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Who could you delegate to? (D.D.A.E. part III)

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Okay... as a review... over the past few weeks, we've been talking about schedules and digging into our D.D.A.E. equation

That's deciding what we need to Do, Delegate, Automate and/or Eliminate.

Today... we're looking at creative ways to delegate.

Yes, that's right.  Delegate.

Now, some of you may already be saying... "Hey, I'm a solo-entrepreneur!  The only time I get to delegate is my copies at Kinkos and my coffee order at Starbucks!"

Or maybe, you have a small staff and EVERYONE seems to be stretched right now!

Well... hang in there because we're going to explore the concept of hiring a Virtual Assistant.

Have you been toying with the idea?  I know I have. 

If so, here are some tips from the experts...

Start with something small.  Something that is pretty easy to define... such as a research project. 

For example, I know a local entrepreneur who is working on a web/book idea.  He's tapped into a virtual assistant that he found via www.elance.com to do some of his background research.  He was able to clearly define what he was looking for, how he wanted the information cataloged and the types of sources he wanted to be used. 

By the way, his VA did the work for him in the fraction of the time that it would have taken him and for a fraction of the cost that he expected to pay. Plus, it gave him an opportunity to check out this VA's quality of work and decide whether he wanted to work with them again.

Look for tasks that need to be repeated... daily... weekly... monthly. 

An example of this is a local real estate broker who used a virtual assistant to help with some weekly and monthly marketing activities.  These were tasks that he was only able to do sporadically due to a busy and unpredictable schedule.  When he decided to go with a VA, he was able to hand off his e-newsletter and weekly e-mail updates.  He gave some specific guidance and pointed the VA to his on-line newsletter service.  Then, his VA plugged in updates and sent out the newsletter on a consistent basis.  She just checked in with him for updates on content and took care of the rest!   

This move to hiring a Virtual Assistant has helped this broker to be more consistent and it's enabled him to have more time to work on the the day to day tasks that tend to bring more immediate ROI.  

According to experts... its best to start on specific projects like this, but after working with a VA for a while, you can start to delegate more tasks. 

For example, Josh Kaufman at virtualMBA even uses a VA to sort through his e-mail and respond on his behalf. 


Stay realistic! 

You may have dreams of handing off all of the work you don't like and moving into a Tim Ferris inspired 4-hour work week, but experts say that using a VA effectively can take some time. 

You need to get accustomed to delegating and you need to be ready to put in some work to get your VA up to speed.  

Longerdays.com has some specific recommendations to help on this front.

How about you?

Are you willing to jump in and give it a try?  

Josh Kaufman recommends services like Ask Sunday and Longer Days which both offer free trials. 

It might be easier than you think to get started!

Why not check them out and experiment with the "Delegation" part of your D.D.A.E. equation? 

So... How about you? 

  • Are you going to give it a try?
  • Or... Have you already tried a VA? 
  • How did it go? 
  • Who do you recommend? 
  • What are some of the pitfalls or successes that you experienced?

Click comments and join in the conversation!

Keep kickin' and keep dreaming BIG!

Mitch Matthews

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Comments

Hey Mitch - Long time, no see! I hired a VA a few weeks ago... she is AWESOME. I have tried three people at this point; they've done everything from transcribing an interview to internet research to sending emails.

A few things I've learned so far...

1) If you need simple, time consuming tasks done, hire two people. Have them both work for 2-3 hours and measure their progress. That's enough time to figure out which person works faster.

2) Explain every detail of the task. Communication is the key, especially if English is their second language.

3) Use ODesk.com. A friend referred me to this site. I haven't used others... but this site has features that I really like. First, you post jobs like on eLance. That allows you to build a team of VAs for different tasks. Second, they bill you every Thursday night for all of the work done in the past week. Lastly - they take a screen shot every 10 minutes to make sure your VAs are staying on task. I've been real impressed w/ the stie so far.

So that's been my experience so far... Anyone else?

Great wisdom Andy! Thanks for sharing it!

I'm going to take you up on your recommendations! Thanks for leading out on this!

And I agree, it's been way to long!

I hope to talk with you soon,

Mitch

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