AskPat 450 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 450 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I'm here to help answer your online business questions five days a week, and we have a question today from Stefan.
But before we get to his question, I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is Lynda.com, making it super easy for everybody out there to get access to over three thousand on demand videos to help you with your business, your technology, your creative skills. Whatever you need help on, you can watch these super high-quality videos on Lynda.com. Everything from how to use Excel, to how to go paperless, to iPhone and iPad development, to income tax fundamentals. I've used it for helping me with my DSLR cameras. I know Mindy, who edits these shows, has used it for years, actually, and I recommend you check it out too. You can try it actually for 10 days for free. Complete access to all of their courses for going to lynda.com/askpat. That's L-Y-N-D-A.com/askpat. Check it out right now.
All right. Here's today's question from Stefan.
Stefan: Hi, Pat. I'm Stefan from howtolucid.com, and my question is, how do you know when it's time to outsource something and, when you do know, what do you decide to outsource and why? I'm a longtime fan of the show. I've been listening to it for several years. Great stuff that you do for us all. So I thank you, Pat.
Pat Flynn: Stefan, thank you so much for the question, and first of all I have to comment on your domain name, HowtoLucid.com. At first, I thought you said how to lose it but then I checked it out, and I'm actually very excited, because I've actually tried and have successfully done lucid dreaming before. And if you don't know what lucid dreaming is, for those of you listening, it's when you can actually control your own dreams. You pretty much wake up in your own dream, but you're still in your dream and you can control your environment and whatever it is you want to do. And I remember jumping 50 feet in the air and flying and doing all that stuff. And it is not easy to do. I've only done it twice in my life, but it is pretty awesome. So I'm definitely going to check out your site. Again, it's howtolucid.com. There's a lot of videos on it too on YouTube, and I'm sure you have some great resources as well that I will dig into after we record your answer here.
So, how do you know when it's time to outsource and how do you know what to outsource? Well, I feel like outsourcing is something that anybody can do, and that is something I wish I did sooner. I tried to do everything on my own, and I did that for years, and I look back, and now I have a large team who does a number of things for me, specialized things for me, things that I now understand that, even though I can do them and do them very well, I shouldn't be doing them. And I understand when you're first starting out, you might be bootstrapping and it might be more difficult, but you can even start small. That's the big and most important thing you need to understand is, you can start out small. When you start out small, you get to see the impact of what its like to have somebody else do this work for you. How you're essentially cloning yourself or being wise with where you use our time versus where you spend you money and have other people do things for you.
Another thing to mention is that sometimes you might not even need to spend money. You can offer services that you know how to do. You have an expertise and pro bono you could do something for someone else. They do something for you. And that's … I've done that in the past as well. And that can work out too. So, there are of course a lot of different places you could find help. There are sites like upwork.com, which used to be Elance and oDesk. And then there are places like Virtual Staff Finder, where you can find people who can work for you for a longer period of time. The first and best resource I would share with you, if you're really serious about finding out what to do with hiring virtual staff and when to do it, the best resource out there is a book called Virtual Freedom. It's by my good friend Chris Ducker at ChrisDucker.com.
Virtual Freedom was a bestselling book, and it is the quintessential guide on everything, virtual assistants, and hiring your virtual staff. He has this really great exercise that you could even do. Here, I'm going to share it with you, and you can do this in your head or write it down on paper. You essentially divide a piece of paper into three different columns. The first column, you write down all the things that you just can't do, you know you have to do in your business, but you can't do or you struggle really hard with. So you write all that down in the first column: a list of however many things you can think of, and get as detailed as you like.
Then, on the second column, you write down all the things that you hate to do. These are things that you probably do already do in your business in some way, shape, or form, but you just dislike doing these things. If you had a magic wand, you could have these things done automatically for you or have somebody else do them for you already.
Now, the third list is the hardest one, but it's also the most important one, and this is the one that I've had to figure out in the recent couple years. And it has been a game changer for me, and that is listing all the things that you can do and you like to do, but you probably shouldn't do in your business.
This is what Chris Ducker calls in his book Virtual Freedom the “three lists of freedom,” and these are where you can start to pick and choose the different things that you can then outsource. When you see these things on paper, you start to discover, wow, I'm actually doing this stuff? Why am I doing this stuff myself? Or, wow, this is something that I can batch process or have some software do for me. A number of different things that I do, I have my software do for me, like scheduling tasks. I use calendly.com to schedule interviews and things like that. Again, that takes away so much time from me doing stuff that something or somebody else can do for me.
So again, when you write those things down, and putting them into those different list helps too. It helps organize what's going on in your brain, and it helps prioritize those things as well. Then, like I said, there might be some major things that you see on there that you could outsource. You might not want to start with that. Start with something small. Just so you can experience what it's like working with somebody else or having somebody else work for you. Start with a one-off job and see what its like from there. You can even higher on a place like Fiverr.com, for example. If you're doing an ebook cover or you need a logo done, you know, 99Designs.com could work, or Fiverr.com could work, and you can just see what that experience is like.
It is such a cool feeling to put a job description out of something you want done or talk to a team member and tell them you want them to do something, and you go to bed and you wake up the next day or the next week or whenever the deadline is, you see that thing complete, and it's stuff that you didn't have to do yourself. It is so handy. It can help you make strides in your business as well.
So really, Stefan, just write those things down like I mentioned. The three lists of freedom: things you can't do, things you hate to do, and things you know you shouldn't do. Then you're going to start to see perhaps patterns or where you can start. Again, you can start small. That's totally okay. Upwork.com is a place you can go to. Start with other people in your network as well, who might have those experiences and expertise as well, and get started from there.
So, Stefan, I hope that gives you some clear direction in terms of where to start, and I look forward to seeing how that works out for you. Thank you so much for your question today. I really appreciate it, and thank you for your website. I'm definitely going to check it out, because lucid dreaming is something I'm very interested in, just because it's cool. I actually heard that some people use that opportunity to study for tests, or they practice their presentations on stage while they're sleeping. How awesome is that to get that little bit of extra time to do stuff and to explore. It's really interesting. The brain is so crazy.
Anyway, thank you, Stefan, I appreciate it. We're going to send you an AskPat T-shirt for having your question featured here on the show.
For everybody else out there listening, if you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com and you can ask right there on that page thanks to the widget from Speakpipe.com. Also, I want to encourage everybody to head on over to the blog this month, SmartPassiveIncome.com, because we're talking all about email marketing. We have a lot of great articles, stuff that I've written, and videos that I've shot, and podcast episodes with people who are going to help us with our email marketing. Everything from how to get started to email segmentation and, actually, I recommend you check out EmailtheSmartWay.com, which is a brand new guide that I've created to help you get started and win with your email marketing campaigns. A lot of you know I have a book called eBooks the Smart Way. Well, this is Email the Smart Way. You're going to see some more Smart Way free courses and guides come out in the future for you as well. This one, Email the Smart Way, just go there. You'll get everything you need. Check it out.
Thanks so much. I appreciate you. As always, here's a quote to finish off the day. This is from Richard Branson, and I love this quote. He said, “When you're first thinking through an idea, it's important not to get bogged down in the complexity. Thinking simply, and clearly, is hard to do.” Cheers, take care, and I'll see you on the next episode of AskPat. Thanks.
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