August 30, 2013, 7:29 am

Small Thinking Gets you Small Results

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Make Money Online

 

This is a guest post by Bob Richards. He is a financial blogger that thinks people think too small about money and as a result never have any.  He says it’s not possible to save your way to wealth.  He is among the 1%, inherited nothing and worked his ass off.

I encounter way too many websites by financial bloggers who think too small.  Their posts are intended to help their readers who also think way too small.  Here are the types of issues I see promoted:

  • how to earn an extra thousand dollars per month
  • get $75 worth of movie tickets free
  • how to save $25 per month on groceries
  • cut your electric bill by $50 a month

I don’t want to insult anybody, but these are chicken sh** issues and if you focus on them, you will have small financial results.  You get what you focus on.  If you accept that, wouldn’t it be better to focus on earning an additional tens of thousands of dollars or adding hundreds of thousands of dollars to your net worth?  Your problem, I guess, is that you don’t know the steps to do that.  My response is that if you look for websites that help you save $25 per month on groceries, why not substitute that research would sites that tell you how to earn significant extra amounts.

First, let me take a step back.  Don’t focus on saving money.  That’s the focus of poor people.  Rich people focus on making money so make that your primary financial intention.  Now that your focus is free from finding free movie tickets, you can turn your attention to making some significant dollars.  Note that if you want to accumulate wealth through somebody giving you a job, hang it up now.  Stop looking for a job as that’s the way poor people think. Very few get rich through a job.  Rather, you can get rich with little to no investment by connecting buyers and sellers of anything.

There are unlimited ways to do this and the elements of success are:

  1. having the proper mental attitude and confidence to succeed
  2. being a self-learner and not wait for or expect anyone to teach you anything
  3. learning the correct tactics and steps to execute
  4. learning along the way, adjusting your tactics and having persistence

If you can bring these four elements to your focus, then here is a tiny sample of places to look.

Real Estate

Be an agent.  Sell a $500,000 house to somebody and you can earn $10-$15,000.  Do that once per month (or hopefully more often) and accumulated some serious net worth.  How do you become a real estate agent?  Go work for a firm in that business.  Let them train you and watch closely the two top producers in the office and replicate what they do.  No special education is required, only that you pass an exam and intelligent sixth-grader can pass.

All you need is here.

Trust Deed Broker.  There are people who need financing on their home and they don’t fit the bank’s profile.  However there are many investors who would be happy to lend them the money.  The person who puts the two together is called the trust deed broker (or private mortgage broker).  Just like you research anything else on the Internet, you can learn about this and even find courses that teach you the details.  Again, you need a license that any intelligent sixth-grader can get.

Flip finder. There are people who want to sell their homes at a cheap price.  There are investors looking for homes to buy, fix and sell.  These people are called flippers.  You can help them find the right homes and earn a commission on each deal.  Again, put on your research hat and locate the opportunities.  No education or license acquired.

The model of being a middleman in transactions can be applied to almost any industry.  You are simply the party that connects buyers and sellers.  All you need to bring to the party are the four elements above and facility using English.  But the very first step is to eliminate your attention on the nickels and dimes you’ve been intent on saving.

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August 19, 2013, 5:00 am

Life as an Entrepreneur Sometimes Sucks

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Business

 

 

Being an entrepreneur is not always fun. Recently, I experienced the ugly side of having a business. It was probably one of the toughest moments I have had with my online company in the past 5 years. No… I’m sure, it was the toughest moment I have ever had.

 failure

I had to let go Martin

 

Martin, mostly known as MD on this blog has been working for me for over three years. I first hired him for his passion and writing style that connects with my personality. I rarely meet people in the financial blogosphere who are a little crazy like me. This is why I have enjoyed working with Martin so much. He is always on top of things, ready to do more to help and is creative. Definitively, there was nothing wrong with his work. This is why it sucked so much to tell him that he won’t be working for me anymore.

 

If the Guy Works Well – Why Do I Have to Let Him Go?

 

This is when being an entrepreneur sucks; when things are not going the way you want. It’s been roughly 18 months that Google targeted link selling sites in the financial industry. It was no secret that back then, I was making tons of money from this industry. I even averaged over 10K/month for 6 months in a row with no indication of this slowing by any means. Then one day, it all fell like a brick on my head coming from the Empire State Building. Google started penalizing sites that were buying or selling links and it was more effective than a witch hunt.

 

In the span of 2 months, my private advertising business dropped by 70% and there was nothing to bring it back. I had to turn on a dime and work on another business model with my friend. We came up with several great ideas and saved most of our income. To this date, we are still in line to generate a 6 figure gross revenue. But the difference is that we don’t have much growth anymore and we are keeping it in the low 6 figures. Unfortunately, Martin’s work was directly linked to the private advertising segment of our business. Therefore, most of what he used to do that was highly lucrative for us isn’t generating much anymore.

 

The Need to Be More Hands-On

 

I’ve personally struggled a lot since 2012 to thinking of a better business model to keep producing growth. When it comes down to my performance, I’m not easily satisfied. The status quo is synonymous of failure for me. Not showing a 20-25% growth of income last year was a total failure. In fact, for the first time in 5 years, we dropped by 4%. I just can’t accept that. Not while other website owners are still increasing their income.

 

The point is that we didn’t prioritize the right business model at first. That’s not a big deal when you realize it and you start working on something else. But this is not what we did. We let the company drift for a while thinking the business would come back by itself. The plan was simple: find other ways to keep our existing income streams as is and a better way for private advertising to come back like a tsunami. We kept Martin for this reason thinking that we could wait a while and still make money from this business later on in time. Unfortunately, this scenario never materialized.

 

We took life for granted a little bit too much for the past 18 months. After saving our income in 2012, we were relatively happy with the result and thought growth would come back in 2013. But its not. And the reason why is simple; because we are not fully invested in our company.

 

With the birth of my third child and my partner’s first baby, we completely stalled our involvement in the company and made sure someone else was paid to handle everything. But the truth about entrepreneurship is that it’s always rolling and you can’t sit on your couch for too long. The business changed quickly and we didn’t follow the parade. This is why we are now trailing.

 

By cutting an employee, we force ourselves to work more hours. This is the only way that we will get the real feel for our company back. We will be able to create a real direction and come up with better projects. We will become more hands-on and this is the kind of factor that will bring the business to life again.

 

Still, It Leaves a Sour Taste

 

I can imagine that it wasn’t Martin’s best day of the year when I had to tell him that he will not be working for us anymore. This was truly not a great moment for either of us. On his side, he lost a stable source of income. Since he was working on several projects, having a reliable source of income is always welcome. On my side, I put a friendship at risk and I have a feeling of failure. I failed to keep him on our team and failed to produce enough income to keep him on contract.

 

But this is a situation most entrepreneurs encounter on the path. Nonetheless, trust me, it really sucks.

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August 14, 2013, 5:00 am

Tired of Boring Organization Planning Meetings? Start Optimizing For Real

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Productivity

 

 

 

The business world is full of wonderful plans but lacks dramatically in simple execution

 time optimization

Are you in a position at work where you have to digest one meeting after another? Do you have the impression that you are being fed with all kind of great ideas, great planning but nothing has been done at the end of the day? Dont worry, you are not alone!

 

Planning Is In Our Genes But Where Is The Execution?

 

I’ve always been opposed to meetings at work when they weren’t necessary. Too often I simply sat down on a chair, sipping my coffee and wondering in my mind. This is all because great planning is nothing without execution. It seems that the human being loves to plan things, imagine them in his mind, but becomes darn lazy when it comes down to actually doing them.

 

The plan is not perfect. It requires fine tuning.

I have an urgent matter; I cant do that right now.

Ah I dont think its the right time to start this.

We are going to start slowly but surely.

 

Too many lame excuses to explain that You (ME!, WE!) are too lazy to simply do what we have to do. The worst part is that while I hate when ideas get stuck in the clouds while people dream about them, I have done the very same thing with my partner for several projects.

 

Setting Goals is Great, Following Up on Them is Better, But Doing Something About It Is the Real Deal

 

Here’s the problem with most of the goals in our online company: we set them, we follow them but we don’t complete all the tasks to actually achieve them.

 

I spent a few afternoons under the sun thinking about this problem. A problem that could look like this:

 

I Wish I Could Increase My Adsense Earnings

 

Great! We have a goal. We can even go a little deeper and make it SMART.

S: Specific (okay, we got that – increase monthly income by $300 through Adsense)

M: Measureable (awesome! Money is easily tracked!)

A: Attainable ($300 would equal to an increase of 15% of my current level, a challenge but attainable).

R: Relevant (we all want to make more money 😉 )

T: Time-Bound (ok, let’s make it happen before the end of the year 2013).

 

So we have a Smart goal and we think we are…. Pretty smart! Once we have our SMART goal, my partner and I usually go through a brainstorming session. This is where we get all the great ideas about how to make more money online. We make a list and then, assume we will work on it at one point in time.

 

So we have a goal, we have a plan but we seriously lack execution. This is why sometimes we achieve our goals (because we really got into it and make it happen) and this is when we completely drop the ball. This is all because we don’t trigger any action towards achieving our goal.

 

Trying Something New – The Devil Is In The Details

 

I’m tired of leaving so many projects on the table and without making them happen. This is how I came up with the following idea: what if I only focus on execution and not on planning?

 

Yeah… this does sound simple but just try to do it!

 

So in order to do that, I sat down and took more time planning… ahahaha! What could be better than doing more thinking instead of doing, right? Lol! But seriously, I focused on finding specifics tasks that will boost my Adsense earnings for each site (‘cause all sites are not created equal).

 

Examples of Specific Tasks to Reach Your Goals

 

Instead of simply working on writing “good content” or “doing keyword research” or “on-page SEO optimization”, I detailed tasks that will really make a difference. Instead of using common wording with barely no signification (what is good content anyways?), I’ve gone deeper in my reflection. The goal here is to break down tasks into small things to be done quickly (e.g. within a day of work) that would have immediate impact. This is what some successful internet marketers call “trial and error. It is with many trials and through many errors that you find success.

 

I started to identify two things I can work on to increase my Adsense earnings: Click Through Rate (CTR) and number of page views (e.g. traffic!). You can argue that you can also work on the EPC (earnings per click) but this is pretty much out of your control and directly related to your topic. Ads on a site discussing how to grow free peas & cucumbers will always make less money than ads on a site discussing life insurance. I’ll let you figure why ;-). Now that I’ve determined on what to focus, I need to find actions that can be triggered rapidly and efficiently.

 

#1 Use Quick Adsense & Play with Different Ad Formats

I used a relatively good performing site and tried to improve my Adsense click-through-rate. With the same traffic, if I can only get more clicks, I’ll make more money without doing much, right? But this requires time and effort. Here’s what I’ve listed as specific tasks:

 

#1 Create various Ad blocks with different channel names (to track their performance).

#2 Determine various placement possibilities on my site.

#3 Start with first configuration and wait for a month.

#4 Change configurations and try it for another month.

#5 Compare data after 3 months to see if there are any differences.

 

From a simple “optimize Adsense” or “improve Adsense placement”, I came up with a detailed list of small actions to complete that will lead me to eventually  “make more money with Adsense”.

 

#2 Combine Google Analylitics with Longtail Pro

 

The second point I need to work on is my traffic. How can I effectively improve my traffic without spending hours learning weird SEO techniques or paying for some link building?  By ranking about what Google wants me to rank for! You will probably notice that if you look into your Analytics stats; Google is pushing your site higher for specific topic it has decided you are the best fit for. Sometimes, you can find pretty odd topics that you would not believe you could rank for. This is what I intend to do with my site:

 

#1 Look at the top 20 most visited pages in Analytics.

#2 Cross reference it with the top 20 keywords driving traffic to my site.

#3 Enter these 20 keywords in Longtail Pro.

#4 Generate tons of derived keywords within seconds from LTP.

#5 Start writing about those topics and publish new articles (including Adsense block).

 

It All Comes Down to Process Design

 

Over the past few weeks,  worked on something a bit different. Instead of putting a lot of effort in planning and thinking about strategies, I’ve designed detailed processes. These processes includes series of actions that are easy to understand and easy to trigger.

 

The good thing about processes is that once you have one ready, you can copy and paste it for several other tasks. The more you put around your task and micromanagement, the better your results and effectiveness will become. You won’t wonder what to do anymore; you’ll have a highly specific list of things to accomplish.

 

As a matter of fact, I just finished my first month of trial with my Adsense optimization site. I compared July to May since they have the same amount of days. The thing to consider is that traffic always go down during summer time so I have less ad views in July compared to May. Nonetheless, I improved my Adsense earnings by 4.7% with 16.0% less ad views!

 

I can just tell you that in August, I’m doing more tests like this and follow my new processes!

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August 12, 2013, 5:00 am

Should I Invest or Pay Off My Debts?

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Pay off your Debts

invest vs pay off debts

I recently said a lot about my debt repayment plan which will start this October with the arrival of new income (from my wife’s home day care). In one of these articles, Derek from Money Ahoy suggested that I not pay off my low interest debts (since most of them are under the rate of inflation). The idea is not that stupid as I’ve played around with the concept of low interest debts and investing many times since I started working back in 2003:

 

I borrowed 20K from my line of credit to invest in the stock market (which resulted in buying my first house with a 50K down payment!)

 

I borrowed 25K using a personal loan to buy a piece of land (which resulted in a healthy flip within 12 months)

 

I borrowed 25K from my parents to buy my second house (which resulted in a 75K profit within four years)

 

I remortgaged my house to invest in my online company (which resulted in a 6 figure income sideline)

So as you can see; to the question should I pay off my debts or invest, Ive often answered that you should invest your money instead of paying off your debts.

 

Pay Off Debts Vs Investing

 

Starting in October, I will be generating an extra free cash flow of roughly $1,000 per month. Therefore, I have two choices: I can pay off my debts quickly or I can invest that money in the stock market or in my online company. After all, I’ve been carrying these debts for a while and they don’t hurt my budget that much. Considering their low interest rates, I mostly pay principal owed when I make a payment.

 

The logic behind investing money is the difference between the investment return you could make versus the interest rate you are paying on your debt. For example, if you can invest at 5% and your debt interest is at 3%, you could think that you will be making an extra 2% return if you invest instead of paying off your debt.

 

THINK AGAIN – Personal finance is easy to understand but it’s still more complicated than that.

 

FIRST, there is tax: you pay your debts with after tax money while your 5% investment return is a before tax return. After tax, your 5% investment return is roughly 3%. Therefore, in my current example where you have the choice of investing at a net 3% return vs paying your debts at a 3% interest rate, you shouldn’t break a sweat about this decision and simply pick one.

 

THINK AGAIN There is another little factor you have to consider.

 

SECOND, there is the marvelous power of compounding interest. Let’s say you have $1,000 to use toward your debts vs investing it at 3% net in both cases. Let’s assume your debt balance is at $1,000. If you invest your money, you will be showing the following balance sheet at the end of the year:

 

Asset: $1,030 & Debt: $1,030. You then pay your $30 of interest (because it’s a due to the bank). The following year, you show the following:

 

Asset: $1,060.90 & Debt: $1,030. The magic of compounding interest made your $30 of investment return turns into $30.90 the following year while you still owe $30 in interest to the bank! Check out the result in 25 years:

 

Year Asset Total Investment Gain ($) Debt Total Interest Cost Net Worth

1

$1 030.00

$30.00

$1 000.00

30

$0.00

2

$1 060.90

$60.90

$1 000.00

60

$0.90

3

$1 092.73

$92.73

$1 000.00

90

$2.73

4

$1 125.51

$125.51

$1 000.00

120

$5.51

5

$1 159.27

$159.27

$1 000.00

150

$9.27

10

$1 343.92

$343.92

$1 000.00

300

$43.92

15

$1 557.97

$557.97

$1 000.00

450

$107.97

20

$1 806.11

$806.11

$1 000.00

600

$206.11

25

$2 093.78

$1 093.78

$1 000.00

750

$343.78

Out of nowhere, a 3% investment return makes more than a 3% interest debt. So what if you would have paid off your debt and invest the $30 per year of interest paid starting at the end of year 2? Here’s what happens:

Year Asset Total Investment Gain ($) Debt Total Interest Cost Net Worth

1

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

30

-$30.00

2

$30.83

$0.83

$0.00

0

$30.83

3

$31.78

$1.78

$0.00

0

$31.78

4

$32.77

$2.77

$0.00

0

$32.77

5

$33.78

$3.78

$0.00

0

$33.78

10

$39.32

$9.32

$0.00

0

$39.32

15

$45.74

$15.74

$0.00

0

$45.74

20

$53.18

$23.18

$0.00

0

$53.18

25

$61.81

$31.81

$0.00

0

$61.81

 

As you can see, the end result after 25 years is a positive net worth of $343.78 (which is 34% of the $1,000 used in the first place) vs $61.81 if you decided to pay off your debt first.

 

Technically, if you can invest money and earn at least the same rate you are borrowing, it is mathematically better to invest than pay off your debts!

 

So Why This Time am I Paying Off My Debts Instead of Investing?

 

Yeah… I’m not really making much sense right now since I just wrote 800 words on how you should invest your money when you pay a low interest rate… this doesn’t make sense to still pay of my debts right? The logic is definitely killing me right now… hahaha! But there is more than mathematics in life!

 

FIRST, there is psychology. A few years ago, I really didn’t mind having debts over my head. I was confident to constantly increase my income and eventually pay them back with my big investment returns. It turned out that the more money I’ve made by leveraging, the more I spent and never use my profit to pay off debts. Today, I know I would feel better if I pay my debts instead of investing that money again.

 

SECOND, there is my financial freedom goal. I’m soon turning 32 (yikes time flies!) and I want to reach financial freedom early in my life. This means before 40 and hopefully at 35. I don’t expect to be debt free at 35 but I aim to be financially free. The freedom I seek is the one giving me the option to work when I want to work and to spend money when I want to spend money. It’s more about breaking my links with the corporate world and sitting on enough passive and semi-passive income so I don’t have to worry about my future. It doesn’t mean I will stop working, not at all. Still, I can’t reach financial freedom if I have tons of monthly payments attached to my budget. It’s impossible for me to slowdown and drop my income even momentarily.

 

 

I Still Believe In Investing Instead of Paying off My Debts… But Just Not Now

 

Once I will clear my consumer debts, I will most likely invest my extra cash flow instead of paying off my mortgage. On the other hand, if I wake up at 34 with only a $250K mortgage as a debt, I won’t mind carrying this weight on my back…especially since my house will probably be worth over $375K at that time!

 

What about you? Do you pay off your debts or invest your extra money? 

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August 5, 2013, 5:00 am

30 Minute Guide to Hire a Top Notch VA

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Blogging,Make Money Online

 

 

I’ve been doing a lot of work on my most recent niche website lately. It’s been about a month since I worked on the content creation and web design. The site now has over 20 high quality articles. They were all written by me and are all over 700 words with some pillar posts over 1,500 words. I have completed the exhaustive keyword research to make sure I cover most aspects with regards to this topic and that I’ll have over 60-70 articles once the site is finished.

 va hiring

Writing content and building a site is nice but it doesn’t get you ahead if you don’t have any visitors. This is where it all comes down to and why you need to start building links. This niche site project is very important for me as I’m currently designing processes and trying different methods that I’ve never used before. If this works the way it planned, I will be able to use this whole process and boost all my existing websites. At this stage, I’m still experimenting. My latest experiment was hiring a VA to do a part of the boring administration. Surprisingly, after I spoke to Jon from Authority Website Income, it took me only 30 minutes to find the most effective VA I have ever hired before through ODesk.

 

Cheap is Worthless, Really?

 

I always thought that paying someone $1-3 per hour would only lead to mediocre work. When I first tried ODesk, I was ecstatic; I could hire people to work for me full time for as little as $80 per week! I wanted to make sure I hired someone highly effective.  So, I spent several hours looking at profiles, talking with my partner, writing an extensive job posting, reviewing applicants carefully and even interviewing three of them before I hired my first virtual assistant (VA). The whole process probably took me 20 hours if not more. And then, $500 literally wasted on a mediocre VA, I fired her and kept a bitter taste of my experience.

 

Since then, I’ve used ODesk only for very specific and contractual tasks such as editing or copywriting. I hired my two other VAs through my own personal network where I knew them before they started working for me. I had to pay them a lot more man $2/hour but at least, the work was getting done properly and in a timely manner.

 

At that point, I was probably feeling the same thing you do when it comes to using services such as ODesk; I was terrified. I was frozen in front of a world that I don’t completely understand and where I thought it would require tons of hours to find the right VA, coach him and finally probably waste more time than saving it! If you don’t know where to start or how to hire your VA, this article is for you.

 

I decided to give ODesk another chance to find a quality VA for less after discussing with Jon and how he has setup his work team (all coming from ODesk). I don’t use his exact technique but I’ve started from what he showed me.

 

This time, it took me 30 minutes to hire a highly effective and professional VA. I’ll do my best to share this 30 minute experience with you. I broke down my experience into 7 steps I’ll be using in the future for all my hiring as my goal will be to build a team of three VAs working on my niche sites.

 

Step #1 Determine What You Need

 

The first step is basic but crucial. By determining what you need, I mean literally write down in small, easy-to-read, sentences what needs to be done. Instead of talking about the job itself (I was looking someone to help me do web research and link building), I outlined each specific task I needed for the new site.

 

This needed to be done regardless if I was going to hire a VA or not. It may require more than 30 minutes doing but if you want a solid site, you need this outline with an attack plan anyways. Without a plan, you’ll start working on your site as long as you have a passion for it without a clear direction of where you want to go. Like anything else in life, results will be okay at best without a plan.

 

Step #2 Prepare for Job Posting

 

I didn’t want to start by giving a complete attack plan to my future VA because this would require me to spend countless hours before hiring to make sure I don’t spend $100 per week on a guy who doesn’t know what he is doing.

 

I took a microscopic approach where I wanted to ask my VA to perform a single task for 10 hours on week #1. At 10 hours, my risk had now dropped to $30. I think I can afford this! Jon suggested that I hire whoever I feel like without doing much screening or interview. Test the VA with a specific and simple task and see if he can succeed. After all, any applicant can tell you they are experts in SEO and that they speak English fluently. You only see if it’s real once they start working for you (it’s pretty much the case in the “real” world as well, right?).

 

So I spent about 15 minutes writing a short but straightforward job posting:

VA job posting

The Job Title is pretty straightforward: I’m looking for someone who will do web research and help me with link building. Remark: you will receive several “I’m an expert in white hat SEO” applicants. The hourly rate is between $1 and $3 per hour. You don’t need to pay more than that for such tasks. I highlighted the potential a contractor could get by working for me. As I posted a maximum of 10 hours at first, I want to make sure I can capture the interest of people willing to work full time. However, I’m not ready to hire a fulltime VA yet.

 

The last paragraph is about required skills. The English level is the first thing to mention since I can’t hope to do well with my comment strategy if my VA leaves stuff like “me like lot of your post”.  You have the option to select skills when you do your job posting, this is how I’ve selected “article-submission, blog-commenting, directory-submission, internet-research, link-building and SEO”. Then you simply have to hit the “publish” button and you are halfway set to find the VA of your dreams!

Step #3 Use ODesk Best Match Feature

 best match feature

Once you publish your Job posting, ODesk will automatically suggest a few candidates. These contractors didn’t apply for the job yet but their profile fits your requirements. I had three best matches for my position and I contacted them and asked if they would consider applying on my job. After that, I closed the ODesk window and moved on towards another project.

 

Step #4 Hire Like a Trigger Happy But Start Slow

 

Fast forward 45 minutes later, I received several notifications from ODesk telling me that I have new applicants for the job. I had received 65 applications… that was way too much for my brain to process. This is why I kept going with Jon’s advice: I hired someone within 5 minutes and closed the job application.

 

It appeared that one of the three best matches found replied to me and was interested in that job. The guy charges $2.78/hour, had worked over 1,000 hours at ODesk (you want to make sure your guy has been employed several times), showed a 4.77/5 rating and high English skill level.

 

This was enough for me to think that this guy could do a relatively good job at least. I hired him for 10 hours max during one week and gave him a very simple task to find articles I can comment on talking about my topic. Within 10 hours he had found 1,000 urls where we can comment. The next week, I kept the 10 hours but asked him to start commenting and writing about a web research he has to do. In a few more weeks, I’ll have more tasks and more hours but for now, I keep him at 10 hours per week to see if he’s worth it. I am better off saving my time working on other projects than coaching and interviewing candidates. This is why I’ve hired rapidly but started slowly to train the VA the way I want him to work with me.

 

Step #5 Design Each Task and Write Procedures for Weeks in Advance

 

There is a reason why my VA was so effective on day #1 of his employment: I designed a clear and clean process on how to perform the task I asked of him. For each task, I send him a Word document with a step by step method to apply. I even provide him with examples to make sure he knows exactly what is being required. It does take some time, but it helps a lot to manage both his time and mine. By going through the process in detail, I must pause and think about each thing that needs to be done. This is a great moment where I can add value to my process and make sure I am taking the right actions.

 

I already know which tasks he will be required to do in the future as they were designed in the attack plan done in Step #1. The only thing left to be done is to design each process and to create a calendar of tasks to send more and more things to be done by your VA. In a few months, this guy will most probably work 40 hours per week for me if he keeps doing such a great job.

 

TADA! A valuable VA hired within 30 minutes of my time!

Step #6 2 Week Tests – Keep Going or Fire, Rinse & Repeat

 

My VA had successfully passed the two week test. I asked him to complete three different tasks (web research, blog commenting and article writing). During this test period, the VA showed me that he was able to follow my processes from A to Z, to complete web research rapidly, write smart and good English blog comments and write informational 400 word articles.

 

If he had failed to meet my standard, I would have simply wasted about $60 but not much time spoiled. I would have simply fired the guy, reposted the job, hired another one that make sense in 5 minutes and hoped that it worked out this time, that the VA would do the job. By using metrics such as 1000 + hours worked and over 4.5/5 rating, you increase you chance of success significantly!

 

Step #7 Build Your Team

 

Once you found a great VA, you don’t want to stop there. If your VA stops working for you after a year, you will be left with an awesome working process, but no one to complete it. This is why it is important to build a team of three VAs able to do each other’s work. I would rather have three VAs working 10 hours a week for me than having 1 VA at 30 hours.

 

Hopefully I’ll be able to get 3 VAs at 30 hours and it will be worth it!

 

I you have any questions, please go ahead, I’m sharing as I’m learning with my new virtual assistant!

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