I think I need a wife!

How’s this for a thought-provoking question from a female reader:

“Men have the luxury of a wife to hold down the fort while they concentrate on their job. How can women prioritize and still make progress in starting a business. And I still need to work part-time at my former job as I begin my new career. I think *I* need a wife!”

We all have 168 hours a week.  Do a zero-based budget where you decide in advance how you will allocate those 168 hours.  You may in fact need an assistant – if you imply that a “wife” does all those things that could be done by someone else and keep you from doing your highest leveraged activities.  I tell people that in a small business like mine there are probably 20-25 different areas of responsibility that need to be covered.  I do maybe 2 or 3 of those really well.  And that’s where I want to spend my time.  So yes, I have lots of people whose skills compliment my own.  Not “employees” but simply service providers who are categorized as free-lance, independent contractors or something similar.  I have about 15 such people who then allow me to do what I love most – thinking and writing.

You can find a virtual assistant that can help you with lots of things you may be doing yourself – freeing you up to do those activities that give you a higher return.

Here are just a few places to find your “wife:”

http://www.odesk.com/w/

http://www.elance.com/

http://www.virtualassistantisrael.com/

http://www.contemporaryva.com/home/

http://www.isimplifyva.com/

http://www.48days.net/ search  “virtual assistant”

Now that I think about it I am blessed with a harem – and Joanne approves — how cool is that?

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6 Responses to “I think I need a wife!”

  1. ale Says:

    I’m not married. so all men don’t have a wife.

  2. Erin Casey Says:

    I’ve seriously been thinking about a combination of VA help and in-home help. For me, the hang up is figuring out what I can delegate and what I actually have to do myself. Any advice on letting go?

  3. Dan Miller Says:

    Erin — I determined a long time ago that if someone can do something 70% as well as I think I can, I need to delegate that function. That’s keep me free for things only I can do well.

  4. Tracy Oddson Says:

    I am a personal & virtual assistant in Oregon. One of my clients (a woman) calls me her “wife.” I run errands, walk dogs, wait for repairmen, help clients relocate, and do almost anything else that others hate or don’t have time to do. I also provide virtual assistance to some of my clients. (Proofreading is big on my list — “*an* thought-provoking” — you should always reread what you write.)

    To find a good assistant, get recommendations from friends with assistants (network) and interview possible candidates – a good fit is important for both of you. You must trust your assistant and feel comfortable with her (like a friend).

  5. Denise Says:

    Yes, we all have 168 hours in a week. However, as a wife, mother, homeschooler, student, and part-time freelancer, part of helping our household run smoothly is my being flexible when unexpected events happen (kids are sick, flat tire, cat has kittens under the bed, etc). Planning how to spend these hours does help, but often it just doesn’t work as well in “real life.” Just tonight I have discussed with hubby the need for “freedom to run away” time, so it will go on the schedule. We’ll see!

  6. Kim hockema Says:

    To Ale who doesn’t have a wife: remember, that means you only have one person to look after. If you want to skip supper while in the middle of a project, it doesn’t affect anyone but yourself. You have one person’s laundry and one person’s schedule. That makes a bigger difference than a single person can imagine.
    To Denise: I understand your trouble. Taking care of our families is the hightest priority and is very time consuming (like sometimes 160 of those 168 hours). I’m afraid that those who are not wives or mothers cannot really understand. If we are going to do our family “job” well, it takes time…a lot of time. Remember, our children will not always be young. Some day our schedules will be different because of their absence. The memories they carry away with them by our involvement in their lives today will be priceless. Keep working hard to schedule in your work, but don’t lose sight of the investment in your family and the promise that some day, you will have more open slots in that 168 hours a week.

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