How to Find a Diet Assistant without Breaking the Bank
In today’s lesson, you’ll learn how to hire an assistant for less than the cost of late-night takeout. But first, a little story about how I discovered diet hacking.
Rewind a few years, and things weren’t great for me. I’d feel tired all day, I was getting acne, and my favorite jeans were becoming a squeeze. It took a while to realize, but my diet was the cause. Eventually, it became too much, so I decided to find a way to stick to my diet regime for more than a few weeks. I looked at 101 options—from meal box delivery services like HelloFresh to a whole host of meal-planning apps. I even looked at hiring a registered dietician. But I found all these options to be a bit lackluster or too expensive.
I found myself back where I started, feeling unhealthy and unhappy.
That lasted until I read about outsourcing personal life tasks to a virtual assistant in The Four-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss. The idea intrigued, so I decided to try it out, starting with the part I was most unsure of: hiring a virtual assistant. And it turned out to be easier than expected!
So, here’s everything you need to know about hiring a virtual assistant.
What Is a Virtual Assistant and How Do They Work?
A virtual assistant is someone who provides assistance from a remote location. They could be 30 miles away or 3,000 miles away, it’s up to you.
Your assistant works like any assistant: You delegate certain tasks with instructions for them to complete. With a virtual assistant, you only communicate digitally, using your favorite method—for example, email, Skype, Messenger, or WhatsApp.
You can hire a freelance assistant or one who works for a company. In this lesson, we’ll focus on hiring an assistant from a company for two reasons. First, they typically work from a registered office, and second, they have cover if they go on leave.
What Do Virtual Assistants Charge?
You can find a virtual assistant to suit almost any budget. The two main factors that determine price are:
1. Skill level: More specialist skills demand a higher price, and vice versa. By using the methods you’ll learn and the templates available, a lower-cost general admin assistant should suffice.
2. Location: Rates are broadly in line with the cost of living in a country. English-speaking, developing countries like India and the Philippines can offer excellent value.
Let’s look at a few example prices for a general admin assistant.
FancyHands is a US-based VA agency that offers pay-as-you-go tasks (that’s 20 minutes of work) from $4, or $12 an hour.
Compare this with Habiliss based in India, where you can get a task (15 minutes of work, in this case) for as little as $1.66, or $6.64 per hour.
Nearly two years of experience has taught me that diet hacking will typically take an assistant two to three hours each month.
This equates to around twelve tasks or $20 per month when using a company based in India. Of course, the cost may vary based on any specific requirements you have.
How Do You Hire a Virtual Assistant?
Input “virtual assistants” into your favorite search engine, including a specific location if you wish. Browse the results, and make a list of the companies that you like.
Then check out the reviews. Enter “<company name> + reviews” into the search engine, and browse the results. Once you’ve found a few that you like, get in touch with them.
Summarize what you’d like your assistant to do, and ask about their pricing options if that information is not on their website. You’ll provide the detailed instructions later, which we’ll cover in a future lesson.
Then pick one. Don’t overthink your decision. The only way to be 100% confident in your choice is to work with an assistant for a month or two!
In tomorrow’s lesson, you’ll learn how to design the perfect diet for you.
Hire a virtual assistant with this template.
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