Outsourcing – the ultimate life hack!
When we think of the term ‘outsourcing’, we usually picture automobile factories moving to Mexico or manufacturing of consumer goods heading to China or Vietnam, but when do we connect that word to our daily lives? If you’ve read Tim Ferriss’ 4 Hour Workweek (http://amzn.to/2fGhYE1) you’d get an eye-opening alternative take on the life of a productive individual – one that prioritizes quality of life over the amount earned. Maximizing quality of life might mean spending more time doing what one loves in exchange for a lower paycheck from an independent revenue stream. Maybe this means moving to a cheaper part of the world. Maybe this means getting a virtual business running and setting it on (more or less) autopilot within some length of time. More specifically, Tim writes that we should consider spending less time on things that don’t add to our quality of life and that we are not true experts on anyway. Outsourcing. This is where it comes in. Examples of this outsourcing include hiring virtual assistants to handle the more mundane tasks like customer service, bill payment, and travel planning. Today I came across another example of outsourcing that we can use in our daily lives that will improve the quality of life for many of us, myself first and foremost.
As many discoveries tend to happen with accidents, this one was no different for me. Something mundane happened – my car got broken into while parked at a fairly secure lot in DTLA. Nothing of real value was taken, but the hassle of having to get the window replaced was real. I took the car to a repair shop and was told that it would take about four hours. Stuck with the dilemma of whether to sit around the shop or head downtown to the client’s site was settled by the thought of losing billable hours – practicality usually wins out. I whip out my iPhone and take a look at Uber rates to head in to the office and realize that the Pool rate is just over $6. I order the ride and when a new and clean Toyota Camry pulls up I start thinking about a new paradigm in which I am not paying $120 per month for parking (where windows can be smashed), $3/day for gas, putting 20 miles per day on the odometer, and sitting in traffic, stressed and non-productive for almost two hours every day. I start looking at the numbers: monthly cost of commuting by own car is $180; monthly cost of commuting by Uber Pool is about $400. How do you put a price on time savings of 40 hours in a typical month? That is a whole work week! How much is our time worth? How much is a stress-free life worth to any of us? On simple cash basis, commuting by Uber is $220 more expensive, but if you divide that $220 by the 40 hours saved, you end up paying about $5.50 per hour to not have to drive your own car. Is your time worth more than that? Mine is.
Stepping outside ‘the matrix’ that is the normally accepted way of living is never easy, but this is low-hanging fruit, if I ever saw it. Where else can you improve the quality of your daily life so quickly and easily? Getting a ride from the repair shop to the client was like an epiphany – a different way of seeing the same reality. Looking at the Uber driver occasionally get stressed about traffic reminded me of how I had to deal with it as well. Looking down at my iPhone and calmly planning out this article, snapping some photos to be used later in other articles, and chatting on the phone, were all much more pleasant than when I had to drive. After 29 years of driving in LA I was getting a ride and really enjoying the freedom! This to me exemplifies both Tim Ferriss’ 80/20 approach to decision making as well as Mike Cernovich’s Gorilla Mindset approach (http://amzn.to/2fB1OwK). Leveraging your time to gain more freedom. Yeah – that sounds good to me!
A summary of Tim’s meta learning approach:
Gorilla Mindset explained: