This Outsourcing case study – Picture research – is part-19 of an interview from Stefan from Germany, who lives the Four Hour Work Week lifestyle in Thailand.
Click here to read part 18 – Mastering the art of having a self-motivated virtual assistant
- The biggest dream for every entrepreneur is to have one full time virtual assistant that says, “Yeah don’t worry about it. I’ll get it figured out. I’ll research it. I’ll figure it out, you don’t have to worry.”
- Always start any outsourcing work with a very small amount of work, preferably in patches let your virtual assistant to work on that, provide feedback on his work and then ask him to resume the work.
- Doing this will enable your virtual assistant to think more like you. As he will be receiving regular feedback from you, this will enable him to know what and how you think, how you want to get the work done and what’s in your mind.
Start of the Interview:
Perhaps, for the last part with more outsourcing case studies on how to train your assistant to be more self motivated and self organized. Perhaps, let’s talk about some specific examples. What we can do.
What work example we can give an assistant so that they are more self motivated like we wanted -more of a problem solver.
Perhaps, the first step is really at the beginning of the working relationship, openly communicate that this is your dream. Tell your assistant “Well, we work together. I’ll train you.
But my big dream is that after some time, you will be a person that says, ‘Yeah don’t worry about it. I’ll get it figured out. I’ll research it. I’ll figure it out, you don’t have to worry.’” This will set up the expectation at the beginning.
But now to more specific outsourcing case study, let’s talk about picture research as an example.
Let me quickly ask you something.
Yes, of course.
Would that be advised to write “This is my dream. I’m searching for a full time assistant who performs all my wishes that I ask him to do” in the job description at the end, for example?
Would that be advisable?
No. I wouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t do it because it’s discourages the work at the beginning. At the beginning, your job is to find a person who is willing to work with good ethics and smart enough to learn new stuff.
Then as you get more and more trust, they know you pay them well then you can make your wishes bigger. And if you encounter a person who says “Yeah, I really want only to work on instructions and I’m not comfortable with opening myself up to a failure.” Then you can know that, perhaps, he’s still a good worker and then it becomes a tier 2 person but not your #1 assistant.
Examples of pictures research. You have the situation that you wanted illustration for your E-book. And for your assistant to know what sort of pictures you’re looking for. The best idea is to get through several training loops so that he learns to know how you think. So using video recordings a lot, you show him what you would like.
Do the basic research on one example and let him then do more researches on other examples. First, the easiest sorts would be Google images. All of that is, of course, copyrighted, you cannot use it. But it’s a good start for him to know what you want.
When he then knows what you want in principle then we can continue to the platforms where you actually can use the pictures – Flickr creative commons, Stock photo banks.
Maybe, we talked about this last time because my idea was to just research because of the picture and copyright problematic.
Actually, I didn’t hire anyone but I got together with an applicant on oDesk wrote back and forth. With that, I did it differently because you said that the idea was I find picture that I find attractive and I hire an artist who just redraws them in their own style.
Okay. Yeah, I remember that. This was just an example for “How to Train Someone to Think More like You”. Give him a basic task. Tell him how you like it and then he will understand how you’re thinking.
When I contacted instead of illustrators and layout people and graphic people, when I went to artists who are more into drawing and painting and stuff; they were way more susceptible. They could understand what I’m talking about way better than the other people – the graphic people or the Photoshop people.
So it seems also to depend on what the expertise of the person is whom you’re talking to.
Yes, it is so true.
Because they could understand what I’m talking about, they were like people who draw Manga and stuff, you know? And who would draw with pencils and stuff. And who have no idea about Photoshop or anything but they can draw on paper and scanning.
So they understood what I was talking about. Whereas, the people who use Photoshop and graphic design and lay-outing, they didn’t get it. They use their Photoshop tricks and it didn’t work out the way of what I imagined.
Yeah. In other words, the big investment was if you’re looking for recreation of pictures; it’s better to find actual artist who draw on paper than people who are experts on Photoshop and layout, editing, etc.
And even the bigger lesson would be change of skills or expertise or knowledge of the person changes how he understands what you’re talking about – what you want because they understand by the way that you want instead of the other people.
I think this outsourcing case study a good lesson. Well, I didn’t know much about graphics design but I definitely learned something. Let’s take another another case study .
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