My aspirations of being self-employed full time have always been about me running my own little business. I never figured I’d be hiring anyone to help me – employee or contractor. I like to say that when you’re a younger business owner (or person, I suppose), your surplus is time. I never wanted to buy premium software if I could make it work myself. I never wanted to hire anyone if I could figure it out.
As you (or your business) grows, you have more responsibilities. More clients or oveerhead. Maybe you have a family or other obligations. Time becomes a premium, and hopefully money is the surplus. Even if it’s not money, it’s value. And lately I’ve been seeing the value in hiring people so I can be more effective with my time.
It Started As an Experiment
My first hire was someone off of Fiverr to edit my podcast for me. Yes it was a side gig but editing took way too much time for me. I had a day job, and only limited time for my side work. The value proposition made hiring an editor an easy win: for $15-25 he’d edit my episodes. This task took me over an hour, and would cost me over $100. Like I said – easy win.
It Started to Grow
While I’ve left that first editor, I’ve moved on to another I’m very happy with and things are pumping on all cylinders. Since then I also hired 2-3 transcribers, depending on the project and needs.
This was another easy win for me because I was using Rev, and my transcribers were more affordable and integrate right into my process. It’s nice to be in contact with a single person who works with you long term.
Now both editor and transcriber work together thanks to mypodcast process automation. New episode goes in Dropbox. Editor edits and re-uploads. Transcriber transcribes.
Hiring a Video Editor
The next contractor I hired was for something I’m fully capable of doing. In-fact, people hire me to do it. But when it comes to creating my own courses, the most time consuming part thatI don’t have to dois editing the videos.
Editing was always a barrier to finishing the projects too. I’d be pretty spent after writing and recording hours of video content, just to need to spend more hours editing. Plus, if my tired eyes are the only ones watching, I was more prone to error.
LinkedIn Learning Showed Me the Way
When I started making courses for LinkedIn Learning, I got first-hand experience of just being able to focus on the content, and handing off the editing to someone else. It was liberating.
So for my more recent course releases, I decided to hire a video editor who recommended. As a bonus, he has experience editing for Treehouse, so he’s used to working on similar content.
This means great communication, and needing to explain fewer things. As soon as it makes sense, I’ll likely have him edit myYouTubevideos too.
Up Next: A Virtual Assistant
That brings us to today, and my next hire: a virtual assistant (VA). This is something I’ve been turning over in my mind for at least 2 years, but I’ve never been able to pull the trigger.
When the pandemic hit and I was working fewer hours – my daughter’s daycare shut down – I made a list of all thing things I did that I didn’t need to do, but couldn’t automate. The list was long.
But I was still able to get work done for at least 2 hours per day, during my daughter’s nap and various times when she had the iPad. That all changed when my son was born.
My wife went back to work in October and we’re keeping the kids out of daycare for now, so I have virtual no time to get work down, save for 30-45 minutes when they are both napping at the same time. What pushed me to finally hire a VA was frantically trying to do data entry while both of my kids napped.
I thought, “Why am I stressing to get work I don’t need to do, done?”
The Process So Far
The process so far has been:
- Make a list of all the things I’d want my VA to do
- Look for good places to hire a VA
- Sign up and look at candidates that fit the bill
- Send a list of questions
- Review applications
I still have some applications out and will definitely go more into depth once I make a hire I’m happy with, but I’m thankful for friends who’ve been through the process before.
Side Note: Documenting What I Do
One side note I wanted to mention was I’m also going through and documenting what I do, mostly with quick explainer videos. This should ease the on-boarding process.
However, I’ve also read that having a VA can help you define your processes, so I’m keeping an open mind.
Any advice or pitfalls? Let me know in the comments!