4 Points For Successful Outsourcing – A 5 Minute Mind Makeover

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I’ve outsourced a LOT of copywriting jobs to my ace resource John Fancher. John is wicked good and he channels my inner voice like a pro. He’s doing a great job. But I can’t tell you how long I resisted that. And I can’t tell you how much time – and not just time, quality, optimum time of my day time – that I’ve freed for myself by forcing that evolution. Everyone in Planet Perry benefits.

Why did I resist that? Probably mostly cuz so many people said “Dang Perry you’re such a talented copywriter” that it had become my identity.

Dude, your job is NEVER your identity. Yeah, I know in English we say “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and your five year old says, “I want to be a policeman. I want to be a fireman.” But that is actually wrong. The guy who wears a uniform is not a policeman. He is a man whose job is police work. The fireman is not, at the identity level, a fireman. He is a human being who earns his bread by fighting fires.

Carol Dweck, author of the book Mindset, points out that when your kid gets an “A” on the test and you say “Krista you are really smart” then “really smart” becomes a part of her identity and now she thinks she has to live up to that all the time and if she doesn’t, she is a failure. And it actually becomes de-motivating because smart is not what she is it is a gift that she has.

When your job becomes your identity you become unhealthily attached to it and you unwittingly build a prison for yourself. That’s why one of your top jobs in life is knowing thyself and getting clearer and clearer about the difference between who you are and what gifts you possess.

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For most entrepreneurs, this means your natural role is STARTER NOT FINISHER. You don’t need to finish anything you start. You just need to make sure that others successfully finish it. Yeah, I know – that sounds a lot easier than it really is. Here’s a tool I picked up from Rob Berkeley and his Entrepreneur To CEO Mastermind with Victor Cheng – the Circle of Commitment:

1. Request – You tell someone what you want

2. Negotiation – You discuss what they can actually deliver, until you reach agreement

3. Performance – They do what they said they would do

4. Acceptance – You communicate to them that they did indeed do what they promised to do. If they did not do it, you go back to #1, #2 or #3 as necessary until they finish in an acceptable way.

Those of us with “High Quick Start, Low Follow Through” tendencies tend to rush through the Request and Negotiation part, not making it clear exactly what we want. I know I often completely skip the Acceptance part and never give appropriate feedback.

That’s why “outsourcing” can be such a mess.

If you start a project by defining “What feedback is going to come back to me? And what feedback am I going to give to others once the project is successfully completed?”, then you are set up for success. This is the practical version of Stephen Covey’s “Begin With The End In Mind.”


Photo by Seattle Municipal Archives cc by-sa

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About the Author

Perry Marshall has launched two revolutions in sales and marketing. In Pay-Per-Click advertising, he pioneered best practices and wrote the world's best selling book on Google advertising. And he's driven the 80/20 Principle deeper than any other author, creating a new movement in business.

He is referenced across the Internet and by Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, INC and Forbes Magazine.

13 Comments on “4 Points For Successful Outsourcing – A 5 Minute Mind Makeover”

  1. I think about it like this… Once you understand WHERE you want to go, WHY you want to go and WHAT needs to get done to get there, instead of asking HOW can I get this done, true entrepreneurs ask WHO can I get to get this done… give a capable Who the What and a WHEN, they’ll figure out the How.

  2. Terrific advice, Perry. This particular statement resonated with me:
    “For most entrepreneurs, this means your natural role is STARTER NOT FINISHER. You don’t need to finish anything you start. ”

    I’ve always been especially gifted at coming up with the initial steps and laying out the 30,000 ft view of projects, but my biggest weakness has always been following through with the implementation of the day-to-day steps needed to succeed with the project.

    Thanks for the reminder,
    Chris Hughes

  3. Thanks Perry. For my whole life I’ve been good at recognizing oportunity and sarting… Seldom finishing… I’ve been through cycles of guilt and rationalising “I’m the idea guy, feed the tuna fish Mayonese…” It is only the projects where I’ve gotten help, partnered, outsourced,or hired smart that have payed in the end.

  4. I will search this 80/20 principle. I work in a 60/40 principle and it seems too be a win, win situation, as well. I can identify with your”start and not finish” concept. I read Steven Covey’s book many years ago and found we have too look way beyond the mountains to see the “end in mind” too be successfully.

  5. Hi, Iam a 60yrs.old man that just start learning to work with the computer and my opinion is that what Perry said about your job being your identity is what most of the people are confused and I guess it’s time to explain ours kids what the difference between identity and work is for them to start with the right foot and be what they really want to be and use the gift that they was born with on what they like to be not just because the so called identity job.

  6. Wow! I love the simplicity of this process of outsourcing. I definitely want to test this out for my own writing projects especially. Love the thought about how our gifts are what we “have” and not what we “are”. So true… Thanks for the simple explanation – there’s some gold nuggets in there.

  7. Gretchen Rubin’s book, Better Than Before, deals with the Starter/Finisher tendencies in a helpful way. But I hadn’t thought about how outsourcing could be the answer. Thanks!

  8. Just wondering if these articles in the blog are outsourced or written by Perry? I am ready for an honest answer :)

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