What would you do if you didn’t have to do all stuff you didn’t like to? I would do the same things that I’m doing now! One of the reasons that I can do that is that I don’t do everything myself. There are still things that I don’t want to do – obviously, I’m always going to have that – but I have outsourced the vast majority of the work that I hate to do. Also, I even outsourced some of the things that I like to do because it’s not worth my time to do them myself!
I’ve put a certain dollar amount on my time and figured out there were some tasks that aren’t doable for me. I can definitely do them, but I could be making more money doing something else by hiring somebody else to do the task rather than doing it myself.
For personal tasks, I hire a landscaper to cut the grass and also takes care of some simple house stuff outside. We have the pool guy that comes over to open and close the pool and a lot of other service people because if I did all of these things, I’d be miserable and would hardly get any meaningful work done.
Hiring others to do the tasks that just aren’t worth my time has been a philosophy I’ve had for a long time. Regardless of how much money you make, pay other people to do the things that are not worth your particular time to do them. This is most true when you have a freelance job or have a side gig where you can make extra money. In a salary position, you can’t make extra money unless you’re going to do full-time or overtime work, so the situation is a little different there.
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For example, let’s say that I can pay somebody a hundred dollars to clean the house. Let’s say it takes me three hours to do that. That means that I can pay somebody $33/hour for this task. Is $33/hour less or more than the time and the amount you have put on your time? For me, my time is worth more than $33/hour, so it doesn’t make sense for me to do that myself. Instead, I could just do some freelance writing and consulting – something else that makes more than $33/hour during that time.
The same thing is true with business ventures as well. I have a virtual assistant in the Philippines. I’ve had a virtual assistant off and on for probably ten years now, and you may think, “Well, he has an assistant, that means he’s a significant person.” That’s not true.
I’ve had an assistant for a long time regardless of what position I’m in life. Most people think that they can’t afford a virtual assistant and that assistants are only for executives and important people which couldn’t be farther from the truth. That isn’t always the case. You can quickly get a virtual assistant who is very reliable that can do paperwork for you, make phone calls or just about anything as long as you provide him/her with clear and complete instructions. A virtual assistant can offload a lot of the burden There are many different tasks that a virtual assistant can do. A good virtual assistant can be anywhere from $10-15/hour.
When I first had a virtual assistant, I paid $5/hour. It’s possible to do that, but you have to do a lot more of the work in writing the instructions. The more you pay, the more autonomy you can give your assistant. However, if you can only afford to pay less than $10/hour, a VA is still a good choice, but you’ll have to do more work up front giving them crystal clear instructions on what needs to be done. I try to automate whatever task(s) that virtual assistant is doing for me.
If you want to hire a virtual assistant that’s anywhere from $10-15/hour, look on websites like Upwork.com. It’s where I hired all my virtual assistants – past and present. Although you’ll come across some virtual assistants that are bad and good, you can find some good ones on there.
Also, automate everything even before you hire a virtual assistant. I use a service called Zapier. Zapier is a web-based service that allows end users to integrate various web applications together. For example, I have automated everything around posting my new #CarTalks YouTube videos.
- I record the video in the car.
- the video goes into a Dropbox folder
- the video gets automatically uploaded from DropBox to Youtube with a generic template
- a draft blog post is created on my website which contains the title and a short description
- a task is created on Basecamp for my virtual assistant who has to do the transcriptions
- my virtual assistant makes a transcription of the video and writes an article about it on the pre-created draft blog post
- my virtual assistant puts it into pending review
- a task is created for me in Omnifocus to review the blog post
- I publish the post after review.
This automated process has saved me tons of time and has eliminated so much of the communication between myself and my team.
The main point here is to just pay other people to do things that are just not worth your time. There’s plenty of people out there that will help. Some love to do the kind of work you hate and some just need the money. Either way, they are willing to help you manage your time better!