If you’re like a lot of people where I’m from, entrepreneurism is in your blood. There’s nothing better than being your own boss, setting your own hours, and forgetting that you’d ever heard that dreaded term “time clock.” And with the rapid growth of e-commerce over the past few years, it’s no wonder that Utah is a hotspot for internet businesses. With an online business, there’s no stressful rush-hour commute, no annoying co-workers, and it’s particularly ideal if you have a family.
I’ve been living in Utah for 10 years, and for many of those years I’ve been running an online business from home. As a husband and father, I’ve really enjoyed being able to work from home while having plenty of time to spend with my family. But although my business had been going pretty well for some time, my world was suddenly turned upside down a few years ago. My wife, then 7 months pregnant with our third child, was diagnosed with preeclampsia. The doctor told us she was at risk of dying if she did not get several weeks of bed rest.
I had just released a new software product, which meant even more than normal demands on my time, and now I needed to take care of my wife, children, and household in addition to running my business. If there was ever a time I needed to “clone” myself, this was it…but how?
That’s when I had a light-bulb moment that really changed my life. Not only that, it totally changed how I thought about business. I had already been outsourcing some work regularly to three individuals in the Philippines. So I sent them an email letting them know that I was not going to be able to work for the next few weeks. I needed them to do all of my work for me—basically to completely run my business. I needed them to do everything from managing my AdWords account, filtering my emails, managing my blog, fixing any website problems…the whole nine yards! And they did just that. In fact, they did it so well that I was able to work no more than 1 hour per week for nearly three months while my online business continued to do very well.
I had essentially replaced myself in my business. Prior to this, I’d been spending about 40 hours a week running my business. Now I was down to only one hour! I remember thinking to myself, “This is the missing piece!” I now have more than a dozen Filipinos working for me full time. By outsourcing the bulk of my work, I am able to maintain a highly profitable internet business while I work only about 17 hours a week. I could work much less, but found that I needed to work more to keep my brain stimulated.
It wasn’t long before others wanted to know how to do what I was doing. So, I began teaching people. I put together a website, ReplaceMyself.com, where I show people how to do exactly what I do. I reveal in my free online training just how incredibly inexpensive it is to hire someone in the Philippines to work for you full time. In fact, the average cost for a full-time employee is only around $200 to $450 a month, which is a solid middle-class income for someone residing in the Philippines. So, while that amount of pay may sound like peanuts to those of us in the U.S., it is actually a very nice income for a Filipino. It’s truly a win-win situation.
This method is working very well in Utah with entrepreneurs who have started using it. I was at a networking meeting with 18 other people awhile back. Out of that group, 10 had already put my recommendations to use and hired someone in the Philippines! They reported having success using Filipino workers, and are continuing to do so today.
I recognize that there are many misperceptions about outsourcing. When many people think of “outsourcing,” they fret that “They’re sending our jobs overseas!” The reality is that most small entrepreneurs wouldn’t have U.S.-based employees because it’s just too expensive, especially in a down economy. It would be extremely difficult for most budding Internet entrepreneurs to be profitable if they had to use U.S. employees.
One of the key things I’ve learned is that hiring Filipino workers is absolutely the way to go for all your outsourcing needs. I have nothing but praise for the ones I’ve hired. They are extremely loyal, very honest, and super-hard workers. In fact, working for an American elevates the social status of a Filipino. Once they start working for you, they’ll never quit. From a business perspective, this is ideal because you only have to train them once.
In addition, Filipinos are highly educated, speak excellent English, and are very Westernized. Also, because Filipinos typically are not entrepreneurial, you don’t have to worry about hiring someone only to have him leave you and start his own online business once you’ve trained him. My employees can do any task associated with running my online business. For example, they can do everything from affiliate marketing, SEO, link building, social bookmarking, social media (Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, etc.) — anything I need done.
I firmly believe that if you have your own online business, you need to be the CEO—a knowledge worker. If you’re the implementing all the minute details, you’re wasting your educated brain. Don’t do the menial jobs; you can outsource those and focus on what you enjoy the most. I have found that this is one of the main reasons so many entrepreneurs fail altogether or fall far short of their income goals. By outsourcing the bulk of the work for a very low cost, you can get your business up and running much more quickly. In a very short time, it’s not only making enough money to cover your outsourcing costs, but it can be making a very nice profit for you.
I’ve been fortunate to have already taught thousands of people how to do exactly what I do, via my website, ReplaceMyself.com. One of the most rewarding things is when a student lets me know how my outsourcing techniques have literally changed his or her life. There are many small-business entrepreneurs in Utah I’ve helped successfully improve their online businesses through outsourcing. Since Utah has such a high bankruptcy rate, learning how to have a successful online business by outsourcing can make a huge difference for someone struggling just to make ends meet.
If you are interested in learning more about how to use outsourcing in order to have a successful online business, I invite you to visit my website, ReplaceMyself.com, and also my blog, JonasBlog.com. I provide a lot of free training on my site because I truly desire to see others finally have success in their online business.