A Full Time VA, Round 2, Traffic School and More…

Its been a while since I last posted a “what’s going on with me lately” type of post, but I think now is the perfect time to bring it back because there’s a lot going on and I’m always happy to keep you in the loop.

Here’s what’s up:

I Just Hired A Full Time VA

Full Time VAI finally did it!

On Monday, I hired my first full-time VA to do web programming and development to help me get all of my completed (and future) projects online, up and running. Also, because I’ll have to keep feeding him work to do, I know that my business will always be growing, even when I’m not doing anything myself.

In the past, I would try to figure out everything on my own – that’s just the type of person I am.

A control freak.

Now I know that doing everything on my own is definitely not the smart thing to do, at least not when you’re trying to expand your business and trying to keep hours of work to a minimum.

Minimum effort, maximum efficiency.

How I Found My VA

I found my VA through Chris Ducker’s Virtual Staff Finder, which made the whole process very simple and stress free. I’ve worked with VSF before but only on a one-off project, so I was curious to see how this was going to turn out.

The person they found for me is highly qualified, and at least from what I’ve seen from him so far, he’s excellent. Already (in just one day) he’s setup a new domain, installed wordpress and setup a theme on it with hardly any instruction from me.

Sure, that’s not too difficult of a task, but it was just nice to see that after a short message to him on BaseCamp (the project management software I’m using), he was able to take care of everything for me while I was asleep.

:)

I’ll keep you up to date on how things are working out between my VA and myself, but I’m here to be a good boss and help support him and his family while he supports me and my business, so I’ll definitely be rewarding him beyond his regular wage when it’s deserved.

(I’m currently paying him $700 per month, which was his asking price and is standard for an overseas web developer per this article here)

Motive: Make Money vs. Helping People

This is interesting…

After I published session 15 of the SPI Podcast on Monday, an reader/listener left the following comment:

This is great content and I’d expect nothing less from you.

But I have a problem. I don’t care about helping people. I ONLY care about making money. Now… I realize that the more value I provide the more that’ll come true but I just have to take a stand against this idea that we as Internet Marketers and entrepreneurs have to adopt this altruistic mind set.

THAT’S the kind of thing that gives us a bad name.

Everybody’s out for themselves – it’s human nature. And I see nothing wrong with it. Why the self-deception?

Please don’t misconstrue this comment as confrontational!

I just want to clear the air because I know a lot of people feel the same and I’d love to hear your opinion on this issue.

Needless to say, this sparked a huge string of emotional responses from SPI readers (with arguments for both sides) which are very interesting to read. If you want to read my response and the rest of the conversation too, you can check it out by clicking here.

Round 2 – For Reals This Time

After I finished round 1 of P90X (my results post with pictures) I was in the best shape of my life.

I intended to go through another round of the extreme home fitness program, but unfortunately the holidays got in the way and I must have started round 2 at least 3 or 4 times already.

I’m really disappointed in myself, and although my physique hasn’t changed much (thanks to eating relatively well) my strength and endurance definitely has gone down the drain.

Because fitness and productivity are directly related, I also feel I’m not getting as much work done either.

Well, I’m announcing this here on the blog today to hold myself accountable – I’m now in day 3 of round 2, and I don’t intend on starting over again.

Thanks in advance for all of your support.

WordPress Plugin #1 – Completed!

A lot of you know I’ve been working on developing a WordPress plugin and I’m happy to announce that it’s finally complete!

I’m super stoked about it and my VA and I are working on developing the website and delivery process as we speak.

On top of that, WordPress Plugin #2 is already in development too. I’m even more excited about this one, so stay tuned.

You’ll definitely hear more about the plugins as they are made public.

:)

Photoshop Tutorials Webinar for Bloggers

A lot of people were excited when I announced that I’d be hosting a couple of webinars to help bloggers easily use programs like Photoshop and Gimp to create graphics for their blogs that are commonly needed.

This will be happening and I’m currently in the planning process for the presentation. Check out the mindmap here to see what kinds of things I might cover, which were actually requested by you:

Photoshop for Bloggers MindmapThe most popular requests seem to be stuff regarding social media (twitter backgrounds and facebook images), logos and eBook covers, as well as just basic information about how to reduce file sizes.

It’s in the works, so stay tuned.

Traffic School

No – I didn’t get a traffic ticket, although I was pulled over twice within 1 week because someone apparently stole the registration sticker from the back of our car.

NOT cool.

Anyways, this is the kind of Traffic School you can be excited about!

traffic schoolCorbett Barr from ThinkTraffic.net (you may remember him from session 8 of the SPI Podcast – How to Get More Traffic), who is a dear friend and one of the people I respect most online, is coming out with his first premium course called Traffic School, which I’m happy to say I contributed to!

It hasn’t launched yet, but today Corbett released a free 8-page report called The Real Reason Your Site Isn’t a Massive Success Yet (no opt-in is required) that is actually a very very good read, so I recommend you check it out.

You can also signup to be notified when Traffic School does become available if you’re interested. As Corbett mentions on his blog, this course isn’t for everyone and some may not be able to afford it, but you’re always free to enjoy the free content on his blog and in his reports.

Oh, and in case you missed this post back in January on his blog, I went head to head with Everett Bogue in a heated formal debate about blog comments and whether or not you should leave them on (my side), or turn them off (Everett’s side). One of the most fun “guest posts” I’ve ever done.

So – that’s what I’ve been up to. As always, I’ll keep you in the loop and I hope this inspires you to take some action and get things done too.

Wishing you all the best!

Cheers!

  • http://www.theaffiliatejourney.com/ Ian – TheAffiliateJourney

    Pat, will look forward to hearing how you make out with a full-time VA. I’ve been on the fence about this for a few months now thinking just how much time I could free up for split testing, launching new sites etc. if I had someone to handle the bulk of my repetitive work. Will check out the service you suggested as I haven’t visited them before.

    • Pat

      Yeah – I was on the fence for a while too, but I’m sure I’ll be like many others out there and tell you in the future it was one of the best decisions for my business. I’ll definitely let you know. Good luck!

  • http://www.facebook.com/HYVAssistant Owen McGab Enaohwo

    Pat I am glad you finally got a Virtual Assistant and Chris Ducker is a fabulous resource for VAs as well; someone who I look up to myself. In my video interview with him I called him the “God Father of Outsourcing”. I am looking forward to seeing what your WordPress Plugin does once it comes out. Also what are your thoughts on charging recurring subcription fees for your iPhone apps, I notice Apple just implement a payment system that will allow one do just that?

    • Pat

      Hehe, the Godfather of Outsourcing, that’s pretty cool, although he has the wrong accent for that role :P

      Recurring subscription for the iPhone apps is pretty interesting, I haven’t really thought much about how this could be used but I’m definitely interested. What are your thoughts?

      • http://www.virtualbusinesslifestyle.com Chris C. Ducker

        Hey – I can do the accent, Pat!

        Forgedaboutit…….

        @Owen – Thanks for the kind words, buddy!

        • http://www.facebook.com/HYVAssistant Owen McGab Enaohwo

          @Chris do you have a vanity alert on your name? I like the way you appeared quickly to engage in the conversation!

      • http://www.facebook.com/HYVAssistant Owen McGab Enaohwo

        I am actually working on a project for creating Mobile Apps for Web Apps that cater strictly to Entrepreneurs. Basically these web apps charge a monthly subscription fee to use their products and do not yet have mobile versions (even if they do, who cares as long as their APIs allows me to do what I need to do … back to the story) and my goal is to create Mobile App versions so that their users can get stuff done on the go, talk about niche market selection. I plan on charging a small recurring subscription fee as well and creating a suite of these mobile apps so that I can refer users of one app to others in my suite. Also I plan on signing up as an affiliate for the web apps and helping them find new clients who I also then get to sign up for my mobile app.

        That my little idea and if anyone is interested in joining me on this journey you are invited (sorry Pat for the small ad). This is the reason I started interview Entrepreneurs on how to outsource the creation of their Mobile App. I interview Quoc Bui recently and more interviews on the way.

        It just makes sense especially with Apple and Google now coming out with the ability for folks to charge recurring fees for their Apps. Why make it and sell it only one time?

        Granted this is going to take some work on my part to accomplish and again I am inviting anyone who is interested to join me on this journey

        • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

          Recurring subscriptions is definitely an interesting model for apps. I’m interested to see what the first big app will be that features it. Everyone is used to just paying a one time fee and that’s it.

        • Terry Springer

          I am also working on a web app that will also have an iPhone front end option. The web app will be offered as a premium membership tool. The iPhone subscription model could really play well into this, something I have to check out.

          I am also really interested in having a mobile version of the web app offered…. would like to discuss this more!

          You can email me at terrycspringer at yahoo.com

          Terry

  • Rusty

    Hey Pat,

    I love your site and you have inspired me to give this a try. I’m wondering a few things and would love your perspective.

    1. I purchased Market Samurai through your link(gotta give credit where it is due :)). Now, I’m reading on their forum people are seeing inaccurate results. Are you seeing inaccurate results in terms of SEOC, BLP, etc…

    2. Do you have a recommendation for how to post all of the links? What I would LOVE is a tool that I could setup and it automatically posts links to directories slowly overtime. I would much rather put several hours of work into it up front and have the software post over the course of days, weeks and month.

    Does that make sense?

    Thanks!

    • Pat

      Hey Rusty – Thanks for the kind words.

      1. I’ve heard about some people finding some inaccurate results, but I think it was due to the changes with Yahoo Explorer and MS has either fixed the issue or is definitely working on it already. They are a high quality company and are always updating the software to keep it up to date. For me, I really haven’t seen anything totally out of whack.

      2. Are you just talking about article marketing, or something else? You might want to check out unique article wizard or blog blueprint.

      • Rusty

        What I’m hoping for is either:
        1. a piece of offline software that I can buy(1 time fee like MS) that I can setup for each niche site. Then the software will automatically post the backlinks for me to the website/pages I setup.

        2. Hosted software with a small monthly fee.

        Do you post all of the 100s of links by hand or use on of these tools?

        Thanks,
        Rusty

      • http://lissowerbutts.com Lis Sowerbutts

        Market Samurai have just updated their blog – they have had to switch provider for the backlink data – remember that ALL backlink sources are inaccurate – they are just an indication not an absolute

  • http://www.youngprepro.com Onibalusi Bamidele

    This is awesome Pat and when I read that you just hired a VA the first thing that came to my mind is how much one can cost monthly, I’m so glad you answered this because I also plan to be hiring one in the future.

    I’m so happy to hear that your new plugin has been completed and I just can’t wait to lay my hands on it :). I’m also really happy that you will be starting the photoshop/gimp design webinar soon – I’m so certain it will be awesome!

    Thanks so much and have a great day!

    • Pat

      Thanks Oni – glad I answered that question for you. More info on the plugin to come very soon. Cheers!

  • http://ww.gaurano.com Jonathan Gaurano

    Dear Beautiful Pat Flynn,

    I understand this question is way off topic, but since there are but a few comments I’ve decided to ask (probably in the archive but couldn’t find it). The question I have is: Who creates your e-book illustrations? The cover art – everything?

    I’m putting an Ebook together, but it doesn’t look as professional as yours. What company did you use?

    Thank you so much for your overall time,

    Your information means so much to me – and the rest of the interweb community.

    Always a pleasure,

    - Jonathan Gaurano

    • Pat

      Hey Jonathan,

      No worries about the off topic question.

      I created the eBook myself using Pages for Mac – it’s a lot easier than Word as far as the design and graphics part of it. To create the cover, I designed it in Photoshop and then used Cover Action Pro to turn it into what you see in the sidebar.

      I recommend maybe holding a contest on 99designs.com to get a bunch of designs that you can choose from. Just make sure you tell them exactly what you want.

      Hope this helps! Cheers!

      • http://www.gaurano.com Jonathan Gaurano

        I checked out the website you mentioned and downloading your ebook – at this very moment.

        Thank you so much!!! (:

      • http://www.smartonlineincomes.com Solomon Mwale

        Please advise when you will start the Photoshop tutorials ?

        Regards
        Solomon

    • http://www.creating-passive-income-streams.com Cory Buckles

      Jonathan, don’t forget to download Pat’s free eBook called “EBooks the $mart Way”. Pat goes into detail about how he makes his eBooks. Just plug in your info in the opt-in box in the area directly below the “Hello: My Name Is Pat” graphic over on the upper-right corner of this page.

      • http://www.gaurano.com Jonathan Gaurano

        Downloading at this very moment. (: weee gracias!

  • http://itarsenal.com Robert

    I’ve been keeping “report” like posts lately as well and they are really beneficial. The photoshop for entrepreneurs looks really useful. I love that stuff since helping entrepreneurs with tech stuff is my whole business. Check out the Mac program “Decompose” for cutting people and objects out of images. It’s amazing.

  • http://biggoalhunting.com/ Mike Roberts

    ah man, I’m so excited about the upcoming photoshop/gimp tutorial. Can’t wait!

    and I read through the 8 page report from corbett and took some great notes, so thanks for that too.

    Have you hit your p90x workout yet today? Just doing my part to keep you accountable ;)

    Super grateful for all that you share,

    ~Mike

  • http://www.virtualbusinesslifestyle.com Chris C. Ducker

    Thanks for the mention here, Pat.

    It was a pleasure to help you out in your quest to find a solid, experienced VA, and I am happy to hear that you’re already utilizing him properly, and creating more time for yourself by doing so – thats the whole point it of, buddy!

    Breathe. Have fun. Enjoy…

    C

  • Arthur

    Do you follow the P90X program including the diet? I found that to be the hardest part, not the workouts themselves. My wife is currently doing the Beachbody Insanity program … and let me tell you … P90X is a walk in the park comparatively. I can barely do the warmup let alone the entire workout hahaha!

    You’ve been a great motivation for me Pat, and seeing you come rolling out with all these new things and hiring a full time VA, which is something I want in the future, shows me that it can be done. Much Thanks!

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Sorry to jump in but just wanted to add that following the diet for any program is the hardest! I did do Insanity last summer and when I was doing it at the gym people would be in shock how sweaty and tired I was. The warm up is tough! As for the diet one great tip that Tim Ferris suggested and that I have always done before is to not eat too many different meals. Meaning if you have to prepare meals every single day, it’s going to be hard to stick to the diet. I like to make something and have leftovers for a few days or more. That way I just take it out of the fridge, heat it up and it’s ready to eat.

  • http://www.sportmanagement.cc Pat

    Pat, I notice you also work with Basecamp. I just started, but really hate the fact that they don’t have a calender integrated.
    How do you work around that?

    • http://milesw.me Miles

      Use the todos/milestones feature to set dates for due items.. works fine for me.

      Calendars can get full with petty items, use basecamp for those items and leave the calendar for day specific things (errands, payments due, etc) the todos and milestones will do wonders for that.

      Good luck

  • http://www.incomescene.com Manuel

    Pat, glad to know you just hired a VA. You’re growing quite big online and you definitely need one. Great job you’re doing here.

  • http://pennyonthefloor.com mike

    congrats on finishing a round of P90x. i got to just over a month before i abandoned ship.. i need to make more passive income so that I have enough time in my day to get back to P90x.

    hoping that some day i can get to the point of needing a VA. not there yet…

  • http://www.EscapeThatCube.com Jason – EscapeThatCube

    Pat,

    Great post and really nice to get the behind the scenes look into what you have been up too and whats coming down the road.

    One thing I have been struggling with is time mgnt. I have no problem paying for a VA and think they are great, but I am having trouble figuring out what I can actually have them do for me.

    I quit my job 3 months ago to travel in Latin America and started my website to document my decision leading up to quitting my day job, how I was going to make money on the road and the cost of daily living while on the road.

    One thing that takes so much time for me is writing and editing all my blog post. So when I think about hiring a VA the problem is that all of the content comes from me and do not feel like it can be outsourced to a VA.

    One thing I could have a VA handle for me is my video blogs. I have been taking tons of video and then editing which takes many hours! The problem is that I am just not sure a VA would be able to get it right.

    Other then setting up websites, logo’s what are some other things you have outsourced to your VA.

    Your content is amazing, thanks!

  • http://www.megabizflakes.com Samuel

    This is awesome Pat! I guess your VA is from Philliphine? Let me know if I’m right. :) Glad to hear that you’re done with your pluggin! I’m sure bloggers can’t wait to lay their hands on it. When I heard Traffic school, I thought it’s offline transportation school haha pardon me man. Corbertt is a great guy and I’m sure he will over deliver in his book. Will check out those free chapters. Thanks so much bro. Keep stunting :)

  • http://www.comopromovermimusica.com/ Pedro Sanchez Jr

    Congratulations on hiring your first full time VA, this is exciting!

    As always Pat, keep up the good work and always giving us your best!

    PS: Just checked out your updated FB page, got to say that i am impressed
    how you adjusted to the new features.

    ~ Pedro

  • http://chrisalta.com Chris Alta

    Pat!

    I’m excited to see what the WordPress plugin you’ve gotten developed is all about! Full time VA though has to be sweet..it’s like you think of something shoot him an email and have it become a reality..that’s awesome. Definitely a luxury to have so make sure you spit out great stuff brotha!

    as far as that comment goes I personally don’t feel that’s a great mind set to have when working online. I too have a friend who wants to help people but everything he puts out is always a review of some clickbank product, or always building a niche site then losing focus on that niche site because he really has no passion and interest for it and then finding a new niche and building another website and then keeps the revolving wheel of nothing going on.

    It’s unfortunate but everyone has their own path! Definitely a great topic to speak on though so it’s good that the SPI community got to interact and really get both sides because it’s true money is a big motive but it shouldn’t be your main one. That’s the reason I keep coming back to SPI and continue reading your news letters because not once have you tried to sell me anything. And I’ve already told myself that when I get the money together I’m going to come back to SPI and buy Market Samurai, and check out other products through your affiliate links because you’ve been very helpful and most importantly transparent.

    What happened with P90X?! Gotta step your game up on that one Pat! haha..and really living in San Diego someone swooped your registration tags? No bueno! I’ll be checking out that traffic school thing for sure.

    I’m stoked about the photoshop webinar because I just got CS5 and I’m completely lost..I need to add a logo to the top of my blog but it’s beyond me right now.

    Hey as far as BlogWordl EXPO in LA goes how much does it cost to register? I only ask since I know you went to Las Vegas last year. Are there hotel accommodations?

    You seem like you’ve got a lot going on. How did you manage to focus all of your time and energy on a select few things? Write down some check lists?

    Right now I want to build my community, but then I want to focus on SEO, then I want to have a user friendly website and add all of those RSS buttons, twitter buttons, basically have a nice customizable and over all user friendly website. Then I find myself wanting to learn how to edit videos..I’m splattered all over the place!

    Any advice would help!

    have a good one pat, cheers!

    -Chris Alta

  • http://www.billbiko.com Bill Biko

    I’m looking forward to hearing how the VA works out, its’ one of those things you know will improve your business, but it seems like such a big step!

    Bill

  • http://internetbusinesselevation.com Kev Kaye

    Hey Pat,

    Its awesome you hired your first VA. I have hired them part time in the past with some success. How much preparation did you do before you hired him? Did you lay out a system for exactly what you need him to do, or did you have a general conversation and he took it from there?

    Kev

  • http://unlockthedoor.net Stuart

    Nice one Pat, you’re giving a new meaning to the term “Work At Home Businessman”!

    Looking forward to seeing the new plugin as well. I’ll admit this now, you’re inspiring me to branch out in my passive income ways. I should really try more things. Take care buddy :-)

  • http://penmeetswallet.com Rachel @ Pen Meets Wallet

    Glad you found someone to help you manage your business. I bet that is hard to do, considering you are a do-it-yourself type of person. But you definitely have reached the point where it’s ok to pass off duties and relax a little and enjoy the empire you have successfully built for yourself!

  • http://ratraceonline.com/blog Rat Racer

    Congratulations on finding yourself a VA. Sometimes its a hit or miss thing with finding a good one. I’m excited what the wordpress plugin will be.

  • http://lyndsysimon.com Lyndsy Simon

    What software did you use to create the mindmap? I’d been using Freemind, but yours looks much nicer :)

  • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

    I believe having a great VA will definitely help your business grow. I aspire to one day be in that level to afford and utilize a VA to help my projects expand.

  • http://www.productivitybits.com/ Marlon @ productivity bits

    Pat,
    I would want to work with a VA in the future. I want to build iPhone/iPad app that I can sell but I do not have the technical know-how. I can probably find somebody who can build it for me but I just don’t have the capital to make it happen now.

  • http://Addictiveiphoneapps.com Jamie

    Hey Pat,

    Congrats on employing a full time VA, I could do with one haha but I certainly don’t have the money your paying for him!

    Could I lend him for a couple of weeks? Lol

    Great post man keep it up!

    Jamie

  • http://www.miramesahomesblog.com Paul Caparas

    Pat,

    Good job on hiring a VA and getting your first WP plugin completed! You must be really excited on how everything is going.

    I’m looking forward to the Photoshop tutorial!

    Paul

  • http://www.timokiander.com/ Timo Kiander

    Pat!

    Photoshop for bloggers in an excellent idea!

    What about instructions on how to create your own infographics (nothing complicated, just simple stuff)? Or does your webinars cover that part as well?

  • http://lifestyleninja.com Nick B.

    Hey Pat,

    Great article. I’ve been thinking about hiring a VA for a while, I’ll definitely go the Chris route.

    Very interested to check out this Photoshop crash course.

    Keep on keepin’ on.

  • http://fitnessmotivationtoday.com Bridget

    Hey Pat – thats great news that you hired a full time VA, I just can’t believe you didn’t do it sooner!!

    I actually wouldn’t have got a VA yet myself if it had not been for the fact that I won the competition on the Virtual Business LIfestyle facebook page (Chris Ducker rocks!!) I have been working with my VA for 3 weeks now and I love it so much. She is way more useful that I could ever have imagined and has contributed so much to my site without taking away any of the personal feel.

    I am sure you will become even more successful now and I look forward to everything you have planned :-) You inspire and teach so many of us in so many ways.

    Oh and try not to feel disappointed with the shaky start to round 2. We can’t be totally on top of everything all the time and when it comes to fitness I think that Jennifer Nicole Lee says its all when she says “its not about being perfect, its about being persistent.” And by starting again you prove your are persistent – Good Luck with it you can do it!

  • http://simplylearnbusiness.com Nick

    Boy, do you have a lot going on. And I thought I was being productive.

    I am trying to write articles for revenue sharing websites, write blog posts, create a autoresponder series, get traffic, get subscribers to my autoresponder series, and keep up with social media. And that’s just business Nick. School and Social Life Nick are also stressed out. It’s hard to keep it all straightened out. But you seem to be doing that quite well.

  • http://www.7daystrafficschool.com David

    Hey this is an interesting post on traffic schools, i was looking for some recommendations in joining the best traffic schools in California…..
    online traffic school

  • http://financiallyeliteblog.com Dwight Anthony

    I can attest that your sites are still ranked high due to high quality content. Those that are dishing out garbage sites should be ready to drop in the SERPS.

    Dwight Anthony
    Financially Elite Blog