The Language of Outsourcing
So in the last lesson, what we talked about was how to set up your to-do list for success. How to get things on a list broken down at the beginning of an assembly line so you can actually get it done. And whether you get it done yourself or you start to actually outsource it, that's the most important first step. In this one, in this lesson, I wanna talk about the different kinds of delegation, different levels, as it were. And all of these can be done by somebody working virtually. And as I said in the very first lesson how outsourcing as a first step is a problem, this really breaks it down as to why. Because there are so many different psychological layers to outsourcing and they all have different reasons and different purposes. So let's start with the first one, which is Do As I Say. That's a tricky one, because most people don't really know how to explain the things that they want done if it's not in their innate skillset. And also if they don't necessarily know what the process ...
entails in order to make it more efficient. So, Do As I Say would be hey, go to this website, log in and buy this thing for me, whatever, fine. And you can certainly find sources and sources that will allow you to do that. It requires the most effort on your part, and you're almost guaranteeing that you're gonna be giving something to somebody that is a hassle, basically. It's very un-collaborative, that's what I'm getting at. So, Do As I Say is a lot of times, that's gonna be the kind of thing that can be automated that doesn't actually require a human being. Those are gonna be the very simple like, this here, do this here. Triggers and actions. When you're automating something, looking at something that's a trigger, and then an action of some sort. So, I updated my profile picture on Twitter! Update my profile picture on Facebook. Not gonna tell you how to do it, or how to log in, or why, or if that's the right image or anything, just do it. It's a bad way of thinking about it. The second one is actually a really, really interesting one to me, which is Look Into This. That is the procrastination buster, as far as I'm concerned. This is where you can take any stupid idea that you have and all the bad ones and the incomplete thoughts, and the ones that you've been procrastinating on because you've been holding on to them, and give them to somebody else to just ask questions. Right, so this is where you're starting to think about an outsourcing partner, virtual assistant, as a partner. As somebody who can provide feedback, and give you things back to you. One of the things that I love about this actually, this is not so much Look Into This, but I have a process called live transcribing, which I may or may not have come up with the name for. But, a lot of people are familiar with transcription. So, transcription would be, Do As I Say. Take this recording, type it out, very simple. Live transcribing is something that I do, which is very, very different. So, I do a lot of writing, but not because I think I'm a good writer, and I don't actually think I'm a particularly great writer, but it's one of the best ways to get out the content that I wanna share. And the way that I write is very much the way that I speak, for better or for worse. So live transcribing is actually getting on the phone with somebody, and they're recording, and you're talking through whatever the idea is, just as you might with a recording, except that you're asking for their feedback. You're asking for their interruptions. You want them to say, wait, wait, that didn't really make sense, can you, or, that was awesome, you should talk about that a little bit more. It's such a better way to do it 'cause you're getting an immediate feedback loop on what you're saying. And it's really easy, and I recommend it, by the way, that people do just do recordings sometimes, there's always a case for that where you just have to get a thought out, you wanna record it, send someone the recording, let them deal with it. But if you have the opportunity to live transcribe. It's kind of incredible. I've written articles that way. I actually wrote the vision for our team that way, which was a really important document, and there were things that I was saying that didn't necessarily make sense outwardly. So, if it doesn't make sense when you say it to somebody, it's probably not gonna be a lot of sense when you write it. And also, when you hear people say that they've tried to outsource writing before, but nobody else can capture their voice, that's a really common one. It's like, well, why didn't you try telling them in your voice, seeing what happens? So, every time I have a long car ride, I'm live transcribing with somebody. I'm getting articles written, I'm getting blog posts done, whatever might need to happen. So that's a bit of the Look Into This, but Look Into This can also simply be, I have this idea, I don't really know what you would do about it, I wanna make a product. I don't know how to make a product. I don't know, do I go to a manufacturer, do I try to outsource it, what do I do? And then somebody else can actually start looking into that for you, and ask you the questions that you need. I can't read a legal document, because it would bore me to tears, but I have to as an owner of a business. So what I do is I have a paralegal on our team read it and then ask me the questions that I should be asking, and then I can answer them. And that's how I'm able to get those kinds of things done. Give Me Your Advice And I'll Decide is a tricky one too. A lot of these have trick elements to them, because asking to be put in a position to decide is a little trepidatious for some business owners. Because they already have troubles making decisions a lot of times. However, this is where we're starting to think also about the virtual assistant as a strategist, not just as a mechanic. That they can do really high-level things. You can get a marketing strategy, you can get a branding strategy, you can get a manufacturing strategy from an outsourced partner. We have an architect on our team. I mean, literally an architect. So people could say, this is what our building should look like, and that person could say, no, I don't think so it should look like this, and they never met that person, they're halfway across the world. So, this one involves more trust, and you have to build up to that, which is part of this process, but you have to recognize first that you are not the one with the answers. Look Into This is a little bit more where it's like, you can come up with some questions but I'm ultimately the one that's gonna give you my knowledge and decide what we're gonna do here. Whereas Give Me Your Advice, so take this very big hairy project, and give me three choices, and then tell me which one you think is the best, and then I'll decide. There's pros and cons to that. Clearly you can move very quickly and be very nimble with things like that. You may make a mistake. But the time that it took for that person to do all that research, come up with the recommendations, in that time, you probably did something really important that only you an do for your business that benefits people. Hopefully they outweigh each other. Explore, Decide, and Check In With Me is a good one too. So now we're really trying to get in on this trust game, right, and we're starting to like, accept that we're more replaceable. So a good example would be finances. A lot of time, if you wanna hire a CFO or a bookkeeper. Most people I would say, when they hire a bookkeeper, they're not going to be like, hey, come check with me on the reconciliation every day. Right, they're gonna say, you do this the best way that you wanna do it, set up the QuickBooks the way you want and then at the end of the month, let me know if we're profitable or not, right? Maybe that's a little too hands-off, but that's kind of the idea. So those are certain things where you're talking about an ongoing specialty for the most part. An Instagram strategy would be another good one too, so like there are people who are great at growing Instagram thousand of things. I'm not gonna check in with that person daily and say how are you doing this, why'd you post that, why'd you like that. I just wanna know at the end of the month, how many followers are we up? The key with that particular modality is to set metrics for success. So knowing what success looks like and agreeing on it, ideally, with the person when you start, that's the best way that you can do that. So you say, I wanna have 10 thousand more Instagram followers. I wanna have our revenue up 20%. I wanna have costs down 10%, whatever. I don't care how you do it, but this is where we're gonna be at the end of the month and we're gonna check in. If we're off, then we have to break it down a little bit, and look into why. And then, Explore and Decide Within Limits. So this is an odd one too, because this could be a really small thing or it can be a very big thing. So the very small thing is that you say if there's anything that requires a purchase or a decision that's up to $100, I don't wanna know about it. And that's pretty basic, you can give that to anybody. Any brand new person on your team, any virtual assistant you've been with for a day, you can say whatever you wanna do, this is the limit. If it goes beyond that, let me know. But, obviously, you can take this very big, so as I just gave an example, if I want you to work on costs, you go cut costs however you want, I don't care, at the end of the month we should be down 10%. If we're not, then we need to have a conversation, talk about it. So there's a slight difference from the last one. And then the very last one is Take Care Of It For Me. This is a really challenging one to be able to outsource to what I think traditionally people think of as a virtual assistant, but, for example, is tech outsourcing development? Building an app? So I don't wanna know what framework you're gonna use for me at least, I don't do this part of business. I don't wanna know how it's coded. I don't wanna see it, I don't wanna know what the bug reporting is, I just wanna know that I download it on my phone, it works at the end of the day, just get get it done. And, presenting these six phases, it's not a very clear-cut situation. I'm not trying to make this cut and dry, like you have to try and move everything up through this chain and get to the point where it's take care of everything for me. No, you have to understand that there are layers. It's not outsourced or not. All of these are relevant to the different ways that we get things done. So, I want you to do today is try to look at that to-do list that we created, look at some of the things that are in your business and your life, and see if you can pick one that would fall into each of these different categories, and how you might move forward with that. You may have more than one that fall into one or the other and it may be challenging to come up with the last one, Take Care Of It For Me. But try, really push yourselves to identify what are the things that you're dealing with in your business, and which of these categories might they fall into?