Outsourcing Annoying Things

Listen.

If you’re going to do this entrepreneur thing, and make it work for you, you’re going to have to get used to doing crap that you don’t want to do.

That’s fine. You had to do that at your job anyway.

Entrepreneurship is leverage. Leverage means being more effective than someone else at the same task. Simply put, you will have a hard time consistently creating leverage with something that you can barely be bothered to do in the first place.

If you want to get beyond getting the bills paid, and build any type of “legacy” you’re going to have to find a way to stop doing things that annoy you.

I built two six-figure companies in two years by acting on two desires:

  1. I wanted another project to work on
  2. I wanted to solve a problem that was annoying me

Company one.

My cleaning company was started because I was already working at home, I had a place that needed to be cleaner, and I sucked at keeping it clean. I can do a mean cleaning job when I’m fed up enough, but spending 82% of my life in a space that was cluttered while not having the energy to clean it would fry my brain.

Now, whenever I need my home to be cleaned, I can call up one of my employees and send them over.

Company two.

Once my cleaning company got large enough, the phone rang too much.

My ears hurt.

Good problem to have right? Sort of. When you want to do things to scale, dealing with anything less than a high priority task hinders my attempts to leverage.

I looked around for a receptionist company. I hated my options, so I started my own receptionist company.

My buddy Micah Horner had the same problem as me, at the same time. He became my partner. He gets annoyed with mundane things more quickly than I do. We make a great team that way.

Ok Don you get annoyed easily, what’s your point?

I don’t have one. I just wanted to talk about how I had a problem and solved it by creating an entire darn company.

You don’t have to do that.

If you have ANY amount of room in your budget, there is no excuse to not outsource. The only people with a lot of work to do that don’t outsource are control freaks. A lot of small business entrepreneurs think they can do everything better than anyone else, which of course is incorrect.

Let’s go over some scenarios.

Bobby is a solo attorney. Bobby gets around 10–15 calls a day, which isn’t enough to spend $3,000/month employing a receptionist, but half of the calls he gets are solicitors.

Solicitors annoy the crap out of Bobby. Bobby wants to get a deposition done and his zen keeps getting thrown off every 20 minutes. Bobby HAS to answer the phone, because a new client opportunity is too worthwhile to pass up, but Joe with SEO WIZARD wants to sell Bobby the top spot on Google, and Bobby has zero confidence in Joe. (And let’s be clear — if an SEO is good, he won’t call you. You will search for an SEO and find him. You will ask around and be recommended to him. Never hire an SEO that cold calls you. Ever.)

This is an obvious opportunity to outsource. I would of course recommend my company to Bobby.

Barb is a semi-successful blogger. Barb is therefore a content creating machine. As a consequence, she wants to create a treasure trove of quality content backed by sound reasoning.

Armed with the proper information, Barb can pump out a quality long-form post in 40 minutes. However, researching is a daunting task for her, and can consume as much as 4–6 hours.

At this point, it’s obvious that Barb needs to outsource her research. Fortunately, there are plenty of people at Upwork that are happy to be thorough, create graphs, spreadsheets, and as many powerpoint slides as Barb could ever ask for. In the meantime, Barb can focus on redesigning her blog, explore affiliate partnerships or rework her sales funnel.

Tim Ferriss, arguably one of the best outsourcers out there, uses a virtual assistant for the exact scenario I just presented.