Outsourcing

Outsource your life away

Outsourcing is the latest buzz word for busy entrepreneurs, but individuals and companies have been outsourcing for decades. While most of us would love a few more hours in the day to get more done or joke about wanting to clone ourselves, outsourcing can become extreme. It has almost gotten to the point where if you are not outsourcing something, people wonder if you are really doing anything.

Scenario #1:

A two-parent family with two kids. The dad works outside the home. The mom is an entrepreneur with a home business. The kids are over-scheduled in every activity possible. They have one dog. The kids also want a cat but the parents say they don’t really have time for another pet.

There just aren’t enough hours in a day to get everything done. The first task they outsource is a gardener. Since the husband freed up some of his time, the wife now wants domestic help. The person they find is great with the house but doesn’t help with the kids so a nanny is hired because the mom is trying to build her business. The nanny takes them to and from school and to their activities. She also puts them to bed on many occasions. Now the parents have outsourced their job of parenting. The dog also needs some attention. Since the kids are at their activities so much of the time, they hire the boy down the street to walk the dog every day. Each person in the family has all the electronic gadgets possible in an attempt to get more done and stay connected. However, many times when they are home together, they end up in different rooms, each on their own electronic device and sometimes even communicating through social networking.

The mom wants to spend more time with the kids so decides to outsource some of her daily tasks. Enter the virtual assistant. This person is amazing. She takes care of the paperwork, emails, calendar, writes articles, does her social networking, and pretty much every other behind-the-scenes aspect of the business. In effect, the entrepreneur mom has just outsourced herself.

The kids see all the extra help that the parents are outsourcing and ask if they can outsource some of their work too. Even though the boy is an excellent student, he doesn’t really like doing homework so would like to pay his friend to do it for him. The girl is in band, cheerleading, and theatre and is expected to fundraise but just doesn’t have the time, so offers to pay her brother to sell raffle tickets for her. Of course, the parents put the kibosh on those ideas because it wouldn’t be right to outsource the normal parts of childhood.

Scenario #2:

Single executive. Lots of friends but working too much to have time to socialize. Lives alone so has a housekeeper, a personal assistant who takes care of things like buying his mom birthday gifts and keeping his calendar, and a personal shopper because he does not have time nor does he like shopping for clothes but needs to keep up a corporate appearance.

He is a member of an online dating service but doesn’t even have time to sift through the long list of prospective women he might want to contact. Since he is interested in dating and would like to eventually get married, he outsources to a dating concierge who will narrow down the search. The virtual dating assistant will not only screen potential dates but will also make contact with the person, arrange the date, make dinner reservations, and even pick out his clothes. (Yes, there really are services like this.) Of course, all this comes with a hefty price but he feels it’s worth it in order to have a life.

Have a life? Is that what outsourcing is all about? Do you really have a life if someone else is doing your life for you?

Scenario #3:

Single entrepreneur. Always creating. Always learning. Always enjoying life. But also too busy to do all the things she wants and needs to do. She realizes that it’s time to outsource some of the repetitive tasks to free up time for more creative things and to find new clients. She is so busy that she doesn’t even have time to find people to help. Her solution: Outsource the outsourcing. Companies have been doing this for years where they hire an outside HR firm or person to screen prospective employees, conduct interviews, hire, and if necessary, fire them. She decides this is the answer.

Everyone needs a little help now and then but if you find yourself outsourcing your life away, maybe it’s time for a dose of PSR (Prioritize, Simplify, and Reorganize). Outsourcing some things may be necessary to free up time but outsourcing everything may not be the answer. Having every electronic device doesn’t always make life easier either. Sometimes we need to just stop and breathe!

Nancy O’Neill is the Common Sense Consultant. Combining her education and experience, she offers a common sense approach on a variety of topics for entrepreneurs of all ages, authors, speakers, parents, and kids. Life or business does not have to be complicated but many times, people make it that way. Nancy believes the most effective way to help people is by giving them the tools to think for themselves. Through practical, common sense education and coaching, a person can gain the knowledge to become confident in their own abilities and not rely on someone else to spoon-feed them information.

Article written by Nancy O’Neill, Visit http://www.onedotenterprises.com for any of her services.

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