Guest Blog: Focus and why I’d hire a Virtual Assistant

May 19, 2011 by

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by Ade Oduyemi

Not that long ago, the United States Army owned the land on which the trees from which the wood, from which the stocks of the rifles it issued to its soldiers were made.

Stick to Your Knitting

A client of mine became self employed, to good effect, because a telecommunications giant for whom she’d worked closed its factory that used to make telephones. The point of the foregoing is to illustrate a simple point that there was a management or business fashion for vertical integration, followed by the conglomerate – thankfully, both trends are rarely to be seen in western business.  The point of the change was not change for its own sake, but the realisation that there was a greater all round efficiency and ultimately superior profitability to be had from, as my grandmother used to say, sticking to one’s knitting.

Economies of Experience & Opportunity Cost

I was in the middle of writing this post, when quite serendipitously, I needed an item of secretarial work done, it was prima facie, a simple enough task to which any reasonably well educated person should be able to turn his hand.  On critical evaluation and cogitation – lasting all of about 3 seconds, it dawned on me this task would have taken me the better part of half a day, further, in a bout of self awareness, knowing I’d spent so much time and effort – [opportunity cost being of considerable importance] and getting not very far, I’d get irritable, make countless mistakes, it’ll take me even longer, and the finished article would hardly be fit for the purpose it was intended.  In a flash of inspiration, I contacted Helen in her day job as a virtual assistant on twitter –  including the back and forth of initial telephone call, specification and the finished article, the time spent on the task was of the order of twenty minutes – this was a testament to the phenomenon of economics of experience.  I’d had a piece of work done by an expert – to the highest standards, I was able to get on with the rest of my day – profitably, and there was little risk to my sanity. I was a happy bunny.

Jack of one Trade, Master of One

There’s a moral here somewhere, and it’s thus, there’s little merit in attempting to be Jack of all trades, one would end up being master of none.   The only things that I or indeed you have to sell your clients are: on the one hand  specialist knowledge and education and, on the other hand, experience. As a financial adviser and estate planner, I see regularly as I’m sure you do in your calling, unsuccessful attempts by lay folk who, frankly have shown albeit inadvertently, disrespect for your profession or craft by attempting DIY tasks – you know as much as I do that it’d cost them far more in the end than if they’d hired a professional in the first place.

The Ford Motor company used to own the land on which the sheep from which the wool that went into making their seat covers were raised.  They’ve now got rid of the land; and the sheep and the wool – they’ve concentrated on making cars.  I’d stick to my day job, and hire a virtual assistant whenever I needed one, they’re cost effective.


Guest blog post by Ade Oduyemi, Principal at the estate planners Maximum Inheritance Specialists.

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