Ryan McLean : Slightly Unconventional

Outsourcing Your Life – For As Little as $1.33/hour

I have started outsourcing my life, and it is only costing me $1.33/hour to do so.

I am very into real estate investing. My goal is to invest in positive cashflow real estate in a variety of towns around Australia. However, do you know how many towns their are in Australia???? There are thousands of rural towns in Australia.

So how do you know which ones to invest in and which ones to avoid. Firstly you look at population. I avoid towns with less than 8,000 people in them. But how do I know which towns are big and which towns are small? Do you know the population size of Blaxland, NSW of the top of your head? I sure don’t.

You can easily find the population of these towns but it takes A LOT of time consuming research. My solution was to outsource.

I have been re-reading the 4 hour work week and I have been loving it. Tim Ferris is becoming less of a douchebag and more of a genius the more I read his book and watch him online. I have so far gotten a few major things out of the book, one of which is the importance of outsourcing.

I found a website www.oDesk.com where you can post your jobs and people bid on the hourly rate they will accept for that job, or you can post a task and they will bid on the price for accomplishing that task. For me I create a simply job, my title was “Simple Web Research and Data Entry – Maximum Pay $1.20/hour”. Within 20 minutes I had about 15 applications, with the cheapest being $1/hour and the most expensive being $1.33/hour. I hired someone within the hour (from the Philippines) and gave him the details of my incredibly long and boring research project. I gave him a 72 hour deadline and told him to stop after 8 hours of work so we can reassess.

So far he has been able to complete 238 town profiles in 8 hours. Not as much as I expected, but still fairly decent. If I was to pay someone in Australia the base rate of $20/hour then for my 8 hours of Philippino work (which cost me $10.64) I could hire an Australian for half an hour. I don’t know about you, but completing 238 suburb profiles in half an hour for anyone would be impossible.

All in all it is looking like it will cost me around $100 to complete the suburb profiles of EVERY town in Australia. Now that is something I could easily do myself, but it would likely take me a week to a month to complete. For the small cost of $100 I can regain a week to a month of my life and I can spend that time doing more productive work tasks (like finding and sourcing real estate deals) or I can spend that time with my wife (and soon my daughter).

The only downfall of outsourcing that I have experienced so far is the language barrier. Simple instructions are not so easy for people to understand when they don’t speak your language. It took a few back and forth emails in order to get my man on track, which took about 30 minutes of my time. Also posting the job and assessing applicants took a chunk of my time also (another 30 minutes). So for small jobs like buying movie tickets, it might take you 15 minutes of back and forth emails to accomplish something you could have done yourself in 5 minutes.

But for bigger jobs it is AWESOME! Spend an hour of my life simply sending emails and not having to think about it, in order to get a HUGE task achieved for around $100. By spending 1 hour and $100 I have saved so much time and I don’t hate my life (which would have been the case if I did this research project by myself).

Better yet, once this is completed I can then take all this research and create a product to sell to other people like me who want to know the populations of towns and the price points of property and rental returns. If I am smart I can get my $100 back (and more) by then selling the research onto someone else. Once this is completed I might even pay to have someone research property price points at the bottom end of the market and enter that data for me. I am also thinking about outsourcing my personal book keeping (ie. Checking statements and then punching numbers into an excel spreadsheet)

But this excel sheet will be great because I can instantly sort it in population size and I can then immediately eliminate hundreds of towns because of their population size. This gives me the tools I need to do further research and to find deals that I might be able to purchase.

All in all outsourcing is awesome and I would recommend it to anyone who has a long menial task they need to get done.

3 responses to “Outsourcing Your Life – For As Little as $1.33/hour”

  1. Tom says:

    That is so smart. I knew you could get cheap labour, but that is insane. My mind is now racing to try and think of what I could need someone doing for me!

  2. casey says:

    well played!!!

    i think think tim ferriss is a bit of a narcissistic douche in 4HWW, but in spite of that i fully agree that the man has a formidable brain on him

    have a punt on elance.com as well…

  3. […] A mate of mine just posted in his blog about the beginnings of his adventures in outsourcing, using outsourced workers from the Philippines via oDesk.com to do property research (great post by the way – I thoroughly recommend it especially if you haven’t ready 4 […]

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