The last thing many business owners want to do is spend money on an executive assistant. But, as these five high-profile founders will tell you, a good EA is worth his or her's weight in gold, fretting over details and schedules their bosses are better off avoiding. As one EA says: "My job is to worry about it." 

9:44 a.m.
November 15, 2013
New York City
Gail Abrahamsen (left)and Barbara Corcoran just after a Today show appearance--and changing heels for the journey totheir next appointment.
When Barbara Corcoran wanted to book an actress to play a mermaid at her book-launch party, she knew just whom to call: Gail Abrahamsen. Her assistant, for eight years now, has mastered the art of managing the real estate mogul's wacky life. A typical day? Abrahamsen fields some 300 emails a day and answers every one within 24 hours. She also arranges Corcoran's endless media appearances, from Shark Tank (Corcoran is a shark) to the Today show. And if Corcoran just happens to leave her Chanel suit at JFK airport, Abrahamsen is on it. "There's never a dull moment with Barbara," she says. Of course, Abrahamsen knows all about chaos. A former business owner herself, she ran a children's store franchise called The Elephant's Trunk before working for Corcoran--and thus attacks her duties with the work ethic of an entrepreneur. "Everything funnels through Gail," says Corcoran.