Before I started freelancing, I read The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. In the book, Tim advises everyone begins outsourcing work before they even have the need. That’s right. If you were on the fence as to whether or not this article applies to you – it does.

As an example, Tim suggests getting a virtual assistant via a website like Ask them to do whatever you would be doing but haven’t gotten around to doing. This could be buying roses for your wife. Or ordering a hard to find Christmas gift for your son. Think hard. Make a to-do list. Get things done by the VA. According to Tim, you will get addicted to the freedom. Further more, you’ll be more productive with your life. Basically, you’ll enjoy life more by learning to outsource.

So once I started freelancing, I took his advice. Though it was very difficult for me since I’m a naturally frugal person. Also, I liked doing things myself so I knew they were done right. I knew I’d have to get over that. It’s naive to think I can do everything best. Or just the fact I can do everything at all.

The first thing I did was create a to-do list. I asked myself, “What would I want done right now if actually doing it wasn’t a factor?” What an exciting question. It was as I was able to get all of my wishes granted. The coolest thing about this is the feeling of freedom as Tim described. I felt like I would be able to accomplish so much more in such a short period of time! It was as if I was being granted the gift of time.

The platforms I began to use (and still use today) are Upwork, Fiverr and Freelancer. The range of talent is remarkable. Whatever you want done, there is someone else to do it. Pay is important to consider. You will find people asking anywhere from $3 per hour to $300, depending on the task. But overall, paying for help isn’t too expensive. For ideas on how to pay for help, read our article, 4 Ways to Pay for Your First Virtual Assistant.

About pay, know that $3 per hour is a fair wage in some countries. It’s pretty remarkable but someone in a developed country can hire someone in a developing country and dramatically change their life. The first person I hired came from Fiverr. She was quite popular on the platform but I wanted her to give special attention to my project. I looked up the average weekly salary for her tiny Eastern European country. I paid her that amount just to get the ball rolling. It’s amazing knowing you can change someone’s life while also helping your own. We live in a global economy and it’s extremely exciting!

Here are some common things freelancers can consider outsourcing:

Again, even if you can do all of these things yourself, hire some of it out! Spend time focusing on what makes you the most money.

First Steps Outlined

Step 1: Create a list of things you’d like done if time were no option

Step 2: Choose a platform to find your help – pick which one feels the most comfortable for you

Step 3: Post a job. Sort through the applicants carefully.

Step 4: Take the time to find the right person. I promise you that it’s easier to sort through applicants than to sort through poor work.

Step 5: Give very clear instructions. VERY clear. Because if you don’t know exactly what you want them to do, how will they know what to do? Especially when hiring people for whom English isn’t their first language. Try not to make things confusing.

Step 6: Repeat!


Enjoy having help. Few great things are accomplished without it.


William Lipovsky owns the personal finance website First Quarter Finance. His most embarrassing moment was telling a Microsoft executive, "I'll just Google it."

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