Monday, January 3, 2011

Meet Ghouse, My Virtual Assistant

Over the holidays I read a couple books by Tim Ferriss.  Interesting reading.  He's basically a self-proclaimed experimenter and data head who tries out all sort of things, keeps track of success in meticulous detail, then pulls together his wisdom and packages it for these books.  I started with The Four Hour Body, since I was interested in dropping some pounds.  That led me to an earlier book of his, The Four Hour Workweek.  The premise of The Four Hour Workweek is setting yourself up with an income stream that requries very little maintenance and interaction (e.g., four hours a week) so you can dick around traveling the world, following your bliss, or just plain do nothing. 

One of the areas he talked about is outsourcing time-sucking tasks in your life.  I've always been a big fan of outsourcing and it currently takes shape in the form of a periodic housekeeper and dog walker.  He talked about the idea of a virtual assistant, and referenced a company called AskSunday that has a pool of assistants in India.  You basically pay a fee for a bundle of "requests" that can be then used over a period of three months.  I'd read about this a while back in a Time Magazine article (here's another good article from ABC about Virtual Assistants).  I'd found it interesting, but couldn't figure out instant applicability in my life.  This time, though, I was thinking of all the things they could help me do to get ready for my sabbatical, and maybe assist with during my time off.  So, today I signed up.  I immediately received an email from Ghouse, welcoming me to AskSunday.

My first requests?  I figured maybe they could help me assemble Team Jo.

1) Book an appointment with my primary care physician to get this whole mammogram issue figured out
2) Find Yoga classes within 5 miles from my house and get info on schedules and pricing
3) Book a weekly massage @ Massage Envy for my six weeks
4) Call Salvation Army and schedule a pickup for the bags of clothes on my porch
5) Make a Vet appointment for my dog to get her Rabies shot
6) Find life coaches and hypnotists in the area
7) Make weekly appointments with my trainer

If this works out, Ghouse and the whole AskSunday team are going to be my new best friends.  Or at least a key part of Team Jo.  If you could off-load some tasks, what would they be?  Hasta, sabbaticaljo


  1. Virtual Assistants can work from any part of the world .


    virtual assistant

  2. True...thanks for posting your virtual assistant link, John.