Tyler Jorgenson

One Entrepreneur's Journey To Find Greatness


Outsourcing – 31 DoBA – Day 17

Productivity is an elusive goal for many.  Too often we get caught checking off one item on our ‘To Do’ list only to add two more.  It’s hard to keep up with the many demands on our time and attention, especially if you’re an entrepreneur trying to build your own business.  One tool at our disposal now more than ever is online outsourcing.

Tyler’s Rules For Outsourcing

1. Be Specific
2. Establish Milestones
3. Outsource Things Below Your Pay-grade
4. Don’t Outsource Your Name
5. Pay Promptly
6. Think Local

1. Be Specific – When outsourcing, assume nothing.  Write a very detailed summary of the project complete with examples and background.  You will reap what you sow in the specifics.

2. Establish Milestones – You don’t want to get to the end of the project to find out there was a misunderstanding.  Having milestones gives you an opportunity to make sure the project is on track and keeps the contractor focused.

3. Outsource Things Below Your Pay-grade – If you make $50 per hour and can outsource some basic tasks for $4 per hour why wouldn’t you?  Do not, however, outsource things that are high level $100 tasks unless they require skills you don’t have.  For example, I am not a graphic designer so I’ll pay for a logo or ad design since I can not do it myself.

4. Don’t Outsource Your Name – Not everybody agrees with me on this.  An author that hired a ghostwriter is an example of somebody outsourcing their name.  I’ve written every post on this blog and although I will have guest bloggers they will post in their name.  I outsource blog writing for blogs that are not associated to my name or personal brand, and so should you.

5. Pay Promptly – If you hire somebody to help you with a project pay them when they’ve done their job.  You will earn their trust and respect and are more likely to get continually favorable results.

6. Think Local – Although this post focuses mostly on overseas outsourcing or crowd sourcing I have often had success by finding designers, virtual assistants, etc locally.  Ask your friends and social networks who would be good for a project.  I did this recently and found out that a few of my friends were graphic artists and I didn’t even know.

Suggested places for outsourcing (I’ve used each of these at least once)

Logos & Graphic Design

www.99designs.com – Multiple designers create content and you select the winner.
www.logocare.com – Similar to 99designs except they use in-house designers instead of an open market.

Content and Websites

www.Elance.com – Very easy to use and has an escrow system to protect your funds.
www.freelancer.com – I’ve used this site to find people to post craigslist ads as well as video editing.

Virtual Assistants

www.RedButler.com – Simple and effective fulfillment of personal requests like booking tickets or basic research.  Use coupon code 56DF for 15% off your first month.
www.Elance.com – I’ve used them for a VA when I needed some help completing a project.

There are a lot more companies that can help with this kind of stuff.  Who have you used and how did you feel about the experience?

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What Would You Do If You Didn’t Have to Think About Money? – 31 DoBA – Day 3

I asked this question on Facebook the other day and had some great answers.  I had some lousy ones too, but let’s not focus on those.

First of all, I want you to really think about this question.  What would you do if you did not have to think about money?  Let’s just say that your boss calls you in to his office and says, “(your name here), we’ve decided that you’ve done such a good job on (project X) that we’d like to give you the next year off and concurrently give you a 200% raise.”  Now, we know this is fake because no boss I have ever had uses the word ‘concurrently’.  What would you do with your time for the next year?  Travel? Bake? Learn something new?  Leave a comment and let me know what it would be.  Here are some of the answers from facebook:

  1. Travel around the world volunteering
  2. Relax and enjoy life ! Imagine wouldn’t that be awsome if u didn’t have to worry about your car payment mortgage etc…
  3. Start a charity or a non-profit and volunteer. Always continue learning new things.
  4. spend it
  5. Heli ski
  6. Play with my Grandbabies more!
  7. Pretty much what I do now. But with my husband around more to do it with.
  8. Open a book store or a fine art gallery or both. Buy some property and renovate them myself. Learn carpentry or pottery. Start bee keeping. Visit the pandas. Learn to swim, and paint and go to french lessons. Oh and do ballroom dancing with hubby. But have a morgage to pay- so these are all dreams.
  9. I dont think about money.
  10. Adopt!
  11. Travel the world…….
  12. Stay home with my baby. I pray for it every day…sometimes 2 or 3…even 4 times a day. I’m not exaggerating.

Now, and I want you to put on your optimism cap, what if you could make this a reality without needing your boss to give you the go ahead?  One of the most influential books I read in 2010 was The 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss.   I’ve written a few posts about how things I’ve done as a result.  You can read them here.

Ferriss talks about creating a Muse.  A small company that is set up to provide worry free and low management income.  Over the course of the 31DoBA project I will share with you how you can do this too.  You should order the book and read it right now though.  I’ve never read a more practical book on how to change your financial situation that actually includes step by step instructions.

There is a lot yet to come on 31DoBA and I feel like we haven’t gotten into any meaty ‘how-to’ type stuff yet, but we will.  I promise.  I just felt it was important to get into a good mindset of optimism before we get into more technical stuff.

Originally posted at  http://blog.tylerjorgenson.com/2011/01/what-would-you-do-if-you-didnt-have-to-think-about-money

Read 31 DoBA day 1
Read 31 DoBA day 2

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Finding Yoda

In January of this year I read The 4 Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferris.  The book came into my life at a time when I was making some big decisions and has been influential and inspiring.  After each chapter the author challenges the reader to take action.  One challenge is called ‘Finding Yoda’ and the reader is supposed to track down a big player in their industry and ask them a question or two.  If possible to reader should also ask for permission to follow up via email.  This was one of the few exercises in the book that I didn’t do immediately.  It’s taken me a while to actually do it, although I did place a couple phone calls.

Turns out it may be easier to meet some people in person.  The pics below show me meeting three of my Yodas.  Picture one is with Meg Whitman, two is with THE Seth Godin and three is with Chris Brogan.

Meeting Seth was by far the most influential encounter I have had this year.  His direct questioning of my current projects and passions caught me off guard and forced me to think about where I was and where I wanted to be.  His main advice was to pick one project and work on it full force rather than split up your time over many projects.  Set a date and ship, you can always do a version 2.0 later.  Seth responded to an email I sent him and is one of the most genuine people I’ve ever met.

Meg Whitman was nice and earthy.  I found her taller than expected but grounded.  We discussed business in California and the need to make the State business friendly so we can keep industry growing and job creation possible.

Chris Brogan was a bit of a surprise.  I didn’t know a ton about him other than following @ChrisBrogan on Twitter.  He discussed business in the modern age with an amazing style of humor, candor and intellect that I don’t believe I’ve ever encountered before.  One major tip that I got from Chris was that your blog posts are a legacy that keeps working after you’ve done the typing.  He had a fancy analogy about commerce, jokes and exchange but the meat of it is that if your posts solve one persons problem there are most likely other people that have that problem and it can help them too.  Next time you get an email from somebody asking for advice in your field answer it in the form of a blog post and then send the person the link.  It’s like you’re messing with Karma because you’re putting all this good information out there and you know it’s going to come back to you someday.

I leave you with a quote from one of Godin’s recent posts titled Heroes and mentors:

“Like a custom made suit, a mentor is a fine thing to have if you can find or afford it. But for the rest of us, heroes will have to do.”

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Speedreading – Update

In January I posted that I planned to read a lot this year so I figured that an update is required.

Books read:

The Four Hour Work Week

This is without a doubt the book with the most influence on my life this year. I have read the original edition once, the expanded update three times and listened to the audio book at least three times. I strongly recommend this book for anybody looking to live a little more and stress a little less.

Atlas Shrugged

Can somebody please explain why these books haven’t found their way into my life sooner?  Sure, it’s over a thousand pages but this book is amazing.  To many it seems prophetic since it was written in 1957 but mirrors the issues of our times so well.  This book motivates me and inspires me more than any other novel I’ve read.  My main takeaway is to take personal responsibility and to not make excuses.  A movie by the same name is currently in production.  Who is John Galt?

Good to Great
I really enjoyed the first few parts of the book and then it sort of died off for me.  I guess it went great to good.  My main takeaway was in making sure you have the right people on your team.  The concept of ‘first who, then what’ is something I consider whenever approached about a business opportunity.

The Purple Cow
This is one of Seth Godin’s 12 best sellers.  Each one that I’ve read is good but I enjoyed this one for reminding me that you have to do something different if you expect the market to notice your product or service.

This is Godin’s most recent, and possibly last traditional, book.  I had the pleasure of meeting Godin in Orange County and the advice he gave me when we spoke altered the course of my business and I am eternally grateful.  You can read more here about the concepts of the book Linchpin.

Robinson Crusoe
I started to read some classics and found a lot of great wisdom buried in their stories.  This book is about self discovery, survival, loyalty and determination.  It’s a classic for a reason.

Pride and Prejudice
Yes, I even read a Jane Austin book.  Pride and Prejudice was a great book.  For me it’s about being yourself and allowing others to be themselves as well.  It’s handle on the topics of pride and the prejudicial judgment is what makes this a must read classic.

Treasure Island
I read this just after I took a sailing class and so my increased sailing vocabulary added to my enjoyment of this book.  This was a quick and easy read but I enjoyed the journey.

There are a few other books that I’ve read portions of, even most of, but that I don’t feel need a summary.  Think & Grow Rich, Crush It, and a few select sections of my finance, stats, accounting and marketing textbooks.

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Digital Nomad

Tim Ferriss shared a post from the blog Free Pursuits.  It was simply 50 photos from around the world designed to inspire the viewer to become a Digital Nomad.  I’ve been longing to travel more with my family.  If my wife would get on board I’d pack up the whole clan and travel the world for the next year or so.  But after 7 years of wedded bliss I’ve learned to pick my battles and settled on a two week road trip around the Western United States.  We had a blast… but now I want more.

I turned the pics from the blog into a video with some music.  It’s nothing fancy, I’m not a video editor by any means, but it’s a nice way to enjoy the pictures and let your mind run free wandering about the world without that pesky interruption of having to scroll down on a web page.

Here’s my hypothetical for today’s post.

You’ve just been granted 45 days paid leave from work and you have to leave the country since the local Cheese Makers Union is about to riot the Gouda factory.  You’ve got the money to travel, so budget isn’t an issue and your passport is up to date.  What country(ies) would you visit?

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Eliminating Excess

extra shoes Earlier this year I read ‘The 4-Hour Workweek’ by Timothy Ferriss and it’s been making ripples in my life ever since.  I’ve listened to the book on tape, read the 2nd edition and read the author’s blog.  I bought the book about a year and a half ago when a friend blogged about it, but it just got stacked on the pile of books to read.

Of the many bits of wisdom I got from the book one was to eliminate clutter and excess from our lives.  I talked about the concept of choice paralysis a while back.  I started in my closet and eliminated these 10 pairs of shoes.  Why did I have an extra 10 pairs of shoes?  Anybody wear a size 12 and need some gently worn kicks?

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