195: Outsource – Friday Fundamentals

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Outsourcing

People are as busy as ever. With an ever increasing list of things to do, and the same 24 hours of the day staying the same (last time I checked), you are probably feeling more and more crunched for time. Big things, little things, and everything in between are vying for your attention. Excel at your career, work on that side hustle, build a real estate empire, take care of your home life, raise a family, spend holidays with loved ones, pay bills, file your taxes, wash your car, and dare forbid, relax from time to time. It’s safe to say your life is full of things you either could or should be doing. It’s likely that you can’t even keep up with the things you should be doing, much less would like to be doing.

So what’s one to do? Replace the responsibility that comes with building that side hustle, or growing that real estate empire with Netflix instead? Perhaps, but not me.

The three buckets, health, wealth, and happiness, are important pillars in my life. I don’t want to sacrifice any of those areas. The solution – enlist help. In today’s internet age, the act of hiring someone to help you with remote tasks is easier than ever. This is called outsourcing.

How to Outsource

You can outsource almost anything that can be done remotely to a freelancer. A freelancer is someone who works for multiple jobs/people rather than being permanently employed by one company. Freelancers range in skill and expertise, from data entry and web research to graphic and website design and computer programming. Some freelancers specialize as virtual assistants, and can help with a wide range of tasks.

Here are few examples of the many ways outsourcing to Virtual Assistants can be of value to you.

  1. Planning trips. Virtual assistants (freelancers) can search hotels, flights, and travel accommodations for you, finding you the best deals and planning things for you to do with your family or friends. Instead of planning that road trip or family cruise during the work week, you can instead focus on those things that require your attention, leaving the planning to your trusted V.A.
  2. Virtual assistants can help you with your side hustle and real estate empire too. Data entry, web research, and lead generation are some areas where V.A.’s can provide a lot of value. Rather than scraping the web searching for “For Sale By Owner” listings, tax liens, or mortgage foreclosures, instead hire and train a V.A. to do this for you.
  3. Freelancers can also provide value with the more technical tasks that you don’t have the expertise to do, like website and graphic design, social media management, email marketing, etc. You can hire someone to do the things that you can’t or aren’t as good at doing, allowing you to free up your time to do the things you need.

In the U.S. we aren’t slow to catch onto this world of outsourcing ourselves. We have seen outsourcing services pop up all over. The biggest one you probably know is ride sharing with Uber and Lyft. Don’t want to drive yourself, pay for parking, or even own a car? No problem. Just tap a couple buttons on your phone and a car will show up at your front door.

There are grocery delivery services, two day shipping for almost anything you can think of, dog walking services, like Wag, home service car washing, food delivery, and home cleaning services. In theory, you could sit on your couch all day long and outsource almost everything you need to do. But that’s not the point of outsourcing.

The point of outsourcing is to allow you to spend your time on the highest and best use activities. Clipping coupons and driving around town to find the cheapest gasoline probably aren’t the best use of your time. Doing something that you are the best at, or only you can do is a better use of your time.

Use Your Time Wisely

Outsourcing and hiring that food delivery to bring you that favorite dish from your local restaurant isn’t providing any value if you spend the money to save time, only to use that time sitting on the couch and watching How I Met Your Mother reruns. Time isn’t money, if it is spent doing things you don’t value.

If you instead hire a grocery delivery service so that you can work an extra hour in the evening with your Virtual Assistant to review the week’s lead generation list, then that is money well spent. Working on a lead generation pipeline, rather than grocery shopping is using your time wisely. Paying someone to feed your grapes while you binge watch Netflix? Not so much.

Outsourcing is a great way to help you do the things you want and need to do. It can allow you to be more productive and free up time to do those things you didn’t used to have time for. If this is a new strategy to you, I encourage you to test it out. Collect all of your friends birthdays and have a V.A. create calendar events in your calendar to remind you to send birthday  cards. Do something small and easy to start with. Work your way up. Soon enough you’ll have automated and outsourced things, allowing you to live the life you want.

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