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Business Development

Freedom Through Outsourcing (Part 2): How to Fire Yourself

warningYou are replaceable…

…and that’s a good thing.

You should go ahead and let yourself be replaced.  Better yet, be proactive and fire yourself.  That’s right.  Go ahead.  Find your closest acceptable substitute and simply give away your ever-growing “To Do” list.

Is there another person who can do your work?  Splendid!  (I hope they can start soon.)  Is there a new type of software that can do your work?  Even better!  (And probably cheaper, too.)

That’s right, my friend.  Pop open a bottle of champagne and celebrate, because you’re about to be out of a job, or two – or ten!

And ya know all those stressed-out business owners who never sleep, because “there’s just too much for me to do”?  Those guys with huge bags under their eyes?  Whose jobs control every aspect of their miserable lives?  The guys who came to mind when you read my recent introduction to this series?  They’re replaceable, too.

But those pitiful insomniacs suffer from the tragic (and arrogant) misconception that they cannot be replaced, thereby preventing them from outsourcing major portions of their heavy workloads to others.

You are smarter than that.

wheelPerhaps you’ve tried that hamster wheel before – but now you know it gets you nowhere.

Now you know how to distinguish between vital work (which must be completed by somebody in order for your business to run properly) and personal work (which must be completed by you, personally).

And you want to constantly maximize the freedom and satisfaction in your life by perfecting your personal work

…even if it means outsourcing significant amounts of vital work to other people.

The remainder of today’s lesson is designed to equip you in these outsourcing efforts.  Specifically, you will receive a helpful framework for creating each of your outsourcing plans, so that you can enjoy as much freedom as possible while cutting the fat from your personal and professional calendars.

Creating Your Outsourcing Plan

So which of your jobs, exactly, should you outsource?

What are the repetitive, tedious, and/or unimportant tasks that someone else should be doing while you focus on what’s essential?

bigBefore we can sort this out, we need a frame of reference.  So let’s take another quick step back.

Ask yourself this important question:  How do you see the dollar value of your time?  What price do you put on your most valuable asset?

$10 an hour?  If so, there are alternatives for you.  Like being a virtual assistant for someone else’s business.

$25 an hour?  May be enough to replace your current job.

$50 an hour?  That’s $100,000 a year for a 9-to-5’er.

$100 an hour?  $500 an hour?

It’s hard to do this arbitrarily, so let’s run a quick calculation.  Fill in the blanks:

$ ___________________ (your target yearly income)

÷  52

÷  ___________________ (your target working hours per week)

=  $ ___________________ (your target dollar value of your time)

It doesn’t seem so far out of reach when you break it down like that, does it?

sidenoteSide Note:  In case you haven’t picked up on this pattern yet, frequent “stepping back” is a common trait of the architect.  Several times a day, stop and ask yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing.  Get some altitude on the situation.  Does what you’re doing have an immediate, measurable impact on your desired results?  Is what you’re doing the highest & best use of your time?  If so, proceed.  If not, stop and delegate it to someone else.

Now that you’re aware of the target value of your time (TVT), it’s easier to determine whether any daily task is worth your time.  Say your TVT is $240 an hour ($500,000 income-per-year on a 40 hour-per-week schedule).

  • Is reading the news for an hour in the morning worth $240 to you?
  • Is checking & responding to email a $240/hr task?
  • Is commuting to work (rather than working from home) worth $240?
  • Is driving around to put out bandit signs for 4 hours worth $960 (4 hrs x $240/hr)?
  • Is licking, addressing, stamping, stuffing, and mailing envelopes for your probate campaign worth $240/hr?

For most of the things you fill your time with each day, you’ll find the answer to be “no.”

For some of these the answer may be “yes,” but also remember that there are mental and emotional costs to some of these tasks as well.  Putting out bandit signs for four hours may certainly be worth $960 to your business, but is it worth the stress of waking up at 4am to do it personally?  Is it worth the price of not having a clear head when analyzing deals later that morning?  Of not spending that time with your family instead?

questionThese are the questions you should be asking yourself all day.

Does what you’re doing have an immediate, measurable, positive impact on your desired results?

Is what you’re doing the highest and best use of your time?

If so, proceed with the task.  If not, stop and delegate it to someone else.

With practice, it gets easier to make these decisions.  Soon, for each task that presents itself during your day, you’ll be able to determine in a split-second whether to do it, delegate it, or dump it.

And just remember that every time you say “yes” to one task, you’re saying “no” to another (one that may have a more direct impact on your desired results).  As an architect – a business owner – “no” should be your default answer to most things that demand your time. 

You’ll need to master the art of delegating, eliminating, and simplifying.  This is critical to reaching and exceeding your TVT.

Granted, in reality, there’s probably a big difference between your TVT and the current value of your time (how much you’re making right now).  But simply having your TVT as a frame of reference is important when prioritizing and delegating tasks throughout your day.

It helps begin to create the gap between your time and money.  The gap that means freedom.

suggestionsOutsource-able Tasks for the Savvy Investor

Regardless of your TVT, what are some of the tasks that may not be worth your time or the mental/emotional effects (stress, frustration, tediousness) they have on you?

Below are some suggestions, including a handful of ideas related to the Freedom$oft project I started with my friends here at Real Estate Mogul. Is this self-promotional? Absolutely! And I am unashamed, because I passionately devote my entire life to these concepts (in case it wasn’t already obvious).

Now, as you’re reading each task on this list, ask yourself if it’s worth paying someone else $2/hr to do it for you…

  • Marketing for Sellers
    • Go to the county courthouse (or log onto the courthouse’s online subscription service) weekly to pull the newest probate, divorce, eviction, pre-foreclosure, & incarceration leads, and then input them into Freedom$oft or generate mailers
    • Post classified ads on Craigslist, Backpage, Oodle, Vast, and Kijiji directing sellers to your Freedom$oft seller lead generation website
    • Screen Craigslist, Backpage, Oodle, Vast, and Kijiji daily to look for deals, and then input good leads into Freedom$oft
    • Screen Freedom$oft Instant Leads properties to look for good leads, and then saving them for your review
    • Put out bandit signs at $1 per sign
    • Lick, address, stamp, stuff, and mail envelopes for all your seller direct mail campaigns
  • Marketing for Buyers
    • Post classified ads on Craigslist, Backpage, Oodle, Vast, and Kijiji directing buyers to your Freedom$oft buyer lead generation website
    • Screen Craigslist, Backpage, Oodle, Vast, and Kijiji daily to look for potential landlord buyers, and then contact those buyers
    • Screen Freedom$oft cash buyer leads, and generate mail campaigns twice a month
    • Lick, address, stamp, stuff, and mail envelopes for your cash buyer  mail campaigns
    • Use Freedom$oft’s Property Syndication Wizard to blast your listing across the internet
    • Post properties for sale on Craiglist, Backpage, Oodle, Vast, and Kijiji
    • Send broadcast emails to your buyers list
  • phoneLead Capture and Analysis
    • Take inbound phone calls from buyers and sellers
    • Make outbound phone calls to buyers and sellers
    • For each of your leads, put together an analysis package for your review:
      • Go to your county website, find the property, take a screenshot of the property information, and attach it to the lead inside Freedom$oft
      • Go to 3rd-party comparable sales sites, take screenshots, and attach them to the lead inside Freedom$oft
      • Capture images of the home (either physically or virtually) and attach them to the lead inside Freedom$oft
      • Run preliminary comps and note an estimated ARV
  • Making Offers
    • Make offers on leads that match your specifications, and meet a minimum criteria of offers made daily (“5 offers a day and we’re on our way!”)
  • Administrative
    • Monitor your buyers list for bogus email addresses, and cleaning your list regularly
    • Regularly re-send confirmation emails to buyers who haven’t confirmed their subscription to your list
    • Manage your Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn and other social media accounts
    • Update your blog
    • Coordinate your paperwork and closings
    • Run reports and send them to you weekly
    • Screen your email inbox and eliminate clutter (you’d be amazed how much this simplifies your life, mentally)

What do you think?

See a few things on this list that you’d rather not do yourself?

“Yes.  All of the above, and more?!”

I know you said it. :-)

Good.  Now outsource.


Do It To It! Immediate Action Steps

Calculate -- Calculate the target value of your time (TVT).

Evaluate -- Using your TVT, determine whether certain recurring tasks are worth your time.

Delegate -- If you determine that any vital activity is not worth your time, outsource it to someone else.

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