Time is money! On this final episode of this four part series, How To Get Success When Starting Over in Life, the Do Over guy shares how to get more done while freeing up your time to do more of what you do best, or even better… to do more of what you WANT to do.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
Matt: Hey, this is Matt, “The Do Over Guy,” and this is Your Do Over: Episode 42.
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Matt: Welcome to Your Do Over, coming to you live from downtown Los Angeles. This is the place where I show people who want more out of life, people dissatisfied with their current situation, how to start over and begin a new life, setting goals and objectives so they can create wealth and live life to the fullest.
You can jumpstart your Do Over and lay a solid foundation for a better life by downloading the Three Pillars of Creating the Ultimate Do Over for free at FreeDoOver.com. It’s a 55-minute mp3 audio program that I made just for you with three specific steps on how to get success as you start over.
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Okay. So I’m very excited for today as we conclude our series on how to get success when starting over in life. This is part 4. I’ve really been looking for ward to this episode as I wish I had embraced this concept so much sooner but before I do just want to say thank you to a few people. AJ investor left a comment on iTunes both inspirational and transformational. Thanks.
Five stars. Great stuff. I’m hooked and can’t get enough of your podcast both your Do Over and your Investment podcasts are amazing. Your approach is honest, action-driven, inspirational, and transformational. Not only do you teach more effective ways of thinking and working but you also inspire your listeners into becoming better people and doing the right actions so everyone wins. Thank you for what you have done and continue doing. I look forward to both listening and doing.
AJ Investor, you are very welcome and thank you for leaving that great comment.
Another one from PD6866. Great, great, great stuff. 5 stars. Motivational, inspiring, and full of valuable information. After you start listening, you’ll be hooked and you won’t want to miss any of it. Thanks Matt for the great work.
PD6866, I wish I knew your names so I could thank you properly but thank you for leaving that great review. Last one, Awesomeness. 5-star rating by Wanbly. I was, am going through a rough time and this podcast has been helping me to get to the next step of my life and have a better foundation. Thanks for always making new podcast and consistently motivating me.
Wanbly, you’re very, very welcome. Thank you.
Okay. Today’s episode “How To Get Success When Starting in Life – Part Four.” We’re going to talk about getting success by leveraging your time. I mean this subject has got a lot of coverage over the last few years especially since the release of the “4-Hour Work Week.”
The book written by Timothy Ferris. I mean that subject being outsourcing. For the last couple of years, I’ve been using a couple of websites to hire people to complete some of the more mundane tasks I have to do on a regular basis.
As time has passed, I’ve outsourced bigger and bigger and bigger projects. I’ve had some great experiences and I’ve had some terrible experiences. Through those experiences, I’ve created a system of which I leverage my time throughout outsourcing.
I get a whole lot more done and I get it done very, very inexpensively. So at first when I got started at anytime a small, little, minute, mundane task came up that had to be completed. I didn’t want to do it. I would then stop my day. I’d log on to a number of virtual assistance sites and pose some jobs and wait for bids to come in.
Now if you don’t know what I’m talking about, they’re a bunch of online resources, websites. ELance is probably the most notable, the most popular, and the most famous. They’ll give you access to something called virtual assistance. They’re essentially your assistance but they work virtually. They don’t have to physically be there.
I mean as long as that virtual assistance, personal presence is not required. I mean just about any tasks that you have or can think of. It can be delegated to someone else and free up your time so you can do it what you do best or you can do what you want to do. Rather than having to do what you have to do.
Okay? Some of the tasks that virtual assistance can carry out for you. They can take on your inbound calls or they can make your outbound calls. They can manage a help desk for you. They can provide email support services for your business or chat support services for your business.
They can do say Spanish telemarketing for your services if you have a Spanish client bout you don’t speak Spanish yourself. You can hire someone to do that for you. They can do data entry, data conversion, data processing, and all kinds of transcription services and translation services.
Maybe they’ll do your billing or your bookkeeping. They might do some coding for your website or your online presence. Maybe you need writing done for you. They need to write a brochure or they need a design a brochure. Maybe they’ll conduct your account payable services or accounts receivable services. They can make your collection calls for you.
I know I used to own a record label. I used to hate to call the collector for records and stuff that I sold so I would have loved to had them back there to make those calls for me. Maybe you have a need for payroll services. A virtual assistant can do that for you. Or software development even or website design.
Maybe photo restoration or conversion of raw images or image enhancement services. They add up auditing, dashboard creation services for your website, reporting and analysis services. I mean you name it. They can do just about anything.
So as I was saying at first I would just pose jobs randomly as these types of tasks arose. It worked amazingly well with the majority of the time. Then I got to a point where I noticed I had been spending a great deal of time posting jobs and hiring people and managing these people, which was taking up basically the same amount of time if I just done the job myself.
Now at this point although this hadn’t become much of a time saver, I was still in love with paying a few bucks for someone else to do all of the work for me. I guess I felt a little bit of power or significance with the whole process. I love talking amongst friends about how I had someone on the other side of the globe doing my work while I slept.
But after a while, you know, the novelty wore off, as I didn’t really free up any time, as the management of these jobs was a full time gig. I mean my whole intention was to replace myself not to create a new job for myself.
Then one day, I was listening to a podcast on time management and efficiency. He had a really brilliant idea. Forget what their actual context was but I took that idea of creating a procedure list for various parts of my life.
I put one together for my very own procedures. The stuff that I do on the daily basis. I extracted those tasks from those procedures that I didn’t want to do. The tasks that I didn’t want to do.
I hired a virtual assistant on either a part-time or full-time basis to do them for me. I mean depending on the responsibility to carry out those responsibilities on a weekly basis. Or sometimes even a daily basis for me, I hire someone to take those on for me.
Since doing it this way, I’ve alleviated a bunch of time for essentially pennies and freed up a whole lot more of my time to spare it where I want or where I most valuable inside my business.
You can do this with your personal life as well but typically I’m using it for my business. I’ll give you an example. With this podcast, I mean if I were to execute this procedure flawlessly of which I think, I don’t know. I’ve only done once by myself in the last year.
I’d begin by outlining the subject matter of the episode. I would then record it and then I’d have it transcribed then I’d write a blogpost about the content then conduct search engine optimization by writing multiple articles from that blog post.
Then I’d submit those articles to article directories then I’d post the article to social sites like FaceBook and Twitter. Then I’d build links around the Internet pointing to that blogpost to increase my Google search results.
That would take me 2 to 3 days per episode then I was essentially timed to do it all over again. It was exhausting. It was a full-time gig just making this podcast and marketing around the Internet.
Not only it was exhausting, it really produced minimal results. I mean it would take essentially, I don’t know, a year or two of doing that as a one-man band to experience any sort of real success on life before you’d start really seeing the results.
So what I did is I created a very detailed procedure of that entire process in a written step-by-step format then I hired a few virtual assistants to execute the procedure for me. So now, all I do is create an outline for the show.
I record the show then I post it to my podcast host. So I hired a VA that I had her subscribed to the show. So each time I post a new episode, she receives it then transcribes it. She then writes a few articles for me based off of the content then she sends them to my Search Engine Optimization expert of which then submits those articles to online directories. Then he creates the links to those articles to my blog post and to the podcast.
I mean that happens automatically and I’ve done something very similar with my real estate investing business in a way that all I have to do is call motivated sellers and put deals together. Everything else is essentially done for me.
I mean that type of time leverage is how to get success in a very efficient and much more enjoyable manner. Now direct you to where I’ve found to be the best virtual sites and believe me I’ve tried a bunch of them.
I know the ins and outs in the courts of each site but first I want to walk you through creating your procedure list or lists. If you’ve never done this before, it might be a very fun experiment to see what you actually do.
I’ve had a few jobs in my life for they had this procedures list where the procedure manual. It’s this big, giant, thick manual that I don’t think anybody ever really read. But now I’ve really understood the value. I understand the type of impact that can have on your efficiency, on your productivity inside your business, or even your life fall together.
Okay? Procedures. Procedures are instructions. So put yourself in the user’s shoes or the person who’s actually going to be carrying out the procedure and write from their perspective.
In other words, unlike other types of documentation, you don’t need to give the reader very much background details. So do the following, you want to do the following. You want to write in the present tense. The user is performing the task now. Don’t write in the past conditional or future tenses unless you have good reason to do so.
Then you’re going to want to avoid ambiguities. You want to be really clear. You want to be concise. You want to use short words. I mean this isn’t a romantic novel you’re writing. There’s no extra credit for creative writing.
Keep the words short and get to the point. Then you want to move from one step to the next in a very logical manner. Steps should follow each other in a very logical order. Then you want to highlight exceptions. Use a symbol to flag this as an exception on how to handle it then highlight warnings.
Again, warn the user that the caution must be used in this scenario. Warnings must stand out. Use a larger fonts or a warning icon. Then you’ll going to want to reduce the word count where possible without altering the meaning of the text. You just want to keep this clear and concise in a very logical step-by-step process.
Now things not to do. Do not introduce acronyms without explaining what they mean. What does OLA mean to you? I know but most folks don’t. Another thing you don’t want to do. Don’t be vague. Don’t use the word “may” if possible as it implies the user can do something under certain conditions. Instead, be positive and tell them exactly what to do.
Okay? And don’t get the sequence wrong. Make sure you get the sequence right. Steps have to be in correct order. Do not list steps that should be numbered. What I mean is that some items can be listed, for example a list of ingredients in cooking but you need to number the steps in the correct order so the cook can prepare the dish. You get the right result. I mean the best approach to writing a standard operating procedure is to perform procedure, write it, and test it then write it again.
So perform the procedure and make note of each action you take. Then test it then write it again. Number each step in the procedure. Now, every procedure lists the actions that the reader must take.
Now once you’ve completed your first list. First, highlight all of that which you don’t want to do. Okay? Highlight the steps that you don’t want to do. Second, highlight the step that you’re really not very good at. Okay?
Then third highlight that of which doesn’t really directly accomplish the goal. In other words, if you have a job that includes sales. You’re going to highlight pretty much everything other than the items that actually make you money that actually convert the sale.
And you’ve got a few options. You can search for team of people or you can search for one person that can do everything for you. You’ll have some tasks that are part time responsibilities. You’ll have some that are full time type responsibilities.
Now the two sites of services that I like to use are LeverageMyTime.com, LeverageMyTime.com and VAOneStop.com. VAOneStop.com.
Now here’s the difference between the two. I use LeverageMyTime.com for those part time tasks or those specialty tasks. The reason that I like this service is that while you’re VA is working. The service actually take screenshots of their computer while you’re being billed so you can be sure that when you are being billed that the VA is actually doing your work. I love this feature.
Okay? The whole site is very user-friendly as well so you go there and you’ll post your job. So for example, every Monday, I’ll send your report and I’ll need an Excel spreadsheet created that looks like X and calculates like Y.
When it is complete, I want you to email to [email protected]. That might be a job that you hire somebody part time so every Monday, they’re going to carry this certain procedure for you. You’re going to send them report by Monday morning. They’re going to convert it to an Excel spreadsheet that looks like the example you provided when they’re done with it. They’ll go email it to whether it’s one of your customers, whether it’s a fellow associate, or whether it’s your boss.
I call your boss [email protected]. All right? Whatever it may be. That could be very much a tasks that takes you hours of which causes you to go home late on Monday nights and miss your favorite TV show or make you miss time with the family or maybe you can spend that extra time doing what you do best or what you like to do.
So how this could look for example, what I’ve actually done recently in my real estate investing business is that I have one Virtual Assistant post a classified ad on Craigslist, eBay Classifieds, and Back Page. I have them do that every single morning 5 days a week, Monday through Friday.
I mean that is a very mundane time consuming process that is really like freed up my mornings so I can spend more time in the gym so I can spend more time getting in shape. It’s something that’s really important to me. I mean those ads that they place; they drive traffic to a special landing page.
When those visitors fill out a form on that page, it sends in email to another Virtual Assistant of which calls them within 12 hours. She asks them 3 specific questions of which I gave her to ask. Based off of those answers, she will either input into a database for me with notes on the conversation or if it’s really a hot lead, she will either 3-way me into the call or send me a text message with that leads information depending on the time of the day.
I’ve set up all those parameters in my procedure list. By setting up a system of which the same person does the same tasks everyday, I mean real efficiency can be injected into your life.
We all know that time is money. Right? For that type of virtual assistance, I recommend LeverageMyTime.com. LeverageMyTime.com. Now the other type of virtual assistant is one you might want as a full-time assistant to work for you.
Someone that going to work for you day in and day out doing certain tasks or conducting certain responsibilities that has to be conducted on a daily basis. For that type of VA or Virtual Assistant, I’ll call him Vas from this point forward.
I would recommend the service VAOneStop.com. VAOneStop.com. It’s a one-time fee around I don’t know $300 or so. They find the exact type of VA with all of the special skills required for your job.
They’ll go out and they’ll search. They’ll conduct interviews of I don’t know maybe 10 candidates and narrow it down to the three. They’ll send you those 3 Vas’ information and then you can interview those 3 to see if they’re right for your job.
For example, I used this service to find my SEO or my Search Engine Optimization guy. His name is Allan. I use the service to find my transcriptionist, Toni. I have them working together to keep my blogs full of content and to make sure that when certain keywords are typed into Google that I come up amongst the top results.
Now both of these services, I mean they freed up so much of my time that I get to spend the majority of my time doing what I do best and that’s creating content. That’s creating this podcast. That’s doing deals on my real estate not shuffling papers, not building links and websites. That’s actually doing the deals in my real estate investing business.
The other thing I get to do is I get to be there for my newly born son of which just turned 4 months by the way. But I get to be there without a whole lot of stress. Then you’ll get to do with your time whatever you want.
Just imagine what else could you do with your time? If all that stuff that you have to do on a daily basis, the stuff that you’re tired of doing, the stuff you don’t like doing, the stuff that you’re not very good at, the stuff that just kind of removes the fun out of work.
What if you could eliminate all of that from your day-to-day activities? What could you do with all that free time? I don’t know. You know your life much better than I do. I’m sure you’ve already got some ideas.
Okay. So here are some tips for finding a good VA. Tip number 1: first the price. Okay? Vas can range from $4 per hour to $40 per hour. Yep. You can get much of the stuff on your procedure list completed for $4 an hour. Okay? You get a little excited already?
I know I was when I discovered that, however, I will never actually hire based on price alone. I used to do that but I won’t do it anymore. So take your time to read your VA’s profile, their work history, qualifications, and customer ratings.
You’ll get access through those two websites that I gave you. Every once in a while I’ve gotten amazing work for cheap but for the most part even around the world across cultural lines, you do get what you paid for. So don’t hire based on price alone.
Two, prepare for cultural differences. I mean if you’re outsourcing abroad, you definitely need to be aware of the cultural differences that will arise. I mean outsourcing your calls, for example, would mean you’re provider would need to be attuned to the cultural and social customs of your business.
If you’re outsourcing web design, you’ll going to want to make sure that the language your provider will be using fits your demographic. Customers are very observant and they can tell very quickly if the message they’re reading is a low quality or it’s poorly translated.
Third, location. VAs span the globe and are available on every continent. Now being an American, I found that the greatest success to experience to price ratio with Vas is in the Philippines.
They speak English better than most other countries. I found the thought process and logic to be the closest to the American culture. I don’t mind paying a little extra in the Philippines for stress-free experience.
Now they are on an opposite clock as we are so if you need someone to be working during your hours that might not be the best solution but I have to find it pretty much over all the best results, the best experience.
My relationship with my VAs is so much stronger than in the Philippines than it has been anywhere else. I’m not saying there’s not other good VAs. There are good VAs everywhere. It’s the best success to experience to price ratio that I’ve experience.
Four: take one project at a time. Don’t move so fast. Okay? Don’t sign any long-term contracts that until you seen that this provider has had success on smaller projects. If possible, test the outsourcer first. By giving them a comparatively small task to accomplish, their ability to handle this project is going to prove whether they are a good match for the long run.
Just like the people that you interact on the day to day basis, face to face, it’s important even with your VAs to know whether you click or not, whether you enjoy working with that person. It’s going to make a big difference in your whole experience.
Number 5: brace yourself for challenges. Now as greater as it would be to immediately hit the ground running with your new provider, with your new VA. Realistically it’s going to take some time to synchronize operations and build a professional relationship.
Now in order for outsourcing to work, you and your staff are going to need to be patient. You’re going to need to be prepared for small missteps that may happen in the beginning. For example, if your provider is offshore then there’s going to be this time zone that I mentioned earlier. That Matt can really hamper proper communication and setting up a realistic schedule that meets your needs.
That might take some practice and might take some adjustments and some refinements before you get it just right. If all parties are invested though a little practice and management of expectations are going to sort everything out.
Six: be aware of the full costs. Okay? Many companies outsource to save money. It’s understandable but outsourcing can get pricey too. I mean are your outsourcing projects going to require you to employ telecommuters or freelance staff who work remotely?
If so, I mean, it could be costly depending on where the workers are based. What about equipment? Do the outsourcers have their own or are you funding the bill on that? Make sure to get as much information as possible about the total cost before it’s too late.
Seven: are your expectations the same? Are all involved parties clear about what the end result should be? I mean miscommunication, benchmarks, milestones can cost a real, I don’t know, can cost issues.
But be clear about communicating what success looks like as well when you expect to get there. I mean if possible provide the outsourcers with the concrete example of what you would like their finish products look alike.
I mean for instance perhaps you are outsourcing the redesign of your site. Is the vendor up to speed with the latest content management system and development software? Are they up to speed with the latest technology?
You should know what capabilities you want your site to have and assure that your providers has already been able to provide that level of quality to other clients before giving them the job.
Eight: get clear. I think I somewhat mentioned this twice but it’s really important. Get clear. Set clear deadlines and project descriptions. One of the best buyer products of outsourcing is it teaches you how to clearly define the project.
It teaches you how to create a procedure list that standard operating procedure. It will also identify steps that often get missed when we do our own work. Without a clear project go outsourcing, I mean, it’s futile.
Alright? Also properly defining a job at the beginning gives it a better chance of success. Then when you put time parameters on it, it’s all that much more efficient.
Okay. That’s how to get success when starting over in life by leveraging your time. My two favorite websites in fact they are the only ones that I use now. LeverageMyTime.com and VAOneStop.com.
A couple of others that I found to be really fun is fiverr.com. It’s a great little place to go for people where people share things and they’re willing to do for $5.
Okay? If you got small step that’s not, you know, critical to the mission that might be a good place to check out. It’s fiver, f-i-v-e-rr. There are 2 Rs. .com .
Then a new one that I just found called TaskRabbit.com. TaskRabbit.com. You can get just anything done, you know, safe, reliable, awesome people. Right now they’re just currently serving Boston, San Francisco Bay, New York city, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Orange County inside of California.
They’ll actually do stuff face-to-face. They still do stuff. They could do the stuff around the house or do stuff that you need an actual physical being in there for. Check that out. That’s TaskRabbit.com.
Hey but for serious day-to-day responsibilities, go to LeverageMyTime.com and VAOneStop.com. That’s it for today. God loves and so do I.
I am Matt, the Do Over guy. I will see you on the next episode of your Do Over.
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To view the resources referenced in today’s show and to retrieve a complete show transcript, visit www.TheDoOverGuy.com. Stay connected with Matt, the Do Over Guy, Theriault on Twitter at TheDoOverGuy and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dooverguru.