The first time I really started to think seriously about getting my own Virtual Assistant was after reading Timothy Ferris’ book, The 4-Hour Workweek. Suggestion: If you haven’t read this book yet, do it now! There are suggestions galore and it left me incredibly inspired….. This book has a whole chapter dedicated to outsourcing your life, including using a virtual assistant to help with that. For example, a normal family might hire a VA at a rate of $10-$25 an hour (depending on quality, location, etc) to do one or more of these tasks:
- Research their next vacation and book all of the hotels and tickets
- Send flowers or cards on your behalf to friends and family on their birthday (via a list you’ve given them ahead of time)
- Reserve you tickets to an upcoming concert
- Compile a research report on the highest-rated cars in advance of your upcoming car purchase
- Research interest rates at various banks for your upcoming refinancing
- Order your groceries via an online grocery service
The list goes on and on. Basically, you can pass off all of those time-sucking tasks that you don’t really enjoy doing. For a low hourly rate, you can have more time to spend on the things you actually enjoy doing (like seeing your family, going on vacation, working on your business, etc.) Figure out what your average rate that you’re paid per hour is and then think long and hard about whether the tasks you spend the most time on could be outsourced for less!
Nick and I have been debating doing a trial run ever since reading the book. It’s best to start by assigning a low-level project and then guage the quality of output – it can vary! It’s also important to be very clear on what you’re seeking and to give them a maximum amount of time that the project should take.