challenge that this role gave me, I knew I needed to throw that passion and ambition into a paid role!


And then the lightbulb moment…

Whilst pondering this conundrum over a coffee with my friend and successful business owner, Ally Case, Ally pointed me in the direction of The Passionate PA. Ally tagged me in a post seeking a Bournemouth franchisee and I immediately reached out to Kate. We hit it off immediately. I knew this was it – the ability to build my own business but work the hours I needed to on a freelance basis, working around my family, and at first, still maintaining my volunteer role.

Getting off the ground wasn’t easy, and Kate and I faced many barriers, but finally, in January 2018, I got there. I signed the Franchise Contract and I was officially a Passionate PA franchisee!

I’ll be really honest, at first I struggled with the commitment required to maintain the standards of the franchise, but I then learnt that this only serves to ensure I am the best version of myself and delivering my best work – achieving the success I so desired. Franchising is the ultimate way of working in my opinion – the choice to work when you want, with whom you want and create a lifestyle business, but at the same time the backing and support of a ‘Head Office’ structure.


Where am I now?

That was 5 years ago, and I can honestly say, I haven’t looked back. It has NOT been easy, I can promise you that. In the 5 years since becoming a Passionate PA, I have faced the toughest of personal circumstances; my marriage eventually broke, we faced a global pandemic, I moved house and became a single Mum. I look back and wonder how I ever got through.

But The Passionate PA has been a constant. I love working with my loyal clients. The role I take on for ambitious leaders is very rewarding and I’m entirely in control of my earnings.

When the time came to renew my contract as a franchisee or move onto pastures new, there was no questions. As I enter my next 5 year chapter as a Passionate PA, life couldn’t be better. I feel like I have all my confidence back – I’m just a wiser, more mature version of the ambitious girl I once was.

I am now in a wonderful relationship with a supportive partner, I have moved 25 miles away to a new town and built a whole new life with our blended families. I also have the client set of dreams. I earn an excellent income and have the ability to push that further when my (now 3!) children fly the nest.

I love my work and now throw all my energy and passion into life as a business owner. I have the backing of an amazing and incredible team of Passionate PAs and we are sharing the journey with all of its ups and downs. Each of us treading a unique path, but do you know what… I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else, with anyone else!

You can find out more about Jenni by clicking here!



Further blogs from The Passionate PA: 

The 7 most common mistakes when outsourcing

Kate Chastey is the Franchisor of The Passionate PA and after nearly 15 years in business, it’s fair to say she is an incredibly experienced freelancer in her own right. She has worked with hundreds of ambitious business owners on an outsourced basis, and she now mentors each of our Passionate PAs to help them build successful and rewarding client relationships too.

A huge part of Kate’s work is talking to potential clients. It’s a pleasure to meet such a variety of business owners and whether they have already harnessed the power of freelancers in the UK, or whether they are brand new to the idea and don’t know where to start, there are common pitfalls for all.

There are many benefits to outsourcing; fresh talent, highly sought-after skills, commercial experience and new perspectives are just a few. But, these are not always obvious if the business owner is not prepared.

So, today Kate shares the 7 most common mistakes she sees when a business owner begins to outsource, and gives a little advice on how to avoid them!


7 The 7 most common outsourcing mistakes

1: “I want someone to save me time!”

This is the biggest, most common mistake. Time is so precious and there is so much talk of ‘saving it’ on social media and from self-proclaimed productivity gurus. But here’s a newsflash – nobody can save you time. What they can do is help you change how you spend it. This happens by helping you understanding what ONLY YOU can do in your business and then helping you delegate all other tasks and functions – whilst keeping a keen eye on profitability.

2: “I just need a bit of admin done!”

‘Just’ is a dangerous word as this undervalues the tasks and responsibilities in your business. If it needs doing, it’s important. If this is a phrase you’ve caught yourself saying, perhaps it’s time to really review what you mean by ‘admin’ and if repetitive tasks need outsourcing, investigate the zillions of automations and process streamlining tools available. Simple admin is not something to be outsourced to skilled professionals like Passionate PAs. 

3: Poor Scoping and Briefing

Taking the time to scope your outsourcing requirements fully will ensure the whole process is more successful. Good briefing is about clarity, collaboration and knowledge sharing so be prepared for questions from your freelancer as this is how they determine value in both sides of the partnership. 

4: Poor Research

Once you have scoped your requirements fully, find the best person for the job rather than simply someone with availability and a willingness to learn. Ask the powerful questions every freelancers should have the answers to – see this great blog for ideas!

5: Confusing Price with Value

As the saying goes, price is what you pay, value is what you get. Focus on what you will receive from your outsourcing partnership and be really clear from the outset what success looks and feels like to you before saying £35, £45 or even £50 per hour is simply too expensive. If a skilled freelancers can improve the momentum and results in your business, in just a few hours a week, surely that’s worth every penny? 

6: Understanding it’s business!

Most successful freelancers are running business selling their skills and knowledge. It’s not a side hustle or something to earn a bit of extra cash – it’s business. This means clients will be expected to make a commitment, adhere to T&Cs and behave in a professional manner at all times. Oh we’ve got some stories of clients who just didn’t get this – adding us to their family WhatsApp groups, asking us to do inappropriate work (stop it!), or simply not respecting our time and remit. 

7: Understanding the power of a partnership!

This is key to outsourcing being the best decision you’ll ever make. Your professional, well chosen freelancers can and should become invaluable partners to you and your business – with a partnership mindset, truly exceptional things happen.


Want to find out how we do things at the Passionate PA? Meet the team here or book a call with Kate to start scoping what you need and who from by clicking here

Further blogs from The Passionate PA: 

How to find the right business support for you

Freelancers, or business support professionals, can be the solution to many modern business problems. There is no shortage of skills and experience available to businesses large and small, through the army of freelancers available in the UK and further afield.

However, a question we hear so often is “how do I find the right business support for me?”

The blog below has been created to give you an insight into finding the right solution for your needs. However, if you’d prefer to listen to a podcast, our director Kate Chastey was recently interviewed by Karen Murray and they discussed all of the below, and more!


Or to Spotify to listen there


Ok, on to the blog…

First things first

As the business owner, you need to determine what ‘right’ looks like to you.

What problem do you need to solve?
Be clear on the challenge you are facing and your desired solution. Is this challenge the result of an immediate or ongoing resource shortage? What skills and expertise are required?

How do you want your freelancer to work/deliver services?
Are you needing to physically meet with your freelancer or will briefing/communication all be done via technology? If you are looking for a long-term business relationship, consider how you want this to take shape.

When do you need work completed?
What are your timescales/deadlines and what working routines are you hoping for?

Who is the person you are looking for?
Or, more to the point, what characteristics and personality traits matter to you?

Why is a freelancer the best option?
Are you looking for flexibility or a skill you don’t have in your team?

With all that clear in your mind, finish this sentence; the perfect scenario is…

Check this is realistic by discussing it with trusted business colleagues or a seasoned freelancer (we are always happy to talk 😊).


Then comes the research

The next step is to start looking for the freelancer you need. The best places to do this are:

  • Your personal business network – ask for recommendations and referrals from people that know you best
  • Social media (particularly LinkedIn if you are keen to find a professional)
  • Internet search using key words (skills and location)
  • Then there are, of course, some big listing websites that will introduce clients to freelancers. These have their plusses and their minuses – but that’s probably a different blog altogether!

7 brilliant questions to ask your potential freelancer

So, after you have made it clear what you’re looking for – preferably by email so the potential freelancer has time to digest and you both save 15 mins on the next step… a Zoom call – then, it’s time to really get to know each other.

Here are 7 questions, with talking points, that will sort the wheat from the chaff. Remember, the beautiful, valuable, amazing thing about freelancers is that each one is unique. It’s hard to find the perfect fit but, once you do, that’ll be partnership power like you’ve never known before.

1. Tell me about your background and your skills and experience as a freelancer

  • Ask how long they have been freelancing – just starting out or seasoned pro
  • Discuss why they choose to freelance
  • Talk about what skills and experience they have to share

2. How could you add tangible value to my business?

  • Discuss what they know that you don’t
  • Ask what efficiencies they could introduce
  • Talk about the software/tools they are confident with
  • Ask whether they are an ideas person or a completion expert – or both!
  • Really delve into whether they understand your target market and sector

3. What does a successful working relationship look like to you?

  • Investigate what kind of personalities they like working with
  • Ask for clarity on what they need from you to get started, and then what they need from you to achieve the results you have set out
  • Discuss what sort of work/responsibilities you can outsource to them, further than the initial brief
  • Also clarify whether they will be doing all the work themselves or if they outsource/have employees

4. How would we communicate during our project/work/relationship?

  • Ask what their preferred communication channel is
  • Talk about how they manage workflow and deadlines
  • Understand their boundaries – when are they contactable (business hours/working days etc)
  • Discuss whether they work virtually or are they happy to meet in person

5. Tell me about your clients…

  • Who is their favourite client right now and why?
  • Talk about who their ideal client is, and is that you
  • Ask for the back story on a testimonial you have found – talk about tangible value and timescales
  • Discuss how they monitor results and client happiness
  • Ask how many clients they work with at any one time and how this looks in terms of weekly/monthly contact
  • Ask how close they are to capacity and whether there really is space for you
  • Discuss whether it is possible to speak with a current long-standing client

6. Tell me about a business challenge you’ve had, and how you overcame it?

  • Ask them to tell you about a time when they have missed a deadline or underdelivered to a client’s expectations
  • Discuss what their clients like most/least about working with them
  • Ask whether a client has ever ended a relationship with them abruptly – if so, why
  • Ask whether they have a contingency plan for emergencies (power cuts, equipment disasters, illness etc)
  • Delve into their business ethos – who supports them in their business development and growth

7. Tell me about your contractual terms, GDPR compliance, fee structure etc.

  • Understand the hourly/project rate and how this is tracked, plus, other than that are there any additional charges
  • Discuss contract terms, notice periods, service level agreements, invoicing procedure etc
  • Talk about how they will they keep your business information secure and confidential, whether they are registered with the ICO and their understanding of GDPR
  • Are they insured, registered with HMRC and fully aware of IR35 legislation

Seven key questions to really get beyond the fluff and into the value. Freelancers can add so much to your business and/or team but, as you can see, it’s not always easy. The perfect freelancer for you is likely to be someone who will help you create the momentum and results you need to thrive. Finding them can be tricky but it is worth putting in the time so that the relationship gets off to a flying start and your business feels the benefits quickly.

Happy searching!

You can find out more about our team of business support professionals by clicking here!

Further blogs from The Passionate PA: 

Is there life after a corporate career?

Claire is our Passionate PA based in Ringwood. She joined us in January 2018 after a very successful corporate career.

In this personal blog, Claire shares insight into why she felt she had to resign from her role with an investment bank, and the damage that transition did to her confidence. She also talks openly though about the “best decision ever” – joining The Passionate PA and building the flexible business she’d always dreamed of.

Our franchisor, Kate Chastey, said “In 2023, Claire is celebrating 5 years as a Passionate PA – and we are delighted to say she will be with us for at least another 5 too after resigning her Franchise Agreement! Claire is one of the most diligent, hard working and inspirational people I know. She’s a multitasker extraordinaire.”

Is there life after the corporate world?

Before having children, I had a great career with a well-known investment bank. I ran a fantastic team of people, worked with prestigious clients worldwide, I earnt good money – life was good and I loved it.

But, when my husband and I started a family, my whole world turned upside down… I returned to a part-time role with the bank, but I was not prepared for the lack of sleep and feeling torn in so many directions. I shifted between feeling very grateful and overwhelmingly guilty every single day.

I could no longer commit to the long hours (and nor did I want to) and most devastatingly for me, I felt that I was looked upon differently by my colleagues and some friends. My personal identity was so connected to my successful career, finding a ‘new me’ was very hard.


The Difficult Decision

This was one of the toughest times in my life, so making the decision to resign from the bank after my second son was born was the right thing to do but equally, truly terrifying for me. I’d been in the corporate world for nearly 20 years… what if no one else would employ me? What if I couldn’t find a fulfilling role to fit around my family life? What if my previous zest for life never returned?

So many doubts hung in my mind, but I had faith that this was the end of a chapter and, when I was ready, I could start something new. Resigning gave me time to be a mum and enjoy my children whilst they were really young – and also time to think clearly about what I wanted life to look like.


What could be next?

I took a few years out, more than I planned, and so I began to feel restless and unfulfilled. Don’t get me wrong, being a Mum is a privilege, but I wanted, no needed, to work. I need to be ‘Claire’ again – the whole me, not ‘just Mum’.

I knew I needed to feel valued and respected, to be able to use my skill set and experience but it seemed that at every option I explored meant I either had no choice but return to full-time employment or take a much lower paid, unfulfilling role.


Finding my sparkle again

As fate would have it, I was approached at school pick-up one day and asked if I would consider taking on the role of Chair of the PTA. No one else would take on the responsibility and that meant an important part of the school would disappear. I couldn’t let this happen, so I eagerly accepted the voluntary role and began to work hard organising and planning the fund-raising activities for the year ahead.

I threw myself into the PTA, resurrected my business brain and discovered that I loved event management, organising, analysing costs and expenses, and much more! This put fire in my belly again and I loved every minute of it. It gave me back my confidence and I was thrilled to significantly increase the profit for the events I ran which led to the purchase of iPads for the school which I am particularly proud of.


Fate strikes again…

Nearly a year in, at the end of one of our meetings, the PTA accountant told me that I must reach out to Kate Chastey from The Passionate PA, saying that I would be a perfect fit!

I was intrigued…

I’d never been a PA, I had a PA myself in my previous role but when I started looking into the franchise, I discovered that the possibilities were endless! My traditional view of a PA was not the same as a freelance Passionate PA. My goodness, the skill sets within the team were vast, the clients they were all working with excited me and the potential to earn great money whilst working flexibly was second to none!

After that first meeting with Kate, I knew that I’d found something truly special. The idea that I could start my own business, with superb experience, guidance and support right behind me, was something I had only dreamed of.

I’ve always had a passion for entrepreneurship and the idea of being my own boss was close to my heart. My Dad has always run his own business, very successfully, and I grew up admiring his work ethic and the sheer passion for what he does. I talked this franchise opportunity through with him and my husband and so my journey as a Passionate PA began!


That was 2018

I’m five years in now and I can honestly say that I LOVE my work! This was without a doubt the best decision that I have ever made professionally; I run a successful business that lights me up inside. I get to work with awesome clients who are now friends too. I choose when I work and with whom and I can use my corporate experience to help my clients grow and expand their businesses which is really fulfilling.

I’m also continuously learning and so the challenges and opportunities are super. To date, I’ve worked in the manufacturing sector, with coaches and trainers, with charities, wellness ambassadors, private clients in Dubai, peer groups, marketing and SEO and many more. A true highlight was with a client in the beauty industry – helping with collaborations with Marie Claire and L’Oreal! I love how varied my work is and how much I can help clients achieve their dreams too.


Best decision ever!

Being a franchisee gives me the best of both worlds. I have the unwavering support of my franchisor, Kate Chastey, who not only believed in me but has encouraged and supported me every step of the way to build a business on my terms.

Team Passionate PA has an impressive selection of commercially savvy and ambitions women. We all have different types of expertise and experience and work together to support and encourage one another, whilst having a lot of fun too!

Being able to offer my clients the experience shared across the team is priceless and enables me to offer an exemplary service which I am incredibly proud of.

So, is there life after the corporate world – hell yes! And it’s better than you can imagine.

You can find out more about Claire by clicking here!



Further blogs from The Passionate PA: