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Vox Pop: Have you tried outsourcing your life?

A lot of my friends have been reading The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss, and, to varying degrees, several of them have started trying on some of his more audacious ideas, such as checking email once a week, finding an "income muse," going on an extreme information diet -- a few people I know are considering outsourcing pieces of their personal and professional lives.

For reasons I can't fully explain -- and will, for now, just write down to Tim's engaging style -- I also found this outsourcing idea weirdly fascinating. You identify the tedious tasks in your life that don't represent the best use of your time, and assign them to an overseas worker who can complete them for a few bucks an hour. This apparently can be virtually any kind of mundane task, from booking a dinner reservation to doing research on a company to -- heck, why not? -- answering your email.

So, while I know lots of people share my theoretical interest in this, I wonder how many of you have tried it, and how many of you are using outsourced help on a regular basis. What's your experience been? Does this work? What sorts of task are most amenable to long-distance assignment?

By the way, if you haven't read the book yet, here's an excerpt from Tim's chapter on outsourcing.

Comments are open for your stories. I'd be grateful if you can try to limit your comments to firsthand experiences hiring and utilizing outsourced employees or in regard to evaluating the quality of their work. Thanks.

Jaya Schillinger's picture

Brad asked, "What other tasks...

Brad asked, "What other tasks are people actually outsourcing?"

You just reminded me of another HUGE thing I started outsourcing: my QuickBooks.

A colleague of mine (he's a financial strategist) just added off-site bookkeeping services to their offerings. They have a team in India that updates my books every night. We're still getting through the set up a bit, but the benefits of this are: -I'm delegating my most-despised task. -No more bookkeeper sitting in my chair 1x month. -Instead of seeing my P&L retroactively, it's in present time. -They host my full-program QB online, so we have multiple users. -They do my payroll too. -The company I hired is US, so if there's any issues, THEY handle it. -I also hired my friend Monte Zwang to create a budget and run projection numbers for me--a task that many don't know how to do. He's really good at it.

Here is the link to my colleagues' company: Wellness Capital Managment http://www.wellnesscapital.com/




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