Like many people, I first came across the idea of hiring a virtual assistant (more commonly called a VA) in Tim Ferris’ book The Four Hour Work Week. At the time I thought the idea was interesting, but not for me.
He described having VAs do personal tasks, which I just didn’t see the point in. After all, I can make my own doctor’s appointment in the same amount of time it would take me to tell an assistant to do so and provide them the information.
But I missed two critical points.
For one thing, it’s often faster to just do the task yourself the first time. But if a task is repeatable, after that it’ll save you time to have someone else do it for you.
I also didn’t immediately make the connection that virtual assistants are not only helpful for tasks like making doctor’s appointments or scheduling trips. They can do business-related tasks too.
Now THAT would save me a lot of time, so I set out to find a VA I could afford to pay. And I quickly grew frustrated.
I knew what I had in mind, but I couldn’t seem to hire someone to do what I wanted. I tried the Ask Sunday service and was very disappointed. I tried Craigslist, and couldn’t even get my ad to show up. I tried Elance, but people’s rates were too pricey for my budget.
I now have a VA to help me with some of my business-related tasks. We’re just getting started with stuff, but so far it’s been such a relief to have someone to help. I also enjoy having completed tasks appear in my email as if by magic. It’s worth the money.