Tim Ferriss, who made the list of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Business People,” is an entrepreneur and author who has been invited to speak at some of the world’s most innovative organizations. He’s also an angel investor who is deeply involved with startups–and he heavily recommends hiring and working with virtual assistants to help grow your business.
Who is Tim Ferriss?
Tim Ferriss is the author of five books, including The 4-Hour Workweek. This book, released more than a decade ago, continues to receive a high degree of attention from entrepreneurs and middle-class workers. Its premise? Outsourcing your life to virtual assistants so that you can live the life you really want, all while escaping from the rat race and putting in a much shorter workweek.
According to Tim, all too many people get stuck in the daily grind, planning for retirement and yet having little idea of how they will enjoy it when they get there. Those people are trapped by a cycle of economic uncertainty, struggling to break free.
According to Tim, virtual assistants are the ideal way to break free of those chains and have more freedom to enjoy life now, rather than waiting for an elusive “someday.” Tim himself works an average four hours a week and, according to his book, brings in an average $40,000 per month–a far cry from where he started, working 80 hours per week to bring in just $40,000 per year.
Who does he recommend that entrepreneurs use virtual assistants?
Tim’s platform is based on the idea that anyone can start a business, set it up to run automatically or semi-automatically, and then reap the profits. Virtual assistants are a key part of this puzzle. According to Tim, virtual assistants offer a number of vital advantages.
Virtual assistants can help cut costs substantially.
When you create a self-sustaining business that generates a great deal of profit and awareness, the value of those virtual assistants can far exceed their cost. Virtual assistants cost a fraction of the cost of doing those activities yourself, especially when you consider what that time is really worth.
Virtual assistants free up your time.
The premise of The 4-Hour Workweek is not to, as Tim notes, “just sit on a beach, sipping a piña colada and rubbing cocoa butter on your stomach for the rest of your life.” Rather, it helps free up vital time to help make a contribution elsewhere in the world. While that “Spring Break” mentality may be rewarding at first, over time, it quickly becomes boring, even draining. People simply are not designed to spend their lives in idleness. Instead, he encourages his readers to find a way to make a positive impact on the world once they have created their businesses, hired those virtual assistants, and freed up their time.
Virtual assistants are the key to freeing up that time. All too often, entrepreneurs get lost in the huge array of responsibilities they have to take care of each day. It’s true that, especially in the early days of a business, entrepreneurs must wear many hats. They have to step up and take on the tasks that no one else wants to perform and put in long hours.
With a virtual assistant, on the other hand, you can have help putting in those tasks–help that can start freeing up your time even in those early days.
Virtual assistants can take on the draining tasks that you do not want to perform.
As an entrepreneur, you’re likely excited by the “big ideas” and bigger concepts that go into running your business. You have plenty of things that you want to take on, including dealing with those challenges and meeting the needs of your target audience. Unfortunately, there are a lot of draining, mundane tasks that you don’t want to deal with.
As Tim notes, handing those tasks over to a virtual assistant can help free up your time and energy, giving you the mental space you need to focus on the tasks that only you can do. This might include:
You need to know a great deal of information about your market: your target audience, their needs, and what your competitors are doing, among other things. Simply compiling that information can take a great deal of time, drawing your attention away from the other tasks you need to be taking care of. A virtual assistant, on the other hand, can take over much of your market research for you. Then, you can simply read those reports, rather than having to dive in and find all of that information for yourself.
Handling basic phone calls and emails
Your day can quickly get taken up by phone calls and meetings. Fortunately, a virtual assistant can take on many of those tasks for you. As you improve your virtual assistant’s training, they can take on increasingly more complex replies for you, freeing up your time so that you don’t have to answer those questions on your own. An effective virtual assistant also knows when to escalate those queries to you.
Data entry takes up a considerable amount of time–and unfortunately, there’s just not an automated program that can take care of it for you yet. Virtual assistants can take on those data entry tasks, ensuring that your database is accurate and current while leaving your time free.
Sending out, following up on, and managing invoices can suck a considerable amount of time out of your day. Those invoices are critical to keeping your business running, since they provide the necessary payment to fund your lifestyle, but they don’t take care of themselves–and all too many clients are perfectly content to let those invoices go unpaid for as long as possible. A virtual assistant can take on responsibility for managing those invoices to ensure that your invoices remain current and your income remains steady.
Digital marketing is one critical method to growing your business, especially in 2020, where our highly digital world relies on that vital connection to generate leads. A virtual assistant can take over many of those digital marketing tasks, including managing your marketing campaigns so that you have a better idea of how they’re performing and what you need to change in the future. If you use a marketing agency or media partner, your virtual assistant can liaise with them to ensure that your goals are considered and met.
Social media management
No one person can keep up with every social media account, especially with increasing numbers of platforms rising up every year. An effective virtual assistant, however, can manage your social accounts for you, from creating the posts that will engage and draw in your target audience to responding to and engaging with your audience. You need to manage your social media pages consistently in order to effectively draw in new leads and nurture relationships with your existing clients, but you shouldn’t have to spend all your time on social media, either–and utilizing virtual assistants will allow you to have the best of both worlds.
Regular content creation is critical to the success of any business. Content reigns king. It helps establish you as an expert in your field and lets consumers know that you understand their pain points. It also aids with search engine ranking, which makes it easier for consumers to find you. As an entrepreneur, you need to post regularly to maintain that authority for both search engines and consumers. Creating the content, however, can prove incredibly time-consuming, especially if you don’t enjoy writing or feel that you have the skills to tackle it effectively, as Tim Ferriss does. A virtual assistant can take over your content creation needs, producing the high-quality content you need to get recognized and improve recognition of your brand.
Virtual assistants can keep your business running smoothly without extra input from you.
The goal of Tim Ferriss’s 4-hour workweek is to free up time to live life and enjoy it now, rather than having to wait until retirement. In order for that to work effectively, you need a company that will keep running smoothly with little to no input from you. With a team of highly-qualified virtual assistants, you can allow your company to run regardless of where you are.
Virtual assistants help provide geographic freedom.
Working with an in-person team often means that you need to check in at the office any time things do not go according to plan or any time you want to see how things are going. You may need to take the time to set up templates and to prepare your team. When you work with virtual assistants, on the other hand, you can work from anywhere–and they’re already prepared for you to check in virtually.
Tim Ferriss’s Top Quotes on Living the Life You Want, Including Hiring and Working with Virtual Assistants
“The question you should be asking isn’t, “What do I want?” or “What are my goals?” but “What would excite me?”
“Great VAs will use templates for answering *your* email; my assistant Amy uses more than a dozen specific templates to handle my inbox overload.”
“Focus on being productive instead of busy.”
To get a template for how to interact with a virtual assistant, Tim Ferriss’s The 4-Hour Workweek can help. Tim wants to encourage you to spend less hours in more mundane tasks and more time actively being productive and growing your business while building the life you dream of–and a virtual assistant is one of the most effective ways to make that happen. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you connect with a virtual assistant who can meet those needs in your life.