While I was suffering through my latest bout of overwhelm and anxiety – I kept slapping hand-to-forhead and mumbling – “If I only had someone (anyone) that could take care of x and y – then z would come together quicker and still of the quality I am known to produce”.
I was reminded today about the 80/20 rule.
What is the 80/20 Rule?
Wikipedia shares all the details here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareto_principle
Why You Should CARE About The 80/20 Rule
“The distribution is claimed to appear in several different aspects relevant to entrepreneurs and business managers. For example:
- 80% of a company’s profits come from 20% of its customers
- 80% of a company’s complaints come from 20% of its customers
- 80% of a company’s profits come from 20% of the time its staff spend
- 80% of a company’s sales come from 20% of its products
- 80% of a company’s sales are made by 20% of its sales staff
Therefore, many businesses have an easy access to dramatic improvements in profitability by focusing on the most effective areas and eliminating, ignoring, automating, delegating or retraining the rest, as appropriate.”
Note that I’ve underlined 2 points above that relate to my epic fail.
1. 80% of my profits – come from 20% of the time I spend “working”. (I spend a lot of time working on things that are just stuff a monkey could do).
2. 80% of my product sales come from 20% of the products I offer. (If I focus on what sells the BEST and MOST and MOST Profitable – wouldn’t I make more money with less effort?)
Point 1 – I’m Always Working – Why Am I So Far Behind?
Another way to look at this ” I’m working an awful lot on stuff that doesn’t make income”. It’s stuff that has to be done, but it Does NOT have to be done by me.
I CAN Hire the monkey jobs to be done for me.
I DO have assistants who I have hired for book-keeping, accounting and technical stuff with websites. (And I have a housekeeper – and I have most of my personal shopping done from Amazon or my hubby).
I need MORE!
If I’m routinely doing something (anything) that doesn’t have anything to do with ME need me to click the button or research or whatever… then why am I doing it?
I’ll tell you why.
I thought it would be to expensive. Duh. As my hourly “worth” rate goes up, the cost of hiring goes down exponentially. I need to spend more time doing the things no once else can do. (Like my weekly podcast).
A VA could get all my books published. The work “I” needed to do is done (creating the meaty content no-one else knows is my job).
A VA could take care of customer support, finding new suppliers, research etc. All the things I’m doing now that don’t need ME to do them.
I thought it would be to much effort to find someone to come in and help with my Ebay business. Seriously folks, how hard can it be to train someone to take pictures, write a few facts on a form and store stuff? That’s all I need. I can hire a VA to create the listings.
The only thing would be left… the shopping. I love that. And even the shopping can be trained so I could have an entire staff running my eBay business.
NOTE: I’ve already trained my hubby to do the shipping. 🙂
Analyze Product Selection And Weed Out The Underdogs
Looking at all the products we sell, we often see a few (maybe not obvious) pockets of time wasting, low profit products.
Products we continue to source/create – because we do what is easy and they do sell. They may not be fast sellers, they may take more time/effort than many of your other products or they may be just something that we’ve always had in stock and it’s time to take a look again at where they stand in the 80/20 of things.
Even looking at some of the processes or systems we use with a critical eye, could free up time. (Time is money)
The Goal Is To Simplify (Our Business and Our Life)
AND – to get help!
If something COULD be moved from the 80 side to the 20 side IF you just spent more time/effort on it, maybe it’s time to get some help.
Simplify – Set up process you can train others to do – Get out of your Own Way.
I just read this in a book released just today (I’ll tell you more about the book in a sec):
“You can’t scale your business up very much if you refuse to outsource. If you’re nervous to outsource or if you’ve been burned in the past, then it’s time for a new approach. Start small and work your way up.
Start outsourcing just one task and then move on from there. I think you’ll find that you very easily get into the groove of it and that you really enjoy outsourcing. I also think it will help you earn a lot more in your business and achieve so much more.”
What’s the book? You are in for a treat. It’s short (just over 40 pages) and it’s not filled with one tiny bit of fluff. I recommend you get this and read it right now. I think it just might change your business/life mindset.
Dennis Becker (The $5 a Day Guy) just finished this up and I snapped it up within in seconds of getting the email notice. WHY? Because it’s perfect in it’s timing and I know Dennis never publishes anything half-@ss or shoddy. EVER.
In fact – this is the subject line of the email – [Five Buck Friday] Work less, earn more… want proof?
Work Less, Earn More – Yes Please
The main point of this book related to Outsourcing:
- Start with things that make you money (you need to pay these people – lol).
- Then find the things that you hate doing or are routine
- If you aren’t good at it (even if you know how) find someone else to do it.
- Some thinks are just time sucking activities. I have one I do every week. I HAVE to do it, but it takes hours and it’s not fun. If I train someone to do it for me… it frees up at least 6 hours of my week. BLISS
This book covers so much that is valuable. This is the ONE sentence that had me buying without finishing the rest of the email:
“Wake up doing exactly the right things for success every single day “
If you aren’t into JV’s, Affiliate Marketing etc., a few sections won’t be relevant. I looked at the information and replaced the acronyms to something more relevant to some of my own business income streams (eBay, Amazon etc.)
Screen shot of the table-of-contents:
Until I downloaded the package, I didn’t realize a worksheet and checklist are included.
These are GREAT additions. Just these two little things are worth the price of admission. (Wait till you see how CHEAP this is!)
What Am I Going To Do About My 80/20?
I have committed to hiring help. Just Do It! Get the most out of the 20% is my goal, and I’m going to get help, so I can spend more time on the things I love.
These are things that seem to be my current roadblocks:
1. Take time to train – it seems as if it will take more time to train than to just do it myself. OR – They won’t do it like I Do It.
2 Time/effort to find and interview – It’s an effort to figure out something new. I need to get past this.
3. What should I pay? I think this will become obvious as I get into the hiring. I’ll know when I don’t feel I’m getting value.
4. How do I know they are working? In the past this used to be an issue, new tools are available that relive that stress.
5. Won’t they steal my stuff or money? How much access should I give? I don’t hear about anyone else who has issues with VA’s (I have never had a VA even come close to violating my trust). The access is up to you, lot’s of options are available to control this.
6. How do I pay .ph workers? I have found out this is simple, easy.
Okay, Okay…. I’m Ready For More Help
On one hand – I really want an American VA. I think with some of the work load I want to hand off, I will feel more comfortable.
On the other hand – I know some of the tasks I have in mind will be suitable for a VA in the Philippines. The price will be reasonable and I can train them to do so much.
On the THIRD hand – I also want someone IN HOUSE – to work on my Amazon and Ebay businesses. I’m going to figure out how to find someone that will learn to do most of the workload.
So… I’m looking for at least 3 people to add to my team.
Where Do I Start?
I’m not NEW to hiring. I am still feeling lost. I have hired in the past from recommendations of others, some of those went really well, and some so-so. In fact, I have one tech VA that I’ve had “On Call” for years!
I don’t have a lot of people to go to for recommendations (especially for Philippines) so I’m going to need some training. I need to jump in and get my feet wet.
From past experience, I now know that I need to know what I need to know and not just wing it.
First Things First – Training For Me About Hiring In Philippines
You all know that Jessica Larrew is one of my FAVORITE teachers (as well as a very good friend). Jessica’s training walks me through how to find VA’s on O’Desk and includes video that will train “ME” & a “VA”.
These are just a few things Jessica shares in this course:
ALSO: The task for VA’s taught in this course: Sourcing for Online Products
I’m off to go through this training and see if I can hire my first international virtual assistant, wish me luck! I’ll be sure to keep you in the loop on my Virtual Assistant Journey.
You deserve to have more time to do what you love,
p.s. Check out what others that have already taken the course are saying on: Jessica’s page.