Why live your own life when someone overseas can do it cheaper and better?
I have an evil plan to
outsource myself to myself.
Recently I was working on a project that became stalled, largely because I did a poor job of assessing the scope of the project in the first place, which led to a serious case of scope creep. I was frustrated, the investor was frustrated, and things were going nowhere. The solution? Ironically, I outsourced myself out of income by agreeing that the best solution to keep the project in motion was to hire an overseas freelancer. This leads to a condition I’m not too fond of, something the self-employed sometimes refer to as being “independently broke”. I set my own hours, have immense creative freedom, and can work from home, among other things. The only drawback? I don’t get paid. This got me joking with a friend though, about how great it would be to outsource my whole life. What if someone could call Verizon and AT&T and resolve the seemingly endless billing problems I have with them, something I’m really good at but never have the time to do? Or what if someone could meet the perfect woman for me, so I could settle down and finally be forced to get a real job? Or maybe even write articles like this for me, so I have more time to market them? Well, I was only slightly surprised that someone had done this, and with hilarious results. Check out My Outsourced Life, by Esquire’s AJ Jacobs. In a nice twist, Tim Ferriss (author of The 4-Hour Workweek) featured it on his blog, meaning he outsourced his work to an American who was outsourcing his work overseas (see the video below which explains how this trend will lead to one man in Afghanistan ending up doing 83% of the world’s work by 2025). And my little jest about outsourcing my writing? I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that 29% of bloggers surveyed by ProBlogger outsource some part of their work. This whole industry is bigger than you might think. And you don’t have to go the mainstream route of sites like Guru or RentACoder; clever people like Jon Lieb outsource themselves to their own employer. And for a mere $480 a month you can outsource your online dating. I’d avoid the advice of those millions of productivity sites though. Productivity501, for instance, offers a list of 100 personal outsourcing ideas. First of all, the list is so long and at points inane that you’ll wish you’d outsourced reviewing the list. It also seems to overlook the fact that someone who needs and can afford an assistant will be better off hiring a professional, who – one would hope – already knows how to assess which of these services you need in the first place. My favorite is the site’s suggestion that you have your assistant send handwritten letters using vLetter software. By the time you’re done tweaking the tool, you could have written a dozen letters by hand! Oh. Never mind. I guess you can outsource that too. In any case, you can rest assured we’ll be back with dozens more fascinating articles on this new work approach. As soon as we find someone to write them.
Learn how this trend will lead to one man in Afghanistan doing 83% of the world’s work by 2025: