I’ve been an entrepreneur since the age of 14 and bought my first pair of Technic SL-1200 turntables after raising money cutting grass for the entire neighborhood.  In the DJing culture Technics turntables are precious metals hand crafted in Japan by Panasonic ( do they still exist), but to me it was a tool that allowed me to organize a musical playlist for hundreds and maybe thousands of people to dance to.  The investment in music made it possible for me to get bookings for weddings, birthday parties, concerts and houses.  It was a great business model and carried on to my adult life.  Nowadays we live in a digital world where turntables are obsolete and carrying crates of music is back breaking.  Its an art form but in the world of iPads, MP3 players and live streaming music doesn’t have to carry such a heavy weight.  With new technology its weightless and outsourced.

This is a valuable lesson I learned reading the book 4 Hour WorkWeek by Tim Ferriss and how outsourcing work is a solution to the heavy weight that individuals and businesses carry each and everyday.  I hear people all the time say “I get too many emails and so little time to reply” or “I hate adding up my expense reports each month.” In the book Ferriss writes about outsourcing tedious or large scale tasks to someone who is highly skilled, affordable and saves you time to spend towards important tasks such as family life, education or creative thinking.  I decided to test it out for 2 months only, which turned into a year of great productivity.  When I searched for a Virtual Assistant to work with I found Get Friday based in Bangalore, India who provide services for clients throughout the world.  Their services are a wide range of skills from calendar management, travel arrangements, social media marketing, SEO to database entry such as email newsletters.  Hiring a VA started as a simple exercise with little risk and turned into an investment that I highly recommend.  Some people may say “If I can do it better than an assistant, why pay for one?” The answer is simple:  eliminate small things to focus on the bigger things.  I created a system that worked for me and began delegating things that I had procrastinated on for months even years.  If your worried about financial information, you don’t have to share them. Some people give their assistants permission to pay bills and or book airline flights. I personally never delegate something that is not well defined or important for both our time or my money.
DSC_0087
My assistant is very good at emailing client leads, posting scheduled social media updates, travel planning for me at great speed and giving me reminders when I should follow up on family matters.  We work mainly through Skype and Trello so that things do not get lost in a bunch of emails because Im involved in quite a few projects at once.  With Trello it helps us see what needs to be done, what she is working on and when its completed.  Comments can be generated in the task board so that the communication is clear and concise.
IMG_2203
Screenshot from my phone showing an alert from Trello

Due to modern lifestyles we can become very consumed in our own work and to do list’s that we don’t get a chance to spend quality time on the important things.  If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, musician, individual or publicist then Get Friday is for you.  Sign up now and get a free 7 day trial and tell them ARS Media sent you.

Emoticons-5

Once you have received an email from the Get Friday Customer Relations team you are on the path to personal freedom and becoming an efficient worker.  Here are a few tips I would suggest once you are assigned a Virtual Assistant:
  • Sign up for Trello and drop all of your to do list, crazy ideas, travel plans, research notes in different boards.  Email invite your Virtual Assistant and add them to the board. Give it a title and make sure to set the email notifications so that whenever their is any work you get alerted.  This is especially good when you download the Trello app on your phone and get mobile notifications in a pop up screen.
  • Make sure you write clear tasks oriented emails that give a timeline and objectives
  • Communicate on a daily or weekly basis. If you are not interested in your tasks then your not interested in the results of someone else working on your behalf.
  • Respect your assistant and their expertise.  Get Friday hires some of India’s brightest and highly skilled IT professionals and business majors who may have a wider perspective of the world then you. Majority of the assistants work with clients from Germany, South Africa, United States to Australia working around the clock in different time zones.
  • Let them work while you sleep.  Trust that if you provide clear instructions and desired timeline your assistant will provide a proper outcome.  Do not micro manage your assistant and losing sleep because you think they are not capable of bringing results.  The purpose of outsourcing your work is to NOT worry about the work!
  • Do not give too many tasks without a set of priority order.  This is why Trello is such a valuable tool for me because I can slide the tasks from bottom to top if its a high priorate tasks.  Make sure to eliminate the less important tasks first.