Five Things to do Before You Hire an Assistant

by Oct 20, 2014Productivity

Are you ready to outsource some of that stress?

Are you ready to hand over the reins and stop working on $10 an hour tasks?

Are you afraid that no one, and I mean no one, can create a spreadsheet as well as you?

Give it up. Let it go.

Move in to your line of genius.

I'm all for outsourcing to keep people working within their line of genius. If you own a company the time you spend shopping for the best airfare could have been time with a client or writing a proposal.

If you bill $50, $100 or $200 an hour, why are you doing $10 an hour tasks?

At some point, it's time to try an assistant. Start with just five hours a month and see how it goes. It's part of your new system to uplevel.

Five things to do before you hire an assistant

1) Start your task list.

The month before you hire your assistant, start a running list of all the things you are doing that is a $10-50 per hour task. I'm not saying that an assistant is only going to cost $10 but if you're doing something that is such a time waster you would pay someone $10 an hour to get it off your plate than write it down. Keep this list because most of the tasks are probably recurring. This list should include personal and business tasks that you would like off your plate.

  • Cleaning – home or business
  • Cooking or meal prepping
  • Social media
  • Administrative
  • Travel Arrangements
  • Errand running

2) Track your time.

In addition to the tasks you want to outsource, consider the time you spend doing those tasks. If it takes you an hour to make travel arrangements but it could take an assistant 15 minutes, you've just saved a ton of money. Time = Money. I track all my time using www.focusboosterapp. I know how much time I spend writing posts, working with clients and posting on social. At the end of the week I see what Timesucks I've had and at the end of the month I consider what I could outsource so I don't repeat the same mistake the next month.

3) Consider which type of assistant you need.

 Do you need more help with errands, grocery shopping, pets, house cleaning or veggie chopping? Hire a Personal Assistant. Need administrative work, travel arrangements and scheduling? Hire an Administrative (in person or virtual) Assistant. Need help with social media? Hire a Digital Assistant. There's an assistant for what you need, but until you do step 1 and 2, you aren't going to know which type to start with and how many hours to hire them for.

The absolute, hands down, most creative job description for a Personal Assistant, was for Mike Bledsoe over at Barbell Shrugged. Click here -Best Job Description Ever

When I met him at the 431 Project we were talking about all his crazy travel and that his next step was a P.A. Within a couple of weeks this post went up. It's brilliant.

You know exactly the type of person he's looking for and get a taste of his personality. He's honest that it is sometimes going to be cool and sometimes going to be boring and you're going to have to be pretty freakin' dedicated to it. Plus, how could you NOT love that photo?

 

Mike Bledsoe

4) Start writing or recording instructions.

As you are doing each task, start a cheat sheet and start writing instructions or create quick videos using Jing or Screencast for your future assistant. Write down step by step what they need to do. They won't be able to read your mind, no matter how much we pay them. Trust me. I've tried and mind-reading hopefulness gets you no where.

5) Consider your worth.

There are different ways to track your worth per hour. Giving up tasks can be hard, especially if you are an entrepreneur, solopreneur or on a tight budget. Consider how much you can make if you focus on the revenue-producing tasks or how much you can exercise, play with your kids, or learn a new language if you outsource. Time isn't really money. Time is worth more than money. Once you have your basic needs met and a few fun things, don't you always wish you had more time? Ever sat through a meeting and thought I will never get that hour back. 

 

Your Weekender Snapshot and Tim Ferriss’s Five Bullet Friday are my favorite emails I receive.
jim west

Principal and Managing Director, GFF Architects