Don't use outsourcing as an excuse not to work.

15 replies
I've a lot of experience in IM over the years (on and off) but this is the first time I've ever outsourced.
A couple of days ago I put in an order for some articles that will be the content for my second site (the first one I hand built).

So there I was patting myself on the back for being "smart" enough to outsource something. Imagining how much quicker I could reach my goals because I had been smart enough to ship off some work.

After sending off my first batch I decided to work on the setup of my second site. So in about an hour or so I had everything done and just needed the content.

And this is where I made my mistake. I began waiting for the content.
So, as I couldn't really do anything on my second site I went off and spent the evening watching TV with my family.

This morning I'm back at my day job and thinking about how things are going and the penny drops.

i did nothing, and used the fact I had outsourced something as an excuse not to work. (It wasn't a concious decision, but that's basically what I did).

What I should have done was research for my 3rd, 4th, 5th ... nth site.
I could have been buying the domains for them. I could have setup the hosting for them and wordpress. I could have been choosing what articles I would need for each of them (so that when I get my first batch back I can send another batch).

Hell, I could have been writing articles myself for at least one of the other sites. In short I could have been driving my business forward.

Hopefully this can act as a cautionary tale for someone else - but I figure folks as dumb as I am are in the minority.

To quote Homer Simpson : "DOH!!!".

Tonight I will work doubly hard to make up for lost time - and I will definitely not make the same mistake twice. If i was good at SEO i might attempt to have my name rank under the term "Dumbest man on the planet". hmmm perhaps I should outsource it.
#excuse #outsourcing #work
  • Profile picture of the author Ryan Even
    Great points!

    I feel into that trap too when I hired my first assistant.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ruth P
    Lol as soon as I read the thread title I completely understood!

    When I outsourced more than I currently do a few months back, I did a lot less work myself than I had been before. I felt like, since work was getting done by someone else, I didn't need to push myself as hard.

    To some extent this should be true - we outsource to save time and do things we want in life - but if you're still improving your business you shouldn't use it as an excuse to slack off!

    Good message for anyone thinking of outsourcing.
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  • Profile picture of the author bigK
    My problem is that it is hard to find someone that will do things exactly as you want them to be done. So outsourcing makes me nervous
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    • Profile picture of the author jbpatlanta
      Originally Posted by bigK View Post

      My problem is that it is hard to find someone that will do things exactly as you want them to be done. So outsourcing makes me nervous
      This is the problem I am running into. I am starting to outsource my article writing. So far I have tried 3 different writers. And so far no one has done it like "I" want it done.

      I have to go back in and edit them to make it sound right to me. Honestly, by the time I do that, I might as well have written the articles myself.

      The last guy wrote pretty decent articles, but I still had to do some editing.

      I want to know why non-native speakers advertise themselves as a native speaker? I mean, the articles were decent, but I could tell in three sentences that this guy is not a native speaker.

      Anyway, I don't want to rant here.

      But I agree, once I started to outsource, it seemed I used it as an excuse not to work as much. I want to get to the point where I can outsource most stuff and work less, but I need my business to be bigger and stronger before I do that.

      Good luck,


      PS anyone know a good writer?

      "DO or DO NOT. There is NO try!" -- Yoda

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      • Profile picture of the author DaveML
        Just wanna say you don't have to push hard we are here...I am a VA...SEO expert...2 years SEO head...If you are needing someone to work with your SEO's my email
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  • Profile picture of the author MrCat
    As the saying goes - If you want something done right, then do it yourself
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  • Outsourcing is not meant to replace yourself as your business' main asset. It's meant to leverage your time so you can focus on what you're supposed to do as the "CEO": think strategically, and let others work at the windmill.
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  • Profile picture of the author profitsforall
    For content I'll favour writers from America, Canada, UK, Australia or New Zealand.
    You still have to watch out, there are some folks that have English as a first language who write like it was their 3rd

    I wouldn't rule out writers from elsewhere, but would definitely be looking more closely at samples provided.

    I'm not a perfectionist by any means but I need to feel confident about the quality my pages provide.
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  • Profile picture of the author ASUService
    Good points ... an easy trap to fall into.

    Other than continuing on with work you might not have accomplished while doing the work you outsourced you also should consider working on some training for those you outsource to.

    Of course this wouldn't be the case in a one off task. In that situation you'll need to spend more time screening the prospective candidate.

    In the case of hiring someone who will be with you over the long haul (a VA) you need to train them on how YOU want it done. It doesn't matter if the VA is an expert at what they are hired to do ... your process is probably going to be exclusive to you. This is what you need to train them on so that one day they are doing the task exactly as you want it done. Granted ... more experience = less training BUT it wont eliminate the need for training.

    By joining a training site or creating your own you will eventually get the results you want. This is a one off task that once you have it fine tuned you'll not need to do it again.

    I'm a member of Replace Myself and one thing they stress is to make sure the prospective VA has very good written English skills (also speaking if phone support will be one of their tasks) and can install Wordpress. Everything else can be taught. IMHO even Wordpress installations can be taught. In my case I look for good English skills but only for writers. Other tasks can be done easily as long as their English is good enough for communication between the two of you.

    As an owner of offline and online business I can tell you it doesn't matter if the "employee" is coming to you every day or works remotely. They will need a lead in period to get used to YOU and how you want things done. This is a critical time for both of you and will make or brake the relationship so invest in it! You won't regret it.

    On the up side to this issue ... once trained and up to speed YOU won't have to worry when something comes up that takes you away from your business ... a fully trained highly capable person will be there to continue while you're away ... PRICELESS!

    One last comment ... regarding the post by profitsforall ... you just described most of my grandkids, nieces, nephews, and kids of friends! Sad note when I can find someone in India or the Philippines who speaks/writes better English than they do!!!! :-)~

    Best Regards,
    Mike Allton
    ASU Service, Inc.
    The LAST SMS Platform You'll Ever Need! Easy Money!

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  • Profile picture of the author rhoda.pearl
    Outsourcing is a good idea but the outsource main task is to help you in some tasks so that the work load would somehow lessen. You as the employer would still think of the different strategy or technique that would be applicable and helpful to your site.

    But the good thing is that, you have realized where you went wrong and you did what should have done. I guess, time is the most important thing when it comes to IM.
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  • Profile picture of the author thinkahead
    Personally, I find it hard to let go of the work. My sites are my own, they've been built by me, etc, so I find it hard to let bits go. Also, I find that asking someone to do something that I can physically do myself doesn't always mean that it leads to a better result. I'm a very picky person and it's easy to find fault with perfectly good work, simply because it's not 100% how you would do it yourself.

    From experience, the only work I ever outsource are for things I physically cannot do myself, eg certain programming that needs expert knowledge that I simply do not have myself.

    Over the years, I have taught myself to do so much simply out of being stubborn, coupled with a desire to learn. My main worry with outsourcing is that, if something goes wrong with something you have outsourced, you have no idea how to fix it yourself and, as such, have to outsource again to fix the problem which, in turn, costs time, see where I'm going.

    My advice is to do everything physically possible yourself, but not to the detriment of your family, etc. It's always important to give yourself time off. Teach yourself as much as you can take in too, it'll bear fruit in the long term.
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  • Profile picture of the author Terry Hatfield
    Well your warrior forum post is ranking number 55 for "dumbest man on the planet".
    So you have a few more to beat to get that title.

    But seriously, you are only dumb if you don't learn from your mistake.
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    • Profile picture of the author profitsforall
      Originally Posted by Terry Hatfield View Post

      Well your warrior forum post is ranking number 55 for "dumbest man on the planet".
      So you have a few more to beat to get that title.

      But seriously, you are only dumb if you don't learn from your mistake.
      I laughed at this, then thought hold on a minute maybe you were serious so checked my ranking. I'm getting more deserving of the title everyday
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  • Profile picture of the author dbishop
    Both aspects of this discussion hit home with me... one, that you need to continue to work even when you outsource. I thought I was the only one who considered that a license to play!

    And two, the issue of not finding the right person to outsource to. This is so hard - especially if you're a perfectionist.

    I've been a professional freelance writer for many years. Two different times, I've tried to outsource client work and been VERY dissatisfied with the results. I finally gave up and went back to doing my own writing and only taking on work that I can personally handle for myself.

    I think I'm too picky...
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  • Profile picture of the author trishworks4u
    Somehow that didn't happen with me. I started outsourcing over 6 months ago and still work 14+ hours a day. It is almost a full time job to manage 4 outsourcers and keep them moving :confused:- which I know is ridiculous so I will be outsourcing that at the first of the year.

    I don't even want to work LESS - I just want to do other stuff. Grow my business. Spend more time in forums learning and building relationships. Diversify. blah blah blah.

    I'm not sure I'd know how to work less. or i'd be afraid it would become a habit really fast.
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