Hiring help to work with you in your business may be a scary thought. It takes money and time to invest in help and get them up to speed to do what you really need them to do. You may shy away from the idea initially, which is entirely natural. But today’s guest is not only going to tell you why hiring help from another country could be the shot in the arm your business needs, he’s going to show you how you can do it in a way that won’t break the bank. You’ve got to hear this great episode.
Grow your business by adding things that you can’t do.
There are certain things each of us is good at. On the other side of the same coin, there are certain things we should never touch because we STINK at them. Those are the areas where you can amplify the impact of your business by hiring people to do the things you’re not good at or don’t enjoy – but that are NEEDED for your business. On this episode, Scott is talking with John Jonas, a guy who has figured out how to find the best workers from the Philippines and train them to do the tasks that are taking up your time and don’t fit inside your skill set. You can change your business and your effectiveness for the better through this approach, so find out how on this episode.
Outsourcing is not as scary as it sounds. Find out how on this episode.
Many entrepreneurs (most entrepreneurs, really) don’t like the idea of handing off responsibilities within the business to others, especially people they don’t know. But it’s one of the things that has to be done if you are going to scale your business and realize more profits. Outsourcing is one of the ways you can do that and on this episode, Scott and his guest John Jonas talk about how to outsource the smart way without breaking the bank. You are going to get a ton of value from this episode.
Dealing with a VA from another culture is a skill anyone can learn.
One of the things John Jonas has discovered as he’s worked with VAs from the Philippines, in particular, is that every culture has its own norms. For example, workers from the Philippines are very loyal and eager to please. But they tend to need a very clear set of instructions and a boss who will continue check in with them to ensure they understand their tasks – until those tasks are being performed flawlessly. If you can learn how to patiently train the person who works for you, you’ll be able to find a long-term VA or assistant who will provide tons of value to your company. Find out more on this episode.
What are the small things that are consuming your time? Pass them to someone else for greater effectiveness.
Is social media eating up your time? Are emails and product research gobbling up hours that you could be working on more important things? You’re not alone. Many eCommerce sellers find themselves bogged down in the details – but there IS hope. You can find a very competent, foreign worker who can take the load off of you by taking on your low-value tasks that have to be done – so that you don’t have to do them. Find out how it works and how you can make it happen on this episode of The Amazing Seller.
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER
- [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast about getting help!
- [1:39] My introduction of John Jonas, my expert guest on this subject.
- [4:29] John’s story of getting into outsourcing and finding help.
- [9:11] How John learned the best way to train his help (using Amazon Private Label).
- [19:32] The obstacles and hurdles John says you should watch out for.
- [25:10] Communicating well with Philippine workers you hire.
- [26:15] How to handle insurance, taxes. etc. with foreign workers.
- [28:40] Paying foreign workers with the right systems.
- [30:00] How to find the right VA for your situation (how John created his service).
- [37:38] Determining if you need or want part time or full time help.
- [42:48] Assessing your own needs and moving forward to find the help you need.
- [44:45] Last word on tips and strategies to head down the outsourcing road.
- [47:15] How John checks in with his virtual team regularly.
- [52:18] Scott’s summary of the episode and ideas of how you could use these ideas.
TRANSCRIPT TAS 306
TAS 306 : When and How to Hire Help to Grow Your Online Business
[00:00:03] Scott: Well hey, hey what’s up everyone! Welcome back to another episode of The Amazing Seller Podcast. This is episode number 306 and today I am excited because we're going to talk about when and how to hire help to grow your online business and this is…
[read more=”Read full transcript…” less=”Read less”]
…something that I have struggled with in the past. I still struggle with it now because I like to have full control of my business. Does that sound familiar? Do you want to know all aspects of your business? And do you feel as though you have say in every single part of your business? Well, if you feel like that, well you’re not alone because I feel like that too. I still feel like that and it took me up to probably a couple of years ago to realize that I needed to let go of certain tasks.
And it's funny because I go all the way back to when I was in the construction business and teaching people to do certain jobs for our customers and then letting them do it on their own was really hard for me because I wanted to make sure it was done up to my standards because I knew what we wanted done in the company. That's one sticking point for a lot of people. It's they want that full control and I get it. I do too but you have to also understand there's other people out there that can either do as good a job or sometimes better. A lot of times better in certain tasks because you guys have probably heard you want to be a jack of all trade or a master of none. Well, which one do you want to be?
You can be a little bit of both. I like to know what’s happening in the business and I like to know how it works and how certain jobs are done but it doesn't mean that should be doing all of those jobs. I invited a guest on today and this guy really does know a thing or two about this. His name is John Jonas and he has a lot of expertise in this and he learned it the same way that we've learned it. It's by going through it, figuring out that, “Oh my gosh, there's gotta be something I can do here to make my business run better.” Then he started hiring people and then once he started hiring people, virtual assistants or whether they are just contractor's or just employees he soon found that it wasn't that easy to do.
[00:02:07] Scott: So he created a service that actually goes through and finds these good people and qualifies them for you which he'll talk about but really the reason I wanted to have him on is to talk about how we can do this. How can we figure out what we can let got of and what we can hire out and some systems to put in place to where we can find these people that can do these jobs for us. He's got a great story to share with you and it's funny because before he even came on we didn't have a huge conversation about what we're going to dive into.
I just knew it was going to be how to help you and me to be able to hire out to do these tasks in our business that can help us scale and grow faster but he also shared and I didn’t know this until I got on the call with him but how he actually has played around in this Amazon space a little bit and how he's also hired VAs or contract workers to do some of these redundant tasks or the tasks that he doesn't want to do.
It was just funny that I had him on not knowing that he has played on the Amazon platform at all. It's funny you're going to hear how his son turned him onto the idea. It's just a great story. Really no matter where you are in your journey, this is definitely good information because sometimes you're going to start seeing that you're doing these tasks that you're like, “Man if I can just get this stuff done, I can work on other more important things,” then that maybe the time to go ahead and find someone to help you out inside your business and then that will help you grow even faster. I'm going to stop talking now so you can enjoy this conversation, this in depth conversation that I had with John Jonas all about how to free up more time and get more stuff done. So sit back, relax and enjoy
[00:03:53] Scott: Well hey John, thank so much for coming on the podcast. What's up man? How you doing?
[00:03:58] John: Hey, it’s good to be here. Thanks for having me.
[00:03:59] Scott: No, this is going to be great. Again I think that you and I talked a little bit before we got on the air, we're both fathers, we're dads like we've got a family, we've got businesses. It's hard to maintain some things at times and sometimes we can feel like we're trying to do so many different things. I think what you're really good at is figuring out like how to delegate that stuff, and how to take some of that off of your plate. That's really what I want to dig into here. It's like how can we do that and when should we do that. But before we do that, why don't you just tell us a little bit about yourself.
[00:04:33] John: Great. A little bit about myself and why I am good at this I think it's, I'm a terrible employee. I had a job for ten months out of college and I'm just terrible. I was stealing my employer’s time and I am working on my own stuff at work. There's no incentive for me to do well when I'm making someone else rich.
[00:05:01] Scott: I can relate.
[00:05:01] John: At the same time, I don't like doing the grunt work in my business and when I started I knew that there was this too much for me to do to get it all done correctly and to move things forward and so I tried all kinds of stuff for like hiring local employees. That didn't work four different times. I tried hiring people in India. That was a disaster. I hired people off of Upwork, actually it was oDesk at the time, which was fine. A little bit about my background, my personality. I am really, really interested in building passive income and I wanted… If I feel like I have to do the work, I feel like I am not succeeding at doing that. When I was hiring the people off of oDesk it always led to me doing more work. I couldn't pass a system off to someone like for example I wanted to write this articles, articles were super effective a while ago.
I hired someone on oDesk to write 50 articles and then they write them and then they send them back to me and I pay them. It was like, “Oh crap. Now I have to go and check…” First of all I had to check them before I paid him because half the time they were plagiarized because they don't care, they don't care about your business. If you pay them and they’ve written plagiarized articles, how much better for them. Just crappy. I check them and then I pay them and then like they are done. Now I have to do and do something with these 50 articles. It's like I don't have time to do this crap. That was super frustrating for me. How I got good at delegating was I got a really good tip at one point from someone.
[00:07:00] John: He said, “Hey, when you're ready to start testing out some of these stuff you're doing make sure you go to the Philippines with it.” I was like, “What? That's weird.” Outsourcing is outsourcing, it's all the same thing. He said, “Yeah because in India when you tell them something and they say yes, that means yes, they heard something come out of your mouth. It does not mean, yes I understand what you said.” My reaction was like your reaction. Like, “What?” He gave me a good reference so I could hire someone and it was a hard thing because he gave me a reference so I can hire someone full time. I went back and forth for a couple of times not knowing if I would hire them or not or if I had work to keep him busy and I did it.
I hired this guy, full time and it was the single most liberating experience of my life because I had this dude full time working for me and I just knew like number one I got to keep him busy and number two I could teach him to do anything I wanted him to do. So like I taught him how to do the article thing that I talked about and taught him how to write the articles. I taught him how to post the articles and I taught him how to do the resource boxes and the headlines and I taught him how to link them to each other and how to link them to my website. I taught him the whole process which was something I never could have done hiring a contract worker. That’s when I realized like this is really, really good. This is way different that whatever else I've tried or heard other people doing before because I had this full system being done and I wasn't a part of it. The dude made $250 a month for full time work.
[00:08:41] Scott: To them in different countries it's different. To us that sounds like that's not a lot of money. To them, I've even heard it where some people are like, “I don't want you to pay me because that puts me like in this other light or this other… People are going to see me differently,” and they don't want that. They just want to make a good living, that’s a good living. I guess sometimes people get thinking to themselves they are underpaying when in reality in their pay scale it's pretty good.
The one thing I do want to just highlight here though and I want to ask you a little bit about this is, I know some people probably ask me the same thing is okay, this sounds all great and all but you had to know what you wanted done. Or you needed to understand how it works. So whenever someone comes to me, they are like, “Okay, I want to do all this, I want to be able to launch new products and I want to be able to then maybe create an eBook,” or do this or that. You still have to understand how that works or you're going to hire someone that knows how all that works so then they can hire out. Correct?
[00:09:43] John: Yes, yes. I love that. I got people that come to me all the time they are like, “I want someone that can… I just want to hire them and they'll do the whole eBook thing for me.” No, that's not how this works. You're not hiring someone that's going to run your business for you. That's your job. You have to understand why. You have to be the CEO. You have to understand why you're doing what you're doing and how it works, then you hire someone to do the work and you give them direction and you teach them. If you don't know how to do it, especially in the Philippines. This is really interesting. I only hire people in the Philippines and it's a completely different experience there than anywhere else in the world as I found.
Especially in the Philippines, if you don't teach them things and show them that you’re there to support them and help them do their job, you'll have a really bad experience. There's a cultural thing where Filipinos are worried about not doing it right, about not pleasing you, about you not being happy. So if you haven't shown them that you're there for them by giving them training, by helping them, by giving them good feedback, they'll be really worried that you're going to be upset with their work.
Even if they're an expert, even if they really know what they are doing they are still going to worry that you're look at them and say, “Oh no. This isn't what I wanted,” because you didn't teach them what you wanted. Teaching them what you want and how you want is really important. It's a really big deal to understand. At least in the beginning it's a really big deal to understand what you're doing and why you're doing it.
[00:11:15] Scott: What I'm hearing here really is, and that's what I would have thought but you have to know the job you want done. For us we're in the physical products world. For us we have certain criteria and certain ways that we do product research. So we need to understand how all that works. Once we understand how that works, we can then teach someone else how to do that on our team and then have them do it and then only bring back the products that might meet our certain criteria that we can then look at a higher level. This way here we can say, yes or no to it but we don’t have to all the digging.
[00:11:52] John: Let me give you a couple of examples of how I've done that.
[00:11:54] Scott: Sure, that'd be great.
[00:11:54] John: I bought an ebook once that taught a specific marketing tactic and I read it. This was an interesting experience for me because before this, I would buy something because it looked really awesome and then I would never even download it because if I downloaded it I knew I would it on my computer and if I sat on my computer I knew it was mentally challenging because I wasn't going to read it because I didn’t have time to do it. So this one I bought it and I downloaded it and I read it immediately because I knew I'm not going to do the work for this. I'm going to have someone else do the work.
That was a big deal. As I read it, I filtered it and I took notes on it and I said… So when I said to one of my guys in the Philippines, I told him, “I want you to implement this, read this and implement it but I want you to pay specific attention to these chapters and these pages because they're really important and here's the information you need to implement the piece on this page. I also want you to ignore this chapter on these other pages because they're not relevant to our business.” In the Philippines if you were to just give someone something like that, they'll try and implement everything because that's what they think you want them to do. If you do that they'll get stuck on something. So there's one story.
I have a fourteen year old son who three years ago was like going crazy to want to start a business. Like bugging me every single day and I had two options. Either help him or discourage him from being an entrepreneur which doesn't work. I can never discourage him. So I ended up giving him an Amazon product, teaching how to sell on Amazon. And exactly what you're talking about. Like we have certain way of doing product research. He starts going through it and I had to do the same thing with him, he's eleven, that I would have do with someone in the Philippines. The people in the Philippines are a bit more capable that he was. He'd do the product research and he'd come back to me.
[00:13:53] John: I'd be like, “Okay, so what do you think about this one and this one?” We go through it and he picked the product and did a pretty good job and then he went through the sourcing thing and found a product to sell. Anyway, I'll shorten the story. He started selling something on Amazon and it does pretty well but he's eleven. He turns twelve and starts getting like twelve and thirteen and becomes a teenager and just completely ignoring it. He's not interested. He's more interested in girls and playing video games. I have these guys in the Philippines. I'm like, “We got to have someone to take care of this thing.” So I gave them the same product, training course that I'd given him.
I had them go through it. I did the same thing with them, that I did with him where I told them like, “Hey I don't want you to implement this stuff. I just want you to learn it so that when you come back and we're ready to start working with this product, we can then talk about what we’re going to do and strategize.” These guys were guys that I had working with me for years. They are comfortable with me and I understand them. For the last two years they've been running this thing on Amazon. So like what you're saying about like here's how we do product research, yes, we taught them how to do product research and we taught them how to do pay-per-click on Amazon and so they go and do pay-per-click and they send me a report.
Here's how much we spent, here's how much we made, here's our product cost, here's Amazon fulfilment costs. Now, they are running it and they are saying, “Hey, we have a problem. Someone else is stealing our thing and selling it. What do we do?” I'm like, “I don't know. Go read this.” They are trying to fix it or they are taking care of customer support or they are testing like it's amazing what they are doing. They are testing raising the price and lowering the price according to how well it's selling at the time and what they are doing on pay-per-click and trying to get our seller rankings higher.
[00:15:57] John: It's really cool to watch them where like I don't do anything with it. My fourteen year old son, he's a teenager.
[00:16:06] Scott: Yeah and that's funny. It's funny that that's your story too because you and I didn't talk beforehand and it's funny that my entire podcast started because of the Amazon space. It's funny that your son went down that road and now you're hiring out VAs to basically, not even VAs, they're actually your employees. Technically they're working for you that are actually doing the work to basically source a product and then sell the products and then do all the stuff on the back end that normally we're doing. A lot of my listeners are doing exactly that.
They are going through, we call it our five phases of picking a product, sourcing a product, doing a pre-launch, doing a launch and the promoting it. Everything is like you said. You can go through that process you have to understand how the process works and then you can hand off those tasks to those people but it almost sounds like your son got the thing going pretty much, you helped him but then from that point you were like, I don't really know how to do this and I don't want do this so just go figure it out. You actually had your employee go figure it out for you to basically then implement and come back with the results.
[00:17:13] John: Somewhat. That's how it is today because I don't want to be involved in it. When we started, I had gone through the training also. The first time we did it with my son I went through everything and made sure everything was going to work out because otherwise he's eleven. He's not capable of making decisions, not correct good decisions. I understood and knew when we wrote the descriptions of the products I understood that…
[00:17:46] Scott: You probably understood it too though because you have a history of other parts of this of like… And I always tell people like I didn't start on the Amazon platform just from scratch. I started over ten years ago online selling my own digital products so I understand SEO, I understand the keyword loading. That's stuff then, it helps you.
[00:18:12] John: I taught it. I understand copywriting and that's a big deal. Yeah, then I had someone else… Then I brought one of my guys in the Philippines onto it, gave him the training product but I also I walked them through the whole thing. That's a big deal in doing this with the Philippines where you have someone full time, you walk them through it and you never have to do it again. That's a big deal because they'll never leave you, they’ll never quit, they won't… There's a cultural thing in the Philippines where they won't go take another job because they got offered more pay, they are super loyal. They'll stick with you long term. You only have to teach it once.
[00:18:51] Scott: So what's the… That's a great story and I'm so glad that you're able to share because it because it totally ties into the podcast, my listeners like that's where a lot of them are. They are in that stage of just starting and the podcast here is really help people to be able to get those products launched and all that but then also now we want to maybe systemize or create a process so this way here we can take that stuff that we don't necessarily need to do and I look at it like the guy that puts on a roof doesn't carry the shingles up the ladder and put them on the roof. He's the guy that's just going to do all the precision of the roof but the guy that's bringing the thing we call the ground work, maybe the teenager that we hire for the summer.
With what you are saying though it's like, it sounds all great and everything and we get them to that point where we now can educate them, we can say, “Okay go through this,” whether it's us showing them or we turn them onto a training that we purchased and said, “Here, now this is the next part that I want you to learn.” We can do that but is there anything that in the beginning was hard to make that all work because it sounds great but there had to be some things that you had to work out the kinks. Is there something there you can give us maybe some help and some tips there if we're going to maybe hire our first employee?
[00:20:04] John: There are couple of things. We've talked a lot about it. I just want to emphasize it. It is really important with your first employee that you understand what you're doing. If you think you're going to hire someone and say, “Hey, go take that course and find me a product to sell,” it's not going to work. You're going to have to be involved. They are not going to do it right the first time. Understanding that and expecting that upfront, is a big deal. It's not going to be the way you want it the first time. It's not going to be done right. What I've come to see is if I expect that it's not going to be done right the first and I'm willing to work with them long term it is so much better then…
Not necessarily if it was done right the first time but if it is done right the first time, you either got an amazing worker in the Philippines or you hired someone for $100,000 a year in the United States. That's one thing. It's expect it not to be done right the first time. You're going to spend some time on it but if you intend to build a business rather than just like a hobby one off thing that makes you money for a little bit of time it's a long term process. That's one of the magical things about the Philippines. It's that they are with you long term. So you teach it once and they are sticking with you. Another thing is in this, especially with Amazon it's really great to give them a training product.
If you really want to succeed with this, with getting them to run your business for you, you got to give them the training product but you have to have gone through it ahead of time and you have to have filtered it like I told you in the beginning. Like with that story. Then you have to be involved with them, like you've got to give them feedback as they do work. You have to help them understand things. It will be a really big deal as you give them feedback if you will give positive feedback before you give negative feedback.
[00:22:10] John: That's just general management thing especially in the Philippines it's a really big deal in the Philippines for them. They thrive on positive feedback and if you give them negative feedback without reinforcing their self-image, they'll disappear. Disappearing workers is the number one problem you'll have in the Philippines. So all the things that we've talked about will help you eliminate that disappearing person. Give positive feedback, give them training, help them understand that you're there to help them. If you'll give them video feedback it's a big deal so like use Jing the screen capture screen recording software made by the makers of Camtasia Studio. You can talk through a training to give to them and the big deal about it is in the beginning they like to hear your voice and see you talking through the process, they know that like you're there to help them. When they don't understand something you can help them again. There’s some tips.
[00:23:17] Scott: I was going to say I think that's basic common sense. Like whether you're coaching a baseball team or you're hiring employees and having them work for you, it's like if you're going to put some negativity into them because really what you're doing people all of a sudden are going to be like criticized, all of a sudden you're like feeling like oh my gosh, I'm doing something wrong.
If you can build up their confidence and then maybe say, “But then maybe you could this a little bit differently or I'd like to see this but I really like how you did that.” I think it's like anything. We don't mind hearing that as long as we know that we're doing things right as well. You're building up but it's okay you can pull down a little bit but I just think that's common sense but people don't do that. There's people in big companies that don't do that. They wonder why their employees don't want to work for them.
[00:24:06] John: This is especially like it's especially important with the Philippines.
[00:24:12] Scott: Okay so they are very sensitive in that way.
[00:24:16] John: Yes, and they say that. They call themselves shy where they are like a very pleasing culture. They really want to make you happy and if they sense that you're not happy it's really disappointing to them and so like it's disappointing in India where in India you say, “Hey, how's the project going?” “Yes.” “Are you working on it?” “Yes.” “Is it going to be done on time?” “Yes.” You know they are not going to get it done on time. In the Philippines when something goes wrong like that, they'll say nothing. They'll disappear and so then so you have a sign that something's wrong.
[00:24:52] Scott: Okay. Let me ask you this then because in one breath you said that they are very loyal which they are but in the same breath if you upset them or feel like, maybe I'm not working out for this person, they could disappear how do we balance that?
[00:25:07] John: Disappear not meaning like go and find another job but like say nothing to you hoping and hoping and hoping that you say something to them of like more instructions or, “Hey I…” Here's how you take care of that. When they say nothing for a couple of days you say, “Hey I get a sense that something is wrong. What's wrong? What can I help you with? I think that you don't understand something that I told you,” and very often what I found is like I will get employers that will email me and say, “Hey, my guy disappeared and he didn't do this work.” Like, “What's wrong?” “Well, what did you tell him?”
“Oh, I gave him this really great instructions that I looked over and they were perfect and he's still didn't do it.” “Well, send me the instructions.” When they send them to me, I’m like “I don't even know what you want me to do here.” Very often if you have someone disappearing look at what you have done and maybe have someone else look at it. You may have your wife look at it or something and say, “Hey, is this clear or is this not clear?”
[00:26:07] Scott: Or sometimes probably too, maybe too much information all thrown at once rather than moving in those baby steps. That makes sense. The other question that I'm sure others are asking and I'm asking myself too, like you say employee and that's okay we understand that, that's someone working for us. Then we here VA all the time, virtual assistant that you have like a contract worker. There's a difference there. But I guess the big one for me is like how do you handle like employee, like compensation insurance?
[00:26:38] John: There’s only kind of a difference.
[00:26:41] Scott: Okay. Maybe you can explain that.
[00:26:43] John: Let's talk about it. Yeah, that's one of the really great things about going to the Philippines. I have twenty one full time people who work for me in the Philippines. I pay them a monthly salary. They get the same amount each month because they work for me full time. I don't pay insurance, I don't have an office in the Philippines, they all work from home. I don't have utility costs.
I get the benefits of full time work but I don't have to submit a 1099 at the end of the year because they don’t have a 1099, they don't need that. I don't have to pay taxes. I don't know if they pay taxes. I don't really care if they pay taxes. That's not my issue. I get the benefits of this person is full time and works for me long term and everything I teach them is going to benefit my business in six months and in a year and in five years. I don't have to deal with the government crap that comes along with an employee. It's really great.
[00:27:41] Scott: Okay, so now if you…
[00:27:42] John: And it’s a tax deduction.
[00:27:44] Scott: Well, I was just going to ask you so it's almost like you've hired a contractor in a sense because when you're hiring a contractor it's like, “How much you want for a job?” “It's 1,000 bucks.” “Okay, here you go,” and then I get to take that deduction and I don’t have to use classify them as an employee, so I don't have to do all that with the compensation insurance, all that stuff. They are basically a one off. I just paid for the job. And that's fine. So what you're saying is it’s the same thing as that. It's just that you have an employee that works in the Philippines.
[00:28:10] John: On my tax return every year, the accountant adds a line on the itemized deductions whatever thing and it's subcontractors. He puts the label that we paid. The great thing with a contractor, like the definition of contractor to me is 100% turn over. You hire a contractor, it's turn over in your business, period because that's what they do. They move on to the next business and I don't have that 100% turnover. I have very, very little turnover.
[00:28:40] Scott: Cool. Now, the other question is how do you pay them? Did you send PayPal over month? How does that work?
[00:28:48] John: Right now there's a couple of ways to pay them. PayPal is an option. PayPal didn't exist in the Philippines probably until eight years ago. So I've had guys there for eleven years and there wasn't even an option and then it hasn't been huge over there. You can still use it, it's slow, the exchange rates are crappy. Western Union is another option, it's better than PayPal. I know that sounds odd to most people but for sending money to the Philippines Western Union is a better option.
At Online Jobs if you're in the US we have recently released our own system which gives the workers higher exchange rates and much, much, much faster payments which is a big deal in the Philippines because like PayPal takes them five days and if someone is making 500 bucks a month and they run out of money like there's not back up. If they run out of money, that means they don't eat and so getting their money fast is a big deal. That was what our big goal in setting up our payment system to help them get paid. So if you're using online jobs we call it easy pay is a really great way to pay them.
[00:30:01] Scott: Okay. That's going to bring up the next question and I know that you have a solution for that but how do you find these VAs, these employees? First off, give me a way that if I didn't have a service and I was just going out to go out there and fine them, give me that and give me the service that you created because you probably had some obstacles and some challenges with finding ones that are vetted and stuff.
[00:30:26] John: Finding the ones that are vetted is impossible. That’s impossible.
[00:30:35] Scott: So you're basically, like it’s a crap show. You’re going to go out there test a few and see who might work and who might not and you’re going to probably get rid of a few.
[00:30:43] John: Here are your options. You can go to Craigslist and go through a couple of scammers before you find someone. It’s really crazy. I've never had someone success with finding someone on Craigslist. A big part of that is just because Craigslist is so unregulated, unmoderated, it just attracts scammers from both sides. That's one option. A second option is you go through a service just to find them where like there are companies that have offices in the Philippines, they recruit Filipinos, they bring them into their office and they list them to you basically where they’ll, “Hey, I want to hire someone?”
And so they say, “Hey, here’s your guy,” and now they mark up their salary and you pay the company, they pay him. You're going to pay the company $1,200 a month, they are going to pay their worker $400 a month and you have someone working for you. They don't necessarily vet him. I'll tell you right now, they are using Online Jobs to hire those people. They are using my website and I know that because we kick them off all the time. Beyond that, really the only option is onlinejobs.ph. I would love to tell you there are more options than that.
[00:31:59] Scott: What does that make… Let's just go through that part then. If we were going to use that service that you created, first off why did you create the service? Because there was no service and it was something you were looking for…?
[00:32:15] John: Yes because I was trying to hire people and I was teaching people how I was doing this. So when I started hiring these workers I was finding this amazing experience, I had this mastermind group that I was part of and we would talk every week. I just found myself teaching it every single week. And I had these other fifteen guys that are trying to hire people. It was just crappy. Like we just didn’t have a way to hire people and they wanted me to teach their mailing list, “How do you find these people? How does this work?” It was like, “This sucks. How do you find these people? Sucks.” So I started onlinejobs.ph where I was like there's going to be a better way. We're going to find a market place.
At the time there was another market place, it was called Best Jobs and owners of Best Jobs were crazy and one day they shut it down. For no reason, there's no logic behind these people. So when we started Online Jobs I never had this. I never thought that what kind of a reaction it'd get in the Philippines. Today there's over 250,000 Filipino profiles and we never did anything to market it in the Philippines. They really, really responded to it and so the market place just went crazy. What it is, is it’s basically a job board so you go on and you post your job and Filipinos apply to your job. It's not a project board where you say, “Hey, I have this project done. Tell me how you're going to do it.” It's like, “I have this long term job, here's what we're hiring for come and apply.” Kind of like Monster.com or careerbuilder.com.
The other side of it is we have these profiles and we make these Filipinos fill out their profiles and we make them do a good job of it because we created a… We called it ID proof, which is a score based on what we know about that person, what our system knows about that person. I had looked at so many profiles that I started to recognize patterns and things and realize like, “Oh, you're fake.
[00:34:17] John: Oh, you're real.” And I knew and I could tell just by looking at them and so I put that into a computer algorithm so when you say, “How do you find someone who’s vetted?” We have some things that help you realize like this person is legitimate or this person is not legitimate.
[00:34:36] Scott: So there's some checkpoints there that are in, like you said, in your algorithm and then that's going to trigger good or bad or…? Okay, got you. That makes sense. So basically though if we go to that website we basically are not looking, like you said for like one off jobs. What we're looking for is someone that meets the criteria. If I want someone that's going to be a graphic designer, let's say and all they are going to do is like graphics stuff for me and my brand, then I'm going to look at someone's profile that qualifies as being a graphic designer?
[00:35:10] John: If you're listening to this right now you go to onlinejobs.ph. It's a .ph, it's a Philippines website, the first thing you notice is everything is in English because everyone in the Philippines speaks English. Not everyone but anybody you ever deal with will speak English. Second, if you scroll down, there are probably some links there depending on when you're listening to this and we're always changing things but there are some links there to some profiles and just so you know, I have people that do programming, I have really good programmers, full time programmers that work for me.
I have good designers, I have good webmasters like HTML, CSS people that turn designer stuff to code. I have customer service people. I have people that write content. I have an HR girl who does hiring for us or handles our HR. I have a girl that handles all of our social media. We have an Online Jobs Facebook page had 150,000 likes or something like that and I have never made a single post on it because I hate…
[00:36:18] Scott: I'm on the site right now and I can see right at the… You can browse for webmaster, SEO, WordPress… So if I go to graphic designer right now, let's see here, it’s loading up and looks like there's a…
[00:36:31] John: What you're going find it's a whole bunch of profiles of people who have… I made that search criteria, what you're getting for graphic designer. In our system there's some stuff, interesting things that are different. It's not just a text search for the word graphic designer. We have Filipino fill out their profile and they rate themselves in a whole bunch of different skills. We did that because, and this is another cultural thing with the Philippines, Filipinos are honest.
Not everybody there is honest obviously but they are honest to the point where my guys in the Philippines have my credit cards, they have access to my bank account, they have my PayPal account, they have access to my personal email account, we've helped probably 50,000 Filipinos get jobs in the Philippine’s… That was redundant sentence. And we rarely, rarely find a Filipino doing something to hurt an employer and if they do it's because the employer hired them, had them do work and then didn't pay them and the Filipino is just trying to get paid. They don't want to steal crap from you. They’re are honest and they rate themselves.
[00:37:40] Scott: These profiles that I'm looking at like right now like so these people are all like available now because they are on here and if you were to hire them you're saying then they are pretty much committed to you. I guess my thought process right now would be like what if they are working for me and some other person now they are going to split the time between the two.
[00:38:01] John: Totally. So if you hire someone part time that is guaranteed to happen. If you hire someone part time, they are working full time somewhere else. 100%, no question. If you hire someone full time they may find another part time job. It's not uncommon. At Online Jobs what we've tried to is tried to add transparency. So like if hire someone you click hire on there and now their profile will say, “They're hired.” So someone else can see them and they can look at their profile and they can contact them but they'll know this person has a job, they have a full time job or a part time job depending on how you hire them.
It will tell full or part time. If someone else hires them and clicks hired, it will tell you. The system will tell you, “Hey, your person just got hired by someone else just so you know.” Right, so now you can say something like, “Hey what's going on? Why are you getting another job?” Because that's a big deal. Life is hard in the Philippines and someone making $500 a month they are fine they they'd like to make more like someone here making $40,000 a year. They want to make more.
[00:39:20] Scott: Right, that makes sense. I love it. I'm looking at the profiles right now. It's very detailed. It gives you the break down, gives you how many hours they are available to work, tells you their education, experience, tells you what their… You have the different tags so this one they’re illustrator in photo design, photo shop, which is cool then you can view the profile. It's really neat, really nice and clean. I'll definitely be jumping in here and checking this myself it's really cool to be able to have that and I do see there is like I said on the front page, I think it was, where you can hire a VA so you do have virtual assistants if you just wanted to hire for like a one off jobs.
[00:39:59] John: No. Well, you can. You can use online jobs to hire someone for a one off job. That's fine. But a virtual assistant would… You're looking at a graphic designer and we like to call them virtual workers. Just because the word virtual assistant has so many different meanings today. A graphic designer or you're looking at a programmer, like someone who can do PHP programming for you for your custom website or whatever or you're looking at, if you search Amazon you'll get tons of results of people who're on Amazon or if you search Shopify, you'll get people who know shopify.
A virtual assistant would be someone who doesn't know Shopify but someone who probably has pretty good English and they are going to help you schedule appointments or they are going to… I don't know, whatever a general virtual assistant does. I'm going to have one of my guys in the Philippines look for some medicine in a pharmacy.
[00:41:01] Scott: I got you. So it's more or less like your personal assistant it's what you're saying. Like they can, if you have just different tasks that you want them to do they can do that. They are going to be a jack of all trades and a master of none. I got you.
[00:41:13] John: You can teach them to be a master of whatever you want.
[00:41:15] Scott: I got you. But that virtual assistant that we're talking about they are more like still a part time or full time employee but they only… They are going to be able to do different types of tasks which if you're hiring someone just for graphic design they can be in charge of all of your design work for your products, for your website, for your Facebook, for your Instagram, whatever you want. You can then use them for that stuff. I got it. Okay, social experts, writers, you got every category pretty much covered. WordPress. I get people that say, “Scott how do I get WordPress and stuff, I don't know how to do that?” You can hire someone to do it for you right here for pretty inexpensively. That's pretty cool. I'm loving this. It's a great little site. It looks like it's very affordable too from what I'm looking at here on the pricing itself.
[00:41:58] John: It's pretty reasonable. It's 49 bucks a month while you're recruiting. As soon as you hired someone, you're on your own with that person. We're not involved any more. You can cancel the $49. You don't need to be paying to have them hired for you.
[00:42:10] Scott: Okay. Now, what about like you said the payments. That would be my other thing? Do you work that out with your employee or do you have something there on the site that will allow us to use something that's a little bit easier to manage?
[00:42:23] John: So paying them?
[00:42:25] Scott: Yes, for paying them.
[00:42:26] John: When you log in there's easy pay link. So then you click them hired, your employee will show up in your account and you can then just pay them. You go on out and fill your information and send them money and they'll get the money.
[00:42:26] Scott: Okay, cool. This is a great resource. I think for anyone listening right now like you might not be at this stage yet but when you are, when you start seeing yourself doing these tasks over and over and over again and you're like, “Man if I can just get that done and then just bring me the results and then I can dig into that,” like maybe you only want to dig into that higher level stuff that would be the time to do that. Obviously right now if you're bootstrapped and you don’t have the cash to be paying out right now, you have it know it anyway. To me it's like you have to know how to do the job in order to hire out for the job. At least that's my personal opinion. I think you should know how your business runs.
[00:43:24] John: You should do it once yourself and understand but then once you've done it once and you understand the process, once you understand this works you shouldn't do it yourself again. That’s my thing for when are you ready? It's do you understand this works? Do you understand why this works? Or are you still at the point where like I don't know if this is going to work or not or I don't know really how to run this business? If you're at that point you're not probably ready to hire someone. If you've done it once and you say, “Okay, this works,” it's time to hire someone.
[00:44:06] Scott: Yeah. I love it. I was guilty of this myself. I wanted to do everything myself because I want to make sure it gets done right. I think that can also be a bottleneck in your business because then you can't grow because you're just like, “I just want all the control…” Not just because I want control but just because I want the results that I want to be the way I want them. We all just and especially if it's our brand and it's our thing, it's our little baby. We want to make sure it's being taken care off but I think part of growing as a business owner is to let go of some of those things especially the things you don't have to do.
If someone just writes down what they are doing on a weekly basis you're going to start to see a trend of things that you're doing that you really shouldn't be doing. It will be eye opening for you but what else before we wrap up here. Any last little bits, tips for people maybe just getting started or maybe thinking about going down this road?
[00:44:57] John: Let me tell you where I am with this and where I was. Today I work a couple hours a day. I call it a seventeen hour work week. I'm not working… We're recording this it's the week after Christmas, this is the thing I'm going to do all week. Just record this. I have people in the Philippines that do everything for me. All I do on a daily basis is look at what they have done and give them feedback and tell them what else I want them to do. I give them instructions or whatever. Takes me an hour to two hours a day. The reason I'm at that point where… For me this is about lifestyle. It's not about building a business to make money so I can work. I want to spend time with my family.
I want to spend time with my wife and my kids and so I do. So every decision I make in my business is based around who’s going to have to do this work? Is it me or is it someone else? Can someone else do this work? Because if it's me that has to do this work long term, I'm not going to do it. I'm not going to pursue that business opportunity. Regardless of how much money is in it, it's not worth it to me. When I got started doing this obviously I was working my butt off and it wasn't until I hired people in the Philippines that I realized this was possible that I could get someone else to do work for me and have it be affordable and have it succeed.
If you're just starting and what I find is that’s kind of that freedom that I have is really what most people's goal is. It’s to have time to spend with your family. You got to give this a shot. Because you won't know if this works as I said it does until you try it, until you hire someone and go through the process because I'll tell you. This isn't for everybody. It's not going to work for everybody.
[00:46:55] John: I had a guy that contacted me a couple of weeks ago that was like, “I would really like to try this. I'm just not sure that they can do what I want.” So I gave him someone, and this never happens to me. I never get someone that I know is really good who doesn't work for me. People come to me all the time like, “Hey, can you refer me to someone?” Like, “No, if I knew someone who was really great I'd have them working for me full time.” I had someone who I knew was really great. He came from a really good friend of mine whose business had changed. I knew this guy was great. I gave him to this other guy who had approached me and he didn't work out within one day. That's because the dude he isn’t patient at all, he’s not tolerant for any mistakes. Like this isn't going to work out for you. You won't know that until you try it. You won't know if it will work for you until you try it.
[00:47:41] Scott: I agree. I think that it's part of growing. Like you just said you can't expect it to be perfect the first time out. You're only going to be training and you're going to be tweaking to make it work and once you get that set up then I think it's off to the races. One last thing though. Do you do any check-ins like periodically? Do you have a scheduled time? Do you get maybe part of your team together? How does that work for you?
[00:48:09] John: That's a personality thing. I don't. This is a really important thing. This is a really important tip. I require all my people, every day to send me an email to say here's what I did. I want them to answer three questions every single day. Number one what did you do today? Number two, what problems did you run into? And number three what can I help you with? I want them to answer that question every single day and so I get an email from them every day saying what they did. That is a big deal for me just because the way I work where like I don't want to think about what they are working on. I want to think about how I'm going to make my business better.
If I have to think about the little details of what they are doing I'm not using my brain power to improve my business. So what that daily email does is it gives me every single day time for my brain to switch on to what they are doing for a minute or two or ten and give the feedback that they need or the instructions that they need and then I move on and I know I don't have to think about it again until I get that daily email. That's a big deal.
Do I have scheduled phone calls with them? No. That's my personality. I don't want that responsibility. Do we ever get together? I got together with them one time six years ago. It was an amazing experience where I took my family to the Philippines for six weeks and we just hang out on the beach for six weeks. I brought them all together for a week of that and it was awesome. Otherwise I don't meet with them.
[00:49:40] Scott: What about any… Is it just email that you communicate or do you use Slack, do you use any other type of platform for that or is it just strictly email?
[00:49:48] John: Yeah, so my team actually set up Slack without me because they wanted to each other and they said, “Hey, can we use Slack.” I was like, “I don't know what the heck that is but sure go ahead.” Now, yes I use Slack with them and that's cool. We use Basecamp as our project management system and I love that. I've transitioned away from email even over the last year or so to using Basecamp. Mostly those daily emails and daily check-ins happen through Basecamp which I love. So Basecamp, Slack, email.
[00:50:23] Scott: Cool. All right John. This has been awesome. I appreciate you taking time out of your day being that one thing that you did for the week. It was actually beyond the podcast. That's pretty awesome. I just want to say thanks. We’ll probably have to do a follow up with you though because I think once I even get into this a little bit further myself I do have a small team that works for me and with me really in all aspects of my businesses but I've always got room to improve and get better and I haven't tried out this job or site thing that you have here, this Online Jobs so I'll definitely be definitely checking that out. Looks interesting and I would just let everyone else know that's listening if you have any questions let us know.
If I can't answer it I'll turn you over to John and hopefully we can get the answer from him. I just want to say thanks again John and I really do appreciate you coming on and doing this, I think this is valuable for a lot of people and it also I think it's a great story to show that you started like doing all of this stuff and then you seen a problem that needed to be solved and you came in and you created a solution and you're using that solution but then you get to turn that into something that can be another part of your business. I think that's really awesome to see how things just happen as you start to move through this jungle of entrepreneurship. I just wanted to say thanks a lot. I appreciate it. What’s the link again that people can go to to check out little more about you and also the online jobs?
[00:51:46] John: So, onlinejobs.ph, dot Philippines is the site. If you want to look at me a little bit, you got to johnjonas.com. If you want to contact me, you can use any contact us link on any of my websites and it will get to me. It won't get to me initially but if you ask for me, it will get to me. I’m infinitely available through email.
[00:52:08] Scott: Awesome. That sounds awesome. Again, I just want to say thank you so much and I’m sure we’ll be in touch and hey enjoy the rest of the holidays.
[00:52:15] John: Sounds great. Thank you. Talk to you later.
[00:52:18] Scott: All right. Pretty eye opening. If you're thinking to yourself like, “How do I get someone to come on and start creating content around my brand?” Well, this will be a great way to do that. You'd hire someone, all they would do is just create content around your brand. That would be someone that specializes in blogging maybe or maybe in YouTube or something like that. There's different things that you can do. It could just be someone that you want to do those day to day tasks. Maybe, it's your customer service, maybe it is your social media post, maybe it is product research, maybe it’s finding sourcing agents and then from there bringing back the top ones to you. There's so much that you can use someone else's skill set.
Now, the one thing I will say is and John had said this, it will take time even if someone has a skill set as a graphic designer, they still have to learn your system. Just understand, it's not going to be like an overnight like success thing here where you're going to just say, “Hey want to come work for me?” And here's what I need done and they are going to do it perfectly. It's not going to happen. If you’re thinking that, like John said it's not going to happen. You're probably going to be disappointed. It's going to talk some time and again, it’s investing in your business by being able to train these people to your specs. Just keep that in mind. All right guys.
That's going to pretty much wrap it up. Remember the show notes can be found at theamazingseller.com/306. If you want to download the show notes, the transcripts, any links we talked about will be there as well, this is going to be probably one of those episodes you will want to download. The transcripts because there's a lot of great information that John shared. Definitely head over to theamazingseller.com/306 and you can grab all the goodies over there and I just wanted to wrap up by saying thank you so much for listening, hopefully you got a ton of value from this and as always, remember that I'm here for you and I believe in you and I am rooting for you but you have, you have to… Come on say it with me, say it loud, say it proud, “Take action.” Have an awesome, amazing day and I’ll see you right back here on the next episode.
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