Good morning kids! I’ve been MIA for a few weeks as I do some serious restructuring and revamping behind the scenes. Oh, and I also am starting a little website called One Woman Shop in case you haven’t seen! Jump on the launch list here:
Anyway, in my free time, I’ve been reading The Four Hour Workweek. I didn’t read it when it was first published- admittedly, I did think it was probably a bit overrated, but mostly, I just…didn’t read it. But oh wow! I am a full fledged cult member of Timothy Ferriss now.**
**Okay, not entirely true. I do take issue with some of his points (which I’ll address below), but overall, I think he has some pretty darn sound strategies, tips, and tools.
So what’s a perpetual self-improver (me, in case you didn’t get that) supposed to do when confronted with new ideas? Obviously make up a challenge and implement it! Which brings me to my Four Hour Workweek Challenge- I won’t be working just four hours or even really trying to, but I will be following some of his sage advice: automating, cleaning up processes, and outsourcing.
Some thoughts as I prepare for the month-long challenge:
One big point Tim makes is that outsourcing a bad system amplifies its issues, while outsourcing a good system magnifies its brilliance. Agreed! I spent a fair amount of time this weekend prepping for my challenge- organizing my Evernote notes, writing down all possible things I could outsource, writing templates, writing down my passwords, unsubscribing from email lists, etc. Remember that there is a ramp up period and you will have to invest your time in cleaning house before things start going smoothly (well, we hope they will at least!).
One thing I came up with all on my own was the idea that if you would never consider outsourcing something, think about whether you should be doing it. Obviously, that comes with a ton of caveats (like showering or using the restroom, for example) but consider this example: I obsessively check my site stats on my blog. Why? No reason really. I would never ask a Virtual Assistant to obsessively check them on my behalf, so why am I still doing it? Eliminated (well, it’s a work in progress at least)!
These days, a lot of VAs advertise their marketing and social media skills. I’m still trying to figure out the fine line between marketing assistant and VA…any insights?
I’ve decided to start with things I deem low risk to get comfortable with outsourcing some of my tasks. On my low risk list: research, brainstorming social media content, etc. On the higher risk side: actually posting social media updates, managing email..
As I mentioned, there are definitely a few things in the book that I don’t necessarily agree with. Tim focuses on encouraging people to build a “muse,” which is a low touch, high income generating business. The idea is appealing financially and I would love to do it for added financial security, but I genuinely enjoy work and am not just looking to automate everything and then jet set around the world indefinitely.*
*I would be open to occasional jet setting. But I like work and I really like Raleigh.
For me, this challenge is about increasing my effectiveness (not just my “productivity,” which is often code for things that are not in fact beneficial or time-saving), opening my time up for more high-impact projects, and honestly, getting some of the monotonous parts of business ownership that I don’t enjoy or always stall on off my plate.
Hereeeee we go!
Questions, comments, advice? Let me know!