Time is the most important resource. You can trade time for money and vice versa. It is pretty rare that you can not throw money at a problem and make it go away.
I stumbled upon a great visualization of your time. Basically, the yellow below is the time we sleep, blue is leisure, and light blue is at work. See the diagram here http://flowingdata.com/2017/05/09/adulthood-days/
- If you have not started investing… when the heck when? Get a mentor and compress the learning curve, decrease costly mistakes, and get on with your life!
- There is only a limited amount of time to create a legacy… VAs or Virtual Assistants I use.
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Some of you had questions about Virtual Assistants which I have had some growing pains with…
Take 1: I went to various countries/regions Craigslist where I heard there was cheap virtual labor such as the Philippines, Ukraine, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Etc. I created a generic posting for a Virtual Assistant and a link to a Google Form that I created that was supposed to farm data of willing workers and ask binomial questions such as if they had experience with graphics, audio editing, Excel, English, and how much their hourly rate was. This was a success and the idea was that I would create a database that I could BCC the emails to competitively bid projects. Unfortunately, when I sorted my list for the desired skill I was looking for, I discovered that many of the potential candidates sent generic resumes back. They did not even read the job description. I guess as the saying goes “shit in shit out.” Tim Ferriss talks about giving strange instructions to potential job candidates such as a requirement to fax in their application (in an age of limited fax access) to see which candidates follow directions and can overcome minor Resistance of not having fax machines.
Take 2: It seems like the tasks are taking a lot more time than it should. To some respect, that is to be expected. What I am trying to wrap my head around is the cultural differences not to mention the language barrier. In some of these Asian cultures, honor and face are utmost importance and sometimes it is culturally the normal to lie to save face. In America, we preach stepping up and admitting fault and moving on which I believe is a true demonstration of high value. So it’s a little frustrating… I know the internet sucks at these places but give me a break. I am just surprised they are not telling me their dog ate the GoogleDoc. Successful people take ownership and I accept this as MY fault in terms of me not having my job scope defined and linear instructions for the virtual assistant to carry out. If my virtual assistant misses on the deliverable or takes too long I take full responsibility.
Afterthoughts: A great discussion at a recent Mastermind I attended around this topic. Seems like a lot of people are backtracking from cheap (sub 8 dollar an hour labor) and opting for higher quality workers. I believe the vision of an employee is to get something done cheaper than your personal hourly rate, also get it don’t faster, and with a “Sir… I was completing task X and I found this wrong in our process so I took care of it and wanted to discuss this with you.” I don’t know if I will ever achieve this level of initiative in any person trading their time for money but one can only dream. Until then I will try to switch to a more project-based system as opposed to having a VA on call for a 10-40 hour set time. The cons of this project-based methods are that it requires more touch points for me to keep micromanaging each project and this is the exact reason I am looking for help in the first place. Time is the most important thing Jelly Bean. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOksW_NabEk
The Random list of tasks to outsource:
1. Organize your travel (including learning your travel preferences). This includes making all your travel arrangements,
organizing all your flight info into your favorite travel app, and even remotely monitoring your travel to be ready to deal with
any missed flights or oversold hotels.
2. Handle billing disputes.
3. Help setting up bills onto auto payment on your credit card.
4. Address and mail cards, letters, and packages. Sure you may still handwrite the thank you, but do you really need to look up
the address and post the letter?
5. Update your contact manager (or CRM database).
6. Screen your e-mail and handle low-level responses. This includes deleting or archiving things you don’t even need to see.
7. Update your blog and social media accounts.
8. Organize and manage your filing system, both paper-based and scanned e-files.
9. Take dictation (either live or via recordings, perhaps using Voxer, one of my favorite apps).
10. Set up appointments and hold your schedule.
11. Gather all the needed data and prep information for all your appointments. For example, I ask my assistant to put to the
memo of any appointment she posts to my calendar any recent email exchanges and the contact information of the person
I’m meeting with. This saves me untold time when you compound this service over 15-20 meetings I hold each week.
12. Daily clean-up of your office, including refilling items.
13. Screen phone and e-mail so you don’t get the interruptions.
14. Take notes at key meetings and follow up with attendees on key deliverables.
15. Keep a master chart/list/calendar of your projects and deadlines and set reminders.
16. Tickler all birthdays and anniversaries, holidays, or other important dates, and even arrange for gifts, cards, or phone calls
that make you look good.
17. Update his or her own “Project List” so that all the tasks and deliverables they are responsible for in one place for you to
18. Get, open, sort, forward, handle, and if need be shred your mail.
19. Coordinate with outsourced vendors when you have an IT issue. You just work from a back-up computer for the day and let
him or her troubleshoot it with your IT vendor.
20. Order things online for you and handle any product returns or service issues.
21. Handle any personal errands or schedule any household repairs. Yes this is perfectly reasonable as it saves you time that
you can reinvest in creating value for your company.
22. Notarize your documents by becoming a Notary Public in your state.
23. Help you to streamline your office—filing, sorting, and systematizing wworkflow
24. Basic updates to your Web sites.
25. Create and continue to refine the “expert system” for how to be your assistant (this one should be part of their job function
right from the start). This way if you promote your assistant they have created the core system for your next hire. If they leave
you to work elsewhere, the transition is much less painful.
26. Dealing with tech troubles on your phone or tablet computers. They can do this during the day when you’re in the office doing
other more valuable work.
27. Any parts of your projects that he or she is capable of doing for you. Constantly be on the lookout for things to try them out
doing. For example, my assistant helped expand the syndication reach of my business articles by over 100,000 annual
28. Download movies or audiobooks
29. Search for contacts of people you need to meet
30. Bookkeeping with a CPA or without one
31. Edit videos
32. Make calls
33. FInd sellers
34. Take Calls from leads
35. Call banks to find a portfolio lender
36. Assemble a list of podcast guests to contact