Outsource Something Small
So what we last covered was how you can decide what kind of virtual assistant you should be working with, what kind of company, or service, or individual you need to be using. So now let's talk about how we actually outsource something. Let's actually think of things that we can outsource. So the next, this lesson and the next ones after this, we're gonna talk about small kinds of tasks, medium kinds of tasks and then the really big ones that we can kind of start to get people to do. And what I want you to keep in mind here is that it's worth paying to do the really little things that will take you a couple minutes to do, but they take you away from doing what you're really good at. There's really interesting research that shows that when we break away from doing what we're uniquely good at, or what our flow state is where we're working on something positive and that we're good at. For every minute that you take away, it takes about 23 minutes to get back into that state, so there is a...
huge opportunity cost to those things that just take a minute. And every time I hear somebody say, oh I don't want to deal, it'll just take me a minute, it's a terrible way to think about it. Because first of all, very few things do just take a minute, and there's that big opportunity cost which I just told you about. The other one is when someone says, oh, it would take me as long to explain it as for me to just do it myself. But what they are negating is the fact that outsourcing, delegating is a muscle that we have to train. And you have to get in that mode and you have to learn from doing it. So it's worth it to spend time to not have to deal with that. And, quite honestly, we're all busy, there's a lot of overwhelm, there's a lot of things that can cause stress. Little things shouldn't be one of them. And if you think about your quality of life and work life and integration, it's so worth it to save a headache on these little things, and lastly, the little things are what develop trust. Because the little things, a lot of times, are things that are low-risk. Right, so if it doesn't get done right or something messes it up, no one's gonna die, you're not gonna lose a big client, whatever it might be. So let's start out with some little things. So, there's a great example. Help find a great bike wall storage solution. Okay, easy, that's probably something that you could do a little bit of research, maybe see some Pinterest images and decide like, oh yeah, that's the one I want. But, not that there is any necessarily bike wall storage experts, but you may have somebody work on this who really knows the ins and outs of hanging bikes on the walls, because it does happen and there are nuances. You know, oh, I saw that one that you like, but it's actually really flimsy and doesn't really hold bikes really well. And oh, do you have a road bike, or whatever. There's nuances that you might not think of, but this is a perfect example of like, you go look into it and come back to me, and then I can decide what I wanna do. Very low risk. But the other thing about this too is thinking about how we can get that idea flow going. Because throughout the day, you might have a lot of other stuff going on, you might be thinking like, oh it's really annoying me, whether you're OCD or not, this is something that would bother me. But, maybe you get to your office by bike, and you just keep putting your bike against the wall, and it just looks sloppy. Just wanna get it off the floor. And whether you know it or not, that's eating at you. And that is annoying, and maybe it's annoying to other people, and maybe it's actually setting a bad image for the people that work around you that you're kind of sloppy and you don't really take care of these kinds of things. And you can deal with it. A really good example for you that just happened to me recently is I have a Honda minivan, because I have four kids, and we're driving and there's a screen in the second row so that you can pull it up and, a sunscreen. So one of my sons couldn't hook it on, and he was like, oh Daddy, it's broken. So I looked, and there's a little hook, a little plastic hook about this big that had indeed broken so he couldn't do it. So we got to a red light, I took a picture, I uploaded it to Trello for one of our virtual assistants to look into and buy and just replace this. And that was it, and the thing is that's so refreshing about that is that at that moment, I was done. I actually had gotten something done, psychologically speaking. There was nothing else I could do at that point. It's not bothering me anymore. It'll get taken care of 'cause I know it's in a place and I trust that that system will take care of it. Now in the end, it was an 83 cent piece of hardware, it cost six dollars in virtual assistant time to order that and it's so worth it. Because otherwise, where was I gonna write that down? I'm not gonna write that down while I'm driving, it would have been on my mind. I know that sounds crazy, but it isn't. And there's a hundred things like that that happen to you every single day. Things that nag at you, things that you wanna get done that you don't get done. All these things are a circle that just end up frustrating you to the point that you don't get the great ideas anymore. You can't act on the really big ideas. So I was really happy to spend six dollars to get an 83 cent piece of hardware that showed up four days later, and I had forgotten about it. Showed up, fixed it, and it was done. Those kinds of problems, I know that sounds like a first world problem, those are the kinds of issues that shouldn't stop us from coming up with the great ideas that can make the world a better place, quite honestly. So, little things like that. Ordering items, if there's something that I need to order that is not on Amazon where I can hit the One Click purchase I will send it to somebody else to buy for me. And by the way, I noticed on something like that, this is actually a good example too. You don't even need a virtual assistant for a lot of these kinds of things. There are very specific apps and services that do really, really niche specific things. So, there's an app called Service, for example. And all Service does is deal with getting you money back when your flights are delayed, and it does it automatically, which is unique. So, the first time I ever had this experience I was on a flight to, I don't even remember where, actually. And the wifi didn't work, okay? Not really a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but it was the kind of thing where I was like, let's see what we can do with this. So I took a picture of the screen saying the wifi wasn't working, I sent it to one of our assistants, I said contact the airline, see if we can do something about it. And they ended up getting a $75 voucher for the trouble. Now that to me is like free money, right? That's great, cool, really exciting. But, of course it cost some money to have somebody do that, spend the time and whatnot. Service is an app, they just do that. They don't charge you anything unless they get you something and then they split it, I think they take like 30% or something. But they also, you set up once, they scan your email for any flights you might be taking and will automatically make the plans on your behalf. So you don't have to think about it. Literally found money. There's another one like that called Paribus.com. And they take advantage of the price protection policies a lot of different websites like Amazon, if Amazon drops the price on an item that you purchased within 90 days you can make a claim and get the difference back. They do it for you automatically, so again, these are all different things that you could have a person do. But with these really small kinds of tasks there's niche things where they can do it better. Making a dinner reservation. You don't really have to have an assistant do that, you can just download the Resy app or the OpenTable app and just do it yourself, 'cause that will just take a second. If you can do something in an asynchronous manner, then it's more acceptable to say it'll only take me a minute. If you have to call the restaurant, you're like oh, it'll just take me a minute, I'm gonna call the restaurant and make a reservation, that doesn't take a minute, that doesn't work in the workflow. If you're walking to the bathroom, and you can pull out your phone and open up an app and make a dinner reservation, that's fine. And that's a great use. So, but those are also forms of outsourcing, they really are, if you think. Those are the more virtual sort of robotic assistants, but work with those kinds of little things. The other thing that I like about the little tasks is that you can really take advantage of the time-shifting ability of a virtual assistant. So, let's say that you do have a customer service issue or you do wanna make a dentist appointment for whatever reason. A lot of people get these ideas, and they think of these things at like 10 o'clock at night. You know, right before they're gonna go to bed, all these ideas will start coming up. And my mother is a great example of this where she can't sleep at night because she has so much on her mind, right? Best way to clean the slate is to just give it to somebody else to do. So for example, let's say 10 o'clock at night, I'm like I really need to make that doctor's appointment, I need to make that dentist appointment. Obviously, they're not gonna be open. And if your doctor isn't on a service like Zocdoc, for example, where you can just go and do it, are you gonna write it down on a post-it note next to your bed, or are you gonna put it on your phone, what are you gonna do? And then it's technically still on your plate. Whereas me, I would say no, send it off to our virtual assistants, say make this appointment for me. And then, again, I'm done. 9 in the morning when it opens, the assistant can see that and they can call and they can deal with it and then come back to me if there's any issues or options. But at that moment, I'm done. So we're trying to, there's that old thing from Glengarry, always be closing? I'm thinking about always be done. How can I always be done? So today, start to look at these little things in your day where you tend to say it'll only take me a minute. Or I can just do it myself and it'll be faster. Those tiny little insignificant things. Get a bunch of those listed, and then we can start getting those off your plate.
Surely you’ve thought it countless times: “If only I had an assistant!” But having someone to help take care of your ever-growing to-do list seems like a luxury you simply can’t afford. What’s more, onboarding and training a new employee can feel like more trouble than it’s worth.
The increasingly popular virtual assistant (VA) industry is changing all that. For a reasonable price, you can enlist the services of an experienced virtual assistant who will take on the tasks that you don’t need to be doing. This could include administrative tasks, scheduling, accounting, social media, research and more. That way, you’ll have more time to attend to the things that are most important to you and your success.
Ari Meisel, an expert on entrepreneurship, outsourcing and increasing efficiency, teaches this 10-day micro-boot camp that will help you figure out the best ways to utilize the services of a virtual assistant. He’ll guide you through every step of the process, showing you how to begin by delegating small tasks to your VA, and then slowly adding more responsibility with each assignment.
In this class, you’ll learn how to:
- Identify your unique talents and abilities and which tasks you should delegate to a VA.
- Find the right VA service to meet your needs.
- Onboard and train your VA so they are set up for success.
- Figure out the tools you’ll need to work together and stay connected.
- Discover the best ways to communicate your needs and delegate your work.
- Establish processes to keep the work going smoothly.