Why it makes sense to outsource your life

There is only so much you can accomplish on any given day. So why not outsource the more mundane tasks? It's cheap, efficient and frees you up to do everything else

Charles Assisi

[Photograph by Maja Petric / Unsplash.com]

Until a little over two years ago, I was the Managing Editor at Forbes India. Circumstances conspired and I emerged in a new avatar as an entrepreneur. My designation sounds fancy - Co-founder and director at Founding Fuel Publishing. Truth is, the journey hasn't been easy. I learnt eight lessons worth a lifetime just a few days after taking this venture live. Since then, I've learnt two more and I think this as appropriate a time as any to share them.

The first is the value of money. After working in professional set ups for 20 odd years, I’d come to take certain things for granted. Take something as insignificant as a business card. Each time I ran out of it, I simply had to ask my assistant at work to place an order for 500 more. No questions asked, and it would be delivered without as much as a peep.

In setting up this entity up though, along with my co-founders, I had to look into the minutiae. That includes things like getting business cards designed and printed. After we’d settled on a design we thought good enough, it had to go to the printer. While cheaper options were available, for what we had in mind, each card cost Rs 3.50. Yes, it is bloody expensive.

That’s when it struck me I've exchanged cards by the thousands with people without giving it a thought. Inevitably, I’d store their co-ordinates if I thought them worth it on my phone and discard the card. Perhaps they did the same with my business card as well. That is why each time I extend my card; a voice in my head asks, "Is that bloke worth spending Rs 3.50 on?" If the answer is no, I simply say I’ve run out of cards and promise to email them my co-ordinates. Cheaper and more efficient!

As mundane as it may sound, fact is, it isn't. In running an organization, every penny matters. And every minute of your time as well! That is when it struck me I ought to perhaps I ought to start outsourcing significant parts of what I do on the mundane.

It didn't take me much to stumble across Fiverr. Practically all of the things I need to run an organization can be accomplished here for $5 a task. Consider for instance the following.

The success Fiverr accomplished led to a spate of sites trying to ape its success formula. A decent review of 20 such places and what you can hope to get accomplished is right here.

I think it mandatory every entrepreneur looks up these options because it frees up time to engage in higher order tasks for a remarkably cheap price. Your time is worth a lot more.

And because it is a weekend, I don't intend to bother Sveta with going over this for errors. Instead, before asking Achu to publish this, I’ll run this copy through Hemmingway App to check for errors, point mistakes, offer suggestions, and send it out.

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About the author

Charles Assisi
Charles Assisi

Co-founder and Director

Founding Fuel

Charles Assisi is an award-winning journalist with two decades of experience to back him. He is co-founder and director at Founding Fuel, and co-author of the book The Aadhaar Effect. He also wrote a weekly column under the slug Life Hacks in Mint, India's most influential business newspaper. He is vocal in his views on journalism and what shape it ought to take in India. He speaks on the theme at various forums and is often invited by various organizations to teach their teams how to write.

In his last assignment, he wore two hats: That of Managing Editor at Forbes India and Editor at ForbesLife India. As part of the leadership team, his mandate was to create a distinctive business title in a market many thought was saturated. When Forbes India was finally launched after much brainstorming and thinking through, it broke through the ranks and got to be recognized as the most influential business magazine in the country. He did much the same thing with ForbesLife India where he broke from convention and launched the title to critical acclaim.

Before that, he was National Technology Editor and National Business Editor at the Times of India, during the great newspaper wars of 2005. He was part of the team that ensured Times of India maintained top dog status in Mumbai on the face of assaults by DNA and Hindustan Times.

His first big gig came in his late twenties when German media house Vogel Burda marked its India debut with CHIP a wildly popular technology magazine. He was appointed Editor and given a free run to create what he wanted. During this stint, he worked and interacted with all of Vogel Burda's various newsrooms across Europe and Asia.

Charles holds a Masters in Economics from Mumbai Universtity and an MBA in Finance. Along the way he earned the Madhu Valluri Award for Excellence in Journalism and the Polestar Award for Excellence in Business Journalism.

In his spare time, he reads voraciously across the board, but is biased towards psychology and the social sciences. He dabbles in various things that catch his fancy at various points. But as fancies go, many evaporate as often as they fall on him.

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